Does your Patreon charge Monthly or Per Creation? Why?
At the moment, my Patreon charges Per Creation. Why? Honestly, I realize that there are times when I have content drought when I’m either busy, going through some stuff, or completely burned out. I can make content consistent for a while, but I eventually have to take a breather for a month or two or else I can burn out miserably. Additionally, my content is very varied and thus takes varying amounts of time to create. I make Graphic Art, Comics, Videos, and Games, some of which obviously takes longer to make than the other.
Between my content mediums and my need to take breaks, I don’t feel right to have potential Patrons paying for times when personal or life reasons force me to take time off. I want Patrons to get what they pay for and I like being paid for the work I’ve done, so, for now, I have my Patreon charging per creation.
I’m set to monthly but that’s how I like to support creators, nothing more scientific than that I’m afraid.
Monthly. We’ve been publishing our magazine on a monthly schedule for ten years, so this is a natural fit and in line with what our readers expect. (We also post audio content throughout the month, but consider it a child of the month’s issue rather than many new creations.)
I started with per creation, thinking I’d charge each time I posted a video. I struggled with the decision of whether to charge each time I posted. Is this good enough to warrant charging? Is it long enough? Am I providing enough bang for their bucks?
After a couple of months of that, I switched to per month. Now, I just post whatever I have, and I don’t worry about whether this one thing is epic enough. Instead, I just provide a steady stream of “this is what I’m working on right now”. Easier for me, and my patrons seem to be sticking with me, so I guess they’re happy, too.
Monthly. Like Lisa I couldn’t dwell on tryin’ to decide each time I posted something if it was worthy of being a paid post. What if my $25 patron caps that as their payout for the month and they miss other, better content? I don’t want any patron to miss anything and allow them to choose what they see through level of patronage they choose. What if I have a particularly productive month? I wouldn’t want to have to hold back art until the next month to get maximum $$ and I wouldn’t want patrons to be missing out on anything. I feel like per creation is more for someone making a music video or something that could take a month-ish or longer to create, something BIG. Per creation would be a lot to manage for folks with lots of little creations.
I did have a little concern about what if this month is lighter than others? But I find that little bit of pressure motivating. Plus, my patrons have almost all told me that they are supporting ME creating art as opposed to the art that I create. This allows me to create some hot mess experimentation and takes the pressure to always create a masterpiece off, which I think is an unnecessary anxiety to artists.
With a monthly charge, I can give a wider variety of content: sketches, inked work, full color, WIP, studio shots, lore, character bios, etc. Even if I’m havin’ an off month, I make sure to check in on Patreon at least once a week. My patrons are pleased so far and so am I.
I began on ‘per creation’ and, after conversing with my patrons about it, I switched to monthly almost two years ago. I think either can totally work, depending on what you’re up to and how you connect with you community.
For patrons, it seems that a per month setup is simpler. Kind of ‘set and forget’. Whereas with ‘per thing’ they could get unexpected charged if a creator posts more than one paid creation in a month and the patrons haven’t set their monthly limit.
On the other side, I feel a lot of pressure (from myself) to keep pushing stuff out even when I don’t feel like it, because my patrons are paying monthly whether I create or not.
I’m quite slow and I only want to charge for things (in my case, Music Videos) that I consider more than good and ready to go out into the world. So “per creation” is perfect for me. In this “place” I’m at now, “per month” would stress me out and would pollute my creative process.
Pretty much exactly what Lisa said, with some other stuff folks have said sprinkled in.
I was per-creation for the longest time, because like @JSparks said, I thought people should pay for what they get, not what they don’t. My problem is that my Patrons are awesome but not very communicative. I did ask them awhile back; I got a few thoughtful answers but the general consensus seems to be “do whatever you want, I’m just here to support you”.
I just switched. One of my reasons was not being able to manage what is worth money to people. I have a lot of different things I produce. Single songs, albums, music videos…so, it’s hard to get a beat on what people want, will support, etc. I figured if I could just focus more on creating and be less stressed on “hey, am I getting paid this month?” I would be more productive. It has lifted a bit of weight off my shoulders, that much is true.
The unfortunate results: Monetarily, support dropped by about 30%. It kinda sucks, because it means there were definitely a few people that did care but didn’t speak up. I think something that could really be useful is some sort of hybrid support option on Patreon. For example, rather than placing this onus on the creator, why not just let the creator do one of the existing options or this new option where Patrons choose which model works better for them? The creator can still decide whether the things they post are free or for patrons, and then the rules could play out accordingly.
I could go on, but this is getting long, gonna cut myself off for now.
I have the same problem - my work varies a lot and are sometimes quite sporadic. But monthly works much better for me, for two reasons :
(1) Per creation would put more pressure on me on judging whether a creation is ‘good enough’ to be perceived as a creation - e.g. a sketch of 30 minutes vs. a painting that I spent days creating.
(2) I also have sporadic bursts of creativity and productivity, and I don’t want patrons to have to dish out a lot of money very suddenly just because I feel amazingly inspired (I know they can put a limit on the amount of creations to pledge in a month, but it still doesn’t seem right to me when I think about my way of working). Monthly evens it out nicely. Even a little update about work in progress, or a poem about how shitty I’m feeling, can still be seen as something worthwhile to share with my patrons.
+1, @PatreonCreatorLeft - the smoothing it out thing is great - for some of us, it’s really hard to quantify what is worth sharing and what isn’t, and the solution is to share EVERYTHING =]
I’m actually stuck in a opposite endzone for your #1 which is that I often spend too much time on specific creations, I need to figure out where to draw the line and how to determine it’s time to STOP. I’m not sure if monthly will help or hinder that goal. For example, right now I feel less pressured and more productive overall but I feel like I’ve released less. But I’ll probably drop a bumrush of stuff before the holidays are up, so there’s that.
Oh, many times I’ve gone past the point where I shoul’ve stopped, haha! That’s usually a write-off or redo.
i’m monthly. i considered doing “per thing” when i first started, not sure i could keep to a monthly schedule of making stuff and sending it out, but i really framed patreon to prospective patrons as a way for me to get monthly ongoing support, so it just made sense to go with the monthly schedule. i have dealt with some level of guilt in the months where i haven’t been as on top of things, in terms of my rewards, or when my day job keeps me busier and i therefore have less time to make stuff for patrons, but in conversations with my patrons who’ve been with me all year, they assure me they don’t care at all. they signed up to support me overall, in making whatever i want to make, not for the specific rewards. the rewards are an extra perk whenever they happen, but they really don’t keep track of whether something is showing up in their mailbox every month. so i guess after a year, i am happy to stay on the monthly plan.
Per creation. I have always suggested to other Podcasters that they go weekly instead of monthly. No logic beyond guessing that a patron would likely be more generous in what they would like to pay for an episode than having them do the math to guess what they’d pay for four.
I’m currently per creation, because it made more money AND because I would feel a bit guilty of charging patrons even if I’m on hiatus, which does happen sometimes. In September and October I was burnout and had too much going on irl to draw pretty much anything.
I plan on switching to monthly though, because of the “charge upfront” feature. I know that just switching would induce a big loss of income, so I first made a survey to ask my patrons if they would like a special reward in exchange for setting the same amount for both their pledge and max pledge. As I’ve kept track of how much they pay per month (and so I know what their max pledge is) I will send them each a personalized email as well, detailing what rewards they can get in the tier associated to their pledge reward (and the upper tiers, just in case…)
I have good hope that this preparation would allow for a better transition.
I liked the per creation system, because it drove my motivation to work and lessened my guilt if I couldn’t work. I get paid per comic page, so it’s a constant unit --if it’s a comic page, I charge, if it’s not a comic page, it’s a free post. I liked to finish a page and think “ka-ching!” in my head xD It’s very rewarding to feel like you actually get paid for the art you make. I’m a little bit afraid that I might go a bit lazy without this bait, but we’ll see.
(I doubt I’d get actually lazy because I need to create xD)
Despite what I said a few months ago, I’ve recently changed my Patreon to monthly. Reason being is that I’ve been once again picking up steam on more projects (eg. Games and Videos) that aren’t just something I can release every week or two, unlike my comics and illustration work. I’m hoping it will be a better way for Patrons to support longer projects without me having to release it quickly. I do a lot of multimedia art and because these projects take a lot of time and to lessen the burden of deciding what among my new content is worth paying for, I’m just gonna stick with Monthly now.
I’m currently per creation. I used to be monthly, but as others have pointed out, you’re always worried about whether you’re providing enough material/quality/posting often enough. So, per creation takes away the guilt. I’ve been tempted to go back to the per month model, mostly to take advantage of the ‘pay upfront’ option, but it seems that this is a once only decision: if you switch to pay upfront, you can’t go back. Also, it doesn’t seem to be the solution to declined payments that I hoped it would be: declining patrons are still listed as patrons (my bugbear), and it merely stops the one-month freeloading that sometimes seems to happen (and what’s a month?).
@Lochy: Your point about patrons missing out if they cap their per creation pledge total hadn’t occurred to me. I’d assumed that a patron capping at (e.g.) $2, where they pledge $2 per creation, would still get to see additional paid posts that month. I see now that this may not be the case - is that right?
Unwittingly, I seem to have created a work-around for that. I’m currently making book cover designs, which involve one or two finished designs per month and lots of sketches/works in process. Because of the guilt thing, I charge patrons for public posts only, and they get the patron-only stuff for free. This may seem a bit backward - shouldn’t they be paying for the private stuff? - but I thought it was a way of ensuring that their pledges were deserved: they were funding a final, finished piece of work (even though it’s public), and they’re rewarded with all the behind the scenes stuff privately.
Declines, though - they drive me crazy…
Yeah, that was my concern: that someone capping at a specific amount might otherwise miss content that comes out after the cap has been met. I am not sure if that’s how it works, but it just feels like a lot to manage and consider with every post. 100% of my posts on my primary Patreon are public even though I have the $1 level as having “access to art before it’s anywhere else”. Technically, they still do as I upload to Patreon first and if they’re a patron they’re getting an email to let them know there is something to see. I suppose followers get the same thing if they’re getting an email notification, but I don’t mind. The art is all free. Patrons are supporting me creating the art, not paying for the art. They do get some added bonus of creative input and I have a yearly bonus reward that I mail to my first 100 patrons. That way I know my art is still accessible to all and I don’t have to think about who is seeing what and what followers (potential patrons) are missing out on.
My NSFW Patreon is majority paywall though. This is so kids don’t stumble on it, not that the internet doesn’t have plenty for them to stumble upon, but I’m not going to add to that. Plus, that adds to the exclusivity for patrons since they have to pay more for that content. It’s still monthly though as I want all patrons to have all access to everything.
I just find monthly to be so much more streamlined and a lot less for me to have to think about.
That makes sense the way you charge them though, @gareth.southwell. That had been a concern of mine if I did the per creation: which one to charge them for. For me it would have led to a lot of thinking this isn’t good enough and me never making any money because I felt too guilty to charge them. Per month just feels a lot more like they are supporting me creating art and not so much ‘did they get enough stuff for their money?’ each time.
@Lochy: Having a definite goal for each month (i.e. a finished product to work towards) makes it easy to set that aside as the thing I’ll charge patrons for. But I can see if your work is more about process, then monthly is better.
Yeah, like last month I was just in a sketch kind of mood and didn’t technically finish anything, but I did get a lot of sketching in. Some months are like that, I may want to do a lot of studies or experiment with something else. It feels less restrictive to me to have that kind of flexibility.