My thoughts and advice on how to be successful on Patreon

I wrote down some thoughts for a friend asking about how improve their Patreon and make it more ‘successful’. By no means am I an expert but I’ve seen my Patreon go from a handful of people to hundreds by employing the planning I outline below. My Patreon deals with animation and art - though it’s of a NSFW nature I believe these tips can be applied to any Patreon.

OK, enough preamble, I will offer what advice I have. haha

What I am about to say is not a condemnation of anything you are doing. I’m speaking with a broad view on things I personally think make a Patreon successful! If you disagree, if you think “Well, that’s not me!” or “I already do that and he doesn’t know what the eff he is talking about” then fair enough. You are entitled to your opinion.

So, one of two things are likely preventing your or any Patreon from being successful. One, you have an AMAZING PATREON no one knows about (we will talk about that) or two, you have a product no one currently wants. That’s it. I don’t think there is much more than that so let’s look at these two things.

Possibility One, you have an amazing Patreon no one knows about. Well, the easiest thing is to keep posting on social media. Maybe specific sites catering to things you draw or create for. Believe me, good work gets noticed and shared quickly, it doesn’t take long at all. Some side things that help the perception of ‘good’ are being consistent, posting regularly and communicating with your fans.

If you are doing that, if you feel you are putting in your time and just can’t seem to get traction or attention then we must take an honest look at the OTHER possibility.

Possibility Two, you are making art or creating works that don’t have a lot of mass appeal. I am not suggesting you change anything but if you are seeing little interest there is a good chance that’s because there is no interest in the first place. In other words, people know your work and are actively passing on your Patreon. Perhaps there are other creators doing what you do - but better, or in a more popular format (full color paintings, animations, very high output, the list goes on).

If this comment frustrates you or if you don’t like the idea of doing popular things people want versus creations you personally like then please consider why you are even doing a Patreon. A Patreon is a store where people are buying your goods. If you don’t have anything they want then they will not purchase from you. If you want to ONLY do your own thing and don’t care if people like your work then a Patreon is most likely not for you. If you want to sell then it’s very helpful to listen to your customers. If you don’t have the people to tell you what is popular then just look around. The creators you follow regularly, the creators OTHERS follow and comment on regularly. There are many ways to get this information and none of them are out of your reach.

If your first reaction to the above is “Well, my good friend Ready, you don’t understand I like VERY SPECIFIC art with a VERY small group of people who don’t like to talk about it” or anything along the lines of “Getting information about my specific type of art/creation is hard” then we are back to the basic problem of you likely are making a product that few want.

An easy test to see if you are making unpopular things is to start looking at trends and test out making popular art or YOUR version of popular things. This is what I did with various ideas taken from my friends and fans. I also asked my Patrons what they would like and sat down and made what they wanted. It worked; I got MANY more subscribers.

Another important thing is to drop things that aren’t interesting to you or your patrons. If you are making art that neither you nor your patrons like then drop it or do less of it. There is no reason to work week after week on creations no one wants. It’s a waste of your time. You only have so many hours and you will have to adapt your work to add and remove things in order to get work done.

I hope this helps. Comments and questions are welcome. I don’t write this post to discourage. You should be encouraged to take a thoughtful look at your Patreon and what you might do to make more people interested.

Good luck and keep me posted!


PS My Patreon is here (NSFW


That is now how I use my Patreon - it is for those who wish to engage in the traditional form of patronage.

Which sounds like “if you do something which is niche you should stop doing it”. That makes zero sense.

This is a very strange definition for art (or any kind) which is a very personal creation. If I wanted to turn out variations of what’s popular, I’d apply for work in Hollywood or with network TV. But I wouldn’t last long in a job like that.

Anyway, there are MANY ways to define ‘success’ not all of which are measured in raw $/£/€/¥.

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@Michael_Loucks I think you might be missing the bigger point of my post. This was my opinion and my personal experience about making money on Patreon in response to a question about making money, not about my definitions of art in general. What I think has happened as I read some of your responses is you are conflating art definitions with my direct response to making an income on Patreon.

I never said art is only about money nor you shouldn’t do niche things or the like in and of themselves. However, as it applies to Patreon, the more popular works tend to get more traction. That’s not true in every case of course.

It’s easy to get into a large internet back and forth about what is art so let’s not do that. Art is what you want it to be and that is AWESOME. I agree it’s personal, it’s unique and a million other things.

In short, I see your point and agree to the spirit of your ideas as you frame them. Still, I specifically mentioned unless you had a built in audience you might have trouble doing niche things. So the counter to that is if you have a built in audience you will have less trouble. We don’t need to talk about how the audience was built at this point (that would be a separate post).

My hope now is you see my reply as reaching out to you in the spirit of understanding and cooperation and not an attack on your position or comments. I’m here to help and do what I can.

That said, if you would like to talk about the definitions of art or success you can message me directly and I would be happy to continue that discussion offline. If you have a series of advice or ideas about how to make a Patreon successful then I look forward to your post on the matter.

Best and have an AMAZING day!



While this might be true for you personally, it’s not how all of us approach our Patreon. And treating fans of what I do like that leaves one feeling like fans are merely metrics and not people.
Patreon isn’t a store and I think you’re doing a disservice to content creators by treating it as such. Confusing fans with customers leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Fans are so much more than customers, and they deserve to be treated as such.

I personally don’t treat my Patreon as a store and my fans as customers who buy my product.

There are many different approaches to utilizing Patreon, and treating like a store and your customers buying goods from you, is merely how you personally see it and treat it. That still doesn’t mean you should be dictating what the best approach is.

I treat my page as a fan service and a place for me to share my content. See, because I don’t make art per-se. I make content, and I don’t treat it as a product. It’s a by-product of my hobby that I do for fans. If it pays me a ton, great. If not, that does not mean that I’m “unsuccessful” nor does it mean that I should start treating the folks that support me as customers.
And because I treat my Patrons as “True Fans”, I have a very stable base of them, with little to no fluctuations in my income.

I help people paint their miniatures better. That’s what fans pay me for, and to provide me the reason and means to continue.

I don’t use my Patreon to sell stuff. Just because I don’t use it that way, doesn’t mean yours or anyone else’s page is more successful. Unless the almighty dollar is your primary motivator and gaining temporary income. Which requires a ton of work to maintain, it’s more likely you’ll experience monthly fluctuations in your income and Patron numbers.

The best way to be successful is to recognize the folks that support you long term. I prefer to have a steady income that’s reliable rather than go for what’s trending and of the moment. Years of stability are worth way more than a month or two of incredible income.

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@Ghool That’s great but I feel as though my general message is being missed so there is a good chance that I have been unclear. My message was passed to this forum after I was asked a specific question about how to handle a specific situation. I felt there were applicable ideas that others might enjoy to read so I posted my response here.

If you feel there are some good ideas or possible interesting things to pull from great. If you disagree - GREAT! No worries at all.

One thing I would caution against is using this one post of mine as some kind of divining rod about my entire history with people and with Patreon. Please don’t assume I don’t love my patrons (I do very much) or that I treat them like some commodities or metrics as you seem to imply. That is not the case.

I work from passion and love just like you. I donated to my community my art, animation and support FOR FREE for nearly 30 years and still do. I opened my Patreon to allow my friends and fans a way to support my work only after I was requested to do so by my supporters. In short, money was not my motivator. I have done this for free for a very long time and LOVE it.

I guess what I’m saying is, I’m a lot more like you than you might think and I hope you can pull some things out that might help. If not, please feel free to create a post detailing your favorite Patreon techniques. I would love to learn from you and anyone else.

In the end @Ghool, we’re all here to learn and succeed together. Ideally we are here to share constructive ideas. Thank you for the reply and I will be sure to consider my wording a little better considering the replies.

All the best,



I think the thing is, fan/customer is not a mutually exclusive thing. It is not an insult to make an exchange, content for money. In its raw form, it is a sale, but making a sale doesn’t make you a money grubbing tycoon of content.

Getting hung up on the definition of success seems really odd considering Patreon is a platform for processing transactions where fans become patrons of your art/content/thing you do. It is at its core a monetary thing. If people have come to Patreon to have a blog/hub/website and care not one iota about money, then they’ve picked a very bad platform to host their content on (sorry Patreon) because your reach and functionality will be completely and utterly limited.

I think it’s a fair assessment that it’s rude and tasteless to look at fans and supporters as dollar signs, but by treating your Patreon as a business you are not doing that. Actual fans and supporters WANT you to be able to thrive, they come to Patreon because they’d LIKE to throw dollars at you, and if you have fans that don’t want to do that, they’re no less valid, they just support you through engagement. And engagement is damn near as valuable as money in this current state of the internet.

Also, I don’t think OP ever came across as saying they had found the One True Way to be successful on Patreon, though the core of their message is measurably true (see: the people making money on Patreon) and there’s not this line in the sand where treating your page as a business and your patrons as customers is somehow a betrayal of pure creativity and loving your fans. That’s a gross misrepresentation of what many creators are doing, and what fans are supporting.

In general I think the actual danger is creators who work incredibly hard and pour tons of time and effort into their work then read things like this and get scared to talk about money with their fans. That’s already a pervasive thing in art, people fear toxic backlash to them wanting to get paid. Backlash to even creating the opportunity to pay them, like Patreon. That’s what I worry about.


@YuuriVoice Man, I should have you be my PR person. You hit the tone I was going for MUCH better than I did. haha You’re also100% correct, I have not found any perfect solutions!

The gist you are mentioning is we are indeed processing funds from our fans/friends/supporters here on Patreon. It’s basically has a business component where we collect money. Doesn’t mean you can’t use it as a gathering spot for your amazing supporters. Doesn’t mean you can’t show your love and respect for those that want to help out. It also doesn’t mean you can’t recognize long terms friends and fans. I also agree if you are here on Patreon and don’t care at all about money then perhaps there are other places that offer the same or better social connections for free or small fees (but that’s my opinion).

@YuuriVoice I can also imagine there might be some who are afraid to talk about money (not saying that is a problem of ANYONE in this thread or anyone reading this) but there may be some out there who are having a hard time pricing their work. That is a huge problem I know I have had to deal with.

At any rate, ideally smarter people such as yourself and the fine folk in this thread will continue to expand and elaborate on Patreon best practices.



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