Patreon is a crowdfunding platform that was found in 2013. Even though it’s relatively new, it has quickly become a way for artists to sustain their artistic work. It is also the main option for people with projects that need funds to keep escalating.
This is where you, as a video bloggers, can take advantage of this. Patreon can become the way to make a living from what you like and build a solid fan base.
The first thing you need to understand is that Patreon is not a tip-jar kind of thing. As it names suggests, its basic idea is patronage. This has been a common practice throughout history. The biggest pieces of art in history were made because some artist was funded by a patron.
With Patreon things are slightly different, and much better. The best thing is that you don’t need to find one rich person, you just need some of your followers to start donating 5 dollars or less monthly.
This might not sound like much, but if it keeps adding up you will find yourself receiving a lot of money that will allow you to keep growing and eventually live from what you love doing.
It might sound impossible in the beginning, but remember that this is the internet; people are all around. You just need to start right away. If you keep building your fan base you will find that is not hard to get them to help you sustain your work.
How to Make a Living From Your Hobby With Patreon
Patreon has brought patronage to our modern world. Artists now have the opportunity to live off their own art.
And guess what?
Vloggers are also artists.
Even though video bloggers earn money through ads, it’s not easy, and you probably won’t earn much money if you only use that way.
You entertain, teach and inspire people. Patreon is just a way for people to let you keep entertaining, teaching and inspiring them.
Patreon is similar to Kickstarter in a way, but it’s based on milestones.
First, you need to ask yourself how much money you’re going to need to push your vlogging to the next level.
To the right of the image, you can see the different milestones explained in a Patreon page. In the middle, there are messages that you can post to those that have subscribed to pay you a certain amount of money monthly.
You might need $1000 monthly to make vlogging a full-time activity —this will depend on your personal expenses.— However, this is not a good milestone to start with.
It’s better to start things slow. For example, set your first milestone to $30 monthly to create a new series of videos on a particular subject your followers will want to watch.
You might want to set another pledge to hire an editor for your videos, so you can set a milestone for that later.
It’s important to set milestones that will make your work improve. This is the best way to get more patrons to fund you, and it’s the best way to escalate your new business.
This channel has only 591 patrons supporting him, and he’s being endorsed $4850 per month. If you add the money he’s making from ads on his videos, you can see that he’s probably capable of dedicating full-time to this.
Soon enough, you will finally set an amount to become a full-time vlogger. Make sure you explain to your patrons that this is not only something good for you, but also for them; you will be able to dedicate more time to your videos.
Just make sure that you do what you promise.
This is why I always say that the most important part about vlogging is starting right away. The sooner you start, the quicker you will gain true fans to support you.
Each time you reach a milestone (be it a monthly or a fixed amount), deliver exactly what you said you were going to do after reaching the said milestone.
How Can You Tell Fans to Support You Through Patreon?
One of the main problems creators face when using Patreon is that their followers see this as a tip-jar service. You should make things clear to them that this is the best way to improve your show and deliver more good videos.
Make clear to them that they will form an important part of your projects, so they will be heard and you will keep doing the things they like.
Most YouTubers like to post a video promoting their Patreon campaign. It must be creative and it has to go well with your personality, just like GradeAunderA has done with his.
This video was aimed at his channel’s subscribers, and to nobody else. You might see it and think that it’s over the top or you just don’t like it, but the truth is that his followers love it because they love his channel’s personality —and that’s why they patron him.
And the best part is that you can use Patreon no matter what your platform is. You could be uploading your videos somewhere else and still get fans to support you directly.
You need to live up to the promise you make to your audience. You need to interact with them to make them feel a part of something important. Make them feel that you wouldn’t be there without them -which is true.
Make sure to tell them that other ways of receiving money are not effective. For example, you could create a shirt with your logo and sell them to your fans, but the truth is that you will receive a really small commission from them; you might be making only 5% profit from those t-shirts. Patreon is just a way for your followers to contribute more by paying less.
But before all this happens, you will need more followers. This is why —here it comes again— you should start right away.
Finally, I’d like to recommend you a famous article called 1,000 true fans. It’s very appropriate to understand why Patreon is such a good opportunity for video creators.
Now, start thinking about the ways you could improve your videos and how much money are you going to need for that. This way you can start setting milestones right away.