What is Patreon?

Jun 17, 2022 • 15 min read
Patreon is a membership platform where creators can post content to earn an income. Read our article to learn more about Patreon and how it works.

Patreon is an online subscription-based platform where creators can share exclusive content with their most dedicated fans. Artists, video creators, musicians, podcasters, and creators-of-all-kinds can use Patreon to connect with a targeted audience and earn a monthly income online.

What is patreon

Basics

What is Patreon used for?

Not all membership platforms are made the same, so Patreon may not be for everyone.  Patreon is best suited for serious creators who already have an established following on another platform. There’s no Discover page on Patreon featuring potential creators, so the most effective way to gain patrons is by advertising your page elsewhere.

What are the main features of Patreon?

Creators on Patreon can offer monthly recurring subscriptions to their fans at multiple membership levels. Patreon also features an iOS app, a creator dashboard with analytics, public and gated posts, community feed, messaging, and more. 

How much does Patreon cost to use?

It’s completely free to create a Patreon membership account, you only pay what you want whether you’re a creator or a patron. However, the platform will take 5-12% of earnings from creators depending on their chosen plan. Meanwhile, patrons choose between subscription tiers set up by creators, each set at different prices and offering exclusive rewards. 

Is Patreon better than Youtube?

Patreon and YouTube are two separate platforms, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

YouTube makes it easier for new creators to get discovered, so anyone looking to grow a following from scratch may prefer this platform. On the other hand, Patreon has less strict guidelines and helps creators reach a more targeted audience, making it better for established creators.

Why do YouTubers use Patreon?

YouTubers use Patreon for a variety of purposes, some of which include

  • Escaping restrictive guidelines and censorship

  • Keeping a larger percentage of earnings

  • Posting to a more exclusive audience

How much do Youtubers make on Patreon?

The amount that YouTubers will make on Patreon varies depending on their subscriber count and subscription tier prices. The more patrons a creator has, the more revenue they will generate.

See this example from the Patreon blog page for an idea of how much a YouTuber can make with 30,000 patrons. 

Size of following

30,000

% of following willing to learn more

15%

Traffic to creator page

4,500

% of traffic that converts

1-5%

Average value per patron

$7

Total monthly earnings

$315 – $1575

Who is the highest-paid Patreon creator?

True Crime Obsessed is the highest-paid Patreon creator with over 48,000 patrons. Made by true crime junkies Gillian and Patrick, this podcast deep dives into all things crime-related. The True Crime Obsessed Patreon offers four membership levels for fans to choose from to support the pod and gain access to extra content and rewards.

Who are the most popular creators on Patreon?

Some of the most popular Patreon creators include

  • True Crime Obsessed

  • DarkCookie

  • The Tim Dillon Show

  • Chapo Trap House

Is Patreon safe?

Patreon is a trusted website that is perfectly safe to use for both creators and patrons.

How does Patreon make money?

Patreon makes money via fees that it charges creators. When creators join Patreon, they have three membership tiers they can choose from: Lite, Pro, and Premium. Depending on the chosen plan, Patreon will take 5%, 8%, or 12% from the creator’s earnings. 

Does Patreon have competitors?

Their are Patreon alternatives out there such as Utreon, Onlyfans & Buy me a coffee.  They all offer comparable service but some crowdfunding sites are better suited for certain types of creators. For more information check out these comparison articles: 

Features

Check out this table for a breakdown of this platform’s main features:

 

Patreon

Funding model

Subscriptions: recurring monthly

Payouts

1-3 business days after withdrawal + min. $10-25

Size

2,000,000+ active patrons; 100,000+ active creators

Company Founded

2013

Highlighted Tools

  • iOS app

  • Creator dashboard (includes analytics)

  • Patreon Lens

  • Public and gated posts, community feed, and messaging

  • Poll creation

  • Reward fulfillment tracking

  • Merch Store

  • And more

Highlighted Integrations

  • Discord

  • Crowdcast

  • Google Analytics

  • WordPress

  • Discourse

  • And more

Fees

5-12%

Best for…

Serious creators 

Payments

How does payment work on Patreon?

Patreon payouts are sent to the creator’s accounts 1-3 business days after withdrawal. The creator must have a minimum balance of $10-25 (depending on location) in their account to access funds.

How do I pay creators on Patreon?

Follow these steps to hook up your card/PayPal to Patreon:

  1. Hover over your profile avatar

  2. Open the user menu

  3. Click “Manage memberships”

  4. Click on “Payment methods”

  5. Click Add Card or Add PayPal button

  6. Enter your card details and click Submit or log into PayPal

How do I stop automatic payments on Patreon?

To stop automatic payments, follow these steps:

  • Go to your profile avatar and select “Manage memberships”

  • Click the Edit button

  • Click the Cancel Payment button under the update button

  • Click the Cancel your membership button

This will cancel your membership and prevent automatic payments for this creator from leaving your account.

Do I need PayPal for Patreon?

No, Patreon users do not need PayPal to use Patreon. Patreon also accepts Apple Pay, Venmo, Sofort, Visa, and Mastercard.

How to cancel a Patreon account?

Canceling a Patreon account is easy for patrons and creators alike. First, we recommend canceling all memberships to avoid further charges, as Patreon can take up to 30 days to delete your account. 

Then, just follow these simple steps:

  • Visit the privacy policy center and click “Take Control” on the upper right hand

  • Erase your personal data from the system when prompted

  • Click “Allow” then “Confirm Request” to finish submitting your account for deletion

Does Patreon accept gift cards?

No, Patreon does not currently accept gift cards.

Monetization

Can you make a living on Patreon?

Yes! Many creators are able to financially support themselves by making content on Patreon.

Content Policy

Does Patreon allow NSFW content?

Patreon allows certain types of NSFW content, but with restrictions. For example, any adult content with “mature themes” must be marked as 18+. Examples of mature themes as defined by Patreon includes

  • Works depicting real people in the nude in sexual contexts

  • Animations or illustrations depicting nudity in sexual contexts, and animations or illustrations featuring sexual interactions

  • Audio content that features simulated sexual interactions

But Patreon does not allow NSFW content such as pornography, sexual services, or offensive and graphic creations depicting bestiality, rape, or child exploitation.

Is Patreon Merch worth it?

Patreon offers a Merch for membership program allowing creators to offer a merchandise item as a membership level reward. This can be an excellent method to encourage subscribers to sign up for higher tiers. 

Account Information

Can you have multiple Patreons?

Yes, creators can have multiple Patreon accounts for different ventures. However, accounts cannot be merged and each must be linked to a different email address. 

How to Delete Patreon Messages?

Messaging creators and patrons can be an effective way to increase engagement and build a sense of community. However, there is no option to delete Patreon messages, so users and creators should be careful with what they send. 

Can you save Patreon videos? 

Some third-party apps allow users to download Patreon videos.

User FAQ- Frequently Asked User Questions

How to bypass Patreon Paywall? 

Users on Patreon cannot bypass paywalls - they can view free content posted by creators or subscribe to unlock paid posts.

What is Patreon and why do online creators have a problem with the platform?

Some users have had issues with fplaPatreon because of its platform/payment processing fees and censorship for adult content.

Creator FAQ- Frequently Asked Creator Questions

How do I join Patreon?

  1. Follow these steps to join Patreon as a content creator:

  2. Go to the Patreon website and click “Create on Patreon” in the top right

  3. Enter your info and click “Sign Up” to create an account

  4. Pick 1-2 categories that describe your content

  5. Answer questions about payments, merch, and more

  6. Reserve a custom URL and connect it with social media

  7. Customize your patreon page with a headline, profile picture, cover image, and About section

  8. Create Patreon membership levels with rewards

What content should I put on Patreon?

Creators can post any kind of content on Patreon, as long as it follows the community guidelines. We recommend posting high-quality videos, photos, blogs, music, etc. that your patrons would be willing to pay to see. 

How do you become successful on Patreon?

Follow these steps to become a successful Patreon creator:

  1. Create multiple membership tiers with incentivizing rewards

  2. Maintain a regular and consistent posting schedule

  3. Give patrons early access to content

  4. Connect Patreon to Discord and YouTube

  5. Promote Patreon across social media platforms

  6. Send personalized messages to patrons

Does Patreon own my content?

No, creators on Patreon own their content - it can never be used in ads or promotional material without permission. However, all content is subject to review and can be refused if it does not follow the community guidelines.

Do you need a bank account for Patreon?

Yes, creators will need a bank account to get paid and patrons will need a bank account to support their favorite creators.

Can you see who views your Patreon?

Creators can track their view count on the Dashboard but cannot specifically see who the viewers are.

What is suspicious activity?

Patreon may restrict the ability for creators to payout their balance if the account has any indications of fraud.

Final thoughts

Patreon is an online platform where many content creators have found success. Whether you’re an artist looking to share digital art with fans, or a viewer looking to support your favorite video creator, Patreon is an accessible platform with many excellent features for patrons and creators alike. 

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