There are a lot of ways you can make money blogging. You have classics such as affiliate blogging and selling online courses, which are always great angles. These days, there are even people that use platforms such as Patreon to monetize their content.
A lot of people think Patreon is just for YouTubers and comic artists. However, pretty much anyone can use it. As long as you have an active user base, monetizing your content using Patreon can be a viable option.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some blogs that earn cold-hard cash from Patreon subscribers. Then we’ll discuss some tips to help you sign up (and keep) more patrons around. Let’s get to it!
Can You Monetize Your Blog Using Patreon?
The short answer is yes, you can make money blogging using Patreon. As long as you have a healthy user base and keep your expectations grounded, you can make a pretty decent income using the platform.
If you take a look around the platform, you’ll notice there aren’t a lot of bloggers. You have a lot of video publishers, visual artists, game creators, and more. However, the bar for bloggers who use Patreon is a little higher than you’d expect.
There are a lot of standout bloggers within the Patreon ecosystem, though. For example, Wait But Why has over 4,000 patrons who commit to a monthly pledge:
That’s a lot of patrons, but Wait But Why is wildly popular due to their very in-depth blog posts. You also have a lot of smaller bloggers, such as Brute Reason, who writes about social justice and psychology:
That particular blogger uses a different approach, and she receives over $150 per blog post instead of monthly subscriptions. If you’re a prolific writer, this approach can be very lucrative, although some people won’t be happy if they think you’re trying to squeeze every penny out of them.
Another great example is the Slate Star Codex blog, which earns over $2,500 per month from approximately 450 subscribers at the time of this writing:
For a lot of blogs, cracking even the $1,000 barrier can be a pipe dream, but these examples show there’s real potential to make money blogging using Patreon, at least if you know what you’re doing.
4 Tips to Increase Your Odds of Finding Patrons
Signing up for Patreon is simple. The hard part is convincing people to become your patrons and finance your content production. Let’s talk about a few tips to help increase your Patreon odds!
1. Engage With Your Users at Every Turn
One common theme among successful content creators is they take the time to engage with their audience whenever possible. Engagement comes in many forms. You can talk to your visitors via your blog’s comment sections, interact with them through social media and email campaigns, and more.
With Patreon, you need to convince people to give you money on a consistent basis, which often only works if there’s already a relationship in place. Plus, you can see a lot of Patreon community sections are pretty active:
The main takeaway is, people might be more willing to become your patrons if they feel like their opinion matters to you, which it should. If you pay attention to your users and talk to them, you’ll realize they can be a great source of ideas for new content. Plus, you can make some cool friends along the way!
2. Design Multiple Pledging Levels (Including a Low Minimum)
You may have noticed all the examples I showed you earlier include very low pledging minimums:
It can be tempting to set your minimum pledge to something like $10 per month. However, the more your pledge levels rise, the harder it becomes to convince people to be your patrons. However, if you only charge people a dollar a month, the psychological barrier to sign up is a lot easier to get past.
More importantly, you can have as many pledge levels as you want. There’s nothing stopping you from having pledge tiers at $1, $5, and even $100 if you want to catch some whales. However, each tier needs to offer a reward that people want so they feel their investment in you is worthwhile.
A lot of people make the mistake of setting up pledge tiers without any rewards since they think their content can do the talking. However, you always want to make people feel like they’re getting a deal, so you have to sweeten things up if you want more pledges.
3. Configure Your Patreon to Charge Subscribers Upon Signup
One of the main problems plaguing Patreon is a lot of people sign up to get access to your content, but they cancel their pledges before the start of the next month to avoid paying for them.
This hurts you because you might have already budgeted in the money you were supposed to get. There’s a quick solution to this issue, though, which is enabling upfront payments for Patreon subscribers. That way, they will get charged for their pledge as soon as they become your patron.
The downside is this feature can discourage some people from pledging to you in the first place. However, those same people might have been tempted to subscribe and cancel, so you’re probably not taking any serious losses by enabling upfront payments.
4. Commit to a Post Schedule to Keep Patrons Happy
Most successful Patreons keep their subscribers happy by sticking to a content schedule. That way, people know what they’re paying for, so to speak, and they don’t feel like they’ve wasted their money.
Now, not all Patreons do this. Wait But Why, for example, is notorious for taking a long time in between new articles, but that’s part of that blog’s charm. For the rest of us regular folks, we need to work hard to keep our users and patrons happy, which means publishing content on a regular schedule.
For a new blog, one article per week is pretty much the sweet spot, although you can bump that up to two if you want to speed up your blog’s growth. As your blog grows in readers, you will probably need to increase your rate of publication to keep them happy, but don’t get ahead of yourself.
In any case, designing and sticking to a schedule your patrons are aware of is a quick way to keep them from unsubscribing and taking their money with them. Plus, this will force you to keep publishing content and not give up on your blog!
If you run a popular blog, then using Patreon as your primary monetization method should be possible. However, if you’re launching a new project, then I wouldn’t recommend putting all of your eggs on the Patreon basket. Instead, try out multiple monetization methods to maximize your potential earnings, until you find something that sticks.
Once you’re sure you’re ready to dive into Patreon, here are a few tips to help you get more subscribers:
- Engage with your users at every turn.
- Design multiple pledging levels (including a low minimum).
- Configure your Patreon to charge subscribers upon signup.
- Commit to a posting schedule to keep patrons happy.
Do you have any questions about how make money blogging using Patreon? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!