What is Patreon?

what is patreon

With so many ways to create content, creators have been seeking ways to monetize. Many creators have been using the Patreon website to provide their biggest fans with exclusive access, premium content, and other perks for a monthly subscription fee. Patreon can be a great opportunity for creators to connect to their audience.

What Is Patreon?

Patreon launched in 2013 in San Francisco with a simple idea: To let audiences support their favorite creators through monetary subscriptions and access to rewards and content. Rather than take on complicated business models, Patreon focuses on providing subscription services for content creation.

Sell Your Business

Discover the Zoho Ecosystem

Drive Traffic to Your Website

How the Patreon Platform Works

The Patreon platform operates on a simple business model: Content creators provide exclusive content and access to supporters or patrons for a monthly fee. The fees can be tiered so that a patron can decide on what level of support they want to provide, and successful creators are able to design the subscription package as they see fit.

What is Patreon?

What Is Exclusive Content?

As part of the membership platform, creators on Patreon provide their patrons with exclusive content that cannot be found anywhere else. The business model is based on the idea that supporters should be rewarded by receiving content made exclusively for them.

How Do Patreon Creators Make Money?

Patreon content creators make money through monthly payments on an ongoing basis, depending on the membership tiers they have designed for supporters. Patreon takes a percentage of the fees in exchange for providing the platform.

Small Business Deals

What is Patreon?

Benefits of Using Patreon for Business

There are many benefits that come with using Patreon, and it can provide a great way to connect with audiences on a deeper level while making money. Some of the top benefits of using Patreon include:

1. All types of creators can use it

Patreon isn’t just for one type of creator, making it an incredibly versatile platform. Artists, musicians, writers, YouTubers, creators like podcast hosts, and many more are using Patreon to connect with fans while creating a community.

2. Creative control

For content creators looking to gain more control over how they connect to audiences, Patreon is one of the best options. With Patreon, there are options to create different membership tiers, set your own pricing, and ask members to pay what they want.

3. Increased values

Whether you’re making Youtube videos, songs, or even writing articles, you want your fans to feel valued. Patreon enables creators to create an exclusive community where fans can feel like they’re getting more for their money. Whether it’s never-bef0re-seen content, behind-the-scenes posts, or early access, there are many ways for creators to thank fans for their support with Patreon.

What is Patreon?

4. Easy setup

For creators seeking an easy, simple service to connect with fans, the Patreon website does that. It’s easy to set up membership tiers and rewards. Plus, a creator can offer premium content that is gated so only patrons can access it. It’s fast to get started with services on the site, and creators can quickly get the support they need.

5. Great for fans

Fans want an easy, straightforward way to support the artists, musicians, and content creators they want. With the Patreon website, they have an easy way to do that. Rather than asking followers to send cash donations or creating a convoluted process, Patreon streamlines the subscription service option. Instead, a patron can pay what they want for a single-tier membership and can choose to add or suspend as they need to.

6. No need to worry about payments

Handling payments on your own can be a time-consuming, administrative process. Chasing payments from supporters while also dealing with fraud and other issues can end up being incredibly exhausting. Patreon started on the basis of giving creators the tools to manage their communities and provide rewards to loyal fans easily. Since Patreon handles payments and memberships, creators can focus on what they do best such as making content, rather than handling the business side of the process.

What is Patreon?

Starting a Business on Patreon

Patreon offers a unique opportunity for creators to start a business by offering subscription-based services to their audience. Whether you’re an artist, musician, writer, or content creator, you can monetize your expertise and connect with your fans through Patreon. Here’s what you need to know about starting a business on Patreon:

  • Structure Your Membership Tiers: Design different membership tiers that offer various perks and rewards. Consider what exclusive content or benefits you can provide to your patrons at each tier level.
  • Inspiration from Others: Research other creators on Patreon who are in a similar space to yours. Analyze how they’ve structured their membership tiers and what type of rewards they offer. This can give you ideas for creating your own unique offers.
  • Monetize Your Expertise: If you’re a subject matter expert, Patreon can be a platform to share your knowledge and monetize your expertise. Offer valuable insights, tutorials, or behind-the-scenes content that your patrons can’t get anywhere else.
  • Build a Community: Patreon isn’t just about offering content; it’s also about building a community around your work. Engage with your patrons through comments, polls, and direct messages. Foster a sense of belonging for your supporters.
  • Supplement Your Income: While Patreon can be a great way to earn money, especially for niche creators, it’s important to note that it might not replace a full-time income immediately. Treat it as a way to supplement your earnings as you grow your audience and offerings.
  • Consistency is Key: To keep patrons engaged and satisfied, provide consistent and high-quality content. Set realistic expectations for the frequency of your posts and stick to them.
  • Promote Your Patreon: Don’t assume that your existing audience will automatically find your Patreon page. Promote it through your existing social media channels, website, and other platforms to attract new patrons.
  • Value-Driven Offerings: Ensure that the rewards you offer at each membership tier provide real value to your patrons. This could include exclusive content, behind-the-scenes access, personalized messages, or even physical merchandise.
  • Engagement and Interaction: Interact with your patrons and listen to their feedback. Polls and surveys can help you understand their preferences and adjust your offerings accordingly.
  • Plan for Growth: As your patron base grows, be prepared to adjust your offerings and potentially create new membership tiers to cater to different segments of your audience.
Key PointsBenefits and Takeaways
Structure Membership TiersDesign tiered offerings with perks and rewards to entice different levels of support.
Get Inspiration from OthersAnalyze successful creators for ideas on structuring membership tiers and crafting unique rewards.
Monetize Your ExpertiseUse Patreon to share specialized knowledge, tutorials, and content that resonates with your audience.
Build a Engaged CommunityFoster a sense of belonging through interactions, polls, and comments to create a loyal fan base.
Supplement Your IncomeRecognize that Patreon earnings may not replace a full-time income immediately, but can provide supplementary revenue.
Remember, starting a business on Patreon involves consistent effort and engagement to offer value to your patrons while building a loyal community.

Starting a business on Patreon requires thoughtful planning, creative content creation, and consistent engagement with your patrons. By offering value and fostering a strong community, you can turn your passion into a viable source of income.

Can You Start a Business on Patreon?

Starting a business on Patreon can be a way to supplement your monthly income by offering a subscription service. If you look at what other creators are doing in the space, you can get a sense of how they have structured their membership tiers and rewards for inspiration on how to design yours.

There are many options for starting a business on Patreon based on what you offer. You can create a Patreon specifically for your content or expertise across different mediums and channels. For a subject matter expert, Patreon is a great way for creators to monetize their content while creating a community space for patrons. Several creators have made Patreon a key part of their business and are earning money through patrons.

What Are Patreon’s Payment Processing Fees?

Patreon charges a small percentage of the monthly income coming in from subscriptions. A creator on Patreon can expect to pay fees based on the package they have subscripted to.

Lite: Offers basic support tools for patrons, including a dedicated creator page. The total cost is 5% of the monthly income earned on Patreon + flexible payment processing fees

Pro: All of the tools included with Lite with additional perks such as analytics, insight, and membership tiers. The higher tiers take 8% of the monthly income earned + payment processing fees.

Premium: The highest tier, includes everything in the above packages as well as dedicated coaching and support. The tier also includes branded merchandise options and other time-saving perks. This tier takes 12% of monthly income alongside processing fees.

Please note that payment processing fees are decided based on the transaction amount. For micro-transactions under $3, the fee is 5% + $0.10. For transactions over $3, fees are 2.9% + $0.30.

What Are the Ways Patreon Makes Money?

Patreon makes money through the subject matter experts and content creators that sign up on the platform. Patreon takes a percentage of the subscription costs and fees to process payments; that is where most of their money is made. As the Patreon platform grows and more people join, the company is on track to be profitable while providing content creators and their fans with an immensely valuable platform.


The emergence of Patreon as a dynamic platform for content creators to monetize their work signifies a transformative shift in the landscape of creative entrepreneurship. As creators navigate the evolving digital landscape, Patreon stands out as a beacon of opportunity, offering a symbiotic ecosystem where artistic ingenuity converges with audience support.

Patreon’s inception in 2013 introduced a revolutionary concept: to empower audiences to directly fund their favorite creators through subscription-based models. Unlike convoluted business models, Patreon’s focus remains steadfast on facilitating a seamless exchange—patrons subscribe, creators provide exclusive content and rewards, and the platform bridges this connection, nurturing a vibrant community.

The mechanics of the Patreon platform unfold elegantly, granting creators the autonomy to curate distinctive membership tiers. This innovative tier system enables creators to offer tailored experiences to their patrons, from insider access to exclusive behind-the-scenes content. Successful creators wield this system to forge intimate bonds with their audience, who, in turn, find gratification in supporting creators they admire.

The cornerstone of Patreon’s allure lies in its commitment to cultivating exclusive content—content designed solely for the patrons who invest in the creator’s journey. This philosophy fuels a reciprocal relationship, where patrons gain access to a world that transcends the public realm. In parallel, creators are liberated to express their craft without compromise, nurturing an environment of authenticity.

Monetization becomes a natural byproduct of this virtuous cycle. Patreon creators accrue consistent income through monthly patron payments, sculpted by the tiers they’ve curated. In exchange for providing the platform and support infrastructure, Patreon retains a percentage of these fees, ensuring a sustainable model for creators to thrive.


Image: Envato Elements

More in: Comment ▼

Myra Nizami Myra is a a staff writer for Small Business Trends as well as freelance writer and researcher based in London, UK. Myra has been writing for businesses across a variety of sectors and industries since 2013.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *