Creatives Have Made $100M Using Patreon. Here’s How You Can Cash In Too

In a day and age where it’s getting harder and harder to make money in the digital world, there’s still good news for those who flex their creative muscles.

Patreon, the online platform that gives artists and creatives an opportunity to earn a sustainable income, just released some new statistics — and according to them, business is booming.

To date, content creators have been paid out over $100 million, and the number of people willing to pay them has increased in the past year.

Are you ready to make some money?

Good News for You: Patreon is Still Going Strong

In the past year, the number of people willing to pay content creators on Patreon has doubled — the site now has over 1 million active paying patrons.

This is fantastic news, considering other platforms have been doubling down on earning potential.

YouTube, for example, now requires 10,000 views in order for a channel to be allowed to advertise. This has raised the standards significantly for those looking to cash in on their content creation — and has forced out those with smaller followings.

Patreon’s setup offers a way to break through this barrier; those who follow your page financially support you. They are required to pay every other week or once a month in order to have access to your content — and you decide how much to pay and when.

This system has allowed creators to earn anywhere from $25,000 to more than $150,000 per year, as reported by TechCrunch.

One example is Joanna Penn, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She has been using her Patreon page, The Creative Penn, since mid-2015. She started podcasting in March 2009 and eventually needed a way to offset the costs as her audience grew.

She admits she was embarrassed to ask listeners to help her financially, but over time, she noticed they gave more and more each month, and they love keeping her show on air.

To date, she has made over $21,000.

Tips for Getting Started on Patreon

Considering Patreon has doubled in the past year, it’s safe to say the opportunity to make money on it isn’t disappearing any time soon — so you might want to get on it!

If you’re just now venturing into the Patreon world, Penn offers these three tips for success:

1. Build an Audience First

Before Penn got started on Patreon, she had been podcasting for nearly six years. She already had an audience and a well-built library of episodes, and she credits that to be a key part of her success.

“If you build up goodwill first, people are more likely to support you,” she says.

Grow strong roots first, then branch out for payments.

2. Be Committed for the Long Term

Like many online money-making programs, you won’t become a millionaire overnight while using Patreon.

Penn stresses it takes time to gain traction on Patreon. She almost gave up after the first few months, but over time her followers have grown.

”You will start small but if you’re offering enough value, your support will grow,” says Penn.

On Patreon, patience and persistence are key to making a profit.

3. Don’t Promise Anything You Can’t Deliver

Some Patreon users like to offer incentives to their patrons. Penn, for example, offers bonus audio if her patrons meet a separate goal amount.

She warns you should be careful when offering these incentives, though.

“Make sure you don’t promise anything in your stretch goals that you won’t be able to deliver,” she says. She gives some examples of unrealistic incentives, such as personalized calls or customized posts.

For more tips on how to get started on Patreon, check out our article “How Bloggers, Bakers and Other Creatives Use Patreon to Make Money.”

Good luck!

Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.