I have just launched my Patreon page. For bloggers Patreon is a great way of building traffic, even if you don’t get funding. This post explains what Patreon is but also how to use it as a marketing platform, rather than a funding platform.
I’m sure a lot of my readers will already know what Patreon is. For those of you who don’t Patreon is an ongoing crowdfunding platform which allows content creators to get sponsors. A lot of YouTubers and bloggers use Patreon as a way for their followers to give a little bit back, in return usually followers get rewards like unique content. Everybody is a winner with Patreon.
To get an idea of how a Patreon campaign can work take a look at my campaign. All donations are going towards my long term goal of being able to give free marketing consultations over Skype to any small business which wants help. Click here to skip to my other goals and see how I am using Patreon to help my blog grow (even if I don’t get funding).
(if you know what Patreon is already you may want to skip to how you can use it to turn your hobby into a job)
What is Patreon?
Patreon allows people to work at what they are passionate about. Often people use Patreon to make their part time hobby a full time job, meaning that they can create more of the content that their users love. This generally benefits all users, not just the ones which are supporting the Patreon page.
You can set a Patreon page up so you either get funding monthly, or funding for ever blog, or video post you make. If you are making a one off creation you can use Patreon like a more traditional crowdfunding campaign, but without the end date.
This video will give you a more in depth idea of what Patreon is, and does. Also how it might be able to benefit you.
How to use Patreon as a Marketing Platform
First let me say that I like giving free help. Over time I would like to be able to expand the amount of free help I give so that I can give my Skype to any small business that wants it and be able to give free consultations. In order to do that I will need to get funding from somewhere.
That was the goal I had in mind when I was setting up my Patreon account. As I was looking at the kind of rewards other content creators were giving out I had a light bulb moment. A lot of people’s first, most basic reward, for $1 is to give notifications and a little extra write-up each time they make a blog.
So basically you write a post, summarise it and email your patrons. They pay you $1 for doing this. This is essentially getting paid (albeit a small amount) for people signing up to an email list. Now I am not going to lie, I already have an email list and I do send more in depth write-ups to people on my email list. The thing about Patreon is that it has a lot more monthly visitors than my website does.
Patreon gives me access to a larger user group. They have set it up a bit like a social network, so if I see artists or musicians I can offer help to them. These are the kind of people who I really enjoy getting exposure. People with a lot of talent but probably who aren’t able to work full time at what they are passionate about. It is most rewarding helping this group.
Another benefit is that Patreon is a PageRank 5 website which allows links to be followed. I can post my latest projects on Patreon and get a link built. This isn’t hugely important, but again it is a platform with thousands of users which can potentially start reading my blog, or even donating to my campaign.
I have set my rewards up so I am offering SEO consultations and audits cheaper than I would normally do them if you become my patron. Over time if people are feeling generous they may wind up paying me more because the agreement is to pay by the blog post, but you can cancel the agreement at any time and if you become my patron you will get access to a lot more content.
My goals when I signed up to Patreon:
- SEO can be expensive for very small businesses who need it the most. At the moment I give free help to people who reach out to me through social media, but I would like to be able to give full consultations for free over Skype.
- A few months ago I did a post on the Google nonprofits program. All registered charities in the UK (and most of the rest of the world) are eligible for a $10,000/month grant to use on Adwords. I would like to be able to manage this for free for any charity which wants the help.
- To build an expand my user base, email list and social media while giving quality content to those who sign up.
- I would like to start creating videos, I know a professional video editor so it would be nice to have very high quality videos which I couldn’t make myself. This obviously costs money so support will help me create much better content.
Write your goals down, see how extra funding would allow you to give content away for free that you usually charge for. Because Patreon is ongoing, unlike kickstarter my goal was to shift my business to a completely free model and help people on the basis of who needs it most.
If you have a popular YouTube channel but aren’t sponsored, or are an artist or a musician with a social media following it is well worth signing up to Patreon. Whether you get the funding or not Patreon will get you exposure, followed links and the possibility of making a wage for doing what you love. What more could you want?
If you liked this you may also like:
Google+ circles explained – How you can use G+ to appear on the search engine and build a large audience without needing a website. This is a great way of artists, musicians or other content creators to build an audience or even gain Patreons.
Keyword planning secrets – a really easy to follow guide for bloggers who want to get more traffic from Google. This SEO template works well for new blogs as it helps with your long term SEO as well as your short term traffic.