What is Patreon?

Patreon* is a platform to make money through a payment model between subscriptions and donations. Technically it's a mix of both. It's the digital model of the relationship of an artist with their patron that would pay them to create.

Their patrons wanted them to carry on pursuing their craft, often requesting a specific artwork from them. It's a form of sponsorship and not directly contracting a service.

Patreon is exactly that, but at a very large scale. Creators of any kind, Programmers, Technical Writers, Photographers, Models and Porn Directors accept donations on a monthly basis to take more time off of their jobs and focus on their creative efforts.

After the TED talk and book The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer the platform has received a lot of attention and is acting as the payment gateway and subscription service provider between followers / patrons and the creators.

Over the last few months I've seen more people actually running a Patreon account and it's really really simple to support them, so I'm going to just put in a few dollars per month to say thank you to the people that have made my life better or easier through tech websites, great photography or something I don't really understand, but still find cool!

How does it work?

You can give somebody an amount of money per month and in return they either keep doing cool things or they make them available to the Patrons only with the built in blog post and media functionality.

It's a bit like an ongoing kickstarter, with different support tiers and rewards.

Are you a Creator?

If you're either doing creative or otherwise awesome projects, I can only recommend you check it out and be less afraid of asking people for support for work you make publicly available.

Check out Patreon*

Do you like supporting Strangers?

There's a ton of people on Patreon, photographers, models, filmmakers, programmers. All of them are trying to make a living off their creative output. Usually if you follow somebody they'll link you to their Patreon.

I'm following a bunch of people, currently:

  • Amanda Palmer!
  • The maker of caniuse.com, a website that I've used to check browser compatibility for years and I've loved it!
  • fourchambers, a brave woman and her crew trying to revolutionize the adult film industry

The Patreon Fee Controversy

In late 2017 Patreon announced a change in how the credit card fees would be split which would have mostly impacted low tier (1$-5$ supporters) negatively and the community was very openly against it.

Also worth reading: No One makes a Living on Patreon.


I'm fairly certain I don't qualify for Patreon, since I give all my content away and I don't demand anything in return.

I run ads in case anybody wants to support me and I think GegenWind might be something people would want to support, maybe.

What do you think? What's the threshold for getting something on Patreon? Are people expecting too much for too little?

* affiliate link

Tagged with: #patreon

Thank you for reading! If you have any comments, additions or questions, please tweet or toot them at me!