How Does Patreon Work? – Forbes Advisor

Patreon, by its nature, is a subscription-based service. Theoretically, you can provide your patrons with a seemingly limitless array of content in exchange for their subscriptions. The understanding is that the items are offered exclusively to those with access to your Patreon account. It is most common to provide patrons with perks, such as:

  • Unique access to videos or audio
  • A shoutout in an upcoming YouTube video or Twitch stream
  • The ability to directly decide what content comes next
  • An exclusive piece of artwork

As long as what you are offering your patrons is within the site rules, there are a host of items that you can present to potential subscribers to encourage their long-term support.

Offering Merchandise Through Patreon

Once you come up with your own unique designs, you can put them on various items, such as mugs, shirts, hoodies and stickers. Patreon would take care of creating the merchandise and shipping them to your patrons. Rather than allow your patrons to purchase the items outright, they would need to subscribe to a specific tier for a predetermined number of months.

While you would not get charged outright for the creation of your merch, you will have to pay an additional 3% of your monthly earnings to cover the cost of providing merch to patrons.

Setting Up Your Tier System

You can set up a single payment option or a series of tiers, each offering more benefits as patrons upgrade. Additionally, patrons can be charged upfront or you can delay their subscription to a particular date. Monthly payments are standard, but Patreon also offers the option for a patron to sign up for an annual subscription.

Products and Services Prohibited by Patreon

Patreon’s terms of service limit what services or products may be provided on its platform. It is essential to understand what these are to avoid losing your page and patrons. Patreon prohibits the following:

  • Blatantly pornographic materials
  • The exchange of sexual services
  • Illegal weapons
  • Illicit drugs
  • Fake services
  • Demanding payment “not” to do something

In recent years, Patreon has experienced pressure from credit card companies such as Mastercard and those who offer adult content regarding what if there is anything about which you aren’t sure, reach out to Patreon for clarification.

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