When I first discovered Patreon, a platform helping creatives regain financial freedom, I was transfixed. Here was a way to offer content through a membership model for supporting patrons (or Patreons) to access by either each creative ‘thing’ or on a monthly basis. As a writer, I could offer early drafts, short stories or flash fiction that would not only motivate me to keep to a writing schedule but allow me to get paid on a consistent monthly basis. In the end, I bundled everything together into a Patreon fiction magazine at a $5 a month level. The effort of creating a cover is worth it to create a product of value for my admittedly small number of Patreons but as I also enjoy and dabble in design, it’s another creative outlet for me.
In November Patreon changed a fee structure that would have shifted the burden of fees from creators to Patreons. An outcry followed by both parties and the decision was reversed. However, what set in motion was an investigation into alternative ways for creators to be paid by their supporters that could be used in addition to Patreon.
Here’s what my investigation unearthed.
Gum Road enables you to sell digital or physical products such as books or recurring memberships and add those product widgets to your own website. It’s more of a cart system with dashboard stats on visitors, purchases and of course payments. There’s no marketplace per say, although products are recommended to consumers of similar content. All in all, it’s a pretty good system.
PayHip. There are some nice features such as ‘pay what you want’ pricing, discount vouchers and social media sharing incentives (tweet and get a discount, for example). Payhip also enables you to offer an affiliate incentive for others to share your products.
Kickstarter Drip. At the time of writing, there is a waiting list and a small number of creators on the platform. Created by Kickstarter, this will no doubt become a big platform for creators and supporters in the coming years.
Ko-fi. This is a donation-based platform that allows creators to set up a free ‘buy me a coffee’ page. Each coffee is set at $3 and is a meant to be a donation of support.
As with all third-party platforms, there are varying fees involved that differ with each website.
There you have it; a few options to fund your writing and creativity. Best of luck and feel free to comment on any others that may have popped up and would you consider crowdfunding your writing?