Ben is a lifelong Nintendo fan who likes to build websites, and make video games. He buys way too much Lego.
Patreon is a really interesting platform that helps creators earn money. I recently read an article about how a French tutor increased revenues by using the Patreon WordPress plugin.
I’d heard of Patreon before, and had even considered using it, but I wasn’t aware they had a WordPress plugin to ease integrations.
I follow a lot of artists, in particular pixel artists, on Twitter and see a lot of them monetising their hobbies through Patreon. Pedro Medeiros posts pixel art tutorials and is earning nearly $2000 a month. Luis Zuno makes pixel art game assets and earns nearly $800 a month.
But it’s not just good for artists. Developers also use Patreon. Ooblets is an indie video game that’s a bit like Pokemon (with dancing instead of fighting) being made by 2 people and they are making $2,767 a month currently. That’s amazing, and they don’t post updates very often.
In the web arena Evan You, creator of Vue.js, is earning $16,622 a month from Patreon. For those with a dedicated audience there’s a lot of opportunity.
So why should we care? Well, it’s another approach to monetising content for WordPress developers. Perhaps WordPress podcasters could start a Patreon to help pay for new recording kit. Or newsletter providers could start a Patreon to cover the costs of running the newsletter (we’ve considered it for MasterWP!).
Or, you could go one step further and use Patreons WordPress plugin. The plugin allows you tothat makes the integration easy. With the plugin you can lock content behind a subscriber paywall. Post to your blog, set a patreon value, and Patreon the the plugin do the rest. Unlocking content for users who pay the required amount.
This is a really nice way to have exclusive content for site visitors who value your content.
As an aside, Patreon have recently purchased Memberful, a membership service originally set up by the team behind The Theme Foundry WordPress theme shop.Personally I am not 100% sold on Patreon as a service. I like the idea in principle but they have made some questionable moves in particular at the end of last year when they started charging each patron additional money to support the creators (to cover ‘bank fees’) which saw a lot of patrons leave the platform. However they do seem to have learned from this and show every sign of continuing to grow. If I were them I would do a lot more outreach in the WordPress space since that’s a huge audience of creative people who could benefit from their service.
This story first appeared in MasterWP, a weekly newsletter for WordPress professionals.