How Does Patreon Work? Everything You Need to Know About Patreon

Whether you’re a writer, an artist, a filmmaker, or a fan, you may have considered signing up for a Patreon account. But how does this popular crowdfunding website work, and is it worth it? In this article, we’ll break down the basics of how Patreon operates, both for creators and patrons.

Patreon is a donation-based service for content creators.

The idea is to provide a source of income while you create.

To start using Patreon as a creator, all you need to do is create an account and start releasing content, such as videos, art, or snippets of your writing. Fans of your work can then sign up to become “patrons.” Patrons support creators by paying a monthly subscription fee or pledging a set amount of money per post.

  • Since income for Patreon creators is entirely donation-based, it’s up to the creator to bring in patrons. You’ll need to advertise your Patreon page on your social media accounts or reach out to your friends and ask them to join.
  • Patreon is not really designed to help a creator expand their fanbase. Instead, it provides an easy way for an established fanbase to directly support their favorite creators.

Patreon lets creators post a variety of types of content.

You can choose to make content public or exclusive to patrons.

Types of media that you can publish on Patreon include text posts, images, videos, livestreams, and audio recordings. As a patron, you can also choose who sees the content—for instance, you might make certain content available only to people who signed up for a specific membership tier.

  • To post content on your Patreon page, select Post, then New from the sidebar menu. From there, choose the type of content you’d like to post. Follow the prompts to upload content, such as an image or audio file, or simply type into the text box.
  • If you’re posting a video, you’ll need to host it on another site, such as Vimeo or Streamable. You can then follow the instructions to embed the video on Patreon when you make your video post.
  • You can also choose whether to publish your content immediately, or select Schedule to set an automatic release date for the post.

You can also sell merch through Patreon.

Patreon offers a variety of customizable merch.

Once you’ve designed a few items, assign them your preferred membership tiers as rewards for your patrons. Patreon will offer recommendations about which type of merchandise is best for each of your tiers.

  • To create merch, log in to your Patreon account and open the page editor. From there, select the Merch tab and click Create New Merch. Follow the prompts to select items, such as stickers, posters, or T-shirts, and add your designs.
  • Once you’ve customized an item, you’ll be prompted to assign it to one or more membership tiers. Review your item and hit the Publish merch button to make it available.

Patreon offers social media integration for creators.

This is a great way to bring in new patrons.

One easy way to connect Patreon to your other social media is to enable the Facebook login feature. To do this, log in to your Patreon account and hover over your avatar on your profile. When the menu opens, select . Click the tab, go to the section, and click the button for Facebook. Follow the prompts to log in with Facebook and connect your accounts.

  • Connecting your accounts makes it easier to share content, such as livestreams, across Facebook and Patreon simultaneously.
  • You can also add Patreon links to your other social media profiles to encourage fans to support you. To get started, click the Page button in the creator menu, select Edit page, then open the Page Settings link. Go to the Social links section and click the Connect button next to the platform(s) of your choice.

Patrons decide how much they want to pay.

Creators can offer different tiers of support for patrons.

Depending on how much a patron is willing to pay per month—or per post—they can get access to different rewards set by the creator. For example, an artist might offer access to exclusive video tutorials to patrons at the lower tiers, and draw commissions for patrons who sign up at a higher tier.

  • To make a tier and set the associated benefits, log into your Patreon account and click the Edit your page button at the top of the page. From there, select Tiers and then Add tier. Follow the prompts to customize each tier.
  • To support a creator as a patron, navigate to their page on Patreon and hit the Select button under the support tier you want to sign up for. Follow the prompts to enter your payment information and start making payments.
  • Not all creators offer membership tiers. In these cases, patrons have more freedom to choose how much they pay per month. The default recommendation is $5 USD, but you can pay as little as $1 per month.

Creators can set up regular payouts or withdraw their balance anytime.

Patreon processes payments on the 1st day of every month.

To ensure you get your payments quickly, they encourage creators to request payouts after the 5th day of the month. As a creator, you can either set up a recurring payout (for example, on the 6th of every month) or select from the menu to withdraw your earnings at any time.

  • To add a payout method, go to Settings in the creator menu and select Payouts and taxes. Click Add a payout method to add an account or card where you’d like your payouts to go.

Patreon takes a small cut of its creators’ income.

There’s no upfront fee to sign up for Patreon.

As a creator, you can sign up for a Lite, Pro, or Premium plan. While it’s free to sign up for any of these plans, Patreon will take a larger cut of your profits if you choose a higher-level plan. This is called the “platform fee.” In addition to the platform fee, Patreon also takes a small percentage of each pledge as a processing fee.

  • Platform fees are taken as a percentage of your monthly income. The percentages are 5% for the “Lite” plan, 8% for the “Pro” plan, and 12% for the “Premium” plan.
  • Processing fees vary slightly depending on factors like your preferred currency and the amount of each pledge. For instance, the processing fee for pledges over $3 USD is 2.9%, plus an additional $0.30 per pledge. For pledges under $3, the fee is 5%, plus an additional $0.10 per successful pledge.
  • The fees for other currencies supported by Patreon are similar, generally ranging from around 3-5% plus 10-35 cents per pledge.
  • For non-US patrons using PayPal, an additional 1% fee will be taken from each pledge.
  • Depending on where you live and how much money you bring in from Patreon, you may also need to pay taxes on your income.


  • Patreon has flexible guidelines about the kinds of content creators can post. For example, mature content is generally allowed as long as you restrict it from public view and flag your page appropriately. However, there are some limitations. If you have questions or concerns about whether your content is suitable for Patreon, consult the Community Guidelines page.

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