The previous incarnation of this website used Patreon to generate a small amount of income each month. And by small I mean $1o-15. I had only 2 patrons.
The foundation of the website was The Art of Wargaming, which I’ve been working on for about two years now. Every time I posted something about The Art of Wargaming I got a trickle of money.
I did pay by post.
But I wanted to post about other things besides wargaming. The plan was to post The Art of Wargaming three times a week, with the other days reserved for fiction and what not–but I wouldn’t get paid for those posts. That was part of the agreement.
Weebly was a great platform to create a website, but had a terrible blogging format. So there was a number of issues with that, which led to a decrease in posting. And eventually I decided to switch to WordPress. But I did learn a few things:
- If you’re going to be a writer/blogger, pick your platform carefully.
- Blogging isn’t about making money, not really; it’s about testing ideas.
- Patreon is, indeed, a great way for artists to earn some money and the folks at Patreon seem to really want their artists to succeed.
So I felt pretty bad when I got an email sometime after I downgraded by Patreon account where they asked me about my experiences with it. I felt like this chump that somehow couldn’t hack it. “Der-dee-der, I tried your crowdfunding website but I just didn’t make much money, der-dee-der. Thanks.”
Now I’m kicking around the idea of doing Patreon again, but with the following criteria:
1. Charge patrons a flat rate, say $5 a month, no matter how many posts I do.
I’d still post every day. That way patrons would know what they’d be charged, instead of a varying charge-by-post rate.
2. Patrons wouldn’t regularly get anything extra.
Maybe a compilation pdf every once in a while “The Best Words of Stelios #1”, or something like that. Too many add-ons and extra seem to be the bane of crowdfunding.
3. A finite campaign.
It seems like most Patreon campaigns are open-ended. That is, there’s no end in sight. The creators just keep creating until they run out o steam or Patrons stop funding them. My campaign would have a specific goal: The Art of Wargaming gets enough funding to be published. A collection of Anne Greyhawk short stories. Or maybe when my first novel gets finished.
Then I’d end the campaign. Patrons would get the fruit of my labors in the special pdf I mentioned or print publication. I’d move on to something else. The campaign would last maybe a year, maybe two.
It’d be a grand experiment.
These are just some ideas. I’m still working out the fine details.