Part Eighty Kabillion in my ongoing series: What Is This Thing? What Can I Do With This Thing? and How Can I Make This Thing Better?
I’m still trying to figure out Patreon. I’ve had one for a little over a year, and I love it. Patreon has been the financial shot in the arm that I desperately needed to make my creative projects pay out. I’m not out of the woods financially by any stretch of the imagination (mainly because our woods keep coming down and requiring thousands of dollars to haul off before they crush the neighbor’s house), but it’s helped, and I am so very grateful for it.
So when I think about Patreon, I generally go back to the same two questions: How can I make Patreon a good experience for my current Supporters, and How can I attract more Supporters? I’ll unpack both of these, and then ask for feedback.
How can I make Patreon a good experience for my current Supporters?
Basically, how can I make sure everyone who’s pledged me any amount of money gets something of value?
I’m generally okay with the rewards structure: I’m overdue on sending out a new wallpaper, and this year I think I’ll send out Japanese maple seeds in addition to butterfly weed seeds, but otherwise I’m delivering what I’ve promised. Today was my 287th Crude Dick Joke.
There are some problems: I’ve recently had to limit how I send out some content, as there are some folks out there who don’t like Patreon. There’s a scam running in which certain persons take advantage of how Patreon delivers content, where as soon as a Supporter pledges money, they have access to all content on the site. What the folks running the scam do is pledge a large sum of money at the beginning of the month, gather the content until a few days before the month ends, and then cancel their pledge before funds can be collected. When the next month begins, they repeat the process. Many of them also take the Patreon-exclusive content and make it available online.
I’m not worried at all about someone stealing cheap puns and dick jokes–I’m very worried about someone stealing the short stories and novels that I send out to the top-tier supporters before their release date. So, now I’m sending this content out by email, which is a time-sucking chore for me and is probably more than a little annoying to my Supporters. I’m sorry, guys. I’ll go back to the old method as soon as Patreon plugs the loophole in content delivery.
How can I attract more Supporters?
More money more money more money. Because trees–these freaking things keep falling down! Let me list a couple of ideas I’m kicking around, and then I’ll open this up to feedback:
- Removing ads
- Exclusive NSFW Art/Content
- Me blathering on about crap
- Disasterhouse updates
–Removing ads: I had ad removal as a goal when the Patreon first started, but earlier feedback suggested that this could be better used by offering new content (the Wedding Story). Since then, my ad company has gotten really awful. They can’t seem to get rid of those ads which hijack mobile devices and drop the user in an app store. I think I need to bring this back, but I don’t know how many new supporters it will attract.
–Exclusive NSFW Art/Content: There are a lot of options here, such as releasing the Joshsmut monthly in chapter form, scandalous (*gasp!*) art, and so on. The problem with strictly NSFW content is that it can strongly alienate some people, and whenever I release it, I want to make it a completely opt-in process. By adding NSFW content after the fact, I’m effectively assuming that every current Supporter is okay with it. This may not be the case. There is the option of putting it behind a download “wall,” but that’s pushing technicalities.
–Me blathering on about crap: Apparently, some readers really enjoy Google Hangouts and whatnot with people who make stuff. I could do a podcast? Maybe answer questions? I…have dogs. Do you like dogs?
–DisasterHouse updates: Oh dear Lord, I don’t want to start the Disasterhouse blog up again, but I’ve gotten so so so so so many requests…this house is sucking our soul and I don’t want to write about it! Caveat: I don’t want to write about it for free, but I would definitely start writing in the blog again for money, because we would put that money towards the repairs, which would give me more stuff to blog about, because every time we fix something in this house another five things break I took down a piece of wood trim to refinish it yesterday and I found out that the door jamb isn’t fastened in place it’s just a free-floating door held up by trim it’s an exterior door what the actual fuck…