I started this adult-themed Patreon site about a year ago. It's been a fun adventure and has significantly helped supplement my income.
Here's what's happened this past year:
- I have, without fail, produced at least one page of my comic, Special Dillivery, every week since September 27th (page 19 posts today). This has been in addition to commissions and doodles and other content. I didn't interrupt it for illness, holidays, cons, or travel.
- I've made a total of 140 posts (including Stream announcements and general updates).
- I've posted 70 unique pieces of art (some of these are WIPs), most of them in high and low res for the various patron tiers. That's an average of more than one per week!
- I've offered streams on a regular basis and recently added Discord benefits to upper tier supporters.
- I've fulfilled all my obligations to upper tier supporters on time.
If this sounds like bragging, you're right! I'm proud that I've been able to keep up with the commitment. There were some brief periods where I couldn't post as often, due to work travel, but I still posted sketches & doodles, exclusively for my patrons. I've supported several other Patreoners this past year and they don't all live up to their promises.
Meanwhile it has also challenged me to improve my skills and interact with a broader fan base. It has also increased my work load, though, as I take my commitment to patrons very seriously. I'm still struggling to keep it above the $100/mo level, which means I'm only making about $25 per comic page, not to mention the other things I share there. I love doing it but I'd greatly appreciate any help you can offer, either financially or just by spreading the word about how you like my art and recommend supporting it. I think my record shows that I'm worth it!
Some things will likely be changing in the future. I've discovered that there really is no way to completely stop people from cheating the system and there's even a website that stole much of my high-res content (through a consenting subscriber) and refuses to respond to my take-down requests (which is a violation of law). I've disliked how some Patreon sites block access to un-watermarked art as it's posted and, instead, email it to you once a month. I want to share my stuff right away! But I'm increasingly understanding why they do this though as it puts more control in the hands of the artist so that they can provide access to specific content produced during a patrons contribution at a specified level. In other words, it clamps down on cheaters and makes it fair for everyone. I may have to do this myself.
I also don't like paywalls any more than anyone else. That's why my site has largely been a "speedbump" where I release the standard res images after 2-4 weeks, depending on the type of content. High-res content stays as an exclusive benefit for $5 and higher supporters though. I don't see myself establishing a blanket paywall but I may produce some content this next year that will only be available to patrons or to those that commission art (through the connected Discord server). I have to be able to share content publicly to keep growing my fan base (which are, after all, my customers) but I also want to treat those that support my craft more selflessly and show that I really do appreciate them.
I'm open to suggestions. So, here's some questions you can help me answer:
1) Would you be opposed to monthly mailings of Patreon content vs. posts? Does the convenience matter to you? Do you have other suggestions for cutting out "cheaters" & cheater websites in the system?
2) How do you feel about my current "speedbump" method of providing early access to patrons?
3) How do you feel about a partial paywall, providing some content that is exclusively for Patreon supporters?
4) How do you feel about a "contribute until $x for the next page" kind of Patreon's? This is commonly done for comics. Once donations reach a set amount, a new page is produced.
5) Please spread the word about my art and even if you can't always subscribe, please do me the favor of sharing the existence of my Patreon.
Thank you all for your wonderful support this past year. I look forward to keeping you moist in the year ahead!