I know I have no career ahead of me as a travel vlogger…but I couldn’t resist. And there’s treats in the middle and at the end of the video…hopefully ones that’ll make it worth all the escalators!

Now this video was not brought to you by my patrons (see “how am I using Patreon” below), but I thought today I’d talk a little about Patreon, what it is, and what I’m learning about how best to use it. Hopefully this will be helpful to other Patreon creators as well as those wondering if they want to support any of their favorite creators there.

What is it? It’s a site that allows creators – specifically YouTube creators – to have a place for fans to support them. It’s like kickstarter but instead of one giant project (like recording an album), it’s for little regular creations. That’s what made me think I as a crafter could do it, even though the majority of creators on the site are musicans.

Why would someone become a patron? Because they want to encourage creativity! You can find your favorite creators on the site, pledge a buck for each of their creations, and nudge them along to doing cooler stuff. Lots of us could use better cameras, lighting, and other supplies, and the idea that our videos could bring in a little assistance makes us more willing to invest time, effort, and resources into them.

What does it cost? It’s whatever the patron wants. I think the safest way to get into being a patron (I learned this by becoming a patron for a few artists) is to start by pledging a buck per video. Nobody’s going to go broke that way, and you can test out the creator for a few months that way, and see what they do, how much they do, and if you think it’s worth more. I started out at a high number on a few, and got a little freaked out when I found out what it’d cost me. I could adjust the amount, but I’d recommend starting at a buck and working up rather than the other way.

You can also set a cap on your patronage, too. Pledge a high amount, but set the max at one video, so you know what your budget can bear.

How am I using Patreon? While the site automatically pulls in everything from my YT channel into my activity feed, I only mark a few as Patreon-supported videos. Those are highly edited, nice quality ones – no one gets charged for my silly vlogs. Well, I take that back, if the scrap wrangler happened today, it’d be in there even though it’s silly! But I only link up the highly produced ones that I consider would be worth paying for. And it’s 2-3 per month maximum. So at a buck sponsored per video per month, it costs a patron only $2 – $3 total – easy on the budget.

So how does $3 help? Combined with everyone else’s $3, it adds up to provide support for equipment! With my new room, I’ve found the need for alternative lighting depending on what tutorials I’m shooting, and am hoping to raise funds to install some better lights for close-up work in particular; right now I pile books on the counter to hold the lights at the needed angles, and I need to work out something else.

What does a patron get? I had set some “rewards” that haven’t panned out too well thus far. It seems a lot of creators are toying around with what works – some who got hundreds of people signing up for hangouts realized that wasn’t going to work. I wanted to do monthly google hangouts with the top supporters, but times and dates haven’t been working out, though we’ll try one next week I hope.

Below are some rewards that went out in the mail this week! One group of supporters signed up for stamped images…and I did cards for them too. Plus as a treat, each month I send cards to a couple of the patrons at the other levels too…so everyone will get something within a couple months of becoming a patron. Because I am so darned grateful for the support!

Patreon Dinosaurs1

Papers are by BoBunny from the Camp-a-lot collection; stamps: Cute-asaurus, All the Hats<—now on sale at Oozak – lower price than anywhere else I’ve seen!) and Cowgirl Marci.

One other thing that patrons get – or will continue to get as I do them – are color studies. I’m trying to work out some favorite color combos, and I did a sheet of these Paper Smooches dinosaurs in different greens. This photo shows the images, but patrons got to see it with colors listed on it 🙂 I’d like to do some test studies like this on an ongoing basis to share with patrons on my activity wall.

dinos

Not all the green combos came out exactly as desired, but it was a good learning experience about Gs vs YGs. So it was an experiment that taught me a little something!

Patreon Dinosaurs2

So….a hearty thank you to my patrons…you guys are inspiring me to try new fun things. I’ll be working up something special for next Friday, I hope…crossing my fingers for some good work time coming up soon!