Are you looking for an alternative to Patreon? Want to try something new to provide an income as a creative?
Patreon was the first platform that gave creatives an opportunity to make money while doing what they love.
The ability to receive payment for being creative was amazing and Patreon had the market all sewn up.
But time moved on and Patreon didn’t. It fell behind and while still influential, it’s no longer the only game in town.
If you’re a creative and want a change, this post is for you.
We have collated this list of the 10 best Patreon alternatives. Each is similar to Patreon in one way or another and is worth checking out if you feel like a change.
If Patreon is one of the biggest names out there in crowdfunding, why look for an alternative?
There are a few reasons you might want to look for websites like Patreon.
- A lot of competition
- Limited promotional tools
- Issues with censorship
Patreon is incredibly popular with over 260,000 content creators so it’s going to be difficult to stand out in a sea of competition.
This is true for any site of this type of course, but it’s something you’ll need to consider.
There aren’t that many marketing tools you can use to increase exposure within the platform. You’ll probably be spending most of your time promoting yourself on social media or through your own website.
Some political content creators have found themselves silenced by the platform, often for no good reason. The content policies aren’t the clearest, so if you plan to be controversial in any way, Patreon may not be for you.
Patreon charges 8% of all income with their Pro plan and 12% with the Premium plan. The Commerce option charges 5% plus payment processing fees. There’s also a 1% surcharge for all payments from outside the US.
That’s quite a lot of your income you’re giving away!
While none of those downsides are showstoppers, they are enough to cause many people to look for sites like Patreon. Which is why we created this post.
10 Best Patreon Alternatives
We tried and tested each of these alternatives to Patreon to make sure they deliver what you’re looking for.
Do It Yourself With Your Own Website
There’s nothing quite like doing things your way and having full control. WordPress and SureMembers can help with that.
Use WordPress as your platform, Astra as your theme, SureMembers to manage subscriptions and SureCart to handle the finances. For less than $100 per year, you could have your own website with paid membership plans and the option to sell merch without having to pay commission!
You could say or do whatever you want without risk of censorship (within reason of course). You won’t have to pay the high fees Patreon charges, you can choose your own design, own branding and own character.
There is more work involved in doing it yourself but the benefits far outweigh the effort involved!
There are a couple of expenses involved in building your own website. Web hosting and a domain name costs between $10-15 per month and SureMembers costs from $69 per year.
WordPress is free, the Astra theme is free and SureCart is free to use, although your third-party payment processor may charge a fee.
- Full control over design and branding
- No risk of censorship or control over what you say or do
- No fees except operating expenses
- Use mostly free tools to achieve great things
- You can sell, use recurring payments or charge however you like
Going your own way with your own website is better than Patreon for everything. It does require more effort to set up, but once up and running, it could be a self-sustaining community that helps you pay the bills.
Podia isn’t a crowdfunding or monetization platform, it’s an ecosystem where you build a website, create courses or offers and market them using built-in tools.
It’s more for creatives who teach rather than perform but what it does, it does very well.
We would liken Podia more to Wix than Patreon. Somewhere you can build a basic website using templates, set up your own email marketing campaigns, create courses using a course builder and accept payments through Stripe or PayPal.
There is a free plan that charges an 8% fee, a $33 per month Mover plan or $75 per month Shaker plan with no fees. Email marketing is free for less than 100 contacts but anything above that requires a monthly charge.
Payment processors (Stripe or PayPal) also charge a standard transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30 but that’s the same for most sites like Patreon.
- One platform for most of your needs
- Supports multiple types of creative
- Systems are easy to use
- Built-in email marketing tools
- Great customer service
Podia is better than Patreon because it includes everything you need to build an online presence rather than just perform for money. Its intent is slightly different but could work well for creative teachers rather than performers.
Buy Me a Coffee is a Patreon alternative for performers and creatives of all kinds. It’s a combination tip and subscription platform where fans can tip as a one-off or subscribe for a recurring fee.
The website is simple and to the point and makes it incredibly easy to create an account and set yourself up as a creator. You’ll get a ‘buymeacoffee.com/yourname’ domain name and a basic landing page where you can showcase your skills, teach, share resources and do whatever you like.
There is an eCommerce element too, where you can sell products, tickets, templates, personal appearances or whatever you like.
While Buy Me a Coffee supports subscriptions and eCommerce, the USP of the platform is the tip element. People can tip whatever they like for whatever they like and the platform makes it easy.
Buy Me a Coffee charges a flat 5% fee on all income.
- Informal feel and relaxed vibe
- Designed specifically to enable supporters to tip you
- Subscriptions and eCommerce are added benefits
- Platform is simple to set up and use
- Accounts are free
Buy Me a Coffee is better than Patreon for those who want to make a little income every now and then or who don’t have time to make it a full time job.
YouTube Channel Memberships work in a very similar way to Patreon. If you’re a content creator, fans can sign up to your channel and support you with a paid subscription.
You can create multiple membership tiers and reward supporters with badges, custom emojis, private live streams, chats and members-only content. It’s a very similar setup to Twitch and similar platforms.
You’ll need to be a member of the YouTube Partner Program and have over 1,000 subscribers but the rest is easy.
Log into your YouTube account, go to Memberships and enable monetization. There’s a setup wizard that walks you through everything and has tips to help you build a following and make more money.
YouTube Channel Memberships charges a 30% fee for all money raised.
- YouTube has billions of users and is already well known
- Works with the YouTube Partner Program which you may already be using
- Most content creators already have a YouTube presence
- Simple to use and makes it easy to monetize
- Supports multiple subscription tiers and rewards
YouTube Channel Memberships is better than Patreon for channel traffic and ease of use. While YouTube charges a high fee, you have all the tools you need to create subscriptions and earn extra income.
Kickstarter is probably the most famous crowdfunding platform around right now and a viable alternative to Patreon. It is designed for artists and creatives to fund projects and does a very good job of it.
Kickstarter is more for individual projects rather than helping you pay the rent, but if you’re trying to fund something specific, there are few better places to do it.
The site is simple to use and you can open an account for free. It’s also easy to set up a project and, once Kickstarter approves it, begin raising money.
It’s important to know that funding through Kickstarter is goal oriented and all or nothing. That means you have to set a funding goal and will only get the money if you meet that goal. If you fall short, you get nothing.
Kickstarter charges a flat 5% fee on all money raised. Like most platforms, there’s also a payment processor fee of around 3% depending on the currency.
- Huge audience counted in the millions
- Simple to set up an account
- Vetted crowdfunders gives supports confidence to back you
- Lots of resources and tools to help you succeed
- Multiple ways to reward backers
Kickstarter is a Patreon alternative for one off performances or limited releases rather than ongoing subscriptions. If you’re looking to crowdfund a project, performance, movie or something else, this is where you come.
There are alternatives to Kickstarter too if you’re more interested in crowdfunding.
Indiegogo is mainly about raising money for projects like Kickstarter but does have subscription and donation options. It’s almost as well known as Kickstarter and could be the Patreon alternative you’re looking for.
Unlike Kickstarter, Indiegogo offers an all or nothing funding option and a flexible option where you can keep whatever you raise. There’s also InDemand, the option to continue fundraising once your initial campaign is complete.
The site is easy to use and setting up an account is simple enough. There isn’t the same vetting for campaigns as other sites but there are still over 9 million backers.
There isn’t the same feeling of inclusion and community like you get with Patreon but you have everything else you need to create a crowdfunding campaign and see it through to success.
Indiegogo charges a 5% fee on all funds plus payment processing fees.
- Huge 9+ million audience of backers
- All or nothing and keep what you raise options
- InDemand can provide extra income after the campaign
- Widely accepting of different artist and types of fundraising
- Easier to be approved than other platforms
Indiegogo is a Patreon alternative that’s more relaxed and more flexible. You can set goals or use whatever you raise. You can also continue requesting support afterwards with InDemand.
Ko-Fi is similar in look and feel to Buy Me a Coffee. It supports tipping and occasional donations while allowing creators to set up their own landing page.
Ko-Fi supports all kinds of creatives, from cosplayers to musicians and everything in-between. Campaigns can be large or small and supporters can donate or tip as much or as little as they like.
The website has a very relaxed feel, with simple account creation, easy ways to find creators and accessible payment tools. While landing pages are basic, there’s everything you need to raise awareness of what you do.
There’s a free tier that charges a commission and premium Gold membership that costs from $6 per month with no fees.
Ko-Fi charges 5% fees on sales but charges no fees on donations. Gold charges from $6 per month in return for no fees.
- Easy going website that embraces casual creators and supporters
- More suited to donations rather than subscriptions
- Simple fee structure or premium option
- Has a built-in store to sell merch
- 0% fees on donations
Ko-Fi is an alternative to Patreon because it doesn’t charge a fee for donations and it’s built more for the creator than for the company behind it. It’s also more suitable for casual rather than full-time creatives.
Mighty Networks is a community-based platform that’s as much about building a following as it is about making money. It could be ideal for artists, musicians and creatives of all types to help attract fans and make a little money at the same time.
You create something akin to a mini social network with your own feed, your own community and the ability to sell courses, events and subscriptions.
Mighty Networks uses the concept of Spaces where you can create content and engage with supporters. Those supporters can also engage with each other, which helps create the community the platform is looking for.
Those Spaces aren’t the most configurable or brandable but you can tweak the look and feel of them relatively easily.
Mighty Networks has three subscription plans, Community at $33 per month, Business at $99 per month and Mighty Pro that’s POA.
- More emphasis on community building rather than continuous content
- Supports live streaming, video, Zoom, chat and messaging
- Single platform handles Spaces, payments and content management
- Branded app option (Mighty Pro)
- Analytics tools to help you understand your audience
Mighty Networks is a Patreon alternative because it lets creatives build communities as well as entertain for money. It uses a different payment model but offers many similar benefits.
Hypage has a different aim than Patreon and serves a slightly different niche. Rather than funding artists and creatives, Hypage provides link-in-bio pages to help you build a following.
If social media is a big part of what you do, Hypage could be the alternative you’re looking for. You can create gated communities with recurring payments, request and accept donations, sell digital products, set up recurring payments and even create individual premium posts.
While not a full alternative to Patreon, it does a pretty good job of helping you create a following.
If you currently use Linktree for promotion and would like some of the features of Patreon, Hypage is definitely one to try.
It’s free to set up an account on Hypage but it costs to use it properly. There are two pricing plans, Pro at $19 per month and Enterprise at $39 per month.
- Free to join and easy to set up
- Lets you charge for community, content, subscriptions and more
- Gating works well and is very simple to implement
- Supports webhooks if you have your own website
- No transaction free with premium accounts
Hypage is ideal for creatives who use social media a lot in marketing. If you know Linktree and like how it all works, this could be the ideal Patreon alternative.
You can use link tree templates with your own website too if you like!
SubscribeStar is an independent platform designed to provide a safe haven for creators. It’s a liberal platform that allows most (legal) content without censorship or vetting. For that alone it’s worth considering as an alternative to Patreon.
SubscribeStar uses subscriptions to help you generate income and makes it easy to create and protect content. It has specific tools to prevent copying, scraping and skimming so you don’t get ripped off.
The liberal nature of SubscribeStar also works against it. If you’re planning to build a professional brand, you’ll find it harder to get credibility here than you would Patreon or one of the alternatives.
However, if you’re experimenting or creating as a side hustle, it’s more than up to the job.
SubscribeStar charges 5% on all earnings plug transaction fees (usually 2.9% + $0.30). There’s also a payout fee that depends on the amount you’re withdrawing.
- Liberal nature would work well for certain content creators
- Simple setup and account management
- Easy to create a network and configure subscriptions
- Built-in tools to help protect your work
- Integrations with external platforms
SubscribeStar is a great Patreon alternative for creators experimenting with new things or those for those more at home in a liberal environment. While it isn’t a free-for-all, there is less oversight here than anywhere else.
It’s easier than you might think to create your own Patreon alternative.
- Web hosting and a domain name
- Sure Members + SureCart
- Lots of content to attract an audience.
Our post on starting a fan site like Patreon has everything you need to know about doing it yourself so we won’t repeat ourselves here.
Suffice to say, it doesn’t take long and you could build your website in an afternoon!
Here are a few common questions around sites like Patreon:
Is Patreon still worth it?
Yes, Patreon can still be worth it but there is a lot of competition, the fees are relatively high, there are issues with censorship and you don’t get many marketing tools to promote yourself. All are good reasons to look for an alternative to Patreon.
Do people make a living off Patreon?
Yes, people do make a living off Patreon. It’s like the music industry or sports, a select few will make it big while the majority will scrape a living or need a second job. If you have talent, you absolutely can make a living off a site like Patreon.
How much of a cut does Patreon take?
Patreon takes 8% with the Pro plan, 12% with Premium and a 5% cut of anything you sell using their eCommerce tools. Oh, and there’s an extra 1% fee for payments made from outside the US and payment processing fees. It all adds up!
Is there a better Patreon alternative?
Yes, there is a better Patreon alternative. This post shares 10 great alternatives to Patreon including your own website, Podia, Buy Me a Coffee, YouTube, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Ko-Fi, Mighty Networks, Hypage and SubscribeStar. There are others of course, but we like these best.
Do you also use Audible to share your content? If so, you might also like to read our post on how to make money on Audible!
Patreon is an excellent option for making money as a creative but it isn’t your only option.
The all or nothing approach may not be what you’re looking for or you might want more marketing tools.
While we are big fans of doing it yourself with your own membership website, we also appreciate that approach won’t be for everyone.
That’s why we included 9 other alternatives to Patreon. Each does things a little differently and would suit some users over others.
Do you use any of these Patreon alternatives? Have any others to suggest?
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