Top 10 Fantastic Patreon Alternatives to Monetize Your Audience

Do you create content so amazing that it deserves to be paid for?

If so, you’re at the right place.

While Patreon might have been your favorite choice of crowdfunding platform in the past, lately more and more people are looking for better alternatives. Essentially because of Patreon’s May 2020 update on charging sales taxes — on donation-based money. Further, Patreon’s increasing prices have forced some users to jump ship too.

In other words, people who want to support you now have to pay taxes as if it’s a business transaction.

That said, Patreon is still a great service with useful features, but if you’re not happy with them or just want to explore your options, I’ve compiled a list of 10 fantastic Patreon alternatives below. 

But first…

What Is Patreon? Should You Use It?

Patreon is a platform for creators to make money through the donations of paying fans. 

Usually, to collect money, you need to set up invoicing software or a virtual terminal for processing credit cards online, which is quite complicated. But Patreon offers creators their own space to interact with followers and get support from fans who love the creator’s work.

Best for: Patreon is a platform for creatives of all types. Artists, musicians, vloggers, podcasters, dancers, and so on. And since they’ve been around for a very long time, their customer base size is very impressive too.

Pros:

  • You can set flexible funding goals
  • You receive consistent and reliable payments
  • Suitable for big-name creators with raving fans
  • You get an interface to track and interact with your audience
  • Built-in email and patron-only posts to connect straight with your audience

Cons:

  • Low exposure for creative projects, despite using keywords and hashtags 
  • Limits rewards for new paying fans for the first month
  • Slow payment processing — takes days to process the funds
  • Limited user support and no promotional tools

Price:

Patreon is free to start, and they’ll only charge you a 5% fee until your account starts generating an income (alongside the standard rates for processing payments).

Now, let’s get into the top 10 fantastic Patreon alternatives below:

1. Heights Platform

The Heights Platform is a fantastic way to create the perfect online course for you and your audience. It’s one of the most customizable e-learning platforms out there.

Plus, it also allows you to create native landing pages and process payments.

Best for:

Any entrepreneur, solopreneur, coach, or consultant looking to monetize their expertise through selling online courses.

Pros:

  • Charge as little or as much as you want
  • Built-in features like payment processing, content management, and analytics 
  • Launch unlimited courses, publish unlimited content and enroll unlimited students 
  • White-labeling feature letting you align with your own branding

Cons:

  • Missing features like quiz creation and tests
  • No built-in email marketing feature. But it won’t be an issue if you use your own email provider

Price:

There are 3 plans to choose from: 

Plan name Monthly price
Basic  $39
Pro  $79
Academy  $399

Also, basic industry transaction fees of 2.9% + $0.30 apply to all payments.

2. Tribe

Tribe is a cloud-based community platform letting you engage and connect with followers. It helps you better understand your customer base, land and retain customers, and optimize conversions.

Users can follow, explore, ask questions, initiate discussions, drop comments, upvote, and share different sorts of content.

Best for: Marketers and agencies wanting to create a community alongside WordPress users who want simple Google Analytics inside WordPress.

Pros:

  • Cloud-based and completely customizable
  • Comes with simplified Google Analytics
  • Automatic email analytic reports for your clients
  • Monitor your best performing campaigns & pages
  • Build a raving community and develop your customer base
  • Smart targeting feature to target audiences based on their behavior
  • White-labeling allowed to let you customize and integrate to your site

Cons:

  • Minor bugs were reported
  • Has no mobile app

Price:

Tribe has plans for both paid and free memberships::

Plan name  Monthly price Suitable for
Free $0 Individuals and smaller companies
Plus $85 Small businesses and startups
Premium $249 Bigger enterprises
Enterprise  Custom rates Big enterprises or in certain industries

3. Podia

While not exactly a crowdfunding site, Podia is a great alternative to Patreon for creators. It allows thousands of artists, musicians, designers, writers, etc. to sell their digital products. Things like: courses, eBooks, audio files, video files, memberships, and so on.

In simpler words, it’s an affordable all-in-one marketing platform for creators. 

Pros:

  • Elegant user experience and user interface
  • No fees on sales transactions
  • New members get a free trial
  • Built-in email marketing
  • Supports video hosting
  • Embedded checkout
  • Affordable pricing
  • Affiliate program

Cons:

  • You need to sell your products on an existing site
  • Might seem expensive to low-volume sellers
  • Membership features come only with the more expensive plans
  • Doesn’t have customizable fields for emails

Price:

Plan name Monthly price Suitable for
Mover $39 If you just want to sell digital content without memberships
Shaker $79 If you’re offering memberships
Earthquaker $179 If you want to sell digital content, offer memberships and get access to more extra features

There’s an additional 2.9% + $0.30 fee per transaction, which might vary depending on your location.

4. Memberful

Memberful is a Patreon-owned WordPress website plugin, aimed to help content creators sell memberships to their audience. Your fans can sign up for subscriptions and access exclusive content, monthly, yearly, or for other lengths of time.

It can be integrated with other online payment processing platforms too — Stripe, WordPress, and Mailchimp.

Best for: For all sorts of creators with an audience. Especially for media companies and larger enterprises, since they can scale rapidly. 

Pros:

  • Custom branding
  • Email newsletters
  • Coupons, free trials, and gifts
  • Intuitive membership management
  • Members-only content and forums
  • Analytics and conversion tracking
  • Easy software integration

Cons:

  • Will take 10% of what you earn — besides the payment processing fees

Price:

Plan name Monthly price
Starter $0, with 10% transaction fees
Pro $25, with 4.9% transaction fee
Premium $100, 4.9% transaction fee

5. Buy Me a Coffee

Buy Me a Coffee is an online platform that allows you to receive donations from your fans on a one-time or monthly basis.

Best for: Artists, creators, and all creatives comprising an audience to get tips.

Pros:

  • One-off donations allowed
  • Automatic payment transfers to your account
  • Allows selling digital downloads and sharing exclusive content

Cons:

  • Not the best for larger businesses or businesses looking to scale big.

Price:

No need to worry about monthly fees or paying for a paywall. Just the 5% payment processing fee and standard PayPal and Stripe fees.

6. Ko-fi

Ko-Fi is an online platform that enables artists and creators to make a living by receiving donations from fans –  monthly and one-offs. The theme is that your audience can support you for just the price of a cup of coffee or more.

Ko-Fi has no platform fee for donations, making it free to start a page where you can show your best work. You can also post updates about your goals, creations, and work-in-progress automatically.

Best for: Pretty broad – a diverse range of creators. But it looks like the platform essentially is for small content creators. Think of it as jar-tipping artists, writers, cosplayers, and podcasters.

Pros:

  • No platform fee
  • No payment delays
  • No supporter sign-up required
  • Can provide memberships, paywall content, and personalized commissions
  • Lower content demand

Cons:

  • Unclear donation CTA – “Buy me a coffee”
  • A minimum donation of $3
  • No built-in marketing tools

Price:

Apart from the basic processing fees, Ko-fi gives 100% of the donations to the creators. Their paid Gold plan is $6 a month. They offer 3 different pricing tiers:

Plan name Monthly price Charges
Lite  N/A 5% of the donation received + processing fees (2.9% + 0.30$ per transaction, or 5% + $0.10 for transactions under $3)
Pro N/A 8% of the donation received + same processing fees
Premium N/A 12% of the donation  received + same processing fees

7. Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform for one-time donation projects – not continuous funding. It’s perfect for films, music, arts, theaters, photography, designs, games, comics, etc.

That said, not all campaigns get accepted. Kickstarter carefully pre-screens all campaigns before making them public. To ensure that only reliable campaigns get the limelight. It’s an all-or-nothing platform. Fail to hit the goal within a specific time and you’ll get nothing.

Best for: Developers, designers, support specialists, cartoonists, writers, musicians, authors, painters, poets, gamers, streamers, robot-builders, and so on.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Decent promotion feature
  • Works for one-time projects
  • Trusted because it has been around for a decade
  • Projects are carefully considered before making public

Cons:

  • Not all projects bear fruition
  • Not good for charity or personal crowdfunding
  • You get the funds only if the fundraising goal is met
  • No monthly subscription option

Pricing:

If the goal isn’t met, then there are no fees. But if it’s fulfilled, there’s a 5% fee alongside another ($0.05 – $0.20) + (3% – 5%) processing fees per pledge.

8. Indiegogo

Indiegogo lets tech entrepreneurs display their latest tech products and designs before they go mainstream. It supports both creative as well as charitable projects. In other words, Indiegogo helps entrepreneurs make their dream a reality. 

They offer 2 kinds of live crowdfunding campaigns to choose from: all-or-nothing and keep-what-you-raise. Also, Indiegogo doesn’t pre-screen campaigns. Making it possible for almost anyone to launch a campaign.

Best for: Creative and charitable entrepreneurship projects, start-ups, and business ideas.

Pros:

  • No charges for charity campaigns
  • You can choose between all-or-nothing and keep-it-all funding
  • Campaigns aren’t pre-screened, so better chances of success
  • Allows both rewards and equity crowdfunding
  • Only the platform fee of 5% – 8% is applicable

Cons:

  • Less traffic and attention than Kickstarter
  • Crowdfunding for just one-time endeavors, no recurring options
  • Limited communication between campaigners and their backers

Pricing:

Just the monthly 5% to 8% platform fee depending on the campaign alongside a 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee.

9. SubscribeStar

SubscribeStar is a membership platform supporting educators, bloggers, entertainers, visual artists, musicians, and such.

The independent platform runs on a monthly subscription plan similar to Patreon and provides content marketplace features so “Stars” can monetize their work.

Best for: Celebrities, bloggers, vloggers, entertainers, podcasters, coaches, teachers, commentators, radio hosts, game streamers, fashionistas, individual preachers, event organizers, etc.

Pros:

  • Liberal content policies — any legal content is allowed
  • Built-in stats and analytics tools
  • Post editor
  • Anti-scraping and anti-skimming content protection
  • Advanced integration options to third-party suppliers

Cons:

  • No PayPal or Stripe
  • Restrictions on payment withdrawal
  • Freedom with content policies means the platform has some association with more extremist ideologies

Pricing:

Charges a 5% flat service fee on every pledge, and a 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee on successful payments. If you request a payout, you’ll be charged a payout fee (minimum $3) that varies based on the payout frequency and amount.

10. Liberapay

Liberapay is a platform for recurring donations. Donations are capped at €100.00 a week per donor to prevent outside influence.

Best for: Creators who produce continuous work – content or software – and maintain the upkeep. Similar to Open Collective.

Pros:

  • No platform fees
  • Teams feature
  • No obligation to give rewards
  • Supports multiple languages and currencies
  • You can integrate your accounts on Twitter, GitHub, Mastodon, and nine other platforms

Cons:

  • Hard to make long-term projections
  • A small and relatively new company, so you may not get enough exposure

Pricing:

Liberapay charges 0% platform fees. You’re subject to standard transaction fees from your payment processor.

Closing Thoughts

Monetizing your work online used to be difficult. But platforms like Patreon have been created to help creators make money. But remember, no Patreon alternative is right for everybody. To determine which platform is right for you, look at the various options and see what works best for you.

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