There are actually more options than you think for having a sustainable funding model, especially if you have your own self-hosted WordPress website. For those who may be unfamiliar, Patreon is a site where you can offer benefits to people who support you at certain dollar amounts a month. Patreon charges anywhere from 8-12% of the money you earn (Substack takes 10% so this is pretty common) and then it also charges a payment processing fee, which ranges from $0.10 to $0.30 + 2.9% of your charge. This is the fee that paypal or the credit card processor (like Stripe) charges to handle those payments. And there really is no way of avoiding that fee regardless of what platform you use unless you ask your supporters to mail you cash.

The benefits Patreon has over some of the other sites is that it's a known quantity. The people who support you are most likely familiar with, or at least heard, of creative people having Patreons and so hopefully they feel comfortable giving out their credit card information. In addition, Patreon provides a way for you to build your site (just check out any of the listings here) and showcase your work.

If you use a membership plugin (and I'll be reviewing a couple that I've used in future weeks), then your only cost for the program itself is your payment processing fees. You, of course, do have to pay to host your website and if you have someone maintain it for you. However, most likely you already deal with those expenses because of having a website. You can set up tiers, memberships, and have them charged on a regular basis. You can even have benefits and perks. You just have to handle the creation and fulfillment of these, in addition to the supporter only blogs, on your own.

As a do it yourselfer who doesn't like to pay companies or services extra charges if I don't have to, I admit that I use both. I have a Patreon, because that seems easiest, but then I also use membership plugins to better control things. I also like tinkering with websites. But really, it's up to you.

 

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