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Forum > Webcomic & Art discussion > My Patreon's awful, please advise
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"My Patreon's awful, please advise", 12 days ago, 12:04 AM #1
TanteiSakana
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Well, I've had a Patreon for a while now, and I had a single patron for about six months, but now they're gone. I don't really blame them, since I wasn't really getting things out very consistently, but this has made me really think about what I'm doing here.

I'm tempted to cut my losses, stop trying to make this nonsense work, and focus entirely on trying to find a dayjob, but I the more I think about it, the more I feel it would be irresponsible to hastily throw out a potential source of income. I have various health problems, so being able to at least use Patreon to make some money on the side would be useful.

So, I'd like to try to improve things. Lofty goals like, "get double digits of money a month," followed more ambitious things like "get double digits of patrons" :p

My current Patreon page is here. Any ideas how to make it more appealing? :p

This is what I've got.

(long)
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12 days ago, 12:54 AM #2
MK_Wizard

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In my experience, early access to pages is always a winner.
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12 days ago, 1:11 AM #3
lirvilas
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If you were already going to draw a comic, if you were already going to do a blog on CSP, if you were already going to draw NSFW, sure sure sure, push a Patreon. But doing it for its own sake? I'd be cautious about doing something merely because it offers "a benefit" without weighing the required costs in time and energy. That's how you spread yourself thin on trivialities.
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12 days ago, 3:08 AM #4
Mild

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Make early updates your 1$ tier instead of 5$. Seriously.
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12 days ago, 3:28 AM #5
Eaton Pye

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Looking at your history on CF, it seems like you've been pretty erratic. I think that's going to make establishing patronage challenging. If you have health problems, I get why that could be happening, but it's still bad for business. If you want patrons, I think you need to crank stuff out pretty steadily, and there has to be something they feel is worth paying for. If your production is erratic, then getting it 'early' may not be a big draw. Maybe if it's exceptionally tasty stuff, and to be found nowhere else. That's a high bar.
As for NSFW, I don't think that's what people pay for. They pay for erotica. Sure erotica is NSFW, but not necessarily the other way around. It's not enough to show nipples and genitals, it has to be sexy. And, like anything else, you have to keep cranking it out. I wouldn't bother unless you really enjoy it. Being conflicted about it isn't a good sign.
You might do better with some kind of commission sales, or merchandising. If you have popular characters, a t-shirt or a physical page or a shrinky keyfob might draw in more money than looking for steady patrons. If you think about your comic as marketing for something physical you can sell, you can justify the effort of making a quality comic that has strong appeal to some audience. I think you need a pretty big audience on the give-away level before something like patreon is going to pay off for you.
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12 days ago, 3:38 AM #6
E-hero Vulven
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Well, your page doesn't look very enticing for starters. A lotta gray colors. A bit of window dressing goes a long way imo. Your pitch text also tells me that you have some degree of "low confidence." I'd be less inclined to toss money at an artist who wasn't sure of their work. Of course, you can disregard my opinion since I no longer rake in double digits per month lol. Me thinks market saturation has just reached a boiling point.
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12 days ago, 10:19 PM #7
TanteiSakana
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lirvilas:If you were already going to draw a comic, if you were already going to do a blog on CSP, if you were already going to draw NSFW, sure sure sure, push a Patreon.

Well… that's pretty close to what's happening here. I'm here largely because, while procrastinating on doing other stuff, I've been posting art program tutorials here and doodling sexy stuff to unwind, and I'm sort of thinking, if what I'm doing to procrastinate sounds more enjoyable and profitable than what I'm currently doing, maybe I should consider taking that more seriously :p

Mild:Make early updates your 1$ tier instead of 5$. Seriously.

If I keep the early updates, I'll take this idea very seriously.

I remember thinking that $5/month sounded like a reasonable price for a low tier from other Patreon pages I had looked at, and I was trying to be wary of broadcasting low confidence by underpricing myself. But if that's backfiring, there's no reason for me to do that :p

Eaton Pye:Looking at your history on CF, it seems like you've been pretty erratic. I think that's going to make establishing patronage challenging. If you have health problems, I get why that could be happening, but it's still bad for business. If you want patrons, I think you need to crank stuff out pretty steadily, and there has to be something they feel is worth paying for. If your production is erratic, then getting it 'early' may not be a big draw. Maybe if it's exceptionally tasty stuff, and to be found nowhere else. That's a high bar.

That's a good point—I didn't think of the idea that inconsistency could make early updates less meaningful. Although that's mainly convincing me that maybe early updates aren't the best way for me to monetize things.

One benefit of getting rid of early updates would be that I'd be able to take better advantage of the automatic scheduling features of the sites I use, which are usually better at posting things at specific times than changing their visibility from "unlisted" to "public" or whatever. Being able to queue up updates for a while might help me be more consistent, and that might help me more in the long run than early updates would.

The ultimate way for me to increase my consistency would be to be consistently slow—and release a bunch of stuff exactly on the first of every month at noon on the dot or something. But I'm not sure anyone has the patience for that :p

Eaton Pye:As for NSFW, I don't think that's what people pay for. They pay for erotica. Sure erotica is NSFW, but not necessarily the other way around. It's not enough to show nipples and genitals, it has to be sexy. And, like anything else, you have to keep cranking it out. I wouldn't bother unless you really enjoy it. Being conflicted about it isn't a good sign.

Well, I mainly said "NSFW" to avoid saying "porn," so we might actually be kind of on the same page here. I would be aiming to make sexual content that has redeeming qualities outside the sex and nudity, and I think this would be the natural progression from what I'm currently doing—trying to create content with a lot of sexuality, but always stopping just short of being explicit.

I've heard people joke that drawing a bunch of meaningless and super fetishy porn is a surefire way for artists to get a bunch of money, but I've never been quite sure how true that actually is. I think finding a niche is important, but I can't help but think things are a little more nuanced than that.

I'm mostly conflicted because while I personally enjoy drawing sexy stuff, I'm shy about sharing this with other people. Once I started, I think I'd be forcing myself to get over that enough that my main problems "cranking it out" would be the same health problems that'd affect anything else I'd make. And I don't think I'd want to become a NSFW exclusive artist, because I think that would lead to burnout, and I've heard other artists complain about this.

E-hero Vulven:Well, your page doesn't look very enticing for starters. A lotta gray colors. A bit of window dressing goes a long way imo. Your pitch text also tells me that you have some degree of "low confidence." I'd be less inclined to toss money at an artist who wasn't sure of their work. Of course, you can disregard my opinion since I no longer rake in double digits per month lol. Me thinks market saturation has just reached a boiling point.

I will consider some ways to make the page look a little better. I'm already trying to think of ways to simplify the pitch text to sound better and more confident. This is one reason I'm considering the tip jar strategy—that could let me make the pitch super short and snappy :p
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