I recently pondered the best way to help fund a series of video tutorials here on timnash.co.uk. I put out a post about using a site called Patreon, and while limited the feedback for using Patreon was fairly positive – so today I’m pleased to present my shiny new Patreon page.
Why I am using Patreon?
Initially I have been looking at creating what I hope to be two high-quality video series focussing on:
- Acceptance Testing WordPress Sites
- High Performance WordPress Sites
Anyone who has done any video work will know that working on video is time consuming, especially to do it to a decent level, and especially when working entirely by yourself when you happen to be a terrible presenter prone to making never ending number of verbal mistakes and tongue twists. This has meant that the other content here on timnash.co.uk has been suffering when I have been working on video content, as currently my time for doing both comes from the same pot. What I am hoping to do by part funding the video series is to allow me to reduce some client work and instead focus a dedicated time slot for producing video content.
So why go down the Patreon route?
Well the funding system on Patreon makes a lot of sense for funding something like a video series. On the surface it is similar to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, but unlike those sites which work on the idea of a single total, Patreon works by donating small amounts, every time content is created. So in this case that is per video and after it’s released. What that means is that there are no worries about me taking your money and running, since you only pay when the videos are released (technically you pay at the end of the month, so if you don’t like the content you still have a way to opt-out). You also control how much you pay, both in terms of the per video amount (though I have made some suggestions and offered “rewards” for certain minimum pledge amounts) as well as the total you pay in a month.
This means there is no pressure on me to produce videos to a timescale that doesn’t fit around my schedule, and while knowing that patrons have pledged money will spur me on, I am not producing videos for the sake of it to hit a monthly target. For me this is one of the key features of the Patreon model, as if for some reason I don’t release a video, the patrons DO NOT PAY anything, unlike a traditional membership site model where you would have normally paid for no content.
Speaking of which, one really important aspect to mention is that the videos will be available to EVERYONE regardless of if they are patrons, so while patrons will have my thanks, and some rewards, they are not getting exclusive access to the content they are funding. Instead that content will appear just like my regular content here on the site and hosted probably on Youtube as well.
So what will everyone get out of this?
Hopefully the Patreon funding model makes sense, so lets look at the project goals. First and foremost I’m using Patreon to fund the video content here on timnash.co.uk which will be a series of videos. I want these videos to be “features” that people use and reference, and as such they should be high quality, interesting and fill what I consider a gap in the community which is to supply content for a slightly more advanced audience. To make this happen I need to up the amount of time I am spending on video content with the goal of making 2 videos a month minimum, as opposed to the current rate which is currently every few months a single video appearing.
One thing I talk about when discussing why Patreon with people is the idea of creating sustainable content, where I can plan content for months at a time, primarily for videos but also my other articles. The money Patreon brings gives me a way to know I can spend that extra time to create compelling and interesting content. If I don’t create the content my patrons want then they should cease to be my patrons.
Patreon funding will help me spend that time with scripting, filming and editing, and over time it will allow me to bring in additional people and be able to pay for their time. It’s important that this isn’t a money grabbing exercise, if I was going to do that I would have put out members.timnash months ago!
I have been putting off doing this Patreon campaign as I have been worried about asking the community for money for doing something I already do, and others also do for free. But I think (hope) people will see it as a way to help me produce more content all of which goes back into the community which I think is one of the great perks. You might not be able to become my patron but you will still benefit. By becoming a patron you will get that warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you have not only help fund hopefully great content but also making sure that content is available to everyone.
In addition there are a some rewards to becoming a patron
- You will have the opportunity to ask me questions and get involved with Google Hangouts
- You’ll be able to give feedback and get involved in direction we are going, get heads up on what’s coming next
- Having behind the scenes bits and pieces including a very (very) small amount of exclusive content
For people who pledge $5 a video, I want to say a big thank you, and so on each video you pledge towards, I will include a picture of your Gravatar. I’ll also include a link to your site, twitter or maybe your own Patreon page on the video page here, and include your name in the thank you in the show notes on Youtube.
So hopefully you are sold?
No? Oh well let’s try for a video version….
How does it all actually work?
- First off, head to my Patreon page
- Have a read through, and scroll to the bottom, you will see two suggested reward levels
- Pick one, you will be asked to confirm the amount and set a monthly cap
- Put in your details, visit PayPal or add your card details
- Confirm everything
It’s important you put that monthly cap in. Bear in mind my goal is 2 videos a month, so I would suggest a monthly cap of $10 if you are going for the $5 reward level.
So let’s say you pledge $5 – first off THANK YOU! Did I mention you are amazing? You also put a cap of $10/month on…very sensible!
- If I produce and release 0 videos then you pay $0 that month
- If I produce and release 1 video then you pay $5 that month
- If I product and release 2 videos then you pay $10 that month
- If I produce and release 3 or more videos then you still pay $10 that month
If you like the sound of Patreon and what I’m planning then please take a look at my Patreon page and consider pledging. If you can’t pledge, don’t worry, carry on guilt free!
For anyone considering pledging thank you, over the next few weeks I hope to make sure I reach out to every patron just to say thank you but also chat about what you would like to see.
Thanks for reading, and for continued support of people, don’t worry if you can’t pledge but I hope you will find the videos interesting and continue reading the content.