by Bob Tinsley
BLUF*: Patreon. It’s not so scary. Mostly.
*BLUF — Bottom Line Up Front
If you want to make a fiction podcast, setting up a Patreon page is almost de rigueur. Most of the time, especially if you have a small audience, you can make more money with a Patreon account than you can with advertising. Plus you don’t have those obnoxious ads cluttering up your audio masterpiece. You’re not going to get rich, but you might at least be able to pay your cast and crew.
During the month of February I built and launched both a website and a Patreon page for my fiction podcast. Of the two, the Patreon page was the least difficult by an order of magnitude in spite of being just as complex.
Why? Probably because Patreon WANTS you to make money. So they can make money. They have detailed guide documents for both launching a podcast and for running a promotion to increase the number of your patrons.
I followed the promotion guide explicitly, and I had my calendar filled out with things to do for the first 25 days of March! Something EVERY DAY. I even (shock! surprise!) got most of those things set up, ready to go before launch day.
It’s called marketing, folks, and Patreon seems to have a pretty good handle on it.
The hardest thing about this? The icky feeling I get asking other folks, mostly strangers, for money. I’m starting to overcome that, a little, by looking at it this way: I spent most of my life working on the front end and getting paid on the back end; with Patreon I’m (maybe) getting paid on the front end and working on the back end.
And, when I think about it, that’s the way most artists make their money. When I do a commission for my carving, I always ask for 50% up front.That gives me a cushion for tools and materials and time (yes, time costs money) that I need to do the work.
My patrons will pay me money every month, up front, and that will allow me to actually HIRE actors, composers, artists, etc., to produce a piece of work that will entertain the people that give me money.
So if you’re thinking about Patreon, download (and read!) the guides they have. They’ll increase your confidence about trying something new.
Once the campaign has run its course I’ll be back to give you an update.
Bob Tinsley is an artist, writer, boataholic and new audio/podcast fiction writer-producer. A mighty fine one too, as his 2nd and 4th place People’s Pilot 2019 finishes demonstrate.