Talking about sponsorships and the business side of blogging isn’t always easy. It falls into the “self promotion” category. While some people are adept with this and can do it seamlessly without a second thought… for others, myself included, it’s like a really awkward dance where we spend too much time trying not to trip over ourselves or bump into others.
If you’re reading my blog actually within my site itself, and not in any sort of RSS reader or whatnot, then you’ll see I offer ad space for sale. I like this because it allows people to be exposed to other sites/stores/blogs. Also, it offers something in return for their financial support.
Ad space seems to be the main way bloggers support themselves. However, I was curious about alternative means — maybe people who’d like to support me and my work, but who aren’t necessarily interested in having an ad on my site. And that’s when I remembered Patreon — something a friend sent me earlier in my creative writing career.
You may have noticed over the last couple months footnotes on my posts mentioning this site. Patreon is a service that allows friends, followers, and fans to support creatives on a monthly or per project basis. Crowd-funding your site, basically. However unlike places like Kickstarter or GoFundMe or IndieGoGo… Patreon is bigger picture, less one specific project.
Think of it like a pledge drive.
You donations to the creative help cover any sort of day-to-day costs (hosting, etc), as well as special features. Creatives can list their goals, and also offer rewards based on contribution level. One of the new features here on my site is a result of these goals: reading new-to-me comics each month. When we reach higher milestones it’ll “unlock” new features like quarterly giveaways and vlogging.
I really like this business model for creatives. It’s like my relationship with my local NPR station: WBEZ. I love my station, I enjoy listening to it and it provides me news and entertainment. It’s something I access often. I love that it’s ad free and accessible to anyone who wants it. Which is exactly why I chose to become a member — making a repeating monthly donation. Patreon allows people to offer the same sort of support to content creators, like myself.
And I would like to take this time now to share my gratitude for my patrons and their support:
Natasha from Falling to Earth – Natasha’s been a great supporter of me for a long time. We met back in my 20SB days. I’ve always appreciated that even during hard times, Natasha still keeps a bright spirit about her — and has been a great source of encouragement not just for myself but others.
Jenn from Old Haunts – I don’t exactly remember how I stumbled upon Jenn’s blog, but I remember instantly feeling a kinship. She’s nerdy and witty and just has some really amazing style. I’m exciting about continuing to get to know this new friend.
As a way of celebrating my gratitude for them, I have a special little “wall of love.” I’ve got their names on bright colored cutouts, along with some fun, loving quotes. I also post up each of the goals we complete together. It’s all displayed above my coffee bar, so I start out my morning in a heart of thankfulness.
So. From me, to my patrons and to my readers: thank you.