I created this guide to help you figure out exactly what content you should post to Patreon based on your unique creative project and ways that you like to create.
The best way to build a successful Patreon is to consistently release new content by combining a recurring content strategy with a content calendar. Recurring content allows you to build your audience, optimize your membership tiers, and make sure your supporters keep coming back for more.
If supporters don’t feel like they are getting any use out of your Patreon because you aren’t posting enough or aren’t posting things that they enjoy, it is no secret that they will eventually stop paying for your Patreon.
…and if you slack on freely releasing content to non-patrons on social media, your potential patrons are likely to unfollow you and never get around to supporting you on Patreon in the first place.
This really shows how important content is to not only get Patreon supporters but also to make sure that they stick around for years to come.
To learn how you can start publishing regular content that builds your audience without completely stressing you out, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂
How To Create A Recurring Content Strategy For Your Patreon
Patreon recommends that you should charge monthly if you are producing more than 4 pieces of content per month and that the average number that per-creation Patreon creators publish is 3.
Regardless of what way you choose to charge your potential patrons, there is one thing that is absolutely clear…
You are going to need to be able to post content (that your patrons actually enjoy) regularly if you want to be successful on Patreon.
The best way to do this is by creating a recurring content strategy.
A recurring content strategy is simply a defined structure of different content types that you release on a regular schedule.
For Patreon, this could look like posting update videos on the 1st Friday of each month, posting a new song or creation on the 2nd Friday of each month, having a live-streamed Q&A session on the last Friday of each month, and so on.
By releasing content on a regular schedule with a defined structure like this, you can make sure that the content you create is both relevant to your ultimate goal as a creator and keeps your audience hooked and wanting to come back for more.
…so how can you create a recurring content strategy?
P.S. If you don’t want to use Patreon and would like to see how Patreon compares to other alternatives, check out my article called Patreon Alternatives: How To Pick The Right Membership Platform. 🙂
Step 1: Decide on your ultimate creative goal as a creator
To make sure that you don’t feel like you are wasting your time and energy on creating content, you should take a moment to make sure that the content that you do create is always supporting your ultimate creative goal.
It’s important that this goal isn’t your financial or lifestyle goal (like making $10,000 per month or living off your art) and instead should be focused on what creative goals you have: what you want to be creating and providing to the world.
Do you want to reach thousands of people with your art so that it might have a meaningful and positive impact on their lives?
Your content might be of you creating your art behind the scenes, showing off unreleased or work in progress creations, or releasing your art to the public but doing a deep dive into its creation and meaning for your Patreons.
Do you ultimately want to perform often in front of a loving audience of thousands of fans?
Your content might be of you performing live in different ways (ie: performance videos, live jams, improvisations, cover songs, etc).
Step 2: Look at the content you are already creating
When deciding what type of Patreon content you want to create, you should definitely take a moment to look at what you already spend your time creating each and every day.
It’s important to remember that Patreon describes itself as a platform for creators to get paid for creating the things that they are already creating.
This means you don’t need to go overboard or overthink the content ideas for your Patreon because you can focus on simply documenting instead of creating.
Look at how you are currently creating to find opportunities for behind-the-scenes content, additional access, or other ways to document what you are already doing instead of creating something brand new.
Step 3: Brainstorm content types or themes that you want to test
Once you have clearly defined your ultimate creative goals and have reviewed your current creation process, all you need to do is brainstorm a list of different types of content you might want to publish.
Go nuts and create a really big list here, because we will be whittling down this list in the last 2 steps.
Just remember that:
- You are looking for content types/themes and not the specific content pieces you will be creating (ie: “performance videos” and not “performance of my song called I Love Matt From Best Friends Club)
- This list is of potential ideas that you might want to test and you are no way committed to creating any of these content ideas just because you have wrote them down in this step
It’s important that you look at your Patreon membership as an iterative process.
Your first launch will really be a trial where you figure out what does and does not work so that you can modify your tiers, perks, and rewards to match what your audience actually wants with the type of content you are able to create without burning out.
Step 4: Look at which content types give you the most bang-for-your-buck
Now that you have a big juicy list of different content types that you can potentially create that supports your ultimate creative goal or are things that are already creating anyway…
It’s time to narrow this list down to what you’ll actually be creating. 🙂
Some content types will appeal to you more than others, and you can definitely jot those down when you are creating your final content list.
However, the one piece of advice that I would give is to look for the content types that will give you the most bang-for-your-buck.
Look for content types that can be repurposed for other uses such as:
- Making the full piece of content available on Patreon but also cutting up clips of that content to post on social media as a way to tease the kind of content that a potential Patron can get when they become a supporter
- Content that could potentially be bundled up to be sold as a product or put into a course later on down the line
Look for content types that can be batched when you are creating them (ie: creating 4 or 5 pieces of a single content type while you have everything set up and ready to go).
Look for content types that can be stretched out to create several pieces of content (ie: live-streaming your creative process instead of just posting a video of the creative process, or filming a full live concert instead of making videos for 4 performance videos so you end up with 5 pieces of content).
Finally, remember that you will be able to tweak your strategy as you carry it out based on how your audience reacts to your content and how much you enjoy creating different types of content.
It’s important that you look for a balance in your recurring content strategy between what your audience enjoys and what you can realistically create over and release over and over again without burning out or hating yourself.
Step 5: Put it on a content calendar
Once you have an idea of what different types of content you want to make, you can simply map out when these content types will go live (and where) on a calendar
This simple step makes sure you are held accountable for your strategy and to your Patreons, as well as can help you organize your content output for the week, month, or even the whole year.
Enter: the content calendar. 🙂
A content calendar simply takes the content you have mapped out with your recurring content strategy and plots out when each piece of content should go live (and where) on a calendar so that you actually follow your plan.
This can also help you spot any gaps in your content schedule, keep an eye on any big milestones or key dates, and give you a good idea of when you need to have your content ready so that you can make time to actually create and publish it.
Although there are plenty of apps and templates out there for creating a content calendar, in my experience, this doesn’t need to be complicated and you can simply use the calendar that you are already using.
Whether that is pen and paper, Google or Apple calendar, or an app like Notion or Asana… whichever calendar you are actually going to check often and update is the best for you.
Patreon Content Ideas That You Can Use
The best content ideas for Patreon revolve around content that can be potential rewards, perks, or tiers that fall into these categories:
- Access or additional insight
- Additional engagement
- Fan recognition
- Digital or physical bonuses
Here are some examples that you might want to consider:
- Extra exlusive content: informative or personal behind the scenes content, bonus episodes, videos, songs, art, etc, early drafts, works in progress, stems for mixing or original project files
- Question and answer sessions: higher priority to patron questions or only accessible to patrons
- Fan participation of content: voting and focus groups, having a say in what content you create, requests (what merch designs to print, what songs to make, what songs to cover, what kind of videos to do, etc)
In addition to this, a great way to figure out content to create is to look to your current fans and audience – straight up ask them what they want or look at what of your free content they engaging most with.
How To Create Effective Patreon Tiers
The best way to create highly effective tiers for your Patreon or membership is by leveraging a concept used in marketing called ‘Marketing Funnels’ or Funnel Mapping.
A Marketing Funnel is visualized as an inverted pyramid and is used to break down what you offer to your audience into 3 specific parts:
- The largest part at the top is called “Top Of Funnel” aka “TOFU” and represents the cheapest but most easily accessible offerings.
- The next smaller part is called “Middle of Funnel” aka “MOFU” and represents more expensive offerings that less of your audience will take.
- Finally, the smallest part is “Bottom of Funnel” aka “BOFU” which represents very high-ticket offerings that very few of your audience will take.
By leveraging a marketing funnel, you can simplify what you offer and organize it in a way that is very easy for both you and your potential patrons to follow.
For a closer look at each of these funnel steps in more detail below and what you can consider offering for each specific level, check out my full guide to tiers, perks, and rewards called Patreon Ideas For Artists & Musicians. 🙂
What Patreon Plan Is Right For Your Project?
When reviewing Patreon’s plans, it can quickly become clear that you need to join the Pro or Premium plan to make the most out of the Patreon platform.
Although the creator fees are lowest for their “Lite” plan, when comparing Patreon Lite Vs Pro the huge difference that you will find is that you can’t actually create individual membership tiers with the Lite plan.
So, for a full breakdown of the 3 different Patreon plans available to you, what features you get, and which is the right plan for your unique project, check out my full article on Patreon Pricing, Plans & Fees Explained. 🙂