I polled my Patreon backers, and I asked them one simple question: How did you find out about my Patreon? The answers were surprising to me, so I made the poll ongoing — making the question a part of the welcome package that new Patreon backers receive. After several months of collecting data, I’d like to share my results…
Surprisingly, the vast majority of my Patreon backers are discovering my Patreon content through my site — and not through social media. (Although you could argue that come of them discovered the site itself through social media.) As much as I’m a proponent of publishing through social media, this is a strong argument in favor of continuing my efforts on my own site as well.
Second was Patreon itself. As you know, I don’t feel as if Patreon should be relied upon for discovery — and I talk about that in this episode of Webcomics Confidential…
…however, it’s good to know that Patreon is a solid contributor in that category. (It’s especially impressive since, due to the NSFW nature of my Patreon page, I don’t show up in Patreon’s search results.)
Social media — including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter — are nearly nonexistent players. They account for less than 1.5% apiece. However, as I said earlier, it may well be the case that my backers discovered the site itself through social media.
But that Patreon Content Exchange! That’s a very solid performer, accounting for nearly 4%. And that’s especially impressive since I don’t do content exchanges every month.
The Patreon Content Exchange
Every once in a while, I search Patreon for people who are doing something similar to what I’m doing.
Then I approach the person about a content trade. I’ll post something of theirs exclusively to my patrons. (Something they’ve already offered to their patrons.) And they can post something from myPatreon archive exclusively for their patrons.
(This works best with exclusive content — something that folks can’t get outside of Patreon.)
It’s a win-win.
We both get content that we think our patrons will enjoy. We both get an opportunity to expose our work to the people pledging to the other person.
I know the fear. “They’ll like the other person better, and ditch me in favor of them.” That.s not the case. Look at this chart from a content exchange between Javis Ray and me…
I can tell you from experience, I get a lot of new pledges who are continuing their pledge to the other person. (I know, because I always click that button to see who else they’re supporting.) For me, it has been a “rising tide lifts all boats ” situation.