11 Best Sites Like Patreon in 2024

Patreon alternatives: best membership platforms

Introduction

In the creator economy, Patreon shines as a leading membership platform for online business, allowing creators to offer exclusive content to loyal fans. Its impact on how creators sell memberships and digital products is significant. However, high transaction and payment processing fees have driven many to seek alternatives to Patreon. Many creators now prefer to set up their own website, tailor-made to their vision, using the right marketing tools.

The desire for platforms offering community features, varied membership tiers, and lower fees highlights the changing needs of creators. This guide will delve into Patreon’s challenges and what to seek in a robust Patreon alternative, helping creators navigate content monetization platforms effectively.

Understanding Patreon

Patreon for paid communities

What is Patreon?

Patreon, at its core, is a membership platform designed to bridge the gap between creators and their audience. Born from a need to provide a sustainable income source for artists and creators, Patreon has evolved into a hub where exclusive content meets dedicated supporters. Unlike other platforms, Patreon’s focus has always been on fostering online communities where creators can sell memberships, offer digital products, and even host online courses.

Patreon Pros

The advantages of using Patreon are manifold. For one, it offers creators a platform to monetize their content without the need for an own website or intricate marketing tools. Its built-in community features foster a sense of belonging, making patrons feel more connected to the creators they support. Furthermore, the platform’s focus on exclusive content means creators can offer unique experiences, from digital downloads to behind-the-scenes access, setting it apart from other patreon alternatives.

Patreon’s Pricing

Patreon: multiple membership tiers

Diving into Patreon’s pricing model, it’s evident that the platform has been designed with flexibility in mind. They currently offer three distinct plans tailored to different creator needs. The “Founders” plan, reserved for those who joined before May 2019, charges a 5% commission on income. The “Pro” plan takes an 8% commission, while the “Premium” plan, offering the most features, has a 12% commission.

However, this flexibility comes at a cost. Beyond the commission, creators must also account for payment processing, currency conversion, payout fees, and applicable taxes, which are consistent across all plans. These additional costs can add up, making the overall fee structure more complex than it initially appears. While many see the value in Patreon’s offerings, these fees, combined with the commission structure, have led some creators to seek out the best Patreon alternative that aligns more closely with their financial goals.

Why Look Beyond Patreon?

Good Patreon alternative

Patreon, while revolutionary in its approach to content monetization, isn’t without its challenges. As creators have grown and diversified their offerings, many have found that the platform may not always align with their evolving needs.

One of the primary concerns is the financial aspect. Patreon’s transaction fees, combined with payment processing fees, can take a significant chunk out of a creator’s earnings. For those who are just starting out or operate on slim margins, these fees can be a deterrent. Moreover, as creators look to expand their digital products or delve into selling online courses, they often seek platforms with more tailored features.

Additionally, while Patreon offers a range of marketing tools, some creators feel the need for more comprehensive solutions, especially those who want to establish their own website. The allure of having a platform that offers both content hosting and robust marketing tools can be tempting.

The Surge in Patreon Alternatives

The rise of platforms like “Buy Me a Coffee” and “Mighty Networks” showcases the demand for Patreon alternatives. These platforms, among others, offer a different set of features, often tailored to specific niches or creator needs. For instance, some platforms might focus more on community building tools, while others might prioritize digital downloads or offer zero transaction fees.

Furthermore, the desire for more autonomy has led many creators to seek an all-in-one platform or a membership platform that allows greater customization, from email marketing to integrating with a WordPress site.

In summary, while Patreon has been instrumental in shaping the creator economy, the diverse needs of today’s creators have led to a surge in the search for the best Patreon alternatives. Whether it’s financial concerns, the need for advanced features, or the desire for a more personalized platform, creators are actively exploring their options.

Exploring the Best Patreon Alternatives

The Best Patreon Alternatives

The digital creator landscape has seen a surge in Patreon alternatives, each catering to specific needs. Some platforms excel in offering tools for selling online courses, while others prioritize digital downloads without hefty transaction fees. For those aiming to raise funds, certain platforms focus on minimizing platform fees, making them a sought-after Patreon alternative.

A few stand out with robust features, allowing creators to connect deeply with their audience. In short, the best Patreon alternative varies based on a creator’s goals, whether it’s raising money, selling content, or finding a platform with a different fee structure. This section will provide a concise overview of these top alternatives.

PlatformKey FeaturesBest Fit ForPricing
Patreon– Well-known platform
– Built-in community features
– Exclusive content offerings
– Creators seeking subscription-based monetization– Founders: 5% commission
– Pro: 8% commission
– Premium: 12% commission
– Additional transaction fees
Sellfy– Sell digital and physical products
– Subscription offerings
– Creators selling diverse products– Starter: $19/mo
– Business: $49/mo
– Premium: $99/mo
– No transaction fees
Substack– Newsletter-focused
– Built-in community features
– Writers and journalists– 10% transaction fee
– Additional fees by Stripe
Buy Me a Coffee– One-time donations
– Digital product sales
– Creators seeking one-time support– No monthly fee
– 5% transaction fee
Ko-fi– Direct support through “coffee” donations
– Digital product sales
– Creators seeking direct fan support– No platform fee
OnlyFans– Direct and personalized monetization
– Built-in marketing tools
– Adult content creators– 20% commission fee
Mighty Networks– Branded community spaces
– Native livestreaming, chat, events
– Creators prioritizing community building– Community: $33/mo
– Business: $99/mo
– Mighty Pro: Contact for pricing
Scrile Connect– White-label solution
– Personalized content monetization
– Entrepreneurs seeking a personalized platform– Startup: $10/mo
– Professional: $500/mo
– Enterprise: Contact for pricing
Kickstarter– One-time project funding– Creators with one-time projects– 5% fee if project is funded
– Additional 3-5% payment processing fees
GoFundMe– Personal and charitable fundraising– Individuals seeking financial assistance– 2.9% + $0.30 per donation
Memberful– WordPress membership plugin
– Built-in community features
– WordPress users seeking membership features– Starter: 10% transaction fee
– Pro: $25/mo + 4.9% fee
– Premium: $100/mo + 4.9% fee
MemberPress– Build dedicated membership website– Creators building a dedicated membership site– Specific pricing not provided
Comparison of the best membership platforms

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Sellfy

Sellfy: sell digital and physical goods

Is Sellfy Right for You?

Sellfy emerges as a robust patreon alternative, catering to creators keen on selling digital products, from ebooks to music. Unlike Patreon, which is more of an online community for exclusive content, Sellfy provides an all-in-one platform for diverse selling options, including physical products and subscriptions.

What Sets Sellfy Apart from Patreon?

Patreon is primarily a platform to raise funds through a subscription model, focusing on building an online community. In contrast, Sellfy offers a broader spectrum, allowing creators to sell online courses, and even physical and digital products. This versatility makes Sellfy stand out among other patreon alternatives.

Patreon vs. Sellfy: Pricing

Sellfy’s pricing is transparent with three tiers:

  • Starter: $19/mo for up to $10k sales/year, offering unlimited products and email marketing.
  • Business: $49/mo for up to $50k sales/year, with added features like removing “Sellfy” branding.
  • Premium: $99/mo for those with up to $200k sales/year, including priority support.

Notably, Sellfy doesn’t charge transaction fees, a significant advantage for those wary of additional costs. On the other hand, Patreon’s fees are based on a percentage of funds raised, plus transaction fees. Depending on a creator’s needs, one might be more financially beneficial than the other.

Substack

Substack: a community platform for writers

Exploring Substack

Substack has emerged as a notable platform in the realm of content monetization, offering writers and creators a space to share their work and earn from it. But is it the right fit for everyone? Let’s delve into its features, benefits, and how it stands in comparison to Patreon.

Features and Benefits

Substack primarily serves as a platform for writers to share newsletters with their audience. Unlike Patreon and some other alternatives, Substack’s main focus is on written content, making it a go-to for authors, journalists, and other content creators. One of its standout features is the ease with which one can start selling online courses, leveraging the platform’s built-in tools.

Additionally, Substack offers robust community features, allowing creators to foster an online community around their content. This focus on digital products and fostering a sense of community makes it a compelling patreon alternative for many.

Patreon vs. Substack: Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Substack adopts a transparent approach. Publishing is free, and when you enable paid subscriptions, Substack takes a 10% cut from each transaction. On top of this, Stripe, their payment processor, charges a credit card fee (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction) and a billing fee for recurring subscriptions (0.5% for recurring payments). For non-credit card methods, like direct debit or bank portal payments, Stripe’s billing fee still applies, with the exact fees varying based on the payment method and the country of the Stripe account.

In comparison, Patreon’s fee structure varies based on the plan, with additional transaction fees. For creators seeking a straightforward pricing model, especially those focused on written content, Substack might be a more appealing option.

Buy Me a Coffee

Buy Me a Coffee: a platform for writers, artists and video creators

In the ever-evolving landscape of content monetization platforms, “Buy Me a Coffee” has emerged as a noteworthy patreon alternative. Unlike Patreon and other platforms, “Buy Me a Coffee” offers a unique blend of simplicity and functionality. It’s designed for creators who want to get supported directly by their fans without the complexities of a full-fledged membership platform. Whether you’re a writer, artist, video creator, or any other type of content creator, “Buy Me a Coffee” provides an intuitive way for your audience to show appreciation.

One of the standout features of “Buy Me a Coffee” is its emphasis on one-time donations, allowing fans to offer support without committing to a monthly subscription fee. This feature, combined with built-in marketing tools and features, makes it a compelling choice for many creators. Moreover, the platform is versatile, catering to a range of creative projects, from selling digital products to raising funds for specific goals.

Buy Me a Coffee interface

Patreon vs. Buy Me a Coffee: Pricing

When it comes to pricing, “Buy Me a Coffee” adopts a creator-friendly approach. There’s no monthly fee, and all its features, including publishing and emails, are available for free. The platform charges a 5% transaction fee, ensuring creators retain 95% of their earnings. This transparent fee structure contrasts with Patreon’s tiered plans and additional transaction fees. The ethos of “Buy Me a Coffee” is clear: they profit only when the creator does, ensuring a symbiotic relationship.

Ko-fi

Ko-fi: a platform with no platform fees

In the realm of content monetization, Ko-fi stands out as a refreshing patreon alternative. Designed with a philosophy of “keeping it simple,” Ko-fi allows creators to receive support directly from their fans in the form of a “coffee” – a small financial gesture of appreciation. This approach resonates with many creators, especially those who prefer a more direct and less commercialized way to connect with their audience.

Ko-fi’s unique selling points lie in its simplicity and transparency. Unlike many patreon alternatives, Ko-fi doesn’t charge a platform fee, ensuring creators receive the full amount of their earnings. This makes it an attractive option for those looking to raise money for their creative endeavors without the overhead of transaction fees. Additionally, Ko-fi offers tools to sell digital products and even run crowdfunding campaigns, providing creators with multiple avenues to monetize their content.

Patreon vs. Ko-fi: Pricing

When comparing Patreon and Ko-fi in terms of pricing, the differences are clear. While Patreon operates on a tiered system with varying transaction fees, Ko-fi offers a straightforward model. Creators on Ko-fi aren’t burdened with monthly fees, and the platform doesn’t take a cut from the donations. Instead, the full amount goes directly to the creator, making it a cost-effective alternative for those keen on maximizing their earnings.

In summary, Ko-fi presents a compelling case for creators seeking a straightforward and transparent platform. Its emphasis on direct support, combined with tools to sell online courses and other digital products, positions it as a viable alternative to more established platforms like Patreon.

OnlyFans

OnlyFans for adult content creators

In the vast landscape of content monetization platforms, OnlyFans has carved a unique niche, especially for creators in the adult content industry. As one of the most talked-about alternatives to Patreon, OnlyFans offers a platform where creators can monetize their content, especially adult content, in a more direct and personalized manner.

OnlyFans’ features are tailored to empower creators, ensuring they have the tools they need to connect with their audience. From direct messaging to the ability to set up one-time donations, the platform provides a suite of tools designed to enhance the creator-fan relationship. Moreover, with built-in marketing features and a robust community feature, creators can grow their audience and foster a sense of community, making it more than just a platform to sell digital products on.

Patreon vs. OnlyFans: Pricing

When it comes to pricing, OnlyFans adopts a straightforward approach. The platform takes a 20% commission fee on all earnings, meaning creators retain 80% of their income. This is a crucial factor to consider when setting up pricing for content. In contrast, Patreon’s tiered system and varying transaction fees can sometimes make it less transparent. While both platforms offer a way to raise money, OnlyFans’ clear commission structure and its unique position in the market, especially for adult content creators, make it a notable alternative to Patreon.

In conclusion, OnlyFans stands out in the crowded market of content monetization platforms. Its focus on adult content, combined with a range of features tailored to enhance the creator-fan relationship, positions it as a compelling choice for many looking for an alternative to Patreon.

Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks: a platform with countless features to build a community

Mighty Networks stands out as a unique alternative to Patreon, especially for those looking to build a tight-knit community. With a plethora of features tailored to community building, it offers creators the tools they need to foster engagement and grow their audience.

Features and Benefits

Mighty Networks interface

Mighty Networks is not just another platform; it’s a comprehensive tool that allows creators to build their own branded community spaces. Unlike Patreon and other platforms, Mighty Networks offers quite a few features including native livestreaming, chat, events, and even Zoom integration. For those looking to sell digital products, it provides a platform to offer online courses with features such as quizzes, tests, and native video uploads. The platform also stands out with its Mighty Co-Host™ Dynamic Set Up & AI Features, ensuring a seamless experience for both creators and their community members.

Patreon vs. Mighty Networks: Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Mighty Networks offers a transparent model. The “Community” plan, best suited for beginners, is priced at $33/mo (when paid annually) and focuses on community building features. The “Business” plan, tailored for coaches and courses, is priced at $99/mo (when paid annually) and includes all features of the Community plan plus courses online, analytics, and more. For those looking for a more branded experience, the “Mighty Pro” plan offers custom iOS & Android apps, but you’ll need to contact them for pricing details.

A significant advantage of Mighty Networks over Patreon is its fee structure. While Patreon takes a percentage of the creator’s earnings, Mighty Networks charges a 2-3% fee only when you charge for access to your network or specific spaces, ensuring creators keep a larger chunk of their earnings.

In conclusion, Mighty Networks is a strong alternative to Patreon, especially for those prioritizing community building. Its unique features and transparent pricing make it a top choice for many creators looking to expand their online presence.

Scrile Connect

Scrile Connect: a white-label platform to build your own community website

Introduction to Scrile Connect and its Unique Proposition

In the vast sea of Patreon alternatives, Scrile Connect emerges as a beacon for those seeking a more personalized touch. It’s not just another platform; it’s a white-label solution, offering the flexibility and adaptability that many creators crave. Born from the innovative minds at Scrile IT-company, Scrile Connect is designed to empower you to launch your own content monetization website swiftly and seamlessly. Its PaaS nature means it’s not just about what’s available now, but what can be tailored to fit the unique niches of your business.

Building a Personalized Content Monetization Website with Ease

Scrile Connect interface and features

The journey of creating a digital space can often feel overwhelming. But with Scrile Connect, the path is paved with intuitive tools and features. Want to infuse your brand’s essence into the platform? No problem. With its built-in editor, you can craft a unique landing page, ensuring that your platform truly feels like yours. And when it comes to the nitty-gritty of transactions, Scrile Connect stands out. Not only can you integrate a payment gateway for member transactions, but every penny earned goes straight to your merchant account, free from any platform fee.

But it’s not just about the aesthetics or the backend. It’s about the content. Creators can curate both free and gated content, enticing their audience and filtering out the most dedicated fans. The platform’s versatility allows for a range of engagement methods, from posts to private video calls, ensuring that creators can maximize their revenue streams.

A Supportive Partnership with Scrile Connect

Scrile Connect: promote your website with your social media accounts

Embarking on a creative project, especially one that aims to monetize digital content, can be a solitary journey. But with Scrile Connect, you’re never alone. They understand the aspirations and concerns of their clients. Whether it’s the desire to differentiate from platforms like OnlyFans or to adapt features to a specific market niche, Scrile Connect is there, offering not just a service, but a partnership. Their commitment to content security, protection, and a plethora of monetization tools makes them a reliable ally in your online venture.

Moreover, their support doesn’t end post-purchase. With weekly software updates, a dedicated support team, and a plethora of resources, Scrile ensures that every step of your journey is smooth. From the initial stages of understanding the platform with the affordable $10/month Startup plan to scaling your business with the Enterprise plan, Scrile Connect is there, ensuring that your vision comes to life.

In conclusion, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to dive into the world of content monetization, Scrile Connect is your go-to. It’s more than just a platform; it’s a partner, ready to support and elevate your creative projects. So why wait? Dive in and explore the myriad of possibilities that Scrile Connect offers.

Other Notable Alternatives

Kickstarter — Best Platform for Funding One-Time Projects

Kickstarter for one-time projects

Kickstarter has made a name for itself as the go-to platform for creators looking to fund one-time projects. Whether you’re a filmmaker, artist, musician, or designer, Kickstarter provides a platform where you can present your vision and rally support from backers worldwide. The primary focus here is on projects with a clear goal and end date, making it perfect for those looking to fund a specific endeavor.

Patreon vs. Kickstarter: Pricing

While Patreon operates on a subscription model, Kickstarter’s pricing is contingent on the success of your project. If your project reaches its funding goal, Kickstarter will deduct a 5% fee from the total amount raised. Additionally, payment processing fees, which range between 3% and 5%, will also be applied. If your project doesn’t achieve its funding target, you won’t be charged any fees, making it a risk-free option for creators.

GoFundMe — Best for Running Fundraising Campaigns

GoFundMe: crowdfunding platform

GoFundMe stands out as a platform tailored for personal and charitable fundraising campaigns. Whether you’re raising money for medical expenses, educational pursuits, or community projects, GoFundMe offers a straightforward way to share your story and garner support. Its user-friendly interface and widespread recognition make it a top choice for those in need of financial assistance.

Patreon vs. GoFundMe: Pricing

Unlike Patreon’s subscription-based model, GoFundMe operates without charging users to start or manage fundraisers. However, for operational security and safety, a transaction fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 is deducted from each donation. This fee encompasses both debit and credit charges.

Memberful — Best Membership Plugin for WordPress

Memberful for WordPress integration

For those who’ve chosen WordPress as their platform, Memberful emerges as a top-tier membership plugin. It seamlessly integrates with your WordPress site, allowing you to sell digital products, set up membership tiers, and manage your community with ease. Its built-in community features make it a favorite among creators looking to foster a tight-knit group of supporters.

Patreon vs. Memberful: Pricing

Memberful offers three pricing plans to cater to different needs. The Starter plan is available at $0 per month but comes with a 10% transaction fee. The Pro plan, priced at $25 per month, reduces the transaction fee to 4.9%. For those seeking more advanced features, the Premium plan is available at $100 per month with a 4.9% transaction fee.

MemberPress — Best Software for Building a Membership Website

MemberPress: build a unique membership platform

If you’re looking to build a dedicated membership website from the ground up, MemberPress is your best bet. It’s a comprehensive solution that offers custom domain options, free trials for potential members, and robust tools to manage and support creators. With MemberPress, you can craft a unique space for your digital content and community.

Patreon vs. MemberPress: Pricing

While specific pricing details for MemberPress aren’t provided here, it’s essential to compare the features, transaction fees, and additional costs when choosing between Patreon and MemberPress. Always consider your specific needs, the size of your audience, and your budget when making a decision.

In conclusion, while Patreon remains a popular choice for many creators, these alternatives each offer unique features and pricing structures that might better suit specific needs. Whether you’re looking to fund a one-time project, run a fundraising campaign, integrate the WordPress plugin, or build a dedicated membership site, there’s a platform out there tailored for you.

Choosing the Right Platform for Your Needs

Consider the payment processing fee and paid memberships when choosing a platform

Navigating the world of content monetization platforms can be overwhelming, especially with the plethora of options available. Whether you’re a video creator, an artist, or an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to find a platform that aligns with your goals and offers the tools you need to succeed. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision.

How to Choose the Best Patreon Alternative Platform: Factors to Consider

  1. Payment Processing and Fees: Consider platforms that offer multiple payment options like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Also, be aware of transaction fees and any hidden costs. For instance, while some platforms might offer a free plan, they might charge higher transaction fees.
  2. Marketing Tools: The right platform should offer various marketing tools to help you promote your content. Integration with social media platforms can be a boon for creators looking to expand their reach.
  3. Community Features: A built-in community feature can foster engagement and loyalty among your audience. Platforms that offer this feature can help you build a tight-knit community around your content.
  4. Flexibility and Customization: Whether you want to sell physical products, offer free trials, or set up paid communities, the platform should be adaptable to your needs.
  5. Integration with Other Tools: If you’re already using tools like WordPress, look for platforms that offer a compatible WordPress plugin. Similarly, integration with Google Analytics can provide valuable insights into your audience’s behavior.
  6. Ease of Use: A simple platform that’s user-friendly can save you time and reduce the learning curve, allowing you to focus on creating content.
  7. Support and Resources: Platforms that offer robust support, whether through guides, tutorials, or customer service, can make your journey smoother.

Find the Right One Among Patreon Alternatives

Avoid high transaction fees when you sell digital downloads
  1. For One-Time Projects: If you’re looking to fund a single project, a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter might be your best bet. Remember to factor in the platform’s fee and the payment processing fees.
  2. For Fundraising Campaigns: Platforms like GoFundMe, which allow you to accept donations, are ideal for personal or charitable causes.
  3. For WordPress Users: If your website is on WordPress, plugins like Memberful or MemberPress can seamlessly integrate with your site, offering a range of features tailored for content creators.
  4. For Building a Dedicated Membership Site: Platforms like MemberPress provide the tools to build a dedicated space for your digital content and community.
  5. For Those Seeking a Comprehensive Solution: If you’re looking for a platform that offers everything from payment processing to community features, Scrile Connect might be the right fit. With its white-label solution, you can customize the platform to match your vision.

Conclusion

In the ever-evolving creator economy, finding the right platform to monetize content is crucial. While Patreon has paved the way, it’s clear that a myriad of alternatives offer diverse features tailored to individual needs. From transaction fees to community-building tools, each platform brings unique advantages. As creators continue to shape the digital landscape, choosing the right platform becomes paramount to success. This guide has illuminated the options available, empowering creators to make informed decisions and thrive in their online ventures.

FAQ

What is the adult alternative to Patreon?

Many creators opt for platforms like OnlyFans or JustForFans, which cater specifically to adult content and offer a more lenient content policy compared to Patreon.

Is there a better Patreon alternative?

“Better” is subjective and depends on individual needs. Platforms like Mighty Networks, Scrile Connect, and Ko-fi offer different features and pricing structures. It’s essential to assess your requirements and choose a platform that aligns with your goals.

Do all platforms charge transaction fees?

Most platforms have fees, but they vary. It’s crucial to check the fee structure before committing.

How can I make an alternative to Patreon?

If you’re looking to create your own content monetization platform, Scrile Connect is an excellent choice. It’s a white-label platform that lets you start your own site swiftly, adapting its features to your niche. With Scrile Connect, you can truly craft a platform that stands out as a unique Patreon alternative.

Evaluating Top Alternatives to Patreon and OnlyFans

These articles offer in-depth analysis and reviews of alternative platforms to Patreon and OnlyFans, aiding creators in finding the right space to share and monetize their work.

For more insights and valuable information, don’t forget to explore other articles in our blog:

  1. Best OnlyFans Alternatives 2024
  2. Diversifying Revenue Streams as a Content Creator: A Comprehensive Guide to Monetization Tools
  3. How to Create a Membership Website

By Polina Yan

Product Marketing Manager and Content Writer at Scrile.

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