Patreon Changes Fee Structures – Please Read This

Well, I’m supposed to be getting tomorrow’s ResearchBuzz ready, but I can’t. I have something on my mind and I need to get it written down so I can proceed with RB.

As you probably know, I have a Patreon account for ResearchBuzz. I really would like to do this full-time, but opportunities are limited; Facebook and Google are estimated to have 84% of global digital ad spend (excluding China) in 2017, AdSense and YouTube (Google properties) are having their own advertising problems, and Amazon turned me down for an affiliate account. So Patreon it is.

I love doing ResearchBuzz. I love finding resources, I love sharing them, when I have time I love to write about techniques you can use to make your search better. I don’t want to write about SEO and SEM, which are more lucrative – I want to write for you, the searcher and end user. You don’t set your alarm for 4:30 AM every weekday unless what gets you out of bed is really compelling. (On weekends I go wild and sleep in ’til six.)

Patreon has changed its fee structure, adding a 2.9% charge and a 35 cent service fee to each pledge. That means that those of you who are supporting me to the tune of $1 a month will now be paying $1.38 (I think) a month.

Listen, you worked for the money you support me with and you earned it and this change is raising your expected pledge by over 30%. And if you support a lot of people on Patreon this is going to raise your costs by a lot. You might be thinking maybe that you want to drop some creators, including me. I got one thing to say to you:

That is 100% okay.

If you signed up for a $1 pledge, you signed up for a $1 pledge. You did not sign up for $1.38. You did not sign up to get a some weird tax/service fee tacked on to your support. You did not sign up to get your costs jacked by over 30%. I am not going to blame you or hold it against you or anything if you dump Patreon or just dump ResearchBuzz. I will be grateful for all your support up until now and I will thank you ten thousand times for that.

I want you to know that.

Doing ResearchBuzz full time is my dream, if I can afford it and make it work. But it’s a dream. It’s not something I’m entitled to. It’s not something anybody owes me. I will keep doing it as long as I can, and if I have to fold up and stop one day, well, then I have to fold up.

But I would rather be dead in a ditch than have the mechanism of my support raise the fees that you are paying like this and not say anything. I am not here to exploit your goodwill. Ideally I am here to provide information and help you and make your life easier/better/more interesting/more productive.

I love you and appreciate your reading no matter what. Thank you. Thank you ten thousand times.

Sorry this isn’t well written; I’m kind of mad.


Categories: Rants

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27 replies »

  1. You’ve heard me say it before: What you do is valuable to me, and valuable to others. If supporting it costs a little more, it is still a lot less than you give us. Imagine please that I declaim this, with thousands crying “Huzzah.”

    • If you choose to continue supporting ResearchBuzz, I thank you. I thank you very much. But I don’t want you or anyone else to feel compelled or guilted into doing it. (Yes, spellcheck, I mean guilted, not quilted.)

  2. I give you a pat on the back, Tara, for this notice. I’ve done a lot of writing and editing over the years, amd (although my typinh ain’t too good) I think your writing in this note is just fine! Thank you, and you can count on my continued support.


    > WordPress.com > ResearchBuzz posted: “Well, I’m supposed to be getting tomorrow’s > ResearchBuzz ready, but I can’t. I have something on my mind and I > need to get it written down so I can proceed with RB. As you probably > know, I have a Patreon account for ResearchBuzz. I really would like t” >

  3. I think I’ll just keep buying you a cup of tea…….I value what you do more than you can know and share often with others. But I support several podcasts on Patreon and am going to have to re-evaluate those payments (not donations…the laborer is worthy of their hire!) as it is. So I hope you get more value from the “tea” donations than the Patreon version. What you do is valuable.

  4. Tara: I was glad when you started using Patreon because I finally had a way to support your work after relying on your help for many years. If Patreon becomes a problem, I would happily send you my modest pledge amount directly.

    The way Patreon phrased its notice—that you’d be assured of 95% of your pledges—made it sound like the new fees would be deducted from the pledge amount, rather than added to it.

    When you and others see the long-term effect of this change, please let us know how we can most effectively continue our support for your work.

  5. I hope you get lots of other emails from your subscribers saying what I’m going to tell you: don’t worry about this. We’ve got your back. No way are we going to reduce what we’re already giving you because Patreon changed their policy. And thank you for the fantastic job you do!Gail Spiva 

  6. Is there any way for you to set up a PayPal account for donations? I’ve donated to organizations through PayPal. But I know PayPal takes a cut, but perhaps it’s less. Just a thought.

  7. I agree totally with everyone else’s supportive comments. I definitely get so much out of your work that the small increase is negligible. I understand your fury at Patreon’s change. I also understand that without being an organization or a company it’s very difficult to receive donations personally. Don’t worry about it. Keep up the good work and realize your dream! We are all the beneficiaries of it.

    • Thanks Bill. I am looking at other options, like Gumroad. My friend Leo is on Patreon and I’m going to ask him what he’s going to do as he has apparently set up a membership site.

      • Gumroad seems to have higher charges than new Patreon. The problem with ‘selling products’ sites is that customers cannot set up small regular monthly payments. They would have to remember to ‘buy’ every month. These sites would be OK for a larger annual ‘purchase’ (provided the fees charged are not too high).
        The new Drip is designed to allow small monthly subscriptions, but I think we will have to wait for the public launch to find what their charges will be.

  8. When I signed up to pledge, it was to support you after following you and enjoying your analysis and sifting of information for many years. I still do, and will keep the pledge. YOU let us know if it isn’t working from your side!

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