Author Topic: Setting Up A Micro-Patron System With PayPal  (Read 8720 times)


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Setting Up A Micro-Patron System With PayPal
« on: December 08, 2017, 11:58:59 PM »
DIY Creative Funding: Setting Up A Micro-Patron System

So, with the recent Patreon furore, lots of folk are unsure on what to do next. Whilst there are a bunch of patreon competitors on offer, one option is to set up a micro-patron system. This is slightly more work than the one-stop-shop of Patreon; you'll be taking money via PayPal, and dealing with having your own website, using a mailing list, and so on. On the other hand, setting up your own Micro-Patron system is potentially great for creators who can manage it.

So, firstly you need a website, and a PayPal account. If you're looking to build a basic website, you can get good hosting for around £5/month, and there are probably some cheaper free options available. If you're new to website creation, setting up WordPress is probably your best bet - it's free, and it comes bundled as an option on most free hosting packages. You can get Wordpress sites hosted with them as a free host, too, but I'm not sure if the PayPal embed system works with those as they're lacking some features - if anyone can let me know whether this is the case, please comment below!

Once you've got a website set up, you need to create a page for your Micro-Patron system. Add the text copy, any videos and images you want, just like you would on Patreon or any other system.

Then, create the subscription buttons via your paypal account and paste the embed codes that PayPal created onto the page where you wanted it. In most website systems, this is an easy case of directly copying over the HTML. PayPal has its own guides (click the links for more) on how to set up subscription buttons as well as donate buttons, and you can create multiple buttons to produce different tiers of subscription. These can be tweaked to make them adhere to your site's design aesthetic, but that’s not necessary. If you want help with this step of the process, ask in the comments below!

If you want an example of how this might look in practice, check out some people who've already done it and their page at: Simple, neat, showcases the subscription tiers and rewards clearly. You could do something fancier, but it's certainly not hard to produce a clean look like this one.

The next step is to do a PR push, email your supportive community, social media push, etc. If you're moving from a site like Patreon, work out if you can export patron contact info in a spreadsheet which you could then import into MailChimp/Constant Contact or just a mass email in gmail (using your email as the first contact and bcc’ing the rest to keep emails private of course) to let them know you’re leaving and asking them to switch over to your site instead. Mailchimp is free and a pretty good way of handling bulk mail of this sort - your own email is likely to be fine for a few tens of patrons, but if you grow to the 90s or into three figures you'll probably want a bulk email client.

How can you get exclusive patron rewards? That can rely on your email list too - with a system like mailchimp you can use their subgroups feature to identify & send to subscribers. This takes a bit of book-keeping but looks a very clean and professional way to work. If you're concerned at the low readership rate of email, you can supplement this with something like a private Facebook group or even webforum which you can keep as subscribers only.

Many thanks go to the wonderful folk at, especially Kimberly who provided much of the content. They have their own, longer version of this tutorial with more images which you can find here. If you have comments on this article, please post replies and I'll do my best to get back to you. Kimberly has offered to give advice to people who're directly involved in setup of the above; if you want setup assistance email us at exilian(at)exilian(dot)co(dot)uk and we'll answer or pass you on to Kim depending on whether we can help with the specific query.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 01:12:19 PM by Jubal »
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