So you have set up your Patreon page and… crickets.
No-one is visiting it.
Well, in this article I want to showcase all the ways you can drive traffic to your Patreon page so you can start getting more exposure and, more importantly, more patrons.
Let’s kick this off with the obvious.
The BEST way to launch a Patreon page is with an already established community of fans.
This is because you will already have a group of people – your community – you can tell about your launch. This means more traffic and (hopefully) being able to start off with a group of patrons immediately.
Having said this, you can still have a successful Patreon page without a community already established, but you will need to work at building that community of fans post-launch.
You see, a lot of the people who are successful on Patreon are that way because they already had a big following before launching their Patreon.
And those fans just came across and decided to start supporting them.Patreon can be successful for you, but you need a community of fans to support you. Click To Tweet
If you don’t already have a fanbase, then you need to build one – and this is something you can do on Patreon, but you will need to start by sending traffic to your Patreon page.
So, how do you do that?
There are quite a few ways to promote your Patreon page and send traffic to it.
I have broken these down into four categories:
This all involves creating content away from your Patreon page and then using it to drive traffic to your page.
Let’s kick it off with content.
There are two things you need to do before you start creating content:
- Know who you are creating the content for, and
- Understand what those people actually want
Know who your target audience is
You need to understand who your ideal patron is.
In fact, it’s one of the most important thing you can do.
How do you know who your ideal patron is?
If you already have patrons then you can have a look at them and see what traits they have in common.
Are they all under 25 and male?
Then that’s good place to start to understand who your ideal patron is.
Once you have this basic idea, you just have to go and find more of them.
This will help your content and posting in several important ways:
- It will allow you to write content with that ideal patron in mind (so you can attract more) – this includes the topics of the content and the format (animated GIF vs written post)
- It will allow you to know where to post – if all your current patrons are under 25 and male then Tumblr or Snapchat might be a good place to start a community
Once you know who you want to target, the next trick is to understand what they want.
Understand what your fans want
You can understand what your audience wants in two basic ways:
- Ask them, and
- Observe them
Asking them is as simple as publishing a poll – this can be on Patreon, Facebook, your website, or using Google Drive or SurveyMonkey
Zapier has a great guide all about creating surveys, but the section on asking effective questions is particularly good.
It lists the various types of questions you can ask – multiple choice, checkbox, open-ended, etc – and also some of the pitfalls to be cautious of – like asking biased or leading questions.
The great thing about Patreon is they have a built in poll function.
Observing them is as easy as looking at what they are reacting to with your content and posts. If you get a lot of likes and comments on a post, you know it resonated with them.
If you get a couple of likes or none at all, then it’s pretty safe to assume it didn’t resonate.
This is why testing different types of posts is a good idea – you will quickly see what works and what doesn’t, and you can do more of the former and less of the latter.
Use your Analytics
Patreon come with some basic analytics and it’s helpful to have a look at them.
Also, Facebook has Page analytics (and soon to have Group analytics as well) which will tell you how many people engaged with your posts. And, more importantly, clicked on a link leading to your Patreon page.
Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest have similar analytics as well.
If you have a website you can use Google Analytics to see who is clicking through to your Patreon page.
Use these to judge which content is working.
So, what if you don’t have any patrons?
If you have a few or no patrons at all, then you can still get an idea of who your ideal patrons are by looking at your current fans.
Have a look at your current fanbase from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr – wherever you are – and see which might be able to afford to sponsor you.
This is important as you may have a lot of people following you, but can they afford to be your patron?
If you are starting from nothing
If you are starting from a base of zero with no following or fans at all you have your work cut out for you.
You will need to focus on building this up by using the methods outlined below, but until this happens you will need to have a bit of a guess.
Think about who you would like as a patron and see if this is realistic given what content you are putting out – do these match?
Come up with an idea and then expect it to change over time as you get more fans and learn more about them.
The ideal patron I mentioned before isn’t s static profile – it will change as you find out more information about them.
Produce more consistent content
This brings me to the next point – you need to be publishing content consistently and regularly.
Come up with a content calendar for yourself and stick to it.
Buffer has a great article on creating a content calendar (especially for you creative types) and some various software you can use.
I prefer using a spreadsheet on Google Drive for planning, and my Google Calendar for scheduling, but you could easily use Excel/Outlook combo as well.
The trick with consistent content is to plan it ahead of time and don’t plan to create too much that it overwhelms you.
If you can post every day then great!
But if you can only manage once a week, then do that.
Just make sure you stick to it and be consistently publishing posts when you say you will.
Your follows and patrons will come to expect those regular posts and even look forward to them.
And if you want to throw in a couple of additional ones then that will surprise and delight them.When it comes to content, under promise and over deliver. Click To Tweet
This is a much better strategy than over-promising and then disappointing.
You only have seconds to capture someone’s attention and your Patreon post’s headline could be all someone sees.
If your headline sucks, or is boring, or doesn’t explain what the post is about then people won’t click and your traffic will suffer as a result.
So it pays to work on your headlines and spend a bit of time on getting it right.
Jeff Goins has a great little article on how to write catchy headlines I recommend you having a look at.
The articles covers what you should include in a headline to grab people’s attention.
Including numbers, interesting-sounding adjectives, and a unique rationale are just some of the tips Jeff gives.
Use Mixed Media
Use photo and video in your posts as well as plain text.
By using a mixture – either in the same post or in different posts – you will capture people who want to consume your content in different ways.
This may just mean creating a minute long video of you talking about what you have written in the post and including the video in the post as well.
This will allow people to choose whether they watching the video or read the copy.
You can also mix up the types of posts – post a video today and a image + text tomorrow.
Make it mobile-friendly
By default Patreon is mobile-friendly but you will need to make sure your content is good for mobile.
By this I mean the type and format of the content.
Is it short and punchy? Is it engaging? Is the image you have used “scroll-stopping”? (People scroll through their feeds pretty quickly).
Is it designed to get them to click?
And this goes equally for your Patreon posts and any that you share on other social platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.
Use your keywords in your post’s headline, if possible.
You should have a list of keywords that align with what you are doing.
For example, if you are a writer of horror fiction then your keywords could be:
- Horror stories
- Fiction stories
Keep these handy and try and weave them into your headlines and copy of your posts.
NOTE: Don’t spam these keywords – make them flow with the rest of the text.
Bad headline example:
Horror fiction story fiction that will scare you scared
Good headline example:
Think you have been scared before? Get ready for my latest horror story!
These keywords will not only help people to click through from other sites, but will help your Patreon page’s SEO on Google and other search engines.
If you aren’t sure what SEO is, Moz has a comprehensive beginner’s guide to SEO I recommend you read.
You know all that great content you spent ages on?
Don’t just share it once!
Share it a dozen times on various platforms.
Even some older content can be reused (even if it may need updating).
This is called re-purposing content.
Hootsuite has an article talking about how and what to repurpose which will give you a great understanding about it. [https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-repurpose-content/]
Now you have an idea of who you are targeting and what content you want to deliver to them, you now have to decide how and where you want to post.
This section deals with where you can post to drive traffic.
There are several blogging platforms which allows your content to get shared around.
The three biggest would be Tumblr, Medium and LinkedIn’s Pulse.
For each of these platforms you can create an account and then start blogging.
Each has internal tools which helps your post get shared and seen, and if you include links to your Patreon page this could mean a good stream of traffic to your page.
Each of these platforms has it’s own demographic and so it’s important to know who your target audience is before committing to any of them.
Guest posting is where you write a blog post for another person’s blog so it drives traffic to your own.
In this case you can link back to your Patreon page instead of your website or blog.
If you choose the blog you guest blog for wisely – matching its audience with your own target audience – then you can drive a lot of targeted eyeballs to your page.
Ghost has a pretty good introduction to guest posting if you are interested in getting started with this traffic driver.
Moz also has a good “Whiteboard Friday” video as well.
Similar to guest blogging, but with less effort involved, you can choose a few blogs and comment on their blog posts. Usually when you comment, your name with a link to your website will be shown with it.
Again, you can add your Patreon page instead of your website.
If you can make your comments high enough quality, adding something to the conversation then this can drive some traffic to your Patreon page.
NOTE: Don’t spam blogger’s comment section! Make sure you are adding to the conversation.
I have separated out Facebook Groups because they are so valuable.
If you can find a group with a similar interest or topic to what you do – a group dedicated to fan-fiction if that’s what your Patreon page is about – then it can be a boon for sending traffic to your Patreon page.
Again, you don’t want to spam the group.
You want to help people in there and join the discussions. Once people get to know you they will get to know what you do. And they will be interested.
It’s all about networking online.
Another good place to network and get known is a forum.
If you can find a forum that covers your topic then join and jump into the conversation, similar to Facebook Groups above.
NOTE: Just make sure you follow the forum or group rules or you may find yourself booted.
Other websites you may like to try and get known on are:
- A sites like Quora
All of these can be used to get people’s attention and driving them to your Patreon page.
Just remember to choose groups (or questions, in the case of Quora) that align with your niche or industry.
Linking to your Patreon page at every opportunity is really important.
I have written about this before, but I will go over this again as it’s important to make sure you are driving as many people to your Patreon page as possible – especially in the beginning.
I see a lot of Facebook Pages and website where I struggle to find the link to the Patreon page – and I was looking for it!
You need to make sure all your profiles have the link to your Patreon page.
This means on your Facebook Page and Profile, your Twitter profile, Instagram profile, any blogs you have, and so on.
As well as having it clear on every page of your website.
Don’t make it difficult for someone to support you!
Also, make sure your email signature has the link.
This is something someone will see each and every time you email them, so don’t be shy!
Tell people about your Patreon Page
If you are speaking or at a networking event, let people know about what you do and about your Patreon page.
Again, this isn’t the time to be shy.
You need to be confident enough to let people know what it is you are working on. Especially if you are asked “What do you do?”
You could also use ads to drive traffic to your Patreon page.
Small amount of money spent targeting the right niche audience could pay off for you – especially to gain those first few patrons.
Ads can cost you a little in the short-term but in the long run, if you can pick up some loyal patrons it’s money well spent.
As the saying goes: it’s who you know, not what you know.
Networking, whether that’s online or off, is important.
Inc has a good article on how to network effectively.
And this doesn’t need to be scary or difficult – it’s all about making connections with others who share your interest, are in the same industry as you, or even other creators on Patreon.
Bringing It All Together
Creating great content, that is easily consumed and readable, posted to the right platforms, and targeted at the right people can drive a great deal of traffic to your Patreon page.
But you don’t need to do all of what I mentioned in this article.
You can always just choose to start posting and networking on Tumblr and share your Patreon posts on Facebook to start creating interest and traffic.
Or you could start guesting posting and commenting on blog posts to get the traffic rolling in.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are consistent and give it time to work.
Over to You
What tactic would you most likely choose to do? Or do you have your own ideas to share?