So you've read the blog about Setting up a Successful Writer Patreon and heard about Kofi. Now, you wonder if the grass is greener on the other side. As someone who has an account on both sites, allow me to share with you my findings.
Patreons to credit: -This could be you. Join now.-
Before I start explaining, it would be better for you to check out how I've designed both my Patreon and Kofi by clicking on the hyperlinks. It would be easier to follow along with the rest of the blog with a demonstration.
#1: Donations vs Subscription
Both platforms offer both one-time donations and subscriptions. However, Patreon is more geared towards monthly subscriptions, and Kofi is geared more towards one-time donations. There is less pressure to do a monthly subscription on Kofi than on Patreon, so if your writing is geared towards free will to donate to the writer and not selling a product or service for monthly followers, Kofi would do better than Patreon.
In the case of monthly content, my preference is Patreon, as it has tags that make navigation and tier settings simpler. The readers can also read from their emails instead of visiting the site to check it out. It is easier to setup writing content on Patreon than on Kofi in my opinion.
This is subjective. Kofi is tax-friendly as it does not have any platform charges unless you opt-in for it. Even if you opt-in, they only charge based on donations received at a 5% flat rate. However, for Patreon, it depends on which 'plan' you are on. I am still under their founder's plan, so the rate is technically at 5% or payment earned on the platform, but that excludes payment processing, currency conversion, payout fees, and applicable taxes which can add up to 20% of fees received. You can find Patreon's full terms here.
Below is a screenshot of Patreon's breakdown for their fees and miscellaneous payments that aren't very consistent with what they charge me. I can safely say that although people pledge to me $1 a month, I'm receiving less than $1 from them after all the math.
Unfortunately, I have not received any donations on Kofi's side (I use it for my streaming activities, mostly related to my second channel for music and games). I can't share the accuracy of the fees and charges breakdown for you, but here is a reference from my video editor Michan and his claims about how it works because I use Kofi to transfer him payment after every batch of clips is complete.
The above is a screenshot that Michan shared with me. As you can see, he did not opt-in for 5% platform fees, so they charged him nothing there. USD9 was my one-time donation to h,im and the only charge he had was a Paypal transaction fee that isn't even 10% of the payment received, compared to Patreon's Payment Fees. However, do note that transferring from these platforms into your Paypal or to your bank may incur additional charges on top of this. The net amount stated here isn't what you will receive in your bank.
#3: Membership Content vs Commission
The one thing that sets Patreon and Kofi apart is the ability to take on business commissions. Patreon lacks that flexibility but Kofi allows creators to use their platform as a safe payment gateway for small content creators taking on job assignments that can be customised. I've seen many vtuber artists and music mixers using it to accept job commissions similar to Fiverr. There is even an option to make downloaded e-products free. People can still donate when they want to. It's a great way to give back to its community compared to Patreon which tries to put many things behind a paywall of exclusivity.
Honestly, if I hadn't started building my index with Patreon with Time Cross Academy and the free e-course, I might have considered the switch. It's a little too late for me now until I finish Time Cross Academy's After Stories Collection there.
#4: Streaming & Website Widget
There's no contest here. Although Patreon was probably the first to come up with the discord-integrated bot to assign roles to creator servers for supporters, Kofi has taken it up a notch and tied up with streamers. Kofi's on-stream widgets for donations are easy to implement and customisable. For creators who have not gotten any monetisation contracts from streaming platforms, it is a great way for them to receive funding from their viewers.
#5: Subscriber Email Notification
I'll be honest here. I'm torn between perspectives when doing comparisons for Patreon email notifications and Kofi's. I'm a supporter of several creators of Kofi and have received emails whenever they upload something new. However, unlike Patreon which gives subscribers the ease of reading from the inbox, Kofi wants the viewers to click on a link that would redirect them to the platform's site to see what's new.
As a creator, I love the idea that Kofi has. Directing viewers back to the site gives click-in rates and more interactivity. People are more likely to drop likes and comments after reading a post rather than lurk if they were brought directly to the post source. Most readers on Patreon would read it from their email and save it or delete it soon, leaving the poor author on read, not knowing if they read it and loved it or hated it.
It all comes down to personal preference here. Both sites work similarly in terms of posting blogs. The posts can be scheduled in advance so you don't miss updating your readers for any advanced chapters or special content. You can add images, videos and hyperlinks for both sites so there really isn't much of a difference, just up to preference.
Because I'm not just a writer, I would prefer Kofi. The streaming support from that platform and the transparency of its rates with more flexibility to give back to a community bought me over. However, as I have already invested too much in Patreon with a commitment to finish the on-going project I started, my conversion would have to wait.
New writers, which platform would you choose to create your exclusive content with?