Should I open a Patreon, or a Ko-fi? This question has come up a lot recently…
Services like Patreon and Ko-fi let creators make money from their content. Instead of relying on a tiny percentage revenue share from YouTube or Google ads, it’s now possible for bloggers, artists, cosplayers, streamers and all types of creators to use these services to receive money directly from fans.
Most people have heard of Patreon’s subscription model for creators. Patrons subscribe, pledging a monthly amount to access exclusive content. Lots of creators love Patreon, but it isn’t right for everyone. The increasing fees and commitment to publish a large quantity of content across multiple tiers has made some look for a Patreon alternative.
So what about Ko-fi? How is it different?
The Free Tip Jar Option
Ko-fi has a free service that works just like a tip jar. Creators direct fans to their page to leave a tip (roughly the price of a coffee) and message of support. Creators can post updates, share images in the Gallery and thank fans for their support. It’s a simple, friendly and free way to start making money online.
More than 300,000 bloggers, artists, podcasters, developers, cosplayers and all kinds of creators have received more than $12m using Ko-fi.
No Platform Fee
Ko-fi is by far the most cost-effective way to start making an income from fans of what you do. Unlike Patreon and other services, Ko-fi doesn’t take a cut of your donations and we don’t charge supporters extra either. The only transaction fee is what the payment processors charge.
Patreon and others charge creators a platform fee, typically 5–12% of the funds received by the creator. They also have to charge supporters taxes such as VAT for EU supporters (usually around 20%). Unless your creative business is VAT registered you will not need to charge VAT on Ko-fi.
Direct, Instant Payments
Because Ko-fi doesn’t take a cut of the transaction, creators get paid immediately from their fans. Other platforms like Patreon make creators wait until the end of the month or build up a minimum balance before withdrawing funds. With direct payments there are no fees, no waiting and no risk to your money.
Buttons & Widgets
Ko-fi lets you create buttons to add to your website, tumblr or blog. You can personalize the message and choose any color. If you use WordPress we have a plugin which makes it super simple to add a custom Ko-fi button to any Page, Post, Widget area or Sidebar too.
Goals, Galleries and Posts
Create a funding Goal, fill your Gallery with your best work and write Posts to update your fans. Sharing images and Posts directly from Ko-fi makes the request for support more natural and gives supporters a reason to keep returning to your Page. You can even create a custom image to display when you share your Page on social sites.
Gold also unlocks subscriptions and commissions options and lets creators reward supporters with exclusive content. These Posts can be made available to one-off donators or monthly recurring subscribers.
Here are some Ko-fi Gold Pages we Love.
Commissions — New
Unlike Patreon, Ko-fi lets supporters Commission a creator to make something unique for them. Creators can display their commissions status, create a menu with add-ons and show available slots. Payment is taken directly and upfront to protect the creator.
Stream Alerts — New
Get notified mid-stream when you receive a donation with Ko-fi Stream Alerts. Creators can show their Ko-fi link and choose the message that displays when a donation comes in. It’s really simple to setup and works on all kinds of broadcasting apps like OBS and XSplit.
Lots of creators choose Ko-fi because they don’t want to be forced to churn out lots of content every month. Here at Ko-fi we want creators to have the freedom to publish what they want, when they want. No commitment. No pressure.
Claim your Free Ko-fi Page
It only takes a couple of minutes to claim your unique page name and start funding your passions on Ko-fi.