Looking to make a living as a streamer, cosplayer, artist, or anything else people can pay you over the Internet for?
Patreon and Ko-Fi are two excellent platforms for just that kind of thing. But the dilemma is obvious – there’s two of them, so which one do you choose?
We’ll try to make things simple for you by providing a quick overview of each service and then comparing how each platform handles certain aspects.
What Is Patreon?
Patreon is a platform that allows users (called patrons) to pay you for your work – videos, songs, blog posts, images, video games, etc.
Patrons pay a set amount of money every month or for every post you release. Based on that, you get paid every month or every time you release something.
What Is Ko-Fi?
Ko-Fi is a site that lets people pay you for the things you do. You create a profile and share a link with your fans. Anyone who follows that link can support you with a small payment (called a “Ko-Fi” because it’s roughly the same amount as a coffee).
Patreon vs. Ko-Fi
We focused on certain aspects that would interest you as a content creator the most, and highlighted what each platform does best (or doesn’t).
Patreon: Patreon has tons of integrations with services that let you showcase your work and make creating content easier. Patreon supports tools like Creator Metrics, Sonix, Zapier, WordPress, Vimeo, MailChimp, and more.
Ko-Fi: Ko-Fi works directly with popular platforms like YouTube, WordPress, Twitch, GitHub, Medium, and Instagram. But there’s no API, so you can’t integrate Ko-Fi with all your favorite apps. On the plus side, Ko-Fi has buttons you can embed on your pages.
Patreon: It’s very simple to get started with Patreon. Just go to the sign-up page, fill out the form, submit it, and congrats – you’re part of the Patreon community!
Ko-Fi: Signing up for Ko-Fi is also easy. It takes less than one-two minutes – you just have to enter your name to claim a free page. You can also sign up with Google, Twitter, or Facebook.
Patreon: Unfortunately, Patreon users can’t commission you to create a song, video, or image. They can only offer you donations to get rewards and incentives.
Ko-Fi: Ko-Fi lets you set up a commissions menu, and fans can buy specific pieces of content from you for a set price (tutorials, video chats, etc.). Ko-Fi even lets you lay out your terms and display the number of slots for each offer in the commissions menu.
Patreon: Patreon doesn’t have direct or instant payments. It charges your fans, and then holds the money they donate until you either can withdraw the funds to your accounts near the end of the month, or reach a minimum balance.
Ko-Fi: With Ko-Fi, you don’t need to wait for payments to be processed. They happen instantly! The moment someone makes a pledge, that money is immediately sent to your PayPal or Stripe account.
Patreon: Patreon is not free to use. It has three-tiered subscriptions that each cost you a certain percentage of the money you make. The Lite plan takes 5%, the Pro plan takes 8%, and the Premium plan takes 12%.
Ko-Fi: Ko-Fi is more budget-friendly. It’s free to use it, it doesn’t charge your fans any fees, and it doesn’t take a percentage from your donations. You only have to pay the transaction fee for PayPal or Stripe. Ko-Fi makes money with a paid subscription called Ko-Fi Gold. It gives you more perks (no ads, commissions tools, shorter usernames, etc.) and only costs $6 per month.
Both Patreon and Ko-Fi are great platforms, but Ko-Fi seems better because it doesn’t take a cut out of the money you make. To learn more about both platforms, we recommend checking out GamerGirl’s guide to Ko-Fi and Patreon. It covers what we discussed here more in-depth and also discusses extra things like privacy and security.
What’s your favorite platform out of the two, though? And why? Please share your opinions with us in the comments below.