The Monkey Gets A Tin Cup: Patreon

Well, I’ve set up a Patreon page.

I did so with a bit of hesitation. Why in the world would anyone support me? I’m just another middle-aged guy building plastic toys and blabbering about it on the interwebs. That’s certainly not unique by any stretch.

Previously, I’ve supported my work by selling what I make on Ebay, which has worked out fine. However, as I focus more and more on a continual writing and publishing cycle, that income is beginning to fall behind expenses. Not only in terms of the typical modeling supplies, but also in website hosting. It’s a good problem to have – traffic is up almost 400% since April!

However, we’re not in a position as a family to afford sustaining this effort at such a level of growth. Still, I do love building, writing, and sharing with friends around the world. And I don’t want to slow down, honestly.

It finally dawned on me that I am essentially publishing an online web magazine. And after much thought, number crunching, more than a bit of prayer, consultation with some friends who also publish online, and numerous wrestling matches with self doubt, I decided to give Patreon a go.

What Is Patreon?

Patreon is a website designed to allow content creators and people who want to support their work to be connected in a very convenient way. The creator receives some amount of income from it, and the patron receives some benefit in return. It’s not a “Go Fund Me” kind of thing, focused on raising money towards a single goal. It’s simply a way that you as a reader can choose to help out each month by financially supporting my efforts. You may decide to do so for a month, or hang around for years. It’s completely up to you, and I am grateful for whatever you can do.

So What’s Going To Change? And Not Going To Change?

Reading this blog is absolutely free, and will of course remain so. Additionally, I connect with friends who enjoy keeping up with my work through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Those are free also. If you’re already following my work through one of those avenues, nothing will change. Multiple blog articles weekly, updates of what I’m working on, the #tbt articles when I find one, and the other silliness I post. 🙂

So none of that will change. If you choose to support me in those ways, simply by following my work for free, I am certainly most grateful for that. I want to share the joy of the hobby with everyone.

What will change are some additional benefits I’ll offer to Patreon supporters.

I’ll be adding additional content to Patreon. Items that are perhaps a bit more involved than a quick hit social media post, but not quite as fleshed out as a full blog post. I’ll be offering additional insights into some of the regular blog posts, detailing more of the  points that I may have addressed on the website, or maybe looking at a facet of it I didn’t write about. Additionally, when I find content from around the web that I find helpful, I’ll share that, with a bit of commentary as to why I found it helpful. 

Also included will be opportunities for greater interaction with my Patreon friends. I’ll seek input (through polls, etc.) on things to build next, or ideas for future content. While I value input from everyone, I’ll really be seeking to deliver the content patrons would like to see, whenever possible.

I’ll also post more in-depth tips, product thoughts, and other (hopefully) helpful modeling information. Again, the focus will be on things that are somewhere in between social media and blog post.

What are the levels of support?

Right now I’m starting with just one, The Monkey Supporter is $2 per month, and includes all of the items I just outlined above.

Starting early in 2019, I’ll add two more tiers.

The Monkey Enthusiast level will be $5 per month, and will add video to the mix. While I plan to have both public and Patreon exclusive videos, the intent is to focus on Patreon exclusive videos. As I get closer to opening that one up, I’ll have more details. And I’ll be sure to publish a few previews so everyone will see what is being offered.

Both the Supporter and Enthusiast level will also include listing your name on a special “Thank you” page on the website.

The third level to be introduced in 2019 will be Monkey Fanatic. This level is $10 per month, and features all benefits included for previous tiers. The fanatic level will add include a “Thank you” box on every page of the website, and if requested, a link to your own website. (A great way to get an inbound link!) It will also offer a 10% discount for any models purchased from my Ebay site. This level will be limited to 15 people. It’s specifically designed to help provide long term support for the site’s hosting, bandwidth, and server storage, as well as equipment upgrades, etc.. As the date gets closer for opening that level up, I’ll have more details.

OK, Sounds Reasonable. But…

The bottomline is that Patreon will help me continue to create, and hopefully you’ll find the benefits of that very useful. And because every model won’t necessarily have to be decided upon based on how well it will sell on Ebay, I can branch out into other projects.

The folks who choose not to become a Patreon supporter will still be able to get all the things they are getting now. And the Patreon supporters will receive additional benefits that (I hope) will be fun, useful, and contribute to your enjoyment of the hobby.

I like to look at it this way: I quite often visit the local Barnes and Noble bookstore. I get my coffee, a cookie, and a few model magazines. Barnes and Noble freely allows me to sit and read the magazine, and then put it back on the shelf. I can consume that content at no charge. (I don’t even have to buy coffee!) However, I do from time to time take the magazine I am reading to the checkout counter, lay my cash down, and head home with it. In doing so, I help support those content creators who have worked hard so that I can enjoy the magazine.

So supporting Scale Models through Patreon is much like buying a model magazine now and again. It’s a simple transaction that works for both parties.

I am grateful for every reader, everyone one of the Likes, Shares, comments, and messages I receive from so many people around the world. And if you do opt to support my work through Patreon, I can’t fully describe how honored I am that you would be willing to help me in my goal of sharing the fun this hobby brings with the world – and deliver to you some additional fun!

Thanks so much for your consideration, and your support.

Keep on having fun!


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