IF I were to do this (and that’s a big if)…

So, I’ve had several people suggesting lately that I should look into getting a Patreon. To be honest, I know very little about Patreon. I do support one account on there (Eventing Nation) but other than that the extent of my knowledge is that Elisa Wallace has an active one that she’s always talking about, and that some podcasts put special episodes on Patreon. That’s it.

Patreon Review | PCMag

Clearly I have extremely little knowledge of or experience with it. I’m not necessarily against the idea, but I have a hard time imagining what kind of content anyone would actually be interested enough to pay for. And then, do I have the bandwidth to make said content actually be decent enough that it’s worth it to people, and then would enough people pay for it to make it worth my while to create it?

I’m certainly not Eventing Nation or Elisa Wallace (um, obviously) so like… what the heck could I possibly put on there that would be of interest or value? I’m not bringing you news, nor am I pro rider with training tips and stuff like that, and I definitely have no interest in doing anything remotely like that. I mean… I could explore the idea of a podcast I suppose… maybe me and Hillary with some Bobby and Michelle sprinkled in, or other bloggers as guests? I have no idea wtf anyone would want to hear us talk about, and probably would only be able to produce like 2 episodes a month. I’ve been on one podcast episode before as a guest and I’m not sure if I felt like I was very good with speaking… that was a couple years ago and I can’t seem to find the podcast anymore to re-analyze how I feel about it.

Cringe GIFs | Tenor
how I feel every time I hear my own voice

Vlogs are another idea, if I could think of things that people would actually want to watch on the regular, but again I would probably only be able to produce a couple a month because those are really time consuming to make too. Or I guess a mix of both? I’m not sure what else there is aside from merch and stuff that like, which… meh.

The breeding content is the stuff that, time-wise, has the most value (and it’s the only thing I feel qualified enough to make any kind of “educational” type stuff about), but I don’t know that it has enough interest for anyone to care much about extra content on the subject. Plus I may have something in the works with EN on that front so it would probably be a conflict of interest to have things on both places.

I don’t really want to take things away from the normal blog and force people to pay for Patreon just to get updates… that seems shit. I don’t want people to have to sign up and pay money just to follow along with the basics of what’s going on. So I’m trying to think of it more as bonus content, I’m just struggling to guess what anyone would care enough about to actually pay for that I don’t already say/do on here. And like… how much a month is any of this worth to anyone? Thoughts? Ideas? Yay or Nay to the idea? If I’m going to bother to do it at all I want to make sure it’s not lame. Feel free to tell me no.

34 thoughts on “IF I were to do this (and that’s a big if)…

  1. I really don’t think you need to do extra content for a Patreon. I’d subscribe just bc I know how much work goes into blogging every day, taking photos, responding to comments, etc.
    I’m a Patreon for Horse Radio Network (side note, if you want to do a podcast you might reach out to them so you wouldn’t have to produce) and Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic. HRN has a private Facebook group for Patreons (they call them Auditors) and they do special live Facebook updates for that group. I’m new to Springhill, but you get access to an equine veterinarian, a private Facebook group and such.
    For yours you could also do a private facebook group where you share things maybe that you don’t want out on the blog. You could also do things like make items you have available for sale only to your Patreons first, special blog posts only they can see in Patreon.
    I just would hate to see to it generate more work for you unless it’s REALLY worth it (aka you get like 200 Patreons).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need to look at other Patreons more and see what they do. Hillary and I have been talking this morning some more and I think together we might be able to offer some extra stuff that people might like! I’d really like to offer something extra if I’m going to take peoples money lol.

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  2. I think you are majorly selling yourself short – you are a content creator and that has a ton of value. I dont think you would need to do more than just blog posts – you could just drop posts earlier to pateron members or maybe do fewer to the public and some just for pateron members. In other circles blogging is a fulltime job, I know that isnt as easy to translate in the horse world but it doesnt make what you do any less valuable. I pay $5 a month for another blogger’s pateron and its honestly not much I get – some things/updates/videos are dropped early for pateron members and occasionally there is a newsletter or update just for pateron members but its not a regular thing. I think a podcast would be amazing but I know its a lot of work. Many podcasts are monthly or even quarterly so it is something you could start small. I think $5/month is super reasonable for just the blog if you wanted to put more into it maybe you could charge more.

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  3. I would absolutely support your Patreon. I support a few Patreon creators, mostly artists who are BIWOC. Some don’t post very often but when they do I really appreciate the content. The ones I support are five dollars a month. As someone who worked in the breeding industry for many years and has recently started breeding on a small scale, mostly for myself, I always appreciate content that is based in breeding. I also second the idea of providing more blog posts to your Patreon or releasing them earlier. Some of the creators I follow will interact more on Patreon than they will on their public sites or IG and that is always a nice bonus. Honestly, I just very much enjoy your writing and would happily support your Patreon.

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  4. I suggested Patreon in a comment on your Presto post and really meant it when I said I would give money even without extra content! I think the community you’ve created through this blog is so lovely that I’d be a bit sad if content that would have gone here gets limited to Patreon (even if I was a Patron), but I also understand that a lot of folks would like something in return.

    I wonder – and this would obviously have to be cost effective based on number of Patrons – if doing a raffle of some kind every couple months for Patrons could work? Like of WTW or Barn Dog Apparel stuff. Or a Presto hoof print painting 😂 That at least wouldn’t require extra content work. And if you did find you have a chiller month (lol what’s that) then yeah, it would be cool to get a special podcast episode of you and Bobby and Hillary, but I also imagine it would feel like a lot of pressure to promise a certain number of those in advance and I wouldn’t want to put that extra burden on you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also wonder if, for the contests you sometimes run, it could make sense to keep the content of the contest here but have participation in the contest be on Patreon. Like for the foaling guessing game – have all the fun foal content here but, to enter guesses and win the prize basket, you’d have to be a Patron. That way everyone still gets to read all the fun things (and it can mitigate the cost of the prize basket).

      Just as another thought!

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  5. I think you’d have to take a hard look at how successful other equestrians have been on Patreon. My impression of it is that it’s like most other things – a handful of people do very well with it, but most people sort of limp along and aren’t getting enough funding for the work they’re putting in. In your shoes, with your self-described and entirely understandable time and energy limitations, I’d want to do a very hard look at how much time extra production would actually take, and whether it would pay you something like a consultant wage – $50+ per hour.

    If you do move forward, I’d say that I see one area of strength for you as your knowledge & understanding of equipment trends. There certainly seems to be an audience that likes to keep on top of things, and that opens up for some possibilities for sponsorship. I once toyed with the idea of a podcast interviewing equestrian businesses and asking them how they developed & made stuff. If you did a public episode interviewing a creator & then put a product givewaway, fun new previews, and a detailed review behind a paywall, you might have an interesting model.

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    1. I’d like to echo this comment. Patreon is certainly not your only option when it comes to making money online, and it relies entirely on active subscriptions. I’d look into Ali Abdaal’s videos on passive income as much of what he earns his money from is derived off of an already existing, dedicated fan base, which is what you already have.

      In terms of what content you’d produce, it somewhat depends on what platform you’re using. With Patreon, you can offer certain perks with different tiers, which can mean physical perks (such as merch, gifts, sponsored items) or just online content. It might make sense in that case to mass produce Barn Dog Apparel but make it something that you can exclusively get through becoming a patron. If you went the route of vlogs/YouTube/Vimeo . . . hell, I’d watch a weekly video of Presto’s antics. With the new property acquisition, you could easily focus on full barn renovations, before & after, product reviews, and the coveted moving vlog. That doesn’t even cover how you could expand on your popular annual posts (Foal Fridays, It’s In The Blood, Black Friday, etc). Vlogs are definitely work though, and even the two that I do per month eat into my weekends. I have seen several creators also lean towards Twitch as opposed to Patreon (and even OF) because the platform is slightly less volatile with the terms of service. I have no idea how it would work for what you do only because Twitch is more live streaming based, but it’s worth it to keep in mind.

      Anyways, that’s enough from me. Just remember that you have options.

      Oh, you could also, like, right a book. I’d buy that!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I do know of one tech blogger who doesn’t put any paid content on her Patreon page. She just blogs as normal, publicly. But she has the Patreon page for folks who want to throw a few $$ her way every month. (it’s actually the model I’ve been considering when I pull back up my tech / business blog).

    I know other bloggers who release everything publicly, eventually. They give it to their Patreon folks a few weeks before releasing it more widely.

    A lot of folks will happily pay for content they could otherwise get for free just because they like the author.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a Patron of Elisa Wallace, partly for the extra content, but mostly because I want to support her. I would certainly be a Patron for you if you decide to go that route. You are knowledgeable, funny, sarcastic (most important), and self-deprecating. You give us a huge window into your personal and horse life, which is a rare gift. I look forward to reading your blog every day and enjoy it regardless of subject matter. I think if you gave a little bit of extra content or early access to content, that would be sufficient. I don’t know what the tax consequences would be for you. I know that with Elisa’s Patreon, I pay taxes and I would imagine she does too. Something else to look in to. So what I’m trying to say is, I vote yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your “in the blood” articles are incredible. May I suggest you also investigate Substack? They are a newsletter platform and are flexible enough to offer both free and subscription combo newsletters. You can send out a newsletter where you have a long intro and then a “click here” for the subscribed content. Take a look at David Lebovitz, for example. I’m not sure if you would like it, but it could give you ideas, and/or give you a place for your in-depth analysis posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love platforms like Patreon but I do have to watch myself because I know that every person who says “it’s only $5 a month” turns into a monthly cost of 5 x the number of people I want to follow adds up quickly. I currently follow 1 person and feel what she puts out it worth the $5. For me what would hook me is videos that are something like how to videos. How you use ground poles, how you do ground work, what I feed my horse in a day, how to start a OOTB, tack and product reviews and fitness for riding. Going to stop there because I could just keep going 🙂 Love your blog and totally think you could come up with something that people would subscribe to.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Our family finances have been up and down lately so I can’t promise to participate, but I agree with other comments. Depending on how much money you want to bring in, you may not need to add anything at all. I adore your blog and I would happily contribute when I can – especially when you’re dealing with major vet bills, as I know how lousy that can be!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I would love to follow you on Patreon mostly to support keeping the blog going. It’s amazing that you have kept it up this long and I love reading every day. I think you could cover all kinds of breeding topics like how you choose who to breed to, understanding pedigrees, conformation that you look at depending on what you want for the outcome. I know these materials are out there, but you break things down and make them so easy to understand.

    Or even topics about barn management/keeping horses at home.

    Also, just as an idea, I would love help finding quality used tack. I don’t have the time or want to scour to find the best deal but you could offer that service on a limited basis for a finders fee. I don’t know if you would want to do that, but I bet others would love help. Plus side, you get to spend our money and find a great deal haha

    Just keep doing what you’re doing. You’ve built such a strong community and we all love to support your time and efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I would be happy to be a patron just to support the blog. You could always do a podcast episode/video to nerd out over breeding during the big events as bonus content for the Patreon feed. You wouldn’t have to do something every single month – just when you get the mood and want to nerd out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Live commenting or streaming during a big show would be cool as a bonus! And hopefully wouldn’t be a huge lift, given you watch them anyway?

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  13. I used to get annoyed with bloggers when they branched into charging for content. Then I started blogging too. And I finally understood how time-consuming it is! Makes sense to offer a paid content option considering the substantial and loyal following you have built. I like Kaylawrj’s idea about having the same content on your Patreon account as your blog, but giving your Patreon folks the content first before posting elsewhere. I also like Kelley’s mention of Sustack with its free and paid membership newsletter options. In any case, I look forward to seeing what you end up offering.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is why I really don’t want to put things behind a paywall that I would normally post here. I don’t want this space to change (except maybe one day a week less of blogging or something to give me some room in my schedule) for those that enjoy having the free entertainment or whatever it is I provide lol. If I did choose to go with a Patreon or something it’s important to me to feel like I’m offering a little something extra or “special” for those that want it.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love love reading your blog because I think you’re sarcastically hysterical and you are so knowledgeable about all the equine things. And I can’t even imagine how time consuming it must be to keep it up daily for so very long with such great content.

    I’m afraid I don’t follow anyone on Patreon and not sure I would as my capacity for new sites/apps/streaming services etc has dwindled significantly over the past few years. I guess I’m old but I’m over all the various platforms…it’s just too much. 🙂

    That being said, I would never try to influence anyone’s decision just because I’m becoming the curmudgeon. 🙂

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  15. Is there something you are already doing that you don’t publish here that would work as special content for Patreon? Pedigree analysis of some kind, for example? Tips on using/managing recip mares? Caring for special needs dogs? Whatever, is you already do it for yourself, it would not require much extra time.

    Your writing is engaging and it might turn into a larger thing. If it doesn’t, you have the option to continue for fun, or to shut it down. Either way, another life experience. 🙂

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  16. The amount of content you put out is amazing. I would happily support it via Patreon though I appreciate your not wanting to be That Person and put everything behind a paywall. It’s an enormous amount of work so don’t sell your time short!

    I come here for the pony stories I’m invested in and the snark. I have enjoyed following first Henry and now the whole crew and will continue to follow, hopefully adding a little monetary support to the moral.

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  17. I would pay a small fee for a patreon, even if it was just a drawing of the pateron followers for a tshirt every couple months or an extra insight to the new barn/presto/moving/logestics/etc. I follow 1 person on pateron, and it seems that sometimes we get alot of extras, and other times they disappear, but I keep following because I enjoy the content when its there. Good luck! Seems like alot of good options have been given by others too!

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  18. I’m sadly also in the curmudgeon camp – I love your blog: the sarcasm, wit, information, product reviews, goings ons with horses that I now feel invested in, etc. BUT it’s not something I could justify paying to read. Nothing to do with your blog, everything to do with me and what I choose to pay money for: I was on hulu and spotify free for years and years and years. Fun techy toys that require a paid subscription to use an app? Nope, that’s not my thing even if I really want the fun techy toy. Such a curmudgeon.

    That said, I think you do produce content in a way that people enjoy and some of them will be willing to pay for it. So perhaps it’s worth it. I remember when you were talking about doing a blog and I was skeptical that people would want to read multiple editions as week. I was wrong about that…even for myself…so perhaps a Patreon would be a hit.

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  19. I personally don’t spend my money on content in that way, but if it was an opportunity for you to bring in some extra money, you should definitely explore it! I think the breeding stuff you share is worth something for sure. I’m not sure how wide the audience would be either, but maybe try it and see since it’s something you enjoy anyway.

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  20. no particular thoughts on the Patreon stuff, but I can say that I hope you are monteising the visibility you give to products. I have certainly purchased several things I first learned about from this blog (Punk Ponies were thrilled when I told them you’d not only purchased but blogged), and I think companies need to make it worth your while in some way shape or form. I especially appreciate the blogging about horse tech, as so few do it, and you do it so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I second so many of the other commenters on here.
    There are a few other blogs that I follow that have a Patreon, that I don’t support. However, they are travel blogs and I feel as if their content can be found elsewhere. There are so very few people investing the time, energy and passion into blogging about horses, especially from the eventing viewpoint. I would definitely be a supporter, regardless if there were extra “perks” because your blog is one of the few I look forward to reading everyday.
    Again, I agree with some of the other suggestions you’ve received above. I’d love to know more about products you have tried (and loved or hated) above and beyond the casual post. Perhaps even first dibs (to Patreon members) when you decide to sell your gear? Some “how-to” guides that might be of interest (determined by a poll) and updates we don’t typically get on here (although if one follows you on instagram, you’re already pretty awesome at “day in the life”).

    In general, my thought is: a few months ago you suggested cutting back the number of your posts/week. I think there are quite a few people who enjoy reading your content that we’d happily pay for your time spent everyday. Not that this should become paywalled, just acknowledgement of the time and effort we know you put into this space everyday.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Use your knowledge and passion for learning about horse breeding. Offer your Patreon members the chance for them to send in their horse’s name and whatever other vital info (tattoo for TB) and you research the breeding. Then you write a Patreon piece sharing the breeding and who is related and their quirks etc. The owner becomes educated, other readers learn, and best of all you retain the info to fatten up your breeding encyclopedia of knowledge.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. I’ve supported a lot of content creators through Patreon and it really varies! Some folks set it up as a tip jar — members can pay as little as $1/month and maybe they get a newsletter every few months, or early access to a blog post, art piece, or upcoming book. Some folks have tiers and really throw themselves into different content for different tiers but tbh a lot of the time they get overwhelmed and end up putting things on pause or apologizing and being super stressed all the time. I’m very happy with my $1-$3 tip jar accounts, and I think that would work well for your stuff — maybe sometimes a sneak peek at pictures, or a poll for dressing up Presto, but mostly just a way for your readers to say they appreciate you and want to directly support you.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Tried twice, maybe this will work.
    Ko-Fi gives readers the options of “buying you a coffee” on occasion without committing to a subscription. You can also set up a subscription tier. It does not require navigating to another app for content. I think you don’t need to add more work for yourself- you do enough for this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I’m in the curmudgeon camp. Just because I don’t personally spend money on content or subscriptions. It’s a combination of being cheap AF and not wanting to spend more of my life/time on a screen. Personal decisions and all that.

    I do love reading your blog and I follow on Instagram. I know it takes a lot of time and effort to do what you’re doing. I rarely even remember to take a picture of my horses when I’m out feeding/riding/whatever. You clearly have created a huge following in your years blogging and I’m sure you could make some money in it if you decided to–I certainly wouldn’t blame you for it, even if it meant I didn’t get to follow along as much.

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  26. I would suggest both Patreon and something one-off like buymeacoffee.com . I support a few Patreons and my mindset is “I appreciate the content that this person produces. I want this to continue.” It doesn’t matter to me that the content is free to anyone on the internet. I’m supporting the creator in general, not getting something that only paying subscribers are allowed to see. Being able to easily send a one time contribution when I find a blog post particularly helpful is also good.

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