First of all, big thank to all of you last week that commented and PM’d me with input on the Patreon idea. As usual y’all thought of things that I hadn’t, and helped steer it in (I think/hope?) the right direction.
Let’s talk about what I don’t want. I really definitely do not want to put content that would normally be on this blog behind a paywall. I’ve been doing this thing for 8 years pretty much 5 days a week for no other reason aside from the fact that I (usually) enjoy writing, I enjoy the community, and I enjoy the discussions it’s brought about. I don’t want that to change. Blogs have been dropping like flies the last few years and I don’t want this to be another casualty. So instead of taking anything away from the normal blog posts, content-wise, I’m thinking I would drop down to posting more like 4 days a week on average (sometimes 3 if I’m really strapped) to clear up some time for producing the Patreon content.
All of that said, what I really DO want is to make the Patreon interesting, worth doing, and worth people actually paying money for. If I’m giving you the honest truth, the idea of dabbling in something a little bit different, but still complimentary all together, holds a lot of appeal for me. I’ve been at this thing for a long time… this blog started in 2014, I’m coming up on 2,000 posts and almost 1.5 million words written. That’s a freakin lot. Having the opportunity to accent it with content in other formats makes me feel a little re-invigorated about all of it. And if I’m not going to do something cool and fun and worthwhile, I’d rather not do it at all. So here’s what I’ve got for the membership tiers and what they would include:
$5/mo “Superfan” – this tier gets access to a private Facebook group with more discussions, early updates on stuff, extra details, etc. To be honest there’s a lot that I either don’t post on here, I post vague info about, or wait until it’s very much a done deal before spilling the beans. It’s kind of a lite version of what all is really going on, mostly because I have to remember that anyone and everyone can see this site. With a private group and smaller audience, I could say more and say it earlier. Like, for instance… Presto’s lameness ordeal of the past couple months… I would have updated on that as it was unfolding rather than waiting til the end diagnosis. Or the Ocala property purchase that I didn’t want to give details about until it was all very much wrapped up. We can also do polls for fun things (want to vote on what bridle Gemma gets?) and stuff like that. Think of it as “the rest of the story” or “BreedRideEvent Plus”. I also want the group to very much be a community where discussion is encouraged.
$10/mo “Supporter” – this tier gets access to the above Facebook group plus exclusive Patreon-hosted content, which will be (at minimum) monthly podcasts and vlogs as well as extra written content. Having it at this price bracket will allow us to keep everything ad-free. The items in this tier require a little assistance in the form of Hillary, who will co-host the podcast and some of the vlogs with me and help with production. We do a lot together, she’s leasing Henry, and she co-owns Gemma, so it’s a partnership that makes sense, we’re friends so we banter well, and she’s someone that you guys already “know”. We’ll also bring in other blog “regulars” like Bobby and Michelle as guests to keep things interesting (I feel like a lot of y’all would love listening to Bobby absolutely roast me for an hour, or hear Michelle talk more about her mares and foals and breeding philosophy). We’ll give more detail about ourselves and our horses, talk about whatever is going on at the moment, discuss more controversial topics, new and cool things that are coming out, etc. When we take trips, go to shows, during the Ocala move, when we restart Gemma under saddle, etc I’ll do some vlogs with a lot more detail and more footage than you would get elsewhere. The white breeches post that the regular blog gets? Patreon gets a vlog version as well, with way more detail, as well as a regular schooling breeches vlog. The results from Gemma’s genetic testing? Blog gets the key points interpreted by me, Patreon gets to see the full report PDF and a fully detailed breakdown. You get the idea. For written content I’m also thinking I could actually publish all those bloodlines spreadsheets I’m always making, plus Hillary has some great budgeting spreadsheets and tools like that as well. This is also where I’ll put the “Where Are They Now?” WTW foal updates as we hear news from their owners. Patrons from this tier as well as the next VIP tier will also be invited to submit topic requests and participate in AMA’s for the podcast or vlogs.
$15/mo “VIP” – It’s hard to gauge how much interest there would be in this tier so we’d have to see how many we got and if it was feasible enough to keep it long term, but this would include the fb group and all the extra Patreon content, plus a “thank you” package of goodies when you sign up (I’ve already got stuff planned out and am fairly pleased with myself, and yes it will also include a card signed by humans and horses because who wouldn’t want a Henry tongue-print and a Presto nose boop?), as well as automatic entry into monthly giveaways for cool stuff. Good stuff, not lame stuff. We’ll kick it off with a bang by giving away a Seaver girth sleeve on March 1.
Shoutout to Aimee L who not only sneakily found her way to the Patreon early, but became our first Patron and first VIP – getting the ball rolling in style
I think all of this is feasible with Hillary’s help in addition to cutting out a day a week (on average anyway) of the regular blog. Then the Patrons would still be getting something fun for their money, I would still have time to produce the type and quality of content I would be happy putting out (again, with Hillary’s help), and the people who don’t want to pay for any of it can still continue getting pretty much the same content here.
Hopefully this is a solution that will keep everyone happy! If you want to be a Patron, we would absolutely love to have you on board for what we’ve got planned. But it not, that’s okay too. ❤