By: Grace Chee
One of the best things about being a creator is being able to interact with your fans. Nowadays, many creators have been creating memberships, a method that allows both you and your fans to benefit. Memberships allow creators to receive monthly, stable income, while also allowing fans to receive exclusive, personalized content from you. With memberships, you can create a community of fans that are genuinely interested in your work, and build better relationships with them.
However, finding a good platform to create your memberships can be difficult; while many people resort to social media platforms for monetization, trying to sustain your memberships on such huge platforms won’t earn you much money. But don’t worry! In this article, I’m going to go over some of the most popular platforms you can create your memberships on:
One popular platform that many people create their memberships on is Patreon. On Patreon, you can set up a monthly subscription for your fans where they can make a monthly donation to support your work! In exchange, you can offer exclusive benefits and rewards to your patrons - such as bonus episodes, special merch, shoutouts, and more. For example, musicians on Patreon gate access to music clips, early access to Youtube videos, and more. On Patreon, you can also create different levels (i.e. tiers) of memberships, each containing different content and prices so fans can choose the one that suits them best.
However, please note that on Patreon, you are only limited to monthly memberships -- you cannot create one-time payments or change the monthly timeline to your own personal billing period (weekly, bimonthly, etc). Patreon also makes you wait 30 days to get paid, so if you decide to choose Patreon, make sure that the monthly membership is what you truly want to deliver to your fans.
Another place you can create memberships is MemberPress, which is more catered to bigger creators / an organization of creators. MemberPress is a plugin of Wordpress, and allows you to create your own website where you can manage membership subscriptions. On your website, you can grant fans access to exclusive pages, or exclusive content such as videos, files, events, etc. Since MemberPress is catered towards bigger creators and organizations, its cheapest plan of creating a website starts at $179 / annually.
You can also create memberships on Shopify, a platform more catered to creators / small businesses that want to sell merch. On Shopify, you are able to create your own small online store, and sell merchandise such as clothes, artwork, handmade furniture, etc. To create a membership, you have to download an app on Shopify’s app store called Bold Memberships - this will allow you to show exclusive merchandise on your page to fans only, and have them preview upcoming products. If you are a creator who is only interested in selling merchandise / is interested in creating a small business, Shopify may be for you. For pricing, Shopify is $30/month, and the Bold Memberships is an additional $10/month.
Last but not least, you can also create memberships on Jemi! Jemi is a new platform dedicated to helping creators pursue their creative careers by providing them with all the tools they need to grow and monetize their creativity. Regardless of your creator following, you can gain traction and start earning money through Jemi’s memberships by creating your own personalized website for free. On Jemi, you are not limited to selling only physical merch or shoutouts; you can sell anything that fits your creativity, such as virtual dates with fans, direct messaging, zoom performances, or anything else you’d like. Also, unlike Patreon, fans are charged when they make the payment, not on the first day of the month which is a common painpoint we hear from creators.
To create a membership, you can go to Jemi’s dashboard and choose the different membership levels you would like to sell. Keep in mind that memberships do not always have to be paid, as sometimes you can offer free ones too if you just want to grow your following! For pricing, Jemi only has a 10% transaction fee.
Whichever method you choose, we hope this article helps you create a membership so you can start showcasing your exclusive work! Memberships are always a necessary part of the creator experience as they help you earn predictable revenue and engage with your fans. If you’re interested in more tips on creator monetization, feel free to check out other articles on our blog where we post more tips for creators!
As always, do not hesitate to reach out with any questions (or any suggestions of what you’d like to see!) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!