patreon alternatives

A re you looking for the best Patreon alternatives for artists?

You’re in the right place! In this article, I’ll share some awesome Patreon alternatives for artists to generate recurring income from an audience. 

Many content creators, writers, artists, and podcasters use Patreon to create subscriptions, offer memberships, or accept donations from their supporters. It’s a great way to supplement your income and get paid for the content you put out. 

But, Patreon isn’t right for everyone. 

For example, if you already have a self-hosted WordPress blog, Patreon is just another platform to keep up with. Instead, you should be looking for patreon alternatives that let you add subscriptions to your existing site.  

So, let’s dive into this list of the top Patreon alternatives. I’ll go over the ease of use, features, pricing, and more. 

First, let’s go over some of the disadvantages of Patreon…

What is Patreon? 

what is patreon

Patreon is a popular membership platform used by over 250,000 creators. It was founded in 2013 and it aims to help creators and artists earn a monthly income. 

In exchange for a monthly fee, subscribers get rewards and perks like exclusive content, extra podcast episodes, live chats, etc. 

While many creators use Patreon to monetize their audience, there are drawbacks to the platform. Cons of Patreon include:

  • Patreon Fees – Patreon is free to start but they have 3 different pricing tiers and take up to 12% of the monthly income you earn, depending on the Patreon membership plan you choose. There’s also payment processing fees on top of that, although that’s the same for most sites like Patreon. 
  • No Control – When you join the Patreon platform, you have to abide by their rules. If you don’t follow community guidelines, your account can be banned. 
  • Difficult to Get Discovered – The discoverability on Patreon is low. You can’t rely on the platform to help you find new supporters or fans for your projects. 

Patreon is a popular platform, but because of these reasons, creators need to look at Patreon alternatives that will give them more control over their content and earnings. Patreon may have been the first platform to gain popularity for supporting creators, but it is not the only one available. 

Patreon charges, lack of control, and limited discoverability may not be an issue for some creators who already have a large and dedicated fan base, but for others, it can greatly impact their ability to earn a sustainable income and they may wish to look for alternatives for monetization of their content. 

With that said, let’s look at the platforms like Patreon that make it easy for creators to make money while also giving them more control over their content and their community.

1. MemberPress

Our first alternative to Patreon, MemberPress is the best, all-in-one membership plugin for WordPress. It’s used by thousands of professionals who have collectively sold over $1 billion in memberships. 

With MemberPress, you can easily create membership subscriptions where users have to pay to access your exclusive content. You can create multiple membership tiers and accept payments (1-time or recurring) through Stripe and PayPal. 

MemberPress’ powerful access rules allow creators complete control over who sees their content based on the subscription plan they’ve purchased. You can revoke or grant access to any page, post, category, tag, image, or video, on your WordPress site. 

So, for example, you can create a series of premium blog posts that are only available to paying members. This makes MemberPress one of the best Patreon alternatives for writers and bloggers. 

You can also use MemberPress to create online courses, sell digital products, and make members-only forums

Plus, MemberPress is super easy to use. Simply install the plugin and within minutes, you can set up membership subscriptions on your new or existing WordPress site.

Check out this tutorial to learn how to create a profitable membership site with MemberPress. 

Here are some powerful features of the MemberPress platform for creators:
  • Easy setup
  • No transaction fees
  • Automated subscription billing
  • Multiple payment gateway integrations
  • Ready-made coupons and pricing pages
  • Paywall and content dripping
  • Members-only dashboard
  • And much more…
Get MemberPress today!

Pricing: MemberPress starts at $179.50/year. 

2. Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads is the top WordPress plugin for selling digital files. It’s the perfect solution for creators looking to sell ebooks, PDF files, templates, videos, audio files, and other types of digital downloads. 

Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) is easy to use right out of the box. It comes with a full shopping cart system that allows your audience to purchase multiple downloads at once. 

You can also choose how to distribute your files by allowing unlimited file downloads or restricting file downloads by time and/or attempt. 

With EDD, you can accept credit card payments using Stripe as well as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. 

Plus, if you want to accept recurring payments, EDD has an extension for that. The extension lets you easily set up recurring payments on any of your digital products. Choose from daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and yearly options.

Learn more about this plugin in our Easy Digital Download review

Here are Easy Digital Downloads’ important features:
  • Full shopping cart
  • Supports registered user or guest checkout
  • Discount codes for flat or percentage rates
  • View download activity and reports
  • Easy customer management
  • 79 available extensions
  • And more…
Get Easy Digital Downloads today!

Pricing: Easy Digital Downloads starts at $89.55/year. To get the Recurring Payments extension, you can upgrade to the All Access Pass, which costs $349.65/year, or purchase the extension individually for $99.00. 

3. WP Simple Pay

WP Simple Pay is the easiest way to accept one-time payments, recurring payments, or donations on your WordPress site via Stripe

WP Simple Pay comes with an easy drag and drop payment form builder and multiple pre-made payment form templates. That means you can quickly start collecting payments on your site, no need to set up a complicated shopping cart system.

For subscription forms, you can create multiple subscription options and let your site visitors pick a plan to subscribe to. You can even include a free trial in the plan to encourage website visitors to subscribe. 

For donation forms, you can allow custom payment amounts. This gives your audience the ability to pay you what they want. 

Check out WP Simple Pay’s top features:
  • Simple payment collection
  • Drag and drop payment form builder
  • Custom amount payments
  • Subscription options
  • Coupon codes
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay buttons
  • And more…
Get WP Simple Pay today!

Pricing: WP Simple Pay Pro starts at $49.50/year. There’s also a free version of the plugin with limited features. 

4. WooCommerce Subscriptions

WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin, commonly used to create an online store that sells physical products. While it might not be an obvious choice for a Patreon alternative for creators, you can also use WooCommerce to sell subscriptions. 

With WooCommerce Subscriptions, you can offer subscription-based products or services on your WordPress site easily. 

WooCommerce Subscriptions integrates with over 25 payment gateways for automatic recurring payments.

You can choose from multiple billing schedules including daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Your subscribers can manage their own plan, including upgrading or downgrading, without needing help from you. 

There’s even automatic rebilling for failed subscription payments, so you never have to worry about losing revenue. 

Take a look at these features of WooCommerce Subscriptions:
  • Automatic recurring payments
  • Supports manual renewal payments
  • Built-in renewal notifications and emails
  • Free trials and sign-up fees
  • Subscription coupons
  • Subscriber account management
  • And more…
Get WooCommerce Subscriptions today!

Pricing: The base WooCommerce plugin is free. To sell subscriptions, you need to purchase the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension which costs $279.00/year.

5. Ko-fi

Ko-fi is a fun, free Patreon alternative and crowdfunding platform that allows creators to ask fans to support their work for the price of a cup of coffee.  

Ko-fi is its own platform where you can create an account and monetize your content. It is a great Patreon alternative for creators to receive one-time or recurring support from fans. You can set up a page to accept donations, offer memberships, accept commissions, or sell products. On your Ko-fi page, you can add a gallery of your work, write posts, set crowdfunding goals, receive messages from your supporters, and much more. 

There’s also a Ko-fi Button plugin for WordPress. You can use this plugin to ask people for support directly on your blog and direct them to your Ko-fi page. 

This Patreon alternative is free. So, all you need to do is sign up for an account, create your page, link your Stripe or PayPal account, and start accepting payments from your fans. 

Unlike Patreon, Ko-Fi takes 0% of your donations. However, it does take fees on membership and commission sales. Based on how much Patreon takes from you, it is worth doing the math to determine whether KoFi will work better than Patreon for you. 

Here are some key features of Ko-fi:
  • 0% platform fees for donations
  • Create monthly membership tiers
  • Offer rewards for supporters
  • Donation stream alerts for Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook
  • Receive direct messages from fans
  • And more…
Get Ko-fi today!

Pricing: Ko-fi is free to get started, but there are some transaction fees. To remove commission and membership fees, you can upgrade to a Gold plan starting a $6/month. 

6. Buy Me a Coffee

Buy Me a Coffee is a Patreon alternative that offers a funding platform that’s similar to Ko-fi. You can create a free page to start accepting donations from your supporters. 

Similar to Patreon, the platform is easy to use for anyone wanting to monetize their content. Fans can send you a donation along with a message in a couple of clicks. They don’t even need to have an account. 

Aside from accepting donations, it also lets creators create memberships and offer extra services like 1-1 Zoom calls or art commissions in exchange for payment. 

This platform accepts all major credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, as well as local payment methods, and you get paid directly to your bank account. 

There’s also a free WordPress plugin to add ‘Buy Me a Coffee’ buttons and widgets on your WordPress site. 

But, Buy Me a Coffee charges a 5% transaction fee for every donation. 

Here are the features of Buy Me a Coffee:
  • Get paid instantly to your bank account
  • Ability to create memberships and sell extras
  • Free WordPress plugin to accept donations directly on your blog
  • And more…
Get Buy Me a Coffee today!

Pricing: Buy Me a Coffee is free, but there are transaction fees. 

7. Memberful

Rounding off our list of Patreon alternatives for content creators, Memberful, which was acquired by Patreon in 2018, is another plugin that lets you create a membership program on your WordPress site. 

Memberful offers an easy checkout system. A simple payment form appears at the top of the page so new members can join in a couple of clicks. 

You can easily select which subscribers get access to protected areas of your site. You also get a dashboard where you can manage your members and view metrics, charts, and activity feeds. It’s suited for creators who need a simple and easy-to-use membership system without the hassle of setting up a separate website or platform.

The biggest downside of this subscription platform is that Memberful charges high transaction fees to creators who use it, which is not that different from Patreon. You’re still charged 4.9% transaction fees. 

Take a look at Memberful’s important features:
  • Create any type of subscription plan
  • Optimized checkout
  • Dashboard analytics
  • Gift purchases and coupons
  • Free or paid trials
  • And more…
Get Memberful today!

Pricing: Memberful offers a free plan to trial the platform. Once you turn on Stripe payments, the premium plans start at $49/month with 4.9% transaction fees.

What is the Best Patreon Alternative? 

There are plenty of Patreon alternatives that I could also have added to this list. Some other popular platforms include Podia, Kickstarter, Liberapay, and more. 

But, I wanted to focus mainly on the best alternative to Patreon options that integrate with WordPress as a way for creators to sell memberships and subscriptions, or accept donations right from their own website. 

With that in mind, I think that the best Patreon alternative is MemberPress

memberpress membership plugin

With MemberPress, you can create any type of membership subscription you want. You can offer exclusive blog posts, digital products, online courses, members-only forums, and more, in exchange for a monthly fee. 

Plus, it’s easy to set up and it has tons of customization options, making it a great choice for creators who want to have full control over their membership site.  

The best part? Because it’s a plugin, you can use it to create memberships on your existing WordPress site. That means that you have complete control and you don’t have to worry about transaction fees.  So, if you’re looking for a Patreon alternative that gives you more control over your membership site, then MemberPress is definitely worth considering. 

That’s a wrap; I hope this list of the best Patreon alternatives for creators helped you find the best solution for your needs. Now you can get monetary support from your audience so you can continue to provide them with the content they love. 

If you enjoyed this post, check out our guide on how to monetize your blog. It goes over additional strategies you can use to make money online – and I do also have a full list post with different ideas for how to make money online if you’re interested!

And don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter for more helpful blogging tips!


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  1. This is very helpful information. good work and content. article is very interesting and easy to understand and learn. Thanks you for sharing

  2. Very surprised that Substack is not listed here, also a superb platform for monetising paid subscribers and offering exclusive content.

  3. SD_admin_onlismallbiz on May 20, 2022

    Read it and bookmarked it 🙂

    1. Allison on May 27, 2022

      Thank you!

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