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The 13 Best Patreon Alternatives

Considering Patreon? We’re unpacking whether they’re the best choice or if you should consider a different membership platform.

By Mighty Team

August 29, 2023

18 min read



    There’s never been a better time to be a content creator. Not only is it more affordable than ever to create awesome content, but it’s also easier for people to support your work. All of this is thanks to the power of online community membership platforms where creators charge for paid subscriptions.

    Many creators have been drawn to Patreon, but it isn’t the only option on the market. There are plenty of Patreon alternatives that offer much more for creators to experiment with.

    Ahead, we’re exploring what Patreon is all about, and then offering suggestions for the best alternatives to Patreon on the market.

    If you want more support in building your online community, come join OUR Mighty Community for free and meet other new and established community owners! We’d love to meet you. Join for free!


    What’s the deal with Patreon?

    Patreon is an online crowdfunding membership platform founded by Jack Conte (a famous YouTube musician) and Sam Yam in 2013.

    This duo started the platform after struggling to make money off of their music for several years. They believed that creators could find financial freedom if their fans have a direct path to supporting their work monetarily.

    On Patreon, fans can become members (or “patrons” as they are called on the platform) of a paid subscription for their favorite creators. A patron’s subscription will get them added benefits like exclusive content, access to community features, and more.

    Where Patreon excels

    Patreon didn’t become a popular platform for nothing. The platform has made it incredibly easy for creators looking to monetize their content on their own terms without much oversight.

    Creators can build their tiers for their membership each with different degrees of rewards of exclusive content. Additionally, they can charge for content monthly or by project which gives some flexibility.

    Where Patreon stumbles

    Of course, nothing in life is free and Patreon takes a 5% cut of any revenue that creators make from their membership fee and an additional 5% goes to other fees. On top of that, compared to some Patreon alternatives, while they do have some community features, they are fairly basic without many of the engaging aspects some might expect from other platforms.

    While Patreon doesn’t get in the way all that often of creator’s freedom, they do have some policies which restrict certain kinds of content. With some alternatives to Patreon, creators can make money off of the content they produce without restriction in subject matter.

    Finally, it can be hard for a creator’s Patreon page to be found because there aren’t great discovery tools in place for potential customers to find your work without paying first.

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    What to look for in Patreon alternatives

    So, now that we’ve talked a bit about where Patreon excels and stumbles, you’re probably wondering what you should look for in a Patreon alternative. Let’s explore some great features to consider.

    Robust community features

    An important part of paid membership sites for many people is the ability to interact with the creators they are supporting and their community. While it might seem like an obvious feature to have on a platform that is all about bringing people together with a shared interest, many platforms (including Patreon) have fairly basic options to connect members.

    mighty networks - Graphics - Modern Creator - Chat light

    The best alternatives to Patreon will give you all of the features you and your members would expect on social media platforms like Facebook, but tailored to your specific needs. The best online community platforms allow creators to build their own private social networks for their members.

    Having the ability to post discussion boards, live and recorded videos, gated content, and subgroups are just the tip of the iceberg.

    And if you're launching a community, try our AI-powered community generator! Mighty Co-Host™ runs on Chat GPT and can create a Big Purpose, community name, brand, landing and sales pages, and more. Try it!

    Try Our Community Name Generator

    Our AI engine is here to help you create a community name that feels like magic. Just share a few words about who your community is for and we’ll get to work.

    Examples: coaching clients, meditation novices, vegan chefs, dog lovers, aspiring entrepreneurs, etc.

    The names generated by Mighty Co-Host™ are examples only and may be used by other businesses or subject to third-party rights. For more information, check our Terms.

    Native features

    A problem that Patreon has that some Patreon alternatives have solved is the issues around native features for creators. When you build a paid membership site through Patreon, you won’t have many native options to build a great experience for your members. This is because a lot of Patreon’s model relies on utilizing integrations if creators want to do more than make a text-based blog post.

    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Discovery Course

    Patreon, in many ways, is a supplemental service for creators who utilize another platform to post their content. The best alternatives to Patreon give creators a space to build their brand from the ground up and offer all of their awesome work under the same roof while having the ability to monetize.

    Marketing tools

    Every creator knows that it doesn’t matter how amazing your content is if you’re unable to tell people it exists. Marketing tools are one of the key pillars for any online content creator today.

    Patreon doesn’t have many features for creators to market the awesome bonus content they are creating. That means that you’ll be left preaching to the choir, so to speak, because the people who will know about your Patreon are most likely already supporting it.

    The best alternatives to Patreon will give you the tools to build awesome marketing material in the form of emails, landing pages, reminder notifications, and more.

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    What are the best alternatives to Patreon?

    So, now that we’ve explored what to look for in a Patreon alternative, let’s take a look at some specific platforms that are doing interesting things.

    1. Mighty Networks

    Best Patreon alternative for memberships and community

    Mighty Networks is a cultural software platform that brings together community, courses, content, and commerce. It’s the best alternative to Patreon for creators, giving you a bunch of ways to create and monetize your work with member-led growth.

    Unlike Patreon, which focuses on creating endless content to keep your subscribers happy, Mighty helps you convert your subscribers into MEMBERS; helping them stop following and start belonging. Your community grows on auto-pilot because members talk to each other and form lasting relationships (not just you).

    Mighty Networks - Challenge Fam - Feed Paired Dark

    Mighty's flexible Spaces mix features like live streaming, member management, courses, live events, and content options. And like Patreon, you can create subscription tiers OR different bundles (e.g. courses, events, premium livestreams, etc.)

    Unlike many alternatives to Patreon, you don’t need any other platform than Mighty–no need to mix and match platforms. Mighty has everything you could ever need to monetize, packed with the tools and features needed to foster a thriving community, host all of your content, and market it to the world.

    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Livestream Paired Light

    Mighty is also the leader in community AI, with Mighty Co-Host™, which can instantly create membership profiles, connect members to each other, improve your writing, and even instantly generate landing pages. It makes your job radically easier as a creator.

    Mighty comes with an app for every device, and you can even grow into your own branded app (that’s YOUR brand in the App Store and Google Play Store) when you’re ready.

    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Discovery Course

    Finally, Mighty doesn’t take a percentage of your revenue; it’s based on a flat fee that starts at $33/mo.

    Pros of Mighty Networks

    • Mighty Networks is a member-led growth platform that lets you mix memberships with content, discussion forums, live events, livestreaming, chat & messaging, courses, and more!

    • You get off the content treadmill as your members lead the growth and form lasting relationships.

    • Groundbreaking features like community AI, apps for every device, and even a branded app when you’re ready.

    Cons of Mighty Networks

    • It’s not free (but you will end up making more!)

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    2. Kajabi

    Best Patreon alternative for pre-recorded courses

    Kajabi app

    Kajabi is an online course platform that mixes a good LMS with a powerful set of marketing tools. With features like marketing funnels, landing pages, and advanced customization features for sales, Kajabi course creators have a solid set of tools to market and sell courses. And with built-in email, Kajabi packs a punch.

    Kajabi is a Patreon alternative for someone who wants complex marketing systems and pre-recorded courses. It’s not great for live courses, and it has very limited community functions–meaning that it’s probably not the right choice for a community or a cohort course. It’s also the most expensive option on this list.

    Kajabi Monthly Pricing

    Pros of Kajabi

    • Solid LMS with advanced features for creating content, dripping material, and evaluating.

    • Build landing pages and marketing funnels.

    • Accessible with a good app for every device.

    Cons of Kajabi

    • It’s the most expensive option here.

    • It doesn’t work well for either cohort courses (live) or community.

    3. Podia

    Podia is an alternative to Patreon that offers creators the ability to sell online courses and other forms of digital content as standalone products. But in 2017, they entered the realm of paid membership sites by offering creators the ability to charge subscriptions for content. Podia offers a good amount of options for creators interested in dipping their toes into paid memberships.

    Podia Course

    Pros of Podia

    • You can charge for online courses, paid subscriptions, and standalone products.

    • Podia doesn’t take any of the revenue acquired from your members’ support (although you pay a monthly subscription fee for the service).

    Cons of Podia

    • The paid membership service package is $79/month and you’ll need to spend an additional $39/month for marketing services and the ability to sell online courses and digital content.

    • Limited analytics data and not much functionality for community management.

    The bottom line: Podia is an interesting Patreon alternative that offers creators a few ways to monetize their content. Unfortunately, there are quite a few catches to their service like expensive pricing, and limited data for creators to make decisions around their business.

    4. Buy Me a Coffee

    Buy Me a Coffee is a Patreon alternative that works in a really similar way. It’s made for creators, musicians, artists, etc., with the idea of offering a small amount of support to the creator. You often see the “Buy me a Coffee” link embedded in websites, blogs, Linktree, etc.

    buy me a coffee

    You can create a profile that shows off your creations and content, and can link off to other resources. While focused on small, one-time payments, it is possible to create member-only content with Buy Me a Coffee, and it’s a simple way to monetize like Patreon.

    Although they do charge a transaction fee of 5%, which is the same as Patreon’s lowest level, it doesn’t take higher transaction fees. This means that–while transaction fees take money from a creator’s pocket–Buy Me a Coffee does slightly better than Patreon.

    Pros of Buy Me a Coffee

    • It’s a patronage platform similar to Patreon

    • Give one-time payments or regular memberships

    • Create benefits for your subscribers

    • Build profiles and share your work

    Cons of Buy Me a Coffee

    • Transaction fees (5%) still cut creators’ earnings

    • Very limited forms of engaging with your customers–no community options.

    Try Our Community Name Generator

    Our AI engine is here to help you create a community name that feels like magic. Just share a few words about who your community is for and we’ll get to work.

    Examples: coaching clients, meditation novices, vegan chefs, dog lovers, aspiring entrepreneurs, etc.

    The names generated by Mighty Co-Host™ are examples only and may be used by other businesses or subject to third-party rights. For more information, check our Terms.

    5. Kickstarter

    Kickstarter is a Patreon alternative that operates on a similar philosophy–helping people fund their work. While it can be used for creative ventures, it does have more of a reputation for helping businesses and cool products get off the ground. As of writing this post, Kickstarter had raised $7,513,747,595 towards creative work!


    Kickstarter is very different from Patreon in the sense that it’s an “all-or-nothing” funding approach–you have to set your goals and if you don’t reach them you don’t get the money. But you can create pages with your ideas and share them with potential supporters. And like Patreon, you can create rewards for your best backers–with product-based projects the reward is often access to the project.

    Kickstarter is really neat, and it’s led to some amazing projects. For example, the best-selling book series “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” got its launch from 13,000 supporters on Kickstarter.

    But for creators looking for patrons, it’s a bit limiting. It would be best for someone with a one-time project they want to create, with a clear beginning and end. It’s not the right choice for ongoing support.

    Kickstarter Pros

    • Create projects and find backers for them

    • Raise money from the platforms many users

    • Creative ways to reward your backers

    Kickstarter Cons

    • It’s not really right for ongoing memberships or support

    • If you don’t get all the money, you don’t get any

    6. OnlyFans

    Onlyfans is an alternative to Patreon that does have a lot of similar features. While it has a reputation for adult content, OnlyFans can be used to monetize any type of creator with a subscription model. You can create and share different kinds of content, like photos and videos. And like Patreon you can set subscriber levels and offer different rewards for each level.


    It has a lot more features for connecting with your subscribers than Patreon does, things like messaging, more content options, and better community-building.

    Although OnlyFans is probably the best 1:1 alternative to Patreon, there are a few drawbacks. First of all, the platform has become almost synonymous with adult content. Even though you can create and monetize other types, the platform could carry some stigma.

    But the ultimate downside? OnlyFans takes 20% of your transaction fees! That’s a HUGE number that’s even worse than Patreon. If you make $10,000, you’d have to pay OnlyFans $2,000. This takes a serious bite out of any creator’s revenue.

    Pros of OnlyFans

    • Similar platform to Patreon with the same concepts–membership tiers, subscriptions, etc.

    • More content and engagement features than Patreon.

    Cons of OnlyFans

    • Some stigma since the platform is so directed to adult content

    • OnlyFans takes a 20% transaction fee!

    7. Medium

    Good Patreon alternative for bloggers

    If you’re a blogger considering Patreon as a way to earn from your writing, Medium might be an alternative. Medium is a writer’s platform and blogging space that used to just be a free place to create a blog. But it’s grown a huge audience and Medium has even added ways for bloggers to earn.

    Medium - snip

    First, what you get from Medium. You get a built-in audience for your writing, and chances to network and share with other writers. The site looks great and people can comment on your post. You can even collect subscribers on Medium and send out regular newsletters to them.

    The downside? Medium’s monetization doesn’t really give you very much. In fact, it’s reported that only 9% of medium bloggers earn over $100/mo. That’s a bummer when there are so many platforms that are better to monetize with. And since you don’t really own your audience on Medium, building there is probably more about exposure than earning money–and even then, there are better ways to share your writing with the world.

    Pros of Medium

    • Beautiful interface that publishes great-looking blogs

    • A built in audience looking to read

    • Some monetization options

    Cons of Medium

    • The monetization options really aren’t great

    • You don’t own your audience–you’re driving traffic to Medium

    • There aren’t many community-building features (other than comments)

    8. Ko-Fi

    Ko-Fi is another alternative to Patreon that leans in on a friendly, low-stakes support model for fans to support creators. Much like the name suggests, they like to think of paid member support like ‘buying a creator a cup of coffee.’

    The platform is free to get started on and allows creators to organize work into simple albums to share with their supporters. You can write blog posts, create support goals, and have gated content behind monthly subscriptions. Unlike Patreon, Ko-Fi doesn’t charge a fee on member donations either. Additionally, you are paid whenever a fan subscribes or donates instead of a lump monthly sum.

    Pros of Ko-Fi

    • There is no platform fee on Ko-Fi for donations. You can accept payment through Stripe or Paypal.

    • It is easy to get started and creators can utilize simple tools to create blog posts, content albums, and charge for subscriptions.

    Cons of Ko-Fi

    • Ko-Fi doesn’t have the best options for analytics or community management.

    • It’s largely a supplemental experience for creators who post content elsewhere.

    The bottom line: Ko-Fi is a good low-stakes Patreon alternative for creators, and especially artists, who want to offer a virtual tip jar experience. The platform isn’t equipped to be the main space for a creator to build a community around their work, but similar to Patreon it offers a supplemental way to monetize your following from other platforms.

    9. Substack

    For writers, Substack offers another way to monetize your content with a paid newsletter. Whether you’re a creative or a journalist, you can build a following with pretty much any type of writing on Substack–making it a good Patreon alternative for writers.


    Like Patreon, you can offer subscription tiers and different benefits for each one. Substack uses email to distribute your writing (although it’s also hosted on their platform), meaning you can get in your subscribers’ inboxes. There are also cool discovery features to help you find new readers who are surfing the platform.

    A few downsides. Substack also works on a revenue share model, taking 10% of your subscriptions–worse than the lowest Patreon plan. You end up needing the platform to reach your subscribers–you don’t really own them. And if you want to do anything other than writing, you’re out of luck.

    Pros of Substack

    • Subscription tiers and flexible monetization

    • A platform with readers already on it

    • Direct-to-email features

    Cons of Substack

    • Limited content options for non-writers

    • The platform takes a 10% cut

    • They own your readers (not you)

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    10. Thinkific

    Thinkific is another course creation tool that comes with different features for running alternate types of training or content. It can do things like host a coaching program, downloads, and memberships. The course platform itself is good, with quizzes, articles, surveys, and webinars.

    Thinkific also has the option to start for free, which is cool. And it also has a WordPress plugin so you can add it to a WordPress site. Thinkific is best as a platform to sell something, and not as a straight membership platform–it’s a good Patreon alternative if you want to sell a course. And it doesn’t have a mobile app, which makes it harder to reach your members. (Update- Thinkific just released a mobile app in summer of 2023)

    Pros of Thinkific

    • Create online courses with a flexible LMS

    • Add in different types of content and products (downloads, memberships, programs)

    Cons of Thinkific

    • It’s not really a community or membership-based platform.

    • Thinkific doesn’t have any mobile apps.

    11. Gumroad

    Gumroad is a sales platform that lets you sell almost anything, from art to software to fitness to self-improvement, you can monetize in a bunch of different ways. It’s easy to set up a digital storefront and create products.

    gumroad - snip

    It also works like a marketplace, so you might find new supporters and customers from Gumroad if people are looking for whatever you make. The interface is easy to use and you’ve got flexible pricing options for your members (including pay what you want).

    The downside to Gumroad is that it suffers from the same problem Patreon does, it takes 10% of your revenue. If you raise $10,000 of support, you'd pay $1,000 in fees. That’s a hefty bite out of your revenues.

    Pros of Gumroad

    • Sell almost anything easily

    • Some marketing tools

    Cons of Gumroad

    • Fees that are almost as bad as Patreon (or worse depending on your plan)

    12. Sellfy

    If you’re looking for an alternative to Patreon that lets you see something, Sellfy might be a good option. Sellfy is a flexible sales platform that lets you sell pretty much anything. You can sell physical products, print-on-demand, digital products, and even videos–it’s a flexible monetization engine.


    It has a drag-and-drop storefront editor, so you can create landing pages and a store with offerings. And you can use built-in email marketing tools and build in store features like tracking pixels and discount codes. And probably one of the best things about Sellfy is that it charges you a flat rate instead of taking a cut of your earnings like Patreon does.

    Sellfy Pros

    • Easy to build a storefront and sell digital products

    • Print merch on demand

    • Email and marketing tools built in

    • Reasonable prices (not percentage based)

    Sellfy Cons

    • Limited membership features

    • Too much revenue pushes you into a higher plan

    13. Teachable

    For a course-only alternative to Patreon, Teachable is an option. It’s a course platform that lets you host and sell a pre-recorded course, with different content options, certificates, and assessment features. It has some built-in marketing features and an affiliate program so that your supers can sell to other people and get paid from it.

    The downsides to Teachable is the lack of a course community or live engagement options, and–worst of all–it doesn’t have a mobile app for Android.

    Pros of Teachable

    • Create a pre-recorded course with different evaluation options.

    • Build landing pages and use marketing tools

    Cons of Teachable

    • No course community or engagement options

    • No app for Android

    Ready to start?

    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Live streaming

    Patreon helped provide a new way for creators to make money doing what they love, but the platform hasn’t evolved to address the news of modern creators. Mighty Networks is the best Patreon alternative because it is a platform that allows creators to build powerful member-led businesses around their ideas.

    Here are a few features we love:

    • Offer paid memberships.

    • Have your own branded app that is accessible in the App Store and Google Play store.

    • You can livestream and post recorded videos, images, and audio clips.

    • Create polls, discussion boards, quizzes, and Q&As.

    • Build fully customizable online courses with dedicated community spaces.

    • Host virtual events.

    Sounds pretty awesome, right? Let us help you get started!

    Ready to start building your community?

    Start Your Own Mighty Network Today!No credit card required.


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