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These Are The 17 Best Alternatives to Patreon (2024)

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

By Mighty Team

December 26, 2023

21 min read



    Many creators have been drawn to Patreon, but it isn’t the only option on the market. There are plenty of Patreon alternatives that give creators better monetization and more exposure at a lower cost.

    In this article, we'll cover:

    • What Patreon does well

    • The problems with Patreon

    • What to look for in a Patreon alternative

    • 17 alternatives to Patreon

    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 is Patreon?

    Patreon is an online crowdfunding membership platform that can collect recurring payments to support a creator. Unlike other membership platforms, Patreon didn't start with an exchange of membership fees for member perks. It started as a patronage platform--where funders could support creators because they believed in the work--and over time added more features.


    Patreon was 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.

    How Patreon works

    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.


    In exchange for a membership fee, creators offer perks to their supporters: things like early access to material, bonus creations, hangouts, discounts, and more.

    Patreon is "free" to use, but in exchange it takes a "cut"--a percentage of your earnings.

    Patreon cost

    What Patreon does well

    There are several advantages to Patreon, but there are really two that have made it so popular:

    • Simplicity: Patreon didn’t become a popular creator platform for nothing. The platform has made it incredibly easy for creators looking to monetize their content on their own terms quickly and easily.

    • Membership tiers: 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.

    The disadvantages of Patreon

    But for its simplicity and ability to build different membership tiers, Patreon has some series issues. Here are the cons of Patreon:

    • HUGE hidden fees: Patreon takes a 5% cut of any revenue that creators make from their membership fee and an additional 5% goes to other fees. Imagine making $10,000 a month and giving $1,000 to Patreon! The simplicity comes at a high price.

    • Limited features: Patreon is pretty basic in its features offerings. If you look at the chart of the most common ways creators make money, Patreon is missing key features like community and courses. This leaves creators needing to either limit their offers or mix with other platforms.

    creator economy

    • Hard to get found: 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.

    • There are better monetization models: Patronage sounds great, but there are better ways to monetize that earn creators more. A look at the creator calculator shows that Patreon is better than trying to earn a living from YouTube ads. But compare it with an online community (average membership fee of $48/mo per member) and you quickly see there are better ways to monetize an audience.

    creator calculator content creators

    • Tiered membership platforms can be exhausting. When you're trying to create premium content for Patreon and still keep on creating for social media to monetize, it's exhausting.

    Start Your Free Trial

    What to look for in Patreon alternatives

    Hopefully, understanding the pros and cons of Patreon help to clarify what you need from a Patreon alternative. If you're looking for a platform to cost you less and give you more to work with, this list will help.

    Here's a guide to some key features to look for.

    Reasonable price

    Patreon's "free" platform costs way more than a lot of other platforms you could use to monetize your audience.

    You could look for:

    • A similar platform that takes a lower cut of revenues, OR

    • A platform with a fixed cost that lets you keep everything.

    From our perspective, fixed cost platforms are always better. They don't penalize you as you grow.

    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 integrations if creators want to do more than make a text-based blog post.

    MN - Graphics - 2024 - Livewell-Feed-DarkMode

    Patreon, in many ways, is a supplemental service for creators who use 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.

    Real engagement 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.

    Patreon actually has really limited options for building engagement and community.

    MN - Graphics - 2024 - FaceExplorer-Mobile-2

    For most creators, a dedicated community platform is one of the best options here. 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.

    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.

    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.

    Start Your Free Trial

    What are the best alternatives to Patreon?

    1. Mighty Networks

    Best Patreon alternative for memberships and community

    Mighty Networks is G2's top-ranked community 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 - Graphics - 2024 - Livestreaming GIF

    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.

    MN - Graphics - 2024 - Livewell-Full

    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 - Optimistic - Payments

    Finally, Mighty doesn’t take a percentage of your revenue; it’s based on a flat fee that starts at $41/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.

    • ConvertKit integration is built-in, helping you make the most of email.

    Cons of Mighty Networks

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

    Start Your Free Trial

    SEO Image - ConvertKit

    2. ConvertKit

    Best newsletter platform

    If you want to start a premium newsletter for your audience, ConvertKit is an amazing option.

    Unlike Substack (below), ConvertKit charges a much lower transaction fee (3.5%). It's free to use for up to 1,000 subscribers, and reasonably priced after that.

    Convertkit Paid Newsletter

    With ConvertKit, you can charge for newsletter subscriptions, easily taking care of everything with the platform itself.

    ConvertKit also lets you build your email list with awesome opt-in templates, and you can segment and organize your subscribers. You can also create automations easily and visually, managing different email journeys.

    And ConvertKit easily integrates with Mighty Networks to build an awesome community alongside your mailing list. It's a powerful combo for a digital business.

    ConvertKit Pros

    • Easily set up and sell a newsletter

    • Create awesome (hosted) landing pages from templates

    • Segment and automate your mailing list

    • Integrates seamlessly with a Mighty Networks community

    ConvertKit Cons

    • It doesn't have a "front page" style search function. You'll need to bring your subscribers.

    3. 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--although it has a community platform--it's a separate product with a different login and app, making it annoying to mix community and courses together.

    Kajabi is 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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

    7. 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!

    8. 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)

    9. 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.

    10. 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)

    Start Your Free Trial

    11. 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.

    12. 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)

    13. 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

    14. 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

    15. Ghost


    Ghost is an alternative newsletter platform that falls somewhere between Patreon and Substack. As a publishing platform, it's really good, giving you tools like branding, a powerful editor, SEO features, and options to run a multi-author content business.

    Ghost Pros

    • Clean but powerful content interface with good UX

    • Easy to start a newsletter

    • Good audience and member management tools

    Ghost Cons

    • The self-hosting option is quite complicated to get working.

    • It has limited features (it's really just a good editor), so complex membership packages with different goodies aren't possible.

    16. Etsy

    Etsy- Capture

    If you create any kind of artistic product, Etsy might be a better alternative to Patreon. Obviously you could choose Etsy to sell standalone creations. But you could also explore different ways to productize what you create.

    For example, if you're an oil painter, could you sell high-quality prints on Etsy?

    Having patronage support as an artist is nice, but it's often more lucrative just to sell your art directly.

    Etsy Pros

    • A global marketplace of customers

    • Search engine traffic and an awesome review system

    • A familiar brand people are comfrotable using for shopping

    Etsy Cons

    • A 6.5% fee!

    • You have no control over the algorithm. You still might end up having to bring your own customers.

    • Limited options to build your own brand

    17. Indiegogo


    We'll close this list out with one last crowd-funding option: Indiegogo. Indigogo is primarily for tech, so it might not be the right fit for creators. But if you're looking to Patreon to help pay for you to develop a new invention, product, or IP, then Indiegogo is probably a better option.

    It comes with searchable database of ongoing projects that increase the chances of you getting discovered. And like Patreon, campaigns can come with "perks" for supporters.

    Indiegogo Pros

    • Easily get your invention or idea in front of thousands of people looking to support

    • Raise money and offer perks to supporters

    Indiegogo Cons

    • A 5% platform fee and at least 3% processor fee

    • Indiegogo works by campaign, funding is always for a set period of time

    Ready to start?

    MN - Graphics - 2024 - ModernCreator-Join

    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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