Patreon: The Answer To Hungry Writer Problems?

Jennifer Mendez Writer's Resources

Ted Wilson, contributing writer for Electric Literature runs his series, titled “Ted Wilson Reviews the World,” where he reviews one item in the world every week. This time, it was Patreon, which he describes hilariously:

“Patreon is a website where you ask strangers for money in exchange for a job they never hired you for in the first place. You decide what your job is and strangers decide if they want to pay you for it.”

Why would anyone do this? Because, “as robots continue to replace the workforce, the workforce is forced to work out a way to make money.” And writers have jumped on board more than anyone else out there! It’s no secret writers don’t make much money, at least not usually, so it makes perfect sense—Patreon.

What Was Ted Wilson’s Verdict?

To Ted, the best feature of Patreon is the potential for financial dream reality. The worst is that internet access is required to pay him, as there is no cash option.

Clearly, not everyone would agree with Ted. For some, a cash option is unnecessary.  That being said the best feature isn’t all that good either, since the harsh reality is that Patreon only works if you have an established fan base set in place already. For instance, consider Nerd Writer. He has 2,201 patreons (people who pay him), and makes $3,746 per video. He posts  once a week, meaning he makes roughly $14,984 per month, or $179,808 per year before taxes. He makes more than you. Well, probably.

How did he do it? He stayed at a job he hated for years, to support himself, while building up a fan base on YouTube. He posted interesting stuff on a weekly basis, and interacted with his audience. He built a following, and then went on Patreon. Once he got enough followers, he quit his day job and began working on YouTube, doing what he loves, on a full-time basis.


Ted Wilson may not have much of a following after all, despite posting his series since 2009. He still has zero patreons on his page, and he certainly doesn’t spend his time marketing himself. But you know what? He makes a point: it’s possible to reach your financial goals through Patreon. Do you have a following?

About the Author

Jennifer Mendez

Jennifer Mendez has brought insightful articles to From author interviews to how literature meets gaming to expert insight into tools and writing processes, her dedication to helping our author community is quite inspiring. You can find more of her writing at

Want To Participate In The
Writing Contest