Getting readers to get your back: income via Patreon, Substack and other creator-support platforms

What you need to know about platforms that let your audience pay you for your work, your attention or both–and how they can generate an income stream independent of your usual clients and their advertisers.

Freelancing isn’t that free without a diversified income stream that insulates you from any one client’s misfortunes. But you should also strive to insulate your entire freelance business from excessive dependence on the online-advertising economy and such toxic side effects as traffic-chasing story assignment.

Platforms such as Patreon and Substack can help with that by making it easy for the most avid members of your audience to pay you for bonus content, access to your time, and other extras; done well, they can become a freelancer’s primary source of income.

This talk–featuring a freelance tech journalist who’s covered these platforms and is now (slowly) building an audience on Patreon, a local-news publisher who has used Patreon to supplement ad and sponsorship income as the economy has worsened, and an environmental writer who now makes more money via a Substack newsletter than she did as a full-time staffer–will introduce attendees to what these platforms can and can’t do.

Suggested Speaker(s)

  • Rob Pegoraro
    Freelance, USA Today, Fast Company, Wirecutter, etc.
  • Emily Atkin
    Author and founder, Heated