If you’ve been looking at someone’s personal website or portfolio lately, you’ve probably noticed something somewhere that said, “Support me on Ko-fi.”
What is Ko-fi and who is it in front of
Ko-fi is a platform similar to Patreon in that it allows people to make donations to different users, who are typically creators. It’s a great (and easy!) Way to fund (or even just top up) revenue and help pay the bills or fund upcoming projects. It feels a bit like a combination of Patreon, DeviantArt and a personal blog, making it more casual and accessible.
However, Ko-fi also differs from Patreon in a few important ways:
- It works more like a one-time tip jar (meaning no monthly donations or subscriptions).
- Donations can be in almost any amount and are not limited to preset levels.
- It can also double as a simple storefront next to a place to make donations.
- Ko-fi users do not need to regularly publish content.
- Users have the option to open committees.
- Ko-fi does not charge any fees!
Currently, Ko-fi’s platform supports more than 500,000 creators of all types such as writers, illustrators, developers, streamers, podcasters, cosplayers, artists, game designers, small businesses and more. It’s an easy way for creators to earn a small income from anyone who is a fan of what they do, and even raise some money for drawing supplies, upgraded equipment, and ongoing product releases. Video creators can also use Ko-fi to supplement other additional income such as merchandise, advertising, sponsorships, tours, and even other fundraising sites.
Who are the most popular creators on Ko-fi?
When it comes to famous users, Ko-fi isn’t always able to match the prestige of sites like Patreon. Those sites are host to famous celebs and YouTubers, such as Philip DeFranco.
Despite this, Ko-fi does its best to regularly showcase a curated selection of well-known Ko-fi creators and companies, such as artist Monarobot, illustrator Mochi Buddies, cosplayer and photographer Black Bettie Cosplay, author and longtime historian Ellie M Roberts, British podcast production company Long Cat Media and pilates instructor The Girl With The Pilates Mat. These are some of Ko-fi’s most popular top earners, and the wide variety of art and goods they create proves just how versatile and powerful Ko-fi can be for creators.
How does Ko-fi work?
Ko-fi is simple at heart. You create a page, your fans donate money, and you get the money. Fans can make one-time donations or set up a recurring donation, and creators can release new content when they see fit. It is literally just a digital tip jar. You can add update posts as needed and fans can send you encouraging messages when they make a donation.
There is even an option that allows you to add rewards for your supporters. This is similar to how things work on sites like Patreon, where if they choose to become one of your regular supporters, they can receive content or goodies kept behind a paywall that one-time donors can’t access, such as additional images, early access to videos, exclusive blog posts, or even a fun behind-the-scenes blooper reel. It’s up to you how much you want to offer your supporters on your Ko-fi page.
How do you use Ko-fi?
Using Ko-fi is incredibly easy for both visitors and creators. For Visitors: When you are on a user’s Ko-fi page, just click on the “Support” button. You can “buy them coffee” for the amount they set, or increase your donation if you feel generous. From there you can enter your name and an optional message and then pay via PayPay or a debit or credit card.
For creators, setting up an account is almost as easy. You enter all the standard information, set a username, add a photo and biography, and connect a payment source such as PayPal or Stripe. This process literally only takes a minute or two and is all you need to do to get your page up and running.
To make your page more attractive to visitors, there are a few other steps you can complete. The most important thing would be to link your personal website and Twitter account to your Ko-fi page – and vice versa – so that your followers have a way to find you and your work. You can also add an introductory post or video, create a funding goal (such as for a new computer, additional drawing supplies, or improved recording equipment), or even upload images of your work to your gallery. Everything is quite customizable and designed to be easy to use.
Perhaps the site’s only downside is the total lack of a mobile app. Having an app available to creators makes it much easier for them to manage their account, add updates, and keep in touch with supporters. However, Ko-fi is in the process of developing an app and has currently opened a typing form where both creators and supporters can suggest features and discuss what they would like to see in a future app.
Commissions and shops
Two of the best features of Ko-fi are the creator options to open commissions and open Ko-fi stores. Together, these two options do a great job of rounding out the site’s overall functionality and making it a simple one-stop shop where artists can really connect with their audience. You can easily set the number of commission slots you want to open and turn them off when you’re too full to handle another.
Ko-fi also allows creators to open a Ko-fi store where you can sell digital and physical items such as stickers, prints, backgrounds, game mods, tutorials, sound files, merchandise, books or craft kits. It only takes a few minutes to open your Ko-fi store and add products. Ko-fi even gives you enough space to add images, videos and a description of your product. You can also set your own price and note if the product has limited stock.
Does Ko-fi charge fees?
The nice thing about Ko-fi, unlike crowdfunding sites, is that it withdraws 0% of the donations. Despite helping creators receive more than $ 2 million in donations (and $ 50 million so far) every month, Ko-fi never takes a penny, no matter how much money you get in a single donation, and how many donations you get. also gets. Ko-fi also keeps ads off your page and does not sell your information.
The only thing that puts a dent in your overall donation income is the payment processor fees. Both PayPal and Stripe will still charge their normal transaction fees. These typically range between 2-3.4% but can vary depending on currency, location and other factors.
You are probably wondering how Ko-fi makes money then, which is an excellent question. Ko-fi makes money from donations to its own Ko-fi page, from Ko-fi Gold subscriptions and with a platform fee of 5% on commission and retail sales for creators who do not have a Ko-fi Gold subscription.
What is Ko-fi Gold?
So what exactly is Ko-fi Gold? It’s basically the site’s premium tier, which offers additional functionality and customization options, eliminates all costs, and has tons of other bonuses. Ko-fi Gold is not very expensive, especially if you bring in a good amount every month. It’s billed at $ 6 a month, or just $ 4.50 a month if you pay annually.
With Gold, you unlock commission tools and the option to set up recurring supporter donations, eliminate site ads, get a taste of the latest site features, get analytic bonuses, have the ability to change your username to a rare, short Ko-fi name and the option to change the word “coffee” in your site button to (virtually) any other word you want.
If you are just an occasional user of the site, this might all be an exaggeration. However, if you have a large following and want to open commissions and sell a lot of goodies, that’s a great bargain.
Should you set up a ko-fi?
If you are a creator of any kind of art or good, Ko-fi is a smart choice and totally worth taking the time to sign up. After all, there’s nothing bad about putting down a tip jar and dropping people a penny or two if they like what you do.
The fact that Ko-fi doesn’t charge for your donations and limits commission and store sales to 5% makes it a good place for aspiring creators to start. It also acts as a website, allows you to connect with supporters, allows you to give orders and sell goods, and connect with a larger community – what’s not to like? So if you are a creator, go and create your Ko-fi account. And if you know a video maker on Ko-fi, consider making his day with a donation.