Jelena Rakic - Jul 12, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About Ko-fi
Have you heard of Ko-fi? Do you know just how helpful it can be in your quest for financial support as a content creator? With the rising number of content creators all over the Internet, it has become rather challenging to find your place among the most influential ones and get to your fans. It is an even greater challenge to earn some money for your hard work. Especially if you’re just getting started. If so, you still don’t have a loyal audience that follows you and appreciates your work.
To succeed as a creator, it is crucial that you are persistent and patient enough. Success never comes overnight in this business. But it is also important that you know where to look for support. If you haven’t tried it already, now’s the right time to try your luck on Ko-fi and get the long-sought-after financial support from your fans. We are here to tell you a bit more about how this platform works. We will also explain what makes it more or less convenient than Patreon, and how to use it. But let’s start with the more fundamental question — what is Ko-fi?
What is Ko-fi?
Ko-fi is an online platform that helps content creators get the much needed financial support. They get support in the form of small donations everyone who likes their content can leave. As a creator, you can use Ko-fi to add a “Buy Me a Coffee” donation button so your fans can make a donation for the piece of content that they like. You can share your content posted on Ko-fi anywhere on social media or your website to make sure as many people as possible see it.
When people like your piece of writing or anything else you post, they leave you a donation in the amount roughly equal to the average price of a cup of coffee. You just need to have a PayPal account to be able to receive the payments. Needless to say, it was this system that inspired the name of the platform.
What’s convenient about Ko-fi is that you don’t have to set a strict schedule and keep up with it. You can post whenever you want, so there’s no pressure. That way, you can post only top-quality content. You can forget about posting anything just for the sake of sticking to the schedule.
Differences Between Ko-fi and Patreon
The main difference between these two platforms is that, unlike Patreon, Ko-fi doesn’t require the visitors to subscribe in order to access the content on the platform. This is a great advantage for many visitors who are not that thrilled about paying a monthly fee for a subscription. There is a premium version of Ko-fi which costs $6 a month called Gold Ko-fi. But, if you don’t want to use this one, you still have the free version at your disposal.
Are you wondering whether Patreon might be a better solution? Here are some other major differences that you should know about if you’re having second thoughts about Ko-fi:
- Patreon takes 5%-12% of your earning — Unlike Ko-fi, which doesn’t take a single penny from what you earn, Patreon does take a somewhat significant percentage. So, before you go for the latter, you should ask yourself whether it pays off to try to monetize your content here considering these expenses.
- If you choose Patreon, you have to stick to a strict posting schedule — As previously mentioned, one of the greatest advantages of Ko-fi is that it is completely flexible — you get to decide when you post something new. Working on Patreon can be quite overwhelming in this sense, as you always have to keep up with a rather strict schedule.
- You have to deliver more content on Patreon to cover different tiers of visitors — Patreon can be rather overwhelming for this reason, too — creators are expected to produce much more content for visitors on different “tiers” (Patreon users are categorized depending on the monthly fee they pay).
- Payments on Ko-fi are quick and direct — While Patreon makes creators wait until the end of the month to be able to withdraw the money earned, Ko-fi offers direct payments. There’s no need to wait for anything because Ko-fi doesn’t take any part of the transaction. Being able to access what you’ve earned immediately is another great benefit of Ko-fi.
How Does Ko-fi Work?
The very process behind Ko-fi is quite simple. Here are the major phases that you should be familiar with to understand how the platform works:
- You first need to start a Ko-fi page, which can be done in less than a minute, so there should be no struggle when it comes to completing your profile. All you need to do is create a short bio to introduce yourself.
- Before you start posting your content, you should set a goal to keep in mind as you move on. Just because Ko-fi doesn’t make any pressure in terms of schedules, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a clear idea of what you’re going to do with your account on the platform. You should also share the goal with your fans so you can celebrate with them when you achieve a milestone. This is a great opportunity to thank them for their contribution.
- When you have your page ready, it’s time to share it with your friends and existing or potential fans. The easiest way to do this is to share the link to your Ko-fi page on your social media accounts, groups, or pages — whatever you use. Make sure you post a brand new piece of content on Ko-fi so that people who follow you on social media have something new to learn when they check out your Ko-fi page.
How to Get Started with Ko-fi
When you decide to get started with Ko-fi, the first thing you need to do is to provide your personal information to create a profile. To complete this step, you will be required to enter the following details:
- Full name
- Profile image
- Tell something about yourself
- Three tags describing what you do
- Account type (creator or supporter)
- Your PayPal email
Once you submit these, it’s time to personalize your page, which starts with setting a goal. You can also add a cover image that’s in tune with your goal and content you’re planning to post. It might be also a good idea to update your status regularly so your fans can keep up with what you’re working on.
When you have everything prepared, you can move on to actually adding content. When you come to this step, you can choose between videos, gallery images and posts, depending on the type of your content.
Finally, don’t forget about the payment settings. In addition to sharing your PayPal account, you will also need to choose your local currency and compose an auto-reply thank-you message that your fans will receive after they make their contribution.
How to Use Ko-fi?
When you set up and customize your page, it’s time to actually start using it and see for yourself all the benefits of having a Ko-fi account. That’s when the question arises — how exactly can you use Ko-fi to reach as many fans as possible and make money? Let’s learn a little bit more about different ways to make the most out of your Ko-fi page and present some Ko-fi success stories.
Different Ways to Use Ko-fi
If you’re completely new to this and you don’t have any idea about ways to use Ko-fi, you can always look up to some of the successful creators making money on Ko-fi.
For instance, Edye Benedict is a blogger and writer who uses Ko-fi by connecting it to her website under the Widgets category. She manages to earn enough to pay for her education. Another good thing about Edye’s page is that she states that this is her goal — to cover educational costs, so her fans know how their donation is going to help this young student.
Another good way to use your Ko-fi page is to offer sketches in exchange for donations. Some creators set the rules clearly — the bigger the donation, the bigger the sketch. You can check out how a creator called Riveriesky does this successfully.
Are you an expert in some field? Or you simply have enough knowledge on a certain topic to pass it on to others who share the same interests? You can employ that knowledge to make more use out of your Ko-fi account! It’s quite simple — pass on your knowledge in exchange for Ko-fi donations. You can see how a creator called Verniman uses this method.
Here are some additional tips for using Ko-fi the best you can:
- Try to post something new as often as possible. If you run out of ideas, do not hesitate to talk to your fans about it and ask for some suggestions.
- Be a fan yourself. Just because you’ve created a Ko-fi page as a creator, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a supporter, too. You can and you should — your fellow creators will appreciate it and probably return the favor, too.
- Be satisfied with small achievements for a start. You should be ambitious, but not too ambitious, especially not in the beginning. You will earn more and more as time goes by and you start gaining traction.
Let Ko-fi Success Stories Inspire You
One of the best examples of how beneficial a Ko-fi page can be is an illustrator and artist Mandy Jacek who managed to build new home office space thanks to Ko-fi donations. One of the things that helped her reach a great number of fans is her appearance in this Ko-fi’s blog.
An artist Monarrobot shows how much use you can make out of Ko-fi Gold. She chooses this version to earn for miscellaneous costs by offering her fans early access to brand new projects and a sneak peek at behind the scenes.
How Does Ko-fi Make Money?
As you can see, there are several examples of people who manage to earn money on Ko-fi by using the platform in different ways. But you may be wondering, how does Ko-fi make money to make this possible? Here’s the answer — Ko-fi makes money from Ko-fi Gold subscribers who pay a monthly fee to use the platforms. Donations made directly for the platform on the Ko-fi support page are another source of “income.”
How Satisfied Are the Users with Ko-fi?
If you can’t seem to decide whether Ko-fi is the right choice for you or not, it may be time to check out some reviews left by people who have used this platform. Learn from their experience.
Judging by the reviews online, almost all Ko-fi users are highly satisfied with the platform and can’t find a single drawback. Here are some of the major advantages that they emphasize:
- The platform is easy to use
- “Buying” someone a cup of coffee is a great way to both give and ask for support
- Great user experience
- Even the free version offers a variety of features to enjoy
- You can add the Ko-fi link anywhere you want
- Add a donation feed in your live stream video
- Use your Ko-fi page to interact with your audience
- Sharing images from a gallery can help you promote your channel
- You can download buttons and logos from the site instead of going through the trouble of creating them yourself in Photoshop
Is Ko-fi just the perfect platform for you, too, just like it proved to be for many other content creators? Considering all the benefits it brings, and none of the costs, you should at least try your luck on this great platform before you rule it out. If you like the idea of a flexible schedule and the possibility to earn some money without putting your fans to obligatory expenses, you’ll love it on Ko-fi.
You just need to keep in mind the previously mentioned steps to get started with Ko-fi to be well-prepared from the very beginning of your new journey. When you embark on your Ko-fi adventure, you should be free to explore all the different ways to use the platform and find your own best method for making the most out of its features. When you do all this, the money will follow. You just need to be patient — beginnings are always rough. When it seems to be too rough, remember all the positive comments Ko-fi users left and let other people’s positive experience inspire you.