“Did you ever consider Patreon either as something minor to fund the hobbies or as a full-time income?” asked my mate Kevin.
I did think about becoming a full time maker earlier in the year whilst otherwise out of work. IT companies were not recruiting and creating content for magazines and video was something else I knew how to do. So that could have been a possibility. I did actively make enquiries as well as job seeking at the same time.
My thought for being a pro-maker would be to have multiple income streams. Some of these would be conventional such as making items to sell and getting commissions for magazine articles. These are adhoc and don’t produce a steady income. So something like a column in a magazine might be a good thing to have.
Advertising and sponsorship is another angle to look at. I already have sponsors who post guest posts and send me things to review. So if I was going pro I might step that up and actively seek out deals with companies. At the moment they mostly approach me.
I also have a trickle of passive income in the form of affiliate links. Other types of passive income is selling ebooks, tutorials and plans. It is not truly passive but it does scale well, particularly if you can automate or outsource the process of marketing and selling.
Regular contributions from fans is another form of income. This relies on regularly providing them with something above at beyond what you release on your free channels. That might be early releases, an “after show”, a private forum to chat, or simply their name on the credits.
Kevin Kelly wrote about 1000 true fans and how if you had that you could earn an income with just $100 from each per year. These fans could be regular contributors but they might also be interested in things like merchandise such a T-shirts, stickers, branded products etc.
A couple of notable pro-makers who use this form of multiple income stream are Bob Clagett from I like to make stuff and James Bruton from X-Robots. There are of course many other examples of people using one or more of the above forms of income.
Currently, I don’t plan to start a patreon or other fan based regular donation as I don’t have that steady stream of new projects and content. But I do have some interesting plans in the pipeline so watch this space.
If you would like to contribute to Workshopshed then there is a Kofi page at