How per-creation billing works

  • Updated
Per-creation billing is a great option for creators who want a flexible billing solution for their memberships. While “per creation” offers more control over billing (members are only charged when you charge for a post), we’re going to share some details about how it works to help you decide if it’s right for your membership business.

Some terms we’ll use:

  • paid post = when you make a post and choose “Charge members”
  • monthly limit = a billing max that members can set
  • back catalogue = posts published before a member joins
  • pending bill = a bill set to be processed on the 1st of the upcoming month 

Making a paid post – billing your members

To publish what we refer to as a paid post, click the Charge for this post box when publishing a post for Everyone or Paid members

 
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Once they’ve joined your Patreon, members get access to your entire back catalogue of members-only posts. This is true for all Patreon billing options – members get instant access to your content once their membership has been confirmed.

Members are billed up to their monthly limit for paid posts you publish while their membership is active. This means that members are not charged for paid posts you’ve published before they joined.


When are my members’ bills processed? 

  • On the 1st of the following month: When you make a paid post, a pending bill is placed on members’ accounts. We process your members’ pending bills on the 1st of the following month. So if you make a paid post on 1st June, a pending bill is placed on active members’ accounts. These pending bills will be processed on 1st July. Once processed, the funds can be found on your Billing and payouts tab

OR

  • Immediately when a member cancels their membership: When a member cancels their membership with a per-creation creator, we attempt to charge them for all pending bills on their account. 
Learn more about the member’s billing process here. How to bill members and customers

Members’ monthly limit

Sometimes referred to as a monthly max, a member’s monthly limit is the maximum amount they will be billed for paid posts in a given month. The monthly limit ensures that members are never charged more than they’ve agreed to when they joined your Patreon. 

This limit is set during membership confirmation and can be edited throughout the month. Don’t worry – lowering the monthly limit doesn’t remove pending bills. If a monthly limit is not enabled, members are eligible to be billed for every paid post you make. 

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Does this mean members lose access after they’ve been billed their monthly limit? 

No. Members will have access to all paid posts and members-only posts published as long as they have an active membership with you and do not have a declined bill. 

Example: Jake joins your $5 tier on 12th July and sets a monthly limit of two paid posts, or $10. Jake has access to and can comment on all of your paid and members-only posts after joining. You make paid posts on 13th July, 22nd July and 30th July. Jake has pending bills on his account for your 13th July and 22nd July paid posts. Jake is charged $10 on 1st August for his July pending bills. 

Review members’ current monthly limits

You can review your members’ current monthly limits by downloading a CSV of your Active members. To do this:
  1. Head to your Relationship Manager
  2. Set Membership type > Active members, and click the CSV button.

Members’ monthly limits will be in the column labelled as Max posts of the CSV you downloaded. The number listed shows how many posts members will be billed for paid posts in a given month.

Posting as a per-creation creator

Although you’re a per-creation creator, you have the option of setting post access in a variety of ways. Below, we’ll walk you through the different ways you can post on your page. The most important thing to take away is that you can set access in two different ways for paid posts (Members Only or Public). 

In this section, we’ll break down how you can set access for these two types of posts: 

Posts you can charge members for

To charge members for a post, make sure to click the Charge for this post box when publishing

Paid post for “Paid members”

Members are billed with a pending bill, and the post can only be accessed by paid members. Fans or free members who come to your page will not have access to the content of your post. We process pending bills on the 1st of the following month or immediately when the member cancels their membership to you.

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Paid post for “Everyone”

Paid members are billed with a pending bill, and the post is publicly visible. So all of your paid members, free members and fans alike can view this post. We process pending bills on the 1st of the following month or immediately when the member cancels their membership to you.

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Unpaid posts 

Paid members

Members are not billed for this Post. However, all members (at any Membership level) have access to the Post.

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For specific members

Your members are not billed for this post, and it is only visible to the Membership value that you’ve selected.

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Public unpaid Post

Your members are not billed, and the Post is publicly visible. This means that all of your members, free members and fans can view this post.

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FAQ

  • No. To ensure that members can still support per-creation creators, even if they’re on a budget, members have the option to set a monthly billing max. Members will be billed for every paid Post you make while they have an active membership, up to their monthly max. Check out this article that explains monthly maxes for members here: How do I set a monthly max to my membership?

  • We always want to process your patrons’ payments. If a payment is being declined, it typically indicates that the patron’s credit card issuer (bank or PayPal) is blocking the charge for some reason. When a patron’s payment is declined, that patron immediately loses access to your patron-only and paid posts. They’ll only regain access once they resolve their declining payment.

    Learn more about declined payments here: Declined payments

  • In the end, whether or not you should use per-creation billing is entirely up to you! A few things to note:
    • As per-creation creator, you won’t be paid up front. When you make a paid post, it does immediately put a pending bill on your patrons’ accounts. However, you’ll need to wait until the 1st of the next month or if the patron cancels to receive their payment. It’s important to ask yourself if you’re okay with waiting until the 1st.
    • You’re not selling a “thing” to patrons. Your patrons have a membership with you which grants them access. Per creation billing is simply how you bill them for that membership.
    • You’re not guaranteed that every patron will be billed for every post. As we mentioned, patrons agree to pay a certain amount every month. We’re unable to exceed that limit.

    When we’ve seen per-creation work great:

    • Creators who publish quarterly work – think reviews, Zines and anthologies.
    • Creators who don’t post every month. If you don’t post content every month for patrons, it makes sense that you might not want to bill them every month. Per-creation billing offers that flexibility.
  • Unfortunately, no. We unable to bill members once we’ve entered a new billing cycle. The billing cycle begins at midnight on the 1st of each month Pacific Standard Time. To bill members for a given month, you’ll need to publish a paid post (click charge for this post when publishing)

  • If you’ve already published a post and forgot to select charge for this post, you’ll not be able to edit the post to charge members. If you’ve already published your post and realise that you didn’t select the option to charge members, our best recommendation is to publish a new post with the content and tick the box to charge for this post. Once you’ve published your paid post, you can delete your previous post. Here’s how to delete posts: Edit or delete my post

    Tip: It’s helpful to add an amendment to your new post letting members know why there are seemingly “duplicate posts”.
  • An important thing to note is that per-creation billing is our legacy billing and was not set up with the idea that posts are a “thing” you are selling your members. It was built with the idea that your members want to support you and think your work is more valuable than ad revenue. Instead of thinking of your paid posts as things that your members have “purchased”, try to think about your paid posts as content you’ve created – and your members have a membership that unlocks access to your content. Members value that content at different levels of support.

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