How to grow your creative business by selling digital products on Patreon

Curious about selling digital products on Patreon? Learn best practices for setting up your shop and getting started.

A gripping true crime podcast, an expansive catalog of detailed fashion design tutorials, quirky illustrations in your signature style: If you’re a creator, you have something that keeps people coming back for more. By selling digital products directly on Patreon, you can reach fans in new ways — and build your creative business along the way.

But how does selling digital products work, and how do you know whether it’s right for you? Here, we answer your top questions about selling on Patreon, so you can feel confident about setting up shop.

What is Commerce on Patreon?

Commerce is a suite of tools that you can use to sell your digital products to anyone — whether or not they’ve joined your membership. These tools let you:

  • Sell digital products. If you can sell it in digital form, it has a home in your shop. If what you offer fits into the all audiences category on Patreon, you can sell videos, podcast episodes, music, 3D printing files, image galleries, and other supported formats — and fans can enjoy them from any device or platform. For more ideas on what to offer, explore our guide to what to sell and how to promote it.
  • Launch your shop in minutes. Once you’ve started your creator page, you can upload any digital product (audio, video, images, or other types of downloadable files) and set your price, right from your Shop tab. Your shop will open automatically once you list your first product – no set up or coding required – and no listing fees. Patreon keeps 5% of each transaction, plus applicable fees and taxes.
  • Promote your products. To get the word out to your community, you can embed your product listings in your posts for your members on Patreon and share them on your other social channels. Learn more tips on how to promote your Patreon.
  • Offer a secure shopping experience. Patreon securely handles checkout and payment processing, supports more than 30 currencies, and ensures that only the purchaser can access and enjoy your digital product.

For early access to Commerce, join the waitlist.

Why should I sell digital products on Patreon?

Start earning in a low-effort way

For more than three years, Gayle Warfield has been operating TealTeacup, a monthly subscription club for enamel pins that she designs. Her shop makes it possible for her to offer her digital work to fans who may not be ready or interested in the commitment of an ongoing membership. She’s envisioning stocking her shop with everything from digital wallpapers and greeting cards to travel itineraries in Japan. “I love having a shop that [generates] passive income and requires minimal effort,” she says.

Open up a world of possibilities with a new income stream

Digital products can be a relatively low-stakes way to bring in additional revenue. And having a new source of revenue can help you unlock goals and grow your business. For example, Nico Edward, who creates reaction videos about Korean pop group BTS with WhatchaGot2Say, says he plans to put the earnings from his online shop toward staff. “We have a team who's mostly part-time,” he says. “I would love for them to be able to go full-time with this.”

Similarly, for Jenny Baliff, who produces ad-free educational content as Science Mom, adding a shop to her membership means the opportunity to delegate and set growth goals. “I would like my Patreon income to increase by 30% so that I can outsource several things I'm doing right now,” Jenny says. She hopes to hire more people for her team to help balance her workload.

Offering standalone products opens up opportunities to connect more deeply with your community and paves new avenues for creating on your own terms.

Give fans more ways to get your work

If you offer paid membership on Patreon, a shop is a perfect companion. It can draw in fans who have been following and admiring your work for a while, but who may not be ready for or interested in membership. It will also be a better fit for fans who may join for just one month to access specific content, then cancel. With your shop, you can offer something valuable to those “inbetweeners.” Instead of becoming a member, these fans can buy what they like from your digital shop.

Mia Benzien, the artist behind M3DM, sculpts 3D models and shares the templates with her members so they can recreate them with their own 3D printers. But some of her fans just want certain design files and don’t wish to commit to monthly membership. “They’re like, ‘I want to get what I want,’” says Mia. “This is a nice way to connect with those kinds of customers as well.”

For fans who are genuinely on the fence about signing up for paid membership, a sample item from your shop can be just the thing to get them to take the plunge. So you can think of the products available in your shop as a preview of content available in your membership levels, and a way to encourage these fans to sign up for membership.

Plus, you can offer more benefits to your current members by making digital products free with membership.

Bring everything you do together

If you’re a Patreon creator who’s already running an online shop elsewhere, you’re probably familiar with the work involved in juggling different platforms, just like Mia. “There is benefit to diversifying your income streams,” she says, “but there's also the time cost of managing so many different things.” Having a shop on Patreon allows you to streamline your efforts: You can keep digital products, content, community, and membership all on one, dedicated home. By consolidating your income streams and traffic, you can drive your fans to just one place, bringing focus to your online creative presence.

No matter how you decide to use your earnings from your shop, one thing’s for certain: Offering standalone products opens up opportunities to connect more deeply with your community and paves new avenues for creating on your own terms.

Ready to get started? Read more about what you can sell in your shop on Patreon.