Home Historical entries Why Patreon Isn’t For Us

Why Patreon Isn’t For Us

written by Terysa November 20, 2017

After months of indecision, we’ve finally decided not to go ahead with Patreon. This is why.

EDIT: We have since moved over to Patreon and it’s honestly the best decision we’ve made. Read why we changed our minds here. Help keep our content impartial and free of sponsorships by joining us on Patreon here!

What is Patreon?

Before I get started, I’d better explain just what Patreon is for those of you who are unaware.  Patreon describes itself as a platform that allows creators to run a ‘membership business’ for their fans and followers. In other words, fans pay money directly to the creators, and in return they get some kind of perk or reward. It can be looked at in one of two ways: it’s either a brilliant idea that allows creators like us to get paid for our hard work (guys- running a YouTube channel is actually quite a lot of work! Why do you think this poor blog is so neglected?!) and creates an exclusive community for your fans. On the flip side, many view it as a virtual begging bowl where sailing channels are asking their followers to fund their enviable lifestyle.

Nick and I really don’t see the problem with Patreon. Some are vehemently against it- we’ve read many comments from those who clearly consider it to be a way of begging for money while living the dream. I kind of get that, but I don’t agree. I see no reason why someone who is putting a lot of work into producing enjoyable, high quality content shouldn’t get paid for it. However, we’ve decided not to go down that route.

Why Patreon isn’t for us

YouTube do allow creators do get paid by monetising their channel. However, YouTube has recently changed their advertising rules and regulations, which means that videos can be automatically demonetised for showing ‘inappropriate content.’ Unfortunately, what exactly makes content ‘inappropriate’ is largely speculative, and we ourselves have had many videos demonetised or restricted. There’s an appeals process, which we’ve used successfully, but the channel doesn’t make revenue while it’s being reviewed, which generally takes 24 hours. This means that we lose a whole day’s revenue, and it’s almost always the first day the video is published- the day we get the most views. In short, YouTube do not make it easy to earn money from their platform. Hence, Patreon.

Our friend Allison from Sailing B+A inadvertently made the decision for us. We were over their house having dinner, and discussing this very topic. She gave us a very solid piece of advice: “Money buys an opinion.” 

Quite frankly, while we’re very happy for our followers to have an opinion on where we go, what we do, and how much time we devote to cruising and sailing, we’re currently in the satisfying position of being able to ignore those opinions if they don’t line up with our own. If these same followers were taking their hard-earned money every month and handing it over to us, we’d be beholden to them in a way we’re currently not- a dynamic we’re in no hurry to change.

You see, while we’re happy sailing and cruising, we’re also happy doing things other than sailing and cruising. Here’s some examples of actual statements that one of us have come out with over the past few months, while we’ve been in the USA:

“Let’s buy an RV!”

“Let’s buy a van and do a conversion and do a road trip around the USA”

“Let’s hire a ski chalet and spend the winter snowboarding”

“Let’s go hiking in Nepal”

“Let’s go home, take back our apartment, and live in a house for a bit”

“Let’s work for a while”

“Let’s go spend 3 months on a surf break”

“Let’s sail around the Baltic”

“Let’s transit the Panama Canal and sail the Pacific”

“Let’s cross the Atlantic and sail the Med”

“Let’s ship the boat back to the UK- I’m sick of sailing”

“Let’s backpack around Asia”

“Let’s open up a restaurant”

I could go on. Point being: we love sailing. We love living on a boat. We love cruising. We would also love to do other things with our time, and having Patrons would make us feel obliged to continue on the course of action they had originally signed up for: boating, cruising, sailing to exotic places.

We’re not sure what the future holds for us, but what we value most is our freedom. We feel that Patreon would limit that freedom, even if it’s just psychologically. So. No Patreon for us. But there are ways you can help us out.

How you can help us out- if you want to

If you would like for us to get a bit of money in exchange for the videos we create every week, then there is plenty you can do- and most of it won’t cost you a single penny. The easiest thing to do is to simply watch the videos (told you it was easy!). If you’ve got a spare 30 seconds, then go ahead and watch the advertisement- that’s how we get paid. If not, that’s also totally fine.

The more activity we have on our videos and channel, the more it will grow. The powers that be at Google (who own YouTube) have a very mysterious algorithm in place that dictates how videos and channels are featured. While we don’t understand the finer points of this algorithm (pretty sure nobody does apart from a few well-paid nerds in Google HQ) one thing is for certain, which is the more activity (views, thumbs ups, comments, and shares) a video is receiving, the more likely it will be featured alongside other well-performing videos. And that, my friends, is how our channel grows and how we, ultimately, get paid.

We’ve also added a donate button to our website- you should be able to see it in the footer and the sidebar right now. If you’ve been emailing us, asking how to buy us a beer, well, there’s your answer! And thankyou in advance!

Sailing = Freedom

Until next time,

Nick & Terysa

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Tommy November 20, 2017 at 7:55 pm

Great thinking. If you can afford being your own, keep doing it!

Terysa November 20, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Thanks Tommy!

Joe November 26, 2017 at 4:31 pm

How about starting a family? I notice that’s not on your list!

Kristin Tousignant November 20, 2017 at 8:35 pm

I’d just like to make a suggestion about the the colour of the links on the blog, they’re just so light in colour, I can hardly see them.

Terysa November 20, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Hmm, not sure that’s something I can change with my very basic knowledge of IT… but I’ll look into it. Thanks for the feedback!

Sandra Watt November 20, 2017 at 8:40 pm

Hi, I’ve been following you for about a year now and have found your lifestyle enviable. My hubby and I are going to start our sailing travels spring next year. We have bought property to rent out and with a couple of small pensions we should be reasonably comfortable. I have often wondered how you find your travels – is it too rude to ask? We’d love to know how other people fund it. We’re not planning to go into competition with you, we don’t have the talent to write or do videos – just interested.

Terysa November 20, 2017 at 10:01 pm

Hi Sandra- we have property that we rent also. Best of luck with your travels!

Sandra Watt November 20, 2017 at 8:41 pm

That should have been fund! See what I mean about writing!!!

Alan Coe November 20, 2017 at 9:55 pm

Don’t open a restaurant unless you want to give up you nights and weekends for the rest of you life!!

Terysa November 20, 2017 at 10:01 pm

Ha! Sounds like you speak from experience!

Melissa and Gary Bealert November 20, 2017 at 9:59 pm

Beautifully put. You are both a joy to watch and I love the candidness that seems to come so naturally. We will continue faithfully watching your adventures, wherever they may lead. Best of wishes to you both.

Terysa November 20, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Thankyou Melissa and Gary! What lovely words of support!

Thiago Doria November 20, 2017 at 10:24 pm

Perfect! Always whatch yoir vídeos from Brazil! Will do better on the 30 secs adds. Grande abraco! Thiago Doria

Terysa November 21, 2017 at 2:06 am

Obrigado! (That’s ‘thankyou’ in Portuguese, right?! Haha!)

Jackie November 20, 2017 at 10:58 pm

Thanks for the info! We love your videos. They serve as great inspiration for us as we try to Squirrel away money toward our adventure! Excited to see where you go next.

Terysa November 21, 2017 at 2:07 am

We’re also excited to see where we go next! It could pretty much be anywhere 🙂

Ed Johnson November 20, 2017 at 11:02 pm

We have enjoyed your posts and videos and will watch the ads as you say. Last month we sold our samaller sailboat, our house in Sweden, our car. Now we are in Florida and signed an agreement on our second boat (first one, a Moody, failed the survey). Hope to be heading to the Caribbean in month.

Terysa November 21, 2017 at 2:08 am

Congratulations! All the best of luck with your sailing!

Jennifer Prince November 20, 2017 at 11:11 pm

I am just going to suggest you mark number 2 right off of that list! RV? Absolutely – in fact, everything else in the list sounds fabulous. Van, not so much. But you know I have been recently traumatized. Regardless of your decisions, I will carry on stalking you as always. Especially if you get a van. Or we end up in Bali at the same time. 💙💙💙

Terysa November 20, 2017 at 11:31 pm

Ha! I did think of you when i wrote that! X

James November 20, 2017 at 11:18 pm

Thank you for not going the Patreon way. Would hate to think I’d be missing something! I true enjoy watching and hoping for the day I’m on the blue with yous!…..ok maybe along with yous!….:)

Terysa November 21, 2017 at 2:09 am

Thanks James!

Bobby Budziszek November 20, 2017 at 11:44 pm

First off… love you guys and I love what you do (not just the sailing bit). I love this article as it spans many markets and marketing applications, I own three businesses whilst working full time as an engineer… I get the pains of brand development and recognition and the struggles to get paid (or break even). Keep up the great adventures, you guys fill a bit that’s missing while I sit in my desk pushing ink into paper.. why not do some merchandise that can be sold global… i’d put stuff in my stores 🙂

Terysa November 21, 2017 at 2:12 am

Hey Bobby! Thanks for the comments! Working on the merchandise 🙂

Richard Ellis November 21, 2017 at 12:09 am

Hi guys, other channels have videos other than their sailing adventures. I, like others, enjoying following your adventures and will continue to follow you guys whether your travels are on land or sea. Fully understand that you don’t want to be at the behest of others so follow your dream and we’ll come along for the ride!!

Terysa November 21, 2017 at 2:15 am

Good to hear Richard! Thankyou!

Bob La Pierre November 21, 2017 at 7:25 am

Hey guys! I found your channel because of an armchair interest in sailing (it would take several million dollars and three surgeries to get me sailing ready but dreams must) I was thrilled about your transit plans (has it been six months ago?) Then you dropped this smallish nuclear weapon Sunday and I have been considering . . . What I love about your channel is your dynamic. Here’s the thing, I enjoy what some call rants but what i see as plain-spoken-ness. And I love to see Terysa trying to reel Nick back in. Blunt honesty is something I learned to appreciate as a military brat living around the world and watching you each calling “bullshit” (americanism) on each other is hilarious. So go and have fun. Fill me in as you see fit, but I have enjoyed your channel immensely from both the sailing and personal level. (PS Tell Nick I think he needs a Neal 51 to love and take care of) Bob

Terysa November 22, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Thankyou Bob! Glad you’re enjoying the videos!

Gary Crew November 21, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Add watching and “thumbs up” always! I have read the blog and I like the way you link it to Facebook and Instagram, which certainly creates more exposure. You are guys are very unique in that most followers are following YOU and not just the sailing. Hell, we’d watch you sit and read a book….because we know some type a shenanigans will ensue! Hope to see you guys in Charleston before you head out. Cheers! UKCrewser. (University of Kentucky, not United Kingdom🙂)

Terysa January 29, 2018 at 2:29 am

Cheers Gary! Thanks for the great comment!

Cheryl November 21, 2017 at 11:52 pm

Love you guys, love your videos. Love them so much that we hover together with earphones in so we can understand WTH Nick is saying! We are leaving ourselves in about 260 days, hope to see you out there. Wishing you beautiful views , fair winds and many more adventures. Cheryl and Jimmy SV Amaryllis

Terysa January 29, 2018 at 2:28 am

All the very best Cheryl and Jimmy!

Matthew December 4, 2017 at 7:56 am

I am glad to watch your videos. Love the realistic, the technical, the Nickdoms! I think your doing a great job helping others decide if they want to, if they can, and how to sail. Many channels peddle soft porn as “sailing’, in fact one channel is called “Sailing Ms. Porn Star” in jest by a lot of us desk top sailors. Other channels show good times, great weather, and gorgeous geography inspiring the desire in all of us to set of and sail, but at my age good planning, great research and a gorgeous check list are more inspiring and desirable. You may not have the most popular channel, but you have one of the best.

Terysa January 29, 2018 at 2:28 am

Thankyou so much Matthew! Very kind words.

John Edward Voigtlander OKeefe March 16, 2018 at 1:17 am

You all were my first sailing youtube channel I subscribed to and still my favorite. The several other sailing channels I now subscribe to all use patreon to help fund their adventure. I have learned a lot from all the sailing channels I subscribe to. You two are sailing the way I would sail the world if I decide to try it.

I am glad you all are able to stay independent of patreon. I have been a full-time USA RVer and part-time sailor for the past 15 years based out of beautiful Perdido Key, FL so certainly have a wealth of knowledge on RVing if you all ever decide to stay in full-time sailing and try being a part time RVer. It’s by far the best way to explore my USA, in my not so humble opinion. I’ve RVed in all my USA lower 48 states. Alaska and Hawaii is next on my RV radar.

Keep the sailing info coming Nick and keep up your great, honest creative work Terysa. I hope sometime to meet up with both of you face to face so we can share information and I’ll treat us all to a “good ole Southern USA pub crawl”!

Fair Winds and a following sea,

Terysa July 2, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Hey John- sorry, I missed this comment 🙂 Yes, we’re trying to just rely on AdWords at the moment. We’ll see if that’s a viable long-term solution. Thanks so much for your ongoing support, it means the world! (And RVing is definitely on our to-do list..!)

Carlo van Niekerk July 2, 2018 at 12:22 pm

Very interesting viewpoint. I have done some research on Patreon as so many sailors use that now as a source of income to fund their sailing lifestyles. Thanks for sharing!

Terysa July 2, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Hey Carlo- Thanks for the comment! Yes, it’s a popular way of earning an income from making videos. Never say never, but it’s not right for us at the moment. 🙂

marcus avoth July 28, 2018 at 3:36 am

Good article Teresa. I will watch the ads first now , I normally skip them as I didn’t realise. I was just wondering if you would be able to afford to do this if it wasn’t for YouTube and how much income I would need coming in to do it myself. Like what was your point where you both said we have x coming in let’s do it …. ? Also didn’t you look at a cat once and why did you change your mind? Thanks guys, don’t change a thing you are awesome.

Andre March 1, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Love your channel on YouTube and the technical bits.

I see you changed your mind on the Patreon concept. How much of a difference does it make on the budget (in % terms) vs. Youtube monetization?

I’m fantasising about doing a sail trip around the world and wondering if this makes sense to have in the background. Obviously, it’s not something that will help until we are 1% as popular as you guys, which is a BIG if in itself…

Terysa October 18, 2020 at 2:36 pm

Hey Andre- so sorry I missed this comment. YouTube change their algorithm and monetisation settings regularly so our YouTube revenue has gone up and down over the years depending on the latest YouTube policy. Right now it’s about 40% Youtube, 60% Patreon, but up until recently it was more 20/80 in favour of Patreon. That ratio will continue to change in the future. Good luck with your sailing plans!

RxSin October 9, 2020 at 8:58 pm

Like Andre’s comment above, I was just wondering what made you change your mind on the Patreon experience. We are going to start a blog and youtube site soon also but that seems like so much work in and of itself, I can’t imagine trying to create special content for Patreons.

Terysa October 18, 2020 at 2:26 pm

Hey mate- creating fun, informative and impartial sailing videos has gone from a hobby to a business, so I guess that’s the crux of the matter. We prefer a crowdfunding structure to sponsorships as it allows us to continue to create content we’re passionate about rather than relying on ‘viral’ videos or sponsors. Most creators are doing the same these days. We’ve had Patreon for two years and it’s honestly the best decision we’ve made as it’s allowed us to go from spending 2-3 hours per video to creating high quality content that we’re proud of.


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