This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

The two reasons why the number of patrons on your Patreon account goes down

If you have a Patreon account, you may have noticed that the number of patrons sometimes go down. There are two reasons for this: 1) people simply discontinuing their subscription and 2) declines.

In over two years that I've had a Patreon account, I've only had one person leave, and they were kind enough to write that their financial situation had changed. I very much appreciate their writing this, as I would have kind of wondered if I had done something wrong!

Anyway, the number of my subscribers has gone down by five people this past year. And the other four people have been declines. And that simply means that when the time came for them to pay their monthly subscription, their payment method was declined, and either through an oversight, or some other reason (I have no way of knowing) and they have continued to ignore requests from Patreon, which they get every month. I don't contact them, but I know that Patreon does. It could be caused by a change in their credit card, or maybe they've decided to close their PayPal account, the reasons are endless. And since most of my subscribers are at $1 or $3 a month, I figure if their payment is declined, they have more important things to think about than following my Patreon page. Hopefully they'll resolve their situation, and return.

Choosing to not pay a monthly payment is all too often typical human behavior, but I'm inclined to think that it isn't typical for my subscribers. But it's a lesson on how worrisome it can be for a business that relies on monthly payments. I've known a lot of people in my life who have simply refused to pay for something that they promised to pay for, whether it's rent, or anything. There are systems in place to encourage people to pay in a timely way, and many businesses even have a schedule of charges if a payment is late. If a payment is missed, of course, there are legal actions that can be taken. Of course it doesn't matter to me on Patreon page, it isn't as if anyone is stealing from me. When their payment is declined, their subscription ends until they renew payment.

I hope this helps if you've been worried about this, and maybe wondering why the number of patrons on your Patreon page has gone down. Keep in mind that the actual list of patrons stays the same - you can still see who has been declined, but Patreon doesn't consider them to be an active patron unless they pay for their subscription, so the number you see on your page is only people who are currently subscribing, with a monthly payment.

The thing for you to do as a Patreon creator is to just go on creating, and really pay no attention to that other stuff. That's the reason that Patreon takes its percentage, they do the work for that. You just need to keep giving your subscribers the best you can. Now go create something wonderful!

Fear of the word "me"

As a graphic designer, specializing in print, I've spent a lot of time around people who write. Mostly it's been kinda breezy advertising copy, but I've certainly known a lot of people with a great command of the English language. And the English language is so full of strange "rules" or lack thereof, that people who use it well and comfortably are rare.

Of course, using it incorrectly can make people nervous, as it can reveal one's ignorance. And my favorite mistake is the fear of using the word "me". When it's not used as it should be, it reminds me of the gangster tough guys in old movies who spoke in a stilted way, in an effort to not look like, well, low-lifes. They might say, "It is good to see you, Mugsy, my friend. My understanding is that yesterday you had the bad misfortune to be caught whilst breaking into a safe." If you Google a clip from the 1955 movie "Guys and Dolls", you'll hear that done to great comic effect. And really if these mugs had just stuck to talking regular, ya know, it wouldn't have sounded so silly.

If you're not sure when to use the word "I" and when to use the word "we" when you're talking about doing something with someone else, simply remove the reference to the other person. If you say, "Bob and I will be going downtown", remove Bob, and simply say, "I will be going downtown." If you say "The gift was given to Bob and I", you're going to sound as ridiculous as if you said, "The gift was given to I". No, I won't point it out, I'll just do a inside smile, and realize that here is a person who is making an attempt to use the language in a way that they don't understand, and hoping not to reveal ignorance.

Comfortable command of the English language is what I've always called a "secret handshake". When I hear someone who knows when to use "me" and "I" or even how when to use "lay" or "lie", I know that I'm talking to someone who has read a lot, and not just comic books.

The English language is a flexible, changing thing, so I'm not the kind of person who goes chasing people with dictionaries. But it's the language that I speak, and it helps me to communicate. When people use "I" when they meant "me", I know what they mean. Heck, I even know what they mean when they say "I could care less", which is that they "couldn't care less".

If you could care less, and would like I to know it, don't worry, I already know. And smiiiile when you say that, partner!