Tom Boruta is a Software Engineer who created Graphtreon because he wanted to follow the progress of Patreon creators. In this episode, we talk about how to use Graphtreon to track your Patreon’s progress. 




  • What is
  • Why did you start Graphtreon?
  • What are some interesting things you’ve seen in the data?
  • What advice do you have for someone considering Patreon?
  • What advice do you have for someone who is wanting to get more patrons?
  • How much money does the Median Patreon page make per month?
    • A lot of your audience doesn’t know what Patreon is,
  • Tell us about the Graphtreon Patreon Page. Why create a Patreon account for your site?
  • Walk us through your rewards. What are they and why did you pick them?



Transcription generated algorithmically by Sonix (Affiliate Link)

Intro: [00:00:03] This is the creative fun show podcast for YouTube podcasters who want to fund the work they love.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:00:13] So we now welcome to the creative funding show. Today we’re joined by Tom Baruta who is a software engineer who created Graefe Triano because he wanted to follow the progress of patriotic creators. So Tom welcome to the show.

Tom Boruta: [00:00:29] Thanks for having me. It’s good to be here. Yes.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:00:31] Tell us a little bit about Graphtreon. What is it.

Tom Boruta: [00:00:33] Sure it’s a Web site that just clicks daily statistics on all the playground campaigns.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:00:39] So in some ways it’s kind of like kicktrack but for patriotic to kicktraq is a third party service for Kickstarter that has all this really cool analytics that tells you how many backers and it even has some projections on how you’re going to do. And when I stumbled across Graphtreon I was like Oh my goodness this is perfect. I’m so glad this exists. So but why did you create Graphtreon. Why. Why you and why this.

Tom Boruta: [00:01:05] Yeah I was actually funding some people on Patreon in late 2014 early 2015. And I literally would go to all their pages every single day to see how they were doing. And since I’m a software engineer I was. I was like well this is dumb. I should just build something that tracks this stuff for me and that I’m sure other people would want to see that. So I made it a public website and that’s where it started and I really love graphs so I made them all on the graphs.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:01:35] So a lot of people think oh the only kind of person who’d use a service like graphtreon to see charts and graphs and progress of a page rampage would be the patreon on page creator. And what you don’t realize is that there are super backers out there super patrons who are just as passionate about your success as you are and who would actually build a software program to just track how well you’re doing.

Tom Boruta: [00:01:56] Oh yeah for sure. And so me. I keep trying to tell that to the creators I talk to is your patrons want to know that stuff your patrons would love to see this kind of stuff. And some of them had to take my advice and share their Graphtreon pages with their patrons and some of them don’t think their patrons want to see it.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:02:15] Yes. Walk us through what sorts of things are tracked by graphtreon.

Tom Boruta: [00:02:18] Sure the number of patron patrons your campaign has and if your earnings are public the earnings they have and it’s every day I collect that data every day. And also if they the creator links their YouTube channel for their Facebook page or their Twitter profile I track. The followers and likes to all those pages as well.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:02:44] Yeah and it’s really cool because you can see like how many Facebook fans somebody has. Do you see a correlation between like how popular somebody is on Facebook Twitter YouTube with how much money they bring in. Actually I get that question a lot and no there is very little if any correlation

Tom Boruta: [00:03:02] Between like the success of a patreon page and the quote unquote success of a social media profile.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:03:08] See this is what I’ve been saying for a long time. On my other show the novel marketing podcast. Social media is not this powerful tool for marketing that a lot of people think that it is. It’s a good place to go and have a good time but it’s not going to drive money like you would think so. So what does correlate of Twitter and Facebook don’t correlate with how many patrons somebody has. What does correlate that you’ve seen.

Tom Boruta: [00:03:31] It’s pretty much the engagement with your patrons or your audience who can then become patrons. It seems like if you’re more personable you just talk directly to them using whatever means of conversation you want to use. A lot of people used to use Facebook or Twitter or YouTube or dischord.

Tom Boruta: [00:03:54] You just need to keep an engagement with people and then ask them ask them for support. Ask them for to become patron and that helps more than anything I’ve ever seen.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:04:05] So it’s really about that human connection.

Tom Boruta: [00:04:07] Yeah.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:04:08] So you’re saying that the solution to a technology problem is actually a human one.

Tom Boruta: [00:04:14] Kind of yeah I guess it is.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:04:16] If a software engineer is saying it folks it must be true. So that’s awesome. So what other sorts of things just does graftreon track.

Tom Boruta: [00:04:25] We just have top lists of like all the different categories. Actually it is not easy or super possible to get patriarchies categories Intergraph trans so I didn’t come up with a method of trying to determine what a category a patreon campaign is in and that I put them into those categories and rank them based on the number of patrons and I do it by number of patrons. For a variety of reasons mostly because a lot of creators hide their earnings nowadays. So ranking them by earnings doesn’t really work that well anymore.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:05:00] That’s right. And patrons are the most certain thing. And it does correlate the number of patrons you have correlates pretty strongly with how much money you have. It’s not a one to one correlation but it has a strong correlation. What advice do you have for somebody who’s thinking about starting pitcher think you’re like the king of data. You get all the data and you’re a little like magical castle of data. What’s the advice that you give somebody who’s thinking about getting started on Patreon.

Tom Boruta: [00:05:25] Sure. Well first a lot of people just make a patriotic campaign when they’re starting out just starting creating. That’s OK but you’re not going to get any payments for a while. You should have an audience. And you should make something that people want and people want to. Quote unquote pay for. They think it’s your patrons should hire your audience should think it’s something worthwhile to pay you to continue to create.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:05:54] And what about for somebody who’s who’s already being tracked by you. They’ve been using pitch around for six months or so and they’re wanting to grow their page what sorts of things do you see works well at building that revenue.

Tom Boruta: [00:06:06] Engagement with your audience. Like I said earlier also a lot of creators you just need to ask most of your audience might not even know you have a Patreon on page. They might not know what Patreon is. So like if you make videos you should ask either at the beginning or the end of all your videos links in your scripts and let your audience know because I think its creators will be surprised at how many people don’t know that they have a page rampage.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:06:38] It’s the grandma test. If you going see your grandma she doesn’t know what something is. There’s a good chance probably half the population is more like your grandma than like you. And a lot of people don’t know what Patreon is and they hear it. What’s sad is that you often hear it at the end of YouTube videos like go back me on Patreon on you know and they hear that over and over again but they never are curious enough to look into what that is and they don’t know. And so it’s up to you as a creator to do that education and get the word out because once someone backs one patron patreon page it’s a lot easier for them to back number two through infinity because they’re to have an account there to have a password they have their credit card information in there. If that first page. That’s such the challenge. And that’s your job as a creator is to get get the first ones.

Tom Boruta: [00:07:23] Absolutely. Yeah. Getting people onboard is the hard part. But once they’re in their data shows that patrons start patronizing other creators quite quickly.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:07:37] Yeah. Yeah you do see that data specifically like how many how many how many people does the average backer back.

Tom Boruta: [00:07:44] So I’m not able to get that specific sort of data. I get kinda know it anecdotally from talking to people from patreon.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:07:54] You can give us gossip that’s OK we accept gossip on the creative funny show yeah get OK.

Tom Boruta: [00:07:59] Gossip is like the average patron pledges like five campaigns.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:08:05] Ok so that’s that’s not bad. And that’s. So one application of this is that if there are several other campaigns that are similar to yours already on Patreon there may be a base of support of folks who may be willing to throw you a buck or two. I feel like patron is now where Kickstarter was five or six years ago.

Tom Boruta: [00:08:24] I agree.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:08:24] When I first got started with Kickstarter you know a campaign made twenty thousand dollars. It was this huge deal is like oh my gosh these people raise 20000 dollars on Kickstarter these people raised a 100 thousand dollars on Kickstarter and now no one blinks twice. Somebody is raising a million dollars or 5 million dollars for a project and I feel like the money the real money that’s going to be made with people using patreon hasn’t really been realized yet. And the top creators haven’t been realized like the top 10 are probably not going to be the top 10. A year from now and not because they are making less money it’s because new people have come in that are making even more money than that.

Tom Boruta: [00:09:00] Yeah I’ve seen lots of creators that used to be in the top 10 are not in the top 10 anymore and not because like you said they’re not losing support. It’s just these other creators have even more support.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:09:12] That’s right and that’s really good for the community because they’re bringing more users who have patriae on accounts. So that’s one of the big advantages now kickstarter is that a lot of people have a kickstarter account. Kickstarter has their credit card and it’s a lot easier to back a campaign than it used to be although it’s still probably 50 percent of the population doesn’t know what Kickstarter is so you forget what your grandparents know and people like your grandparents who love to give you money or to back something they just need to know how to do it.

Tom Boruta: [00:09:39] Absolutely and I’ve actually done the Google Trends thing of comparing Kickstarter versus Patreon and actually Patreon is starting to pass Kickstarter on a regular basis for Google searches.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:09:52] I believe it and it has. You know people may mention their Kickstarter for a month or two or doing it right. Six months right five months leading up to the campaign than during the one huge blitz. But then they hardly ever mentioned it. Whereas if somebody is a blogger. They may be mentioning Patreon every day or every week for years because it’s this kind of constant rhythm. And I think that’s a much better model especially for people who are trying to make a living because you’re getting revenue in a much more even way. Speaking of which you have your own patreon paid for it supports Graphtreon. So tell us about that.

Tom Boruta: [00:10:28] Sure. I collecting all this data. It gets quite expensive quite quickly. So I create a patreon campaign and I see I have like 120 patrons now supporting me and supporting the website and all the data I collect.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:10:48] That’s awesome. I’d like for you to walk us through your rewards. I feel like the biggest opportunity for learning is to see what other people are doing with their rewards. Because there’s a lot of ideas that we can get for our own patreon campaign. So what are your rewards and what are your most popular rewards.

Tom Boruta: [00:11:03] Sure. I guess I’ll preface this saying like I’m a little bit I would think I’m a little bit of an outlier because I’m sort of a meta creator.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:11:11] There’s nothing wrong with meta creators my friends. Nothing wrong with that but I just want to leave that caveat in there.

Tom Boruta: [00:11:18] I started my of my lowest year at two dollars just to support graftreon and to get access to I usually post like images or ideas of new features I’m going to create. I tried to pick reward levels where I thought it was worth it for the patron for the type of rewards I was giving out and then the next one is the names for draft five dollars and you get your name post on the website on this supporters page.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:11:51] And just just to jump in real quick. People love that. So as a creator often it’s easy to take for granted having your name on the internet or your face on the Internet in a public way. Right not just on social media but for normal people that’s really exciting to have them their face or their name featured on a website. And I find that this is a super common reward regardless of category is you know I will feature your name somewhere in the most popular shows like authors here. Like you get to be the name of a character who dies people love that.

Tom Boruta: [00:12:25] Oh yeah I know it’s awesome I’ve seen a lot of creators use that really creatively like Peter Howland’s. I want to see like a year and a half ago. Did a campaign where he’s like everybody who is in my dollar above tier gets their name printed on the leaflet inside my CD. He got a huge surge of support just because your name is going to be permanently on the leaflet on all those CDs. However many he ends up selling like hundred thousand or whatever. And people love that stuff having their name at the end of YouTube videos all sorts of stuff like that.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:13:04] Yeah. All right so tell us about the ten dollar level sure that you get like a banner on the sports page. Usually at this point the people that want to pledge to me are other creators so we link to their patriotic page so hopefully they get some some pork from people perusing my site in this in a sense is using Patreon as an advertised advertising platform to sell advertising.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:13:30] So this is what historically to like buy a banner ad on my Web site and it’s really hard to get people to buy that but when you put it in the context of Hey you’re helping keep the site together. It’s a lot easier to do this. We actually have the same thing with Novel Marketing where people get to feature their book on the website. The link to Amazon is a very popular level. Tell us about the 25 dollar level.

Tom Boruta: [00:13:50] So everybody in this group and the next group have their name on a banner and it rotates between all of them on all pages and graphtreon. So same thing sort of advertising and helping out graphtreon and now everybody is obviously going to go to the supporters page and see your name or your banner. So this is even more exposure.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:14:12] So the more you pay the more exposure. So twenty five dollars gets you on all the pages. Fifty dollars gets you on the home page and you have these limited. Is there a certain number that you’ll max out at or is that how many you can sell.

Tom Boruta: [00:14:25] It’s how many I can sell at the moment. Yeah I have it set up so I should be able to handle as many as as many as I can get.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:14:35] All right. Very cool. Final question what do you have any trade secrets for our listeners have special tricks or tips that we haven’t asked you so far of ways to raise more money for their art.

Tom Boruta: [00:14:50] Every creator seems to be different. And all the Creative solutions that get really big bumps are usually specific to what that creator is doing.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:15:03] I think that’s a powerful principle actually which is play to your strengths.

Tom Boruta: [00:15:06] Yes

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:15:07] So there’s not one silver bullet. You know there’s things that everybody does together a lot of people do which is you know putting backers names places which is an inexpensive thing for you to do and has a lot of hope for the backer. But other than that you have to look at what you’re doing and how it connects with your audience which I realize is hard to be like oh here’s how to do it for a random person you have to look at what they’re doing specifically. Any cool trends that you’ve seen. What’s changed in those statistics from the beginning when you started and now have you seen anything change.

Tom Boruta: [00:15:39] Not really just more and more people are jumping on the platform and ending up at different points on the top thousand list and stuff get lots of different like things I would never think of jumping of patreon like. It’s called Knitty Knitting Magazine magazine is quite popular. There’s a Nintendo magazine that’s quite popular. It just things I would never think of are popping up on there and finding success.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:16:11] It’s not being about popular generally. It’s about being very popular with a small motivated group of people.

Tom Boruta: [00:16:17] Yep

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:16:17] And it’s you know you don’t have to be HBO you can be some creative access you know TV shows long a passionate audience. So Tom thank you so much for coming on the show. Where can our listeners find out more about you and about graphtreon.

Tom Boruta: [00:16:31] Pretty much just go to Grasstree and calm. And I also post on Twitter at Grasstree on if there is a new feature to the website.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:16:40] All right we will have a link to Graphtreon and two digraph Tian Patreon on page in the show notes. If you are listening on a podcast app you can just swipe either up or to the side depending on the app in that link will be right there and go straight to those sites right there in your mobile device of use. I know most of you listen to iPhone’s but hopefully more of you will be listening on Androids in the future as Android embraces podcasting. Which is a conversation for another day. Tom thank you so much for joining us on the creative funding show.

Tom Boruta: [00:17:10] Thanks for having me.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:17:12] Very happy to have Tom Baruta on the show and I know talking about graphs may not be that exciting but there is a really powerful principle that what gets measured gets managed and the better you understand how many subscribers you have how many patrons you have how quickly you’re adding them how much they’re backing at the better you have an understanding of those numbers the better you can adapt and tweak your patreon page to the backers that you have and to encourage more people to become your patron in the future. So I really do encourage you to go and check out graphtreon you can look up not just your own page your on page but any other picture on page you can look it up and see how they’re doing and compare and contrast and see what the best folks in the industry are doing and I will say I’m using graphtreon to find guests for the show to see who the top players are in various categories.

Thomas Umstattd Jr.: [00:18:03] Thank you so much for listening today to the creative funding show you can find out more creative funding dot show. And as always please leave us a review on iTunes. We so appreciate your views on iTunes they are helping to spread the word about the Creative Funding Show.

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