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patreon page
So I am giving Patreon a try. As I have mentioned here before I’ve had friends who have very generously sent me donations since lockdown. But sometimes it’s awkward for them to ask, and also to receive. I’ve also had a couple of people I don’t know at all, but who have been following my various blogs about Sevilla and Spain, and wanted to send me something in appreciation for all the work I’ve put into them. Which of course is lovely and very much appreciated.

And then I heard about Patreon. Now there are several ways to offer up your creativity here. Some offer services, some online classes, others access to otherwise private online content. And others, I have seen, just promise to keep their content free and accessible to all. I’m in that last category. I mean, I always would anyhow, but it has occurred to me that maybe people like it enough that they may want to sponsor me. This is my page…

Patreon / Azahar Sevilla

I’m still working my way around how this works. I know there’s a fee (8% of whatever I receive) as well as handling fees for receiving money (same as Paypal charges, 3.4% + 0.35€ per transaction), then of course taxes. Anyhow, this is for monthly patrons, which is what their infrastructure is set up for. For one-off or occasional donations it still seems like Paypal is the best option.

So I thought I could just put this out there and see what happens. It’s still early days, so we’ll see how it goes. They asked me to write something about what I was doing/offering so I will copy and paste it below here. Let me know what you think.

Hi friends!

As many of you know, my food & wine tour business came to an abrupt halt in early March 2020 as a result of Covid and lockdown. And with the majority of my clients coming from the UK and US it’s still unclear when (if?) I will be able to start up again. Until there is a vaccine – or at least proper testing upon arrival – I can’t see putting my immunocompromised self (due to past cancer and chemo) in close proximity for several hours with newly arrived travellers who will be mostly maskless during this time. Without masks because… eating and drinking!

Meanwhle I continue to work on my labour of love Sevilla Tapas. This is a website I started in 2007, which began as kind of an accidental food blog but has evolved into probably the most complete guide (in English) for tapas bars and restaurants in Sevilla, with approximately 300 listed, rated and updated. This content has always been free of charge for anyone, along with lots of general information about Sevilla on my Azahar Sevilla site, and will continue to be so. I have never had advertising or paid product placement on my sites, nor do I take “freebies” in exchange for positive reviews. I pay for all my meals so that I can feel free to give my honest opinion, and because of that there is a lot of mutual respect between myself and the bar owners.

Since lockdown I have continued to support as many bars and restaurants as possible on my social media accounts, though obviously the reviews had to stop. Now with lockdown lifted and as tapas bars and restaurants slowly begin reopening, I have been able to start visiting them again and updating my content, as well as promoting them on my social media accounts. This I do as an extension of my website and the bars do not pay me for mentions on my Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Again, I prefer to be able to choose who I promote based on merit not money.

So this is where you come in! If you have enjoyed my content over the years, the writing and the photographs, and would like to support it, here’s your chance. Whatever you wish to contribute will be much appreciated and it will help me to be able to continue with updating (those tapas aren’t going to pay for themselves!) and, well, also help pay the bills. I do have a couple of new projects in mind for the future, but for now this is my only source of possible income. I know these are hard times for many, so if you can’t support with a donation please know I also appreciate your continued support by simply being there and staying in touch.

Stay safe everyone!
Shawn xx