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How to set up your own kickstarter site

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We set up own kickstarter site for crowdfunding concerts. We wrote an article on our blog explaining how we did it.

Here's a copy of that article.

Kickstarter is great but if you’re not a US resident, you can’t use it to kickstart your creative projects. They’ll take money from anyone, anywhere in the world, but if you’re not an American, you can’t be part of their club. Maybe there are legal reasons for this but it still sucks!

There are alternatives like Indiegogo, RocketHub, Funded by Me and many others but one of the drawbacks is that your fans might not be that enthusiastic about registering for yet another web account to support you. On top of that, they all take a percentage (generally between 4 and 8%) of the funds you raise. And there’s also the fact that you’re sending your fans to a third party site, and that you don’t have full control over the look and feel. Last but not least, you have to submit your project to them, and they can refuse it if they don’t like the look of you! 

In comes IgnitionDeck. 

Early October, I talked to Christian, from Aaahh Records, about our plans for One City Per Second. He introduced me to Shawn, from Virtuous Giant, who was developing a crowdfunding plugin for WordPress.  I dropped him an email and explained what we planning.

They were using their own software to fund their project. For $39.99 (instead of $49.99) you were given access to the software before everyone else and lifetime updates, etc…

Here’s a short overview of the features listed on their site that were important to us.

1) Simple Paypal integration.

2) Social sharing (twitter/facebook) - it’s really easy to add those Like/Tweet buttons!

3) Mailing list support - it supports MailChimp and Aweber so you can import emails directly to a list of your choice. We use MailChimp so that was really cool. If you don’t use MailChimp, well, you should because it’s ace!

4) Unlimited Products - this was key for us because we wanted to be able to run multiple campaigns for different cities at the same time.

So we went ahead and purchased the plugin, a URL for the site, some hosting from OVH (a French hosting company), installed WordPress, and waited for the beta version of the plugin to become available.

When it was ready, Shawn installed the first version on our site, and we started working together. He provided some great advice about how to make use of the plugin and we were a great beta tester for them because we had a real life project for them to get their teeth into. Their documentation was easy to follow and it didn’t take long to configure it. There were a few bugs of course, but that’s all part of the process, and a small price to pay to be one of the first bands in the whole entire universe to have their very own crowdfunding website.

After a few weeks of real life bugs, just over a month after being introduced, we were ready to launch the site.

If you’re interested in setting up your own crowdfunding site, you won’t have to go through all of that though because the plugin is pretty much bug free now! :)

Here’s a summary of the steps.

1) Purchase the URL and hosting (or use the one you already have)

2) Install WordPress.

3) Buy the IgnitionDeck Plugin.

4) Install the IgnitionDeck Plugin.

5) Configure your site.

6) Add a campaign.

7) Raise some money for your project!

initiated Nov 14, 2011 in Other by Andy Richards (1,100 points)   4 8 14

3 Responses

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What are the legal thing  one has to think about?

You  are collecting  money on  a promise to deliver something - an album, a tour... what happens if you  fail to deliver or if you  fail to raise enough money?

Do you  give it back?

Sorry to be negative, i really like the idea - for my own music as well as for starting a McDumPipes ISP cooperative sort of thing perhaps wirelessly to avoid both BT and Virgin having  control.

Anyway, am going  to convert my site to WP (again, actually, why did i stop??) and give it a go.
response added Nov 15, 2011 by Tom Fraser (570 points)   2 3 4
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Good questions. We have a disclaimer for each campaign where we commit to refunding the money if we don't reach the target, or if the concert doesn't go ahead for some reason.

But I don't see how that differs from selling a CD from your website.

Just recently, I received a complaint from a fan who had ordered one of our 'name your price' vinyls (for which he paid 1 euro by the way - another one of our silly experiments!). Three weeks after ordering the record - still not sign of the package. On our bandcamp page, we have a disclaimer stating that if the product doesn't arrive, we'll replace it, because we're nice like that! 

Funny story. I got an email a few weeks ago from a very unhappy fan. He ordered both of our CD's and one of them was empty. I mean the CD packaging was fine, but there was no CD in it!

I apologized, sent him a replacement CD and refunded the CD to try and make up for my sloppy logistics. Two days later, he sent me a paypal payment worth twice what he had paid for the CD.

Last funny story. Just after launching One City Per Second, we received a request from a Gig Promoter offering us a 4 day tour in Spain! 


So yes, give it a try. You have nothing to lose and you may end up gaining things you hadn't even thought of.



response added Nov 15, 2011 by Andy Richards (1,100 points)   4 8 14
Our Tampa Attorneys have a goal oriented approach to the law, with a focus on Bankruptcy, Mortgage Modification, Foreclosure Defense, Marital, Divorce and Family Law, Workers' Compensation and Workplace injury, Social Security Disability, Criminal and DUI Defense, Real Estate
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This is fantastic.  I had no idea such a thing existed (though, am not surprised to find out it does).  Looking forward to future writeups on your experience using it.
response added Nov 14, 2011 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160

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