11 Creative Ways to Use the Button on Spotlight

This week, we launched a feature we're really excited about: spotlight pages. Creators with successfully funded projects can now make permanent, custom homes for their ideas, right here on Kickstarter.

What can you do to make a spotlight page all your own? Change up your description, tighten up the title, and go to town on the look and feel. You can get creative with everything from the background to the main image to the little blue button that starts out with "Follow along!"

It's a pretty cool button, indeed. You can change the words on it, make it whatever color you want, and link it to anywhere you'd like backers and fans to go when they're done exploring your spotlight page.

This project made their blue "Follow along!" button red — and it looks great!
This project made their blue "Follow along!" button red — and it looks great!

Here are some ideas (in no particular order, we promise) for using that button to direct traffic.

1. “Visit our website” • Your spotlight page is your homepage on Kickstarter, but you can also link to your website, portfolio, blog, or wherever you share your creative life at large. 

2. “Watch the movie” • David Cross sends visitors right to his movie, Hits — but you can link anywhere the film can be accessed, such as iTunes (like Terence Nance did, above). Didn't do a film project? Link to where fans can download the album, play the game, or read the e-book.

3. “See it live” • If you’re approaching opening night of your performance — or maybe you’ve finally got your band’s tour all booked — pack the house by linking to tour dates and ticket sales.

4. “Check out my new project” • Launching something new? Get the folks who've already shown their support to take a peek at what you're doing now.

5. “Follow me on Instagram” • Share even more cool things by linking to Instagram, Tumblr, or Youtube. Adam J. Kurtz has fans keep up with him on Instagram — and Golden Goose shared links to their arsenal of how-to videos on YouTube!

6. "Preorder" • Finishing up production? Build up that buzz like Electric Objects, and let supporters call first dibs on your creation. 

7. “Should I do this again?” • If you want to gauge interest in your work moving forward — or just poll your audience — you can link to a Google form or survey page and ask away!

8. “Buy it now” • Where can people get the amazing thing you’ve created? Make like this reinvented camera lens or this binary-busting comics anthology and link to your preferred place for supporters to buy what you've made.

9. "Fork us on Github" • Tap the endless coding power of your community or open up your idea to the world — like KickSat is — by linking to a Github repository.

10. “Vote for me”  • Entered your project in a competition somewhere? Make it easy for fans to show their support in numbers. (Make sure you're playing by the rules!)

11. "Booking and interviews" • If you're getting lots of inquiries about making appearances, you can show those who are interested the best way to get in touch, like Ellen Ziegler did. 

Pro tip: be creative, clever, and clear! Messages with a personal touch (and a call to action) will help visitors find their way. 

"Follow along!" can mean social media (Like us on Facebook!, Follow us on Twitter!), your website, blog, links to webisodes or podcasts, or even a sign-up page for your mailing list.
"Follow along!" can mean social media (Like us on Facebook!, Follow us on Twitter!), your website, blog, links to webisodes or podcasts, or even a sign-up page for your mailing list.

Thinking of launching your own project? Get motivated by checking out some other great spotlight pages. Don’t forget to take a look at our Creator Handbook and follow @KickstarterTips on Twitter so you can get hints on making your project come to life.

Already a creator with a successfully funded project? Just head on over to your project page and dive in!

This Week in Kickstarter

Niamh and Sofia of "Why Can't I Be a Sushi?"
Niamh and Sofia of "Why Can't I Be a Sushi?"

Welcome back to This Week in Kickstarter (TWiK?), our periodic rundown of what’s been happening on and around the site. This installment comes during an extremely eventful week. For one thing, we spent yesterday officially launching a great new feature called Spotlight, which you’re welcome to learn about right here. For another, Zayn quit One Direction. It is a little hard to concentrate right now but here goes.

Contentious! Listen. I can’t speak with absolute certainty, but I’m fairly confident that a Kickstarter project has never before been discussed in great depth in the stock-market research on Barron’s. And yet here we are, thanks to the week’s newsiest project, Billion Dollar Bully. What’s the simple, super-objective way of describing it all? We’ll restrict ourselves to the following list of facts.

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The Process: Lisa Glover on Making Paper Dinosaurs

We first talked to Lisa Glover when she was running her first project, a paper velociraptor that you could assemble yourself. It turned out the internet loves dinosaurs (who could have seriously seen this coming?), and the project blew up — and nowadays Glover is dedicating her time to all things KitRex. She's running a second project, and this time it's for a paper pterodactyl. We asked her to walk us through the process of putting one of these guys together. 

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Introducing Spotlight

After watching more than 80,000 new creations take off on Kickstarter, we know that a project doesn’t stop at funding. We’ve seen projects go on to win Oscars, open restaurants, send satellites to space, and become a part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. We’ve watched tens of thousands of projects come to life. Every one of them has a story of its own — and we want to help creators share those stories with the world.

That’s why we’re so thrilled to introduce Spotlight, a new feature that allows every successfully funded Kickstarter project to tell its story from beginning to end.

With Spotlight, successfully funded projects will turn into living, breathing homepages for their work. We’ve added simple tools that let creators customize the look and feel of the page, share their progress, showcase what they’ve made, add links to where you can experience their work for yourself, and tell their whole story, from concept to reality, all in one place.

Curious about how it works? Watch the video below. Curious to see what creators are already doing with it? Start exploring here.

For creators, Spotlight means the freedom to create a real home for their work, and make sure visitors can see the things they’ve made. For backers, it means an even closer connection with the creative process, and a bird’s-eye view of a project’s progress. And for everyone else, it means never coming across a Kickstarter project and feeling like you’ve missed it all.

Funding is just the beginning. Now, creators can turn the spotlight onto all the amazing work that comes next: creating great things and sharing them with the world.

Interview: Emily Gould and Ruth Curry of Emily Books

Emily Gould and Ruth Curry have been hand-picking dark yet illuminating, subversive books for more than three years as the publishers of Emily Books. The digital feminist subscription service offers one juicy read each month, celebrating and promoting writers that are ripe for discovery (or rediscovery, in the case of many of their re-issues). As Emily Books looks to broaden its scope and provide a new and improved online space for its community to gather, we talked to Gould and Curry about their working relationship, their tastes, and how to market a book that doesn’t neatly fit into traditional publishing categories.

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The Process: Bloom Blanket

A little over a year ago, Bianca Cheng Costanzo launched her Bloom Blanket project. The blanket simulated the folds of origami, but was not just an art piece, it could keep you warm too. As we watched the pledges for this intricate object come in, we wondered how she'd be able to manufacture them on such a large scale. Now that the blankets are in production, we asked her to tell us how she did it.

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By the Numbers: When Creators Return to Kickstarter

As Pebble’s latest project nears $20 million in pledges, on top of $10 million the first time, it still might seem odd that the company decided to return to Kickstarter. But the truth is that creators come back to Kickstarter every day. In fact, creators who have run more than one project have received over $511 million in pledges — nearly a third of all money pledged on Kickstarter.

Already in 2015, Pebble, Max Temkin, 3Doodler, Spark, and many others have returned to gather funding and a community around new projects.

By now that’s not so unusual: 22,000 Kickstarter creators — 12% of all of them — have launched more than one project. It’s easy to see why. The funding success rate for creators who come back after a successfully funded project is nearly double that of the overall site average — and their next projects do even better.

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