Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

5 Big Ways to Promote your Webcomic?
mobilepornography at 3:30AM, July 12, 2007
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So I've spent some time checking out different methods to promote this webcomic I've been working on (this is kind of an update on a previous posting)…

CONTRABAND (Mobile Pornography)

I've read quite a few cool articles from very clever web-savvy folks out there. But it just seems no matter how popular or good your product is, to get into the “thousand-plus-daily-readers” region, you will need to stump up some cash and pay for promotion to attract new users and remind readers you're still going strong.

Tell me what's working for you (or if I'm missing the boat here) as I'm always interested to hear the latest promo schemes folks are trying out there….


1. Post Your Sample for Free:

- DrunkDuck (attracts younger manga-manic audience and has great page and stats functionality)
- ComicSpace.com (the full comic market pros/newbies and improving functionality)
- Smackjeeves (newer but over 5k webcomics although tough to do community contact)
- Comicgenesis (slightly older but great customisation and Keenspot places the best stuff)
- Deviantart (slightly limited functionality but strong archive of high quality work)
- OnlineComics.net (one of the largest collections online)
- WebcomicNation (smaller but strong older quality webcomics)
- Clickwheel (growing collections and great viral site)


2. Buy Some Banner/Button Ads
- Project Wonderful (still around 1-2 cents per click-thru/1000 page views)
- Google Adwords (about 5-10 times more expensive than PW)
- Overture (again, way more expensive)


3. Stick your Site on Webcomic Ranking & Listing Sites
- TopWebcomics
- BuzzComix
- Thewebcomiclist
- Webcomics Super 100
- Killboredom
- digitalstrips
- ohnorobot
- comicnation
- comicalert
- webbedcomics.com


4. Plug Away on Forums and Group postings

- the webcomiclist
- topwebcomics
- comicgenesis
- comicbloc
- digitalwebbing
- buzzcomix.net
- Buzzcomics.com (France)


5. Do a Bunch of Other Traditional Web Stuff?
- Link exchanges
- Banner exchange programs
- Online Press Releases
- Ezine Newsletter (opt-in email)
- Free Business Directories listing
- Free newsletter adverts
- Search engine optimization
- RSS Feeds
- Prize and Competitions

Cheers, TJ

CONTRABAND (Mobile Pornography)
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
Meechi at 5:49AM, July 12, 2007
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I took a look at your comic to see what it was about. It's interesting but one thing that's a bit of a turn-off for me, and what could possibly be the reason why you might not attract more and diverse readers is the dialogue. Your comic is very text heavy, like a story almost. And if people wanted to read a novel, they'd buy one or even go to the library. No disrespect, but that's the thing with comics. There's a balance between the art and the story. A story can be told with no words at all sometimes. I went through 10 of your pages and it was all speech bubbles to me. That's my personal opinion about, and it could be others. I would suggest trying to get that balance.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:58PM
freefall_drift at 8:17AM, July 12, 2007
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It may help if you are clear on WHY you are promoting your comic.
Are you promoting to make money or for the readership?

Is the primary reason to do the storytelling you want to do, and if you have fans, that's just a bonus?
Is the primary reason to get readers, to get fans, to get feedback?
Is the primary reason to get readers, so you can sell advertising and make money?
Is the primary reason to seen, so you noticed by a publishing company and you can get a paid contract?
Is the primary reason to seen, so you get get a movie deal?

Any and all of these are good reasons to promote and being clear on your purpose, will help you define where to put your efforts.
Freefall Drift - A sci fi space opera of a starship's mission of stopping the Endless Kings.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
freefall_drift at 8:29AM, July 12, 2007
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I think that Meechi was overly harsh. One of the strengths of web publishing is that we can all do the storytelling WE want to do. There are 100,000,000 sprite comics doing just that.
If you think that changing your storytelling would get you more readers and that's the most important thing, then do it. Otherwise, your storytelling is fine, it just doesn't appeal to Meechi.
Freefall Drift - A sci fi space opera of a starship's mission of stopping the Endless Kings.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
RDraconis at 1:13PM, July 12, 2007
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I dunno. I know it's horrible, but when I see large text bubbles like that I scan over it to get the general idea and move on.


I really don't know about how to do that- but from what I can tell, people trading links is the biggest way. Like someone saying “hey, this is an awesome strip- read it” and such. then, I reeeeally don
t know about this stuff. ^^;
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:01PM
StaceyMontgomery at 4:10PM, July 12, 2007
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I do try to promote my comic. Like, i went to Readercon this last weekend (actually, i was helping run the child care room) and whenever anyone asked me “what do you do?” I gave them a flyer for my comic. I post banners and such around the net. I put my banner in my sig on whatever message board I'm haunting this week.

But mostly… I don't really put a lot of work into promotion. It's just a matter of goals and priorities. There's not much chance that “Rocketship a Go-Go” is going to become famous and make me rich - I mean, honestly. Therefore, most of my energy and passion goes into making the comic. And honestly, if I was good at promotion I'd do sales instead of webcomics.

I think my comic has gotten noticeably better over the last few months - why, in a few years, it will be the best comic evah!

Of course, in the meantime, i read all of these “How to promote your comic” threads passionately. So don't believe a word of it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
SteveMyers22 at 1:03AM, July 16, 2007
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freefall_drift
It may help if you are clear on WHY you are promoting your comic.
Are you promoting to make money or for the readership?

Is the primary reason to do the storytelling you want to do, and if you have fans, that's just a bonus?
Is the primary reason to get readers, to get fans, to get feedback?
Is the primary reason to get readers, so you can sell advertising and make money?
Is the primary reason to seen, so you noticed by a publishing company and you can get a paid contract?
Is the primary reason to seen, so you get get a movie deal?

Any and all of these are good reasons to promote and being clear on your purpose, will help you define where to put your efforts.


Howbout change the last one to “animated feature” and put me down for ALL OF THE ABOVE?

;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:58PM
2ndwnd at 10:25AM, July 19, 2007
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Meechi
I took a look at your comic to see what it was about. It's interesting but one thing that's a bit of a turn-off for me, and what could possibly be the reason why you might not attract more and diverse readers is the dialogue. Your comic is very text heavy, like a story almost. And if people wanted to read a novel, they'd buy one or even go to the library. No disrespect, but that's the thing with comics. There's a balance between the art and the story. A story can be told with no words at all sometimes. I went through 10 of your pages and it was all speech bubbles to me. That's my personal opinion about, and it could be others. I would suggest trying to get that balance.

This brings up an interesting point. I love DD because of the VAST variety aforded each artist. Brief or wordy, serious or stupid, looking for the big time or looking to post comics anonymously . I think there is readership and support for each.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
Meechi at 1:26PM, July 19, 2007
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My intention was to not sound harsh at all. It was a personal opinion and critique, granted the OP didn't ask for that, so I apologize if it seemed forced upon you. From the lurking I've been doing here in the forums, I've seen this particular question asked on several occasions. As a writer and artist of my own comic, I have to ask myself why would people read my work. Is it the story? Is it the artwork? Does the dialogue engage your mind? These are the questions you have to ask. I'm not saying do it for the people, and I'm not saying change it. What I am saying is that it helps to know your audience, and understand them.

I noticed that there was one page full of comments, then after that it tiered off. Sometimes you have find what draws your audience. Someone could have easily said the same things I said, or said nothing at all and leave you wondering why you're not getting the hits you once did or whatever. I never said that it was bad to have a lot of dialogue…but sometimes it can pose to be a problem. Comics are in a genre where story meets art, and webcomics are a whole 'nother genre. It opens the doors wide open on comics with the vast control of page design and so forth. I was just merely stating an opinion, something I at least think should be considered.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:58PM
RabbitMaster at 3:48PM, July 19, 2007
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I suspect that one of the reasons more people don't read my comic is because of my slow updates. It's a little tiring to spend several hours on a page that someone can read in several seconds. And for my first few weeks here, it was a bit of an obsession with me, I suppose. I stayed up late at night after everyone else had gone to bed squinting at the screen, struggling with Photoshop. But now I post when I can between wife and job and kids and house and business stuff and ministry and food and sleep. I know I'm getting better and faster with Photoshop, and with issue 2 I'm going to switch gears in a way I think will speed up posts and improve quality.
I've decided to forgo any paid advertising until I have more pages up. No sense in forking out the cash when they can read the whole book in 20 minutes. I try to steer people to my comic, but I probably don't do enough of that. As foolish as it might be, I harbor the secret hope that some production company executive will stumble across Kung Fu Rabbit and say “Great Scotts!! This is exactly what we need! Write that boy a check!”.

It could happen.

“Perhaps you would care to try your villany on a less defenseless opponent?”–Kung Fu Rabbit
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:57PM
mobilepornography at 12:55AM, July 23, 2007
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Meechi
My intention was to not sound harsh at all. It was a personal opinion and critique, granted the OP didn't ask for that, so I apologize if it seemed forced upon you….I was just merely stating an opinion, something I at least think should be considered.

Hey, no worries - it's a fair call offering up your opinion…I like folks who say what they think and I appreciate you taking the time to check out our comic…we're hitting the market in Feb 08' with a 144 page graphic novel from Slave Labor and this webcomic trial has really helped us understand the online market much better…

And you're right about needing to balance the amount of dialogue and art…indeed we did intend to bash out something which was perhaps a little “text heavy” with a view of giving folks something a bit more meaty to tuck into (most crime/thriller comics from Europe tend to be like this)…

Regarding promotion…what's seems to be working well for some is this “pencil preview for a vote” scheme folks have running (Ie..PC Weenies, Gods of Arr..) as stats show they snag a few thousand unique visits each day from folks keen to see a glimpse into the next's day's content…one cool idea indeed…

CONTRABAND (Mobile Pornography)
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
AlmightyNam at 12:43PM, July 23, 2007
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I think Rabbit brings up a very good point. If your updates don't have a set schedule, it doesn't matter how many people you advertise to, no one will visit more than once or twice. I am also living proof that pencil preview for a vote is a very effective tool, simply because there aren't very many people who have the willpower to wait for the next page.

freefall_drift
It may help if you are clear on WHY you are promoting your comic.
Are you promoting to make money or for the readership?

Is the primary reason to do the storytelling you want to do, and if you have fans, that's just a bonus?
Is the primary reason to get readers, to get fans, to get feedback?
Is the primary reason to get readers, so you can sell advertising and make money?
Is the primary reason to seen, so you noticed by a publishing company and you can get a paid contract?
Is the primary reason to seen, so you get get a movie deal?

Any and all of these are good reasons to promote and being clear on your purpose, will help you define where to put your efforts.

What does it matter what the primary reason is? The reason why anyone posts a webcomic is to get people other than their neighbor to read it. I don't care what you say because, bottom line, thats really why you're doing it. Fans aren't a bonus, they're a purpose. In fact, all the questions after the first are just higher levels of popularity than the previous. You can't sell advertising if you didn't first get fans and feedback. You can't get a publishing company to notice you unless you're popular enough to sell advertising. You can't get a movie deal unless you are a popular that realistically only a publishing company can give you. And besides, why stop at just one level? Why can't you experience all of those?
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
albone at 2:18PM, July 24, 2007
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Why can't you experience all of those?


That's the real trick, isn't it? I think there are a ton of great responses here. I think another good idea is to try and promote your webcomic outside of the webcomic world. For instance, if your protagonist is Irish, maybe visiting a couple of irish themed websites would do ya good.
You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor!
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
AlmightyNam at 7:25PM, July 24, 2007
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So, essentially, know your audience?
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
albone at 7:37AM, July 25, 2007
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AlmightyNam
So, essentially, know your audience?

Yes, or moreover, don't limit your audience.
You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor!
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
marine at 11:52PM, July 27, 2007
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You've all got nice opinions, but I have some that are bigger and bolder, and will absolutely get you more readers with mixed consequences:

Number Four: Don't be a prick. If you're a douchebag like some of the major online comic guys, you'll alienate your peers and audiance, Its one thing to joke around with people, but its a whole other to critisize someone elses work without thinking about it objectively. You can say my comic is drawn bad all day, but if thats what the major concern is in a review, you've missed the point and can go read the Peanuts. If you're a nice guy who offers help (like posting in threads like this one or the compliment the last posters comics threads) you'll do a lot better. If you're reserved and timid, no ones going to give a shit about you. So man up and be aggressive. If you see something thats actually wrong with a comic, tell that person. If you're wrong, its ultimately up to them not to take your advice, but don't be a dick about it like the guys who review my work. Sure I do “hacky” material, but this is webcomics not rocket science.

Number Three: Do something no one else is doing. If you've got a camera, do a video podcast everyday. If you've got a mic, do an audio podcast everyday. If you can get a public access show going, do something no one else is doing. If you do something no one else thought of, people who can't think of anything but somehow are in a position to find your work will talk about it. Talking about your work makes your work more popular. So duh.

Number Two: Make great comics and be a great person Who cares if you're a sprite comic, angel/demon comic, manga comic, or any other genre or label you want to put onto yourself. If you've got something worth reading, or you yourself are an interesting poster, I'll go to your page. Thats what happens for me. I post everyday. I post mile long blog posts about my day, stuff I've checked out or heard about, and then I just talk about my comic for the day. I still find myself having enough material to post for years and people tell me my opinion and views are interesting. So be an interesting and explosive personality. No shy people allowed.

Number one: die or even better, just die tragically (a sickness you can't prevent, car accident, or get murdered) You'll be more popular if you're dead. You should complete a lot of works so that they can be released annually and continue attracting buissness. I bet Drunk Duck would give you your own special tribute page.

I could list of a lot more, but that number one is probably the biggest. Far as I know, no one has died in webcomics yet. You could do a pity party thread, but that'll only last for so long. I do my best not to let a pity party get me reading a persons works, but I find I do sometimes. If you pity party it hard enough, you'll get front paged and everything.

People suddenly don't give a shit that someone you loved died. Worse is when no one cares. Its odd that something like that happened to another drunk duck user, and no one said “oh I'm sorry to hear about that, are you okay?” and if anybody did, all I could say is “No. I'm far from okay. I'm a mess of a human being. I've grown so cold that a person I connected with on a lot of levels isn't around anymore for me to criticize or whine to about my various problems. I blame myself for them not being around too, but you already assumed that much I'm sure.” “Yes, I did actually.” Sure they might crack jokes about it, “ha ha, yeah person I loved died and I suck for not being there to save them” but it eats them up inside. Its like a pain you can't describe. A pit inside your stomach that turns and twists whenever you think about it. You've got that cross to pack everyday, and everyday you get it worse than the day before.

So go read my comics. Right now. Don't wait. Don't go to the site and bookmark it, go read it right now. Its updated today with a new page. If you don't like it, read some of the older ones. I'm sure you'll find something that appeals to you. Thats number one on my list of big ways to promote yourself. Just go on, read my stuff, and leave comments. You don't like extreme jokes that cause real belly laughs (not chuckles or smiles like most comics, a good hard real laugh) or you're too young for it (it is rated Mature by the drunk duck administration), don't bother reading my stuff. If you're old enough to go read it, go do it right now and enjoy yourself. It updates daily. I don't miss updates unless I'm dead. I'll talk to anybody that wants to talk to me, I don't care. I'll entertain you one way or another, even if you don't want to be entertained. I put extra content on my site, lots of it. I put a lot of hard work and effort into my comics. Other people have said mean things about them, what have you go to say about my comics?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
keithmccleary at 8:53AM, Aug. 9, 2007
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I think that it's worth it to set up a Myspace page for the comic as well. It's the easiest way to get all of your Myspace friends to check out your page, and you can then draw them off to one of your online galleries. And obviously you can do the largest amount of page customization with the least amount of html knowledge.

Plus there's a growing comics community on there, and most of the big names in comics have their own personal profiles. I've actually had some really high-end comic guys check out my work and write me back about it. Pretty neat.

http://www.myspace.com/killingtreequarterly
Now updating without interruption, starting 2/16.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:14PM
mlai at 4:12PM, Aug. 9, 2007
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I'm not familiar with Myspace. If it's just a space where everyone can blog… then how would anyone find your comic in the 1st place?

Is it because of a web of linking? Like, your friend visits your comic. Now everyone who visits his page can somehow follow a path to surf over to your comic, multiply ad infinitum.

Keep in mind I've never used Myspace and I know nothing about how it's different from an ordinary website.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
Runosonta at 10:32PM, Aug. 9, 2007
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You can sen kind of “group” and promotional messages in MySpace, that's what the musicians do. I guess it should work well with comics, too.

But yeah, I don't think they are there for comics anyway :D

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:12PM
SteveMyers22 at 12:29AM, Aug. 10, 2007
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Someone
You can sen kind of “group” and promotional messages in MySpace, that's what the musicians do. I guess it should work well with comics, too.

I post bulletins every week. But the way I do it is probably counterproductive. I send out my comic in the bulletin. Instead of link to the comic. I have a couple of subscribers to my MySpace blog where I started my web comic. But I have a lot of friends (those darn musicians) so I don't know if they really take the time to come to my blog all that much. Since they fill up MY box with their bulletins, I hit em right back with my comic.

I've actually gotten feedback from one of them who reads it regularly now. That was pretty cool. But yeah, I don't know if I'm going about this the right way at all. Ugh.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:58PM
mobilepornography at 11:32AM, Oct. 8, 2007
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…seems you gotta pay for it - but not much (P-wonderful is still running at about a cent per click-thru)T

Issue #1 of Contraband now available at Slave Labor's digital download www.eyemelt.com
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM

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