Tips + Tricks
About a month ago I started publishing my comic Stormspectrum here on Tapastic.
I have heard of others that post their comic also on Facebook, Deviantart, Tumblr etc.
Are there tips and tricks that I should take in account if I would do so too?
What is the best course of action?
Do everything, see what works what doesn't work, keep doing what works. It's different for everyone where you'll find the largest audience, so you're just gonna have to look honestly. Lots of people have a ton of success on tumblr, but I have like 25 followers, and very few reblogs, Tumblr is not my place, this is something I've learned by trying, so yes. You have to try everything.
- hashtag your posts with tags that make sense (#comics, #webcomics, #tapastic, #art)
- Include Tapastic in your post if you're linking your Tapastic comic (@Tapastic)
- Remind people that they can help you out by like/comment/sharing your post and/or comic
- Join Facebook groups and also post about your comic there too. Be active and apart of those communities as well.
- Join LOTS of groups (it's seriously the best and only way to get seen there). There's a ton of comic groups on deviant art. Join as many of them that apply to you and your comic, and submit your posts to the correct folders (you don't want to make a moderator mad by submitting to the first folder or a wrong folder).
- Include a link to your Tapastic comic in description for your submitted art work, and remind people that they can help you out by like/comment/share your comic
For Tumblr (I get a few people here too like @Sketchmazoid, not really my site either):
- Hashtag with appropriate tags (#comics, #webcomic, #art, #tapastic, so on so on)
- Include a link back to your Tapastic comic
- It's really important to grow your followers before you see much action
- Follow comic related people, publishers, companies (50/50 chance you'll get a follow back)
- Like, comment, retweet other people's post. People like that and will sometimes follow if you keep it up.
- Join Twitter Lists (their version of groups) and become apart of those communities
- When you post a link to your Tapastic comic on Twitter include @tapastic in your post
- Hashtag, again, using what makes sense and what you can fit in the limited characters post
- Include a teaser image of the posted comic. Maybe a dramatic panel or something interesting that will entice people to click through
- Remind them to like/comment/retweet if you have the space for it
- Join appropriate subreddits (comics, webcomic, narrativecomic, comicbookart)
- READ their rules (each one has their own rules and they'll get "Hulk Smash" angry if you don't follow them)
- Post a link to your Tapastic comic
- In the name field, READ THE RULES, to know how to properly name but most want "[OC] name of your comic : Page #" OC stands for original content
There's other sites you can try that are a bit easier to post and forget about it, like:
Try everything and see how it goes. Also you can make free ads to promote with on ProjectWonderful.com, here's a step by step guide on how to do that here:
Hope that helps, and let us know if you find any great tricks and tips too.
Thank you both very much, this is very helpful.:)
Thank you for the awesome advice Cyndi!
Well, first, you can always plug your series.
Like...."Hi my name is David and I make The DaneMen"
"Hey, check out my new series 'Danetropolis'."
See, that was easy.
But getting people to click "subscribe" is more difficult.
So first is a visibility problem, but second is a matter of quality.
Unfortunately for you and I, we cannot control what the reader determines is worth subscribing to.
Probably, they will respond to the quality of your images more than the quality of your writing, so having an attractive/unique strip is an asset.
Being "easy to read" is another asset. This comes from writing. Try to limit dialogue to only what is essential (moves the plot forward/reveals character).
Last, and @CyndiFoster has really told you where to start, you have to find people to read your strip.
Luckily, they do collect in places like deviantArt, reddit and here in the Tapastic forums!
1. Make a strip of "quality"
2. Find people who like strips like yours and share with them
Ohhh, I'm going to try that!
Thank you for the advice David! You're right about trying to find your audience and sharing your comic creation with them. That's a very practical idea and marketing strategy!
Is it super frowned upon here, like it seems to be in DeviantArt, to ask for follow4follow or something like that?
OH DEAR GOD I would hate to receive such a comment/ request. Yes, it would be super duper frowned upon by many if anyone did that.
Personally, I wouldn't want to do it anyway, even if it were allowed. I want people to read my comic because they find it fun/interesting, not because they want a favor from me.
I ask on sites like DA or facebook, i feel like a moocher...it bugs me, but at the same time, I get watchers, where I get my art seen and otherwise, most people don't see it, but I hate when people hit me with that on say, Instagram...I feel what you're saying completely...that's why I like there being a specific place, forum, or group to exchange those.
@stevemyers773 It may be much more acceptable AND beneficial to join a feedback exchange group. I can give a decent critique upon request, and it would still be genuine; but if I am following someone's comic to honor a request, that would not be genuine at all.
if you have the same problem I do, it's being able to "sell yourself" and creating your "online persona". I have trouble acting it up to appeal and to do it being truly genuine. Some people are able to shine doing this and be genuine about it, I think my being an introvert inhibits me from finding that "online" voice I need to relate to people and appeal to them. I'm afraid it cannot be avoided and is a part of what goes into being a comic artist for some. Especially if ones own artwork does not stand on it's own to catch someone attention. But please know this doesn't apply to everyone but is one of many ways to help your standing in getting subscriptions.
This describes a conundrum I run into time and time again! Some people manage to be incredibly charismic through their online persona in a way that makes them memorable and interesting, but also genuine. So that people feel they know them, despite never really interacting with them. Me...? Eeeeeh I struggle with that one and have done for years.
Although i think there are various things about my life that I could utilise in building an identity (unusual jobs and hobbies etc) I've just not got the flair to use them. I just be nice to people and show interest in them. That's the slow but also effective route.
wow holy crud i love you for this
Wow, that post is over a year old! It can use some updating:
Really not my favorite place to promote, especially Facebook since they practically force people to pay to reach the fans that follow your page. Facebook's algorithm is setup where:
- You publish your post
- Your post gets shown to a small percentage of your following
- If those people happen to see it in their feed and interact with that post (like,comment,share) it then gets sent to a few more followers of your page
This is a bad setup for us indie content creator (and other small startups) because it makes it more difficult to grow organically (without paying for ads or boosts). And if you do pay for ads or boosts you run the risk of being sent to a like farm (whether you do this through facebook the legitimate way or through a terrible like farm company, they're both the same). Like Farms are bad because they can bloat your Facebook page with fake likes making it more difficult to get those interacts mentioned previous on your post and diminishing your reach to your followers. Don't buy Facebook ads or boosts. I don't think this is a fair business model Facebook has and people shouldn't buy into it.
I can go on about the negative side to Facebook, however, let's move on to how to make it work there. Michael Son made a fantastic thread post on how to build a social media presence with no budget based off of Facebook that I highly recommend:
To sum it up:
- Use tools like Hootsuit to make posting across multiple platforms easier and to track analytics
- Get your Friends and Family involved in supporting your social media profiles (get them to start like,comment,share)
- Link vs Image Linking, links with a thumbnail tend to turn more heads
- Scaling Growth, spending too much time online can be damaging
I have a few loyal followers here however still the only way to get their attention is through posting new content in groups. Also DA is currently going through a shift where a lot of artists are leaving the site and it's feeling a bit like a ghost town there.
This site is more of a blog site then a social media site. Spam links do not work on Tumblr and go largely ignored. It's best to treat Tumblr like a journaling/blogging site and post tutorials, wips, tricks and tips, rather than new page post update links. And of course Fan Art is huge on Tumblr and a quick way to gain a following, however, if you're against that it's still possible to make it on Tumblr through tuts and wips. Also when hashtagging, the first 5 hashtags are your most important ones. Any hashtag after the 5th one is weak, so when someone searches for #bananas and that's the 6th hashtag on your banana post, it's less likely to show up in their banana search... >.> #bananas.
Still a fantastic place to promote on but be aware of reddit's 90/10 percent ratio. You must interact with other people's posts (commenting and such) more than you're posting your own links otherwise you'll be ghost banned from the site. Meaning you can still post but no one will see it. Also Tapastic links are flagged as spam for subreddit moderator and overall have a lower performance than posting an imgur link to your comic. In fact, Imgur links are favored on reddits even over official personal websites however you can still post a link to your site (imgur links just get more results).
I'm a big fan of Twitter. Unlike facebook, Twitter doesn't with hold your posts from your followers and your tweets will appear in the feed of everyone that follows you AND! the more people interact with your tweet the more that tweet will show up in other feeds as "Recommended" usually in the feeds of friends of your followers and people interesting in the category you tweet about like comics and such. Also there's a wonderful webcomic community on Twitter that I can't love enough! Super sweet amazing talented people and every weekend is #webcomicchat or #comictalk at are amazing events to join in to learn more about comics and mingle with fellow creators. Love it there! Also thumbnail images with your page update link posts are recommend and I also recommend bumping your original tweet atleast a few times to make sure it's seen. Followers don't mind this at all and tend to need a bump reminder so it's not lost in the twitter feed.
I still HIGHLY recommend it. I still haven't added any money to my PW account and spend the money I earn on my own ad boxes on my site to advertise my site. It's been a pretty good cycle for a person with no spending budget (me lol). My method to PW:
- Make a bunch of ad designs and several size variations too
- Bid on as many relevant Free Ad boxes that you can find (it helps if the site your bidding on is a similar genre as your comic)
- If your ad performs well on their site, friend that user (doesn't matter if you know them or not it keeps their name in a place where you can return to and bid on the ad again) and spend a little bit on their ads.
- Filling your friend list with sites your ad performs well on is like making a roll-a-dex of effective ad campaigns to fall back on.
- Bidding even as low as .01 ensures that your bid lasts more that 2 days and if no one is bidding on it it's still free for you. Only if someone else bids on that ad will you start spending money.
- Sell ad space on your personal site to earn money that you can spend on PW to advertise your site. It's a good cycle.
- If an ad you bid on falls below .20% CTR (click through rate- the percentage of how many people that see your ad actually click on it) cancel that ad campaign. It's no longer being truly effective after that and you start spending money on a low click through rate. I average about 20-30% on my ads.
- If your ad is getting a low CTR on a lot of sites, try redesigning your ads. It's might not be an effective eye catching ad.
GiveAways are a fun event for readers and the creator, and it's an opportunity to grow your comic too. I just finished my first GiveAway event a few days ago. I use Gleam.io to run my giveaway and I was able to accomplish the whole thing with the free version of the site. Highly recommend it. Readers were able to enter daily entry tickets to rack up their chances at winning and Gleam also let me create custom entry tickets like subbing to each of my Tapastic series gave them 1 entry per series they subbed to, Liking our FB page got another ticket, Follow on Twitter, sub to the RSS on our main site, and (super effective) daily opportunity to win an entry ticket if they voted for Oops on TWL. Gleam kept track of all the entries for me and randomly picked winners at the end of the campaign only revealing the email addresses of the winners (everyone else that entered their emails were hidden). We got a massive boost through our Giveaway
Top Webcomic List is a webcomic director site that lists webcomics based on votes that website gets from their fans. Depending where you are on the list, you're likely to see increased traffic to your site. During our Giveaway we managed to get to 200th place and noticed a good amount of new traffic to our site with a good percentage that stayed and read through our archive. It's nice on TWL to include voting incentives of wips or thank you sketches that readers can unlock by voting for your series on the site. I'm still experimenting with TWL but so far it's been positive.
Do them. It's an awesome way for creators to help each other out. It's win win. One creator gets a break and still has something to post on their series and the other creator gets a bit of exposure from the other creators series. Guest comics are also a fantastic way to experiment and try something new. Like a gag strip if you usually make long form comics.
This is a fantastic way for readers and a creator to interact with one another. In your announcement that you'll be doing and QA comic, it's a good idea to list the characters in your series with their names so readers can easily direct their question to them as oppose to "That one character with the blonde hair I think?..." Q/A comic are a good way to have some non canon fun or share some back story/details that might of not ever been addressed in the series. Have fun with it
READ! This blog article on how to use Google Analytics, sign up your site to GA, and start effectively learning the behavoiral patterns of the readers visiting your site. How many are New vs Returning, what your bounce rate, what pages are they bouncing on, is that a boring part in your comics/an ineffective gag strip, what device do they view your comic on, is your comic optimize for that device, what countries are viewing your comic, should you translate your comic for that big audience in another country, what sites is your traffic coming from, is that a social media site to focus on when promoting, on and on. GA is critical to answer all that stuff.
And that's all for now. I'll have to remember to add more next year ;D
this is beautiful. thank you sooo much
Woah.... That is really helpful you guys. Thanks! I think I am spreading my comic okay now.... I am currently busy with making the best content as possible, but I also do graphic design and try to sell prints so either way it is pretty handy.