I'm sure someone's already asked this question before here, but as a relative newcomer to webcomics, I was wondering how you guys went about getting your work noticed. Specifically, how you get people to comment on and criticize (for better or worse) your stuff.
I started my latest webcomic series back in late June, and I've already got 2.5 whole issues completed, so I'm just looking for some straight talk on how to get my work exposed.
That would be nice to know, but i guess there is no sure way formula. As I don't really care about popularity, I'm just doing my weirdness in my corner but I keep gaining subscribers, I guess due to my activity on the formu, I do try to interact with a lot of other author ans that's pretty much all i can tell you.
Idk about big time. But if you're interested in growing a small but regular and involved readership, be the kind of reader you would want to have. Really read other people's work and comment when you're genuinely interested. Sincerity goes a long way.
As a creator, make it easy for your readers. Make sure your pages are clean and legible and that they show your best work and that you care. Pick an update schedule you can stick with. Slip ups here and there are okay but you want to build goodwill by being at least somewhat reliable.
You can still grow a readership without doing these things but I still think they're best practice. Social media can help but ultimately focusing on putting out your best content and being a creator other people feel good about supporting.
Since people mention about using social media: if you're gonna go this route, be mindful of time and day you post on social media. Most people are on the computers for fun at lunch and/or after work, so you'll want to target those times.
Location:Trapped between the 3rd and the 7th Dimension
This answer varies for each comic because the kind of readers can vary wildly. Your answer lies in studying your own reader habits and the fandoms that are created around any popular themes you might have in your comic.
When you want to read a comic that has one or two of the ideas you have in your comic, where do you go to find it? Where are the communities that focus on any story elements you have in your work? This can be broad like looking into general romance which can be found on any media site to ones that hyper focus on subgenres like BL vampire romance which may only keep for a few sites.
Also take note of the kind of creator you are as well. I don't just mean to look into communities with other webcomic creators- but those who are about platforming quieter groups. On Reddit I mod a place for ace/aro artists.
And to expand from Jellyfishin- find hashtags, days or events that focus on things your work highlights.
Creating for yourself is fine, but we all have our beloved genres that we wish we could find more work of. It's hard to find it if the creators never put effort into being found.
As far as comments, it helps to leave an author comment. Have a question or an updates in regards to the comic. Simply asking "what do you think of this page?" can also encourage readers to leave a comment.
My author comments range from announcing birthdays, sharing interviews/reviews, or mentioning that I simply like the page I am posting.
In the old days, it was all about getting published. If you could get picked up by a professional publisher, your stuff would be out there. Otherwise, how to get eyes on your work? It was an exclusive club and very hard to get into. It was like putting your message in a bottle and hurling it at a kiddie pool a mile away.
Nowadays, it's very easy to get out there. Anyone can put their comic or other creative work up on the web. You're putting your message in a bottle, walking up to the shoreline of the ocean, and dropping it in. The problem now is that there are a million billion other bottles out there, so how to get eyes on your work?
As a member of the old school, I have little idea myself. I'm trying to cross-promote with other creators, use social media the best I know how, and combine that with conventions (though this year has of course not worked out for that.)
I'm by no means an expert, but here's what I've found helpful in my short time as a webcomic creator. I don't know whether this is better or worse than the experience of the "average creator"...
- setting up a Facebook page for my comic has been the most helpful to getting eyes on it. I post to that page every time I have an update, and also put up behind-the-scenes process stuff when I think it would be interesting.
- furthermore, every time I post a new page to Facebook, I share that post to a lot of Facebook art and comics groups. Facebook gives you a count of how many people have seen those posts and at the moment an average post gets about 4000 people looking. Sometimes this will translate to one or two new people Following the Facebook page.
- I also post to my Instagram feed and Instagram Story every time I post a new webcomic page. I use hashtags but honestly I don't think I'm using the right hashtags. I don't know how successful this is in getting NEW people (if you have a business account it gives you analytics, and usually most of the people seeing it are already followers) but it lets my Insta followers know there's a reason to come and look at my website again.
- I also post on Twitter when there's a page update. These posts do not get more than one or two likes, so I'm not sure how well Twitter is working for me in this regard.
- I post my pages to Tapas but honestly that is not working very well for me. I have 23 subscribers at present on Tapas.
- the Comic Fury forum is a great community of engaged and vocal readers! I always post in the "Shameless Advertisement" section - specifically this thread, and this one - when I have a new page up.
- One thing I've noticed is that my reader growth has definitely slowed down since I switched my posting schedule from weekly to bi-weekly. While I don't feel as stressed about getting a new page done, or falling behind schedule, I think one new page every two weeks is a bit too long. Unfortunately I can't draw any faster!! So a regular posting schedule definitely does help.
I don't know if I'm doing it right or doing it wrong. I'm hoping to learn some new tricks from the other posts in this thread!
This is what I would do if I wanted to build up a following:
Find ways to actively market your webcomic:
Identify your target audience and find ways to reach out to them.
Find people who review comics who can give you exposure
Network with other artists and find projects to collaborate with them on
Promote their shit too
Find multiple places to post graphics/specials/WIPs
Emphasizing- post shit ton of extra stuff on social media.
Extra content is your buffer between pages. It gives people something to look at while they wait, keeps them checking your website for updates rather than looking somewhere else for art.
Share your unrelated art on social media
Develop a persona that is authentically you
Consider what is different between the Rock and Dwayne Johnson- one is more emphasized and is better suited for hype. He himself says the Rock is just him but turned up a notch. People read comics of authors they feel are genuine in how they present themselves.
Don't be one link floating in the vastness of the internet:
Mirror on every website that hosts comics that works for your comic.
This may involve different formats for different viewing experiences
(CF is a great main hub. It's really great to have a customizable website to network readers to your portfolio, extra content- etc.)
Stream your art process on Twitch/Youtube
Commission artists to draw your characters!
Engage the readers you have
Respond to comments
Leave Author Notes
Post special graphics, extra comics, and eventually Q&As
Emphasizing, special graphics can be a very useful tool in getting people more familiar with your character.
Wall of fame for any fan art you receive
Post as often and regularly as you can.
Website should be clear and easy to navigate
If you get hit with criticism of any kind, respond professionally
Of course doing all this is basically a full time job- on top of being the writer, sketcher, liner, and colorist.
As a hobbyist this is not what I do ahaha