Promotion and Measuring Webcomic Success
Submitted by nemu-nemu on February 26, 2007 - 18:54
It will soon be a year since Kyubikitsy and I have been creating nemu*nemu on a three times a week publishing schedule. During the course of a year, we've both learned so much from doing the strip and trying to broaden our audience. I can't say that it's been easy but it sure has been an adventure!
While I wouldn't say nemu*nemu has been a break-out success, it's done pretty good for a two person team with full time jobs. After our first month I started to wonder how I should be measuring success for our comic. Of course to do this full time would be a dream but we tried to be realistic and keep things in perspective. We're not going to be overnight successes and we'd have to work hard to get people to at least take a look at our strip. So how did I measure success? During our first year, I tried to keep goals in mind for myself personally as well as the strip. Keeping specific goals has made measuring success for the strip a bit easier.
While theres no magic formula to success there are many ways to measure how well your site is doing. One of the first things I did was get an account at sitemeter (Free) to track nemu*nemu's traffic and performance of the site. You could also use statcounter which is also free. Sitemeter gives you a code to append to each page of your website. With this code, sitemeter is able to track vists, pagecounts, where the viewer came from and even what size their monitor is and a lot more! With these stats in hand, you'll be able to see how well your site is doing.
Now that you've got your stats, it's time to start experimenting with publicizing your webcomic. I think participating in different forums and letting people know about your strip is helpful. There are many good communities out there that cater to webcomics and a lot of them for webcomic creators. The thing to keep in mind is you want to communicate with people who might be interested in your comic strip. While participating in a webcomic creators forum is a great opportunity for you to get to know your collegues, you may not necessarily get more traffic since everyone in your group has a webcomic. This isn't to say that webcomic creators don't read each others stuff, but I generally think that usually your core audience is outside of this group.
So for instance, if your webcomic is about crazy guitar playing donkeys, go participate in some guitar related forums. Put your webcomic in your signature if it's allowed. This could expose your webcomic to an audience that can relate to the topic your webcomic is about.
Socializing in one community usually won't be enough to get traffic going to your webcomic though. You'll want to let everyone know you're doing a webcomic! Adding a signature to your emails and including the url to your webcomic is probably least invasive way to publicize your comic to friends and associates without having to actually tell them about it. Getting friends to read your webcomic is probably one of the better ways to build traffic, because if they think comic is good, you can probably ask them to help you spread the
word about it.
The more you promote the better chances you'll have at watching your stats grow. Granted your webcomic has to be GOOD in order to get people to read it and come back for more! "Good" is a subjective term so ask for feeback early on and do what you can with it to make your webcomic better. Promotion of a webcomic is almost a full time job in itself, but with a lot of patience and work, you can get the word out without spending a lot of money doing so.