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Traffic Magnets: What Has Worked For You?

What did you do last year that brought you the most traffic?
We tried conventions, advertising, forums, e-mails, begging... Banner ads and trolling the forums still seem to be the best bet for Adam and I.
How about you?

For visitors who actually

For visitors who actually stick around, the Crossover Wars are a lot better than any paid ads have been.

Nothing like paid advertising

macnut's picture

Late entry on this thread, but for me, nothing worked like paid ads, particularly ads on Alpha-shade, ComicSpace and Schlock Mercenary. Those sites have bought in the most traffic for me so far, and it looks like a good proportion of that traffic keeps coming back.

So, for me, it's paid advertising for the win.

 

 

The MacNut
Creator/Writer/Artist
The Vanguard

The MacNut
Creator/Writer/Artist
The Vanguard
http://thevanguardhome.com

myadd A quick project

algeya's picture

 

my

add

A quick project wonderful diary I started sign in, off course the first couple of days I bidded on free adds but I was outbidded fast and it took a lot of time I could only get a couple of adds and didnt help me a lot. but when I started to pay it was different , first I checked the sites with more readership (obvius), In Experience a site with between 50,000 to 100,000 readers will get you around 5000-8000 will look in your website.But you can acomplish the same bidding 10-30 cents in 10,000 readership sites than paying a lot in just one site (quantity its inportant)

then I ran the adds when it was update day when there`s more readers

Then I searched comics that are similar to mine (weird real life with a overseas flavor) or at least that I enjoy (My tastes are similar with my usual readership) for example if you have a gaming comic it would be logical a banner in a gaming comic like dueling analogs -Used some common sense, if I advertise in Diesel sweeties for example, Im exposed to a new audience(his print audience that are not webcomics readers) In FACT I did bid on this site, even I was outbidded a few hours later it got high numbers because of it.

The sites that I used mainly were Questionable content and Diesel sweeties both were outbidded in a few hours but both worked fine with me.

BANNERS DESIGN IS IMPORTANT

Then I checked the pages and carefully searched the place where the banner could shine more (for example.- I usually use a colorful banner if its between black and white ones it stand out more) or it was the banner hidden or in a place that the reader wouldnt notice of course Im not going to bid on that place

 

 

At the end I spended less than 5 bucks to acomplish that readership in one day(keeping those adds and readers its a different history) but really most of them were spended making readership experiments and I could acomplish those numbers with less than 2. (My sources of how my readership increased is manly drunk duck page views section

, alexa isnt a good source)

http://pilli.smackjeeves.com/comics/

Project wonderful works!I

algeya's picture

Project wonderful works!

I got more than 12000 readers(besides my normal readership) in one add with a couple of .30 cents adds

http://pilli.smackjeeves.com/comics/

 

What did the ad look like?

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Maybe you could post the ad here and tell us a little about how you selected the sites you advertised on?

____

Xaviar Xerexes

On second thought, let's not go to Comixpedia. It is a silly place.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

when I'll have the money,

Eve Z.'s picture

when I'll have the money, I'll advertise on SP too... :D

But I'll ask them about payment first.

Synthetic Life

I created a MySpace site for

Greg Carter's picture

I created a MySpace site for Abandon and it does okay for generating traffic. And it's increasing. When people add me I put a "thanks for the add" comic in their comments with a link to the website. Those do very well also. I get more visitors from MySpace than all the toplists, update lists, and onlinecomics put together. I don't spend much time designing or tracking down a lot of people to add, but so far it's been worth the effort.

As far as making the site, I still have the basic layout. I haven't bothered to pretty it up. I notice some pages have links to code generators for the HTML to personalize the site.

Greg Carter Abandon UpDown Studio The WebComic Hotness Mini-Komix

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

How About MySpace?

macnut's picture

I've noticed several webcomic creators have MySpace sites, including our very own Tim Demeter

Anyone else have MySpace sites? For those who do, how's it working as a traffic draw for your comic? Any tips on making the most of such a site, since I have no clue about how MySpace works...

 

The MacNut

Creator/Writer/Artist

The Vanguard - now starting Issue #2!

The MacNut
Creator/Writer/Artist
The Vanguard
http://thevanguardhome.com

How do you pay on Something

Eve Z.'s picture

How do you pay on Something Positive? Is it still PayPal?

Synthetic Life

GAAK gets most of it's

GAAK gets most of it's traffic from update posts I place on forums like Digitalwebbing, Zwol, Penciljack, etc. Recently we've been tooncast (syndicated) by several scifi webzines like FI-SCI (UK), Creative Island (UK), and Axxon (South America). No one ever really links to GAAK. Alien Dice did for a time and we got our biggest spike ever, but once AD stopped linking the traffic largely went away. - Dee

G.A.A.K: Groovy Ass Alien Kreatures It's like The Goonies meets The Invaders from Mars. Updates on Mondays.

On the topic of conventions

On the topic of conventions: I’ve only sold my comics at one, so I don’t have a lot of experience, but one thing I would suggest is that sellers take into account the fact that there are different types of people. One girl I had a table next to at the Con had a standard pitch she used on all prospective customers. It was a good pitch, and got good results, but you do tend to find some socially awkward people at Comic Cons (present company excluded, of course) and I noticed that her pitch tended to scare these types away. I tried to scope out the people walking past, and engage only those who looked ‘right’. I noticed that some people would walk past my table looking at my books and deliberately avoiding eye contact, so I left them alone and let them feel comfortable. Some bought stuff, some didn’t, but I noticed that every single one of these types almost ran away when they got to the next table and someone began (shock! horror!) talking to them. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely do have to approach a lot of people and try and get their attention, but I don’t think it’s one size fits all.

Cheers,
Owen

-------------------------
I quit my job to draw comics. Basic Wage Kids is the result: www.24hourcynic.com

-------------------------
I quit my job to draw comics. Basic Wage Kids is the result: www.24hourcynic.com

I think keeping a nervous

I think keeping a nervous charm when forum posting can be a key to good relations. Go on a board and keep in mind a) people might not like you b) you may be banned for either good or completely unfounded reasons and c) you should be okay with that and just go for it. Never lull yourself into a false sense of security no matter how many times you post on a board, else you can slowly turn into a spambot. Also, don't be too rigidly formal. If someone reprimands you, take it to heart, but don't reply with a letter of apology or anything. You want to merge in with the forum, not give them something else to criticism you for.

I've had a lot of luck on the Least I Could Do forum. Artist Lar Desouza congratulated us I think within our first month of posting, which totally blew my mind

Check out "Hector!" at www.risecomics.net!

Check out "Hector!" at www.risecomics.net!

Finding sites to advertise with

Greg Carter's picture

The key to advertising on other webcomic sites seems to be compatibility. Most sites will get you the first click-over. But, as several people have noted, not as many send readers that will peruse your archive and maybe stick around. Several of the larger sites I've tried send a ton of one-clickers. Actual readers, not so much.

I've had lots of success with webcomics with smaller audiences. They also cost less. And my focusing on comics with at least something in common helps. As far as larger (and more expensive) comics, Girly, Alpha Shade, and Errant Story sent the most readers. They were definitely worth the extra cost. Comics that are much less costly include Red String and Bad Blood. Those two had a much higher percentage of readers and returners than any other comics I've advertised with. I have a full-page story comic, "manga style", with romance, action, vampires, and a same sex couple. So those above have at least one thing in common, no matter how slightly.

Conventions have been doing gangbusters for getting new readers. MoCCA and Heroes Con both gave traffic boosts that a decent percentage of stuck around.

Next, I need to find some non-comic sites to try.

Greg Carter Abandon UpDown Studio The WebComic Hotness

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

...

Shishio's picture

[quote=GregC]

The key to advertising on other webcomic sites seems to be compatibility. Most sites will get you the first click-over. But, as several people have noted, not as many send readers that will peruse your archive and maybe stick around. Several of the larger sites I've tried send a ton of one-clickers. Actual readers, not so much.[/quote]

That should go without saying. I chose to advertise on Ghastly's Ghastly Comic and Something Positive because I thought our audiences would be compatible. People who enjoy Ghastly's comic will probably enjoy the prevalent sexual humour in my comic, and while I haven't read very much of Something Positive, Shishio seems to be very similar to early Davan.

 

One-liners - Updates Every Friday

...

Shishio's picture

I have advertised on Something Positive and Ghastly's Comic. A 468x60 banner that ran for one day on S*P brought close to 1,300 hits. A 120x120 animated ad that ran on Ghastly's site ran for about 12-14 days and brought close to 700 visitors.Â

Forums tend to provide very few hits, although I've received a respectable number from Comixpedia and Comic Genesis. I have also gotten a good amount of hits from The Belfry and Webcomic Battle.

One-liners - Updates Every Friday

Sometimes you just get lucky with a plug

Sean C's picture

When CNG was a few weeks old, I put a plug for it in the CAD forums. The response was huge, at least 1100 hits, and several hundred of those people became regular readers, because our traffic took a permanent upturn after that. It also helped that CNG was listed in the CAD forum's recommended reading thread. The CAD forums were mighty good to me. Right place at the right time.

Don't hesitate to procrastinate. See my stuff at http://www.cuteninjagirls.com

Don't hesitate to procrastinate. My brand new comic: http://cain.bombsheltercomics.com

Post your webcomic to KungFuGRIP

It just got started but KungFuGRIP seems promising as a promotional tool. The creators ripped off the Digg model and are using it to hopefully build and audience for webcomics and the like on the web. Submit your webcomic.

http://kungfugrip.com

Good idea but...

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Digg is doing entertainment now too (although it'd be nice if Digg created a comics or at least an "other" category under entertainment) so this site might have missed it's chance at success unless it improves on Digg's functionality a lot.Â

____

Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

scarfman's picture

The second-biggest spike in readership I got in 2005 was from joining the Daily Grind. Joining the Daily Grind is also indirectly responsible for the biggest spike because, as far as I know, it was with the Grind that Eric Burns started reading and my biggest spike came from being 'snarked a month later. Neither spike lasted, of course. But right now my daily unique counts run about what they ran during the Grind spike, and continue to climb.

banner ads on PVP were worth

bobweiner's picture

banner ads on PVP were worth their weight in gold. I advertised last January ('05) and traffic surged. There was some dropoff a few days after, but the end result is that my readership has grown three-fold (and stayed that way) ever since. It's been more or less of a plateau over the last few months, but I've got big plans to gain new readership in the coming months ahead. MUWAHAHAHA! -Krishna

Krishna M. Sadasivam Cartoonist, "The PC Weenies" http://www.pcweenies.net

I guess out of the options,

Katie Sekelsky's picture

I guess out of the options, I'd say posting on forums. My comic during last year (The Epilogue) never got too big (lack of updates being a major cause of that), but the majority of my hits came from word of mouth. Between people linking me in blogs, and getting mentions on other webcomics (my hugest spike hitting when Zach at SMBC linked me). Another biggie was when I did a guest battle over at SketchBattle. Now, though, I'm trying to get a bit more serious and will probably go about buying some advertising once my archives get built up. (though hopefully I can still get that word-of-mouth thing going as well, as those bring in the more "rewarding" readers, I think... as in, the ones that like it enough to mention it to others)

For me it's definitely

Greg Carter's picture

For me it's definitely banner ads on other webcomic sites. Ads on Buzzcomix and Online Comix keep the folks clicking over too. I'm going to be trying some new comics this year. It's easy to advertise on any big comic and get tons of people to click the ad. It's harder to find a compatible comic so that the people go through the archives and actually return. Errant Story and BadBlood send me a much higher percentage of actual readers than anyone else so far. Conventions are always very good for the site, especially the ones here in Atlanta where people are starting to recognize me. No Frailty got a big bump after AWA last year. And I have three ATL cons lined up in Feb and March.

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

I bought a few advertising

I bought a few advertising spaces on forums late last year and get a few clicks from those, but nothing too much. I know I've picked up a few regulars through it, but the numbers are still fairly low. This month I put it out to my readers to advertise for me. One of them sent me a link to post on which has sent me a decent and regular whack of clicks, and another has put my banner on most of his sites and in his signature, which is getting a few clicks as well. I think a few regulars have joined from this too. One of my characters was also linked through a Wiki entry for Brylcreem. Dunno if it's gonna do much for regular readers, but it's amusing. So, that seems to be working a bit, but I'm still only pulling in 35-40 a day. Small fry still.

I haven't tried too many of

I haven't tried too many of these before, though, I have done guest art from time to time, but it rarely gets me a noteworthy influx of traffic. I just did my first ad ever, this month for Digital Strips, but that was more to support them rather than to make a grab at traffic. For me, the best traffic boosts I found was from cracking the top ten on Buzzcomix (and TWC before that, when it was good). I still find the best way to increase readership is to have a readable product (of course), but to network... make friend and associates. I'm pondering trying a shot at doing a banner ad for a "big" site at some point, just to see what the results are.

Funny this came up, I

Funny this came up, I actually have an ad on Machall right now :) Machall and Something Positive have been by far the most bang for my buck, advertising wise. The top 10 list thing did all right, but the whole 'voting incentive pin-up' thing is out of control IMO. I'd have to spend as much time drawing incentives as the actual comic to crack the top 10.

Hmmmm... I've got one

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Hmmmm... I've got one mega-massive readership comic with semi-mainstreme appeal which pretty much runs on its own inertia and then I've got one newer, small readership artsy comic which pretty much runs off of whatever I bleed off my mega-massive readership comic by advertising on my own site. I'm not sure how to write that up. Advertising is definetly the best bang you're gonna get but you have to tailor your ads well to showcase both your comic and to attract readers from the comic you're advertising on. I think CJ had the most dramatic increase in readership from the ads sold on my site. She went from being in the deep hundreds to the number 7th ranked comicgenesis comic in just 10 days. I think her ad was well crafted to both display what her story was about as well as appeal to the readers of my comic. I've had some people try to advertise with a non-animated .gif which was basically just the text logo of their comic and they've gotten almost no traffic at all because their ad, despite being on a very popular strip, did not jump out and grab anyone's attention. If the site lets you advertise with animated .gifs or flash then go for it because it lets you impart the most information about your comic as well as gives you a higher likelyhood to catch someone's eye. Always go animated when the option is present. Some sites won't allow animated adverts though because they require greater bandwidth and they feel they detract attention from the main focus of the site which is the comic.

How do you advertise at

How do you advertise at conventions anyway? Hand out flyers?

Flyers are one way. What

Greg Carter's picture

Flyers are one way. What works for me is getting a table in the Artist Alley. I sell mini-comic collections of my comic and a couple of others from the UpDown Studio site. Plus t-shirts, buttons, magnets, art prints, whatever else we can make ourselves. Then I stand there and work the crowd as they go by. if they hesitate for the slightest fraction of a second I hand them a card and I go into my comic pitch. I usually sell enough stuff to pay for the table so it works out well.

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

Oh, when I'm sitting at a

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Oh, when I'm sitting at a table at a convention I am truly a thing of promotional beauty. Most people kind of bolt through the artist's section of the convention. Usually they're there to see one or two artists they like and then try to avoid contact with the rest of them. You tend to smell a lot of desperate "please buy my comic" stink coming off of a lot of the artist's alley lot which makes people uncomfortable having too much contact with them. I, on the otherhand, never really have much of anything to sell at conventions. I'm mostly just there to meet with fans, sign autographs, and plug the comic to passerbys. How do I plug the comic to passerbys? It's the art of the shpiel and believe me when it comes to the art of the shpiel my name is freakin' Steven Shpielburg. I do a shpiel from my table at conventions that not only attracts the attention of the passerby but 9 times out of 10 stops them and gets them to walk away with a card for my comic (I pass out business cards for the comic). Now I could type up my shpiel here, but I won't, because what I say is only a small part of the shpiel experience. What's key is to deliever it loudly, clearly, and most importantly dripping with confidence. This is where my career as a performer really helps out. I've performed on stage infront of an audience of aproximately 250K people so stage-fright is something that left me long, long ago. 25 people, 250 people, 250K people, it's all the same thing to me. The problem with the shpiel the people who walk past your table only have to hear it once. You've got to say the damned thing for the entire convention, and the people in tables near you have to hear it the whole time too. After awhile you're able to deliver the shpiel without even hearing it and the people around you filter it out too. In fact, they will likely pick up on the technique and start a shpiel of their own. A few years ago I was at a convention and the guy at the table next to me was pretty damned pissed off at me and my shpiel. Why? Because I was slick and confident and oh so very extroverted. I stopped people and engaged them, talked to them, pitched the comic and then had them go away with a card. Then they'd go to his table pumped up with a "okay, that's what he had, what are you gonna wow us with". He, on the otherhand, was introverted, socially awkward, and didn't project confidence. People left his table a little disappointed. That pissed him off. Here he was a real comicbook guy. A real bonafide artist with artschool and workplace creds an he was being completely upstaged by the showmanship of some skilless hack who had only been doodling for a couple of years and still couldn't draw worth shit. Oh, yes, pissed him off big time I could tell. But you know what. I gave him some pointers, explained to him the philosophy of the shpiel, helped him to overcome his shyness and by golly wouldn't you know it by the end of the convention he was shpieling like a pro and it worked. He had more people interested in taking a look at what he was doing. He wasn't shpieling as well as I was, of course. I mean c'mon, I'm Ghastly, Lord King of the Attention Whores. I'm like Attention Whore Yoda and he was just a Youngling, but he was doing pretty good. The shpiel was with him. Conventions are major over-stimulation fests. You're competing against a gazillion sights and sounds (and sometimes smells) all jousting for the attention of the attendee. You gotta have yourself a hook if you plan on stopping someone. It might not have been fair that a skilless hack like me got all the attention while a polished artschool grad like him went ignored but that's life. Once he understood the nature of the game and the neccessity of the situation he got with the programme and away he went.

Yes, the need for a good

Greg Carter's picture

Yes, the need for a good shpiel cannot be over emphasised. Shouting something like "you need a card!" tends to freeze people like a deer stuck in the headlights. Then you start the performance. I always pitch the online comic, not the stuff for sale. People seem surprised by that but the goods tend to sell themselves. "You spent all your money on Pocky and Bawls? No problem. Read my comic - it's free! The web address is on the card." Guilt is always a good motivator. I go through a brazillion business cards at conventions. And it shows up in the site stats. Especially fun is people coming back the next day saying they went home and read your comic and they liked it. That, my friends, is GOLD.

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

Quote: A few years ago I

Quote:
A few years ago I was at a convention and the guy at the table next to me was pretty damned pissed off at me and my shpiel. Why? Because I was slick and confident and oh so very extroverted. I stopped people and engaged them, talked to them, pitched the comic and then had them go away with a card. Then they'd go to his table pumped up with a "okay, that's what he had, what are you gonna wow us with". He, on the otherhand, was introverted, socially awkward, and didn't project confidence. People left his table a little disappointed.
I figured it would have been from having to hear you repeat the shpiel over and over again all day.
Quote:
You tend to smell a lot of desperate "please buy my comic" stink coming off of a lot of the artist's alley lot which makes people uncomfortable having too much contact with them.
Yeah. The first time I went to a convention(San diego comic-con...1999), I walked through it and after talking to a few of the people and hearing a bunch of pitches for comics I would never buy ever I felt guilty and didn't go back. If I went to a convention now, I guess I'd go through there to see which webcomic people I recognized, maybe.

<a xhref="http://www.kiwisbybeat.com" target=blank>Kiwis by beat!</a>

What comic forums do y'all

What comic forums do y'all troll, other than this one? I've been trying to get off my lazy PR but (I have an excuse, I'm working on a pre-law degree and a thesis ;)) and dive into the forum-world some more, since it's good for exposure Banner ads do seem to be the best traffic magnet, like, ever - we took out an ad on the short-lived Spells & Whistles for super-cheap and we got tons of new traffic, it was fantastic. Our blog ad here on Comixpedia didn't perform quite as well, though, so I think advertising on other comics is probably best. I've been waiting for us to build a sizeable archive of strips, too, before I start some big ad campaign - for our next Arc I'm looking at sites like Bad Blood, Misfile, 9th Elsewhere - maybe even Chugworth and S*P.net to advertise with. Has anyone advertised at sites outside the webcomic world - genre sites devoted to gaming/sci-fi/fantasy/horror, magazines, movie sites? I would really love to reach an audience of non-webcomic readers and suck them into the world of online literature, since our webcomic is graphic novel-esque and would probably appeal to genre fans in general, even if they're never read a webcomic in their lives. Flyers at cons seem to not attract much new readership - we passed out flyers at Otaku-con and Anime Expo in Vancouver and didn't get even a tiny spike in traffic. Mebbe it was our flyers, though. And viral marketing - I wonder how well advertising on t-shirts, stickers, etc works.

Speaking of drawing traffic

Fabricari's picture

Speaking of drawing traffic - was it just me, or did comixpedia get Wanged earlier? Penny-Arcade changed the link to WebComicsReview afterwards, so maybe I'm just crazy. I need to devote the next year to scathing reviews of PA so that maybe, just maybe, we can get Wanged.

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

I don't agree that

Aleph's picture

I don't agree that advertising on Spells n' Whistles was fantastic. We paid for a month of banner ads and a week in, he put up a newspost declaring that webcomics were garbage, that they were not worth reading save for a list of five comics, none of which were ours. I'm not saying he's not totally entitled to that opinion, but, it kind of sucked to lay out that money to fly an ad banner above the declaration that we were not worth reading. Traffic fell off sharply the day the post went up, and most people just followed the link to the front page, never even looked beyond that, like they were just autoclicking the banner or something. Advertising on comixpedia didn't actually produce much more than front-page clicking either, we got a few readers who stayed but it actually brought less return traffic than much lower-traffic sites like OC.net. In fact, advertisers have confided in us that they tend to be hesitant to advertise to comic sites because of readers' tendency to treat banner-clicking as paying for the comic or supporting the comic, without actually looking at what they're going to.

"Ghastly" wrote: Oh, when

The William G's picture

Ghastly wrote:
Oh, when I'm sitting at a table at a convention I am truly a thing of promotional beauty.
Your school boy uniform doesn't play any part of it, does it?


Nope, it's the pipe and my

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Nope, it's the pipe and my "radio announcer" voice that makes them stop and listen.

I've always kinda assumed

Tim  Demeter's picture

I've always kinda assumed you had a radio announcer voice. Just goes with the look.

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Clickwheel
GraphicSmash
Bustout Odds

That's when the Fonz lived,

Tim  Demeter's picture

That's when the Fonz lived, and the Fonz would not lie.

Tim Demeter
does a bunch of neato stuff.
Clickwheel
GraphicSmash
Bustout Odds

"Aleph" wrote: I don't

LineItemVito's picture

Aleph wrote:
I don't agree that advertising on Spells n' Whistles was fantastic. We paid for a month of banner ads and a week in, he put up a newspost declaring that webcomics were garbage, that they were not worth reading save for a list of five comics, none of which were ours.
:shock: Ouch! I bet he didn't offer you a refund either...... -

--
Vote Vito: Line Item Vito

Nope, no refund offer, of

Nope, no refund offer, of course. It was really an asinine move to make. They didn't last too long after that - for totally unrelated reasons - but in my fantasy-world head I like to think it was comeuppance for treating his paying customers like that ;) Seriously, I don't know why people would think they would get good business and return sponsors - it's not like a film studio paid for product placement by Pepsi would have a character go "Every soft drink in the world sucks, except for Coke" and expect Pepsi to come back.

I've had my best luck so far

Brad Hawkins's picture

I've had my best luck so far posting an ad on Something Positive.

The first day the ad ran, it generated over 1,000 hits for me. Today is the second day, and it's been about 400 so far... and it's a Sunday too, when S*P doesn't update. But it doesn't matter how many people click the ad -- what matters is how many of those people come back.

Basically, the numbers I saw from Thursday's ad break down like this (please note my strip updates MWF):

  • Wednesday (before ad) = 71 unique visitors.
  • Thursday (day of the ad) = 1010 visitors.
  • Friday (ad no longer running) = 142 visitors.Â

So exactly twice the number of unique visitors returning on Friday as there had been before the ad. I consider that a victory.

That is a really good return

Aleph's picture

That is a really good return rate! Heh, Syl was right to include them on the list of potential ads for when we open the third arc. At least they are giving it enough of a look-over to have a chance. We likely won't pick up as many readers as you did, what with being way out of their genre, but it's better than front page clicks that never even GET to the comic itself.

One traffic magnet which has

bobweiner's picture

One traffic magnet which has worked well for me has been a small 100 x 100 pixel 'auto updating PCW toon square' which readers can place on their website to let them know when a 'toon has been updated. Invariably, people will visit their sites and click the square and, in turn, visit my site. The last three weeks or so have been particularly nice traffic-wise, as more prominent weblogger folks are adding a PCW square to their blog. -Krishna

Krishna M. Sadasivam Cartoonist, "The PC Weenies" http://www.pcweenies.net

"Gianna" wrote: I'm going

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Gianna wrote:
I'm going to my first convention in March and I'm very scared about it. Ghastly, how much for your "shpiel like a pro in 12 easy lessons" online course?
Chin up. Your first convention will be your scariest but it'll also be the one you look back on the most fondly. There's nothing that can top the very first time people line up to get your autograph... except for the first time you get to autograph a cute girl's breast. As for the shpiel all that's imporant is to unfetter your inner attention whore and speak with absolute confidence. No matter how insecure you may be inside you just got to push that all away and project that you're the greatest comic guy since comic guys were invented. There'll be plenty o' time for insecurities to manifest themselves later. Confidence is the key. If you look shy and withdrawn and nervous like you believe your comic isn't worth reading then the people passing your table are not going to think your comic is worth reading.

Phil Foglio Tips on Conventions

Greg Carter's picture

I lifted this from another forum with permission:

Conventions are good.

People like to be able to associate a face with a product they like. But it's important to make that face time count. I have people who will write to me who say, stuff like "I remember when I met you at Honk-Con back in 1978 and you were a nice guy and I just won the Illinois state lottery so I'm buying 3 of everything".

Now I know that most of us became cartoonists because we wanted a job where we never had to leave our houses or meet people, but if you're going to do the convention thing, you've got to be cool.

To the fans, creators are people of mystery and enchantment. No- really. We make stuff they like, so they WANT to like us. Do not disappoint them. Have you ever met a disc jockey? Horrible, wasn't it? Don't be a disc jockey. Here are a few tips;

1. Look sucessfull. Nobody likes a loser. Sure, it's okay to be a spunky outsider doing it your own way, but don't look like you're failing. Almost all the other tips will be ways to help convey success.

2. Proper Signage. Do not adorne your booth with a hand scrawled sign. Go to Kinkos, design something with your logo. Get it spell-checked. If you've got around $3000, get yourself a Skyline display. They last forever and are really worth it.

3. Dress smart. Yes, yes, you have an entire closet of free t-shirts and since you never get up from behind your table, you haven't worn pants to a convention since 1998. How economical. I'm not saying you need a suit, but something to differentiate you from the customers on the other side of the table. Neil Gaiman once said that a writer should be a cartoon character. Dress all in red. Be known for your extensive collection of wigs. Never let your face be seen because you never remove your leather armor. Do not be an ordinary mortal.

4. Be a freak, but be a clean freak. Shower. Change your clothes every day. Go to a dentist. Keep your hair clean. Make meeting you a pleasant experience.

5. Be personable. Do not sit hunched over your drawing board and look frightened or irritated whenever someone talks to you. Take a deep breath and write this entire convention off productivity-wise. If you simply cannot spare the time, then don't go. Get off your ass. Look 'em in the eye. Shake their hands. Cultivate the appearance that you actually care about the trivialities of their pathetic little lives. Flirt.

6. Sell your product. Have your books on the table. Know their prices. When someone asks you what the book is about, be able to answer. Have a short funny little discription or synopsis that you can recite without thinking, and look cheerfull while you're doing it for the thousanth time. Make it easy for people to give you money. Before you got to a con, go to a bank and get a $100 in singles. Don't be afraid to take checks. 99% will be okay. I myself have found it worthwhile to take credit cards, but it's a hassle to get set up and those little wireless machines are expensive.

7. Get a booth monkey. It doesn't have to be a glamerous porn starlet in lingerie (unless you're going to be set up across from me). But it has to be someone who is good with customers if you are not. Maybe you know a good comic shop employee who is fond of your stuff. Pay their way to the con. Do not be shy about holding them to the above list. At this show, they are an extension of you and your book.

8. Networking. Talk to people whose stuff you like. Give out free samples to reviewers and the media and people whose stuff you admire. Unless there is a pressing reason, never turn down an invitation to a party or dinner or whatever. It is perfectly okay to blow off a drink with someone because a guy from Miramax wants to talk to you. Do make an effort to let them know, and do NOT let them "tag along". Make it up to them later. Commit yourself to nothing without seeing a contract, and always have a contract looked at by a lawyer.

9. Spout off. If this show has panels. Do panels. Be entertaining. Bring a copy of your book to wave around, and memorize your booth number.

10. If possible, get in a day early, and leave a day after the show. This way, you are under no pressure, and you can get some rest. Drink a lot of water. Wash your hands frequently. Carry Altoids. Use them. Do not expect to get any work done over the show. Plan on not doing any for at least a day or two after you get back. Had a meetng with someone interesting or important? E-mail them right away saying how pleased you were to meet them and so on. Do not mock them on your blog.

Whew. I have long said that conventions are the only part of my job that feels like a job. But they're worth it.

by Phil Foglio (http://www.girlgenius.net)

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

"Bluezombiesyl" wrote: Has

Bluezombiesyl wrote:
Has anyone advertised at sites outside the webcomic world - genre sites devoted to gaming/sci-fi/fantasy/horror, magazines, movie sites? I would really love to reach an audience of non-webcomic readers and suck them into the world of online literature, since our webcomic is graphic novel-esque and would probably appeal to genre fans in general, even if they're never read a webcomic in their lives.
The only recent example I've heard of is Newshounds which ran some ads in political-commentary sites and blogs. But it sounds on the face of it a good idea. There's some very good sci-fi and fantasy on the net in webcomic form, and it makes sense to promote it in the same places as its text brethren. The Apehelion sci-fi web magazine used to have a comics page where it ran a few genre webcomics.

My Ads on Alpha Shade were

My Ads on Alpha Shade were Pure Gold!! I got Crazy hits and a new girl friend in the process! Thank you Alpha Shade!

"Snoozer" wrote: My Ads on

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Snoozer wrote:
My Ads on Alpha Shade were Pure Gold!! I got Crazy hits and a new girl friend in the process! Thank you Alpha Shade!
They also added three inches to my penis and refinanced my mortgage using all natural herbal viagra.

All I got was a rock.

Greg Carter's picture

All I got was a rock. signed, Charlie Brown

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

Great Thread -

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

You know who does sphiel well? Brad Guigar, he might have been a carnie barker in a past life. The only convention I've had a table at was with Brad and the ex-altbranders. He was very good. We had a banner and some of the crew really had a good mix of material. Plus they sketched. It helps if you can sketch well (and have a distinctive style like Herold) because that does hold some people's attention.

I can tell you from personal experience, as one who does buy a lot of stuff at SPXPO that a lot of this is good advice. I don't want a hard sell. I don't want to feel awkward for striking up a conversation with the artist - if you don't want to talk to people maybe don't get a table at a convention ok? I've bought people's stuff just because they've been interesting to chat with and I've bought stuff because I've had low pressure time to flip through it and make up my mind.

And I take all the freebies people give me - I've even plugged people based on reading their freebies and looked for their stuff the next year. And no matter what have something with a URL on it to give away.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.