Outside-The-Box Promotion

When you create a webcomic, presumably one of your goals is to get lots of people to read it. Even if you are one of those creative purists who claims that “I’m cool, as long as at least one person gets it,” you still have to get your comic in front of that one right person. You already know that people with similar interests will most likely enjoy your webcomic, but how are you going to reach them?

Publishing a webcomic has never been easier, and in a way that is part of the problem—So many people create webcomics that it’s hard to get yours noticed.

There are some tried and true methods for getting your strip noticed. You can advertise on a popular webcomic portal. You can guest on another, more popular comic. You can run a Project Wonder advertising campaign. You can interact on busy forums with your webcomic’s URL in your signature. You can get listed on the major webcomic top sites. These tactics work, and they bring the hits in, but there are other approaches as well.

One excellent tactic is to get reviewed on a popular news site, or get interviewed. If the reviewer or interviewer has a decent following, then this should bring in more readers. Be sure to save your reviews, because quotes from them look awfully nice when it is time to collect your comics in a trade paperback. Free publicity such as this is worth more than the money you did not have to pay to get it.

Use Youtube, and make a video to introduce potential fans to your comic. User provided content and the web 2.0 are still the rage, so set up a Youtube account, upload your video, and use it as a feeder site to your strip. With free tools, such as Windows Movie Maker combined with Photo Story 3, you can make some polished videos.

There are a staggering number of social networking sites out there, such as Myspace, FlickR, Facebook, and Comicspace, just to name a few. As with Youtube, you should take advantage of these and use them as feeder sites. Myspace is still the most popular, and judicious use of its networking tools can spread the word about your comic quite effectively.

How many websites do you have your strip posted to? I have come to believe there is a certain amount of brand loyalty among webcomic fans—they tend to get all their comics from one host. Drunk Duck fans read mostly Drunk Duck comics, as do the fan bases for Webcomicsnation, Comics Genesis, Graphic Smash, and others. Your comic does not have to spend its life in a single location.

Offer your comic in multiple formats. Nowadays, popular formats include PDF, Comic Book Reader, iPod, Play Station Portable, and mobile phones. If you do not want to put up your whole series in this way, then make a storyline or two available, and use these extra formats as a teaser to attract fans to your site.

All of this takes a lot of work, there is no denying it. If you are not careful, you can spend more time promoting your webcomic than actually creating it! Still, one of the cool things about publishing a webcomic is seeing how flexible you can be.



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