Eight years ago, social networking online was limited to message boards, chat rooms and instant messaging programs. None of these were ever a great way to get new people excited about our webcomics. Now we have more social networking doodads than we know what to do with.
If you have the technical know-how, add buttons for del.icio.us and digg and the like. Your readers will know what to do, and when they love a particular comic, theyâ€™ll share it with the rest of the Internet.
ComicSpace, MySpace and Facebook can be valuable tools to promote your work as well. ComicSpace is a great way to promote your work to other comic artists, whereas MySpace and Facebook can be really effective ways to send people to your webcomic who might not have found it otherwise. Think about the times youâ€™ve been messaged on MySpace to check out a new band. This approach may or may not work for your comic, but if you have the time and patience to seek people who have listed things in their interest that lead you to believe that theyâ€™ll enjoy your strip, you have little to lose! Make your profile as interesting and informative as possible with plenty of links to your comic. If youâ€™re willing to put the time in, youâ€™ll see results. Both Facebook and Myspace offer groups as well, which can give your comicâ€™s readers a place to meet eachother and talk about your strip.
After a year or so into the game, I was invited to join Keenspot. This was highly significant at the time as it was the first and at the time, only webcomic network. These days there are several networks, each with completely different purposes, promotion styles and attitudes.
Naturally any joining up you can do with other webcomics is a great move, promotion-wise. Joining an existing network is obviously a great move. Or, consider creating a new network with a few friends whose comics you think would appeal to the same crowd. Strength is in numbers, after all. Together, you can split a booth at comic conventions, send traffic to eachotherâ€™s comics and split advertising costs.
Thereâ€™s just no comparison. Plain and simple, advertising today is infinitely easier than it was years ago. Project Wonderful is just that â€“ wonderful. If you can set aside a budget for advertising, I highly recommend it. If you advertise for a specific product â€“ for instance a T-shirt youâ€™ve produced â€“ you can expect your advertising money to be more effective. Or, try directing your link to a welcome page, giving your readers a taste of your comic and a quick recap of the plot. It might suck them in more than just seeing the latest strip. Think movie trailer!
And donâ€™t forget â€“ the cheapest advertising might not be the best deal. Advertising on more expensive sites can pay off â€“ especially if you share a similar readership.
Good luck in promoting your comic! If you have time and money and are willing to put for the effort, you will undoubtedly see your traffic grow. Never forget that effective promotion takes time and repetition.