Finding an audience online is a tricky thing. The original method was, you put comics on your website, and that’s all you worried about.
This worked well, I suppose, in the pre-Facebook/social era online, but in 2016, not so much. These days, readers get content through many ways, and only worrying about your own website doesn’t always work (especially if you are just starting out).
Which brings me to my current strategy: decentralizing my comics.
It’s a method I toyed with in the past a few times, but never really stuck with it for long. This time, however, I’m all in.
What do I mean by decentralizing? I mean posting my comics everywhere I can: Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, MailChimp emails, Patreon, Pinterest, RSS feeds, Tapastic, Tumblr, and Twitter.
Yes, it’s a scatter shot approach. But, it’s the state of things today. Some readers only look at Facebook, others live on Tumblr. That’s just how it is.
Be Easy to Find
I listened to a recent Coffee & Cider podcast, which featured a panel of comic makers. The speakers gave a lot of great advice, and one point they kept bringing up was: be easy to find.
This means posting your comics everywhere you can. Go where the readers are.
Sure, this means potentially siphoning readers away from clattertron.com, but after four years in this game, and without much of an increase in readers lately, I’m ready to try pretty much anything.
The trade off is, it also means getting my comics in front of a lot more eyeballs. There are a few comics I only read on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter—because I see them there first.
When I don’t know what to do, I take a step back and look at how I read comics/get content. It usually holds the answer.
The Bottom Line
If I post my comics on a bunch of other websites, how do I hope to make money?
True, this method might cause a drop in my ad revenue. But, my ad revenue ain’t making me much to begin with, so this really isn’t an issue.
Patreon is the key to my plan, though. Anyone can become a patron, and it doesn’t matter where they read my comics. I’m working on growing my number of patrons, but I’m glad I started.
I can also promote my items, like t-shirts, on these same channels I’m sharing my comics. (Something I need to get better at doing, especially when there are deals on free shipping.)
Plus, fans could follow me on Tumblr (or wherever) and see me at shows, and support me there.
Is It Working?
Maybe? I don’t know just yet, as I really only went full throttle since starting up my Patreon last month. I’m eager to see what happens in the coming months. This means more work in some cases, because I’m building a following from scratch, again.
Sure, posting my comics across all of those channels each week is exhausting, and time consuming—but that’s a whole other blog post.