Getting traffic to a website is a challenge these days. There is way more competition now because of Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and so on.

For a lot of folks, Facebook is the internet. Or, at least it’s the main way they find out about content, either via a link or something shared.

A Drip, Not a Stream

But, these days you can’t even expect Facebook followers to see everything you post. Why? Facebook throttles how many followers see your posts, aka reach. Facebook wants you, as someone who runs a page, to pay to boost your reach.

I get it. Facebook wants to make money, and the glory days of social media being “free advertising” are pretty much dead.

Don’t believe me? Look at this screen grab from my Clattertron Facebook page.

facebook reach

Boo.

As of this writing, I have 294 Likes for the Clattertron Facebook page. The post shown in the screen grab reached one person out of 294 after 18 hours. One person.

There’s an excellent Sheldon comic which brilliantly sums up this issue, specifically if someone Likes your page, they should see all of your updates because they opted in.

And here’s a video about how Facebook hurts the traffic for many websites. [video link]

In a perfect world, everyone would just go to my website, where I make money off ads, affiliate links, and sales of my art.

When someone looks at the full comic on Facebook, my chances of making any money are pretty much zero. Facebook makes money though, which sucks.

But, that’s the game, isn’t it?

Casualties

None of this is keeping me from making comics, and I know I’m lucky in that way. If my daily traffic is 1000 readers or 10, it doesn’t really change what I do. It helps because I’m a staff of one (and because my comics aren’t my main source of income).

Cute Overload announced it was shutting down after a decade. They don’t get super specific about this aspect, but they say one reason for stopping was a drop in ad revenue. Think about all the Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram accounts which share cute animal photos, and that’s probably what did Cute Overload in, I think—and the rise of ad blocking software doesn’t help either.

The Next Step?

I came to webcomics at an odd time when I started in 2012. Social media was already changing the landscape about how people read comics. Some comic makers clung to the old ways of only posting on their website (and RSS feeds), and others were embracing social media as The New Way, and decentralizing.

This week, I decided to try something new and share my full comics everywhere for a bit and see what happens. This means full comics on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. The same goes for my email updates: you get the full comic and blog post now, not just a tease.

I avoided decentralizing for a long time, but flirted with it once or twice over the years. Again, I would rather just link to my stuff and have people come to the website, but that isn’t how things work these days.

When in doubt, I look at my own experiences for guidance. For example, there are full comics I read everyday on Instagram (Fowl Langauge, Maximumble), and rarely go to the comic’s main website.

I’m curious to see how this new approach goes, even though it makes me feel a bit weird.

Sometimes though, you have to ignore the weird feelings and go for it.

There are other options to explore too: Tapastic and Patreon. One thing at a time though, but I am leaning toward trying Patreon sooner than later.

 

clattertron patreon page

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Daniel J. Hogan is a geeky cartoonist and writer living in Michigan. Daniel is available for freelance writing and cartooning commissions (Contact Daniel). This post contains affiliate links, unless it doesn't.

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