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Using Web 2.0 concepts, how (if at all) would it be possible to create a financially self-sustaining webcomic?

Justin Gabriel posted a note in one of my forum posts with the following question, "Using Web 2.0 concepts, how (if at all) would it be possible to create a financially self-sustaining webcomic?"

This is a massive topic. I don't know that a self-sustaining successful model has been proven yet.

What do you think?
Can this be done?
Has it been done?
What are you currently trying?
What have you learned from something you tried and failed?

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I have quite a bit of experience in webcomics - I've written two of them (both rooted in mythology: one called Hector! and the other called Hard-Driving Heroes) and written about them for Broken Frontier.

I can tell you it definitely can be done, but Eric hits the nail on the head - it takes lots of patience and realistic expectations. It's easy to look at the popular webcomics you read every day and get a little bit romantic about the possibilities.

I agree with Eric on promotion and deadlines - both are crucial, but I think steady updates are probably the most crucial in the beginning. Think of webcomics like a credit card - the more you pay off debt, the stronger your credit becomes. The more you update, the more creditability you have with your readers, and the more they'll tune in.

While I think everyone must consider print as well, there's a lot of possibilities out there. One is forming solid alliances with other webcomics, through filler art, crossovers and link exchanges. Another is selling space for advertising once your website has strong enough hits. Webcomics are a medium of their own, so while print has to be considered, it's something quite a way down a road.

Overall, I agree with Eric - it takes huge sacrifices, especially during the first and second year. But it's also takes patience and faith, and those are two abundant resources within the Christian community.
I'm in the process of developing a webcomic. Currently, I'm gathering some raw data that I need to determine how I should proceed. Here's a survey that I've prepared....

Any development on this discussion in the last 4 years?

Web 2.0 usually incorporates RSS, XML, social media including Facebook, Twitter, and other elements like DISQUS. As such, I see Web 2.0 involving mostly marketing and promotion tools for your webcomic, more than acquiring an income - of course, the greater your audience, the more likely you are to acquire an income through them.

Project Wonderful (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Wonderful) by Dinosaur Comics' artist Ryan North is an interesting ad tool that many artists use. All the webcomic artists I know say in interviews and what not that the best way to get money is through utilizing online stores (like http://www.topatoco.com/), and selling t-shirts and compilation books you've made about your material.

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