Christian Comic Arts Society

A Network of Christian Fellowship for Comics Fans, Pros, and Amateurs

I'm curious to hear what ideas people have about promoting a webcomic. I think this could be beneficial to everyone to share ideas here. I have a few to share, that I think help, but who knows, there might be better ideas out there.

First, and I picked this up online from one of the freelancer sites I visit. Companies pay for bloggers to go out and leave comments on sites with valid comments, in order to save a BACKLINK to the site they want to have advertised. This should NOT be confused with spambots leaving generic comments on blogs around the world but rather, the people who do these jobs are to find blogs on a certain topic (e.g. apartments, google keywords, etc) and then leave a valid, related comment on the blogs they visit with their name, email and URL. That URL is the backlink to a site that businesses pay to have advertised. This promotes the site in two ways: first, any reader of the comment can check out the link and go to the site and second, search engines will pick up this link and add it to their listing (at least, I think this is how it's supposed to work. I'm still reading about how search engine optimization(SEO) works.)

So in other words, an important way to advertise your site is to visit blogs and leave comments with your URL. These backlinks help build up traffic. Additionally helpful are sites with "commentLuv" turned on. This plugin will not only allow you to leave a comment and your url, but it will leave a blurb about what your own last blog posting was about (CommentLuv is pretty easy to work with. If you have Wordpress, it's just a plugin to install and activate.)

Another promotion idea is Entrecard. I'm still getting the hang of this, but basically it's a FREE ad you add to your site, and it shares links with other Entercard users. It's a way to get your ads on other sites for free, and it's also a way to network with other bloggers. Again, I haven't totally figured it out, but I like the fact that any ads that appear on your site you need to approve first, before they can appear.

Anyhow, those are just a couple suggestions. Let me know if you have any others that you can think of. Thanks!

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Replies to This Discussion

StumbleUpon! That's the best thing I've come across. True, it also requires a lot of luck and you have to have a comic or topic that people want to read, but that's gotten me a TON of hits. I suppose DIGG works the same way, although I've not had as much luck with that.

The other way I could think of is to have a nice looking ad for your site and post that ad in your signature at forums you visit. I've gotten a good number of hits that way too.
Jim Ford said:
StumbleUpon! That's the best thing I've come across. True, it also requires a lot of luck and you have to have a comic or topic that people want to read, but that's gotten me a TON of hits. I suppose DIGG works the same way, although I've not had as much luck with that.

So I'm going to as a newbie question here, but how exactly does Stumbleupon work? I've got this in the Firefox toolbar, but so far it just seems like a way to select sites that you like and don't like. How do you put this thing to use for site promotion? I'd love to know how, but all I see are those thumb-icons for likes/dislikes.
If you make Fanart for other webcomics/comics, those webcomics will be forced to link to you, and you will get hits from those links. FACT.
One other thought about promotion: if possible, on your site, add the ability to visitors to leave comments about your posts. I've seen some webcomics that don't allow commenting, and I've been reading more about how a commenting feature is something that people look for when searching blogs (in fact, there's an engine called CommentHunt.com that I believe is built around this principle). Having a comments feature to your strip or blog is an incentive to visitors to your site to leave their thoughts and feedback, as well as a link to their own site.
Toplists are pretty good most of the time. If you can get what visitors you have to vote for you, and those votes get your site a little higher in the lists, you get more exposure. I know myself that I like to browse the top 100 (or 500... cough cough) from time to time, and have seen a lot of cool comics that way.

Link exchanges are also helpful; I try to link to sites that have similar content to my own, but sometimes I also just link up with a friend, and that helps bring in traffic too.
Krista Jean said:
Toplists are pretty good most of the time. If you can get what visitors you have to vote for you, and those votes get your site a little higher in the lists, you get more exposure. I know myself that I like to browse the top 100 (or 500... cough cough) from time to time, and have seen a lot of cool comics that way.

I'm going to check out Toplists, thanks!
I have had success in doing direct e-mail distribution to friends colleagues, and people whom I believe would be interested in the stories. I sent them an e-mail with a pdf copy of a story, and asked if they would like to be on the distribution list for future stories. All of them signed on, and many have been enthusiastic in reply, and offering feedback on stories. I also hear from them some of the ways they share the materials, their children, their friends, clergy, etc. The list has grown in the last year. I create graphic novel translations of stories and books of the bible, and so many of the people who have contacted me work in Christian Education. At the end of the e-mail I send, I always include my website address and blog address, and a brief note of anything new or of interest that may be on the sites. I have been amazed to see the way the word gets out, and how far it can go. I have had e-mails from people across the US, as well as the UK, Australia, and the Philipines. I am also surprised and pleased to hear of seminary professors being advocates for the stories and sharing them with students.

My summer project is to compile a list of Christian Educators and send them samples of the work, and ideas for how they can be used in classes or for discussion. (if you have any contacts, please send them my way.)

Blessings
Earnest Graham
I've started creating video trailers for YouTube. It's too early to judge whether there's any traffic from complete strangers, but the videos offer an excuse to remind my existing fanbase that I exist ... and give me something to show those friends who are marginal comics readers. My wife and I have four videos now.

With iMovie, making these movie trailers are almost as simple as coughing. (Well, maybe there's a little more work to it - but I was shocked at how quickly my first trailer came together.)

Anyone else here making videos of your comics? Where do you post 'em?
You know, I've been thinking of making some films as a way of promotion, but I was going to just make some unrelated videos of songs I like... LOL! The thing is, when you make a youtube video or something, what is the percentage of people that actually follow this back to your site? I mean, how many people just view the film and then move on?

On a related note, I'm glad that YouTube is finally incorporating profanity filters in the comments. Long overdue, and something I was glad to read about.

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