As webcomics became a viable way to build an audience and earn a living, things like SEO, social media and a great website were a great way to set yourself apart from other comics. In fact, SEO was really good to invest in when comics were unique to the web space. Unfortunately, webcomics are not unique anymore. In addition, there is so much on the web competing for the same eyeballs every second of the day, in my opinion you shouldn’t waste your time.
It’s simply not worth the investment.
I’m not saying completely ditch SEO. On a basic level, it’s certainly good understand and think about as you’re posting your comics and employ best practices, but you shouldn’t go overboard. How specific is your comic? Unless you’re serving a specific niche, then you should invest your time in your comic. Technology improves so quickly and the dynamics involved in what search engines are looking for evolves at pretty much the same rate. It’s difficult for companies with SEO staffs to keep up.
What does that mean for you? What is the benefit for you to have great SEO?
That’s one thing I’ve learned being away from creating a daily comic – it’s not enough to just crank out a comic that’s kind of funny or almost good every day. It’s important to maintain a schedule to meet your audience’s expectations, but I would argue it’s even more important to create unique and great comics. Frankly, if you’re not doing that, then you should ask yourself what exactly are you doing. If you’re spending a lot of time doing SEO, then maybe it might serve you well to go work for an SEO company – get paid for it! A great comic is what is going to build your audience. It doesn’t have to be great now, but every second you get away from a rewrite, sketching or trying something new is a loss of your investment in developing your talent.
Think about it. No matter how hard you work on everything else, you are going to lose visitors, readers and fans – it’s inevitable. Despite all your hard work improving SEO, making social connections and meeting your comic deadline there are thousands of reasons people will wander away from your site, your facebook page and your comic.
Now think about this: your time developing your skill or honing your talent is a complete investment in yourself which you won’t lose as long as you keep drawing, writing and improving.
So hopefully it’s apparent that I’m comparing the amount of effort to build SEO, your social strategy and your website with the amount of effort to build your talent. Which do you think is a more valuable investment? Which is really going to set you apart from other comics?
I believe your talent can grow and improving is what is really what is going to set you apart. Invest in yourself. Afterall, I think we’d all rather read a great comic strip with bad SEO than a bad comic with great SEO.
Ken Drab (me) has a small brain but a savant-like interest in branding, marketing and design. He better, that’s what he gets paid to do in real life. In make believe – he’s a webcomicker with a mediocre comic but a solid brand. Regardless, this is an ongoing series where we take a look at the concept of branding and how it applies to your comic. We’ll highlight do’s and don’ts as well as look at fixes. We’ll also be taking requests and take a critical but constructive approach to help real comic artists nail down their brand. So if you’re willing to put yourself out there – let me know. Email me directly at rtswebmail [at] gmail [dot] com or click here and add Comic Brand-Aid in the subject line. I’ll contact you if I think I can help you and we can help others by showcasing my recommendations.