Webcomic Workshop Podcast 72

Solving Webcomic Issues We All Face.

This podcast we discuss:

Robin: Techniques for CLOSING. I can draw them in, I can get them interested, but I’m struggling to tip a potential customer into a paying customer. Any techniques I should try?

Drezz: Tapastic. I’ve decided to give it a second chance (never totally gave up on it) and take a good run at building a broader audience. Are mobile friendly comic reader apps the new trend or are they a better platform for getting your comic across to a bigger audience?

Dawn: Contemplating turing Z&F into a single panel comic, once I finish book 4. I see multiple benefits to this, considering my career path, business model and other ideas I have for future projects. How would I best handle this? New website, like a spin-off comic? Separate side to the site for the single panel comics? Keeping it all under the same umbrella?

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8 Comments

  1. Im really conflicted about Tapastic, I know more than a few people who were not satisfied in the long run and ended up removing their comic archives.
    Seems like the main concern is that it dilutes your reader base (because they are spread out on multiple sites) and can potentially harm your ad revenue. Mainly I just don’t care for the idea of another site making money off my comic. I suppose if you are looking for a new audience it could be worth while. I have considered putting up older chapters of my comic but Im afraid they new readers wouldn’t cross over to my main site.
    Id be curious to hear more people’s experience with this platform.

    • If you are creating ad revenue through your site, then ANYTHING that takes readers away from your site is not a good thing.

      I don’t mind having the comic there, thus far it has not generate much interest. It seems to be like any community, if you’re there and active (following a lot of comics, etc.) then you’re comic will have more followers. I personally do not have the time to invest in yet another social media site.

      I am also concerned at the level of quality of some of the comics I see featured there. The art and writing are not up to par at all (the same can be said for my first year’s archives as well) and I don’t want my comic hanging around comics created by High School or younger kids. Not that they can’t have talent, but they just haven’t developed the skills to draw/write comics correctly. Hell, I haven’t fully yet, so how could a 15 year old?

      My vote is still out on Tapastic, but thus far I’m not overly impressed.

  2. GREAT podcast folks! Lots of good info and tons o’ food for thought.

    Robin, I totally sympathize about ‘catching’ a potential customer, the worst is the dreaded ‘I’ll come back’ line, I really thought they would come back!

    Drez, thanks for the heads up about Tapastic, I’m curious. I’m not worried about ad traffic AND I’d like to reach more readers so it’s sounds like a prospect.

    Dawn, you’ve got tons to think about and hope it all comes together. The daily strip sounds like a cool idea. As an all-ages creator, do you ever feel like the website route is missing the target? I think you’ve touched on this before. I wonder about myself, while I think a web presence is important, I don’t think younger readers read my comic online, should we be going the ‘app’ route?

    Thanks again folks for taking the time to do this!

  3. One observation I could add about single panel comics: they live and die by the most recent one. Meaning that if people don’t like the one gag that they see on Facebook, Twitter, whatever, they will not click through to read more.

    Conversely, if they do like it, there is a very good chance they will dig into your archives and read and read and read. Great warm fuzzy feeling!

    So the audience is much more fickle than you may be used to with what you’re doing now. That said, I love doing my single panel comic and want to wish you the absolute best of luck should you take Z&F that route.

  4. The talking about getting people to go to your comic when interacting with a community was really interesting.
    I’m at the point with my comic that I’m not ready to advertise (I’m waiting until I have enough strips to keep someone on site for a long period of time, and until I have a .pdf to sell.) but I’m working on social media and deviant art to try and push people to the site. At the moment, I’m getting minimal follow through from Tumblr and Twitter (maybe 1 or 2 visits that look at one page and then leave.) but I’m getting nothing from DA. What sort of flow through have you guys had from Deviant art to your sites?

  5. Oh man, so the “I visited Dawn’s booth” coupon thing gave me a fun idea for kids. What if you made them look like free special “Dawn Griffin VIP passes” with a little string that you give to the kid to put around their neck with their con badge? That way the coupon is physically with them for the day and more memorable.

  6. You all are aware that if you are using wordpress, your website is already “mobile” ready? right? It will conform to the size and applications of your various viewing devices.

    Taptastic Isn’t doing anything that your website Isn’t already doing for you. Techday did a review of Taptastic last October and it basically boiled down to this:

    [quote] ….A big problem I found was that there’s no immediately obvious way to zoom in on pages – they’re all just set to fit the width of your screen.

    This isn’t a huge problem for comics that are primarily based around action, but for those with a lot of text I found reading them a bit hard work. Maybe there is a way to zoom in, I don’t know, but I couldn’t find it and the usual two-fingered drag didn’t do anything.

    With this in mind, you have to wonder what the app is giving you that just your basic internet browser isn’t. All the same comics are on the Tapastic site, and there are no zooming issues there. The app offers you ever-so-slightly quicker access, I think, but it’s not a huge difference.[/quote]

    I’d be surprised if Taptastic becomes anything of value. Their branding strategy is already wrong coming out of the door.

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