Creative Advertising
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    How do you advertise your comic?
    I know all the regular avenues, like Project Wonderful, buying adspace on various comic sites, or just trying to pimp it in forums, but I thought I'd see if maybe some of you had come up with inventive ways to get your stuff out there?
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    ink SUPPORTER
    I run a campaign on auto pilot through PW that advertises on my update days. It has cost me about $500 so far, but it's just money that my PW ad boxes generate and I almost don't feel like it's real since I never had it in my bank account.
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  • 78 Posts
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    I manually place bids on PW, have an ad on Facebook, and post in various forums. I also have the comic up on various comic ranking sites.
    The most traffic I get is from FB, not necessarily from the ad but from posting on it so much.

    But both PW and FB can cost a lot after a while and I have started implementing an advertising budget.

    The only other "inventive" thing I've done is this: http://chanceofdoom.com/adventure/ but I have to rework it a little bit.
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    I've thought about handing out flyers at Comicons and getting some local support through university newspapers and local publications, but nothing too crazy other than that. You can try making a pinterest board and hope for a few repins, but I haven't seen any exposure myself through it. 
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    I write a blog on my site. Now mine are a little messed up but I ended up on other peoples' sites by googling things like 'What's the best way to advertise my comic' , and lo and behold, I ended up on a webcomic site. If you try this route be sure to use a good title that someone will google.

    http://www.workingstiffscomics.com/mybook/
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    I typically stick with social media, but when I went to SPX I handed out cookies I made with the recipe and my site information. It was a nice icebreaker.
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  • 296 Posts
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    I have flyers and promos in local comic book stores. I post to reddit and stumbleupon. I also post to Facebook, Twitter. I have some ads on Project Wonderful, too. Google Adsense, as well.
    And of course, my biggest deliverer of readers, is, of course, this very humble and amazing site.

    I've done business cards and flyers at San Diego ComicCon and Wondercon (whilst it's in Anaheim.) Not seen a single one litter either the convention floors or outside streets (shows that convention attendees are tidy people.:) )
    I'm also doing interviews for podcasts, websites, etc. (I'd love to do more... hint, hint. lol)

    I guess it's a game of marketing yourself, and not just your webcomic. Get your name out there, in new and creative ways.
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    projectwonderful has always given me the most referrals at one time, especially when I target specific sites that have a good yield. I suggest looking for high traffic sites that you think are similar to your own, and buying ad space on them whenever you can. I find that not only does this usually send a bunch of referrals my way, but also a low bounce rate and a very high pageview rate per person. 

    In terms of slow, steady marketing, facebook and twitter are still the ways to go though. 
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    Somehow or another, I've gotten the most references to our site (so far) from BelfreyComics.net.  Free listing there, brought in a ton of people in the first week.  Seems to have dropped down lower and lower each week since then (which was really only in the last month that I discovered it).  

    Project Wonderful hasn't been much for us, yet.  I may need to change the ads out to something more dynamic.  I'm getting some good initial reaction from the new billboards here.  Would love for it to transfer to more subscribers here though.

    Some of the Webcomic ranking sites are fine, I guess.  I suppose I just don't know how to leverage these things.  

    I have an Adsense ad on our site, but haven't put one out myself.  I guess that's next.  Waiting for the second story arc to make more of a push.
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    @captaintemerity
    Okay, I'm going to use my experience, and observations, so as they say "your distance may vary".

    Belfry was the same for me, when I first listed, but it's become quite a clique place, for those into anime and furry comics. Not saying anything bad about the place, but it has somewhat become more and more leaned towards the anime/furry crowd, and they only tend to read only just that. Same happened with TheWebcomicList site.
    Plus, they never seem to do any house-cleaning, so newly listed webcomics get lost in the noise of loads of dead comics and deadlinks. Nor do they really do anything to highlight new comics or push them. So, once your first week passes, your link just gets drowned out. Those sites need to take some lessons from this site, on how to keep things clean and easily laid out, without hitting visitors with huge walls of tiny, hard to read text and garish colour-schemes.
    Project Wonderful works if you target other comics that match your style/ theme. Plus, sometimes you have to be willing to do some high bidding to get on those more high-profile comics.
    The only drawback with PW, is that it has become quite insular, as webcomics wind up advertising on each other's sites, and eventually the only people who see your ads are those who only read webcomics. It really narrows who sees your ads. So, I'd say PW is a good start point for advertising.

    Eventually getting an ad on Google Adsense can be a good place to turn, in small moderation. If your webhost offers you a "Free $75 or $100 Google Adsense credit", then use it. Just remember to stop the campaign once your credit gets close to $0, or they'll start billing you hard.
    However, I've found their algorithms for placing ads, a little slap-dash, and costly. So, use strong metatagging, when tagging your ad banners and really pick your options wisely. Use Adsense more for running ads on your site and earning you what you can get from it.
    I'd also say don't bother with Yahoo! Ads. They send you through so many stupid loops, to take "advantage" of their "free" credit, that it winds up being useless and costs you time and money. Plus, their ad options are pretty woeful. So, give them a wide-berth.

    The best advertising, I have found, is getting involved in forums, and not just webcomic ones. You'll be surprised how many clicks you'll get from just a simple text link, in your signature bar of any posts you make.
    The more people read your posts, and like what you write, they'll click your link, to find out more about you, who you are, your work, etc. 

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  • 78 Posts
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    Thanks for the insight on Google Adsense, prydonian! I was going to start looking into that in a bit and every little shred of information helps.
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    @prydonian  The Belfry was actually one of the few listings sites that actually has chucked a lot of views my way, even months after my 'debut' (the other being TopWebComics, from which I get by far the lion's share of clicks).  Probably different for everyone.  The WebComic List is, agreed, pretty close to a disaster as a place to get exposure.  It's even a chore to advertise there, with very little pay off.

    Anyways, some good advice, there!
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  • 84 Posts
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    Don't underestimate the power of having a few dozen "business cards"/mini fliers to throw around in random places. I've sneakily left small stacks on the counters of comic book stores, pinned them up on corkboards at coffee shops, left them sticking out of little crevices in public bathrooms, on mass transportation, all sorts of things. I don't know how well that worked, as this was before all the bullshit went down with my last domain, but if you've got a lot of cheaply printed cards lying around, why not.
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    I get a lot of traffic from using Scribol, but I tend to wonder how much of that traffic actually sticks.
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    I got a lot of traffic from Scribol when I first signed up but haven't seen any from them for the last 6 months.
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    I subscribed to Scribol a few months back and they say my application is still under consideration.  I don't think they are working on it anymore.
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