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Getting repeat traffic to long format comic sites
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ragtag
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Joined: 22 Jul 2001
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Location: Norway

PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 11:38 am    Post subject: Getting repeat traffic to long format comic sites Reply with quote

I'm starting work on a new comic and a new web site. The comics on the site will be mostly long format stand alone stories, 20 pages or more, and not part of a series. Since it takes me a while doing a new comic, I need some incentive for people to check out my site regularly. Some part of the site where there is something new.

What I want to try to do is have a sketch blog on my site, basically like a blog...except I'm not ranting on about my life, but posting sketches along with a few comments. Here I could post sketches for projects I'm working onm, any random sketches I'm doing and so on. It also gives people the option of commenting on any of the entries/sketches, so it will be a little interactive. If I update this regularly, which isn't too much work, I'm sure it would keep some people checking out the site regularly.

I'm interested in hearing your suggestions on things that can encourage people to bookmark my site and keep returning to it. Current list of options consists of:
- Newsletter - People can sign up for and get a mail when there is a new comic (though this gets a little too close to SPAM for comfort).
- Forums - Don't know how to set these up, and they might be more work than they are worth. Also, empty forums are not likely to attract any traffic and may make the site feel dead. A simpler version of this would be to just include a guest book.
- Regular strips - This is an option, but would take away time from actually drawing the long format comics...and to be frank, I'm no big fan of strips.

Cheers,

Ragnar
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A mailing list that people sign up for to get the occasional announcement of a new long work certainly doesn't seem like spam to me. It's infrequent, and it's something they requested (not unsolicited email).

Another idea is RSS feed to announce changes. I am becoming quite fond of this. I have various RSS feeds on my livejournal friends page now. A handy way to keep up with a bunch of different sites in one place.
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losttoy
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Joined: 02 Apr 2002
Posts: 429
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vote is for the e-mail notification method. Most people will understand about this and you can always add a remove option. Furthermore people who like your stories can keep in touch knowing that quality takes time.
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Pumpkin Pie
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Joined: 01 Jan 2005
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Location: Madison, Wisconsin, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting repeat traffic to long format comic sites Reply with quote

ragtag wrote:
What I want to try to do is have a sketch blog on my site, basically like a blog...except I'm not ranting on about my life, but posting sketches along with a few comments. Here I could post sketches for projects I'm working onm, any random sketches I'm doing and so on. It also gives people the option of commenting on any of the entries/sketches, so it will be a little interactive. If I update this regularly, which isn't too much work, I'm sure it would keep some people checking out the site regularly.


Sorry, but I think most people would be mainly attracted by your top-shelf comic and not by doodles.

Quote:
I'm interested in hearing your suggestions on things that can encourage people to bookmark my site and keep returning to it. Current list of options consists of:
- Newsletter - People can sign up for and get a mail when there is a new comic (though this gets a little too close to SPAM for comfort).


Spam is unsolicited commercial emails. What you're proposing isn't thus spam since they signed up to get it.

Quote:
- Forums - Don't know how to set these up, and they might be more work than they are worth. Also, empty forums are not likely to attract any traffic and may make the site feel dead. A simpler version of this would be to just include a guest book.


Forums are really best after you have a body of work out there for people to comment on. Too many start-up webcomics roll theirs out too early. In fact, I only plan to offer forums for paid subscribers and don't expect to get any of them until I have a good chunk of episodes in the archives.

Quote:
- Regular strips - This is an option, but would take away time from actually drawing the long format comics...and to be frank, I'm no big fan of strips.


If strips are not your thing, don't put them out. Go with what you're a fan of.

Scott
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Eric F Myers
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Joined: 03 Oct 2003
Posts: 352
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting repeat traffic to long format comic sites Reply with quote

Pumpkin Pie wrote:
ragtag wrote:
What I want to try to do is have a sketch blog on my site, basically like a blog...except I'm not ranting on about my life, but posting sketches along with a few comments. Here I could post sketches for projects I'm working onm, any random sketches I'm doing and so on. It also gives people the option of commenting on any of the entries/sketches, so it will be a little interactive. If I update this regularly, which isn't too much work, I'm sure it would keep some people checking out the site regularly.


Sorry, but I think most people would be mainly attracted by your top-shelf comic and not by doodles.


I like doodles. I wish more people had sketchblogs. Ragnar, If you added one to your site it would bring me back everyday.
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ragtag
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Joined: 22 Jul 2001
Posts: 139
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback. Interesting to see totaly opposing oppinions on the sketch blog. I guess it's the kind of thing that doesn't appeal to everybody. Though the nice thing about it is that it will be at very little extra effort to me. I'm doing the sketches anyway, so putting some of them in a sketch blog is no more job than posting on a forum like this (plus some scanning for those I do on paper).

So I think I'll go with a sketchblog and a newsletter. I'll look into the RSS feed. I only have a sort of vague idea of what it is, but I'm sure some Googling will turn up lots of info.

Pumpkin Pie: I agree with you on the forums. If there aren't enough people, they just look empty and out of place and don't help make people come back.

Ragnar
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BuckBeaver
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Joined: 15 Dec 2002
Posts: 74
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly, Jim Zubkavich was commenting on his blog recently that The Makeshift Miracle still gets a decent amount of traffic (and presumably Bitpass revenue) despite the fact that's rarely been updated since he finished it and he has done almost nothing to promote it.

Worth noting though that he was an early sign-on to Bitpass and the comic was daily (I think) for quite awhile until he finished it.
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janell
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Joined: 29 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally off topic - can anyone tell me how to read Makeshift Miracle through my Modern Tales subscription? I've looked all around but can't seem to find out where the link to the old MT archives are. Thanks!

(btw, I know you've already figured out what to do, but frequent updates are always a good thing - if people like your comic, they'll often be interested in what else you do. Plus then search engines like you better. And I personally love the option to receive a newsletter when there are updates because it means I don't have to keep checking back just to see if there are any.)
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Greg Stephens
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Joined: 14 Apr 2001
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

janell wrote:
Totally off topic - can anyone tell me how to read Makeshift Miracle through my Modern Tales subscription? I've looked all around but can't seem to find out where the link to the old MT archives are. Thanks!

It's no longer available at Modern Tales. Here's what Joey Manley said:
Joey Manley wrote:
Jim has chosen to remove his work from MT and move on to other projects. MM is available by BitPass at his site -- not sure what plans he has for Flipside Stories.

It should go without saying that Jim and I remain friendly, and he's very much a part of the Modern Tales family, and always will be.

If you subscribed to MT after MM left, with the motivation of reading MM, I can refund and cancel your subscription if you'd like. Just pop me a note by email: subscriptions@moderntales.com

Thanks!

Joey

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janell
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bummer, thanks....
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