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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 430

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:26 am    Post subject: links page Reply with quote

Haven't set mine up yet.

You guys have a philosophy on this? I suppose you do whether you realize it or not. The jillion-hits-a-day sites aren't going to swap links with some shlub noob, which is totally their right especially if they don't like the comic. Low-hit comics like mine are probably more inclusive, hey, link to me and I'll link back atcha! But there's still a dilemma; I'll trade links with someone but I hardly want to call it "Webcomics I like!" or "Awesome comics I read!" if I think they suck and I just want to get the reciprocal.

I think my philosophy is going to be "Friends." And I'll link everybody who swaps with me whether I like the comic or not, as long as I don't think the person actually creating the comic is an asshole. The person is more important than the quality of the comic, this stuff is subjective anyway. Not that my asshole-detector works perfectly based on a handful of posts from somebody on a forum, but...wait, actually it does.

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www.mcmasterscomics.com
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still kind of deciding my rules behind this. Right now, my links page has links to my favorite webcomics; it's not all the comics I read, and none of them link back to me.

I haven't swapped links with anyone yet, but I was thinking when I do, I would give a larger synopsys (probably with a small sample, like a 150x150 graphic) of their comic above my favorite comics list. I figure someone who's going to give me traffic deserves more attention from my page, and a lot of my favorite comics aren't going to get any sort of noticeable boost in traffic from me anyway.

I may take my favorites list out completely if/when I get affiliates. It's mostly there now to fill space. And they're good comics, so why not spread the word?

I've seen a few boards here about swapping links, but I prefer not to do that sort of stuff publicly. Even if my site is small, I don't want to just link to anyone... I feel like that's an endorsement, and if I don't like the comic, I wouldn't feel right for endorsing it. That may hurt my traffic in the long run, but I feel it's an integrity thing.

I don't do it publicly because if I tell one person I'll trade with them, then someone else posts that I'm not interested in trading with, I don't want to be put into a situation on telling them there and possibly embarrassing them. So if someone here wants to trade links with me, PM me and I'll let you know if I'm interested. But I'm not going to be posting on any of the boards saying so.

I've also had issues with affiliates for past websites. There were a few occasions where someone changed their site to be something completely different and not something I wanted to be linking to, and other times when the affiliate stopped linking to me without any notice. It's been messy business for me and I want to be sure I know who I'm linking to. And if it's someone I actually read, I'm more likely to notice if/when they stop linking me.

Another thing is ad space. I'm only going through Project Wonderful right now, and yeah, my site's small. But the way I see it, if I agree to link to someone, that's one person who's less likely to be buying ad space. Ads wouldn't be a reason to keep me from linking to someone I like, but if I just link to everybody, then there'll be less incentive to rent a slot.
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Metruis
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 14 Oct 2008
Posts: 1019
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rule one:

Make link banners available in common sizes for your own comic, common does not include skyscrapers! 200x40 seems to be very common for link pages. That way if someone reads your comic they can put it on their links page if they want to. Lots of people like their banners to be all one size so as long as you have the common ones, like 88x31, 200x40, etc, then you should be golden.

Do this whether or not you exchange links.

Now, I made my links page initially to have a few comics I read. Not all of them at all, I don't link to the popular ones I like, I only linked to people I thought might benefit from the exposure or that I really liked. I add the odd comic I run into I think is cool. If someone asks, I exchange links; I did ask a couple times for link exchanges back in the day, but it was mostly with other new creators who I thought might benefit from my 200 readers (yeah), and a couple of people who said in their links page they accepted link exchanges. Usually I only asked people who didn't have banners available because I needed a banner. I tried to stick to comics in a similar genre, like, no gamers on a couch comics, y'know? But it wasn't a hard fast rule.

I do think you should make it known if you have a rule on link exchanges (ei, will do, won't do, only friends, only comics I read, only newbies, whatever), and if it's yes, make it easy to contact you.

As for what to call the page... easy! Other Comics.

On the ads thing... hah, a little banner on the links page is nothing compared to an ad, I would still buy adspace from a comic linking me. Very Happy
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Lady Tygry



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 235
Location: Buckeye State

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually just see people use a Link Exchanges section if they want to distinguish trades from their own reading list. I suppose it comes down to personal preference as to whether you want to draw attention to the fact that you're linking someone out of a trading obligation rather than because you actually enjoy their comic. I link to the comics I follow. I have had authors reciprocate without being asked but I never care enough to point out that I've linked them (they'll notice if they get any significant traffic).

I personally don't want people who don't enjoy reading the comic to link to me. If we have different target audiences, it probably wouldn't be of much help for either of us. I used to do link exchanges but I got tired of deleting inactive ones a month or so after adding them. Instead, I offer the option for anyone who submits guest art to include their link on the submitted image or I can add it for them. My current comic is a newer project (as far as its online availability goes) and I don't plan to advertise for a long time. When I do though, I will go with my old process of putting guest art up in batches so the people who do take the time to send something can have some front-page exposure for at least a couple weeks.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Metruis wrote:
On the ads thing... hah, a little banner on the links page is nothing compared to an ad, I would still buy adspace from a comic linking me. Very Happy

Yeah, I know that wouldn't deter some people, and I may still get ads from people I link to through campaigns, but I felt like it was worth mentioning. "Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free."

I didn't know about the 200x40 banners, so thanks for that. I've been meaning to make 88x31 but I've been lazy. Are there any other good sizes to have available?


Last edited by MindChimera on Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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hipopotamo



Joined: 27 Nov 2011
Posts: 192

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My link page is called "comics", and right now is text only, but featured on the main page.

I do back links mostly to comics I like, either popular or not. Also, the list is different on the English and Spanish version of my comic.

I usually do swap links requests with comics I already like, or at least have a theme similar to mine, so I really have no problem sponsoring those. If I find a comic I really don't like, I won't ask for exchanging (being asked to exchange form someone I really don't like has not happened yet)

So, if you are nice, and your comic is not about a coat hanger doing nothing, I'll certainly will exchange links with you (wait, it is possible to do a story about coat hangers, so I take that back!)

Cheers from the Hippo


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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For my links page, I wanted to actually share the comics I read. So, I decided to add all the comics I read.
It's not some schmoozing fest or circle jerking, I'm not pandering nor exchanging. I think that betrays the trust of the links page. I'm just linking to the comics I like.

And usually when I see links pages, I often see inconsistency. Not all comics are sharing the same size banners/buttons, so there is often a few comics that don't look the same. OR people just opt for a text list, which looks bland.
And you know what, even when they do have consistent size for link buttons, they all have different styles' some with just a title, or just character art, some animated...
And then the final problem I see with link pages is that when I stare at a big list of comics, I have little incentive to care about any of them.

That's why I made my links page like I did.

1) I created custom images for each comic, so each image has the same size, and showcases the same level of content.

2) I list the comic according to how strongly I would recommend them, (on set levels so most are tied.)

3) I give a short description about the comic, including its focus (story vs humor, etc) and setting.

Now this means a lot of effort to post all the comic I read, so... I'm slowly updating the list with one comic per week.

I am very pleased with what I have done with my Links page.
I like it even better than when I just made a page filled with drawings of Link.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marscaleb wrote:
I like it even better than when I just made a page filled with drawings of Link.

I don't know, that's kind of hard to beat.

I whole-heartedly agree with the non-matching images thing, details like that drive me crazy. So I wanted to make my own cuts of the comic as well. I think that also gives a better nitty-gritty idea of how the comic actually looks than a button made for advertising would.
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Lo (Aquapunk)



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My #1 rule with my links page is to not link to stuff that I feel are already enormously popular. They don't really need me to do it, it takes up precious real estate (and on links pages, things can get incomprehensible really quickly, which is bad if I'm actually trying to promote things I really like that aren't well known), and I don't need to throw up a link as a shorthand for "I like stories like this". That's what my blog is for.

I'll link to my friends (actual friends, not just people I might say hi to at a con), I'll do trades if I really dig the art and style of the other creator, and I'll link to underappreciated stories I genuinely love. I give those the most space and attention, since those are the most important to me. I don't know why more people don't do this; it makes links pages easier to digest and look at.
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Metruis
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 14 Oct 2008
Posts: 1019
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lo (Aquapunk) wrote:
I'll link to underappreciated stories I genuinely love. I give those the most space and attention, since those are the most important to me. I don't know why more people don't do this; it makes links pages easier to digest and look at.

And as a reader, when I go to your links page it's not to see which popular comics you read, but because I'm hoping to discover a new read that falls along well with what I just read.
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Varethane



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 556

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put everything I read on my links page, though I do try to keep it to things that are mostly in the same genre that I think people reading my comic are likelier to enjoy (so my links page is low on the joke comics and high on the fantast/sci-fi/epics).

I don't really factor in popularity as a consideration, though; I've discovered comics for the first time on other people's links pages and discovered that somehow, despite it appearing to be relatively well-read in its own corner of the internet, I had never so much as heard of it before. Sometimes something you think is super popular can be someone else's fantastic new read! The internet keeps expanding and I'm always finding new corners of it... usually through other people's Links pages. I like returning that favour. C:

I try to keep the list updated, removing comics that become inactive and seem to show no signs of ever reviving, or that vanish mysteriously (whyyyyyy Under Lock & Key and fungus Grotto, whyyyyyy ;A; ); soon I might make a section for completed comics, as at least a couple of the comics I read have either finished or will finish soon.
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lo (Aquapunk) wrote:
My #1 rule with my links page is to not link to stuff that I feel are already enormously popular. They don't really need me to do it, it takes up precious real estate


Metruis wrote:

And as a reader, when I go to your links page it's not to see which popular comics you read, but because I'm hoping to discover a new read that falls along well with what I just read.


That is a fair point, but I don't think you should diminish a comic just because it is popular.
Sometimes people need to see a comic being praised by a lot of people before they start reading it. I've certainly been that way at times.

When you look at someone's links page, it's just this list of comics, and the only filter it has gone through is that ONE person has liked it. There's nothing there to really sell you on what is a good comic or not; especially when they are just listed with no marks or comments about what it is about, how reccomended it is, etc.
What guarantee do I have that I would enjoy any of those comics? Why should I waste my time with them?
Even though it's suggested by someone who makes a comic I like, well, that doesn't mean we share the same tastes. There are plenty of things they like for aspects that are not what they carry in their comic. It's not like when a friend who knows you personally suggests a comic.

Seeing a title show up on many different link pages, however, gives it more credibility. If I see a comic show up on a lot of link pages, well, maybe it is better than I am giving it credit for, since SO MANY of the comics I read are talking about it.
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narwhalknight



Joined: 29 Mar 2013
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only post stuff I like, or people I want to support. If asked to swap links I really need to take a good look at the site first.

That being said, if anyone would like to swap links I'd love to check out your page.
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QueenAmanda



Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My links isn't up on my site yet - webmaster is still working on stuff, I guess. I compiled it, though, and it's long - but it's stuff I genuinely like. They're all webcomics I actually like. I don't care if anyone links back to me - I'd only want them to if they really liked my comic, anyway. A person is only as good as their word and I wouldn't want someone to lie just for hits.
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Lo (Aquapunk)



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marscaleb wrote:
That is a fair point, but I don't think you should diminish a comic just because it is popular.

I should also note that I'm not particularly interested in stuff that's very popular anyways. Except maybe Oglaf, but... am I really "diminishing" it by not linking to it? Am I personally taking something away from the creators of Oglaf that they rightfully deserve and would not otherwise get if I didn't link to them?

Marscaleb wrote:
Sometimes people need to see a comic being praised by a lot of people before they start reading it. I've certainly been that way at times.


Yeah, I've never thought this way. The more I see something without explanation, the more bored with it I get. It's like a thread that was going on at Ink I think about how people judge comic titles. My response was that I don't, because it's impossible for me to. They're all equally meaningless to me without more context.


Marscaleb wrote:
What guarantee do I have that I would enjoy any of those comics? Why should I waste my time with them?


I dunno! This is why I rarely look at anyone's links pages: they don't tell me anything. The things I link to on AP I do/have mentioned elsewhere, and in greater detail. What's on the links page is basically a post-it note of URLs to reference that I have at one point talked about before; I don't expect it to be of much use beyond that.
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