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Is Wordpress/Comicpress necessary anymore?
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CardboardCrack



Joined: 09 May 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 5:46 pm    Post subject: Is Wordpress/Comicpress necessary anymore? Reply with quote

I recently started a new webcomic (about 1.5 months old) and have tried a different route for growing an audience. It seems like almost everyone concentrates on making a Comicpress site, but how the heck are you supposed to get people to know about and visit your site? Isn't the point to get people to read your comics?

So I tried something different. First, I started a Tumblr site, since Tumblr has built in mechanisms for sharing. Second, I started posting all my comics (not just links) to a Facebook page. Facebook seems so much better than Twitter for sharing images, and there's only so much time in a day so I'm ignoring Twitter for now.

So far this seems to have been pretty effective. My audience is growing much faster than it would have if I just started posting my comics to some homemade website. On the other hand, I wonder if not having my own site (and the associated control over it) will give me problems one day.

I would be interested whether any of you have tried a method like this or thought about going this route.

http://cardboard-crack.tumblr.com/
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Aglari



Joined: 04 Apr 2013
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I considered tumblr (and other blogging sites), but mainly because it would be easy to set up, I hadn't really considered the social aspect. Ultimately I didn't go for it because it doesn't work very well for a storyline-type comic, but it looks like a really good fit for yours.

A little extra note, I personally know about your comic through the MTG subreddit.

Most of us around here seem to be looking for ways to increase readership -- you seem to be using social media like a champ but I wonder if its as doable with a less targetted comic than yours (mtg fans).
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 310

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For clarity: by "WordPress" do you mean "Your own website"? WordPress itself is just a tool, and I completely dismiss the idea that it's necessary. I coded my own site because I can't stand WordPress and I enjoy HTML/CSS.

Since I have a story arc, just Facebook wouldn't work for me. There isn't really a good way to organize an archive. Same with Tumblr.

If you're going for a professional look, you'll want your own home rather than just Facebook. If you aren't worried about looking "professional," then I don't think you need to worry about it.

Unless you have trouble making updates to both, I don't see why you wouldn't have a Facebook along with your website. But if you just want to post on Facebook, more power to you.
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CardboardCrack



Joined: 09 May 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aglari wrote:
I considered tumblr (and other blogging sites), but mainly because it would be easy to set up, I hadn't really considered the social aspect. Ultimately I didn't go for it because it doesn't work very well for a storyline-type comic, but it looks like a really good fit for yours.

A little extra note, I personally know about your comic through the MTG subreddit.

Most of us around here seem to be looking for ways to increase readership -- you seem to be using social media like a champ but I wonder if its as doable with a less targetted comic than yours (mtg fans).


This is a good point and shouldn't be underestimated. Every webcomic is different and grows it audience in a different way.

But for gag-a-day, really focusing on social media seems like a good way to go. For long form, I have no idea how one is supposed to grow his or her audience. This sounds really daunting to me.
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Is Wordpress/Comicpress necessary anymore? Reply with quote

CardboardCrack wrote:
I recently started a new webcomic (about 1.5 months old) and have tried a different route for growing an audience. It seems like almost everyone concentrates on making a Comicpress site, but how the heck are you supposed to get people to know about and visit your site? Isn't the point to get people to read your comics?


How is anyone supposed to find a tumbler page or a facebook page?
The answer: people share it. That's how it works with a wordpress page too.

When I see someone using tumbler for a comic, it honestly makes me think that they didn't care enough to put the effort into making a regular site. It looks like they don't care, and don't expect their comic to be around in a couple months.
Navigation is crap; it makes me not want to read through the whole archives. That system basically says "you will never want to read more than the last month of what I have made."

Now I'm not saying you should ditch the tumbler; if it is giving you readers that use it. But use it in tandem with a real site with its own domain; and like to that site on your tumbler and facebook pages.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 310

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 5:38 am    Post subject: Re: Is Wordpress/Comicpress necessary anymore? Reply with quote

Marscaleb wrote:
When I see someone using tumbler for a comic, it honestly makes me think that they didn't care enough to put the effort into making a regular site. It looks like they don't care, and don't expect their comic to be around in a couple months.
Navigation is crap; it makes me not want to read through the whole archives. That system basically says "you will never want to read more than the last month of what I have made."

I completely agree with this. I have webcomics come up in my Tumblr feed, but I always click through to their website. Tumblr is fine for a mesh of random things, but as an archive, no.

I upload my comic to its own Tumblr blog, but all the links point back to my site. It also comes up a bit smaller in a feed, so people will be either forced to click through or endure reading the tiny lettering. (I'm considering switching to preview images but I'm not sure when I want to start doing that. I think these can be really hit or miss, but probably better for me in the long run.)

But I think it all comes down to why you do your comic. If you do it just for your own enjoyment and don't really care about people being able to go back and read old comics, then sure, Tumblr and Facebook are pretty cool. But if you want people to read through the whole collection, they won't, and you need a website.

And obviously, social media is working out well for you, so there's no need to stop that. But do you want people to be able to read old comics, or are you not concerned about that?
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QueenAmanda



Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started on Blogger but now have my own domain space because I have the best webmaster in the world.

He's my boyfriend.

But anyway, he doesn't use Comicpress, either. He created his own template for posting webcomics and he even has it set up so updates can be scheduled, just like Comicpress.

So, I guess it's not necessary if you or someone who loves you knows how to set it all up without it. If not, though, it might be a good tool.

But I wouldn't host webcomics on Tumblr. There's two that I read, that are okay once you get to the archive. But just landing on the main Tumblr page, it's a freaking hot mess.
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CardboardCrack



Joined: 09 May 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points everyone! Thanks! I guess I'll have to try out my own site eventually.

http://cardboard-crack.tumblr.com/
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Lo (Aquapunk)



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 6:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Is Wordpress/Comicpress necessary anymore? Reply with quote

Marscaleb wrote:
CardboardCrack wrote:
I recently started a new webcomic (about 1.5 months old) and have tried a different route for growing an audience. It seems like almost everyone concentrates on making a Comicpress site, but how the heck are you supposed to get people to know about and visit your site? Isn't the point to get people to read your comics?


How is anyone supposed to find a tumbler page or a facebook page?
The answer: people share it. That's how it works with a wordpress page too.

When I see someone using tumbler for a comic, it honestly makes me think that they didn't care enough to put the effort into making a regular site. It looks like they don't care, and don't expect their comic to be around in a couple months.
Navigation is crap; it makes me not want to read through the whole archives. That system basically says "you will never want to read more than the last month of what I have made."

Now I'm not saying you should ditch the tumbler; if it is giving you readers that use it. But use it in tandem with a real site with its own domain; and like to that site on your tumbler and facebook pages.


This is how I feel as well. I have a hard enough time sticking with internet reads (vs books) as it is, and tumblr just takes the short attention span thing even further. I don't have a short attention span. Providing me with content with the assumption that I do is irksome and makes reading through your content very frustrating.

Tumblr and FB are bad for content that requires strong continuity because once it disappears from the first page (or the first load for an endless scroll), then you lose control of it, in a way. You're sending out messages in bottles with every individual thing that you post, and for a gag-a-day that works-- but if you need your bottles to be read in a specific order, and collected together as a unified message? Good luck, lol.

ETA: Yes, longform is much harder because so many people do have short attention spans, because non-committal humor is easy to disseminate, and getting into real genres beyond "humor" narrows down your audience significantly. Most successful longforms have either been around forever, or got popular through word of mouth, really.
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CardboardCrack



Joined: 09 May 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Is Wordpress/Comicpress necessary anymore? Reply with quote

Lo (Aquapunk) wrote:
This is how I feel as well. I have a hard enough time sticking with internet reads (vs books) as it is, and tumblr just takes the short attention span thing even further. I don't have a short attention span. Providing me with content with the assumption that I do is irksome and makes reading through your content very frustrating.

Tumblr and FB are bad for content that requires strong continuity because once it disappears from the first page (or the first load for an endless scroll), then you lose control of it, in a way. You're sending out messages in bottles with every individual thing that you post, and for a gag-a-day that works-- but if you need your bottles to be read in a specific order, and collected together as a unified message? Good luck, lol.

ETA: Yes, longform is much harder because so many people do have short attention spans, because non-committal humor is easy to disseminate, and getting into real genres beyond "humor" narrows down your audience significantly. Most successful longforms have either been around forever, or got popular through word of mouth, really.


These are really good points.

I like what you did on your site with the extra long posts to help the storyline read better.
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smbhax.com
No! Don't post it there!


Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 2946
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like it's working well for the OP, but yeah for my long form comic the lack of easy page navigation on tumblr or Facebook would just be a no-go. I do post links to each update on my own tumblr, Facebook, etc pages, though.

There was a fairly big webcomic that converted their site to a tumblr-powered blog in the last year or so... Pictures for Sad Children, I think? It wasn't a comic I'd read regularly, but when I noticed they did that, my immediate first thought was "oh my gosh there's no archive, how do I navigate aaaaa." They seem to have gone back to their own custom site layout...which is still confusing and lacking a real archive anyway, so who knows--or maybe I'm remembering this wrong and it was some other comic.

Another example was the smaller webcomic "Rick the Stick" trying to go Google+-only a few years back--here is the author's post with the announcement and his reasoning for it; it was, however, a short-lived experiment as he stopped updating entirely not long afterwards, although from the sound of it that was more due to general burnout than G+, although I think maybe it didn't give him the boost he had hoped for.

One thing to consider in running your comic through an external site is that most of them don't allow you to set up your own ads, which may or may not be an important thing for you down the line.
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In case it hasn't been mentioned already, if you start making your own site, instead of Comic Press consider Comic Easel. I haven't personally tried both, but everything I've seen with Comic Easel I've liked.
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hipopotamo



Joined: 27 Nov 2011
Posts: 192

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really believe having a proper site for the comic is a plus, it is easier to follow, and I think it might make more people stay than if you only have a facebook or tumbler page.

I do believe having extra FB, tumbler or (gasp) twitter might help to promote the comic, and it also helps on the SEO level by providing more back links to your comic. And in my case, having a continuing story, the fixed site works better, as was mentioned above

Do we need Comicpress or the sort? This is of course a mixed answer, depending on your web abilities, your time and commitment to the comic, your patience... I really believe using an already made solution is good enough for most of us, although tweaking the basic ComicPress schema really pays in terms of how your site looks.

My site is ComicPress based, and so far it works like a charm. I have used the plugins available and also tweaked the code, and I think it looks nice enough. I've heard many times that ComicEasel is better, but right now I don't feel like going thru a migration effort. One particular reason is that I have set up my site to be multi-comic (so I can publish my bilingual versions) and it was not an easy process to do that, and I'm not sure comicEasel will easily support multi comic.

It would be interesting to come back to this thread later and see how each person is doing with their particular comic and choice of platform

Cheers from the Hippo




Last edited by hipopotamo on Wed May 15, 2013 6:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lo (Aquapunk)



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 5:10 am    Post subject: Re: Is Wordpress/Comicpress necessary anymore? Reply with quote

CardboardCrack wrote:
These are really good points.

I like what you did on your site with the extra long posts to help the storyline read better.


To echo SMBH, it does sound like its working for you. And if it continues to work for you, I'm sure lots of people here would love to hear about your experience posting content that way down the road! (Even though I make and read longform pretty exclusively, I'd find it to be an interesting read too.)

As for my layout, it's... sufficient. I plan on putting my completed chapters onto Issuu to give a much more book-like experience. I'm really happy with how one of my minis came out with that service. :V
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Casual Notice
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember a few years ago how there were a bunch of LiveJorunal and MySpace comics, and the folks who had them would often question why anyone would bother maintaining their own site (much less, pay ten dollars a year for a domain).
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