Webcomic traffic tips

When you create a webcomic, your main goal is to find readers who are interested in your work. Over the years I’ve familiarized myself in a few tricks that will make you find your “audience”, whatever your webcomic might be about, so I figured I wanted to share a few tips on how to get some more visitors.

But first, let’s take a look at the most common suggestions:

Social media and webcomic sites

Now, lets take a look at the most common tips you’ll always find if you try a quick Google search for “how to get more visitors to my webcomic”. They will mostly list all the obvious, like Facebook/Twitter/Social Media, and famous art websites like DeviantArt, Tapastic and such. Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but there are a few problems with these suggestions:

  • Social Media: if you aren’t already having a respectable number of followers, it’s mostly going to take a lot of time to get them. Building up a base of truly interested followers can take a lot of time. Time you’d rather spend on your webcomic.
  • DeviantArt, Tapastic, etc: while places like these can give you great exposure, you might risk “drowning in the crowd”. There’s already so many webcomics there, it’s hard to get noticed.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t use these things. Even tiny drops will make a larger puddle, but in general it takes a lot of time and effort and even then it may not bring good results. Common suggestions to quicken things up are doing crappy things like commenting other people’s work (aka “hey nice webcomic, take a look at mine!”), but let’s be honest, how often have any of us ever checked out anything from the comments section..? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Below, I’ll share a few additional tips that should be helpful. They’re not going to give you thousands of visits overnight, and they may not bring you your first handful of patreon supporters within a week..but it’s a start.

Tips #1: Buy some ads on Project Wonderful

(UPDATE/NOTE: Unfortunately, Project Wonderful is no more. R.I.P. 😥)

Yeah, yeah, I know. Buying ads..? Using money on promoting your webcomic..? Bah! Humbug! But, really, just hear me out. When you’re trying to find your audience, they will need to find out that your webcomic actually exists in the first place. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Search for some places on Project Wonderful that best fits the theme and genre of your comic, and try for a small amount of time on each (a week or two, or if the stats/results are crap you may turn it off after a couple days). Make sure you check your stats for the ads that works best: if the pageviews of your webcomic is increasing, then it probably means that the site you placed the ad on has an audience that is within your target group. If a site’s traffic mostly makes people enter your front page and then click away, then that site does not fit your target group. Experiment with banners (I’ve found that 768×90 leaderboard banners and 160×600 skyscraper banners are working best), and make sure that the website gives a good exposure for the banner (not hidden at the bottom somewhere). If you do this for a while, you should be able to get a nice amount of visitors that are truly interested in your webcomic, and will return back to read more.

So, here’s a short checklist of how to make the most of your ads:

  • Choose a website that’s got a clearly visible banner. Avoid sites that hides the banners at the bottom of the site.
  • Make sure you choose a website that’s got a theme/style that fits your work. If you’re doing, say, a fantasy webcomic, you may want to look for sites in that genre. Also take notice that some people can be favoring certain drawing styles, so it can be a good advice to look for something that isn’t that far from what you’re doing. Still, I’ve noticed that results can be somewhat surprising even on sites that isn’t very similar to my own…so don’t be afraid to try for a short while on non-similar websites as well.
  • Keep a good eye on those webstats. If you’re not taking a look at how the ad’s traffic works on your site, you’ll have no idea which ads works best for you. Take a close look at things like visitor time (how much time those visitors spend on your site – do they look around or do they click the “back” button after a few seconds?), and how many of those visitors are returning visits. This will make it easy for you to narrow down which ads you should stick to, and which ones simply does not work for you.
  • Make some eye-catching banners that describes your webcomic easily! In my genre (horror) some images of skulls and ghosts mostly do the trick. People will know what they’ll be coming to. It’s just as important to have an eye-catching banner as it is to have a “honest” one: if you make a banner of something that looks like an action-packed story, it’s safe to assume that a lot of the visitors will click the back-button quickly if the story is a slow-burning romance story. Oh, and avoid flashing gif-banners. Those are annoying as motherfuckin’ hell.

Tips #2: Watermark your images

Now, this is mostly a tip for those of you that post some drawings other than just webcomics. The thing is, a lot of  people out there just loooove to repost other people’s stuff, wether they have permission to or not. If you’re already sharing these things for free, there’s not necessarily anything bad about people reposting your content…but people who do that are often lousy with giving any kind of credit for where they found it. This is why a small watermark, a logo plus your website url, on the drawings will help getting some direct traffic if people repost your stuff.

A side note on this: before, I never put watermarks on the photos I post, only my drawings, but after seeing some people using my Disneyland Paris photos without giving at least a simple credit, I’ve decided to put my url on some of my photos as well.

Tips #3: Write content on your site that can give relevant search engine traffic

This is something I’ve started focusing more on here on my blog, and it got results pretty quickly. Let’s say you’re doing a sci-fi webcomic, and you have a blog or a website where you post a page every now and then or an issue. Mostly, you’ll also add some text and tags in that blog post, right? This can be useful in order to get some search engine traffic. Using specific keywords (like “sci-fi action webcomic”) in order to try getting some traffic when people are searching for just that, will get you some targeted visitors to your webcomic. Also make sure you use alt tags on your images! A lot of people use the image search, and I’m getting some hits from the tags and descriptions I’ve put on these. For example, I used “Sexy graveyard pinup drawing” on the drawing at http://inkedinhell.tomte.org/drawings/pinup-6/, and if searching for this in Google images it comes up pretty quickly. Try going for some longer keywords (trying to rank for “webcomic” is almost impossible because the competition is too high), but trying to rank for longer terms should be easier. For example: if you have a webcomic that’s about some anthropomorphic characters that’s battling fantasy monsters, it could be something like “furry fantasy webcomic with monsters”. Use more than just the same phrase over and over, as long as it still fits the content of your webcomic.

So, a short checklist:

  • Use keywords/tags that describes your webcomic when you write blog posts and descriptions
  • Make sure to also use alt tags on images to get some valuable image search traffic
  • Go for a mix of terms/phrases that describes your webcomic, and make sure you especially go for the longer ones (they’re more likely to drive in results)


Well, that’s it. Hopefully some of you might find this helpful. When it comes to driving traffic to your webcomic there really is no quick fixes on it, just multiple solutions where some things work better for that person than this person. Still, I believe that these 3 tips should be helpful to most people.

6 Responses to “Sharing a few tips on how to reach more visitors for your webcomic”

  • Sage02 Says:

    Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Deviantart can be misleading. Likes and followers do not always represent true fans. I have seen too many times that comic artists I follow complain about their large base of followers while having a lack of patrons or sales. I think especially Deviantart is packed with bot likes and bot followers.

    Project Wonderful is good, but beware of fake hits. I have heard that this can be a problem sometimes….

  • Tomte Says:

    Good points. Bots and fake accounts can trick you into believing that you have more followers or watchers than you actually have. Also, it requires almost nothing for someone to click “like” on something, so you’ll never know how genuine the interest is based on just a watchlist and likes.

    I haven’t noticed any fake hits on Project Wonderful as of yet, but that should be possible to watch out for if looking at your website stats.

  • Fuzzy Says:

    Good post. Who is that girl in the drawing?? is she a character from one of your projects? she is really cute 😀

    I have a friend who used to do fanarts to get some more recognition. didn’t work well because people who faved her fanarts didn’t care about her other work. She tried tumblr but her tags would never show up in tumblr search. she says she gets some fair hits from facebook after joining some facebook groups that allow you to post there.

  • Tomte Says:

    Thanks. The girl is just a character I made for this occasion, she is not a part of any of my projects 🙂

    I’m not familiar with Facebook groups and how they work, but if there are groups you can join that allow you to post about your projects, it should help with spreading the word.

  • Mike Says:

    Tips #1 won’t be useful anymore. Project Wonderful is shutting down, and will be gone on Aug 1st.

  • Tomte Says:

    Well, damn…that’s a shame. It was one of the best places to advertise a webcomic project. I haven’t been using it for some time myself, so I wasn’t aware of this. I guess I need to update this post, altough I’m not sure if I can replace Tips #1 with anything similar.

    Oh well, R.I.P. Project Wonderful!

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