How to Start a Webcomic

Everything you need to know about starting a webcomic

As the name suggests, webcomics are comics that are published on a website or mobile app. They are also known as online comics or internet comics. While many are only accessible online, others are available in periodicals, newspapers, and comic books. Typically, webcomics are written to achieve humorous effect but this is not a necessity.

If you are eager to release your creative and artistic nature, starting a webcomic is for you. This straightforward guide will set you on the path to webcomic success. Read on to learn more.

Research the webcomic market

Although you may have many ideas already, market research is always advantageous. Essentially, you should learn everything you can about the comics market. Begin with the most popular types of webcomics. Then, examine your competition and identify their strengths and limitations. Consider all aspects of the webcomic brand, their name, logo, website design and promotional activity.

Additionally, you will find that there are various types of webcomics.

  • Femetti comics refer to non-traditional comics that use clip art or photographs
  • Sprite comics use sprites instead of drawing. A sprite is a moving 2D object that is taken from a video game
  • Digital webcomics are the most commonly used and feature digitally created images
  • Black and white webcomics feature non-color images
  • Infinite canvas webcomics allow you to scroll infinitely and in various directions
  • Turbomedia present their content in the form of a slideshow
  • Animation-based webcomics feature animations as well as images
  • Interactive webcomics encourage audience participation

Choose a niche

Following this, choose a niche webcomic genre and identify your target audience. Ideally, you should have a clear idea of your webcomic’s content and of who your intended audience will be. Notably, you should stick to one specific genre as this will make it easier for you to create content and target your following.

Below you will find a list of genres that are typically found within webcomics:

  • Fantasy
  • Action/adventure
  • Comedy
  • Slice-of-life
  • Science-fiction
  • Drama
  • Superheroes
  • Furry
  • Parody
  • LGBT
  • Anime
  • Horror
  • Crime
  • Romance

There are many more to choose from. Once you have determined your niche, it’s time to utilize your creativity.

Create your content

An engaging plot is likely to boost your webcomic’s success. Brainstorm your plot ideas and consider the following:

Webcomic name

Choose a name that reflects your characters and/or plot. Alternatively choose a name that may reflect a theme that is associated with your webcomic. Remember your name will stay with you and identify you. Consequently, ensure that your ideas are short, memorable and unique. Using our business name generator is a wonderful way to come up with relevant words, name styles, and name ideas for your organization.

The finest webcomics names are brief, unique, and sum up your site’s ideals.

Character

Create a protagonist(s), main characters and secondary characters. Typically, most plots involve an antagonist (a character who opposes the main events/character). Ideally, you should sketch your character to visualize your ideas. Additionally, create character profiles wherein you write about their character history, flaws, key information and personality.

Plot events

Firstly, ensure that you write about what you know or like. Try to create plot events that you can relate to or have experience in reading. Ideally, you should create adequately paced and relatable stories. Ensure that your plot suits your genre and style. Is it humorous? Does it fit in with your genre’s conventions?

Sketch a few test comics

This is where your webcomic style and content come to life. By now you will have decided on the style of your webcomic. Regardless of whether you wish to create a more minimalist or a more detailed webcomic, ensure that you are consistent. Ultimately, sketching your webcomic and writing the elements of the plot will allow you to ascertain the duration of the process.

Consider conventions

Ensure that you are comfortable using the following webcomic conventions:

  • Speech balloons/speech bubbles
  • Webcomics do not have to be linear and can merely function as an observation of reality
  • They comprise four to five strips as they are usually shared via social media

Share your comic ideas and drafts with your circle

Before making a creative idea public, seeking opinions is critical. Choose a reliable source that you have access to and circulate your ideas. Crucially, ask for honest and specific feedback. Specifically, ask people to comment on exactly what it is they like and what it is they would change. Ask them for their opinions on characters

Create a content schedule

We’d recommend that your first post should comprise several comic strips conveying your webcomic’s sense of style, allowing them to form an opinion.

Create a content schedule. Regularity and consistency is key. Your audience will get to know when you are going to post and will expect content according to your schedule.

Generally, you should create 3-6 months worth of comic strips to allow you to stay on track with your posting schedule.

Check that you have the essentials

Depending on your design approach, you will need some or all of the following equipment:

  • Good quality drawing paper
  • Drawing pencils
  • Inking pens
  • Rulers
  • Erasers
  • A computer
  • Scanner
  • Software such as the Adobe Master Collection:Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Corel Paintshop Pro, Manga Studio

Create your webcomic website

There are many effective platforms on which you can host your website. We recommend BlueHost to host your website as they provide a simple one-click WordPress installation tool and offer discounted hosting services.

Creating a blog on your website is also an excellent strategy to attract organic visitors and grow your business. Paid WordPress options allow you to design a personalized website that suits your webcomic. Essentially, you will be able to upload images and text, create different web pages, set up mailing lists and pop-ups, analyze your visitor rates and potentially, sell advertising space.

Top webcomic website tips

You should ensure that your comic is the website’s focal point. Follow these guidelines when establishing and designing your website:

  • Ensure that your comic is neither too big nor too small and position it in the center of the page.
  • In each new published comic, include navigation prompts and a link to your comic’s archive.
  • Organize your archive by narrative or chapter, rather than by date.
  • Create a ‘contact’ and ‘about’ page so that your readers can learn more about you.
  • Incorporate a blog section underneath the comic to involve and inform readers.
  • Include a comment option to encourage viewers to express their opinions.
  • Some webcomic blogs utilize a link exchange program. This allows you to exchange and share links with other bloggers. This is a mutually beneficial marketing technique.

Furthermore, as your business grows, you may want or need to offer your viewers the option of purchasing your comics online in the form of an e-book, or you may wish to broaden your business by creating merchandise such as t-shirts, stickers, posters, and so on.

Create a domain name for your blog

Our domain name generator will assist you in creating and selecting the ideal domain name for your website.

Ideally, your registered domain should be easy to spell whilst reflecting the ideals of your company or brand. However, potential visitors may have difficulty returning to the site or sharing it with others if it appears too sophisticated.

So, here are a few crucial factors to consider:

  • Keep it short and easy to spell
  • Ensure it is simple
  • Make it memorable

Marketing Your Business

Before you consider posting your first strip, you should be aware of various marketing techniques. Furthermore, you should use these to help elevate your webcomic’s visibility.

There are countless possibilities for online marketing, but several of them may be ideal for marketing your webcomic. All you need to do is implement as many marketing methods as possible to advertise your business and increase your webcomic’s readership properly.

Social media marketing

The vast world of social media is hugely beneficial in promoting online businesses. For example, you could utilize Twitter by posting a link to your website on your account. Alternatively, you can include a Twitter widget on your website. Similarly, you may share your webcomics on Facebook and make sure to notify people who “like” your comics when there is a new one. Moreover, you can set up your own webcomic Facebook group. Here, you can update followers regarding content and relevant news. Additionally, join a variety of webcomic fan groups, available upon various social media platforms. Here you can find out which webcomics are the topic of conversations as well as promoting your own.

Webcomic reviews

Moreover, identify a reputable webcomic reviewer and ask them to review your webcomics and post the reviews on their website with a link back to yours. You might also identify some comic influencers and ask them to share your site’s link on their pages or sites.

Join related forums

Forums are another powerful and beneficial place to advertise your webcomic. All you need to do is sign up for a webcomic forum such as ComicFury and Smack Jeeves, and others, and add a banner to your name that goes back to your website.

Adopt a positive, can-do attitude

Undoubtedly, your attitude and determination will aid your success and the achievement of your objectives. In essence, accept responsibility for your actions, seek knowledge continually, accept uncertainty, learn from mistakes, be consistent, and enjoy the process.

Learn from other successful webcomic artists. Reach out to other bloggers, explore YouTube and read relevant articles.

Here are some books that may assist you in growing your business and mindset:

Alternatively, here are some podcasts that may provide much needed inspiration:

Go live

So you have identified your target audience, established your ideas, you have your content and blog ready, and you have started to promote your blog. It’s now time to post your first strip. Remember to stick to your schedule, engage with audience comments and stick to your theme, genre and style. Importantly, don’t give up on your content on the basis of viewing figures. Persistence is key!

Successful webcomics

Here are a few examples of successful webcomics to provide you with the final bit of inspiration needed to get you started.

1. A Softer World

Written by Joey Comeau, this webcomic began in print and accumulated more attention from its website leading to the establishment of the webcomic version. Classified as a science-fiction webcomic, it conveys a dark humor which users seem to enjoy. Notably, this webcomic has received many good reviews, awards and featured, for some time, in The Guardian.

2. Dinosaur Comics

Moreover, this web and print comic features three main characters, T-Rex, Utahraptor and Dromiceiomimus. Interestingly, the artwork and layout remain the same with the creators changing only the dialogue for each publication. Likewise, it has been recognized for its humor and child-friendly nature.

3. American Born Chinese

Impressively, this web and print comic was nominated for a National Book Award. Subsequently, it won many awards and cleverly intertwines three seemingly distinct tales. Interestingly, each tale shares a cultural theme and their connection to each other is revealed at the end. Its underlying themes convey racial struggles and stereotypes. It depicts the transformation of characters, who undergo a process of understanding their identity. Subsequently, it has been used for educational purposes.

Conclusion

Ultimately, there is no secret to creating a webcomic. However, the evidence is already there. The finest webcomics are good because they tell an engaging tale, are relatable, and are simple to read. Therefore, the most important advice for rookie comic creators is to concentrate on the comics. Essentially, persevere, upload consistently, stay true to your genre. Evidently, the road to webcomic success is hard work but enjoy the creative process, promote it and watch it grow.

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