EIGHT TIPS TO PROMOTE YOUR WEBCOMIC

Packing for the Trip drawn February 2010

Packing for the Trip drawn February 2010

You create a comic, you upload it to your blog, you publish it and then… you wait. You hope people will look at it, enjoy it, and return again the next post.

Here are some ways I’m getting folks to visit my comics:

1. Reference chocolate. I love chocolate and it turns out, I’m not alone. I’ve met quite a few folks through the referencing of chocolate. (Just be sure to tag it too.)

2. Get business cards. I ordered a thousand of them. I should have business cards for, oh, the next twenty years.

Front of business card.

Front of business card.

Back of business card.

Back of business card.

Seriously, business cards are cheap. Even with the double sided card, I’ve only got about 3 cents in each card. I used Vistaprint because it was cheap and easy. Be sure to wait for a coupon if you decide to order. Vistaprint offers coupons galore.

Since I’ve been putting out business cards in my store and in public places, my views are increasing.

3. Use an established blogging platform. Some of you may remember last February when I switched from my self hosted site to the WordPress.com platform. (I wrote about that HERE.) Most folks go from WordPress to self hosted so it was a bit weird. However, I’m really glad I did it because it has increased my readers. It’s just easier now for other WordPress users to find me. You can read more about WordPress stats HERE. You can see on this chart HERE that WordPress is the most widely used blogging platform. (If you don’t want to switch your self hosted site to hosting on WordPress.com, at least hook up the JetPack plugin. That feature will put your site into the WordPress tagging system.)

As an aside, if you are using one of the comic themes for your WordPress site, be aware that anyone signed up for your email updates won’t get one unless you write actual words on a blog page. There might be a plugin that fixes that but I personally find the comic themes to be harder to work with than just a straight blog theme.

4. Hook up with other people who do what you do. I also post Pamo’s World over at Comx Box HERE. I love Comx Box! The artists there are talented, funny and very supportive. I’m so glad to be there. It’s like having a comics support group. I’m constantly blown away by the talent at Comx Box. (Check out the submissions page HERE to see if your work is a good fit for Comx Box.)

5. Use other free comics services. I post Pamo’s World at Tapastic HERE. Tapastic is free for any webcomic creator to post their stuff. Tapastic isn’t a blogging platform- it is strictly comics. It’s a younger crowd there but I hold out hope that someone might look at my comic and say, “Grandma! Here’s a comic you might like!”

6. Pay for a comics service. Recently, I signed up for Sherpa Comics HERE. Sherpa is a service you have to pay for. The payoff is it gets your work out in front of a lot of eyes. I figured I’d try it out for awhile and see if it’s worth the price. The other creators over at Sherpa are supportive and very talented. In checking the stats for just three comics, I’ve had 150 views. That doesn’t sound like much but I expect the views to increase as my time on that site increases.

7. Use social media. I promote Pamo’s World through my Facebook page HERE. Facebook is an active source of new fans. I post my comics on my Pamo’s World page and also on my personal page. Sometimes I post it on my Biker Rags page. Facebook always increases views on my blog. I recommend Facebook as an easy way to promote your work.

I also post to Google Plus, Twitter, and Tumblr through the Publicize feature on WordPress. I’ll admit, I’m not good at keeping up with social media but I have met some great folks through Google Plus and Twitter. I’ve never met one person through Tumblr that I’m aware of.

8. My last tip is to post a picture of yourself when you were a kid.

Me, Pamo, at age 5.

Me, Pamo, at age 5.

Then, include a photo of another family member who looks just like you….

My Grandma age 5.

My Grandma age 5.

Okay then. You got any tips for me? I’d love to hear ‘em!

Until next toon,

Pamo

A SCOOTER CLUB

A Scooter Club

This November, Jeff and I celebrate twenty years of owning and operating Biker Rags- our motorcycle apparel and accessory store. (Shameless self promotion, I know. But somebody’s  gotta do it.) And yes, many of our customers belong to either riding clubs or motorcycle clubs of all stripes from religious to political to social to military and more.

It was a couple of years ago when Jeff and I began playing around with the idea of the cats having their own club called Sons of Pamo. Of course, our cartoon boys call it a scooter club so as not to confuse any serious club members. I’ve been reluctant to draw the Sons of Pamo comics because I am never political and active controversy makes me physically ill.

As luck would have it, the name Pamo currently in our little neck of the woods has a bit of cachet of the humor variety. Jeff and I write and voice our radio ads on the local classic rock station and I’m repeatedly yelling out, “I’M PAMO!” New customers come into the store, walk right up to me and say, “Are you Pamo?!” As I nod yes, they grin and shake my hand and we all have a good chuckle.

So when I drew out the Sons of Pamo logo, Jeff, to my surprise, announced it would be our next Pamo Art t-shirt design. “Really”, I said, “are you serious?!” And he was. He is. It will be.

Hopefully, most people will realize Sons of Pamo is a stab at humor. Probably, some will not. Time will tell. Wish me luck!

Until next toon,

Pamo

A GARDEN SCENE

A Garden Scene

Don’t you agree that chocolate ice cream cones make any garden scene perfect!?!

You might have noticed that Pamo and Jeff look a bit different. For the past few weeks I’ve been working on my characters to give them more dimension.

When I first starting drawing five years ago I had poor control of my lines. In addition, trying to translate what I saw into a two dimensional drawing was like trying to thread a needle blind folded. Making a cartoon back then required multiple reference photos, multiple line drawings, lots of cursing, and LOTS of chocolate chip mint ice cream. And that was just to get one panel completed!

My line control and ability to see what to draw and where to draw it- is becoming more intuitive. It’s been a long road of practice… with a long road still yet ahead. Only now, it’s more fun.

It has been three years since I completed my first character sheets. (A character sheet here means drawing each character front, back, side and 3/4 profile and all in relation to each other.) The changes I’m making now are simply an update of my character sheets. I hope you are okay with it. If not, give it some time. It will grow on you.

Sometimes I wish I had a comics creator expert with me when I’m drawing. I would love to see how an accomplished artist turns one of my line drawings into an inked version and then into color. It seems that artistic journeys, like most journeys of personal growth, are spent alone.

Of course, though, I’m not alone! I’ve got all of you who read and share your own journey, I’ve got Jeff who supports me every day, and I still have chocolate chip mint ice cream. Hallelujah!

Until next toon,

Pamo

LOOKING GOOD

10-13-14 Looking Good 2

I’ve been working on my character drawings and you probably noticed that the cats are now all wearing clothes. Why you ask? Let me tell you.

A few weeks ago, I was drawing Ludlowe, the largest cat, and I kept drawing him with clothes. Finally, I asked Jeff if he thought clothes worked and he said, “Cats are always cuter with clothes.”

Being the independent thinker that I am, I decided all the cats needed clothes. I would say that I’m brilliant but that would be taking it too far.

Too far I tell you. TOO FAR!

Until next toon,

Pamo

FRIDAY NIGHT SPECIAL

Created 10/10/2010

Created 10/10/2010

Yesterday morning, at 8:17am, I was fidgety. For the past four months, every Thursday I’ve posted at 8:00am without fail. Like a machine, I posted, infallible, indefatigable and probably a few other big words too.

But this week, I was cutting back, taking time off, catching up on other tasks. And I felt as antsy as my Butter Bean waiting on her morning kibble.

At 8:20am, Jeff saw the look on my face. “How are you doing?”

“Not well. I should of posted.”

“Who needs a schedule? It’s your blog… post when you want.”

My heart lurched into my throat. I almost ran to my computer to upload a post. Then I thought, how lame is that?

“I’m not some willy nilly hippy dippy blogger! I don’t just post when I want! I said I’m taking a day off and darn it, that’s what I’m doing!” I turned away from the computer, my hands on my hips. I was a woman in control of her own destiny.

Then, Jeff and I went for a motorcycle ride. We were doing a ride to prep for our group trip next week.

When riding, I’m usually working out comic ideas and stories. Then during our breaks, we knock around cartoon ideas. As you can see from my above comic, Jeff always has lots of ideas for me.

Here are a few photos from our ride. As you can see in the following photo, I like to take pictures of Jeff with a nice background.

Jeff in front of Watt's Bar stacks.

Jeff in front of Watt’s Bar stacks.

Jeff on the other hand, likes to take pictures of me eating. Not my best look.

Pamo eating snack.

Pamo eating snack.

In this next photo, I was still worried about not posting Thursday morning. Again, not my best look.

Pamo on ride 10/9/14... worried about not posting.

Pamo on ride 10/9/14… worried about not posting.

Jeff rounds up his photo montage of me with this one….

Pamo eating AGAIN!

Pamo eating AGAIN!

Three hours into our ride, a downpour came. We rode for nearly an hour in the rain heading home. Water ran down my jacket, pooled in my seat, and poured down my boots. For some reason as I was focusing on the road ahead of me, I thought of the multi panel comic I drew in February of 2011. The thought of it made me laugh for nearly ten minutes and I knew I had to share it with you. The following story is completely true:

DOP1

DOP2

DOP3

DOP4

DOP5

DOP6

DOP7

DOP8

DOP9

DOP10

I can still remember the day Jeff did that like it was yesterday.

Well, clearly I’m not meant to take a day off. It was hell not posting yesterday. Hell, I tell you.

Okay, I lied. I actually did post over at Comx Box HERE. Tom and the gang over there make me feel like I’m part of a group of fellow artists. They are encouraging, motivating, and an all around fabulous crew! Thank you Comx Box!!!

Yep- I’ll be back on Monday with a new comic. In the meantime, here is a video we made today promoting our big event at the store on Sunday. If you watch close, you can see Jeff in the mirror filming me and giving off stage directions. It was kind of funny when we realized it, so we didn’t even bother to re-shoot it. If you are in Knoxville on Sunday, October 12th… come join us!

Until next toon,

Pamo