Sunday, April 6, 2014

Why Should You Continue Your Webcomic?

I don't usually use the word "should," especially when it comes to webcomics. Whenever I hear advice about webcomics in the form of "you should do this," I question it. Why do we make comics on the web, other than to let go of the externally imposed standards of companies, publishers, and society in general, and do whatever the heck we want to?

I've noticed that our society has a particularly strong stigma against the idea of quitting something, and I think the strength of the stigma is harmful to people's overall productivity and happiness. We value hard work and dedication - pushing through whatever you're doing, finishing what you started. But I think something we don't value enough is stepping back and evaluating whether or not your effort is actually going somewhere positive. I think one of the most valuable things someone can do is give up on something that they've already put time and effort into, because they realize that it isn't working for them.

This started out being about webcomics, but I guess it could apply to a lot of things. In business, people often have to try several ideas and drop them before they come up with something that works. So if your comic becomes one of those over 50% that die within the first 6 months (I don't know the statistics exactly), consider it an important stepping stone. You learned something about what you don't want, you got experience, and you had enough insight to know that you wanted to give it up and move on to things that are more important to you. Or maybe your circumstances were more drastic than that, I don't know.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone from making a comic they love. I just want you to ask yourself, if you are continuing, then why? Because you feel some vague obligation to keep slogging through it, or because you want to? And I want to acknowledge the value in quitting something. What may look like a failed project may be an important step to great success.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Why Publish Project Wonderful Ads?

In the past I have talked about why Project Wonderful is a such a good website to advertise on a relatively small scale. One of the reasons is because the cash value of the ad space is very low compared to other ad networks, so a little money goes a long way. However, for publishers, that means less revenue. On Think Before You Think, I publish ads from both Google and Project Wonderful. Although I could probably get more revenue from publishing ads exclusively from Google, I still choose to publish Project Wonderful ads as well. Why, you ask? Mainly two reasons:

1. Each user has a single account for both publishing and advertising. That means once you have gotten some ad revenue, you can use it directly for advertising. I find this convenient - I never have to think about putting money into the account for advertising, I only use the revenue. Since advertising is cheap, for me it is one of the best ways to use those accumulating pennies.

2. Publishing ads on Project Wonderful serves as a form of advertising in itself. Advertisers do their own targeting, and may check out your site to assess its relevance and ad placement, before placing a bid by hand. That means you get visits, and especially if the ad is particularly well-targeted, the advertiser might take interest in your site. I say this because there are numerous webcomics that I have found by advertising on them, and continued to read.

You can assess for yourself whether these advantages make it worthwhile to publish Project Wonderful ads. It seems to me that even having one small ad space would reap these benefits. Also, I just think it's cool to give other comics a chance to advertise on my site by choice, and they can't do that with Google.