Sunday, October 26, 2014

Make Shareable Comics Blogposts to Establish Your Author Brand

This is a continuation of the previous blogpost about a comics marketing framework that indie comics creators can use. One of the first things mentioned in that post is the use of comics blogposts to attract audiences and build your author brand.

A comics blogpost is simply that: a comic that’s 12 panels or less. You can make a comics blogpost about anything. It’s really no different from comics strips, except that you’re not limited to the usual three to four panels. It’s more flexible.

Using comics blogposts is a content marketing tactic comics creators can use to build their author brand. The benefits are:

1) The principle of low commitment. This is the biggest advantage. People on the Web are generally looking for quick reads when they’re on social media. If you post 22 pages of a comics story online, there are very few people who will take the time to read them all. With a comics blogpost, a reader can dive right in and get the whole “story” in around a minute or even less. It doesn’t waste people’s time, and gives them something to laugh about, if not a brief epiphany. This is why we’re looking at 12 panels or less. It’s short and sweet.

2) The illustration style isn’t too complex. In fact, the rule of thumb is to present information cleanly and clearly. The highly-rendered and detailed, multi-camera angled, color-saturated styles won’t work for our purposes because you’re asking a reader to process too much visual information. Stick figures, royalty-free clipart, or even photos you’ve taken can work.

Dinosaur Comics uses the same dinosaur clipart with every strip, and people don’t mind. For the general audience, it’s not really about how good the art is, but what the comic has to say.  Clean and simple art also means comics shorts are relatively faster to do.

3) People get to know who you are and how you think. You don’t have to create new characters or a storyline for these comics blogposts, because what we’re highlighting is you as a creator—your opinions, your ideas, the way you look at the world, your style. It’s like writing in your blog, but using comics instead of plain text. And studies have shown that blogposts that are image-driven have a higher chance of being read.

When you regularly create and publish comics blogposts, you slowly but surely build your author brand, or what makes you unique. People are drawn to the brands that they like. And when people like you and your work enough, there's a higher chance that they'll buy something from you.

4) Eventually, you can leverage your fanbase and sell books, whether they be compilations or original material. If you build an audience using comics blogposts, you’ll have an easier time selling your longer stories, and even have an instant well of support if you want to do a crowdsourcing activity. Also, if you want to try releasing a book through a traditional publisher, having an large enough audience tells publishers that you have a ready market.

“But I don’t have time!” While comics strips are usually published everyday, you don’t have to do the same with your comics blogposts since you’d want to be known more for your long-form work. Weekly or bi-weekly is good enough, and you’ll have enough time to make them really worth reading. What’s important right now is to try it out and see the results. Every kind of marketing requires work—there is no magic formula. But when you get it, it’ll feel like magic!

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB

“Facebook Is Like Dating”
C-Section Comics
As of this writing, it’s been shared over 70 times on Twitter and Google+! C-Section Comics is managed by cartoonist Idan Schneider, and his cartoons have been featured in many websites. There are over 100 short comics in his website, and his Facebook fanpage has over 19,000 likes!

“Republican Planning”
The Metapicture
As of this writing, it’s been shared on Facebook over 120 times!

"Why Facebook's Sneaky Little Psychological Experiment Can Be Good For Some People"
I did this little experiment some weeks ago. I created an account in the webcomic platform Tapastic and posted this short comic. Then, I shared the link only to my Facebook and Twitter followers. The comic got 16 shares in less than 24 hours.

So it’s not impossible to build traffic to your site with some comics.

The key to the success of a comics blogpost is its shareability. Notice that the three above examples are self-contained short bursts of information on topics that are of interest to the general public. They don't feature particular characters or a specific genre, but still have been shared.

To maximize the shareability of the comics blogpost, create an effective headline that will make people curious enough to click on it when they see it in their social media newsfeed. And if your content has value, then there's a higher chance it will be shared.

In the next post, I'll share with you what kinds of blogposts have a higher chance of shareability.

Thanks for reading!!

No comments:

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin