Best of July, 2014
If you’re not a member of Webcomics.com, here are some of the topics you missed out on last month. If you’re curious about joining, we’ve just made it easier than ever with a $5 trial membership. You’ll get full access to the site for thirty days so you can see what you’ve been missing. At the end of the trial, you can choose to re-subscribe ($30 for 12 months of access) or walk away with no strings attached. You will not be re-billed unless you choose to subscribe.
The links will lead you to content that is “subscription-only” content, but I like to link to it for the people that see something intriguing, join, and then want to delve into what they missed.
Patreon revenue — Most first-timers don’t realize this inconspicuous fact about how Patreon’s “by-the-project” payment system works — and as a result, they’re surprised when their first month’s payment is smaller than expected. (And it has nothing with the reasonable fees that the site and its credit-card handlers enact!) If you’re thinking about launching a Patreon campaign, you’ll need this information.
The Convention Flier — It’s been a long time since we’ve addressed this topic, and there’s so much information to add to the original archive post that ran on this site in 2009.
This touched off a request for a Convention Flier Hot Seat critique series.
Legalities of comic-convention fan art — So, is it legal to sell an illustration of Batman (or any character to whom you don’t own the proper licensing)? And what does that mean for the way you approach future conventions?
Pro-Tip: Gumroad Dicount Codes — This quick step-by-step tutorial shows you how to deliver coupon codes to your readers in one, easy, foolproof URL.
Mailbag: Bad Fans — As desperately as we want readers to interact on our sites, what happens when they do so … inappropriately.
Menubar icons — This simple step-by-step tutorial shows you how to easily replace those text links in your menubar with icons. It’s much easier than you think (and your site will look way better)!
Mailbag: The Stuttering Scanner — a member wrote that his scanner was “stuttering” (scan, pause, scan, pause, scan, pause, and so on). We addressed the problem and improved his scanner’s performance.
Comic Con International — After posting a guide to who, from the world of webcomics, was in attendance, the conversation turned to whether it’s really a good idea to exhibit there. Is the Return On Investment significant enough to justify continuing?
The Artisan Economy — PBS’s NewsHour reported on “The Artisan Economy” (which describes very accurately what many webcartoonists are trying to achieve). What does it mean for the American Middle Class? This touched off a thoughtful discussion.
Toonhacks — We all love those “Lifehack” pieces that float across our Facebook pages, right? Well, here are 15 “Toonhacks” from Webcomics.com — cool, quirky tips on making your ‘tooning more tremendous!
Start Planning Holiday Merchandise NOW — We sound the midsummer wake-up call for holiday merchandise planning … and follow it up with tons of advice and tutorials on both holiday cards and calendars.
Our members got to listen to a brand-new episode of the popular Webcomics Weekly podcast before it went public.
Some of the best content on this site is in the archive. That’s why, every Friday, we take a minute for an Archive Dive, highlighting some useful information you may have missed!
Letting Comedy Ferment — Writing comedy is the harder than any other kind of writing. This post explores an approach that has worked for several members who wanted to sharpen their skills.
Child Themes — It’s one of the most-common rookie mistakes in WordPress Web design. Long story short, you’ve spent months tinkering with your site to get it just the way you want it and then one day — POOF! — it’s all gone due to a theme update. And worse yet, the preventative action is so darned easy! Don’t let this happen to you!
Disadvantages of Sole Proprietorship — Unless you’re registered as a corporation or an LLC, chances are that the government recognizes your webcomics business as a sole proprietorship. In a lot of ways, that’s good. But there are disadvantages that you should be aware of.
Cargo Cults: If you’re asking how many T-shirts you should print before your Web site is even launched, you may be falling into Cargo Cult syndrome. And that spells bad news for your business.
Best of the Forum
Crowdsourcing Fulfillment — You know those companies that come out of the woodwork when you launch a Kickstarter campaign — the ones that promise to do all the fulfillment your campaign is going to require? Have you used one, and was it a good experience?
Cintiq on a budget — Can’t afford the top-of-the-line drawing tablet? Here’s a more affordable alternative.
Screen-recording software — What’s the best one?
Full-page ad hijacking — One member’s site has been attacked by a malicious advertiser. What should he do?
“The Internet Destroyed the Middle Class” — It’s a thought-provoking Salon piece. We debate whether it’s accurate.
Handy Kickstarter Calculation Tool — It is… but it’s missing something that could sink your Kickstarter entirely. Learn how to protect yourself.
Search Engine Optimization — Best practices and strategies.