Where Should You Publish Your Webcomics?
No matter your age, chances are that at some point in your life, you’ve enjoyed cracking open a comic book or scanning the full-color Sunday comics. Maybe you’ve even sketched out some comics of your own.
But have you taken a dive into the world of web comics?
Webcomics started gaining popularity around 1985, just 2 years after the internet was created. They’ve seen some ups and downs in popularity since then, but now they’re on the rise once again as a respected method of art and entertainment.
If you’re looking to dig into the art of webcomics, one of the most important steps if finding the right platform for distributing them.
Unless you have a decent-sized budget set aside to try out webcomics, it might be easier to start building your audience on free platforms that already have engaged audiences. You’ll want to choose one that seems to have the most people that fit into your niche, and that suits your technical skill levels.
Below we explore 5 of the most popular platforms for self-publishing your webcomics so you can choose the best route for you..
A Few Starting Tips
Before you get started creating and publishing web comics, here are a few tips from the pros:
• Start with a shorter comic so you can get used to the process without biting off more than you can chew.
• Know that gaining the popularity you dream of for your comic will take some time.
• Be prepared to “kill your darlings.” Sometimes you’ll come up with a plot or animation that just doesn’t fit your voice or your audience’s taste. That’s okay!
Next, you’ll want to identify why you’re making webcomics, and for who. Having a better idea of your goals and audience will help guide your content and curation, as well as where you decide to self-publish them.
Once you have a better idea of that, claim your identity online. Reserve the title of your series as the usernames on social media platforms and, if you so choose, your personal website URL.
Best Platforms for Self-Publishing Your Webcomics
There are tons of places to self-publish your webcomics, so it can be tough to find the best platform — one that won’t leave you shouting into the void.
Here are some tried-and-true sites where other webcomic artists have found success.
That’s right, Reddit is for more than political chats and discussion boards on your favorite musicians. Many webcomic artists have learned that self-publishing their webcomics (for free, nonetheless) on Reddit have gained them plenty of like-minded fans.
On Reddit, users post webcomics in content-relevant threads where people can either “up-vote” them if they like them, or “down-vote” if they don’t.
The more up-votes you get, the more your webcomic is prioritized in the thread algorithms, helping you gain more and more outreach potential.
There are a few options for “subreddits,” or topic-specific threads to share your webcomics:
- /r/funny is one of the most popular threads for webcomics, videos and more. In fact, there are over 9 million people that view it.
- While that gives you a lot of potential for viewership, there’s also more competition. You’ll want to be sure to do a bit of research on the titles, images and other content that grow in popularity on the thread.
- /r/webcomics is great if you’re seeking readers who specifically seek webcomics. Link yours from your personal website to help drive web traffic.
- /r/comic is a comics subreddit that has over 400,000 users. Post your comics via imgur or your own site with [OC] in the comment to signify that its original content.
Webtoons is another great free site to try out. It’s a free-to-use, popular go-to for die-hard fans of webcomics. In addition to being free, they partner with fundraising platform Patreon to help make sure that artists get paid!
There’s a huge variety of genres and styles on Webtoon, making it easier to find readers who fit into your niche.
The icing on the cake? Publishing on this site is extremely intuitive.
Simply create a profile (this takes seconds if you sign up via your Google or Facebook account), select “series” or “episodes”, your genres, a small description and image, upload your webcomic file and ta-da! You’re a published webcomic artist.
“Tumblelogs,” a method of blogging involving a scrolling system of short, eye-catching blogs that are one paragraph max, was invented by a German high school student in 2005. This blogging style quickly became popular for its easy-to-scroll format and multi-media options.
In 2007, this style was turned into a website called Tumblr, and within 2 weeks it gained 75,000 users. Today, there are over 472 million users.
Thanks to their easy and effective system of hashtagging, you can publish your webcomic to Tumblr and have it appear on your personal profile.
It will also appear on webcomic feeds if you use the hashtag #webcomics, along with hashtagging other important keywords and phrases your audience will likely search for.
Before you dive in, here are a few tips from a Tumblr pro if you’d like to get your comics noticed:
- Orient your comics vertically so they’re more noticeable
- If you have more than 2-3 panels in your comic, post it as a photo series. This will give it a cleaner look.
- Make sure the images are clean and crisp at 500px wide.
- Save your comics as drafts and review them first so you can see how they’ll appear on your feed.
As you build followers, you’ll gain some clout, too! Tumblr’s interactive features make it so you can experience a sense of community while sharing your art.
4. Bored Panda
Bored Panda is a popular sight with boredom-busting articles, memes and yes, webcomics.
The Bored Panda format mostly features long-form content, so if you’re looking to rack up some likes you’ll want to post longer webcomics or multiple comics that fall under a common theme.
This is a good site to share your creative process with people, as well. Add a short story about where you got your inspiration, or what you learned during the process. Get creative!
Tapas is another sight that has an established fanbase of readers ready to check out new webcomic authors.
One of the biggest perks of Tapas is that their website is just as easy for publishers to navigate as it is for readers!
Just create a profile, check out their tutorials (created in comic form, of course) then begin your uploading process!
During your first step, select whether you’d like to upload a comic series or graphic novel. Once you make your selection, add the title, description and image as well as a banner.
You also have the option to create a customized ad banner, so be sure to have some designs in mind before you dive in!
Once your visuals, genre and the rest of the basics are complete, you’re ready to upload your files and share your comics with the world!
Not only have you found a fun new creative outlet, but now you have plenty of easy and free ways to share them!
With some patience, an eye for detail, and a knowledge of your target audience, you’re bound for webcomic greatness.
When you’re ready to take the next step into professionally publishing your webcomics and having a team to back you up, we’re here to help.