Some do webcomics for a hobby. As a way of expressing themselves. Myself, I see it as a form of therapy. Then there are those hoping for that elusive cashcow that will take them out of their mundane 9 to 5 jobs. It's like John McCain recently said, "Over 50,000 people in the United States now make their living off of Ebay". Why NOT webcomics? Either way, Or even if you want both, there is one thing that ties us all together. We want clicks. Views. Visits. Bookmarks. Fans. And as many of them as possible. I know there are those who SAY it doesn't matter to them, but that's a load of cow patties. Don't we all want to be recognized? Give me success!
I'm still relatively new to the webcomics promotion machine. While I did Gothy Mcgee for a few years(and now he's relegated to a strip two times a week at the bottom of this site. Oh how the mighty have fallen!), I never really tried to promote it to the masses in any serious form. The few things I did try were helpful in getting my views up from maybe 6 or 7 unique users a day to upwards of 50 or 60, which to me at the time was a success in itself. The Webcomic List was one of those attempts, of which I still use today. For 15 bucks you can have a 100x100 avatar on the top of the site, along with others, for one full month. The 15 dollars may sound a bit steep, especially for a lot of teenage webcomickers, but with an in your face avatar it'll probably be worth it for the views you'll get.
I tried a few other things on my quest for internet fame and fortune, such as jumping all over the TWCL and Comicgenesis forums(CG being the bigger of the two) and getting to know others in the webcomic game. Make sure your site address is in your signature too. That way anyone who reads your comments can click and see your site. This is also important. Make friends! People are always willing to lend a hand and, if they like your comic, may be interested in doing a banner swap with you. Heck, some will put your banner up simply because they like your comic, no swap needed. I got my banner up multiple times this way. Others can also help you by offering helpful advice on your comic and site in general. Is your site interesting or is it just a plain white background with the comic and some text? If it's the latter, who wants to see that? I would have more fun watching reruns of Walker, Texas Ranger. Give it some style, as well as extras like an about page, fan art, links to other sites of interest, maybe even a forum. You may not have a lot of readers now, but nothing wrong with being prepared and looking professional while you wait, is there? Take constructive criticism and run with it, and I don't mean with your tail between your legs. Show people you are willing to improve and roll with the proverbial punches.
Here's something fun you can try: guest strips and fan art. You like to draw? Can you use the practice? Are there comics you read and enjoy? Draw some fan art for em! It's simple to just draw a sketch of another comics characters and email it with your name and website address. Use your own style though. Don't just copy or trace a picture and recolor it and try and pass it off as yours. Artists like to see your take on their characters. I know I did! Most webcomics will post your fanart WITH a link. Fun, easy, free advertising. The same goes for sites asking for guest comics. Troll the forums and you'll usually see someone requesting guest comics because they're swamped with schoolwork, sick with salmonella, or visiting Aunt May up in Virginia for a week, and need material to cover them. You don't even really need to be a fan to do either of these, but it does help. And if you're going to do one you should at least know the personalities of the characters you're writing. You wouldn't want to have Frank(a vegan)eating a steak, would you?
Site Whore: Someone who aggressively and annoyingly promotes their site and will stop at nothing to do so, forum codes of conduct be damned.
That's my original definition. I've got to get that in the wiki...ahem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with site promotion, as long as you FOLLOW THE FORUM CODES OF CONDUCT. I have to admit that I recently went to a site and joined the forums and hastily put up a "Hi! Check out my site, WebcomicAsylum!" thread. Nothing wrong with that, right? Wrong. First of all I hadn't even introduced myself or replied in some other threads of common interest. Second, I posted in the wrong forum! Instead of posting in the comic or site promotion forum, which they had, I threw up a rushed and ill conceived thread in an artists corner one. Stupid. My thread was quickly locked and I got a good chewing out. ALWAYS read any codes of conduct or forum rules to see what should be posted where, and what you can and can't say. Being friendly and following rules will go a long way in this form of media.
Make sure to come back Thursday for Part 2!