Category Archives: Making Comics and Drawing Superheroes
Here’s my cheatsheet for the TOP FIVE free social media automators for comics creatives and superhero novelists. Almost all my social media is completely automatic, and yet it updates daily or every time I make something. That’s hundreds of hours saved for creating! We all know that to truly connect with fans you’ve got to get personal sometimes, and get on there and talk to them. But when you’re busy making stuff, it’s nice to have someone (or something) else do your talking for you. I use:
- IFTTT: Connect anything to anything so you can post to social media automatically from Blogspot or non-Wordpress websites
- BulkBuffer with Buffer: Upload multiple future tweets and FB messages at one time
- Social Networks Auto-Poster: Post to most social media sites automatically
- Blog2Social: Post to all social media sites at once
- Revive.Social or Revive Old Posts: Automatically re-post your old posts
More info, and full reviews of all of these, in the free booklet!
Listed with some varying information below:
I used to work as a freelancer on this site myself; now I use Upwork to hire everyone from artists
to social media experts. I’ve had the best experience personally with Majority World (low income
nation) artists—I got kind of annoyed when the American college student I hired failed to
complete any actual work.
On the other hand, I was also a young creator from a wealthy nation, and I formed serious long-
lasting business relationships on this site, so, you know. Just make sure you take advantage of
Upwork’s review system and completion policy requirements to protect yourself. Make sure you
make the requirements of the job clear up front, and if necessary consult a legal advisor.
That really goes for all of the below.
You can post your active job request on this forum, or just browse Deviantart for the art style you
like and contact an artist directly! Make sure to follow the forum rules. I like this website because
it won’t cost you anything extra to find good talent.
Like Upwork, but pricier. Less regulated market (wider range of skill levels), to my understanding.
Lots of design talent available here.
Don’t expect to get your full two-page technicolor action scene here for five bucks—think more
like a small strip, or like you can discover a neat art gig that leads you to the artist you end up
contracting long-term. I found my website designer and several formatting jobs for my books
through this site.
Like a social media site for creatives.
And get 21 more in my special free pdf booklet.
A little more comic art to analyze. Check this out:
- Please visit the original comic at its home at https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2020/04/20/teens It’s an artful comic!
Pretty simple, right? These guys make thousands of dollars on their comics, without a big machine behind them, on something they built themselves, from scratch. So they know what they’re doing in the webcomics sphere.
Two notes here: comic story pacing, and the communicative importance of the lettering and bubbling.
You’re a creator. You sell things via e-mail. And as you know, what applies to fitness e-mail marketers may not apply to your steampunk elephant comic; mileage varies.
I’ve spent a little time studying the expert copy creators who net thousands of dollars per e-mail. I’ve also tried applying their principles to COMICS creators and scifi fans like myself over several years and a tight niche of several thousand e-mails. Voila, below.
And as far as I’m tracking, the blog post you’re reading is the only analysis available online now about e-mail subject lines that work for small fringe culture creators like me and you.
What I’ve learned from expert copy creators:
- Putting a dollar sign in your subject line increases opens. For a lot of copywriters, subject lines offering money still work. “A $2000 ethical bribe?” and so forth.
- From the Gmail Boomerang add-on (which I highly recommend), computer analysis demonstrated that asking questions (putting a ?) in the subject line helps. For that matter, asking questions in the e-mail increases response rate, and subject lines like “Your Questions Answered” also generated thousands of clicks. Questions imply conversation. People want to continue that.
- Creating scarcity works. Subject lines that seemed to work from several resources I studied (“you missed it” or “expires tonight”) make readers uncomfortable enough to click. FOMO, baby. Other subject lines that created discomfort in other ways worked, too, like offering “a quick warning,” or “Please don’t be angry” etc. Your e-mail better actually deliver on the threat, though: a lot of us find this use of negative emotion annoying and click-bait-y. I would be careful using this specifically for indie comics fans, who tend to be a bit more cynical.
- Giving away free stuff they know about works (“I’m giving away tickets to XXX).
What I discovered from my own tests on a couple thousand specifically scifi or comics readers over several years:
- I got one of my highest open rates, 56.7% open rate, astoundingly high in this industry, with the simple subject line “I failed.” That’s one you can use, too. This worked for me because I’ve already built up a relationship, so people care if I’ve failed, but of course there’s no denying the human desire for schadenfreude. People want to look at train wrecks. Maybe give them a train wreck every now and then.
- Got almost 50 percent, from my e-mail address with the subject line “My artist got robbed.” I attribute this to PERSONAL relationship already built up, and the sense of drama the personal “my” and the statement create. Granted, at that time my open rate was somewhat increased because I had just purged non-openers (something you should definitely do), but the result still stands: tell a story in one sentence.
- 41% open rate for “Now YOU can earn money off MY scifi! Also, more organism-city space opera”. Several e-mails in that particular series had open rates over 40 percent, likely because of interest built by the series (people want to keep reading what they’re already reading). But the offer of money didn’t hurt.
- Last year, “Thought I’d lost you” got over 50 percent opens, a number generally unheard of in e-mail marketing. This uses the same “threat” principle described above. Use negative emotion carefully.
- “What weird adventure skill do you want to learn? Can I help?” got over 50 percent as well last year. Again, that entire series did well because I was sharing, in pieces, this scifi story about living in a city made of organic moving hallways. But this e-mail stood out above the rest because of the question.
- “Cowboy hat, photon blaster, and a thousand dollar question.” 40 percent open rate. These weird scifi lists of things tend to get good open rates for me, but usually around the low 40s. It helps that this particular subject line included money and the word question.
- At a whopping 63 percent sits the simple subject line from two years ago: “You left this at my house”. I can’t find the AB test, but I am fairly sure I tested this same subject line against “This belongs to you.” AB testing helped with my open rates a lot in the beginning. It’s a neat feature you can use in Mailchimp. It didn’t go so well when I tried to repeat a similar subject line too close to the original “you left this at my house.”
- My open rates went up, in general, when I changed my e-mail format to something my subscribers could understand and expect. I went from an average of twenties to an average of forties by rebranding as “your scifi superhero sister,” where I send ONE scifi story and ONE #superheroalert in each e-mail, and try to keep the chit-chat short. I let people know up front what to expect by setting that standard with a series of automated e-mails they get as soon as they join my list. This gets people in the habit of clicking my e-mails for free things, and then eventually when I send out my marketing e-mails they click to buy things.
Note that for a small, tight-knit, niche audience like mine, I have higher expectations overall: while Mailchimp lists the artist industry average at about 35 percent, I expect open rates much higher, and generally consider a 22 percent a failure even though in other industries that’s quite good. This picture is pretty common for indie fiction creators, whose work relies on close emotional connection more than most other industries. At any one time, I have no more than 2000 subscribers; I have had over 6000 to 7000 various contacts at one time or another, but I aggressively purge people who aren’t going to read my work. Don’t want to waste their time or mine. And that scales up: the big successful creators with thousands of rabid fans start from a base of a few hundred rabid fans, but the key is still rabies.
Create rabies by telling a story with your subject lines. That’s the bottom line for fiction creators, and the main thing that sets us apart from the rest of the e-mail marketing industry. We tell stories.
Let’s leverage that.
Oh, and because you read to the end, and I know you’re serious about selling your work, you can have a free marketing book I made: fifty free or cheap resources to automate your creative marketing FOR YOU! Enjoy. -_^
Hey friend, just thought I’d drop you this link and share. I’m a Codex neopro and multiply award-nominated traditional and indie published author who regularly appears in the semi-finals of national competitions, so while I’ve got a long way to go, I do have some thoughts that might help you out. Basically, on this blog I discuss everything from writing ethics to theory–so, we might talk about whether or not certain comics choices push inequality, whether or not you’ll earn more money writing multigenre or in one genre, or how writing for charity could actually get you money as an author.
The full blog list is . Hope you enjoy! It’s almost 50 different discussions and posts on writing, from my silly brain. Let me know how it can help you better!
Funding Successful contacted me during my crowdfunding campaign promising:
“Funding Successful specializes in Email Campaigning, Project Marketing, Social Media Marketing and much more. We have got existing backers list, individual buyers list, bloggers, Influencers and more. With our services, you get more traffic and backers.”
Additionally, they promised:
“We’re also offering 500 backers contacts who already backed many projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.” They also promised market-targeted social media, saying they already had contacts in my specific field (Comics).
I completed my crowdfunding to between 50 and 75% funding, and I figured if I–someone with no marketing background–could raise $2000 on my own, well this service could easily finish out my crowdfunding, yes?
2020 Update: Back in 2017 Blog2Social had a security leak that caused a phishing attempt on my site. I deleted the plug-in, contacted them, and after about a year reinstalled the plug-in. Haven’t had any more phishing issues since, so it looks like the security issue’s fixed. Just full disclosure fyi.
How do you promote your comics on all TEH SOCIALS? It’s one of the questions that came up recently on the Webcomics Facebook Group I’m part of. Should you even bother posting your comics on socials? If so, which social media outlets should you bother with, anyway?
It’s better to do one social well than to do a million poorly. However, the more places your comic exists online, the more opportunities other people have to run into it. Posting to multiple socials also provides a great back-up in case your site goes down (like mine did last month), and, most importantly of all–
The more high-profile websites that link to your website, the better its ranking in Google.
Oh snap! You know what qualifies as a high-profile website? Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, the works!
That’s why I started posting my comics to the socials I don’t use all the time. And you know what? Since I started doing that, my views have multiplied by tens, yay! BUT OH MY GOSH IT IS TEDIOUS AND HORRIBLE to try to log in and post to a gazillion social media sites HOLY CRAP WHY WOULD I DO THAT–
So I don’t. I use the Blog2Social WordPress plug-in, which means that right after I finish a post, I get a page that looks like this: Read More…