Moving traffic is an extremely important component to marketing your work online. If you can’t move traffic, you can’t compel people to buy your products, come out to your live events, or otherwise support you. In addition to this, you won’t be able to share traffic with your professional friends to shore up your networking goodwill.
The bottom line is that it is extremely important to get your readers to click the links that you post., buy your stuff, and to come out and see you if you tour.
A surprising thing that I have observed in my organizing of webcomic programming is that it does not appear that website traffic has as much of a relation between your ability to influence your readers as you might think.
I have met people with very large estimated monthly readership who are absolutely unable to compel their readers to do anything, and I have met people with tiny readerships who can command a small but powerful army.
Size does matter, but the degree that it matters depends on how good you are in speaking to your existing readers.
Your blog posts matter just as much if not more than your work. It is all part of the packaging.
Here is a handy translation guide for some common poorly-chosen themes and what they are really telling their readers:
- “Here’s a comic.”
You might be busy, but it it happens more than a couple of times, you are saying that you don’t care. If you don’t care, why should your readers? Repetition and consistency are the things that train your readers to watch your blog for important things. You are teaching them not to find anything you say to be important.
The way I’d do it: “Hey guys, I am super busy right now. I have (x and y and z) just about ready for you guys. I’m really excited about it. Here’s a photo of (something I’m working on or something random from online that is amusing). Talk to you guys again on Tuesday! :D”
- “My art sucks.. But whatever, here’s some art.”
You’ve just communicated to people that you hope will buy your work that you aren’t worth it. Yeah, I guess your art does suck. I believe you.
The way I’d do it: “Hey what’s goin’ on? I have some new kikass concept art up in here. Clicky the link and check it!”
I find that a rule of thumb is to imagine how the people reading you think. It is just like being friends with someone. If you want them to get to know you and care about what you do, you have to let them in a little bit, but try and remain as positive as you can. Negative talk really irks a lot of people.
Above all, be honest and be yourself The rest will fall into place over many years. Your readers are coming to see you to be entertained. Your job is to fulfill that. If you hope to make money off of it, you need to also keep them listening to you.