How do you get Tapastic views when you’re not updating? Beats me

Here’s the banner for my Tapastic comic Third Weel. Click to visit. That’d be great.

I’ve experimented with Tapastic quite a bit over the last couple of years. I’ve posted a few short comics — six to 10 pages — that have gotten little attention, maybe a couple hundred views each so far. And I’m posting longer comics, in chapter updates, that are earning significantly more views.

None of these comics, though, is making me money, at least not yet. And most frustrating of all? The views and subscribers definitely ebb and flow according to when I post new pages. It’s not surprising, I guess, but views shoot up significantly on the days when I post new pages. But these jumps are only temporarily, with the increased activity lasting a day or a day-and-a-half. Then it’s back to the same fairly sluggish baseline of views.

That’s frustrating. What can artists on Tapastic do to keep their views coming at a steadier pace? Hell if I know.

I know that the standard effort is to promote your comics heavily through social media. But that’s only so effective. The truly best way to get steadier views on Tapastic? It helps if Tapastic itself features your comic on the front page. That’s a pretty rare event, though, and is really out of your control.

I’ve participated some in the Tapastic forums, and that might bring a couple of new viewers to your comic, if you mention it, without being overly spammy, in your comments. But that’s not really attracting the people whom you want as your core audience, readers and not creators.

I’ve even listed one of my Tapastic comics, Third Wheel, with Top Web Comics — the free listing version, not the paid one — but that hasn’t had much impact, if any.

My experience with Third Wheel is a good example of the frustrations you might experience with Tapastic. I first started posting this comic — amazingly drawn by Vanessa Cardinali and lettered by Mike Rickaby — on Oct. 3. For the first three days, I was averaging an embarrassingly low four or so views a day. That didn’t feel good. Then on the fifth day that my comic was live, I shot up to 54 views in one day. That was better.

The sixth day, I generated 86 views, even better. I don’t know what happened. I have no idea why my views suddenly shot up. But I have to admit, it was a bit of a thrill to see so many people reading the comic.

Some days got even better. On Oct. 10, I had 109 views. I got 111 views on Oct. 13 and an all-time high of 137 on Oct. 17. Most of these were days in which I updated, but the views were higher than I expected.

I haven’t been able to match that Oct. 13 high, though, even on days that I’ve since updated. I got 80 views on Oct. 14, but that my next-highest day since then was Oct. 25 with 60. Since that Oct. 13 high, I’ve been getting from 41 to a low of 13 views each day.

Subscribing activity has been frustrating, too. I got 21 subscribers on Oct. 7 and 20 more on Oct. 8. I got 14 on Oct. 11, 13 on Oct. 10 and 9 on Oct. 12. Lately, though, I’ve been losing subscribers at a faster clip than acquiring them.

So, as of Oct. 30, I now have 108 subscribers for Third Wheel and 1,310 views.

Those numbers are actually far better than I would have expected when I first launched the comic, and I’m happy with them considering that the comic hasn’t been online for even a month. I’ve also received 68 likes from readers, so that’s nice, too.

But … considering how fast the comic started, I’m a bit disappointed with the slowdown in activity. It could be that readers who thought they’d like the comic have lost interest in it; maybe the story hasn’t moved along in the direction they expected. Or maybe the comic had been featured somewhere on Tapastic’s front page and I just didn’t notice, accounting for the earlier boost in numbers.

The truth is, I don’t really know. And I can’t really provide any answers to other artists trying to generate loyal fans on Tapastic.

I am thankful for the opportunity to publish Third Wheel online. And I’d still like to find a publisher of the more traditional variety for it, something I haven’t focused on nearly enough.

As for now, I’ll keep updating — only once a week now, instead of twice a week, though — and hope that my views and subscribers will climb, even if that climb is more sluggish than I had once hoped.


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