Those who join the field of webcomics are divided into two camps: fervid hobbyists or those who want to join as cartoonists. If you belong to the latter camp, the question you should be asking yourself is how precisely does one go about making money from cartooning, and more particularly from webcomics? Fortunately, once you are done reading this text, you should better understand how to do so.
What you should know first
Before you try to find ways to make money from your webcomic, you have to ensure that you have obtained enough of a loyal readership who would eagerly fork out the cash to support anything you have prepared for sale. It is not logical, for example, to begin an online store for a brand new webcomic with no readers. Concentrate first on creating your craft as a cartoonist and sharing your webcomic on a regular basis. Publish your work on social media, engage with your readers and make your followers love your comics and, by extension you as the creator, so much that they will avidly support anything you have to present. Be patient, and get yourself to a point where you can rationalize making money from your webcomic.
Can a comic strip bring me money?
Another thing you should be aware of is that you have to expand as a cartoonist. So, if for example, you are making a daily comic strip, you cannot count on that being your sole source of income. Online comics have become so competitive, with thousands of comics being shared daily. Only a few webcomic producers can make a decent income based only on one source of revenue. The more income streams you can consider dipping into, the more likely you are to finally leave your day job.
Top ways to make money on webcomics
They say “there is more than one way to skin a cat”. And this is absolutely true of making money on webcomics. Below, are the main ways individuals can make money on webcomics. Depending on your taste and talent, you can go for one or several of these methods.
Subscriptions just ask your readers to financially support your webcomic or any other projects connected to your comic with small regular payments. The advantages of a subscription model include getting payments regularly and the ability to build a direct relationship with your readers. There are different platforms that can help you establish a subscription service for your webcomic:
- Buy Me a Coffee
If you have created enough of a comic archive catalogue and your webcomic has large enough followers, it may be the right time to think about putting part or all of your comics behind a paywall. This would require limiting access to users who have paid to subscribe to your comic. A word of caution, webcomic readers are accustomed to reading comics for free online, so you would have to consider this. Comic creators that have made much money via paywalls prefer to have widely popular comics or Not Safe For Work (NSFW) comics.
Giving your readers the ability to donate to you on your website is another way you can make money from your comic. Some payment gateways allow you to add a “Donation Button” to your website in a matter of minutes. The most well-known payment gateways are PayPal, Ko-fi, Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee and Webcomics Feed.
When your comics acquire enough of an audience, you will soon receive notifications from those who are willing to pay you to draw for them. It can be a personal comic, caricature, poster, or greeting card. Ensure to announce the fact that you offer commissions on both your website and your social media profiles.
Merchandising is an amusing way of monetizing your comic as it presents unlimited opportunities. You can self-fulfil your products by establishing an online store on your website or sell the merchandise on 3rd party drop shipping services like Shopify, Redbubble, TeePublic, and Amazon Merch. It comes down to how eager you are to take on in terms of upfront expenses, shipping, storage, quality and the profit margins you are looking for.
This is one of the best ways for webcomic creators to earn money from their work. Nothing is comparable to the immersive experience of reading a comic work on a printed page. Print collections do include a bit of heavy lifting. You may have to cooperate with an established company or self-publish with Print on Demand (P.O.D.) services. P.O.D. services include Lulu, Ka-Blam, ComiXpress, Blurb, and CreateSpace. However, it can be difficult to decide how to go about printing and selling your comic collections.
Apart from selling your merchandise and print collections online, another good way to sell your products is at comic book conventions. Cons have the added value of getting you to meet fans, make new ones, and network with fellow creators. Popular cons are San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic Con, Heroes Con, Emerald City Comicon, and Small Press Expo.
Crowdfunding is an amazing way of funding projects by making small amounts of money from a large readership base. It enables you to work on projects you would otherwise have never thought about. The way it works is you suggest the project, request a total amount needed for the project and then publicize it as much as possible. The two platforms that webcomic creators usually employ are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. When calculating your funding goal, consider potential delays and unforeseen expenses.
LINE Webtoon is a webcomic publishing portal that focuses particularly on comics. Consider it as YouTube for webcomics. It is one of the few platforms that pay creators to publish their comics online. LINE Webtoon offers three ways you can pay to get your work published on their website.
Earning money through creating comic work is easier said than done. On the one hand, it requires a creative mind that can make something funny out of almost anything. On the other hand, it requires hard work and dedication to attract people to your work. This article introduced several popular platforms that offer the best opportunities to artists who tend to provoke awareness in their society through art!