You have your web comic opus ready to upload and publish to the world. You’ve decided on the web space you’re going to utilize to get it out there.
You’ve uploaded and published. Now what?
The World Wide Web these days is what it sounds like. World wide, and very highly populated. Now that your comic is out there, how do you wish to promote it if you want to go that route.
There is nothing wrong with starting small. Tell your friends, be it via word of mouth, or even through your favorite online community or social networking site. Even if you don’t like Facebook invites, and I often don’t in excess, don’t be afraid to make a page for your comic and invite friends to join. Some may recommend it to others. In that vein, you can also put a small button to ‘like’ the comic, but it would only take the reader to the Facebook page.
Join like-minded communities and forums online. Accounts are usually free, and you can promote, and even learn a few things through online discussion. I’d advise against too much promotion of your own work if it detracts from a different topic or just as basic netiquette. Some are ranking sites, such as The Webcomic List and Top Webcomics where comics are judged by member votes or by site hits. Some will allow members to become featured comics for a small fee. It’s worth looking into if you want a little extra exposure starting out. There are web comic groups on Facebook among other social networking sites or the option create one yourself as well.
With convention season starting for me tomorrow at Genericon, I have to point out that people like to see a face with the artist. Go to Comic and Anime conventions in your area. Depending on the event and venue, purchasing table space is not too cumbersome. If you want to cut costs and start out small, attend smaller conventions, many of which originated and grew from college anime clubs. In some cases, registration is included with your table space, and inexpensive at the smaller venues. One thing I’ve noticed at Genericon and conventions like it is a very relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff. From there, you might to venture to a larger venue such as Otakon or Comic-con. If you want to vend at conventions, do a quick search for events in your area via Google. Wikipedia also has listings. From there, look at the convention website for artist information. It may take a little searching, but most have what you’re looking for or a contact email.
When it comes to promotion, the most important aspect is knowing your product. Don’t be afraid to talk about your comic, what inspired you to create your story and characters, be it online or in person.