Prominant NPCs do not approve.
A Reader Asked Me For Business Advice

hijinksensue:

She was responding to a video I put on Youtube, but didn’t say which one. I’m assuming it was my Patreon video. I’ve removed her name, contact info and some parts of her questions, since I didn’t ask for permission to post this. I just thought some of my ideas might be helpful to others. 

Hi Joel Watson! Thanks for responding! I actually have 100 comics that I have been posting on my G plus page for two weeks now. I am planning on establishing the characters to start and I have looked at Project Wonderful. I am just trying to establish the right business plan, because I need to replace my day job slowly but surely.

That’s a bit “cart before the horse.” Get your audience first. Then figure out how they are willing to support you through experimentation and open, honest dialog with them. At first I relied heavily on donations, then it was merch for a few years, and now I dont sell much merch and I’m back to donations (Patreon). It’s different for everyone. 

Do you monetize purely by people purchasing the comic now or merchandising?

All of my comics are free. I make money from advertising, conventions, online merch (not so much any more), donations and freelance work. 

Would you say it’s a enough to cover a mortgage?

My artistic endeavors are my only source of income, but no one in particular is enough to pay all of my bills. I try not to rely too heavily on any one source of income because they can all disappear at the drop of a hat. 

I was wondering how you actually got your very first few readers, and discovered that they were geeks.

I got my first readers from the art forums that I already frequented and posted on. Then it was primarily word of mouth, and the occasional social media bump. That was in 2007 and I don’t think it’s a very good plan for today. Word of mouth is best, but advertising/marketing are the only realistic ways to get your name out there in the ever expanding sea of “things to pay attention to on the Internet.” 

How do you suggest testing and finding out who is gravitating towards your story, even before the advertising? Would I be able to pay you to assist me with my business plan for this comic?

I don’t suggest doing this at all, and no, I would not be able to help you with this. Make your comics, then SEE who is gravitating towards your story. There are the readers you want and the readers you get. Best case scenario is there’s some overlap, but you have less control over this than you think. Readers will tend to mirror your attitude and the attitude of your work. Act like an asshole online and you get asshole fans. Be kind and honest online and in your work and you are more likely to attract those types of people. As for market demographics, don’t worry about that. If young people end up reading your comics, sell t-shirts. If adults read it, offer them something funny and attractive they can hang in their home or office. 

I am working on doing things properly this time to leave my day job for good. Also, I’m engaged, so I am working on supporting a family with my comic. So I have serious planning to do, and it  helps to learn form someone that has been there. 

This is an awesome plan and very similar to my original one, but in hindsight I would suggest building a safety net/nest egg before taking the leap. If your combined income with your partner just barely pays the bills, don’t cut it in half without a backup. If your partner can support you both for a couple of years, then you have more wiggle room. Expect to make around $0 a month for the first year or two. 

I can’t stress enough that you need to focus on the work and not the business. You aren’t Kickstarting a new kind of smartphone connected bottle opener. You are creating art that will be given away for free in the hopes that a small percentage of your audience will give you money eventually… for something. It’s a very unorthodox business and this can’t be figured out with projections and charts and demographic studies… UNTIL you have A) a lot of comics and B) a dedicated audience. 

Is your very first comic on your blog in the archives?

Yup. It looks awful, but it’s still pretty funny and reminds me where I came from. 

http://hijinksensue.com/comic/a-soul-as-black-as-eyeliner/

Hope that helps. 

-Joel

Nothing has changed in 15 years, since I was writing my thesis on this: If you want to make your living with a webcomic, you need to love the comic and build the audience first, then worry about monetization later. Because there’s no secret gold mine to webcomics; your odds of success are very, very slim, and you need to stick with your comic out of love or you’ll give up when it doesn’t meet your financial expectations.

america-wakiewakie:

1. Single moms are the problem. Only 9 percent of low-income, urban moms have been single throughout their child’s first five years. Thirty-five percent were married to, or in a relationship with, the child’s father for that entire time.

2. Absent dads are the problem. Sixty percent of low-income dads see at least one of their children daily. Another 16 percent see their children weekly.

3. Black dads are the problem. Among men who don’t live with their children, black fathers are more likely than white or Hispanic dads to have a daily presence in their kids’ lives.

4. Poor people are lazy. In 2004, there was at least one adult with a job in 60 percent of families on food stamps that had both kids and a nondisabled, working-age adult.

5. If you’re not officially poor, you’re doing okay. The federal poverty line for a family of two parents and two children in 2012 was $23,283. Basic needs cost at least twice that in 615 of America’s cities and regions.

6. Go to college, get out of poverty. In 2012, about 1.1 million people who made less than $25,000 a year, worked full time, and were heads of household had a bachelor’s degree.

7. We’re winning the war on poverty. The number of households with children living on less than $2 a day per person has grown 160 percent since 1996, to 1.65 million families in 2011.

8. The days of old ladies eating cat food are over. The share of elderly single women living in extreme poverty jumped 31 percent from 2011 to 2012.

9. The homeless are drunk street people. One in 45 kids in the United States experiences homelessness each year. In New York City alone, 22,000 children are homeless.

10. Handouts are bankrupting us. In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47 percent of the federal budget.

The problem, of course, is that the people who spout this nonsense are generally either a) Fully aware that they’re lying but don’t care and/or b) Too stupid / apathetic / greedy to actually be persuaded to change.

Grandma’s been voting Republican since 1967, she ain’t going to be persuaded to vote Democrat now.

leavenmoan:

parahsalmer:

parahsalmer:

thegeek531:

herundiscloseddesires:

Yes. All the yes.

I may have to print this out sometime…

ummm.. new house rules??

Ok let’s play right now.

Anyone?

Do people even play strip games post-college? The last one I was involved in was Strip Apples to Apples (with basically these rules) waaaaay back in senior year.

leavenmoan:

parahsalmer:

parahsalmer:

thegeek531:

herundiscloseddesires:

Yes. All the yes.

I may have to print this out sometime…

ummm.. new house rules??

Ok let’s play right now.

Anyone?

Do people even play strip games post-college? The last one I was involved in was Strip Apples to Apples (with basically these rules) waaaaay back in senior year.

relahvant:

THE LAST ONES OMFG

What’s with the “Russian roulette” tagline, though? Almost makes the whole thing seem anti-condom/anti-sex.

unwinona:

FETCH ME ALL YOUR ANIMALS THAT I MIGHT FLING THEM TO THE GROUND

ALL OF THEM

ACCURATE.

Good advice.

5: What were you doing at 11PM last night?
Anonymous

Sleeping, thank goodness. (At 10:45pm I think I was still making my son’s lunch for today.) Were you hoping for a more prurient answer?

send me a number pretty please, for something
1: Let’s start with a tricky one; what is the real reason you are confused right now?
2: Do you ever get “good morning” texts from anyone?
3: If your significant other smoked pot, would you care?
4: Do you find it easy to trust others?
5: What were you doing at 11PM last night?
6: You’re drunk and lost walking down the road; who is with you?
7: What would you do if you found out you had been cheated on?
8: Are you close with your dad?
9: I bet you kissed someone last night, right?
10: What are you listening to?
11: You can only drink ONE liquid for the rest of your life - what is it?
12: Do you like hickeys?
13: What time do you go to bed?
14: Is there someone who continuously lets you down?
15: Can you text as quickly with one hand as you do both?
16: Do you always answer your texts?
17: Do you hate the person you fell the hardest for?
18: When was the last time you talked to one of your best friends?
19: Is there someone that makes you happy every time you see them?
20: What was your last thought before you went to bed last night?
21: Is anyone else in the room with you?
22: Do you believe what goes around comes around?
23: Were you happier four months ago than you are now?
24: Is there someone you wish you could fix things with?
25: In the past week, have you cried?
26: What colour is the shirt you are wearing?
27: Do people ever call you by your last name?
28: Is anyone ignoring you right now?
29: Do you have a best friend?
30: Would it be hard seeing someone else kiss the last person you kissed?
31: Who was your last call/text message from?
32: Are you mad at anyone?
33: Have you ever kissed someone older than you?
34: How old will the last person you kissed be on his/her next birthday?
35: How many more days until your birthday?
36: Do you have any summer plans yet?
37: Do you have any good friends of the opposite sex?
38: Are you keeping anything from your best friend(s) now?
39: Do you have a secret that you’ve never told anyone?
40: Have you ever regretted kissing someone?
41: Do you think age matters in relationships?
42: Are you available?
43: How many people have you had real, strong feelings for since high school ended?
44: If you had to get a piercing (not ears), what would you get?
45: Do you believe exes can be friends?
46: Do you regret anything?
47: Honestly, what’s on your mind right now?
48: Did you ever lose a best friend?
49: Was your last kiss a mistake?
50: Why aren’t you pursuing the person you like?
51: Has the last person you kissed ever seen you cry?
52: Do you still talk with the person you LAST kissed?
53: What was the last thing you ate?
54: Did you get any compliments today?
55: Where are you going on your next vacation?
56: Do you own anything from other countries?
57: Are most of your friend guys or girls?
58: Where have you lived most of your life?
59: When was the last time you took a long drive?
60: Have you ever played Spin the Bottle?
61: Have you ever TPd someone’s house?
62: Who do you text the most?
63: What was the last movie you saw?
64: What’s preventing your current boyfriend/girlfriend from going back to their ex?
65: How many boyfriends/girlfriends did you have in 2011?
66: Is the last person you kissed younger than you?
67: Do you curse around your parents?
68: Are you happy with where you live?
69: Picture of yourself?
70: Are you a monogamous person or do you believe in open-ended relationships?
71: Have you ever been dumped?
72: What do you most like about making out?
73: Have you ever casually made out with someone who you weren’t seriously involved with?
74: When you kiss someone for the first time, is it usually you who initiates it or the other?
75: What part of a person’s body do you find most attractive?
76: Who was the last person you talked to last night before you went to bed?
77: Had sex with someone you knew less than an hour?
78: Had sex with someone you didn’t know their name?
79: What makes your heart flutter and brings a big cheesy smile to your face?
80: Would you get involved with someone if they had a child already?
81: Has someone who had a crush on you ever confessed to you?
82: Do you tell a lot of people when you have a crush?
83: Do you miss your last sweetie?
84: Last time you slow danced with someone?
85: Have you ever ‘dated’ someone you’ve never met?
86: How can I win your heart?
87: What is your astrological sign?
88: What were you doing last night at 12 AM?
89: Do you cook?
90: Have you ever gotten back in touch with an old flame after a time of more than 3 months of no communication?
91: If you’re single right now, do you wish you were in a relationship?
92: Do you prefer to date various people or do you pretty much fall into monogamous relationships quickly?
93: What physical traits do you look for in a potential interest?
94: Name four things that you wish you had!
95: Are you a player?
96: Have you ever kissed 2 people in one day?
97: Are you a tease?
98: Ever meet anyone you met on Tumblr?
99: Have you ever been deeply in love with someone?
100: Anybody on Tumblr that you’d go on a date with?
101: Hugs or Kisses?
102: Are you too shy to ask someone out?
103: The first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
104: Is it cute when a boy/girl calls you babe?
105: If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he/she was in relationship, would you go for it?
106: Do you flirt a lot?
107: Your last kiss?
108: Have you kissed more than 5 people since the start of 2012?
109: Have you kissed anyone in the past month?
110: If you could kiss anyone who would it be?
111: Do you know who you’ll kiss next?
112: Does someone like you currently?
113: Do you currently have feelings for anyone?
114: Do you like to be in serious relationships or just flings?
115: Ever made out with just a friend?
116: Are you happier single or in a relationship?
117: Your own question that you want me to answer. Just write it.

Holy fuck. Holy fuck.

Gross But Human

dontbearuiner:

Is there anything as needlessly painful as a pimple in the armpit?

Realizing it’s a mosquito bite.

dontbearuiner:

foxmccloud:

can you believe there are people who have grown up on the internet without ever having read this

HOW HAVE I NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE?

I remember when this first made the rounds! I feel so old.

dontbearuiner:

foxmccloud:

can you believe there are people who have grown up on the internet without ever having read this

HOW HAVE I NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE?

I remember when this first made the rounds! I feel so old.

crzydemona:

the-timelord-girl-who-hunts:

wordsofdiana:

The only thing I want in Avengers 2 is Cap picking up Thor’s hammer, totally unaware it should be impossible.

Actually in Marvel lore it is implicitly stated That Steve is one of only a few people on earth actually worthy of carrying Thor’s hammer

I’ve been wanting this since before the first Avengers movie!

One of my favorite bits in the DC vs. Marvel crossover was the revelation—though this should come as a surprise to nobody—that Wonder Woman is worthy of the power of Thor.

One weird trick discovered by a porn star!

One weird trick discovered by a porn star!

politicalsexkitten:

My cousin explained to me the difference between a joint and a blunt and all this time I thought it was the same thing and I got a quick crash course in Marijuana 101

I had to keep interjecting that what she was saying was consistent with these documentaries I’ve seen and I sounded like such a…

…Wait, they aren’t the same thing? Shows you what I know. (Hint: I’m like Jon Snow here.)