Writing a blog to improve readership

 

“I don’t have time to blog. I don’t know how to blog.”

We’ve heard the excuses before, and we disagree. Blogging isn’t a laborious chore that requires hours of time better spent drawing comics.

Here we offer a simple approach to blogging that will keep readers reading. But first …

Why write?

Because people like knowing what you’re up to. Whether it’s a look at your process or knowing what conventions you’re going to, readers appreciate knowing the artist behind the comic. Blogging helps build readership.

Even if you jot a quick note about how your day went, something is better than nothing. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. Sites like Chainsaw Suit and Stand Still, Stay Silent only post a few choice sentences that elaborate on the comic du jour. Notes on Everblue talk about both the process and what’s been going on. Meanwhile Battlepug ended with heartfelt thanks and Let’s Speak English sometimes carries on where the art left off.

As Brad Guigar said:

“See, the reason the blog is so powerful is that it’s one of the strongest tools you have in building your community. In the blog, your choice of topics tells your readers what this site is about, who you are, and most importantly, what this community is about. Your choice of topics will make members of your community feel welcome, intrigue them, and encourage them to become more active on your site.

“So, you certainly can post work of your own that is unrelated to the strip itself. After all, it’s your work. And you’re sharing something that helps describe who you are.

“However, this cannot replace or stand in the way of the overall community-building effort you’re making in that blog.”

How do I write?

The easiest way is to jot notes as you create each comic page — what cheered you up today, how you decided Photoshop wasn’t the answer, why a certain character realized they could fly on page 39 when they sprouted wings on page 12.

But if you find yourself drawing blanks, here are some strategies you can take to writing a bit per comic page.

  • Characters: Pick one character in this scene. What is she or he thinking in the first panel — and how does that change by the last?

  • Art: Was anything particularly tricky or fun to draw in this page?

  • Story: How does this scene advance the plot?

The Grawlix CMS lets you post as much as you want per comic page. Future versions will offer more options, making it easier to get blog posts looking as great as they read. But it’s just a tool. The key is to write something — anything — every time you post new art. Your readers will appreciate it.


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