Blog

Feb 21, 2018

Growing An Online Fan Base


The topic for this week is how to grow the fan base for your series online.

Having a good idea for a series is obviously important, but if you don’t market it correctly no one is ever going to see it. Luckily, the Internet is full of free platforms that can help get the word out about your series. I’ll share some ups and downs that I’ve learned over the years about how to use the Internet to grow your fan base. I’m going to break things down into a few categories.

Official Websites:

If you’ve created a series and you’re serious about getting it produced professionally, you need an official website. Actually, the first thing you really need to do is copyright your work (which will be covered in depth in a forthcoming article). Official websites are the best way to make your series feel legit to someone looking at it for the first time. The more professional your website looks, the more professional your series will look. You can go about getting your own official website in two ways. First, you can buy your own domain name. This is the more expensive route, but your website will also have the best domain name possible, which makes getting views easier. The second option is to make a free domain through websites like Wix. Obviously the free cost is great, but your website’s name won’t be as clean as a personal domain name, so that’s the downside. A good first step is creating a free website, and then see how things go before you decide to purchase a domain name.

Forums:

Online forums can be a great way for like-minded fans to get together and discuss their favorite series. Before I used any social media websites for Spirit Warriors, I planned to grow a fan base through anime and comic forums. Unfortunately, forums generally don’t allow any users to advertise their own work, so it can be very difficult to generate fans through a forum (believe me, I’ve tried). However, sometimes you can find a forum that has a specific section for authors/illustrators that want to share their work. I’d definitely recommend posting there, and be sure to follow up with any other forum users who leave comments (even reply to the criticisms, it’s good practice for dealing with industry professionals). The other problem with forums is that your thread will get buried as time goes on, so unless you plan on updating your thread frequently your work may have very limited exposure.

Social Media:

Social media is a Godsend. If you use it correctly, fans will help spread the word about your series for you, which is especially important if you can’t afford advertisements (like me). After this Spirit Warriors website was built, I tried getting the word out through forums. As I mentioned in the previous section, they have a lot of downsides, and it basically got me nowhere. After failing on forums, I turned to social media, specifically DeviantArt. For anyone who isn’t familiar with DeviantArt, it’s basically Facebook for artists. It’s a social media website with around 40 million members, and users post and share their artwork. The site has a huge community of anime and comic fans, so when I first submitted Spirit Warriors into the “anime artwork” section, I started getting page views instantly. DeviantArt even has multiple groups you can join that solely consist of anime, manga, comic, fans and more. It was the perfect fit for Spirit Warriors. In addition to page views, my series also started getting a huge amount of feedback from fellow DeviantArt members. A lot of people really liked Spirit Warriors, and left some amazing comments whenever I posted a new picture. I recorded every single comment that people would leave on my page (which is now a Word file around 300 pages long!). As the fan base grew on DeviantArt, I monitored what fans liked and what they didn’t, and applied that to future pictures I was writing. DeviantArt was perfect for my comic, and I highly recommend it (did I mention it’s free?). There are lots of other free social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. It can be time consuming to create and maintain pages on all of them, but social media is the best way to spread the word and grow your series.

If any readers have questions or want more information about my characters (main or minor) feel free to email me at webmaster@spiritwarriorstv.com

Next week I’ll talk about how to copyright and trademark your series.

Best Wishes,

Jeff