Sunday, July 31, 2022

I love it when a plan comes together...

But I don't HAVE a plan yet.

I have a little bit of a vision, though. However, I'll start by being completely honest about what I'm not going to try and do.

I am not trying to build an audience or gain popularity - to get more eyes on my work. This has been, historically, my overriding goal. I've tried to do what I thought might be popular, or might get a few more likes, or what someone on a webcomic forum said, or what the prevailing wisdom was... but not what I really wanted to do. 

I've been told that to build an audience and gain popularity, you need to release often and consistently. Or you need to be in full color. Or you need to be on this social media. Or you need to market in this way. Or you need to have this sort of focus. Or you need to... ad infinitum.

But none of it has ever worked. I've tried it all in some capacity. The worst direction I ever received was from a jaded older director in college who told me, 'do it again, only BETTER'. The prevailing wisdom has been, again, that I released weekly, but nobody cared... if I released TWICE a week, that would help. So, I tried twice a week. And nobody cared. Release on Tuesdays and Fridays. No. Release on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. But release in the evening. 

Actually, the problem is your idea. If you find YOUR AUDIENCE and target your comic to them specifically, you'll be successful. I did that. Nobody cared.

So, it's my turn not to care. I mean, I hope you like my comics and games. I really do. I hope you love them and share them on social media and tell your friends and decide to tip me a few dollars a month at some point. But if you don't, I'm not going to change what I do and how I do it in some vain effort to convince you to do so. If army ants is meant to reach an audience of a million people, it will. If it's meant to stay where it is, then that's what it will do. But I'm not going to make decisions that will have me do what I don't want to do in order to maybe get more readers.

My wife keeps saying I need to be on Instagram. I don't like Instagram. I think it's a waste of time and energy. If I can find a way to maintain a presence on Instragram with almost zero effort; I will do that. If Instagram is going to ultimately require daily check ins and maintenance and follow-up, I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to pretend I might. I already know I won't. 

I keep being told to go where my audience is. I have no idea who or where my audience is. Maybe I don't have an 'audience' beyond some tried-and-true peeps who've been reading my stuff for decades. You are all awesome, and if it's just us going forward, that's cool.

I suppose that I'll take the plan one piece at a time, and see where it leads. I'm not sure yet... but at least I know what it won't be.


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