Peeling Back the Panel
UPDATE: The feed has not been working for some people. As far as I can tell this is due to the lag it takes to slowly get it all to feed / propogate. The link that should work is http://feeds.feedburner.com/systemcomic . This now works for me to add it to Google Reader, let me know if you’re having trouble.
Howdy, Systemics! I don’t know what you think goes on behind the scenes of this comic, but I’m going to try and start being a little more up front and see how that goes. Hopefully you guys appreciate seeing how things really work here either as fellow creators, voyeuristic readers, or just because you like reading crap while you’re bored at work.
Did you know I would like to make money off this comic? I know, that’s crazy talk. The first part of that comment you should realize is that right now, I don’t make money off this comic. Sure the HilariAwesome store is available and I get a sale or two a month, but the only real revenue ever seen is when I go to conventions and get to deal things in bulk. I love doing that, but it would be great if the site at least paid for it’s own hosting, maybe even a little extra. That could really take the edge off and help justify the time I put into things around here, as well as help out with the upcoming site redesign and The System Book 1 printing costs. So I’m trying to optimize / revitalize the way I try and make some cash on the site.
No, I’m not going to start charging for the content you’re used to getting for free. But If I can find ways to get the site to pay for itself or maybe even earn me a few bucks without having to inconvenience you the reader too badly, I figure I should give it a shot. As such, today starts the Great Feed Experiment. I would like to be pretty up front about this so here are all the details:
Readership on this comic is around 3,000 – 5,000 readers a day, depending on which stat tracker I look at, what sites are linking to me, what StumbleUpon feels like doing, and what I’ve been doing to update lately. It’s been there for over 6 months and it’s a great number though I’m not a fan of the plateau. From what I understand a comic running under 2 years this is a great number. I’m certainly proud of it, though of course it would always be nice if it was growing. Unfortunately, it’s not a big enough number for web ads to really do that much good. You need orders of magnitude more in the way of readers or amazing ad networks to do anything near good money with ad traffic.
However, there’s a silver lining. For a site this size, we have a HUGE number of RSS feed subscribers. Google Reader alone shows 1,398 followers as I write this, which as far as I can tell is really big for a site this size. That’s only the Google Reader ones, not to mention people subscribing through other means. After talking it over with my internet brother from another mother Marty, I’d like to know more about it and possibly utilize it a little bit, so as of today I’m starting to run the feed through FeedBurner to better track how many people are subscribing, and adding Google Adsense to the feed. I know that Adsense is one of the worst ad networks in terms of revenue because they are so general, but it’s a start until I can get on some better networks.
If you are a subscriber through the RSS and something I’ve done in this process has effected the way you read the comic and made you want to STOP reading the comic, let me know. (systemcomic at gmail) I’d rather have readers than money hands down. (systemcomic at gmail) If it is simply messing with the way you read the comic or possibly breaking anything, let me know that too. (systemcomic at gmail) I’ve tested and it seems to all be working but I won’t know for sure until you tell me what’s going on.
Anyway, thanks for understanding and of course reading the comic. It’s often easy to forget that looking at the numbers relates to real people who have taken time every day to follow what I write / draw here, which is why I always encourage you to get in touch with me. (systemcomic at gmail) Hopefully we are all building to something together. As it says in the masthead, comics will keep being posted until morale improves.
Thanks all. Feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments, message me on The Twitters, or email me at, you guessed it, (systemcomic at gmail).