You may have noticed that fundraising tab up at the top of the page. Let me say a few words about Patreon, and why I’m using it. If you skip this whole blog post and just come here to read comics, that’s cool. Skip away.
If you stuck around, let me explain that the ‘business model’ for a webcomic like Teaching Ted or Army Ants is to provide a free, regularly-published webcomic, and then use a number of means to generate some income from it on the back end. As you can tell, I sell advertising on the site, and while that’s a work in progress (some of the ads aren’t really for my ‘target audience’, and I’m looking into other advertising options), it’s the foundational ‘income stream’ for a webcomic.
I sell collected editions of my work. Army Ants has a pretty big back catalog of print editions available, but Teaching Ted, since it’s just getting off the ground, hasn’t hit the point where I have anything in print yet. Ultimately, there will be print editions collecting older strips, but that’s a way down the road.
I also use Patreon. This is a play on words for the term ‘patron’, someone who back in the day would provide financial support for artists to keep doing their artist stuff. I use Patreon because it’s easy, it’s well-known, it’s reliable, and it does exactly what it sets out to do. It works also like a ‘fan club’. You get to see some behind-the-scenes of the process, like bonus pages and sketchbook outtakes, while having a chance to win original art and other cool stuff.
I like it that there’s an absolute transparency to the entire process. Want to know how much money I’m making from doing webcomics? Well, you can see that the ad at the top of the page generates a few cents a day (as of this writing). Want to know how much I make from Patreon? It’s right there on the page; my Patreon page generates $41 per month (as of this writing), before Patreon takes their cut (about 10%).
Is it ‘expensive’ to publish a webcomic? It’s not bad. My web hosting/domain registration has cost about $100 for the next year, and I have regular costs for art supplies (about $20 a month), but I could absorb those costs pretty easily. I don’t desperately need support to keep going, and many of the expenses for this year are already paid (I have enough paper to keep me going for a while, and I just bought some new pens, so there’s that).
I could do the whole ‘if you want to see this webcomic continue’ pitch, but that would be disingenuous. I love doing Teaching Ted and Army Ants, so I have absolutely zero motivation to stop doing them. I’ll keep doing them even if all my Patrons back out and no one buys advertising. However, if you like either or both of my webcomics, and want to support my efforts to create them, then Patreon is a great option for you to consider. For as little as $1 a month, you get access to nifty things, as well as my gratitude, which is also a nifty thing, now that I think of it.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support of my comics, no matter what form that support takes!