How boring stats can help put your comics in more people’s hands

Any regular listeners of The Awesome Comics Podcast will have by now had the *pleasure* of listening to me have a good old natter to the chaps on this week’s episode. As a fan of the show I was really pleased to be invited on as a guest. I got to talk about Heads! and Rock In Purgatory, plus the logistics behind organising and hosting Wimbledon Comic Art Festival.

As well as having a great chance to get into the detail of my own projects, a theme that kept coming back up throughout the show was around understanding stats and how you can use them to work out if what you are doing is successful. We spoke about how difficult it can sometimes be to look at social media stats, and how important it is to track your referrers on your website stats, as this helps you understand where people are coming from to reach your site and read your comics.


In relation to stats, I spoke a little about my involvement with Popcorn Horror (the digital magazine that Rock In Purgatory was first published in). I asked the people at Popcorn Horror for the number of downloads each issue of the magazine received, to get an idea of how many people were potentially getting to see my work. It’s something all creators should ask for if they are having their work featured by someone online. It’s even worth asking for stats on articles that have been written about you, be they reviews, interviews or whatever. It all goes toward understanding who may be finding out about you. You can use that information to broaden your audience even further, engaging with people who you may never have had the chance to engage with otherwise.

In an attempt to help spread a little love and share work socially, I’d like to invite any comic creators out there to do some tag swaps with me on Twitter. You can tag up to 10 people in a photo on Twitter, and I find it’s a really useful way to let people know you’ve posted something that you’d like to have shared. So, I’d like to invite any comics creators reading this to tag me into photos of things they want promoted, and I’ll retweet them. In exchange, I’ll tag you in my posts and ask you to help me out too by doing the same. It may not have a huge effect as social media is as fickle as the tastes of the people using it. But it’s definitely better than not doing anything, so let’s have a go!

In the spirit of the stats theme, I asked the Awesome ComiCs Podcast for details of downloads and territories of my episode.

There are a load of ways I could analyse these numbers, and a huge amount of variables to consider (not least my active promotion of a milestone Heads! page released the day after the pod). In order to keep things simple, here’s what I decided to do.

The majority of my audience interaction online comes from Twitter. So I check to see how many of my followers also follow ACP, and deducted this number from the total downloads. This gave me a likely number of 33 new people who do not follow me and my work who have now heard about it. Since ACP weren’t able to get streaming stats from their platforms, this number can likely be increased, but we’ll never know for sure.

I know from messages and comments from people I currently interact with that they have listened to and enjoyed the show. I can also see spikes in activity on my website, notibly loads of new Rock In Purgatory readers. Since I have not actively promoted Rock In Purgatory in the last cuple of weeks, it’s a safe assumption to make that most / all of these views are down to my appearance on the pod.

In short, there is proof that doing this show has raised awareness of my work, led new people to read my comics and put a smile on the faces of my existing audience. Thanks for having me on the pod guys, I’ll happily come back anytime!

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