Around June, The Grievers hit its first year anniversary! It made me reflect on the comic’s journey during the first year and the highs and lows.
When I first started, I had a big head. “This will be great! People will love it” Then I hit the publish button and waited.
And then I waited some more. Realizing that I needed to keep a posting schedule, I ignored the low readership and continued to push new content.
Low and behold, the patience worked in my favor. The comic was sitting at 24 subscribers when it got promoted to the front page a month later.
Now the subscribers were coming in by the hundreds that week! I went from 24 subscribers to 1.5K in one week!
This felt great. I was receiving comments, and the audience was engaged with the work! It was what I wanted.
Then I got promoted again!
It was exhilarating, and I thought I would keep riding this high. Would the comic get asked to be a featured webtoon? I had my hopes.
No doubt, if the comic kept getting subscribers, this would indeed happen.
And then… nothing. My posting schedule was still twice a month, but my growth stagnated. I sat at a little over 4K subscribers, hoping to achieve 5K, but that’s when it suddenly died away.
I told myself, “keep going, just keep producing more content.” And I did for a little while.
This part is where it gets discouraging. After a while, every update I posted made me lose 50+ followers. This news was confusing to me because I felt like I gave the subscribers updates! These updates should make them happy! But I soon learn that Webtoon readers can be fickle.
After a few months of hiatus for the short comic contest, the subscribers dropped down to around 3.5K. Weep.
When I hit the year one anniversary, I told myself not to be sad about it anymore! Just keep posting, improve on the artwork and story, and people will have to come around later. So I did.
Not long after that, another front-page promotion! I regained all the lost followers and now more or less back to where I was. It’s not much but helps to keep me motivated.
I learned in this first year that making a webtoon is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s hard not to feel like your value is tied to your readership, so it’s best to ignore it and keep working.
Make small goals of improvement for each episode and focus solely on crafting a good story. Otherwise, you’ll become bogged down by the lack of viewership or other negativity that can eat at you between updates.
Hopefully, my experience can help others relate. Keep posting, and you’ll find your audience!