It seems like a lot of webcartoonists are confused about how they should go about promoting their webcomic, or they have the impression that it's too expensive or time-consuming to do so. However, getting the word out about your project doesn't have to be a difficult process. Here are some tips you can use to start improving your webcomic's readership numbers right away without spending any money on advertising.
Either embed a Twitter widget on your site, or post a link to your Twitter account. Follow other webcartoonists and interesting people, and follow people back when they follow you. Try to think of interesting, relevant, and friendly stuff to post, because if people find you interesting, they'll be more likely to be interested in your webcomic. Include "#webcomic" in your webcomic-related posts, and search for "#webcomic" or "webcomic" to see what other people are posting about webcomics. You'll have a better Twitter experience if you interact with people, such as commenting on their artwork or asking them a question, instead of just using your account to spam a link to your webcomic every five minutes.
Post either full pages or individual panels, and add a link to your site with the hashtag "#webcomic." Feel free to add other hashtags that seem relevant. This is also a good place to post doodles or miscellaneous musings.
Readers who "Like" your webcomic's Facebook page will be notified when you make a post, such as announcing that you have a new page up or you received a new piece of fan art. This is an easy way for fans to keep up with a webcomic since a lot of people already have a Facebook account. You also have a built-in network of potential readers if you're comfortable sharing your webcomic with your friends and family members.
Post your pages on DeviantArt, and include a brief description of the page and a link to your webcomic. Look up webcomic groups on DeviantArt and join them. You can also link to your DeviantArt site so that your fans can "Watch" you.
#5. The Webcomic List and The Belfry
Once you have a decent amount of pages or strips in your webcomic's archive, you should consider adding your comic to The Webcomic List and The Belfry. It only takes a moment to sign up, and you can have your webcomic displayed on the front page of these two sites, which are each getting about 100,000 unique visitors a month.
You can add a 97x97 image of one of your comic's characters to be displayed along with a link to your comic. Your image comes up randomly whenever people vote, and TopWebComics gets a lot of traffic, so this is a quick and easy way to get some attention if your image is catchy. You can also add comic samples that show up on the front page in the section "Recently Updated Comics."
#7. Project Wonderful
Some sites don't have a minimum bid amount set, which means you can advertise on them for free for up to two days. Once you've made an account and uploaded your banners, do a search in the category "Comics: Webcomics," set "Current bid" and "Minimum bids" both to "0" and "0," and set the dropdown to "in each region." Then, keep bidding $0 for two days of advertising in each region until the site gives you an error message at 200 bids, which is the maximum amount of free bids you can have at one time. It can be difficult to get the American advertisement spots, but the other regions can still provide a noticeable amount of traffic. Finally, once your bids expire in two days, repeat the process. You can also play around with the settings if you like, such as advertising in categories other than Webcomics.
#8. Webcomics forums
Join the forums on a webcomics site, such as Smack Jeeves, ComicFury, or Comic Genesis, and add a banner to your signature that links to your webcomic. Talk with people, be interesting, and be a part of the community; every post you make, even if it isn't related to comics, is helping to promote your webcomic because of the link in your signature. It's also a great way to network with other creators, get a better understanding of making comics, and get feedback from your peers. Each of these forums also has a "self-promotion" section where creators can advertise their webcomics.
#9. Fan art
Every webcartoonist loves getting fan art, and they'll most likely be glad to post a link to the webcomic of the creator who drew it.
Find a webcomic reviewer and politely ask them to review your webcomic. Whether they think it's the best webcomic they've ever read or complete trash, it's free publicity, and they'll probably even spend time promoting the review on their website. You can also request a critique at one of the various webcomics forums.
Using one of these strategies -- or, better yet, combining several of them -- should result in an immediate increase in traffic. It may even end up leading to people talking about or even linking to your webcomic, which is, ultimately, the best form of advertisement. A high-quality webcomic can get relatively low traffic if people aren't noticing it, so there's no better time than now for creators to improve their web presence and let potential readers know what they have to offer.