You don't need talent to hustle

I like to think that over the years I’ve developed my talent to the point that it’s extremely marketable. I hear that not just from my clients, but also when we do a book launch and I see just how many people are excited to consume our content. On top of that we have a podcast that is gathering steam, a mailing list that is exploding right now, and I’ve been asked to speak at more events this year than I have in my entire life combined, and it’s only March.

Somebody even recently called me the “King of Kickstarter”, even though I’ve never had a Kickstarter raise more than $10,000, because they know that I’m living, and living comfortably from my audience built through crowdfunding. At the end of the day, what matters isn’t the gross revenue, it’s the profit after remaining once all the rewards ship.

That was one of the best feelings of my career, because people know me as the guy…and it’s in the exact niche I want to be known. I spent months upon months imparting knowledge about crowdfunding, and how to make your project a success. Now, from sheer grit and determination, people know me as an expert, all because I hustled more than anybody else to carve out a name for myself.

That being said, it wasn’t always this way.

For years, decades even, I was just some guy who had a dream of being a writer and speaker. I was banging on doors. I was showing my stuff to people. I was talking about what I wanted to do, but I had nothing to show for it as far as “talent”.

I don’t even think I have a lot of raw talent. I’m not the best project manager. I’m not the best writer. I’m not the best editor. I’m really not the best entrepreneur overall.

What I always had though, was hustle. And since I hustled more than anybody else, I learned the rest. I learned to write by writing all the time. I learned to edit and manage projects because I took on tons of projects. I was always asking people to if I could help and they let me just because I hung around.

I never stopped. If there was a convention, I was there. If there was a meetup, I was there. If somebody was speaking, I was there. And just by being there, in the presence of my friends who were greater than me, it started to make me great. Something rubbed off, over the course of a decade.

But that never would have happened without hustle, without the dogged determination to be in the right place even if it wasn’t my time, and to never give up.

Here’s the thing.

Most people are going to quit. People more talented than you. People with better connections than you. People with more money than you. They are all going to give up for one reason or another. And if you can just outlast them because you want it more, doors are going to open to you. Doors you never would have expected.

And people will know you as they guy (or girl) who wants it more than anybody. They’ll respect that, because you got where you are on sheer force of will. I’ve never worked for DC, or Marvel. I’ve never written for Disney. I didn’t have a big audience from some movie I wrote for Lionsgate to help boost my credibility.

Every shred of that I have is from sheer determination to do it better, cheaper, faster, and with more heart than anybody else.

It does pay off.

Trust me it pays off. It might take a decade, but it pays off. I always took the path of most resistance. Instead of staying in popular novels, and working from popular public domain characters, I chose to make my own characters. Instead of finding a bunch of other writers to publish, I built an audience from my own stuff.

Whenever an easier path presented itself, I almost always stayed away from it and went for the harder way. Now doors have opened up I didn’t even know existed.

And I get more people coming up and complimenting me on the hustle of just still being here, and respecting the fact that I built a cash flow positive business in one of the absolute hardest places to build one, spec fiction comics and novels, than I do about the books…though plenty of people tell me how much they like those too.

And do you know how much that hustle cost me?


It costs no money to hustle. It costs your time, which is valuable, but it costs you nothing to hustle. And when you get some respect, you still have that hustle. It doesn’t go away. You can use it forever.

They say that you need two of three things to get by: Extreme talent, the ability to hit deadlines, or being likeable. Only two of those three and you can be successful. You can’t help talent, but you can be likeable and hit deadlines. Then, if you work on the talent you can have all three.

If you throw in hustling more than the next guy, you can supercharge your career into the stratosphere.

If you are just starting out, remember that. Remember there are things you cannot control, but there are things you can. Affability, punctuality, and hustle are just a couple of things you can develop now this minute that will pay off in the long run.

Hustle isn’t a short term time horizon payoff. It’s something that will pay off years from now, but if you have it you’ll be successful because people can’t stop you. Because talent can’t stop you. Because you will succeed on force of will.

And eventually the talent will follow. Eventually it will all come into place, but if you have hustle it’s a great start. If you just show up for long enough you’ll earn respect…and earned respect from your peers is a wonderful feeling.

Russell Nohelty is a writer, publisher, and consultant. He trains people how to build an audience that you can monetize, and leads by example with his company Wannabe Press. He also has a membership site called Kickstarter University, which is the premiere crowdfunding membership site on the internet.


If I Hear One More Person Say Night Owls are More Creative I’m Going to Punch Them in the Mouth…

One of the trending stories recently on Elite Daily is that Night Owls are more creative than early birds, even though early birds are more productive. This is the kind of story that’s like herpes. It keeps going away, and coming back no matter how much you pray it away.

I’m usually pretty okay with these sensational stories whenever they get bandied about. After all, we’re in the age of sensational headlines.

Why do you think I wrote I was going to punch somebody in the mouth in the open? I mean, it’s all marketing.

But I’ve been hearing this story for years and it needs to die. I heard it while I was getting up before school and wrote blog posts. I heard it while I was awake in the dead of night writing movie scripts before work. I hear it now after finishing my fifth novel while getting up at 4am most mornings.

And it drives me up a wall. I know they are not talking about the outliers and that could be where I fall, but I am highly creative AND highly productive.

What’s worse? This sort of story is not only sensational, but it puts those two things at odds with each other.

“If you are creative you don’t have to be productive, right? I mean the internet told me so. I can just stay up late waiting for my muse to strike, and so what if I don’t get anything done tomorrow.”


Creativity doesn’t just strike, and being a night owl isn’t an excuse to not get anything done all day, just like being an early bird doesn’t give you an excuse to be a rigid task master.

On the other side, it gives people an excuse for why they don’t follow their creativity. “Well, I get up early so there’s no way I can write my novel.”

It’s just the right kind of study that gives everybody the perfect excuse not to do a thing.

And the thing is, the study might be right…but it doesn’t matter. Because in order to be successful you need to be both highly creative and highly productive.

You need to sit down at 9am and write. You can’t wait for the muse to strike. At the same time, you have to be able to creatively fit round pegs into square holes all day in order to be productive.

It’s just like when people say I’m creative because I’m left handed. Well maybe that’s true, but I still choke that creativity out of me like it’s a bottle of toothpaste, get it down on a page, force myself to rewrite it, and get it published.

Even though night owls have have a proclivity to creativity, that means nothing. I’ve met plenty of people with a proclivity for greatness that end up washing floors because the have no plan.

Creativity doesn’t just strike, and being a night owl isn’t an excuse to not get anything done all day, just like being an early bird doesn’t give you an excuse to be a rigid task master.

Now please can I stop hearing about this stupid study before I punch somebody in the mouth?

Russell Nohelty is a publisher, writer, and consultant. He owns the indie publisher Wannabe Press (, where he puts out rebellious content for sharp minds. He also has a podcast called The Business of Art ( where he shows creatives how to run businesses better. 

Why Metric Are Rock Stars, and How it Applies to Your Business

This past weekend I went to four events: a wedding, a speaking engagement at a writer’s conference, a comic-con where I was selling books, and a Metric concert.

I have a very unpopular opinion on live music. I hate it. If I never went to a live show again it would be too soon. The floors are sticking, you stand for hours, and the artists never sound very good.

I never understood why anybody would want to go to a live show. Until last night. When I saw Metric take the stage in the House of Blues and the people flip out, I got it.

It’s about connection. It’s about meeting somebody in person who you’ve only heard on the radio, and inhabiting the same space as them for even a little bit.

When they went into their encore, which I also hate, the lead singer spoke to the audience about how they have been touring since 2002.


That’s 14 years of touring to promote albums, build an audience, get booked into bigger venues, and get their music into the pop zeitgeist (they had my favorite song in Scott Pilgrim).

It hit me like a ton of bricks. They did exactly what I tell everybody to do: get out to live events because it’s the best way to build their brand.

Look, do radio edits sound better? For sure. They sound perfect. In the same way your podcast, blog, and emails sound perfect.

But that’s not what live events are about. I’ve messed up at live event more times that I can remember.

And yet, people forgive.

Because being at the live events and making that connection eye to eye is 100x more important than perfection.

Knowing you and not just your work is going to account for more sales than anything.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sold a book just on sheer personality alone, and then that person liked the book and bought more.

So be like Metric. Get out there and tour, meet your customer, and build a connection with them. It will make all the difference in your business.

If you’re not building your community, you’re wasting your time.

If you’re not building your community, you’re wasting your time.

I’m not here to discount content creation.

Heck, I am a content creator.

That’s the thing I do.

Strip is all down. Take away Wannabe Press, Kickstarter University, Free Kickstarter Course, and everything else, then ask me what I do, and I will say that I create content.

I’ve been creating content for over a decade. And for most of that time I was creating that content for an audience of about 5 people.

Creating content is ESSENTIAL.

The only reason I’m anywhere now is because I have an incredible amount of content. Stellar content. The kind of content most people would kill for, and I can churn it out at incredible volumes.

However, it was only in the last couple of years, when I developed the confidence to talk about by work, and believe it had value, that my career took off.

It was only after I found a community of like minded people that pushed me to be better, and liked my work, and wanted to see more of it, that I became successful.

Which is why I’m telling you this: Build your community now. Build it from day 1. Let it shape what kind of stories you tell and have your stories shape your community.

Don’t wait until you have 10 years of content and hope that your audience will like it all. That’s a recipe for disaster.

I’m very lucky. Even though I write across all genres I somehow have a voice that speaks to the rebellious spirit in us all, and that crosses everything I do.

But most people aren’t that lucky. Most people need a genre. All people need to find people that share their vision.

If you wait until you’ve created tons of content to find those people, you might be creating content that they don’t want, or content that multiple audiences want, and that fractures you. You don’t want to be fractured. You want to focus all your energy on one huge community.

Look, part of building a community is coming up with incredible content constantly. That’s part and parcel. But the community is the thing that’s going to your career.

The good news is that your community want you to find it. Trust me. The right community wants you. They don’t care if you suck now, as long as you’re willing to grow. Heck, the right community can boost your career forward, and when they see you succeeding they’ll root you on.

But you have to find them. Strip it all down. The only thing that matters, really, is serving your community. If you can do that, you’ll be successful. If you don’t have a community…then you’ll struggle.

And who wants to struggle.

Live Episode 2: Long Beach Comic Expo with Don Walker, Rob Worley, Kyle Roberts, Joenell Luma, William O'Neill, DJ Kirkbride, and Joelle Sellner

We did another live event! This time at Long Beach Comic Expo! We had a great time at the show, and I came back with the froggiest of throats. However, I muscled through to show you exactly why live events are so important, and I talked to a bunch of amazing creators.

Don Walker is the creator of Agent Wild and Reaper Corps, and he is the man when it comes to Kickstarter. You can find him on twitter @dork_empire_ink and at
Kyle Roberts is a great artist. Art teacher by day, creator by night. This dude knows art! He is an artist on Kill Trent Science Sleuth with is a public domain character reimagined with new creators. It had two successful Kickstarter projects. He's also the creator of The Dark Hours, a horror western limited series. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @kyleroberts_art.
Joenell Luma is an artist and had one of my favorite marketing gimmicks at the con. He wore an apron and welding mask the whole day. I loved it. Also, his art was fantastic which always helped. He created a cute little animal called the Unicoon, which loves to cosplay. You can find him on instagram @the_zen_lu and on twitter @unicoonsarereal.
William O'Neill is an official Star Wars artist, who came up with a brilliant idea to sell his art. He took pages from old Star Wars books and drew Characters in those pages, and then framed them. I've never seen anything like it. You can find him online at and on twitter @gentlemannerd42. He also loves cosplaying as Riker from Star Trek: TNG.
DJ Kirkbride writesThe Bigger Bang for IDW and Amelia Cole for MonkeyBrain, along with co-edited Popgun, You can find him on twitter @djkirkbride or
Joelle Sellner has written tons of everything from animation to live action to comics. She's written on sorority Eva through LionsForge, Ben 10, Sonic Boom, The Avengers and more. You can find her on twitter @whereisjoelle and online   

What My Dogs Taught Me about Running a Business

I have two dogs. I love them both to death. There is an adorable, regal, aloof one named Nala and a small, yappy, attention whore named Cheyenne.

2015-12-14 20.56.28

Here’s the thing. They both want my attention. They want it more than anything…except my wife’s attention. They really love my wife’s attention.

But Nala doesn’t ask for it. She’ll sometimes look doe-eyed and wonder why I’m not giving her attention. She’ll curl up and look wounded that I’m not paying attention to her, but she will never come up and ask for it.

My small dog on the other hand…there’s nothing she won’t do for attention. She will barrel into people. She will jump on your lap even if you’re not sitting down. She will jump on the back of your foot causing you to trip and fall. She’ll lick your face while you’re doing yoga.

There is really nothing she won’t do to get cuddly. She is aggressively cuddly, which is the only appropriate term for her. She is relentless with her snuggles.

 Cheyenne will let you do anything to her if it means cuddles.

I don’t think she likes cuddling more than Nala. I think she is just vehement that she’s going to get hers. She doesn’t care if Nala gets pets too, but she’s gonna get hers.

So what does this have to do with business? Nothing. I just wanted to show off my two adorable dogs.

Kidding…kind of.

What it tells me about business is that in order to get what you want, you need to announce yourself! You have to tell people you want their business, and get in front of them. You have to be relentless about it, otherwise somebody else will be.

While both my dogs love us equally, and while we love both our dogs equally, one sleeps next to my wife and naps with me while the other one lays twenty feet away pining for our attention.

And all because Nala doesn’t ask and Cheyenne does. So if you want something in business, you have to ask for it. You have to be aggressively cuddly about it.

Episode 7: Making a Living As an Artist While Working Remotely with Cat Ranson

Today we talked to Cat Ranson about living in New Zealand, in a small town, and still making a living as an artist. I think this is fascinating as somebody that living in Los Angeles and has access to much more opportunity on the surface. We talked to Cat a lot about that, but also about devaluing yourself as an artist, creating a brand, and favorite topic.

You can check out Cat on facebook @ Cat Ranson or Deviant Art @ Sunktokeca. Also, don't forget to check out our Kickstarter for My Father Didn't Kill Himself. If you want more info about Kickstarter, head to and check out our courses. Or if you want some cool comics, check out

Ranterlude 3: Is Wannabe Press Profitable?

It's a question we get asked all the time. Are we profitable? And since we just finished our taxes this is a great time to tackle it.

Sometimes I think people ask too much, but I'm glad people are talking about it, so on the other hand I'm flattered. I mean it's a valid question. We are a small press. We put out a lot of books, so are we? Unfortunately, both for us and for whomever asked, it's not just a simple yes no question. There's a lot of ins, outs, and what have yous. So I tackle both the simple answer to the question, and the much more complex answer. On top of that, I flip it back to YOU and tell you how you can use everything I've learned to help you, and what it means for your career.

Mini Season 1 -Ep 8 - Launching a Kickstarter: Focusing on Things that Work

This week...honestly not much happened with the Kickstarter. We've been really trying to focus on what works and cut out what doesn't work. You'll be surprised what doesn't work for us, even though it worked well on the last two campaigns we ran. Additionally, we talk about how important it is to just have focus, because if you know what works you can drive all your attention to it.

The Five Biggest Mistakes You Will Make Before Launching Your Business

Let’s be fair. You read a lot of business articles. Too many business articles. Seriously, how do you have so much time to read business articles. Shouldn’t you be business-ing?

That’s a story for another day.

I’m going to get down to brass tacks. You’re going to screw up your first business. It’s going to happen. You’re going to overspend on things that is unnecessary. People are going to sucker you into buying crappy products. You’re going to blow thousands of dollars on useless things.

How do I know this?

Because I did it. Heck, I do it still.

And more so, every person I know that runs a business does the same thing. It’s inevitable. I can’t help that.

I mean I can mitigate it through coaching, but I can’t complete avoid it. You will come up to me adamant about trying a product. I’ll tell you not to do it, but you’ll do it anyway. I can’t help that.

I can tell you exactly what you’re going to do, though, so at least it won’t scare you when it happens. So how about we just get down to it.

I’m going to tell you the five biggest mistakes you’re going to make before launching your business. That way, you can just do it, push through it, and come out the other side.

That way, maybe you’ll just do it and quit reading these articles.

5. You won’t spend time validating your idea, but you will spend time reading books about validating your idea.

You can plop in any business term and replace it with “validating your idea”. It could be “getting a prototype made”, “building a website”, “hiring a consultant”, et al. The main thing is you spend lots of time reading things and not much time doing things. I get it, reading things is easy and cheap. Doing things is expensive and hard. You’ll never fail reading things, except that not doing is also failing.

4. You will make a horrible website, if you make one at all, and wonder why nobody buys from it.

You think you can design your website and logo on your own, so you try it. After all, you read all the books and watched all the videos about designing something. Maybe you took a class once.

Here’s the thing. You will fail at it b/c you don’t understand buyer psychology. You don’t understand why websites are set up how they are to maximize somebody clicking that all important ecommerce button.

It’s okay if you fail at it, just know that hiring a designer to make your logo and build your brand is one of the best things you can do to improve the professionalism of your brand.

3. After your website fails, you’re going to hire somebody who costs way too much money and does way too little. It will be your first huge mistake and make you want to give up.

Here’s the thing. People will screw you. Even people with good intentions will screw you. Maybe it’s because they overreach, or maybe it’s because they don’t know the scope of your site, or maybe it’s because they are swamped, but you will get screwed.

It takes years to hone your radar to find people who are appropriately priced AND will deliver the work. Even then you’ll get screwed sometimes.

2. You’re not going to calculate shipping costs, warehousing, distributor fees, or other hidden costs before you ship your first product.

It’s going to almost bankrupt you. It might bankrupt you. Because you’re not thinking of all the pieces yet.

Again, that’s okay. It’s not great. It’s not ideal, but it’s okay. You’ll definitely think about all that crap on your second product, and you’ll already have a distribution pipeline set up to make it easier.

Just make sure, even if you have to kill yourself for it, everybody gets paid and everybody get their product. Otherwise, your reputation is done for and will take years to rebuild.

  1. You’ll develop a great product, and pay no attention to marketing, sales, or how to get people in the door. Contrarily, you’ll develop great marketing skills, but have a product nobody wants to buy.

If you have to pick one or the other. Develop a great product. You can learn sales and marketing. However, sales and marketing can help even on a sub-par product. You don’t want to be known as the person who has slick marketing and crappy product through.

That’s it. They’re all going to happen. And so what? If those are the worst things that happen, guess what? You can survive it. It won’t be fun every day, but you’ll come out the other side better for it. All except #5. If you’re still reading articles and not making things, stop now. Do it. Worst that happens is you’re a monumental failures.

I’ve been a monumental failure before. On a long enough time horizon I’ll probably be one again. There are worse things to be.

Russell Nohelty is writer, publisher, and entrepreneur. He runs the publishing company Wannabe Press, and coaching people about how to kickstart their careers at Kickstarter Univerisity. He believes the best thing you can do is get a coach early because every business is different. He also believes you are awesome.

Ranterlude 2: Every Product Launch is Filled with Fear

Download this episode (right click and save)

Today is the soft official launch of Kickstarter University, a project I've been working on since late last year. It's a big one, our biggest launch to date, and I have big plans. However, I am today filled with dread, so I take to the air to talk about it, about KU, about why we did it, and about why I'm filled with fear today instead of excitement.

Episode 6: Getting Punched in the Gut and the Making of an Art Career with Les Garner

I loved this episode. Les has been working as a professional artist since 1992, and he's seen everything. He's been and still is a comic book artist, 3d modeler, storyboard artist and more. He's been punched in the gut by this business more times than he can count, and come out stronger on the other side. 

Les owns sixus1media ( and came on to talk about all the awesome work he does, and how hard it is to run a business in the arts. He really gets down to it, talking about how important having a partner is, and how we need to balance idealism with realism. 
All of the stuff he talks about in this episode can be found on his site 

The $1 Kickstarter Strategy

Comixlaunch, one of the best podcasts that deals with Kickstarter that I've dealt with, used us as a case study this week to discuss our $1 Kickstarter Campaign for My Father Didn't Kill Himself.

If you want analysis, hard facts and numbers, this is a great podcast. However, it does make some assumptions I don't like, and I'll cover them here.

- When it starts talking about campaigns that set a $2000+ goal, they only talk about successful campaigns instead of all campaigns. And successful campaigns are less than 50% of all campaigns, and having a success means you kind of know what you are doing.

-Additionally, the $11k average fund is inclusive of places like Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and others that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. Those kinds of campaigns would not exist at the $1 level b/c they already have an audience.

Aside from that I think this is a great analysis. I especially liked when he talked about the $2-$25 goal. So check it out.

Miniseason 1 - Ep 7 - Launching a Kickstarter: Vertical Delineation

This week we hit 100 backers! That's a huge thing for me b/c 100 backers is sort of the mark of a successful campaign. Once you get to 200+ backers we're talking mega successful, but 100 backers is a great benchmark. After we talk about that, then we talk about the mission for Wannabe Press, and why companies should be vertically instead of horizontally delineated. 


Live Episode 1: Comic Book Sunday with Gabe Gentile, Ben Jackendoff, Michael Tanner, and Brandon Perlow

This is a new experiment for The Business of Art. I'm part of a networking group called Comic Book Sunday, which is a fantastic place to meet creators, artists, writers, directors, producers, and people making a living in the business of art. So I thought it would be a good idea to talk with some of them and get their best advice on how to turn your art into a business. 

Check out our interviews with Gabe Gentile (voiceover actor), Ben Jackendoff (writer/producer/director/editor), Michael Tanner (writer, Junior Brave of the Apocalypse for Oni), and Brandon Perlow (Watson and Holmes). 


Historically, I have done very well at cons. We've increased our sales every con we've ever been to, and every year our revenue exceeds that of the previous year, mostly from cons. That being said, most people hate cons. I thrive on them. I love meeting the fans, selling the fans, and making deals. Of course I'm a salesman by trade (and a right good one at that) and a business owner by blood, so it comes a little easier to me than it does to other people. But anybody can sell, they just need the tricks. I'm not going to overload you right now, but here are a couple of tricks you can employ RIGHT NOW to make you sell better at whatever convention you attend next. BEWARE, some of this flies in the face of what you've been told your whole life.

1 - ENTHUSIASM. WHERE IS YOURS? I know you're passionate about your product, otherwise you wouldn't have driven for hours, paid a booth cost, and outlaid so much money in order to get to a con. So why aren't you showing that enthusiasm to your customers? At least 60% of booths look like they would rather me die than buy. They don't smile. They don't engage. They just let the product speak for itself. Boo on that.

2 - PEOPLE WANT TO BUY FROM VENDORS THEY LIKE. At the end of the day, I can buy a button, sticker, or cool plush toy from any number of vendors. There are a half dozen that sell what you brought, so why would I buy from you? Because I like you. I can't tell you how many sales I've made just because I made a connection.

3 - BUNDLE. This is what flies in the face of what you've been told about not lowering prices or giving deals until the last day. Screw that. You know your profit margins and you have a willing, interested client in front of you. If somebody is tipping over the edge, make it worth their while by throwing in something with their purchase. I usually throw in a copy of my book Paradise as an incentive. If it kicks somebody over the edge, I made more than enough to justify the loss in profit. Everybody wants to know they got a good deal.

4 - DON'T LET THEM LEAVE. Here's the key. If somebody leaves your booth, they aren't going to come back. They will find something else they like and buy that. There is very little chance they will swim back upstream just to see you. You have to do whatever it takes, within reason, to make them buy from you and at LEAST leave an impression. Make they join a mailing list or something.

5 - ENGAGE WITH PEOPLE WALKING BY. The people walking through your area are perfect consumers. They want what you are selling. Why are you letting them pass without saying hello? Engage them, ask questions, seem interested in their lives. These are just a couple tips from me to you. By using them you will increase sales because you'll have more quality foot traffic asking about your product. Hope it helps. Make sure to check out too in order to start your journey on the right foot.


I have no programming skills at all. I can't tell HTML from a Hat Melon. It all looks like translating English into Spanish into Farsi into Aramaic to Hieroglyphics, running it all through a cheese grater and then having your cat reassemble it. That being said. I designed and built this website.

And this one.

And this one.

And a few dozen more over the course of my life. I built a photography website, and my production company's website, websites for each of my comics, and many others that no longer exist. And I did it without writing one line of code. I created them by modifying pre-designed template on "what you see is what you get" website builders. I've used them for YEARS, and they've only gotten better with age. Let me say it again. I am a crappy web programmer. I'm an average designer. Website builders do most of the work for me. And they make me look good. Below I've ranked all the ones I've ever used. Some are expensive and lovely (like squarespace) others are cheap and utilitarian (likehomestead). Either way, I suggest you host multiple domains through somewhere like mediatemple which will give you free emails and such, but only if you plan on having many different websites which point many different places all with several email addresses a piece.

GODADDY - 2008

I don't have much good to say about godaddy, except that it was very cheap. I got my $5.00 domain and an email address, but their templates were garbage and you had to know HTML in order to make any changes. Who has the time to learn that jive. I quickly transferred my domain away from there.

SCORE: 2.5/10


I still host my personal website through Homestead, but I've moved everything else off their site. There was a time I was hosting 10+ sites through their service complete with domains and email addresses. Homestead is okay at best, but for a while it was the only WYSIWYG builder that didn't suck (or use flash which to me is the same thing). Their websites are simple and offers full customization, but it's not easy to do advanced functionality on them, nor link them together, nor create multiple subdomains (though it is possible). I found it incredibly hard to host a web comic on their site, and multiple web comics was impossible without paying more. Homestead will make you pay more for more pages, more domains, or more bandwidth. Still, if you only need 5 pages and <25 MB storage without web store functionality $6.95/mo isn't a bad deal.

SCORE: 6/10


For a while in 2013 I was trying out lots of website companies. It was when I was initially fed up with the simple design of Homestead and wanted more. I tried Wix and Weebly, along others. I'm linking the original Squarespace in here too, as I tried it during the same time and hated it. My opinion has changed though. All three site melded together for me as they both had clunky interfaces and insisted on moving between pages with fancy wipes and other bull. I don't need that. I need simple, elegant and effective. These three were nothing I wanted. Combined I was only with them for about a week before I transferred back to Homestead.

SCORE: 1/10


Squarespace should buy Gimlet Media a big old pizza (or maybe a drink. I suggest a gimlet). It's only because of listening to their podcasts that I tried Squarespace out again. I hated them so much the first time, but their new sites and developer mode convinced me to give it another shot. Thank God I did. I love it now, which lends so credence to not listening to a word I've said so far in this blog, I know. Aside from being on the expensive side, it has everything that I want. ecommerce included in the price of admission, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited pages, custom templates which allow multiple web comics. I built out this template for Wannabe Press using developer mode, but 90% of it is just plug and play. My other website is about 99.9% plug and play. I can't tell you how thrilled I am with them both. They make me look like a genius.

SCORE: 9.5/10


So Mediatemple isn't a website builder as much as a girdserver to collect all your domains and email addresses. They do link to Virb, which I haven't tried but looks like a very good cheap alternative to Squarespace. Mediatemple takes a little more advanced hand and more patience. It meant for people who manually update DNS settings, change nameservers, and create email addresses. It probably took me a good week or two to get this one down, but when you're managing 5-10 websites this is a great solution. It's again very expensive ($20/mo), but it gives you unlimited email addresses for that price, which is great.

SCORE: 8/10

Unfortunately, I've never used the big boy on the blog when it comes to web comics I looked into it several times and almost all my friends use it to host their websites...I just didn't like it enough to even try it. I kept downloading their builder and it never loaded right on my PC. I figured if it was that complicated just to set up, it must be 10x more complicated to use. So I opted for other things. And that's it. Those are all the ones I've tried. Any of them would help a crappy website look professional. It would help your website too. There's no excuse.

Hope it helps. Make sure to check out too in order to start your journey on the right foot.


There is a time and a place for paid advertisements. You are going to draw a lot more eyeballs onto your work with some good paid advertising that you ever will with free advertising. That's not to say that free advertising isn't worth it though. It's absolutely worth the time, energy and growth you can see over time with your comic. It just won't happen all at once. You'll get a little trickle. There are a few ways to make advertising work FOR you in the best ways possible. There are some things you should be doing for free even if you pay for advertising. These are the best I've found.

1. Engage with your Facebook friends and twitter followers (and Instagram, and Pinterest, and Google+ too). The #1 way to build a loyal following is engagement, and the best way to deal with engagement with people. It's the #1 stat Facebook uses when they determine who sees your posts. And the best way to build engagement is to talk to your friends on facebook and twitter. Like their photos, retweet their stuff, actually, you know, give a shit and show it. Then, when you post something, they will like it too and you'll build a little community online just for you. Important: Please don't pretend to give a shit. Actually give a shit.

2. Tweet at people on Twitter that you don't know. When you see something cool online, tweet at the person that's sharing it and try to engage in a discussion. Again, it's important to actually give a shit or two about what's going on. Nobody likes a liar.

3. Find a famous person in your niche and like their followers. It's a way to introduce yourself to those followers, who already like somebody else doing what you do. Maybe they will follow you back, maybe they won't. But hopefully they remember you. Only do this with 20-100 people a day though.

4. Post free ads on Project Wonderful. It's actually wonderful. I hate giving up this secret because if more people know about it, less promotion sites will be free. But I love giving it up, because it will help you gain more web traffic, and I want you to succeed! Basically, you can create and bid on all sorts of advertising on project wonderful, including sites that have free advertising. It's a bidding system so you'll be outbid a lot, and you can only keep free bids up for 2 days, but it's a great way to build your brand for free.

Man. I feel like I barely scraped the surface of free promotion. I could go on and on forever. Maybe later.

Make sure to check out too in order to start your journey on the right foot.