One of the biggest concepts we have tried to tackle has always been figuring out the right business model. Once you’ve created your web comic what do you need to do to make what you love your living? The first obvious answer is advertising but then most comics have found that is not enough unless you have a huge number of readers. What is the second option? Merchandising of course! To give it a try we have an idea for a t-shirt that might appeal to a large number of not just our readers but the entire web comic community and more. Before we take the time to build a store, design the final shirt, and make ridiculously large orders I want to make sure enough of you out there think I’m not crazy.
Here is my idea. Design t-shirts with l33t speak on it but instead of just having them printed regularly change the letters for Greek letters. That just starts a snowball affect and there’s no telling where it might end up. First thing first though, here is the beginning of the idea:
Be careful with judging your demand by reader comments. Folks will tell you up and down that they’ll order something until you actually get the thing and start asking for cash.
As far as the shirts go, I personally wouldn’t purchase a shirt like this.
Long ago I tried to sell t-shirts. 200 people claimed they’d buy. I sold 3.
Jeph from QC once wrote that you can only expect 0.5-1% of your audience to buy merchandise from you, and I think that’s fairly accurate.
Furthermore, though I love you guys, I’m not sure how many people would spend money on a shirt for a digital strips product when they could spend it on their favorite comic.
Even FURTHERmore, this shirt doesn’t really have anything to do with Digital Strips as far as I can tell. So, even if people want to support digital strips, this t-shirt doesn’t serve them. Why not just buy one of the billion other shirts out there (many of which are, again, served up by popular webcomics such as PA, PvP, MT, etc.) that make jokes involving gamer lingo and activities.
FURTHERURTHERmore, please don’t go with red. Go with black or white. Even the biggies do this, and there’s a reason – these are the two tones that everyone is cool with.
As for me, I don’t think I’d buy. This has more to do with the fact that I currently have negative income than what I think of the shirt. That said, if I had disposable income I would be much more apt to purchase a shirt that something actually pertaining to Digital Strips. My suggestions are as follows:
-Zampzon is Dead.
-Phil, what about our baby?
-A picture of Phil and Daku fuckin’ bonin’ each other.
-Digital Strips.com staff member
While I wouldn’t buy the shirt since I:
1) Just don’t need more shirts.
2) Don’t use “leet”
I do think that selling something like this IS a good idea. The number of people who like leet speak currently outranks the number of people that even read online comics. You’ve opened yourself up to a broader market. Some may say you’ve shunned your core audience, but I’d disagee… as long as the product has the FEEL of Digittal Strips withough BEING DigitalStrips, you please both groups. I point to marketing guru Kristofer Straub and his “Lincoln Shot First” T-shirt. Does that have anything to do with Starslip Crisis? No. But it definately shouts out “Straub-esque.
I would buy these shirts however I think the audience you’re looking for might be more the MMORPG group, maybe not the web comic group (although many folks fall in both categories).
i wouldn’t buy simply because i don’t really use leet, and i find the shirt a bit annoying. i think shirts isn’t really the right way to go right now, because everyone’s sorta doin’ it.
Ah, but Why is everyone doing it. To alter the cliche phrase to fit your argument, if NOBODY is jumping off a cliff will you jump because not jumping is overdone?
As a previous post pointed out. T-shirst are profitable, sell well, and in many cases, act as advertising.
I definately advise switching from red to either black or white.