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How to earn money with your webcomics (2020)

'Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.' (Mark Twain)

Making your own webcomics for a living is a dream of many webcomic artists (including me). I made a list of resources and tips that will help you make the first steps on this way.

1. Ads

Placing ads on your comic website is the easiest thing to start earning money. While it's possible to earn some with Google Ads and the like, I don't recommend them. You will get very, very irritating ads, often irrelevant to your comic and so cheap that they won't even help you pay for hosting.
The ad network I like is ComicAd. It was created by and for webcomic artists. The ads you will get there are of webcomics, webnovels, and other indie projects. The payment is very good too.

You can either withdraw your earnings from ComicAd through Paypal or use them to advertise your own comics. This is one of the best ways to find new readers.

2. Donations

Some people like to subscribe to their favourite artist's work and pay a certain sum every month, some prefer one-time donations. It's important to have both options available for your readers.

The most popular services for that are Patreon and Ko-fi.
Patreon allows people to subscribe to your Patreon page to pay a sum of their choice every month and get access to bonus content of your choice in return. You can offer early updates, sketches, wallpapers, high-resolution pages, commissions, etc.
Ko-fi allows people to donate you as much as they want as often as they choose. You may set up a Ko-fi Gold account to offer bonus content to your supporters. I don't have Ko-fi Gold, so I just email people nice digital gifts when they donate (their emails shows up in notification letters from Ko-fi).

Alternatives to Patreon:

Libera Pay (takes no % of your earnings)
Subscribestar (less restrictive content policy but, alas, no Paypal)
Podia (also allows selling digital downloads)
Tipeee (allows one-time donations too)
Gumroad memberships (new subscription service)
Ko-fi Gold (takes no %, has a fixed monthly fee instead - 6$; has a commissions feature)

Alternatives to Ko-fi:

Buymeacoffee (smaller than Ko-fi and has a transaction fee)
Coffeelinks (another service of Buymeacoffee, allows you to sell your stuff via quick links)
Tipeee (allows both subscriptions and one-time donations)
Paypal.me (Paypal allows you to create a personal page where people can donate you money directly)

3. Selling e-books

When your comic grows big enough, you can turn it into an ebook and start selling it worldwide. You can either sell your books independently or through comic aggregators. Print-on-demand is also an option, though not a very popular one.

Selling independently

Gumroad (allows you to create a simple store for free and sell both digital and physical goods there. Takes a fee)
E-junkie (no transaction fee but 5$/month payment instead)
Ducksell (software that allows to to sell things directly from your site)
Sendowl (no transaction fee but it will cost you 15$/month)

Comic aggregators

Comixology Submit (hands off the most popular place to sell comics but, alas, it's not an option for certain countries, including mine)
Comichaus ('Netflix' for webcomics. People read them through the app, you get paid for views)


Createspace (belongs to Amazon)

4. Selling merch

In this area, I'm a newbie myself. I will go back to this list once I've learned something useful. For now, here's a list of services I'm going to investigate:


Hope it helps!

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Random webcomic roulette - find something new to read or promote your own webcomic here