It has been a few months since I got PERMANENTLY BANNED (yes, caps are important :V) from FA over the #FATransparency drama (for violating something I didn't even sign) and things have been coming along ok I guess.
It does indeed suck that the traffic on Weasyl and SoFurry is significantly down on numbers than that of FA. That was always a given. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't annoyed by that fact though, I am. I've lost pretty much half of my watchers if we compare my weasyl watchers to my FA ones and I find that it's just pretty quiet here in general. A lot of artists I used to follow either aren't on here or just have account and don't post all that often. Again, not unexpected, but very frustrating nonetheless.
Frustrating not only because I now can't follow some amazing artists as regularly as I used to, but a lot of my friends are from FA and quite a few of them haven't made the transition yet, hence resulting in less community participation over here than I was used to.
It's a vicious cycle. People don't want to join less popular sites because they believe it's not worth their time for the very small amount of exposure they'll get, but this very behaviour results in there being a small audience on the site in the first place.... so people don't make a point to make themselves active here.... and on goes the cycle. It's the exact same thing as with YouTube. Everyone at every opportunity shits on YouTube (quite rightly a lot of the time, same with FA) and there are better alternatives, but very few content creators want to commit fully to them because they'll take a hit to their audience and hence income. Staying where the audience is, I understand, makes a lot of sense and I guess to a lot of creators is worth more than what features a site has, how it's run or how it looks.
Creators: - I often make the case that you should put your work in as many places you can post it. I do so with my music for example. I post it to FA (well, used to), weasyl, SoFurry, YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, etc.... It's simple marketing. Get your stuff EVERYWHERE to gain maximum exposure. People see this as too much work to maintain stuff on all those sites, however, there are definite benefits as shown by decades of..... well, just look at advertising today. It's doing the exact same thing. Getting the product EVERYWHERE so people can see it. If they don't see it, they won't engage with or buy it. Think of the content you create as that product. You will reap the rewards eventually.
However, as a start this journal is a GREAT guide on how to increase your watcher's activity on your accounts that aren't FA. It can apply to any site. - https://www.weasyl.com/journal/69579/faster-better-cheaper-traffic-funneling-for-content-creators
Another idea in a journal I found (which is being a pain to find again) is to make site-specific offers or deals. Offer for example a YCH on one site that you want to direct traffic to and not the others, and advertise it on other sites. Open site-exclusive commissions. Maybe you can do what I've seen some artists do and offer a higher quality/full version pictures on the sites that you like and link them. This is a more extreme option and you'll have to be careful of your userbase's reaction (perhaps ask for feedback beforehand!), but it's an option.
Work at it and you'll reap the rewards.
To both creators and watchers: - INTERACT and use the site that you like the most. If the artists you love are 'struggling' on your site, then help them out with interaction. Be supportive. Comment on and fav stuff, watch new artists. Make it 'worth the effort' for them to continue posting there and they'll definitely be more tempted to.
I have rambled on a bit, but this is a topic I'm quite passionate about and I'd love to see better, more efficiently run sites rise up and reach the popularity they should have. In my opinion, FA should not get all the glory and traffic, it does not deserve it. It has neglected this community's for too long and as long as the current leadership are in power, it'll be very hard for me to support them unless a miracle happens. This is the only overly opinionated part of this journal, but it's something I felt I needed to say after interacting with FA's leadership for so long.
Thanks for reading my long, rambly journal. I hope you have at least gained something from it. Feel free to share it with your friends, creators or not.
- Kalmor Isvaeng