2012 Blog Experiment Results

I made a lot of changes to Andertoons in 2012 – a new site design, a new database, cartoon subscriptions – but one of the changes I was most curious about was a big change in the blog.

I started blogging over 8 years ago to boost my SEO and it’s worked well. Initially the blog was all about cartoons and cartooning, but after a few years I felt like I was running out of material. So I switched it up and began writing lots of short posts (often just an image with a sentence or two) on a wider variety of topics. For a good while I was posting every day:

  • Monday – Music
  • Tuesday – Cartoons
  • Wednesday – LEGO
  • Thursday – Comics
  • Friday – Small Business Trends

Then I started hearing about Google Panda and how it was devaluing sites with thin content and I got nervous. Not only had I created a lot of almost content-less pages, many of them had little or nothing to do with cartoons. (Don’t bother looking for them, they’re not there anymore.)

So in 2012 I decided to blog longer, richer, cartoonier content just once a week to see what happened. I added a monthly How To Draw feature, some video, some inside baseball on cartooning, and kept the occasional LEGO project. And now that we’re moving into 2013 I thought it would be fun to check back in and see how it went:

Cartoon Blog Analytics

When you compare 2012 to 2011 for all pages containing “/cartoon-blog/”, total pageviews increased 23%, and unique pageviews increased 19%.

And when you look at only the blog’s home page it gets better:

Cartoon Blog Analytics 2

2012 pageviews up 33%, and uniques up 34%. Not bad.

Now, to be fair, changing the length and frequency of my blogs wasn’t the only blog-related change I made. I also began tweeting about my weekly post once a day (thanks, Buffer & Tweriod!), and I emailed other relevant sites I thought might be interested. (Neatorama, you’re the best!)

And it seems to be working. Traffic from Twitter jumped 1189% (!) over 2011 and I also increased my total number of referrers by 15%.

I think what I’ve enjoyed seeing most is the change in the kinds of popular content.

The top blog posts from 2011:

  1. LEGO Robot Santa Claus
  2. LEGO Alphabet Spaceships A-Z
  3. Blog Home Page
  4. SuperFriends Action Valentine Playbook
  5. Erin Gray… Sigh… (from 2007)
  6. LEGO Batman iPhone (from 2009)
  7. Real Princesses (from 2009)
  8. Donald Duck’s Family Tree (from 2009)
  9. No Wonder Ken Digs Her (from 2006)
  10. Preston Blair Walk Cycle (from 2009)

That’s very little real cartoon content, and, unless you count the home page, no content about Andertoons. (And the last six aren’t even posts from 2011!) Now let’s look at the top blog posts from 2012:

  1. Blog Home Page
  2. How To Draw A Cartoon R2D2
  3. How To Draw a Cartoon Bunny
  4. LEGO Alphabet Spaceships A-Z (From 2011)
  5. How to Draw a Cartoon Shark
  6. LEGO Robot Santa Claus (From 2011)
  7. How To Draw Batman
  8. How To Draw A Cartoon Leprechaun
  9. Adding a Cartoon (Or Any Other Image) To Your iBook in iBooks Author
  10. MetLife Cartoon Superbowl Commercial – Characters, Errors & Where Waldo Is

There’s a lot more there that highlights me as a cartoonist, and only 2 posts aren’t from 2012. (Thanks to Ian at Portent for the HTD idea!) That’s a definite improvement!

So to sum up, blogging less often but more deeply, and reinforcing posts elsewhere helped traffic on the blog and business overall dramatically. Good job, me!

But 2013 is just about here! What will I do with the blog this year? You’ll just have to come back and see!

5 Totally Amazing Cartoon/Comic Blogs and 1 Guilty Pleasure

It’s difficult to believe, but I’ve been blogging for over seven years now. That’s a long, loooong time. In fact, when I began my developer wasn’t yet familiar with the word “blog.” And every so often I think it’s a good to take a step back and take a critical look at what this blog is and should/could be. (Stick with me, the list of awesome cartoon blogs is coming right up.)

So recently, in addition to completely revamping the site, I’ve been rejiggering how and what I present here at the Andertoons Cartoon Blog. For a while I was blogging a wider range of interests in an effort to connect more personally with readers, and I think I’ve done that. (But just in case, I really like jazz trombone and LEGO.) But I think it’s time I got back to blogging more about cartoons.

My idea is this – blog less often, but more in depth, and mostly about cartoons. I’m tentatively looking at about one blog per week. (Probably on Tuesdays, but don’t hold me to that.) Occasionally it will be more, sometimes less, but when I write I’m going to really write.

But I don’t want to leave you out in the cartoon blog cold the rest of the week, so I’m going to recommend five additional totally amazing cartoon & comic related blogs you should read, and one awesome guilty pleasure.

(Note – a lot of these cartoonists are friends or acquaintances of mine, but I never said it was unbiased. So there.)

1. Mike Lynch Cartoons

mike lynch cartoons blog

Mike’s long-running blog is a must read for any cartoonist or fan of cartoons. Honestly, there’s so much great stuff here it’s almost a crime to point out only a few notable posts, but here’s some current standouts to peruse:

Mike’s not only a cartoonist at the top of his game (and my brother-in-ink), he pretty much knows everyone and everything related to cartoons. Put Mike’s blog in your RSS reader ASAP!

2. The Daily Cartoonist

daily cartoonist

Alan Gardner does a really great job of digging up all kinds of cartoon news, presenting it clearly and succinctly, and, in what I’m assuming is a massive undertaking, keeping his commenters on-topic and mostly civil. Some recent must-reads:

Wanna keep up on pretty much on all the latest cartoon happenings? Check out The Daily Cartoonist.

3. Comics Alliance

comics alliance

Covering the world of comics thoroughly and entertainingly is Comics Alliance. There’s just gobs of new, deep, and downright fun stuff here almost constantly. A few newish notables:

Laura Hudson and crew deserve top bookmark billing in any comic fan’s browser. Do it now!

4. Webcomics.com


So far I’ve featured blogs covering what can be considered the traditional mediums of cartoons, comic strips, and comic books, but the world of webcomics, if it hasn’t already become mainstream, is well on its way. And Brad Guigar’s Webcomics.com is a terrific guide. Here’s some fresh examples:

A quick note that this is the only entry here that charges for its content, but if you’re really serious about succeeding online it’s money well spent. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean.

5. Cul de Sac

cul de sac

If you’ve by chance missed every other glowing review of Richard Thompson’s Cul de Sac, I think you could trust Calvin & Hobbes creator, Bill Watterson, who said, amongst other heady praise, “The artwork in Cul de Sac bowls me over.”

Even better, we all get an inside look at the Cul de Sac blog! A few of my recent faves:

Do not miss!

And last but not least, my favorite guilty pleasure:

F**k Yeah Bruce Timm

f yeah bruce timm

I’m not sure I completely understand what makes Tumblr different from regular blogs, but there seems to be a whole host of these F**k Yeah Tumblrs. That being said, I love, no, LOVE Bruce Timm‘s art! So a constant stream of Timm awesomeness? I think F**k Yeah Bruce Timm about sums it up. A few recent posts:

OK, well that wraps it up. Please be sure to give each blog a try, and be sure to stop in each Tuesday (or even better, subscribe to my RSS feed) for more Andertoons Cartoon Blog goodness!



This is my 2000th post. Um… WOW!

Seriously, can you believe that?! Just about 6 years to the day and I hit #2000.

So looking back I started at Blogger (before my developer even knew what a blog was), moved to a Movable Type at the site, moved to Typepad offsite, and now I’m back onsite using WordPress.

Since the blog’s inception I’ve taken lots of different directions with it, but say what you will, it’s pretty much me.

See ya at #3000!

Please Read This – Andertoons Blog URL Change

Hey everyone!

Say, can I ask a quick favor?  There’s a lot of folks with an Andertoons Cartoon Blog link in their sidebar (thanks, BTW!), but I’m seeing a lot that are pointing to my soon to be defunct Typepad blog.  Would you please mind changing your link to this:


I’d really appreciate it, and I promise not to move the blog again, well, pretty much ever!

Thanks so much!