Having a large following of faithful fans is great: just look at how many politicians and celebrities have risen to power from it! Unfortunately an audience of free followers online doesn’t usually amount to much. They often just create things online because it’s their passion, not to make millions from it.
Take for example Matthew Inman, creator of the Oatmeal. His witty and charming web comics, quizzes and stories have gained him a respectable following. Over 3 million followers on Facebook, and 482,000 on Twitter is nothing to snuff at! However did these millions of followers amount to millions in the bank? Eh, not really. Sure he sold shirts, coffee mugs and other nick-nacks but these probably didn’t amount to millions of dollars! That was until kittens exploded.
Inman teamed up with Xbox staff Elan Lee and Shane Small to create a card game about exploding kittens. At the time I first wrote about this card game, 90,000 odd supporters backed the campaign. The campaign concluded with a boom as 219,382 backers, and a total of $8,782,571 raised. The card games sales exploded leading it to be the most successful kickstarter campaign ever. And it all started from a man with millions of free followers!