In order to know whether or not I've succeeded, I first need to define what I mean by "success". This can mean different things to different people - to some, success is financial - being able to afford all the consumer electronics they desire, or being able to support themselves and their families. For others, success is receiving praise or admiration from their audience. For yet others, success is artistic - being able to create the work they want to, free of external demands or pressures.
For clarity's sake, then, let's have a definition.
Success in webcomics means earning enough money from my webcomic and related endeavours to support a financially stable lifestyle, while holding to my personal values as an artist and individual.
What are "related endeavours"? I'm classing these as sources of income which are at least tangentially connected to the creative activity of making comics. So, advertising on my webcomic's site, sales of print editions, sales of t-shirts and other merchandise, sales of original artwork. Also included would be income from running comics workshops or similar comic-related teaching activities, which is something I've been putting some thought toward, and will likely be pursuing further once I've been producing my webcomic for a bit longer, to get some more credentials under my belt.
What's a "financially stable lifestyle"? Well, one in which I can count on a certain level of income each month which will cover the important necessities like housing, utilities, food, and all the other regular outgoings. Extra funds get saved, ploughed back into the business, or put towards non-essential fun stuff. Basically, equivalent to a "normal" job.
What do I mean by "my personal values as an artist and individual"? In short, I don't want to do stuff that makes me dislike myself as a human being - like drawing stuff I find objectionable just for the money, or engaging in the unpleasant modes of behaviour usually categorised as "being a dick". I don't want to sell out, and I don't want to screw people over just to get ahead. You can get further by working hard and being a good person than you can by being a ruthless devious backstabbing douchebag, because that kind of thing will always come back to bite you.
Stay tuned, and I'll start laying out how I intend to go about this admittedly rather ambitious plan.