Woah. Disappointing to hear that Wattpad ad revenue is paying worse than Tapas ads. As it stands right now on Tapas, we're only getting 70% of about $.18 CPM, which is pretty pitiful considering that many writing websites like Writers' Digest and Poets & Writers charge CPMs in the $30s and Crunchyroll charges in the $20s.
We don't really understand how the Tapas ad revenue works because we created an AdWords campaign and specifically targeted Tapas.io only and could not get ads to run. We dialed the CPM up to $.50 which should have worked since its 2.8x over the current site average CPM but still nothing. We called Google four times and all that ended up doing was wasting a lot of time talking to people in India who ran us in circles.
Ultimately we changed the Google AdWords campaign to allow other sites besides Tapas.io and our ads started running at ... of all places ... Wattpad. Great CTR there! Since we were bidding very low, then it looks like ads on Wattpad pay exceptionally poorly for creators.
Too bad Tapas doesn't sell ad space on the homepage, like a single leaderboard ad between the spotlight and the top 10 books and comics. With 9M a month visitors that'd be $90,000 in ad revenue if they charged $10 CPM. And what if they then rolled that all back into ads to promote Tapas? Geeze we'd be flooded with new readers!
To answer your question, we're not making really any revenue at this time. For fiscal Y17 we've paid out approximately 80x more in artist salaries, marketing, etc. than what we've brought in, in terms of revenue. We have a monthly burn that comes out of a money market account and at the current expenses vs. revenue we will be insolvent around month 50. Ah the life of a small press publisher!
As far as conventions, unless you have something to sell, they're not really worth the expense. We do them sparingly in order to try to increase our sub count, which is a very expensive way of doing so. Patreon we don't do but one of our artists is using it and she gets about $80/mo out of it. We don't do the coffee tipping app thing either... it seems to start to get a little bit like "begging". In fact we've told our readers that their tips do count towards a printed copy when that time comes, so outside of ad revenue we're not really earning anything!
Hopefully it all works out ...