I know it's not easy to get attention on dA, but there are some good and some bad ways in gaining watchers, pageviews etc.
Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion only. You don't have to agree with all points but you should know I wrote all of them to the best of my belief!First of all the good ways:
Interacting with people like giving them meaningful feedback. People really appreciate them especially because those comments are rare these days.
Doing art features. Thanks to the mention people get notified about it and will thank you!
Writing good journal entries and -of course- making good art.
For more tips have a look at this journal entry
And now, the main reason why I wrote this journal.
Bad ways because you hurt or annoy people:
Writing controversial journal entries like ranting or hating anything. Don't do it!
Your pageviews will get a boost for a short time but it's not worth the trouble you get, honestly. You will have to deal with many trolls. And anyway, ranting doesn't make you look nice.
Watching people and unwatching them afterwards. It's not nice!
You hurt the artists feeling when they come to your profile intending to thank you and it makes you look stupid because there's a bubble on your profile saying if you watch that person or not.
Ditto for faving and unfaving.
Watching people but removing all check marks like deviations is not fair either.
Bribing people with points like "Fave my work and I pay you with points!". Needless to say how stupid it looks.
Really, I already saw it on dA!
Spamming people with messages like "Check out my art!", especially under someone else' art. It's annoying and I personally would not visit them out of spite.
Furthermore, there are some other ways, I would call them as "neutral ways".
They might be considered as "tricks" but they don't hurt or annoy people.
Giving llamas. It can be seen as a spam but there is a way to turn off the notifications. And most people like gifts!
Holding raffles and giveways. Yes, with faving as a rule can bring you onto the frontpage. All in all it depends on the rules for joining. But I consider it as a "give and get" action.
Points for llamas. I don't see it as bribing or buying watchers because there's no guarantee people will visit your page. But most of them do to thank you. Plus, you make people happy!
Buying advertisement. You don't buy the watchers themselves, you pay for being seen. Since I study something marketing related, I can say that's how it works: Advertisement usually is not free!
Thank you for reading!