First of all, the amount of watchers is only a number. It doesn't necessary say how good your skills are. It's more how many people are interested in your art and how much it's seen in the community, in my opinion. Never forget it!^^ Yes, it indeed is hard to get noticed on dA. There are so many amazing artists and if you're new here, it's a big challenge! However, there are some tips to get seen by more people! Most of the tips are based on own experiences and what I observed. People have different experiences, so there is no real instruction! xD
Here are my personal tips:
Be active! It means, comment, fave and watch other people's art. Many of them will visit your profile to thank you and hey, maybe they like your art! Commenting on many deviations also means that people will see your name and are likely to remember it!
Get an interesting avatar! Cause if your avatar looks interesting, people are more likely to click on it! Choose an avatar which represents you the best, like a cropped part of your best artwork! I heard that animated pixel icons are quite popular at the moment! Only use own icons or the ones you are allowed to use!
Nicknames are important too! Choose your one wisely! Don't take a too complicated one or else people can't remember it easily. With a premium membership you can change your name but don't overdo it or people will be confused who you are.
Submit art. But find a good balance between quality and quantity. Sure, it's good to update your gallery regulary but too many submissions will annoy and spam your watchers. If you want to submit sketches, better put them into Scraps. I personally think once a week or every 2 weeks a new deviation is fine. A good piece of art takes a lot of time!
If you submit more deviations at the same time, make sure the best one is submitted last. Your watchers see deviations coming from the same artists in a stack, the newest on the top. But I think it's better to submit one deviation at once.
Mind the quality of your deviations. I mean, you should present your art the best. Use a scanner instead of taking (low quality) photos. And if you don't have a scanner, use a good light to take a photo. Crop your picture, so there are no disturbing edges. Don't use lined paper and turn your drawing to the right side.
Make sure your deviation looks interesting in the thumb preview, so people tend to click on it. Mind composition and colors!
Only put the best art into the "Feature Folder" of your gallery. When users click on your gallery, this is the part of it they see first. Don't let it be full of sketches and unfinished pictures.
Costumize your profile! Of course it would be the best if you have a premium membership but you don't need it. Put the best drawing of yours onto the top of your page, so visitors see it immediately!^^
Put your drawings into many groups, so your drawings will be seen more!
Draw Fanarts, especially those ones which are popular at the moment! Combined with putting them into the right fandom groups, you will be noticed more easily!
Use the dA thumbshare forum! People ask you there to promote yourself shameless!
Suggest Daily Deviations! You not only help other artists to get noticed but also make adverstise for yourself since your name will be listed there! However, don't see it as a pure advertisement! The main thing here is to help other artists who will thank you for sure! Here's a great guide how to suggest Daily Deviations: fav.me/d1wo1b4
Be creative and original! Draw subjects which are not common, so you will be interesting! People will be inspired by you and are more likely to watch you!^^
Have an OC who represents you! Let him or her be drawn by many other artists like art trades or commissions (but don't ask for requests unless the artist offers it). The more unique your OC looks, the more people will remember him or her and associate your OC with you!
And here's my secret tip: Give llamas! xD Yeah, I think many of you found me that way! xD I like giving random llamas in the hope, people will return them. And it's optional if they like my art too!
Don't think too much about being popular! Just have fun! I just shared these tips to motivate and help artists, who feel unseen. Thanks for reading and good luck!^^ If you have your own tips, feel free to share them!
woah i have to consider all this! i think most of my watchers like my art cuz my fanarts, they get more views than my other drawings and certainly more comments. I usually dont have the time to comment on much peoples art than very close people i watch i dont like faving if i dont like something a lot either so idk how much im promoting myself .-. i need to consider what i post, lately i put some doodles and thats probably making my watchers annoyed... but making actual good art takes time i dont really have
Wow! This is a pretty comprehensive guide, I need to take some notes X3
But what I have personally found is that finding a niche, or a small, under-catered portion of a fanbase, is pretty good for getting noticed, too. Right now, my main focus is on a particular fan group. Said fan group ha slots of awesome art, but little literature, which I happen to excel at. A few regular updates, throwing myself out into the world, and months later I have +7 watchers and +600 to +800 pageviews (bringing my total up to 1,000), which is a major step up from before
Thanks! I really needed that, But when I draw things that are ORIGINAL I never seem to be noticed, Most mlp, homestuck, And more things get noticed. Yes I'm into homestuck but I don't draw anatomy very often. So how do I get noticed if my art isn't based on fandom?
you're a newbie, so please be patient! watchers don't come overnight.
and of course fanarts are easier to be found, thanks to keywords/hashtags and groups. and if you want your original art to be seen, you have to be really original. have OCs, create their world and make people curious! x3 and have good ideas and concepts, so people get inspired. that's what i have observed. practice a lot!
What I found is if you draw mlp a lot of people watch you just because your a brony or watevar it's called but that's just me and no I do not like mlp and will never like it so don't get fussy with pls
that's a side point anyways, you have some great points and tips and I think it will help a lot with the new deviants.