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So you have your awesome art project that, you feel, the whole world needs to see? So you've signed up to be a DeviantArt member. Because, DA... that's where all the cool artists reside... isn't it? So you've posted your art. You've been here for a few weeks, or perhaps even a few months or years. But despite all your efforts, you still get close to zero comments. Why? What went wrong? It could be your art is really bad. But most likely, you're not approaching this subject the right way. Becoming well known on DA doesn't only rely on your art skills. It also relies on your marketing skills. And let that be exactly what most aspiring artist forget about.

Here I listed some simple tips & tricks that will help you get out art out there, and become better known on DA. 

My background on this? True... I might not be the most famous artist out here, but I do have a strong background in websites and webmarketing. Most of the things listed here, I've learned from the many jobs I had in advertisement company's. I've followed several courses on web marketing and have done quite the research on social media marketing over the years. Many principles for marketing are the same for the entire web, no matter whether it's facebook, DeviantArt, or a random webshop. There are just small things you need to become aware of, in order to use them to your advantage.

Oh... and how about this: ? This is what the DeviantArt staff has to say about getting known on this site. While it's certainly true, it's not very throughout. So let me clear up a few things for you.

:bulletorange: Realize DeviantArt is like social media

DeviantArt may list itself as being an art site... it's actually a lot like social media. Sites like are art sites. They're merely focused on art. On professional artists that want to be better. DA is not such a place. It's a community. And with all the friend-features we have, it's actually a lot like social media. We can 'like' art, like we like a post on facebook. It's called "faving" here. We can like a person, like we follow a person on twitter. It's called "watching" here. 

Although the details may differ, DA has in fact the same features that other social media hold. Realize it works this way. Instead of going all out on your art, and hope go get some fame that way, try to focus on the social aspect of this website as well. Because it's there. And (in contrary to paid advertisements) it's free to use. 

:bulletorange: Get out there! Interact with people

The basic principle of social media is interaction. So that's where you're at. Stop being shy! This is the internet. People don't know of you being shy, blushing or shaking when talking, unless you tell them. DA is a great place to communicate with other users. And leaving behind a message will alert those other users, and make it more likely for them to talk back and check out your profile along the way. Since, you know, people are naturally curious.

DA provides many great ways of interaction. One of them being commenting on an artwork. Don't say "I like this" on every artwork, but take the effort to point out what exactly you like (or don't like). If you do so, your reply stands out from the masses, and you will more likely receive feedback. The same goes for the forums (yes, DA has forums). Add something interesting to an art related discussion, and people will remember you. Useful feedback will often be remembered. And people will reply to it as well.

Overall: make sure you're not invisible on this site. Even if you are shy, and you haven't got the guts to voice your opinion, you can always try saying something positive about somebody's art. Nobody is ever gonna hurt you for giving a compliment.

:bulletorange: Join events or organize them

Because DA is a community, it has a lot going on. Like contests, commissions, journal features and all other kind of things that make people reply. Joining such an activity, is a good idea when you want to make friends. It helps you communicating with other artists. As for contests. Even if you don't win, people always bother to check out the other entry's before they even join. Your artwork gets noticed anyway.

The next step in this is organizing such an event. You don't even have to plan something big, with huge prices (although that might help XD). Do something as simple at featuring a few people or artworks in your journal, and people will join you. 

DA offers many possibility's to interact with people. There are all kinds of groups out there for all kinds of artists. Naruto fans, OC artists, people that like lovey-dovey stuff, people that want to learn art... etc. You name it, DA has it. Join some of those groups. Get involved with the events there. Maybe even help moderating. The possibility's are limitless. 

Open point commissions. Commission other artists. Even if you don't have money, you can always do some point commissions. Points are easily found as they can be traded against llama badges. Collaberate with other artists, or do art trades. Make fanart for an artist that has a small own project that you actually like. Who knows what happens? The artist might even like his fanart so much that he decides to feature it in a journal. I know for sure that I feature every single person that made fanart for me at the end of the year, because I like the idea of people taking the effort to actually draw my OC's. And I'm sure there are many more people out there that do features like me.  

:bulletorange: Those weird things called "Llama badges"

I'm still not sure why DA's staff has ever invented Llama badges, because they're an utterly useless feature. But I guess this has something to do with the social aspect of this site. As a way to promote interaction. In order to get a lot of llama's, you have to get one from many people. And in order to get them, you have to give them out. As you can only get and give one per person, you have to interact with many different people to collect them.

Giving them, however, will lead you to the page of other people. And getting them will lead people to view your page. Make use of this feature to boost your interaction. 

:bulletorange: Help out other artists

Who didn't ever had a computer problem and gratefully thanked the one that helped him out? 

Same goes for art. We like helpful people. We remember them, so we hopefully can rely on their advice again. Help people out! If you're afraid to post redlines or do a critique, try making a tutorial on something. Explain the method you do things (Instead of saying something is an absolute truth -- which might make some people angry). People tend to look up to people that make tutorials. We think of them as skilled and kind (because they're willing to help us out) and we're often thankful towards them. Make use of this stereotype in a positive way. Do something useful to the community. People will like it. 

:bulletorange: Make good quality art

I'm not going to lie about this. Making good quality art helps boosting your chances for getting noticed out there. It's a site about art after all, isn't it? I don't say you have to be an extremely skilled artist. But it does help if you at least put some effort in the work you submit. 

Try to use good quality images. Don't use too small of a resolution. Don't do art on lined paper (it just doesn't give the impression of quality) and try scanning your traditional drawings, instead of making pictures of them. Even if you don't have a scanner... your friends or family might have. Or maybe your school, or even the local library.

:bulletorange: Posting your art: Quality vs quantity

Your watchers get your stuff in their inbox, so make sure you submit stuff that's worth submitting. Research on social media shows that people like to get up to 3 updates a week. Everything above that is considered 'spam' and 'annoying'. Make sure the work you don't submit too much work, or spread your submissions over a few days (DA's premium membership comes with scheduled posting of art). It'll make people more likely to check out your work.

Posting every little sketch on DA might seem important to you. It might even be important to your friends... but to most of the watchers it isn't. They don't want to see every crappy sketch you make. They followed you for your full work. Submitting too much incomplete work or sketches will make them annoyed (because a lot of people here suffer from inbox cluttering) and might even make them unwatch you. You don't want this! Make sure you submit your sketches to your scraps when you upload them to DA. So your friends can follow your scraps, and the rest of your watches won't get annoyed by lesser-quality updates.

If you do upload multiple artworks a day, make sure you upload the best one last. DA stacks uploads in people's inboxes in a non-chronological order. Which means the last upload will be on top. You make better chances to get noticed if this is a quality artwork.

:bulletorange: Mind the time of posting

Try to follow this reasoning for a bit:
When you submit your art, your artwork will appear onto the "what's new" section of the site and will be seen by users there. It's there for a while, before it gets pushed away by other new works. This goes for people watching you as well. One piece of art might have their attention. If they get many, your artwork will probably be lost in their inbox clutter, and you have to 'compete' with all those other works to get attention. Because when seeing a lot of artworks, and with the limited focus we humans have, it's hard to actually notice all of them. We just notice the ones that stand out.

In order to get this effect, posting when people are online works best. They probably have an empty inbox when they're online (inbox clutters happen mostly overnight) and they will be able to see you at the front page before you get pushed down. 

The peak times people are online are often before work/school (7-8 AM), during lunch break at work/school (12-1 PM) and when they got home and had dinner (7-11 PM). Considering most of DA's users are from either the USA or Europe, you can easily calculate the times that many people are online. Try posting during those times. DA's premium membership even has a possibility for scheduled posting. It might be worth trying.

:bulletorange: Have a distinctive username & avatar

What are the 2 most important things users see when you post a comment? Yep, your username and avatar! Ever since the early days on the internet, usernames and avatars have been very important. They are your face on the internet. Most people only see those 2 things. The reason to click any further, and see your profile and gallery, lays entirely in how interesting you seem based on those 2 things, and what you have to say.

If you have a good visual artwork, use that as an avatar. Your own style will immediately be distinctive. And if people are interested, they'll click on it to find out about your art for sure. Having your own art as your avatar, makes you stand out from the crowd and gives an unique face to your profile. As people judge a lot on icon, you will stand better chances. Don't go around and changing your avatar too often. Changing it too much will cause confusion, as many members remember each other by avatar. Only use your artistic masterpieces for this. 

The same goes for username. A good username is not too long, and doesn't include too many numbers. A name like "Kelly010692" might be logical to you, because the numbers hold a meaning to you. To other users, they don't. You're just another "Kelly-with-a-lot-of-numbers". And having people find you back when they can't even remember your username, is really hard. The same goes for users that have names from popular fandoms. I don't know how many people with Pokemon-names there are out here. Pokemonlover, pokemonfan, pokemontrainer, pokemonmaster, etc etc. People tend to remember those names as "Pokemon-something". And since there are many people with such names, it makes it hard for them to find your profile again.

Try going for a username that's not too long, but gives off a somehow original twist. It's hard to think up such a thing. And I admit my name (DamaiMikaz) is a tad on the long side as well (I would've used Mikaz, if it wasn't taken already). But try to come up with something original.

Also: I know you can change nicknames now, but don't try to do that too often. People will become confused and forget your name. You don't think it works this way? Think about it the other way around. Let's say you watch about 500 people, and 40 of them change username. Will you be able to remember who's who instantly?

:bulletorange: Show what you've got on your profile

Your profile is like your personal website, on this network. It's a place just for you, where you can promote who you are and what you do. Research shows that the average person only stays on a website for about 10 to 20 seconds, and they judge even faster. If you want them to stay longer (and you do!) you have to show them at least something interesting. 

You don't have to pimp your profile with html and such... but do show something that's representing you. Your best artwork, an interesting journal or a great profile picture representing you. Whatever you want to show your visitors, make sure they get interested enough to check out your entire gallery. Because that's what you want them to do.

:bulletorange: Be genuine... or at least seem to be so

To many people, this world seems to be full with arrogant people, fake people, and people that only seem to do things for money. As a result of these capitalistic thoughts, people appreciate other people that come across as modest and genuine. They love people that don't care about fame and art alone, but are willing to interact with other people. People that have genuine love for what they do. People that have a clear opinion and are not afraid to voice it, but yet stay open minded towards what other people think.

Why do you think politicians and famous artists have so many spin doctors around to help them build such an image? Image building leads to fame, and fame is big business. I realize not everybody has the gift to stand out from a crowd. Not everybody is able to be passionate about art (or come across as such), and not everybody is capable of voicing their opinion. Yet it never hurts to try to at least mind this whole 'image-thing' when you're posting on DA. It'll make you a lot more likable :)

:bulletorange: Know what to share, and what to keep to yourself

Remember when I told you DA is like social media? Well... in one way it is. In another it isn't. Unlike on facebook... you aren't able to select the people that get your updates. You don't have to approve of watchers. Which means every random stranger can get your journals and art in their inbox. For this reason alone; be careful about what you post. Not only because information can fall into the wrong hands. But also because not everything you post will be interesting for everyone.

I used to follow a lot of people on DA. And back in the time, you couldn't choose what to watch from them and what not. I got a lot of journal entry's in my inbox about people talking about their personal life. About their school. About their friends. Their boyfriends. Their thoughts on the girl they hated in school... or whatsoever. The point is... I couldn't care less. These were journals made for friends to read. Not to be published to all of DA.

A lot of people watch you for the art, or maybe even for the journals, if you make interesting ones. They don't know you, and don't care either. It's the art that you're famous for, not you as a person. To them, you are just a random stranger that makes nice art, and they don't care a shit about who you're desperately in love with, or how you're doing at school. I'm not saying you can't post anything personal. Things that have a big impact on your life (like graduating, moving, or being ill for a long time) are important, since they have an impact on your activity and art as well. But other than that... too much personal things are often a turnoff. And might even lead people to unwatch you.

So leave the personal stuff for the chats with your friends, or for facebook. DA isn't the right place for it. Use your DA journals to promote your art, or your vision on art, instead. It's a great place for doing so, and people might even become inspired by you when you do.

:bulletorange: Think of marketing as a challenge, rather than a chore

Marketing might not entirely be your thing, but think about it as a challenge. It can be very rewarding to see how people get back to you, once you get involved in the community. And while being immersed in the community, you can actually make some real great friends that'll stick around for years. And, who knows, even meet people that can help you taking the next step in your artistic career. 

The possibility's are limitless, but you've got to open your mind for it. Don't be shy. Don't stand on the sideline of the community, but join it! If other people don't take the initiative, then take some yourself :)

And on a sidenote:
Everything here is based on my own opinion and experiences. Yours might be different. Note that this journal is mainly focused on the aspect of promoting your work on DA. This might not be the most fun way to stay here. This journal is by no means a 'guide' about how your should behave on DA or how you should interact with others here. It's meant to give you a sneak peak in the science behind social media platforms, and how you can use it to your advantage. 
Think you've got something to add to the list? Enlighten me! I'm always happy to learn.

Oh... and I'm not a native English speaker, so there could be mistakes in this text. Please forgive me for that. I'm trying my best ^^
Add a Comment:
TheNightSpectator Featured By Owner 21 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Question, post art that is good but not a lot, or post art that is not as good and post it a lot?
Mikadel Featured By Owner 23 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great advice, but not always working out. Averaging 5 favourites and 0 comments, I get that Deviantart is kinda terrible to promote yourself because you have to get insanely lucky, but constant ignoring does make you feel a little... bad...
ASCCcorp Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Student Artist
good advice
America-Suiteheart Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
awesome! helps a lot!
PetiteChatNoirX Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2016  New Deviant Hobbyist Artist
Ohhh this is really helpful, since I just joined Deviantart this was a massive help :)
Riverstar79 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for writing this! Very in-depth, and definitely a big help. 
VanelKD Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2016
Thank you a lot for your tips, I will definately use a lot of them from now on. Great work!
lydiakencana Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooohh this is the best promotion journal I've ever read!! you're amazing!
remsen50 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Good write-up, thanks!
evaienna Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you so much for this guide!
Definitionist Featured By Owner Edited Nov 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
'Not everybody can be the president' - this hits the tip. :)
Becarra Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A handy guide, thank you :)
demonic-brute Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey man nice explanation. After reading this I realized there were quite a few thing that I was wrong about ( one of them being posting whatever drawing that I make) and a few more. I wanna tell you that this document was indeed helpful :) and CHECK OUT MY ARTWORK!!
XBleuberryx Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, thank you for this! It's basically rehashing everything that I've been aware of for years but putting it all into one place (easy to read as well) rather drives the point home. I do try to comment around and talk to people but I seem to have mostly forgotten the existence of groups!

This is somewhat irrelevant but on the subject of inbox clutter....I am one of the worst. I think that the most I ever had at one time was 23,000 artworks...
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh... join the club.
My inbox is a mess too XD
XBleuberryx Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I think at one time I had 80,000 deviations...that was after I had subscribed to several highly prolific groups ^^' I basically had to delete everything and start over!
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Holy fuck.... 88k? :ohnoes:
XBleuberryx Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes....signing up to several photography and poetry writing groups tends to really rack up deviations after a year or so's worth of time of looking at the number, laughing nervously, and studiously ignoring it. 
primrose991 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks. Ive been doing huge pixel art for quite some time, and although that some people see me it is rare that anyone will actually tell there friends about me. i actually dont get many views so i think this will help a lot ^-^ i have done over 160 art on my Page all full of pixel art =3
KaraCey Featured By Owner Edited Aug 14, 2015  Professional Filmographer
Thank you, I'm new on this website and this post kind oave me an idea how to work with this website.
JADER12 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015
Dum question but I need 2 kno when posting an original art idea or piece DA doesn't let any1 claim it as their own art idea if they draw it for their own use right?
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Eh? Sorry? Could you elaborate on that? I don't get the question ^^
JADER12 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2015
Can people take your ideas or characters?
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What ideas?
Hethalos Featured By Owner May 25, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
I suppose you do make some legitimate points. However, it just seems as if some people, no matter how much they try, don't seem to get anywhere. I have a feeling there might be more, but I can't put my finger on it.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner May 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
In all honesty; no... there isn't much more.
It just takes a tremendous amount of knowledge in both art and marketing to get it right every single time, and most people aren't able to pull that off. There's a reason marketing people usually hire artists to make their products looks fancy, and artists usually hire marketing people to get their product out there.
Hethalos Featured By Owner May 25, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
It's just that frankly, I've seen many guides on personal improvement, marketing, establishing good PR, etc. which cover points that most people already know, but can't really seem to improve a person's conditions substantially. I don't think there's anything wrong with general outlines, although if advice is too general, its applicability will cap out unfavourably for a good number of people. 

I know you're probably going to kill me for being a little too honest and you are most certainly entitled to do so if you feel like it, even to the point of blocking me. It's just that I have a brutally pragmatic outlook on virtually everything I do, so if I have to reject a usual, established way of doing things, I will reject it regardless of what others may think. For instance, I'm really not a big fan of the type of art instruction that many art books and art schools provide simply because of limited applicability. I most certainly improved after reading some art books and taking many art classes, but my overall technical execution had stagnated for at least 5 years before I found Academy of Art Canada, which instructs students in the way Renaissance artists would have been. And, even after a couple of classes, my skills improved by quantum leaps. 

Anyways, I'm sorry if I sound extremely hostile, perhaps to the point of being unreasonable. I'm sick of putting on social pretenses and trying to find positivity in absolutely everything I encounter when in experience, I'm truly a critical person. 
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner May 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If you have to pretend in order to be social, then maybe you've maxed out your ability's already and it's not for you.
Not everybody can be good at everything. Not everybody can be awesome at art, and not everybody can be the president either. The thing is; research in social media shows it works in a certain way. It's been a proven effective method for people to get more exposure, and it will work if you put enough time and effort in it. I agree, though, that when you have to do it under false pretenses, it's not worth it. It even might not work as well, since it might not come across as genuine either.

True, the advice is general. It's because every artist is different and I wrote the thing in a way that many people could apply it. 
What's beyond that guide, is a personal thing. Just like art school doesn't teach you how to develop a personal style in art, so doesn't this guide set out a personalized marketing plan for you. The truth is; there's no such a thing. A personal approach or style is something you have to find on your own. People can guide you towards that goal, but you have to see the light and do the job.

As for the hostility; Don't worry. I don't block people for simply disagreeing. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. 
Hethalos Featured By Owner May 25, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
True, but raising technical ability isn't something that's entirely intangible. Also, I apologize for the second time, but I really cannot agree to the point about everyone cannot be a good artist. I understand that some people have natural aptitudes for different things, but succumbing to the idea that your abilities are fixed in any way shape or form is abhorrent. To be honest, if I never tried to change my behaviour for the better (and believe me, I was a terrible kid who would throw chairs at the skightest provocations) or succumbed to any notion of my inability to do things I really wanted to do, my artwork would have looked significantly worse than it did now.

Then again, I do hold plenty of highly unconventional viewpoints although I arrived at them through my own judgement and experience. Anyways, it was nice hearing your viewpoints about attaining success. Perhaps its best just to let time be the ultimate arbiter by walking our own paths and seeing where they lead. :)
GemiLamb Featured By Owner May 23, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Hi, :icondamaimikaz:

Woah, today I came across to your very helpful journal entry and I quite accidentally clicked on my llamas, where it said that you were the 10th person, who ever gave me a llama badge. Thank you really much! :D

Hopefully I am not that lazy for trying out your tips for getting more noticed on dA for my work, LOL! :olya:
cha4os Featured By Owner May 17, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
thank you! i'm having so much trouble with this kind of thing
bookmarked! :D
kancutboy Featured By Owner May 13, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
helping information. im going to make other commission and promote it.
Kcici Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist
Thank you for these helpful tips!
I love how thorough yet concise you were with the information. It provided for a very good read.:)
SlickeHedge Featured By Owner May 5, 2015
This has been extremely helpful! Its a shame I couldn't find this article three years earlier.
I always though the only thing you had to do is create good art and nothing else.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner May 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's mostly marketing ^^
Maxinesimaginarium Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you. I have taken notes and will put them into action. Still bewildered about the llamas though, lol.
Kittycrafty20 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thnxs for the tips
MikeTheMiiDrawer Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for the tips~ :)
Milee-Design Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A big round of applause for this article.

Well written, well explained.
Loved the fact that you took the time to write the *why* of your suggestion. 
A friend send me this link to help  me understand better the way you can interact on DeviantArt.
I don't regret a single minutes that I took to read this,

thank you!
CherrysDesigns Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for this :)
Im having so much trouble finding audience...
suckervajs Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Before I read the full article, I want to say something.
 I read the article util the part (My background on this? True... I might not be the most famous artist out here, but I do have a strong background in websites and webmarketing.), I dindt think once how populer you are on the website you are, you are helping others so for that I THAK YOU, A LOT. THXLove 
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I wanted to help people realize that internet fame is random and isn't all about amazing talent and such.
Anyone with a bit of skills in social media (or marketing) could make it.
suckervajs Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, you are wright.
It takes a lot of time and dedication. I followed your tips, and notice the next day that I raised my pageviews from 1-4 on Friday to 15 views on Saturday. So I think I will use your tips and should keep my activity regular on the site and I should be on a good track. Marketing challenge ACCEPTED!!! 
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
MX-O Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Tanks alot for these tips, they sure have helped alot.
Dollproject Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for all the advice! I found them very useful and clear; I'm sure I'm going to use them :).
Maybe you could give any advice on where to look for good, trustworthy resources (articles, tips, statistics, etc) about website and social media marketing :D?
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I follow a lot of sites, but most of them are in my native language (Dutch) so posting them wouldn't have much use ^^
Art-Ablaze Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for all these awesome tips! I think I'll try out a few of them right now! 

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