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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:
Kittycrafty20 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015  New member
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!
CherryAdopt Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015  New member 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.
BigTitsAndLips 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! 

NPavusa Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for sharing this post with all of us DamaiMikaz! I believe that what you've stated in this article is quite useful, especially to those who have an easy time incorporating new ideas with their existing points of view, although it might be a bit more challenging for people who are naturally shy or more introverted than others.

I personally know that I find some of these points you mentioned almost impossible to perform, because first I would have to give up (or trade in) quite large amounts of my personality to achieve that level of being comfortable around people, even on the web, and some examples of that would include; being more active in chat rooms as well as visiting them more often, participate in the forums even on topics which are not particularly of my primary interest, just to name a few. But I am also aware that if I don't change something in my game (apart from improvements in my own art), I'll continue to stay in the shadows for years to come.

So once again, thank you for taking your time and sharing these wonderful tips with us! And don't worry about your english, I had no problem understanding everything you wrote! :dummy:
ExcaliburZero Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is quite helpful.
kenkchow Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Great tips
ComedianCat Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the tips!
covert15 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  Student Digital Artist
This is awesome!!! I really appreciate you writing this. It's clear easy to read and makes perfect sense. I will try really hard to follow these tips. =D
Ask-Wisteria-Walker Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2014  New member Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks ill start this.
Twinji-Tech Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very informative advice! I'm glad I came across this, because not only is this helping me out on DeviantArt, but also on YouTube and other places. Thanks so much! :)
alexus0977 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
mpelliottnorthernart Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Nice advice, thank you for the read.
G-Matoshi Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the guidelines :)
EnvyTalks Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much for this advice. As a starting artist in cosplay / modeling / writing / digital art, any tips on how to market myself are extremely helpful and needed.
CrimsonCricket Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a very good post. I have come back to it several times, applying the advice. I do have a question: when you "watch" someone, DA gives you the option to check them as a "friend." Does anyone really use this feature unless they personally know the artist outside of DA? I have seen many profiles covered with people listed as friends - maybe they get to know each other online and upgrade? You can tell I'm not too savvy on social media; I would rather do anything than spend time on FB. I would love to hear what other people's "friend" experience is on DA!
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It depends on the person, I guess.
I only use the "friend" option for people that I keep close contact with, but other people use it for everybody they like. There's no specific etiquette for it. 
CrimsonCricket Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ok, good to know - thank you for the response. Nod  
Sapphire-Stitch Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the advice. 
LozzDragon Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014
no, no i think you pretty much nailed it
samui153 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014
This is really help me :)
Humanitys-Idiot Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
A very useful guide that I will certainly come back to! :D
LoveAndGivePoints Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Very useful!
the10s Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014   Digital Artist
Thanks sooo much for posting these! I'm still pretty boggled with a number of things with dA but you're clearing a lot of them up! ^__^
XenixIllustration Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks! This really helped a lot!!
ChaosDynasty Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ive tried groups, I comment on others, and I'm pretty active on DA. Yet I still don't have any luck. I know that no one even reads my journals as I have asked for advice and get no response. I've even done art trades with more popular artists, and been in contests. I don't know what else to do.

My social curse even effects the internet.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Perhaps you can try to approach it from a more positive angle?
From what I've seen from this message and your journals, they're all rather negative, and I think that's one of the factors that scares away people. I'm not trying to be rude here, but it's a fact that people have strong dislike for anything overly negative.
ChaosDynasty Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I can try. I've attempted conveying that through my art. Maybe just delete all that stuff in the journal?
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Perhaps that's a good idea
shirokomo Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Student General Artist
I was looking for something else but I stumbled upon this! this will be very helpful for me in the future
HanwellB18 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Professional Artist
Thanx 4 this! 
DarkeSkye Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much, this is very helpful :3
use-R Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014  Hobbyist
I clearly made a mistake for all these years as a dA member! After uploading my work I was just hoping it get the attention that's worth the strugle making it, but that was it. I wasn't doing anything but waiting for feedback, when I wasn't giving any myself! I should, no, I need to get out of my shell and interact with the people, instead of just waiting for something good to happen.
Anyway, reat advice. They should definitely work on anybody who is willing to get out there and explore. Thank you!Hug
giselleukardi Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014   Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for this! I've been struggling to find out how to get more exposure lately as I feel like my art is finally taking a turn for the better. So, I've been reading quite a bit about how to gain more exposure n such. I've realized that I've mostly been standing on the sidelines as you said instead of putting myself out there. I shall try that out! This was a very interesting read and is a lot more helpful than quite a bit of the other journals I've read about this topic. Really great tips! So thank you for this. :hug:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome :hug:
If you're interested, have a look through my other journals as well. There are more of them that are aimed towards exposure, marketing and artistic improvement :)
giselleukardi Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014   Digital Artist
Will definitely do! :)
I don't think I spend nearly enough time on marketing myself so time to make a change!
hogusia Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014
This is very helpful! Thanks!  PS. I didn't realize you're not native English speaker until you admitted it! ;P
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm learning :la:
LucasandLoba Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Student Filmographer
Thanks... LAtely I've been feeling that my newest crossover has been really a stupid idea. I hope I get some reads! Thanks!
Jamirez Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for making this! This was extremely helpful and I will use these tips to promote my art. I do think my art is good, because many people like my friends, my family and many other people really enjoy looking at it, but on DA it's hard to get noticed out of those really famous people like kevinbolk. I also really wish I can change my name now, because it doesn't sound interesting anymore. :( This was really helpful. Thank you!
PickFairy Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Student General Artist
This helped me out, though I'm worried on how to make the most out of my free membership for DA. 

But, still, I never thought of it as a social platform so thanks for that. I'll try to interact more heh
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