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And here you have the number one question that people ask me:
"How the hell did you get so many people to view your art? You're not even that good!"

I can't do anything other than honestly admitting that I'm not that good at art. I'm not some awesomely skilled concept artist, at least. I've seen many people do a better job while receiving a lot less of attention.
Why a medium like DeviantArt works for me? Probably because I've been around on the internet for so long, and I've spend so much time working for internet-marketing company's, that things like advertising and web usability have become a second nature to me. A lot of the things that I've come to regard as common sense in internet communication, are things that are nowadays proven successful by research.

It's important to know that websites like DeviantArt are listed in the category social media. That probably didn't occur to most people, since DeviantArt seems to be so heavily focused towards art (and traditional social media like Facebook and Twitter lack this focus). Yet DeviantArt plays by the same rules. You can befriend and follow people here, just like you can in any other social media website. Has it never occurred to you that the most popular people aren't always the ones that have the best art? This might seem highly unfair, but this is because it's not only about art. It's about having a community sense as well! 
Even though you might not be the best at art... having a great community sense will certainly help you on your way.


Make sure your artwork looks interesting as a thumbnail. The thumbnail is the first people see from your art, and will decide if people click further. How to do this? Basically it's a matter of good composition and good use of color. You can learn all these things in your regular art workshop. You can test this while working on your artwork by zooming out so far that the image becomes small. Or with traditional work; either take a picture and zoom out, or look at the work from a distance.

Make sure your artwork is of decent quality. Scan a picture, rather than photograph it. Edit your photo's to bring the best in the colors out. Make sure your digital artwork is of a decent resolution.

Despite what many people will say; DeviantArt is heavily aimed towards (anime) fanart. This doesn't mean you have to start making fanart. Just know that if you happen to make those, it'll be in your advantage. If you don't; don't be discouraged. I got this far without making fanart as well XD
Also; sex sells on DeviantArt as well. Especially on DeviantArt, you might say, since it's a community so heavily aimed towards "pretty"' characters from series/anime.

Might seem like a non-issue to an artwork... yet a good title helps you to be found in the site's search. The same goes for goes for Google and other external search engines, as the title of your work is passed to search engines. What might be a handy trick, is that if you make artwork of a certain character (fanart) or for a certain person on DeviantArt (either fanart or gifts), you include the name of the respective character or person in the title of your artwork. Characters names are a popular thing to search for so they will generate you more pageviews. Doing a gift-art for a popular artist, and including his/her name in the title too, will help you as well since you can assume many people look for this artist.
Note: only do this when your artwork really depicts this character, or this this artists character, and keep the title believable. Creating false content (a.k.a. cheating) is heavily penalized by search engines and will -in the worst case scenario- lead you to be banned from them.

Don't forget them. Keywords might not be as important off-site as a title, yet they give you a fair chance to higher your rank on DeviantArt. Important things to list here; the name of characters (mainly if fanart), the emotion the picture depicts or the scene in which the artwork takes place.
Note: Don't use too many keywords. Using too many or too irrelevant keywords will work against you, as you won't gain people that are actually interested in your work.

If you submit artwork more often, have a consistent gallery. People won't start following you until they know what to expect from you. So have a gallery that's consistent with each other. Don't mix art with personal pictures. If you do 2 completely different types of art, it might be better to create 2 accounts to keep them separate. Because in the end, too much of everything, is nothing at all.


Keep it positive!
Because our life is bad enough already when we don't see other people complain about their first world problems. 
On a more serious note; we like the positive. Journals that encourage us to do something. Journals that make us think. Journals that are helpful for us, or provide us with helpful resources. Journals that provide us with insight. We don't like reading about negativity. There's nothing wrong with a good rant from time to time, but don't do it too often. 
Note: The way you phrase things can make a huge difference. I could've named this journal "How not to disappear into oblivion in DeviantArt". But that would make it a whole lot less encouraging to read.

Give your journal a clear and engaging title. Something that would actually make people want to read it.

First paragraph
Start out with something interesting. Something that will make people stay interested. Internet is a quick medium. If you want to keep people's interest, you better catch it at the first paragraph of your journal.

Research showed that blog posts with 500 - 800 words are most likely to be read. That's enough words to actually tell people something, but also limited to prevent people from being bored (for those paying attention; I failed miserably here XD)

Don't just talk about something. Link to it as well. If you talk about a movie, phenomenon, something that happened on the internet... or whatever: link it, rather than explain it. I do this a lot when it comes to movies/researches/DA functionality that I discuss. Doing so will prevent you getting questions about things that don't really matter to you. And it'll give the reader the idea that you thought about what you wanted to tell. 
If you talk about people on DeviantArt, make sure to use the dev- and icon links. These will transform into links and icons that will link to the respective user.

Use images when needed (or even when not needed). DeviantArt has no options for real text formatting in journals (or at least; not like graphic design has)... which will leave most journals look the same boring way. Images are a great way to break this and remind people where they were reading.

Where to submit
DeviantArt comes with 2 options for submitting journals; personal and journal portal. Use them wisely.
The personal option will post the journal on your profile and update your friends with it. It's best used for personal journals.
The other option will submit your journal to the journal portal where it'll be exposed for all of DeviantArt to read. This might seem as a great way to promote your work, but can also lead to a major backleash if you post something too personal and/or controversial

Journal skins
While a custom journal skin might look great on your homepage, be careful with this and use a skin that works in both the journal portal and on mobile. Far too often I've come across journals that failed to display in the journal portal or didn't load on my phone... with as a result that I didn't read the article at all. Also; because many people that design journal skins have rather little knowledge about how to actually make a text readable (font use and such).
When it comes to journals, it's good to prefer actual content over visuals. Neither of my journals have a customized journal skin. I stopped using them years ago, when DeviantArt released their first mobile platform. But since the default journal skin works well with the site, it's not like my articles aren't read anymore.


Keep people involved
People want to have the idea you're talking with them, rather than just to them. 
If there's one thing that all people popular on social media have in common, it's the interaction with their userbase. Even asking people simple things can lead them into a friendly chat and give them the idea they're being listened to. There's that stigma on DeviantArt that all popular artists are arrogant assholes. Be sure not to validate it.

Interact, but don't spam
There's a fine line between interaction and spam. Interaction is involving people in the things you're doing or the things on your mind. Spam is when you do that too often or with subjects people couldn't care less about (like complaints about your first world problems). Be sure to be on the good side of the line.

Talk to people personally
Many artists out here are either too shy, or say they don't feel the need to reply to the messages of their fans. I beg to differ. I've send messages to the people I looked up to and I loved it when I got a reply back. It gave me the feeling that that person noticed me, even despite my art not being that good. And encounters like that could keep me inspired for days, or even weeks.
Know that whatever you do can have a great impact on people, either positive or negative. Keep this in mind and use it wisely. Even simple things like replying to a profile page message, or thanking someone for watching you, may help people to see you in a more positive daylight. And even better; it may lead them to tell their friends about you!

Stay friendly
No matter what happens, stay friendly. Don't make nasty comments to other people. If people say hurtful things to you, have the maturity to remove their messages and ignore them (or report it to the staff, if it's really bad). Reputation is everything on the internet. Even a small reply send in a bad mood can spread around like a virus and harm your status badly.

Tag people
Deviantart recently implemented the mentions system. This basically comes down to the fact that every person that tags you in a comment, journal or whatever, will get you a notification in their inbox about it... and this option is ON by default. The mentions system is a great way to keep certain people involved with whatever you're doing, by tagging them. For example if they've won something, you wanted to feature them, you've made art for them, or just wanted to say something nice about them.
Note: Tag people only for a reason. Provide content relative to their interests. Otherwise it'll be just spam.

Submission time
Generating a lot of views in a short time will cause your artwork to go up in the charts. This is most likely to happen if a lot of people are online. While target groups can differ per person, most people on DeviantArt are from America. And most of them will be online during lunch-break and as soon as they get home from school/work. No matter in which timezone you are in; keep this in mind while submitting.
Note: Premium membership will make you able to schedule submissions. So you don't have to worry about living in a different timezone.

It might be a good idea to analyze the traffic that's coming to your page. Traditionally the only way to do this on DeviantArt was to keep a track of your number of pageviews/replies/watchers. Recently, however, DeviantArt included a possibility for premium members to install Google analytics. Google analytics is a great tool with countless of more options that'll help you to keep track of people's actions on your page. It might come in handy to see if your new approach is working.

Stock Community by DamaiMikaz

Last but not least;

Let me tell you that there's no magical trick to get pageviews or exposure. There's no such thing as "Do this and you'll get instant success".
Things like these are a matter of trial and error. You'll need time to find out what works and what not. And even more important: to find the way that works for you. You'll need even more time to adjust yourself to this kind of "pattern". Expecting a tremendous rise of pageviews within a matter of days is unrealistic and will only leave you disappointed if it doesn't work out. So don't get discouraged if this doesn't work in the first few days. It will work on the long run.
Just be patient and be persistent.
Add a Comment:
DerpyZu Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Pretty useful! :D
Krassandra Featured By Owner May 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Interesting post, although it's more about getting more general attention than pageviews, and it covers only trivial pageviews raising techniques.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner May 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What use would pageviews have if they're not generated by real humans?
Krassandra Featured By Owner May 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The counting algorithm often causes a great gap between pageviews and real visitors
Nocluse Featured By Owner May 16, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah I don't know if what I'm doing is actually helping me get pageviews, but is nearly 4k pageviews in 5 months good?
MoekoAishi Featured By Owner 1 day ago  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
I think so, yeah!
Nocluse Featured By Owner 8 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
well now I have almost 8k pageviews!
SummerPeaches96 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very useful article! Great advice :D 
Alien-Snowflake Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Damn. My gallery is variety...... maybe thats why ._. Its been like that for ages. 
kage-niji Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Same... it's the only reason I can think of ;w;
Sushiprincess Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
When I started to concentrate on other stuff than Star Wars-Fanart,  I noticed that views, comments and faves weren't coming in for those pics as they used for my fan art, and my fan art still gets faved and commented though it's old.

And I don't think that sugar coated or the sandwich critique is helpful, honesty does the job much better. I actually came here to get real constructive critique, well people praise cricked kindergarten drawings from grown people, maybe not so grown, but still... I've hardly seen a critique that doesn't give the full number of points on technique, impact, originality and so on, and even if, it's rarely less than four points. Basically it's nice to make people feel good, but lying isn't exactly nice or helpful either.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Being nice isn't always the same as lying about stuff. 
You can be polite and even nice when giving critique. There's no need to burn absolutely everything down about someone's hard work. Doing like that will only leave people demotivated in the long run. 
Sushiprincess Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I do see your point, but that's not what I meant: Honesty isn't about being rude or putting down. A lot of people giving critique on dA don't seem to be able to point out  *clearly* that the aspiring artist needs to work on stuff.  Instead they just go like, wow your use of colors is amazing when the lines are horribly thick and shaky, the erasing a joke, proportions not even existing and still full points on everything? Mentioning the good aspect is okay, which was an okay aspects after all and not that amazing,  but you just can't leave out any other aspect just because the artist might feel hurt.  When I saw the kindergarten picture and the critique in question I was like, this can't be serious.  Either the 'artist' was artfully trolling, or the person that gave the critique was being badly sarcastic, or trolling, too, I don't know. I was really tempted to comment if they were kidding...

I mean, when I seriously want to improve, I need to know what's good/okay, but more important is what's terribly wrong and I'd be really suspicious if someone praised my use of colors like I were the next Rembrandt but has nothing to say about everything else, when I'm looking for a constructive critique. That's just being nice but doesn't actually help any further.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Or... the people don't actually know what's wrong with the drawing.

Let's be honest, most people here don't have a very high level in art. They're hobbyist, not (aspiring) professionals, and that's honestly fine. They don't see what's wrong in high level artwork, because they haven't evolved their vision up until that level yet. Just remember your younger self gushing about someone's artwork which, in retrospect, wasn't probably that good... it's just that at that point it was too far above your level at that time to actually see the mistakes. 

I don't say the "let's be nice" approach isn't used, but I suspect the majority here either doesn't care about criticism because they're making art just for fun, or they don't know better. In either way, it's not bad intentions. 
Sushiprincess Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I totally get what you mean  and I'm sure there are mostly no bad intentions here :) but I really have a different pretense. Though I'm just a hobbyist drawing for fun, I'm seeking to improve myself and I'm looking for honest feedback. Maybe it's the American mentality of dA, to say something nice in order to make others feel good, or maybe I'm just too German for this :D
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's not like I don't see the point. I'm European myself (Dutch) and I say the overall cuddly complimenting stuff is not exactly my thing either.

I've done some art workshops in the past and when teaching people, one of the first thing that they learn you is that sometimes a compliments gets them a lot further then critiquing every single thing they do. I feel like motivation to improve has to come from within for the most part. Some people have the drive to improve, just because they want to draw more awesome, others are fine with mediocrity. Critique will only help those whose minds are open for improvement (those who aren't will think you're just mean). But among those, there are many that lack the confidence to believe they can actually get that far. 

Some people do great on very harsh critiques, but most people need some kind of motivation to keep them going. This doesn't mean complimenting them on every single thing, but at least acknowledging they did a lot better on anatomy or colors than they did on their previous work, even though it's not perfect yet. I don't see anything wrong with that. 

As for the lack of critique on DA... I fully understand it can be frustrating. I feel the same way at times, but I've learned not to expect too much from strangers here. Over the years I've build a circle of artistic friends that are more or less around the same level, but with different kinds of expertise. We critique each other, and of course we reflect on our own work as well, as time passes and we learn. I've found it to be much more helpful than just expecting random strangers, because I know who those people are and what their intentions are, rather than having to place trust in a random stranger that might either be too inexperienced in art to properly critique my work, or just be plain mean out of some kind of spite or envy because my art sometimes gets more views than theirs (a factor that's completely beyond my control).

If I could give you any advice, I'd advice you to do the same. Find your group of similar-minded artists to hang out with. It's really motivating :)
EmpressEleven Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, this is an uplifting article. The part about expecting an uprise of views being unrealistic and to be persistent helped.
I'm going to try some of these tips.

I will say, however, that the first time I've gone on any social networking site like Youtube and Fanfic net, I've gotten very popular WITH an ACTUAL UPRISE OF VIEWS AND SUBSCRIBERS.
Then something bad always happens and I have to restart, usually resulting in internet isolation.
Guess that's just normal.

Considering that I used to have several times the views on Deviantart than I have now, a discouraging pattern on the other restarted accounts, I now have to face what so many others have already endured.

I will try to be patient and persistent. Thanks again. :)
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why the hell would you need to start over?
Like... the only reason I'd see to start over is a ban or something like that. 
EmpressEleven Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Y'now, thinking about it.... You have a point there. You're right.

It's actually quite personal why I restarted. I would not like to post my life on the internet, so I was vague about "bad things." It usually isn't for a silly reason, either. I've restarted only once here and i hope it will be the last time i restart.
If I were to explain my actions, that would be exposing things that I want to keep to myself and not on a screen.

I tried to be vague on purpose, to sum it all up.

Thank you for replying. I always appreciate it. :)
CynicalAshhole Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2016  Student General Artist
Oop sorry 'bout butting in but I know how you feel. I've skipped accounts on deviantart about 5 times now, and this one seems to be the contender for the longest I've had one: but maybe that's because I hardly have any friends here now, so I have no problems to really run into.

Sometimes it's good to just try to do your own thing though, to not let people know where your account is and to start fresh.

the worst part about hopping accounts is doing it with a gaming platform like steam, I've rebought games atleast three times now
EmpressEleven Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, okay, thanks for the advice. :)

BTW... I just checked out your page. It's awesome! I love the way you draw.
CynicalAshhole Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2016  Student General Artist
It's no problem and thank you!
elee0228 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2016
This is a terrific article. Thanks for sharing!
Ursusmaior Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2015
Non-premium users can have counting services implemented, too. I have flag-counter (though there are dozens such services for free out there ) and simply put it in as a journal entry.
strippedtragedy Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks you it's really eye opening what you've written and helpful Clap 
The-Last-Phantom Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much for your valuable tips!!!

You ROCK my friend!!!!

The lazy bones Sans Icon
Distractio Featured By Owner Edited Dec 14, 2015  Student General Artist
Nah, I think if you "do something, you'll get instant success." Is real. By giving every new DArtist a badge.
Apparently, if they see someone gave them their first badge, they'll be really curious, causing them to visit your page, loving your artworks right away.
A.k.a. One of your techniques to get more pageviews.
Ain't here to start a quarrel,, im just feeling weird today.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
In all honesty... if there's nothing interesting on your page people aren't gonna stick around.
I agree that one of the first things in marketing is to draw attention to yourself in one way or another, but even with doing so you still have to have a product people are interested in. 
Distractio Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2015  Student General Artist
I know.
HybridTea Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2015
Not sure I'll ever get noticed on deviantart, my work's not the most ... deviantart, as in fanart and/or manga etc. Although I do slightly suffer from the consistency problem but I'm getting better. I agree about journals, with some people I just unsubscribe to their journals if they post them too often about things I'm uninterested in. There was someone once who kept posting about how /real/ artists are like this /real/ artists are like that journals every other day, a real artist is someone who creates art, nothing more, there's no need to tell people their art isn't valid because they don't draw every second of every day or whatever else. They made me dislike them and I didn't like their art enough to continue watching them without the likability. Good article :)
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think a good attitude is always of help when you interact with people.
Good art will get you a long way, but having people's sympathy is gonna get you much much further :)
Leenieh Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Student General Artist
This was great! :D thank you:)
KerroPerro Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Not that i am in any way well-exposed but: i would add that submitting to groups can really help. Especially if your work fits a niche that a DA group might be interested in.

Another upside to groups is that you can find other artists with similair interests/styles and  that's a great way to start the inspiration sparks flying :)
I really needed something like this beacuse i only get about 8,000 pageviews and someone(iwontsaynames) who only takes about 5 minutes on a drawing gets 11,000.
I feel so jealous and sad ;-;
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Quit the jealousy. It ain't benefiting you in any way.
Instead make art like mad :D
Thanks for the advice ^^
WhIppIng-b0y Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2015  Hobbyist
I'm trying to help a friend who is a wonderful artist get some views, as he seems to be unfairly ignored :/ thanks for this :D it will help a lil I'm sure.

(Also to the people who keep saying that your art isn't good are just jealous >:{)
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad to be of help.
And the article was written quite a while ago. I wasn't really that good at art yet and am still lacking a lot of fundamentals ^^
WhIppIng-b0y Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2015  Hobbyist
Ah, fundamentals schmundamentals >: (

I wish I had half your skill, or any skill XD

If you want to get better that's great, XD but you are good as you are ;) I can't wait to see your art a year from now CX
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hope it'll be even better then :D
WhIppIng-b0y Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2015  Hobbyist
Yesh X3
hawkwing22 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Neat article, has some helpful tips, especially the part about hate. It's not a good move to get into internet arguments.
jonestheBlue Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2015  Student General Artist
This article is really cool! This is actually my second account, because I didn't have watchers I stopped using my last one for a long time, but a friend convinced me your try again :)
What you wrote helped me realise what I was doing wrong and what I should do now!
Ankit1480 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Great article. The facts about the people trying to get attention by watching a lot of artists and making not-so-good artworks their favourite is to the point. Thanks for writing this.
And by the way, I am new here and didn't knew the difference between a page view and a simple view on my page :-)
TheDapperDragon Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Getting noticed on here is a bit hard. ^^ Gonna have to keep trying.
ToddNTheShiningSword Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm kind of sad reading this, actually.
I've been doing most of the things on lists like these to the best of my ability for over four years and get no more attention now than I did five years ago. I've been waiting four years to get noticed. Can I get impatient now? :eager: How long can "the long run" be? *sigh*
StickFreeks Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2015  Professional General Artist
Well, I think in your case, the problem is that deviantART is highly biased towards digital art. (That's just because it looks so much better on a screen than a scanned drawing.) If you ever want to make the swap over, I'd bet more people would notice! Otherwise, cleaning up / brightening your art with a semi-decent image editing program like Photoshop (so that it looks just as crisp as digital art) would help you a lot in the immediate run as well. :D
ToddNTheShiningSword Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the advice- and for the time it took to leave it :thanks:
But digital's not for me at all. Not even for the limited use you said.
Image editing would require several things.
First of all, I'd want to have a legal copy of decent software... which I do... but then I'd also have to know how to use it, and I hate that, because that doesn't feel like art. I know art and computer programming and am bad at both, but using image software... that feels like programming, not like art. :X I also don't want to have to adjust colors. Considering that I edit my work a lot, if I had to also do digital editing every time, that would be frustrating. When I scan it, I'm done coloring and want to put it online. Anything else is frustrating.

Also, if I did what you suggested, then my art would look like everyone else's, and that's exactly what I don't want. I want my art to look different from everyone else's.
I don't need to be popular. All I want to is to be able to look at see that my comic book has more readers now than it did in 2011. If I had just ten people regularly commenting on it, I'd be happy, but I don't. All I'd need to be satisfied was to feel like there are 10 people who are reading my story, and have everything I post get at least 2 comments it's first week. In 5 years, I should have been able to find 10 people. All I need is 10. All I have is 4. What would get me just two new readers a year? Two people a year would get me where I want to be. :cry:
StickFreeks Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2015  Professional General Artist
You can try asking for feedback in the Book and Comic forums, people there are usually pretty helpful!
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