The DeviantArt Game: How to Get more views
I like DeviantART and am willing to get better in the DA game. This website always had something weird and mysterious. It's also quite complicated. That makes it interesting, I want to understand how it works, and how to get the most out of it.
After doing some research, I was a little disapointed. I always used it without thinking too much, and not caring if I would get views, comments and favorites. As a beginner, this is normal to do so. But at some point you might want to step up your game. I will resume all the things you can do to gain visibility, popularity, page views. How to get watchers fast, in a noble way of course.
N°1 most easy and crucial step
First, create a bot that will automaticaly browse random deviations and add them all to the favorites. People will come to your page to say thank you to a robot, and you will get more page views. A good reason why page views does not mean anything. If a deviant has many page views, check how many pages of comments he has under his profile, all saying "thanks for the favorite". The worst is that it is quite easy to create such bot, though there are so many people who do it manually everyday for years. I mean, come on, that could be time spend on more deviantions, right?
N°2 less easy but still a crucial step
Hire an Asian to publish all your deviations in the 655198156 groups that exist and are related to your content. If you do not have money to put into an Asian, create a bot (slightly more complicated that step 1) that do the task. Really, though. there is not limit to how many groups you can join and publish. Some groups have thousands of followers that can see your art.
N°3 not so easy but very important step
Hire an Asian or if you feel like it, create a bot that will browse popular art daily and write comments on each deviation. Your comments will be seen, some people might like your avatar picture and come to your page.
Step n°4: Road to the front page
There are several categories that you can hope to one day get your art into.
What's Hot: To get in this page, your deviation needs to receive a recent increase in exposure, regardless on when it was submitted. To make this happen you need to share your deviation on the web; blog, social sites, etc.
Undiscovered: sadly I couldn't find anything on the algorithm for this page, but in short a "quality" deviation with low exposure is picked "randomly". Good luck.
Popular: here, your work has to be recently published, and received a certain amount of favorites. You will notice that each popular page shows different categories: digital art, photography, litterature, there are plenty of categories and sub categories. You can chose them when you publish your deviation. Now the ridiculous thing is that the competition for the Popular front page within categories isn't equally the same! Meaning you will find a fanart with 1000 favs next to a customization with 100 favs. The competition is hard in the categories such has fanart and digital art. Knowing this, people started to upload in wrong categories, in order to get a bigger chance at reaching the front page! Once you know this, you will think twice when choosing a category.
Daily Deviations: Anyone can suggest a daily deviation and self-suggesting is not only allowed but encouraged! Good to know. With luck, you can get selected.
Remember that DA is a company.
Like every company, DA has a business model. They have to pay for keeping their huge website online, and hire developpers. They earn money with ads, though not so much because of the raise of ad blockers, with their core membership, and perhaps with sponsors. So do you need a premium "core" membership?. It can help you a little. You can request critiques on your works. Amazing. You can also change the price of prints to earn more royalties. That's all. You certainly not need a membership to gain more exposure. That's fair.
Other things you can do
Do not let your gallery with a single 'featured' category. This one should be used for your very best and finished works only. Create categories and organise your art; sketches, WIP, FanArt, OCs, etc. People who say you shouldn't upload Work In Progress because it will make your galery look like trash are wrong. They simply do not know how to manage their gallery. Uploading more often will only help you.
Engage with your watchers. They must know you will upload something once a week. Or more often if you want. It should be shown on your profile page that you are dedicated to your work. Answer every comment.
Actually work hard. The better the quality, the easier you will gain exposure. If you think you are stuck somewhere, take some time to improve your techniques and come back stronger.
Things to consider
DeviantArt is free to use, and there is no limit to how much content you can upload, and this is why it is such a great website. BUT like other social sites, your "watchers", or followers, do not belong to you. They belong to DeviantArt. It is DA who has their email and if the site were to shut down like it can happen on the web, you will lose a huge part of your fanbase. This is why you should not rely a 100% on DA to grow your fanbase. Get a website, when you are ready, and grow your own and real community. It will also cost you less than a core membership to get a website with a print store. This is a service I am offering.
That is all for this week, now I have 3 bots to code :)