Many members of the artistic community here on DeviantART were shocked by a recent popular news article about how to become popular. I won't link to it because that would be foolish - but the mentality behind it was pageview orientated and made a 'mockery of all that deviantART stands for'.
So - to spell it out for everyone on DeviantART whos ever wanted more pageviews, I went to my nearest and dearest ' popular' artists and asked them what they thought about popularity and statistics.
The answer? They don't give a damn...
Your page views won't help you progress as an artist, and that is what you should be on this art site for.. the art..
Page views can be a feel good thing - I won't deny that - but it does not reflect how much your actual art is viewed, how sucessful or popular your art itself is, or even how popular you are.
Using cheap tactics as described in the article it is easy to generate high numbers of page views even with an EMPTY gallery.
But don't take my word for it... Here's some people you might recognise, even be inspired by, to tell you what they think.
All I can say is that so called "popularity" has almost no relation to how good an artist you are, or how decent a person you are.
I have seen people with millions of pageviews who spare no words at all for their loyal watchers, and I have seen many amazing artists overlooked by the rest of the community.
What does your number of pageviews matter? Does it mean that you are improving your art? Does it mean that you are an active, supportive member of the community? Not at all!
"Popularity" means very little in the end to you as an artist, as a person, and I, for one, use them simply as an excuse to feature people in my journals.
I've said this before: decide what you think "success" means. Is it page views? Is it money? Is it your own inner satisfaction? Is it critical acclaim? Some of those may be contradictory. Once you decide on what you want, then go after it. "Popular" is meaningless unless you know what it means to you, first.
Perhaps "page views" is what counts for a particular artist. In that case, controversy, DDs, cross-links, and lots of sexy nude women is what they should be posting. I have no problem with someone whose metric of success is "page views" or any other metric. It's just crucial to understand what you're trying to accomplish, in order to accomplish it.
For example, I only do this for fun. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
My two cents is as follows:
Comment to receive comments. If all you can offer is 'great shot' or 'very nice drawing' that's fine, but try to expand your comments - tell the artist what specifically you like about the submission. If you can see an area for improvement, don't be embarrassed about letting them know - as artists we need to be open to critiques (although a good point to remember is to try to balance a negative with a positive). If you can offer an insightful comment, then more artists will be willing to comment on your work also. Bearing in mind the worst thing you can do is not follow your own advice... if you're going to critique and make a point of something, at least make sure you're not doing the same thing in your own submissions.
Giving Fav's is a great way to show appreciation for a fellow artists work. However, a word of caution... Fav the submissions you LOVE. Be a little discerning in your tastes. There's nothing worse than receiving a favourite from someone and realising that they've faved just about the entire photography gallery. Also - if you are going to Fav a submission - it's good practice to also leave a comment.
Get involved in the chatrooms and forums. They're a great way to make contact with your fellow artists and to share your artwork. Chatrooms such as #thumbsshare and the thumbshare forum are there solely for this purpose and can be a great showcase for your work if you use them wisely.
The more interaction you get involved in with the site, the more interaction you will receive in return. No one will visit your gallery if you don't get out there and promote yourself through your comments and activity. Bearing in mind I don't mean spamming user pages or deviations with 'visit mah galleri!!11one!!!' style comments.
Nothing will annoy people quicker than stuff like that.
PAGEVIEWS ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A COUNTER OF VISITS TO YOUR PAGE. That's all. They don't mean you're popular. They don't mean you're great at art.
They don't mean you have a lot of friends. They are JUST A NUMBER. The sooner you learn that lesson and quit worrying about them, the better off you'll be.
Friends & Fellowship
DA is a wonderful community I love the friendly fellowship here. I've learned alot from others here on the site and my work has gotten better over time and I do listen to input of my watchers. Also I have joined clubs and have gotten helpful tips and remarks from there too that I incorporate if need be into my poems/artwork.
Mingle on DA
Also don't be afraid to make friends on DA, drop a comment here and there on artwork you find of interest. People will eventually watch you back and comment on your work.
Join chatrooms, join in thread posts on forums.
I also spotlight artists (usually people I watch) so they can get more exposure too, it seems like alot of the people I watch, watch the same people too. Occasionally I'll do a random features journal because there are some real treasures to find doing it that route.
Notes About Pageviews
There is one note about pageviews that I would like to put out there, with it comes a responsibility with both the watchers and people who stop by and peek at your gallery. I watch alot of people, I spend hours replying back to comments, replies, fav's, reading journals. It is important that you make them feel important and not just another number.
1- being popular sucks.
it depends on what you want to be, but mainly what you want to get. so, if you want to be famous because you think you'll get better things, like constructive critique than now then think again... being popular doesn't bring what you want! it only brings you pain...
a popular person in dA doesn't get more attention. in fact, it gets attention, but (almost) only of people who wants this and that from them, and also some of their fame... things like features, subs, comments, devwatches... yes, because it "looks cool" to have a famous ppl devwatching them... *sigh*
a popular person in dA can't do/say certain things in the risk of being labelled as a drama/attention whore or even as an antagonist. simple things like writing a journal because you're depressed...
a popular person in dA feels the pressure of deviants to keep that bar high... and sometimes they stagnate and end up doing the safe thing instead of being open to faillure...
but also to creativity... at least in submissions!
it gets to you... the fame... it comes creeping in... it's what I call the VIP treatment, with all the good and the bad... the good things is that the n00bs will "kinda respect you" and some people will do things for you more easily than before, that's true, but then again, they'll also do it for you if you are their true friends and not just someone with many pageviews (please notice I say some people!). So, in the end pageviews don't count for anything real!
And then, when you are "popular" you can't fail... or you will be called out, put into some sort of sacrifice cross, you have to be carefull and chose the words you use or they'll be used against you.. it's like being in a court all the time... or at least that's how I sometimes feel... and if you get about 1000favs in a piece but don't go and thank them its because "you're an "arrogant" bitch..." and not because you don't have the time, no...
2- having much pageviews does not = having great art
it only means how much you interact with people. nothing else.
3- having much pageviews won't bring you happyness.
like I said in point 1, it'll only bring you nightmares and pain. well, not only, but you get the picture.
I can explain these better, if you want. I'm just trying to make people who want to be "popular" and have many pageviews see that it really isn't what they think it will be. Love and care for your friends, connect with people and art and you'll be a lot more happier! I know I am!
Years ago when I first joined dA, I not by any means a skilled artist, and I met and became fascinated with the artwork of another artist on the site. This person produced beautiful work and I was very very impressed. I watched this person gain tons of popularity and was quietly a bit jealous.
Through events, I fell out of touch with this person. Recently I looked up their gallery... nothing had changed. Sure enough, they had still been producing art, but it was all basically the same, the same look, the same technical skill as years earlier. And the strangest thing had happened.
Even though this person still was a gifted artist, they had not gained many more page views than they had when I fell out of touch with them years before.
Sure you can get a big boost in page views quickly by following some of these 'guides,' but true popularity, the kind that actually lasts and matters, comes not from 'planning' how to be popular, but by bettering yourself as an artist.
Hope that helps
"Although as a nude photographer I know I am destined to get lots of page views simply based on content; it is not mindless praise and favorites that push me forward as an artist, nor do they inspire me to create more. If anything, they allow me to 'rest on my laurels' as I feel (falsely) that I have created the greatest work. It is only through my community involvement... helping aspiring photographers, suggesting DDs, participating in community contests and subject-minded chat rooms (like #ANchat) that I feel the need to push myself to create more and inspire others."
-- Richard Rasner
Popularity doesn't mean anything, what matters it the relationships you form here. So what if you have thousands of pageviews and favorites and comments if they're all 'omg this is so kewl!!', that doesn't improve or enrich your life or time here.
Since becoming a member of this site, I've built so many awesome relationships that have genuinely and deeply impacted my personal life. Here I've found support, firm hands, honest criticism, and a lot of love and it's that which I carry with me, which keeps me here on dA. Without those relationships, those real binds, I would not be half the writer I am today.
To be honest, without those relationships--I might not even still be in this world. Through dark times in my life, I had people who cared enough to support me and encourage me to get the help I needed. I will never be able to pay that back, and it's not something that can be bought or conned out of people or obtained in gimmicks or ploys. That is something that comes from being real, honest, and open. Be here to learn, to grow, to experience. The time you spend here is what you make of it, and honestly--there is always a GM a note away who can help you find like minded and interested people. Never be afraid to contact us
While getting opinions from others and receiving feedback on thing you may not be sure about, you mostly just have to keep believing in yourself. Don't be afraid to try new things, to venture where you're not used to going - though I don't recommend your neighbor's creepy yard in the back woods - and just experiment. Don't worry about how ' pretty' something might look, just dive in and try something you wouldn't usually do. Do something 'ugly', do something 'weird'. Don't worry about how something may be looked upon by others - it's all about what you think of yourself as an artist and where you want to be. Just because something you do may seem out of the mainstream doesn't mean it won't be well-received - it's all about how you present it. Just don't hold back from being yourself and looking into things you personally want to acheive, and your willingness and positivity are sure to draw people in. :]
When I started on DevArt I was ignorant to the size and shape of this community. However I don't ever think I relied on page views to know if people were even looking. I sought comments of critique- in fact I didn't notice my page view counter till about after a year of joining! I came to deviantArt to explore and improve my work. It has changed so much in the time I have been here and that is due to good honest friends, good honest critique and good drive to take those comments and turn them into much stronger pieces of work.
Page views are just a number. Look at it on the other side-- How many times have you accidentally clicked on someone's page you didn't mean to? How often do you hit 'random deviant'? Sure, celebrate a benchmark if you like round numbers, but remember that this is a superficial mark. If you think page views are what make you a good artist, you're seriously deluded.
If you want to get noticed on deviantArt, don't sniff for page views. Ask yourself if you honestly feel popular this way? Wouldn't you rather feel like part of a community that can encourage your art to grow? Find out who your GM's are and watch them. They will provide you with so much information about the art communities you are interested in, and in turn you can get involved in. Remember to talk to people, don't leave silly chain messages with no meaning on people's pages, and actually show an interest in their work.
Join in the chat rooms and forums- these things are here for you to utilise and a chance to make friends. In return you will discover the full amazing potential this awesome community has.
I think the best advice that I personally can give is to do the art because you want to, not because you want other people to like it. If you enjoy doing fanart, then do fanart, but don't do it simply because you want people to watch you for it. It's not worth the time if you do it that way. There are people who genuinely enjoy doing fanart, and if you're doing fanart because you want attention, then you're not only making a bad stereotype about fanartists worse, but you're also hindering your own improvement as an artist. Do art you want to do, not just art that you think will make you popular.
Being active in the community in a positive way is one of the best ways to get attention on your art. I personally am not what would be called a "popular" deviant. However, I get involved pretty much whenever I can, partly because it's fun, but more importantly because every time I take part in something, I learn about my own art and the art of others as well.
If pageviews inspire you to improve, then that's one thing, but don't do things for the sake of increasing a number. In the end, the number doesn't make your art good. (Conversely, a small number doesn't make your art bad.) Also, just because you're well known doesn't mean you're popular, either. Remember, that if you're going out of your way to get attention, you run the risk of bad attention along with the good attention.
That's all I've got to say, I think, just keep striving to improve, one way or another!
A few of my thoughts on...
As a long standing artist, senior, and then as a Gallery Moderator, it has never been about "the page views" -- it is about the heart of the community. It is about making a difference in this community, by working hard in your own way, and by also touching a person's heart in some influential way with your own artwork.
This comes over the course of time and with serious efforts. Naturally, we all grow over time as more serious artists. But most of us, me included, are always working very diligently to improve our craft. Page views and popularity do not fall into this category. I do not improve for the sake of my own popularity. I work daily to impact change in a positive way and to improve my writing.
Taken all together:
I respect my own rights as an artist and the rights of others. I also support those who continue to support our artist community in the healthiest, most encouraging way.
My thoughts on this and what worked for me :
When joining deviantART you have to make sure that you join a site that supports art and it's community , you do not join a popularity contest or a pageview contest. Your talent can not get measured on pageviews only, or on how "popular" you are . Of course there are artists on this site where all falls in place, they are talents, they have lots of favorites, lots of pageviews and are popular artists. The pronunciation is on ARTISTS though and that is where a new member or a lesser seen artist should focus on, to become a better artist and all the other things will follow. A sad fact is that some people on here abuse the pageview system by faking pageviews ( we all know that fancy tools can create fake pageview stats , no news ). I think this is rather pathetic because it is so transparent when you look at the person who is using such tools and see their activity and if they even have art, their poor art. Stop faking be real ! So don't even go down that road, you will earn no respect for abusing such things to become popular.
So to anyone who is not so much seen here all I can say, do not be discouraged , never let pageviews mislead you . Nobody gets famous over night if they focus on statistics.
If you join a site like deviantART, you join because you like or do ART , right ? So you want your art to be seen , right ? If that is a yes then now how do you get your art seen , how do you get people to comment on your art , how do you get better , how do you get more watchers, supporters ?
Back to the first paragraph , deviantART is a community , a huge one and besides the little group of selfish pageview whores , there is a huge amount of people who will help and look at your art and will make you get seen. Use this community , interact with it and all will fall in place . Not over night but with some time.
My best advise I would give is what helped me when I joined dA , join groups, active groups. Many people are in such groups. But you have to join these groups for the right reason, do not join only to promote your art but also to interact , remember : ART + community = deviantART. Most of these groups will feature your art so that other people will get to see it and then other people will look at your art , comment on your art , give you a fav , give you a watch, help you to grow. On the other site, you get to see other people's art, you comment on other peoples art, you interact , you make new friends , you grow and maybe you can help someone with their art as well. This package works , believe me, been there done it. I didn't get "popular" on here over night ( gee I hate that word ) . The magic ingredient to get seen around here and to get noticed is give and take , you cannot just expect to receive something, you also need to give something.
If you need to find some clubs, I always keep a link on top of my journal that says "Community" , it links to a journal where I have clubs / groups listed that actively support community and art. Check them out ! If there is a group admin out there and they want there group listed in that journal simple write a journal comment there with a link to the group and I will add the group to the list. This is my little group directory even with links to other resource groups who have bigger lists.
I hope I made sense and people will realize that it takes more then just submitting art here and kicking back and waiting to get famous over night. Stop paying attention to statistics , most statistics can be faked and do not reflect how good your talent is . Show your talent, interact with people who do the same art style you do , interact in forums , chats , groups , just with people , over time you will grow and as a bonus so will your statistics, keep them real, be real, be yourself : ART + community = deviantART.
You wanna be popular to sell prints
A: if your prints aren't good, people won't buy them. No one will hang crap in their house just to apease you.
You wanna be popular to get famous
A: for what? fave whoring? If you don't have a product (a good art) what is there to notice?
You wanna be popular to get constructive help with your work
A: no dice. you will instead get one word comments and ass kissing. Which is nice, but does fuck all for your progression.
You wanna be popular to be a gallery moderator
A: gallery moderators know their art, they aren't appointed because they are popular, they are appointed for this thankless task because they are community-minded (not self-minded, like people who obsess about *their* pageviews?) and good at what they do.
You wanna be popular so other popular artists will talk to you
A: If you send them a note, most of them will reply. If they don't - they are just too busy for DA and won't reply even if you're the Queen.
You wanna be popular to feel good about yourself
A: sadly if you are insecure enough to try this - then when you achieve the popularity you crave you will find yourself distrusting every comment you recieve that states you or your work as good - you will disreguard everyone as ass-kissers and believe that people are only saying that because you are popular. This, does not, a happy person, maketh.
You wanna be popular because you are original, and you want people to hear about it
A: your work should speak for itself. You don't need to sell out to gain popularity, focus on yourself and your arts progression.
...I run competitions, projects, I spend a lot of time talking to people, about their art and their lives... my page views come from that, not my work. But ultimately, I am here for my work. So I know my pageviews don't matter.
If you have a lot of pageviews you don't have a lot of supporters - you just have a lot of numbers. Numbers won't help you grow as an artist.
Here is what I think:
If pageviews could be related to dollars or pounds of gold then maybe they would matter. The thing about being an artist is to enjoy your own work, trying new ideas and just having fun! If you don't enjoy making your art then pageviews are the least of your worries. Get off the computer and go and create.
Here's my advice to people; to be noticed you have to be apart of the community. Having a great personality, not a fake one, is a big part of why people will notice you.
About art, do what you want. Not for the sake of people liking it. Don't draw fan art because it's popular. Being original and having a good amount of variety in a gallery also gets people to notice you. And mostly, be yourself!
Also, I think you should mention that popularity isn't everything.
I admit to liking pageviews. It is always nice to see big numbers associated with oneself. But I never look at other people's pageview numbers. It is pointless. If pageviews were going to interest me, I would have to look at the date each person joined dA and maybe even work out how many visitors they get in a day. I can't be bothered with that! My pageviews are interesting to me because I know how long I've been here and what I've done. But that's just idle curiosity, and confined to my own little bubble.
What interests me on dA is art. People say that all the time, don't they? Well, so they should. That's my art, and other people's art I am here for. I want to help people improve, and to improve myself, and I want people to like what I do. To achieve these things you do need to make friends, you do need to build up a little fan base, you do need to give and take advice.
The truth is that if you do your best to help yourself and others, you will make friends, and pageviews will follow. If you try to appear friendly and helpful purely in pursuit of pageviews, you will soon get bored of it and you won't make friends. Rather, you will get pageviews from hundreds of people that you will ultimately let down.
The vast majority of my pageviews are from the same people who come back again and again because they like me, because I like them, because we visit each other's pages and help each other out. Pageviews do not reflect how many individuals visit my page. One person might give me seven pageviews in a week, and that person undoubtedly means something to me.
My take on this is..
Be kind, respectful, and most of all true to yourself as a Deviant and as an Artist. Make art for yourself. There is no honor or respect in making art for the sake of popularity and pageviews.
Be genuinely supportive of others and they will be supportive of you. FEATURES, feature great work and a variety of it. If you want to be seen and heard, you have to shown and tell others.
You have to "network" this site as if you would in the real art world.
Don't do the "comment before you fav" thing. I refuse to do either if an artist is that uptight. Be happy about every fav you get and every comment, even if it's the typical "nice", "cool" or "wow". They may seem annoying and no effort put into it, however they are better than no fav, and no comments.
Just want to reiterate the "be kind and respectful" it goes a very long ways and helps you gain ground in this hugely diverse community.
That is all :nod:
Are you here for your art, or for your statistics? Stay true to your art forms and your DA friends and be an artist not a number.