Disclaimer: These tips may not work for EVERYBODY, so I apologize if you have tried them and did not see results. These are merely suggestions on how to get views/watchers and the results you may get varies on a number of factors such as how often you post, how active you are etc... so I DO NOT GUARANTEE perfect results.
I have written this a long time ago and I will go to edit this in the future to work better with a more general deviantart audience as my original target audience was intended to be anime/manga artists.
Yooo... 12k+ Views? I never expected a lot of people to read this crappy "guide" XD
I am currently semi-active on dA so I apologize if I am not able to respond to your questions at the moment
Also, some parts of this guide is mostly for visual artists that do drawings
I have no experience in photography/other types of art so I apologize ^ ^;
This is not meant to be instructional, these are just some handy tips you can try out
Please do not copy/redistribute this guide, i worked really hard on it!
WOOOOOOOT JOURNAL SKIN FOR THE OCCASION
Before we begin
Remember that the number of watchers you have is just a number. It does not fully represent how well you draw/how many people like you. A common misconception is that someone with more watchers draws better than someone with less watchers and this is not true. In fact, I have seen people who only upload screenshots have one or two thousand watchers and someone with very professional-looking art having less than one hundred. In my opinion, the number of watchers really just determines how much exposure you had in the dA community, particularly to those who have the same style/interests as you (e.g anime/manga, realism etc...).
Also remember that if you don't have many watchers, you are not inferior to those who have more watchers. They started out the same way you did and eventually worked their way up and so can you! We're all humans, we are all unique, but no one is really 'better' than others. Someone with 5 or 6 thousand watchers still have to eat, sleep, and poop just like everyone else including people who have less watchers. D< sorry the poop part was gross 8D
Okay lets begin XD
1. Submit your art to 937483687 groups XD
Well maybe not THAT much but do submit to a lot! It sounds lame but this is exactly how i went from 32 watchers to 1000+ watchers in 6 months. Submitting your art to groups will get you more views and favorites on your artwork and people who regularly check out the groups that they watch are usually very supportive and can leave nice comments >U< I was a little shy at first to submit to groups (and it's totally normal to be), but now I am SO glad that I did. But remember to submit to the group that best suits the theme or subject of your work. Also remember to read the rules in each group carefully and submit to the right folders (as a group admin, let me tell you now that we get very sad when we see something submitted to the wrong folder XD)
2. Favorite the works of/watch other artists
You might think that other artists wouldn't notice/care when you do that, but we really do and we appreciate every watcher. This is just me, but I always check out my watchers' profiles and fav someone their work if I like it. From my own observations, a LOT of artists nowadays watch back quite a bit of their watchers and it's a good way to get noticed by the artist themselves. Also, try to make friends with other artists too. You might even learn from each other and share tips.
3. Organize your gallery!
Imagine you are at school, and your term mark is solely dependent on how well organized and presentable your gallery looks (I said IMAGINE D<). Don't put all our works in your featured folder; create subfolders too. I highly recommend that sketches, WIPs, and doodles be put in a subfolder or your scraps and only leave your best works in featured. This is because when someone clicks on your gallery, the first folder they will see is your featured folder and if they see a bunch of sloppy or incomplete works they might not want to see more D:
4.Have a neat profile and an eye-catching icon!
The most obvious reason to have a nice profile is simply due to the fact that it's the first thing people will see when they check out your page! You can use cute bullets or dividers (if you're into that sort of thing XD) and custom boxes if you have premium. If you do, choose a background that goes well with the theme of the stuff you draw or your own interests. Remember to credit if you use someone else's custom box background. It also helps to put someone your artwork on your profile page (it's kind of like advertising what will be in your gallery if you say that it's your art!). Your ICON is also very important because the more attractive it is, the more people will want to click on it and if they do... congrats, you just gained a pageview and possibly some views on your art or even a watch! c; In my opinion, the most popular type of icon right now are animated pixel icons... which are very easy to get your hands on or make, and can be fairly cheap XD Remember, the trick to getting noticed is to PROMOTE yourself as best as you can!
5. Be original and have fun
Draw what you like. Draw the way you do. Don't try to copy or mimic other artists. There's nothing wrong with being inspired by them, but if you draw everything they draw, make your profile exactly like theirs etc etc, people might get bored of the exact same stuff that they see. Don't be afraid to try a new style. If it inspires you to draw, go for it! Also, don't use bases or trace other people's artwork. Draw everything by yourself, and be proud of it! Draw what you want to draw, and have fun with it.
This one is optional:
6. Make an OC/a symbol that represents yourself.
Finally, an OC is an original character that you can use to represent you or your page. Having an unique OC or symbol not only represents yourself, but is unique and belongs to you. Almost every popular artist has a mascot/symbol/special "thing" that represents their page. It's kind of like when someone sees art of your oc, they will think "Oh, this character belongs to <insert name>" which also boosts your popularity
p.s. you're not going to get a bunch of watchers/views overnight, you really have to commit to it and remember that it can take some time
Welp... i hope this was useful... it took me >an hour to write XD
Thankyou for reading, and good luck!
Edit: Some people have been adding their own tips and tricks in the comments. You can look in the comment section for other ideas and feel free to comment with your own! Thank you everyone! <3