We all want active watchers; people that comment on our deviations and add them to their favorites. That get involved in whatever projects we have going on, polls we post or anything else. Active watchers are awesome and we're lucky to have them. But are you an active watchee?
Some people return watches, some people don't. However you do it, a big key to have active watchers for most of us is to be active in return! But what is an active watchee?
5 Steps to Being an Active Watchee
1. Stay regular This is probably one of the most important parts; nobody wants to watch someone they find amazing to either have them never post again or flood their inbox with 192 posts a day. Life happens and deviants disappear; there's nothing I can really add to this, but if they watch you they're probably looking forward to seeing more of your work; so as long as you're here, try to post something fairly regularly [once a week, month, etc.] however it works out for you.
Of course they want to see your work! You're amazing and they want to see your awesomeness come straight to their inbox, but they don't want to see 164 devaitions, 17 journals, 22 polls... you see my point all within an hour of each other. Pace yourself, if you have a lot, post a few a day. If you have a huge set you want to show them, post a few of your best and then upload to something like a blog, flickr, facebook, etc. so they can go see ALL of them. If I open my messages and see that many, I'm more likely to delete all of them. If there's 5 I'll open a few and if I really like them I will go to whatever link there is to see all of them. [who knows, maybe you'll get a follower, contact, liker? whatever on your page as well!]
2. Value them. This may seem like an obvious one - but I see a lot of people skip it. Appreciate your watchers; if they take time to comment on your work, journals, etc. respond to them. Most of us aren't receiving 100+ comments/submission and of those most of them probably aren't long winded comments but often more simple, it doesn't take a lot to type out a thank you.
That being said thanking for +fav/watches is completely up to you. I don't really know many who gets offended either way on being thanked or not.
3. Help & inspire them!Share information with them: if you find some great tutorial, interesting challenge/idea, awesome contest, etc. Share with them - help them learn, experiment and grow as artists themselves. If you go to their page and see their working on a project, contest, etc. offer to help them. Let it be just donating a llama to winners, promoting it in a journal/poll/group/etc. - even participating in it.
Or if they're looking for feedback on their work, even just a small constructive comment or information [such as a tutorial] for someone looking to improve their work or are unsure of a piece or how to fix it can be extremely helpful.
It doesn't take a lot of time - and really, it benefits you both.
4. Engage them This means more than just responding to your comments or thanking for faves or watches. The moment they watch you, you've become more than another member of deviantART, the beginning sparks of a relationship have been lit and now it's time to get to the fireworks, you are both now a part of the others deviantART experience! Now; how can you communicate with them more than just a quick comment or favorite? Journals, polls and conversational deviations are great ways to do this! Here are a few examples of getting involved with your watchers.
- You know those sometimes annoying tags everyone does every so often? DO ONE! Answer the 10 questions, say 20 things about yourself, whatever it is... do one that offers a chat with those who read your journal [primarily your watchers!], but ask them questions too! "If you don't want to make a journal, feel free to post in the comments" or "now tell me at least 3 things about yourself, etc. This opens the doorways to let them know something about you and you to learn about them!
- Conversation deviations; I know, when I wrote this down at first even I thought "what is that even!?"... but here's what I like to think it could be. No matter what the art is; say you take a photo of your first camera or write about your inspiration... it's just a regular deviation! But you know those little artist comment boxes most of us use for nothing, 3 words, or a quick description of what this is... ask questions! "What gives you nostalgia?" or "What inspires you this way?"... and BAM! conversation... we all have memories, inspiration and something about ourselves we can relate to.
- Journals & polls: what do you write about when you post journals and polls? Does it involve your watchers? Journals can be used to spark conversations as well, if you write a personal journal you can talk with them about the topics you wrote about. Polls are an awesome way to get opinions, from asking specific questions to things like "how's your day?" or "do you think...." and so on.
5. Finally, give back to them. Sometimes people watch back, sometimes they don't. Again this is a person choice, but regardless you can go to their gallery from time to time to leave comments/favorites. I've seen a lot of people who do watcher features, which I think is an awesome way to give back to those who have been supporting you. Giving back to them isn't all that hard, or time consuming. Another thing I see a lot is a watcher giveaways - let it bee 50 points or 500 points, art commissions, features, etc. These things, even if they're small are often appreciated by your watchers.
It doesn't have to be something massive and shiny - but give back to those who have supported, encouraged, and motivated you by doing the same things from time to time. It will make everyone's experience here a little better.