So many people come to this community. Some just to browse, and most come here to have a place to display their artwork and get feedback. Many want to be "popular". But honestly, what does that mean? Lots of attention, favorites, watchers, and what everyone seems to want and think their art deserves, a Daily Deviation feature? Some go as far as to attack and belittle other artists for having more pageviews than them, or getting more comments. Is that what the word "popularity" means? I think that word is misunderstood and misused.
Here are a few simple suggestions/steps that will help you become a better fellow deviant, get more attention and increase your popularity:
Make sure to read the rules thoroughly before you start posting and submitting pictures to your gallery. DeviantArt is an Art community, not MySpace, or Photobucket to store your photos. If you've read the rules and FAQ, you'll be more sure of what you can and cannot do on this site, thus you won't have to feel lost. And besides, the rules are there for a reason. There's really no excuse not to make yourself acquainted with them. Also, be sure to read News articles to stay updated on what's going on with the site, if there are any changes concerning the rules and suchlike.
Seriously, people. A little humility never hurts! Try to thank people for the favorites and watchers that you get. Show gratitude and appreciation, that it really means something to you, and mean it, don't fake it!
Also, don't always expect everyone to give you praise and think everything you do is just fabulous. People have different perceptions of what is and isn't Art, that's true, but if someone tells you what's wrong with your piece, the last thing you should ever do is reply with something like: "You're wrong, and to ME, this is art, so STFU and GTFO my page". If you can't handle criticism, then you obviously shouldn't post your artwork on a public site on the Internet. Try to use criticism as a tool that will help you develop and improve your art. Remember that even professional artists never stop learning, and even they make mistakes.
Show some respect and be Civilized
If you see a picture you don't like, a stamp you don't agree with, a story that doesn't appeal to you, let it go. If you don't like a story, don't read it. If you don't agree with the message on a stamp, don't comment. If it does not adhere to DA rules, report it instead of flaming the person a thousand times over and call your friends to take part in a never-ending flame-fest. Simply report, and let the staff handle the rest. No need for pointless drama, profanities and name-calling. Arguing with someone over the internet about meaningless nonsense is nothing more than a waste of time. And if you just don't like what they have to offer, well...it's their work, their opinions, their gallery. Take it or leave it.
Give constructive criticism. Believe it or not, most artists and writers appreciate critique much more than a simple one-word-comment like "Cute" or "Nice". For an artist to receive dozens of comments like that, it can be very misleading. A comment that points out the flaws of a piece (actual flaws, not personal opinions) and tells you what can be improved is worth more than a thousand compliments.
Be part of the community
Communicate, reply to comments, well...be active. Read news, give feedback. Attend contests. Favorite the art you like and leave comments. Motivate and inspire others!
Don't cry for attention
Nobody will like it. Nobody. Whatever you do, do not cry for attention. Do not ask for people to "please look at your pictures that you've worked so hard on", because chances are, you won't be taken seriously. You'll only come across as immature and annoying. People will think you're whiny and tell you to go "be emo someplace else". Another way of begging for attention is to trace and/or copy art and claim it´s yours. Or slap something together hastily without even putting the least bit of energy into making it look presentable. Sure, by doing this will give you attention, but not the positive kind.
Don't spam people with links to your art. And seriously, don't update the same deviation over and over, notifying your watchers each time you do so, by un-checking the "This is a minor edit" box. It's rude and it will give your watchers the impression that you're begging for attention and favorites.
Post thumbnails, join Clubs
A great way to get more people to look at your art is to participate in the Thumbshare forum. That's a great place to share your art and look at others'. There's plenty of topics where you could post a few thumbs of your art, where it will be seen, and there's a good chance of getting a few favorites, comments and possibly even features and watchers. Sometimes (just sometimes) there's even a small chance of getting a DD suggestion. Joining clubs and submitting your art there is another great way to reach a broader audience and get watchers as well as critiques.
Visit a random Deviant
You never know what will pop up. It's like sticking your hand in a black bag full of marbles. You may actually pull out a really pretty one. You may actually make a new friend, or discover an amazing unknown artist you'll really like. And if you do, don't forget to leave a compliment on their front page if you find their gallery appealing to you. A random "Hello" and kind comment is always very nice to get.
You should keep in mind that the first thing about you, whenever you post a comment somewhere, that will catch others' attention is your user icon. That little 50 x 50 pixel icon to the left of your username says more about you than you would think. If you want to draw attention to your artwork, you should consider making an icon of something that YOU created, and not from a screenshot of your favorite TV-show or video game. This little picture represents your artwork, and shows others what to expect to see in your gallery.
Last but not least, it should be obvious that this is the most important point of all.
It really doesn't matter whether you make fan art, original art, or both. What matters is that you enjoy creating art, that you do it with heart, put time and effort into it, but most importantly...that you do it for YOU, not for others (unless you're commissioned, of course).