Don't know why I never noticed this topic before because this was something I have been curious about.
Reading the answers everyone has given really clears things up for me and is inspiring in a way to work harder and not be afraid to put your work out there.
My subscriber count for Burning Bright is still under 100, but the view count skyrocketed after I added my comic to sites like Top Web Comics and Belfry Webcomic Index, and started promoting through Project Wonderful.
What I am working on right now is:
This has been the trickiest part so far, since most of my followers from DA only followed me during an anime fan art phase, and they don't seem to be interested in anything original.
One thing that has actually helped with this is other Tapastic users' reading lists. The way I see it is if you find a story that really catches your interest, it's fairly accurate to assume the creator of that comic is also interested in their own subject matter - so their reading list should be filled with similar stories that may also interest you (does that make sense? ). The more you reach out and follow and begin to interact with other users and creators, the more they will start to recognize you and eventually check out what you are working on, too.
Basically, it boils down to: don't expect to get something without giving anything first.
The forums really help with this, too. Ever since I began branching out here, and not just posting on the "Shamelessly Plug Your Comic" threads (and yes, I know I plugged my comic here... Force of habit. ) the more readers and subscribers started to trickle in!