lol idk if anyones gonna read this vomit of info/thoughts ;-;
Lemme start of with a disclaimer: this won't work 100% of the time, nor am I claiming this is the only way to get a successful comic. I'm just speaking from my experience since a lot of people always seem to be asking around/asking me.
Also, share your tips and growth stories if you'd like cause I'd love to discuss it!
So I've been doing personal online comics for maybe 5-6 years now starting at the age of about 13 yo. And my first comic was back when Tapas was still tapastic and it had been only a year since it started. My comic Everyday Dramaz, did really well. It was/still is followed by artists like Min (Fail by Error), Deya Muniz (Brutally Honest), David the Daneman and Momo and Popo to name a few. How? to keep this short i'll bullet point it:
I was quick on the ball. (Since there was less competition)
I found a niche (because I jumped on tapastic's new gif feature and was one of the first artists to use it)
it was relatable (and this is the kicker point here)
I've found through my years that being relatable is one of the biggest points that people like about my comics. People always tell me about my new comic (All Haven Academy which now has 30k on webtoons) and how the main character is "just like me". It's that balance between finding a "niche"/unique storyline but still being relatable and understandable to people. and also understanding that there is always a "demand" in the market. And if you comic isn't in that "demand", it won't get as much or little traction unfortunately
I strongly believe that you do not need to advertise yourself, or promote yourself everywhere in order to make it. Now I may just be extremely lucky, but all of my comics have done well. And the two that I really focused on both got featured on Tapastic and my All Haven Academy comic was also featured on the Discover page on Webtoons. I really believe it was a combination of the top factors as well as being:
well drawn (this is obvious, and also a little sad, but if the comic looks good, it's gonna do much better.)
being consistent (I never had to upload every single day. I upload once a week now-a-days)
looking professional (even if you have an amazing art style, how you brand yourself eg. your artists description, your comic blurb, your ending social media panel etc matters)
EDIT about self promotion:
I think I didn't word myself well and so have expanded on this topic. I have no doubt that self promotion and being a part of the community is an important and useful aspect of being a comic artist. However what I meant when I said that "you do not need to advertise yourself" is that it is not imperative/essential to a successful comic. This doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. I just mean that a lot of people ask how they can promote/expand their audience on a current comic and often don't look at the comic itself and how they can improve the comic, rather than just promoting it in lots of places. It's about balance.
I think my point is if you seem, look and act professional, the websites believe in you.