mini comment, but it looks like they've been uploading their comic since March, but made their forum account in August. Not much difference (still only a few months, but a few more months at least xD)
I believe so. At the very least I get a new subscriber or two after most updates, and mine is quite a new series (started posting just in October).
2.) Hmm not specifically. On some platforms (I've noticed this mostly on twitter), including some hashtags like "comics" or "webcomics" get webcomic sharing accounts to automatically retweet your content. I'm not familiar with how it works on other platforms (Instagram doesn't have anything like that, tumblr is an enigma to me, etc.). Instagram is my primary social media platform for my art as well, and I just make sure to include typical tags like drawing, comics, comic, webcomic, webcomics, comicpage, update, etc. to get them into the feeds of people following those relevant tags. I frequently get people who aren't following me liking my WIP photos and update images, so it must be working to some degree.
3.) This one's a big yes! I posted my Sunday promotion routine on another thread today, so I'll just link that instead of retyping:
but spending a little bit of time on these promotions nets me about 200 views per update (I'm doing 1-2 pages on Sundays). I'm crawling up towards 2k views now in my 2nd month.
3a.) Yup that's more or less the case, sadly xD I'm able to generate quite a bit of page clicks and traffic (relative to the size of my reader base/how new my comic is, that is), but I don't seem to be getting a ton of new subscribers that way. The majority of my subscribers have series on Tapas, so they're fellow creators who already had an account. I have a small number of pure readers, but they're far and few between (and two are RL friends who made an account mostly just for my comic).
4.) Not really. There are premium comics, whom Tapas pays to have drawn, and other free forms of promotion such as "Noteworthy", "Staff Picks", etc. But no paid advertising.
5.) It doesn't seem like it. Based on what I'm gathering from your OP, though, is just that you're not advertising as hard as you could be. You're uploading consistently, which is great! But if you're not advertising outside of just posting it, then you're more or less getting a few minutes on the "Fresh" section of the website as far as visibility goes. A little outside promotion goes a long ways
6.) Not a whole lot... But an easy on-site one is becoming more active in the forums here Besides just interacting with everyone, there are a lot of opportunities to put your comic out there and make some creator friends who might transition into readers. There are also opportunities for things like cross promotion, fan art, etc. Those types of things can be indirect ways of showing off your comic and potentially attracting new readers.
One last thing is just to be mindful of how your comic reads on mobile. Since you're drawing side-by-side comic strips, the text shrinks down to nearly illegible on my phone. Although a lot of creators read on desktop, a huge portion of the tapas reader base primarily reads on mobile, and if they can't read your comic they'll likely move on to something else (this is something my comic suffers from a little too, tbh xD). You may want to consider stacking the panels vertically instead of horizontally (this will let you make each panel bigger, since 1 panel will fit in the 940 pixel width instead of 4). Definitely an extra step of work, but it may be valuable.