From the Webcomic Wonderland Goodreads Q&A I did a couple weeks ago:
Anastasia wrote: “I love the young Protectors so much! 😀 Thank you for continuing to update it every week ^^
My question is how did the comic become so popular?”
I’m so glad you’re enjoying The Young Protectors! And, boy, that’s a tough one. Popularity is, of course, a relative term. I’m very, very happy with the way The Young Protectors has been received, but the truth is, its readership is a mere fraction of what, say, Teahouse or Starfighter get. To be honest, I still think of myself as a beginner at webcomics.
That said, I think the most important piece is to write the kind of story you yourself would want to read. While I think it’s important to keep other people in mind when focusing on the clarity of your story-telling, when it comes to the kind of story you’re telling: subject, tone, etc. I personally believe it’s a losing game to try to guess what will please other people. The only compass you really have access to is your own, so in deciding what story to write and how to tell it, that’s the one you should use, IMHO.
(And, frankly, I always believe there is the chance that I may be the only person who ever bothers to read my stories, so I better damn well like it!)
But in addition to that, I’d say being engaged with your readership in the comments and social media helps a lot. That’s one of the huge selling points of webcomics, period. And well-thought-out advertising makes a huge difference. I talk about that a little bit here.