"Hey Steve, I'm a new blogger and I just can't seem to get any traction. How do you get readers to come to your blog? I'm not looking for thousands of hits a day but I would like more than 10!"
Getting people to come to your blog is not as easy as dropping some links. There are a few things you need to do first:
Write some content
Without something for readers to read you can not build a community around your blog. Pick something that appeals to you and start writing. When I started out (you can check my awesome archives) I began writing about things I knew about. I then began writing about some things that interested me. As I found my comfort zone I narrowed down what I wrote about. I now have over 300 posts on this blog. There is some good reading there!
Once you have some content for people to read you can then begin to get the word out. In the blogging world one of the best ways to get the word out about your blog is by going to other blogs.
Join other blog communities
If you can find an active blog, that covers topics similar to your own, you should become a part of that blog's community. Leave some comments. Leave feedback for the blog owner. Just a few comments a week, if they are interesting and on topic, can quickly turn into traffic for your blog.
I have found countless blogs by following a link on a well written comment.
Although MyBlogLog is a blog community it is also so much more. Some people do not feel comfortable leaving a comment on a blog but, with MyBlogLog, they can leave their mark on a blog. Just like comments, if I see a MyBlogLog avatar show up on my site often enough I will get curious and check them out. If their blog is interesting I will read it. If it is very good I will link to it.
Nothing gets another bloggers attention like a link. Since most bloggers use the Technorati service they will know when you link to them. Upon seeing this link they will check out your blog to see what you said about them (yes, all bloggers are narcissistic). If your post is good and the rest of your blog is also good they may repay the kindness with a backlink. Once they post the backlink some of their readers will check out your blog. If they like what they see they will stay.
Nothing says, "look here for fresh content" like an RSS feed. There are many blogs that I read sporadicly because the owner does not post very often. These are blogs that I save the RSS feed for in a live bookmark. When I'm checking on what to read I check their feed for new material, if I find new material I load up their page! If they did not have an RSS feed I would forget they even existed.
The key to building your blog's community is to become a part of the greater community of bloggers that already exists. Before I forget, ignore your server stats. They can be very depressing when you are starting out. Don't try chasing the social book marking sites either, nothing screams spammer more than seeing multiple submissions to a website from the same person.
If you have any comments or questions you would like answered please leave them in the comment section of this post.