Unless you are extremely lucky, a top notch celebrity or are posting on a subject that is incredibly popular, it will take some time before your blog starts to build an audience.
The usual time-frame is from 6-12 months, and this does depend on how you treat your blog. Neglect it, and nobody, not even the search engine spiders, will bother to visit. Stuff it full of top quality posts, and your following will grow accordingly. Blog every day, even several times a day, and of course you will get lots of traffic, especially if you are canny with your use of keywords, subject matter, frequency and timings of your posts, and a multitude of plugins and other apps designed to increase your blog’s exposure.
Here are some factors you could put into play to help your blog to catch on:
1. Keep on posting. Patience, persistence, consistency and quality will all contribute towards gaining a loyal audience. They will require and need continuous fresh material if you are to encourage them to return.
2. Promote your blog widely. Add in your blog’s URL in your social networking profiles, as well as feeding your blog into them so every time you post your fans and followers will get a chance to read your blog’s latest contribution. Use appropriate apps and plugins to make it easier for them to share or recommend.
3. Contribute on social media. Paste your posts on LinkedIn Groups, feed onto Facebook Fanpages, and answer a question in LinkedIn Answers with a link back to a relevant post on your blog.
4. Allocate tags and categories to your posts. Be aware of the keywords that are not only relevant to your post’s subject, but are also popular in the search criteria at that particular moment. Blogs are ideal for search engine optimisation, as long as you use it effectively.
5. Comment on other blogs. Choose the ones in your niche or relevant to your blog’s subject, as your contribution will have a link back to your blog. This will also give you the opportunity to build an identity or further your expertise in your chosen field. You can give your blog a head-start by adding in the plugin CommentLUV which helps towards leaving and hosting comments to further your blog.
6. Submit to blogging directories. Apart from the obvious, like Technorati.com, there are plenty of other directories to consider, such as bloglisting.net, blogcatalog.com, blogged.com – do some research, see what others use, or ask around for recommendations as to the best ones to use.
7. Participate and share. There are a number of social networking sites, such as Digg, Mixx, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Delicious and many more, that are designed to share blog posts through a voting system. Just like Facebook and Twitter, you build a following and comment, share or recommend each others’ blogs, and the most popular, or the ones with recommendations from a higher source, will gain in social levels and therefore visitor rates. This will work for high posting and quality contributions, as well as consistent participation on others’ blogs rather than promoting your own.
8. Become a guest blogger. Submit to MyBlogGuest.com to offer your services as a guest blogger, in which you can (subtly) link back to your blog with relevant references to the subject you are writing about. Don’t forget about blog carnivals, as contributing to them can certainly help your blog traffic.
9. Submit your blog’s URL elsewhere online. Promote your blog’s URL in your stationery, email signatures, newsletter publications, tweets and other social media updates, submit your posts to online magazines such as iSnare, EasyArticles, EzineArticles and ArticleDashboard (though make sure each contribution is slightly changed to avoid repetition penalties), and anywhere else people will get a chance to click on your blog’s URL.
10. Make RSS prominent. To encourage a loyal audience and maintain your readership, use RSS for subscriptions for email notifications or newsreaders in search engines. Place the sign up form or link high up on the sidebar to capture the attention of interested visitors, and the RSS URL itself can be used to help feed your blog posts onto social media.
Let me know if you can think of any more to add.