I cannot start a series about this topic without stressing that whatever methods you use to increase traffic, none will be truly effective if the content and presentation of your blog is not compelling enough to bring people back. This is a whole topic in itself and I will cover this in more detail later.
You could spend so much time attempting to get your blog known that it detracts from the time you have to post articles, which is self defeating. I know I have been guilty of this. I suppose in my case it is one of the research topics I have been following so without it I probably would not have been able to write this series. (I have justified not following my own advise so feel better now.)
So where do you start?
Work out your individual needs
Before you throw your efforts into methods for increasing your readership save yourself time in the long run by doing some planning and thinking about:
- Why do you want to increase traffic? This will influence what methods you use. For example, is it because you wish to create a social network on a particular topic, are you hoping to make money by advertising, selling a product etc.
- What sort of readership are you aiming for? Do you want to attract others that are blogging about or interested in the same subject, are you trying to get customers or clients for a business, are you aiming at a particular age range, are you trying to widely spread your message ...?
- Where do you want your readership based geographically? Is your topic only of interest to those in a particular country or city?
Find out about the tools and techniques that will satisfy the criteria you have worked out while planning your needs. Reading such articles as this will save you a lot of time rather than doing your own research from scratch.
To meet any unique needs you have, you will need to do some more surfing. Visit sites that cover similar topics to yours. Browse some blog catalogues or social networking sites that have well defined categories. More on this subject later.
When you have done your planning and research, you can now begin to work out what resources, methods and tools you are going to utilize - and there are many!