...Make it something people want to read. Every day. They'll want to come back and comment. They'll have your blog address memorized so they don't have to be reminded by their Google reader or sidebar or dashboard that your blog exists.
Easy, peasy, right?
Okay, so you've set a goal. You've chosen a schedule. You're posting meaningful content.
Bring more readers to your blog.
Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?
I mean, that's what we want. We want readers to come, enjoy themselves (and not just cuz we're droning on about biting ducks), feel inspired to leave a comment, and then -- COME BACK tomorrow.
I'm going to share a couple of dirty little secrets with you (and hope you don't feel badly toward me because of them) that have helped me increase my blog traffic, make my blog followers swell and hopefully turned my name into one people recognize.
DLS #1: Follow blogs like there's no tomorrow. See how I have like 965 followers or whatever? *whispers* I probably follow twice that many blogs. Or at least 1200.
No seriously. I don't read them all every day, but I follow A LOT of blogs. Following is almost reciprocal. You follow me, I'll follow you.
Now, I'm not quite getting 950 hits on my blog every day. So not everyone is coming to read. But you know what? It sure makes me look popular, doesn't it? *insert snarfing here*
DLS #2: Comment. I've found that commenting is almost always reciprocal. I comment on your blog, you'll come comment on mine. I try really really (REALLY) hard to do this for all of you who comment here. Sometimes I make it. Sometimes I fall short. But I try.
We've discussed commenting to death here and here, but if you want more comments, you must comment more yourself.
Major tip: Right now, all you've got is your name. It's free. Spread it far and wide, wide and far by leaving your name everywhere you go. In the future, when you've got your name on a book, people will go, "Oh, yeah. I know that girl. She's scared of ducks." Or something.
Which leads me to...
DLS #3: Use your name as your blogger handle. It's name recognition, which is how you start to brand yourself. I've started meeting quite a few writers in real life. What's the number one thing they say to me after I say, "I'm Elana Johnson." They go, "Oh, you comment on my blog."
Me: *nodding* "Yes, yes I do." (See DLS #2)
It's like we already know each other, except they still can't pronounce my name right. But as I told someone over the weekend, I'll answer to almost anything!
DLS #4: Breed authenticity. Okay, this is the hardest one, I think. But I gave up a long time ago trying to be someone I'm not. You can't force humor. You can't force your voice. You just have to sit down and let yourself flow from you.
You are the only you out there. You're the only one with your name. You're the only one who can write your blog the way it should be written. So you must listen to yourself and be yourself and build a name for yourself that is different from everyone else.
Super easy, right?
I could go into a personal story here, but I'm worried this post is already freakishly long. So I'm going to torture you with more waiting. Hey! This is publishing. Get used to waiting.
I'll come back to this topic of breeding authenticity in a week or two. Next week I've already got something super exciting planned. And I'm taking tomorrow off the blogosphere unless, like a meteor hits the earth or something equally shocking.
But what do you think of my dirty little secrets? These specific ones are designed to increase your blog readership. I have more that relate to other areas of my goal. Many more. I'll spill them another time. In the meantime, start following, keep commenting, get your name out there and search yourself for who you really are.