You found your niche and words are beginning to coagulate into sentences and, hopefully, sentences into paragraphs. But crossing your fingers and wishing really, really, really hard won't bring people to your blog. You have to be willing to put forth an extra effort to cultivate a following. Doing otherwise is like fishing without bait or being the world's second fastest man—neither guarantee that anyone will take notice.
In this two-part installment, I provide a nightcap to earlier discussion on finding and maintaining blog content; the second confronts the uphill battle of summoning an audience.
No one expects you to be a constant wealth of creativity, but your audience is going to thrive on its consistency. To combat and prevent blogger-burnout, you'll want to troll for ideas when your mind is most ripe.
Develop a writing schedule.
Allot specific times throughout your week to write. Adhere to them. Convince yourself that you must meet the deadlines you've made. This will give your blog consistency and condition readers to expect your latest creative outpours on a schedule.
This meshes into the above. You're rejuvenated in the morning. Ideas are stifling and ready to overflow from your pen and onto a pad of paper, so try and make the effort to wake up a little earlier than usual; which segues into my final tip that is more of a personal preference, but has helped me with my own writing.
Write everything down.
Word processors are convenient, maybe even too convenient. They allow you to second-guess word choices and sentence structure. Every grammatical error is painfully underlined with red squiggles, so you feel the need to constantly edit yourself. Editing, mind you, is a completely separate process from writing.
What I find is that by scribbling everything down first, I am able to transcribe concrete ideas without being reminded of where I mess up; this, in turn, makes for output that is pure, and prime for editing.
With all the cogs churning and creative juices flowing, getting the spotlight cast over your blog extends a bit farther than what the infamous "content is king" saying implies; off-site interaction becomes the new focus.
Exchange links with other similar blogs.
This is helpful for when Google indexes your site and will elevate your exposure to an audience outside, but within close proximity, of your niche.
Guest blogging lends you a voice of authority; because you would have never been invited if you weren't one, right? See where I'm getting at? It makes you look good, the blog you're writing for look good, and is forum for shameless self-promotion.
Provide a message board for your blog, and participate on other boards.
It's all about creating interaction. A message board on your blog builds a community and communities interact—cause and effect.
Participating on other boards is a cheap form of advertising and if you're an active member, you establish yourself as a reliable source of information, which does miracles for traffic.