Writing a blog is a time-consuming task that requires patience, persistence and enthusiasm. It can be easy to become disheartened, but there are steps you can take to increase the number of visitors to your blog.
Regularly updating your blog with fresh, relevant content is the most important thing you can do. It has a two-fold effect on traffic to your blog: firstly, visitors will be much more likely to return if they see that you update your content regularly; secondly, your search engine rankings will improve as new, informative content is exactly what attracts the search engine "spiders".
Optimize your site with SEO
Search Engine Optimization is absolutely crucial for improving the presence of your blog in the rankings. You could use an SEO company, who specialize in increasing your website's positive web presence and often offer free tools to get started as well as paid membership. If you choose to go it alone, there are lots of helpful websites out there, both free and paid-for. Try searching YouTube for "SEO".
Optimize your site with SMO
There are those who say that SMO - Social Media Optimization - is the "new SEO". Twitter, Facebook and YouTube offer various ways users can find your site, thus increasing your traffic. Using Social Media to promote your blog is all about being visible, communicative and, of course, social! As with your blog, make sure you tweet, update your Facebook page and add new YouTube videos regularly.
Other promotional tips
There are other methods you can use to promote your blog and increase your visitor numbers. Here are a few of the most important to start off with:
1) Join internet marketing forums (there are many of these and they can be found easily through Google). Make regular, useful comments in these forums, and learn from the posts made by others. Once you've made a certain number of posts (usually 10) you'll be able to edit your signature to include a link to your website.
2) Make comments on other blogs in the same niche. A good way of doing this is to visit Google, look for "Blogs" on the left-hand side and search for relevant blogs in your niche. When you make a comment, make sure it is insightful and relevant to the content (simply writing "thanks" or "nice article" is not enough). The beauty of this process is that when you leave your name, you can enter your website address, thus leaving a link pointing back to your site.
3) Offer to write on these blogs as a guest poster. This gets you exposure and a link back to your site. Generally, you should not also post your guest articles on your own blog - they should be exclusive to the blog you are guesting for.
4) Write articles relevant to your niche and post them on a directory such as EzineArticles. You can include a link to your website or blog in your Author "Resource Box". Make sure to avoid outright advertising in the article itself - the content should be interesting, informative, useful and relevant to the readership.
5) Use Social Bookmarking. There are tons of sites out there for this, and it can be somewhat time-consuming as you need to create a separate account for each one, but the results are worth the effort in the long run. Some services can help you automate the bookmark submission process. Search Google for "social bookmark submission".
Overall, remember that increasing visitor numbers to your blog is all about visibility, sociability and fresh, regularly updated content.