If you write it, they will read it. Not necessarily, and even more so when it comes to blogging. If you're posting a blog, there are some general best practices to improve blog traffic coming through, as well as some lesser-known technical tips and tricks that can give your readership a lift.
For starters, content is king, so begin by focusing on writing that will drive readers back to your site. Know what your theme, topics and writing style will be even before you begin. In fact, it's best to have at least two weeks of blog posts already written or, at a minimum, planned and drafted before launching a new blog. Use a style that invites readers not only to read but also to join the conversation. Do this by including questions within your post that invite comments (something as simple as, "What would you have done?" will spark some banter and bring readers back). And know your participation is not over as soon as you hit the post button. Continue to monitor all comments to your blog, responding in a timely fashion where appropriate.
Once you have the writing down, take time to tweak some of the technical and structural components of your site to help improve blog traffic. For example, if your blog will carry a consistent theme or topic with each post, incorporate a relevant keyword into the title of your blog from the get-go. Then, whenever your blog is linked to from another source on the web, the search engines will not only pick up on your blog title (score one), but also a keyword germane to your topic (score two!), thus improving the rankings of your blog on sites like Google or Bing. Likewise, consider each post as another opportunity to grab the attention of the search engines with another clever placement of a relevant keyword within the post title. These titles will have high visibility, as they can appear in both the URL and page heading.
Also important: once your post is written, make sure to tag it with descriptive keywords. This can help turn a single post into a destination landing page found easily by search engines because of the laser-focused content. You'll also want to edit your HTML page title to reflect both your post title and blog title. A good approach is to begin the page title with the post title, add a colon or a semicolon, and then finish with the blog title. And of course, you'll want to leverage social media platforms outside the walls of your postings to boost and improve blog traffic. Consider adding Facebook Recommend or Like buttons and Tweet buttons on every post so your readers can help spread the word. And don't forget to link to your posts from your own Twitter or Facebook feeds.
A less technical step to improve blog traffic is to remain active in a community of bloggers similar to yours. Inherently, not only will you share ideas and learn from each other, but one person's posting is another blog's link--and vice versa.