Several people have asked me how I got my blog numbers to grow. While I'm not nearly as big as some bloggers, I'm going to share with you a few tips that have helped my blog.
1. Comment, comment, comment. By commenting on other people's blogs, you let them know that you're out there. But by commenting I don't mean, "Hi, I really love your blog, please check out mine as well.". I mean actually read the post...say what you liked about it. People are more likely to visit your blog if you don't promote yourself by saying "please check out my blog", etc.
2. Write meaningful content on your blog. Blog entries like, "Well, today I got up and went to school...nothing much else happened...okay, I have to go eat dinner!" are just plain boring. And I'm definitely not saying that I didn't write entries like that! You can go to my archives to read some of my very early blog posts as an example of what NOT to do (Pretty much anywhere from 2006-2008). Also, when you write a post, don't write in one long paragraph. Have frequent spaces in the text - maybe when you switch to a slightly different topic - to make it easier to read.
3. Proofread your posts before you publish them - make sure that everything is how you want it and that there are no spelling or grammatical errors. One of my pet peeves is when people don't bother to proofread and have a million and one mistakes in their posts that could be eliminated just by reading it before they publish.
4. While writing good posts is all fine and well, it's even better if you post often, at least 3-4 times a week. I post everyday because I enjoy it, although that's just a preference. If months go by between posts, readers are probably going to stop coming.
5. I don't know about you, but I like lots of pictures on the blogs I read. Just text = a bit boring. Photos give the blog more interest...and they're so fun to look at. Stay away from photos that you found via Google Images, though. Even if you link to where you found it, more often than not, you're violating a copyright. The best photos to post are the ones that you've taken yourself.
6. Blog design is key. It could be that you have great content, but if your blog is messy, I'm going to be turned off.
Stay away from dark backgrounds with light text - it strains the readers' eyes. A completely white background (meaning COMPLETELY - no design on the sides) is the best.
Music that automatically turns on when you visit the site is also a big no-no.
Keep the sidebars clean...just leave what you think are the bare necessities. For me, that would be the follower's gadget, labels, archive, profile, search gadget, my Project 365 link and my siblings names/pictures so brand new visitors know who I'm talking about when I mention Jermiah/Lilly/MeMe. Everything else that doesn't need to be right on the home pages are in my tabs - such as recipes, more about me, contact, photography, and so on.
A three column template is also good - you can spread out the gadgets a bit more.
I designed my blog myself using Blogger in Draft (www.blogger.com/draft - sign in like normal, go to design > template designer and customize to your heart's content!).
I could go on and on, but I'm going to stop here. And I'm going to throw in a picture that has absolutely nothing to do with this post just so I don't contradict myself ;)