The 4 things I think are most important (in this order) are:
1) Writing great posts. If you are writing lousy posts then nothing else matters. No one is going to waste their time returning to or following a blog that is horribly written, hard to comprehend or full of typos. On the flip side if you write something so masterfully crafted that 100% of the people who read it are compelled to share it with their friends then nothing else matters either. It will go mega viral in a week. Of course most things we write are somewhere in between. A great post can be many things but usually it is funny, entertaining, educational, emotional or helpful. Ideally it will combine a few of these. It also has to resonate with more than just the people that personally know you. If you are limiting your audience to only the people you personally know, you are eliminating 7 billion potential viewers.
2) Catchy Titles & Photos. You may have written an amazing post, but if people fall asleep reading your title then they’ll never click on it to know it was great. This primarily applies to gaining new readers. Once people know you write good stuff they will cut you some slack about your title; but what about your friends’ friends’ friend who just saw your post scroll across their news feed because someone “liked” it. They don’t know you. Will your title be compelling enough to make them click? If you really want to gain new viewers you must think about your posts’ title as a very important part of your post.
3) Make it as easy as possible for people to find your posts. I’ll give this section 3 subsections:
i) Post to as many social media, blog network places as you can find. The more places your posts are plastered the better chances someone has of stumbling across it. If you can set your posts up to auto post on social media then do it.
ii) Make it easy for people to find your posts while they are on your site. You already got them to come to your site, you might as well try to get them to stay for a while. Make sure readers can easily access other posts when they finish reading one. Some mobile optimized layouts strip off “recent posts” and such so the page loads faster. Don’t assume people will spend time trying to navigate your site looking for more posts to read. Gently put posts right in front of their face.
iii) Make sure search engines can find you. Learn some of the SEO tips and tricks to increase the chances your website will pop-up when people are searching for stuff. Remember you are trying to grab a small slice of the 7 billion people in the world you don’t know.
4) Read and comment on other blogs. It is obviously very time consuming to read a dozen or more blogs a day and comment on them but if you are able to do so you will find after a while many of them will begin to come over and check out your blog too. In the end you will not only have gained a regular viewer but likely a friend. When you leave your comments sign off by leaving your blog address, this gives the blogger and anyone else who reads your comments an easy was to find your blog.
Do you have anything to add? What do you find helps you gain viewers?