Anyways, lets get on with the tips!
2. Publish posts regularly.
If you want people to read your blog, you have to put content on it. Some people like to have a schedule (eg. twice a week) and some people don't. I would personally suggest having a lose schedule, especially when you're just starting a blog. For me, I try to post at least once a week, sometimes I don't get around to doing it, and sometimes I post more than once. However, I do not by any means have a rigid schedule where I post every week on a certain day. Find what works for you and gets posts turned out.
3. Have a niche, but let yourself evolve over time
Have a topic or subject that you want to write about, but don't be too specific. For this blog, I write about writing and books. It's general enough that I have many options for posting, but specific enough to target an audience that will keep coming back for more. That being said, if you start a niche and see that you're limiting yourself or don't have enough content to write about, let your blog change and adjust. SOI went through a little expansion a while back, to include more than just writing advice. You can read my post about limitless blogging here, if you're interested.
4. Be Genuine
Don't self censor yourself too much, allow yourself to have a voice. It's way to hard to try to write and think like someone else, besides blogs that are too-correct are boring.
5. Don't have any surprises on your homepage
This is a pet peeve of mine. I click on someone's blog, and I'm assaulted with loud background music or a popup graphic. My first reaction is to close the page, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this.
So avoid any surprises that will immediately turn people off, even before they read your content. If you want to have music, have it as an option not a must (see my song of the week in the sidebar).
6. Interact with your readers/followers
This goes with what I was mentioning in part one of this post, but I thought it good to expand on this. A huge way that I try to interact with my readers and make them feel important is to respond to their comments. I also like to comment on their blogs and get involved with their blogging events.
7. Don't Ramble
I am the biggest hypocrite to say this, but try to be concise. Split posts into parts if you feel that you have more to say on a topic, and narrow in on one particular topic. Don't try to say everything to be said about character development in one post, instead focus on a sub-topic like developing character's backgrounds. This is easier to read and gives you more content to write about in the long run.
BONUS TIP: Use lots of short paragraphs. White space is good!
8. Be search engine friendly
Use the "money" words that relate to what you're writing about. Are you writing about photography? Use words like shutter-speed, aperture etc. Think of keywords that relate to your topic, that people might be looking up.
When you title a post, think about what questions you're answering and what help you are giving. I haven't always done this; I used to try to come up with clever snappy titles (see my first few posts), but I've learned that the most viewed posts are the ones that have titles that clearly say what's in the post. I like to think about what people might be Googling and make it my post title. Example: How to increase blog traffic; Summer story starters; and How to develop a character's back story.
9. Link Back
Put links to other posts that you've written that are relevant to the current post. This will lead people to other posts you've written, generating traffic. See examples in this post.
10. Be Visual
I love pictures, and I love seeing pictures with posts. This can be a tricky business with copyrights and the such, but I highly recommend putting in the effort to either take your own pictures to put with blog posts or looking through free pictures.
Another thing to consider is how the blog is laid out. Don't cram and clutter up your sidebar with distracting, tacky widgets. Think about everything you put there and make sure it fits. If you want to add bigger items like pictures in sidebars, consider making a new page for that. I always tend to hang around longer on blogs that are pretty, it shows me that the writer actually cares about the appearance and thus cares about their content.
If you're still with me, I applaud. The last tip is the perfect segway into the bit of news I promised at the beginning of the post. In December, I will be doing something a little different. To get on with Christmas cheer I will be taking place in a picture a day challenge and posting my shoots to SOI. If you want to do the same on your blog, leave me a link in the comments I'd be happy to check it out! Here's the pin that the idea's from. Without further adieu my picture and the topic:
Your View Today
What I'm reading: Uglies Scott Westerfeld
What I'm listening to: Regina Spektor's album "What We Saw From the Cheap Seats"
What I'm watching: Haven