1. Buy a Custom Domain Name.
Buy your custom domain to match your blog title. This applies to those blogging on Blogger & WordPress.com. This establishes you as the real deal (this is a .com url as opposed to a blogspot.com or wordpress.com url that is supplied with the free accounts.)
If you are on Blogger, you can do this through the Blogger dashboard. They have a deal with Godaddy.com where you can buy your domain for $10.00 & they will transfer the feed from blogspot.com to your own .com for you.
If you are on WordPress.com, they have a great article with more information on their custom domain services here: Register a New Domain.
A custom domain makes your blog appear to be professional & shows that you are in fact serious about your presence online.
2. Customize your design.
You need your blog to stand out and not look generic. A good designer will have your blog looking clean, organized & professional (a good will anyway.)
Great designers that I have worked with professionally, personally or have admired from afar are:
3. Keep your design clean & organized.
In the beginning, new bloggers tend to junk up their sidebars with buttons, badges, blinkies, etc, etc. This does two things, it slows your load time in the web browser & the faster your blog loads the better and it looks cluttered. Clutter on a blog takes away from the substance in your posts. Keep the focus on your substance & you will keep people coming back to your blog.
For your posting area, ask yourself “How do I read a book?” You read it, from left to right & on a white space with black letters. I usually recommend that bloggers keep their writing space on the left & the sidebar(s) on the right.
Don’t blog on a colored writing space. It’s hard to read. Rarely will people come back and visit.
One of the keys to successful blogging is making it easy for visitors to enjoy your content!
4. Give people several options to read your blog.
Set up a Feedburner account & Activate the Email Subscription option. This allows people to subscribe to all your posts & have them delivered via email. I don’t read blogs if they don’t have this option offered. That’s because I can NEVER remember to go visit everyone, not because they don’t write well. So I have it all sent to my email account or I read it through Google Reader.
5. Get on Twitter.
Get a Twitter account that is similar or exactly like your blog name or use your first and last name. (Then download Tweetdeck or Hootsuite for free & join in the conversations!) This is one huge way you are going to build your online presence by meeting people and giving everyone a chance to get to know you on a personal level.
6. Get involved & join blogging communities.
Some great blogging communities that I am a member of & enjoy are The SITS Girls & Theta Mom. The SITS Girls have so many different ways for you to meet other bloggers & to get your blog name out there. SITS works by you visiting their daily featured blogger, participating in forums & so much more (they also offer some great blogging conferences.)
Theta Mom offers a community along with a marketplace to help women develop their online presence and business: Theta Mom Marketplace. Also, check out her Theta Mom Media where she helps women-owned businesses go to the next level.
7. Visit. Visit. Visit.
Read other blogs. Leave them comments talking about something from their post that day. Don’t leave a comment asking them to come to your blog. They won’t visit back. That’s bad etiquette in the blogosphere. BUT, if you leave a comment that lets them know that you read their post & enjoyed it, 9 times out of 10 they will stop by your blog to visit.
8. Find fun memes & link your blog posts.
A meme is a weekly blogging feature that can be found on various blogs. Whether it is a photo link up, writing link up or a vlogging link up, it is a great way for you to link up posts & find other people who are also writing on the same topics as you. This allows you to meet more people in your niche & for people to find your blog.
9. Write regularly.
At least 3 times a week.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Ask bloggers who have been around for awhile. Blogging is a community & people want to help!