The Unpaper Trail
Step One: Read more.
Get out into the blogging world. Find out what other people are buzzing about, get inspired, and see what's going on out there. Start with a friend's blog, or if all the people you know are technically challenged, try the Blogs of Note list on Blogger.com. Or, go to blogsearch.google.com and search a topic that you're interested in, such as "Cooking".
Step Two: Comment
Comment, comment, comment! On other blogs, that is. I can't stress this enough. (Or can I?) Why? If you got a comment on your blog, what would you do? Yeah, yeah, after jumping up and down and screaming "I got a comment!" Right. Click on the commenter. "Who is this friendly person who deigned to comment on my lowly blog? Hey, their site is kind of cool!" Exactly. Now you're getting it! So, if you comment on someone's blog, that's what can happen.
Note: Some people don't check the comments on their blog, and some aren't interested in being friendly. Don't be one of those people! (Disregard the last sentence if you get more than thirty comments a day on your blog.)
Step Three: Follow
When you find a blog you're interested in, follow it! Almost everyone has a "Follower" gadget installed somewhere on their blog. (If you do not, put one on your blog as soon as you finish this post. That's an order!) If they are follower-gadget-less, don't panic! Go up to the top of their blog, and find the little colored bar along the top. On the left will be a search box. a little orange "B" and then the word "Follow". Click it, and proceed to follow as usual.
Make sure that you've listed your blog as public on your profile (HowTo tutorial for that coming soon), and don't change your follower settings to private on any blog you're following. That way people can see your profile on the blog you're following. When they click you, they'll see your blog and (hopefully) click on it. Voila!
Step Four: Promote.
Put a link to your blog on Facebook (or MySpace, or whatever social networking site you use). Better yet, add the Facebook Share gadget so people can post your blog to their Facebook pages.
Add the Yahoo Buzz Gadget. True, the word "Yahoo" sounds a little like the air coming out of a big purple balloon, but people still use it. Lots of them.
Put the Subscribe gadget up so people can easily access your RSS feed. (This just means they can get an email with your post in it each time you publish.)
Click here to see a tutorial for adding these gadgets.
Step Four and a Half: Profiles.
This step can be a little complicated. You're welcome to skip it; however, it's brought me many readers.
If you're a member of any website, it will usually let you post a link where people can reach you. I have two fairly popular sites listed below--if you're not on Google or Goodreads, skip those paragraphs.
Let's start with Google profiles. Go to Google.com. Click on Settings (in the top right corner) and then Google Account Settings. Click on Edit Profile--it's on the top left, right under your name. Scroll down to Add Custom Links To My Profiles, under Links. Open your blog in a new browser and copy and paste the link into the Url, then type the name of your blog into the Link Name box. Save Changes.
Now try Goodreads. Go to goodreads.com. Put your mouse over Hi (your name here), in the top right corner. Next click on My Profile. Click the Edit Profile button, which is next to (your name here)'s Profile. Scroll down to My Website, under Age and Birthday Privacy. Copy and paste your blog URL into the box, and Save Changes.
Most sites have a place to put your blog or website. People browsing your profile will see the link and click on it, probably because they're nosy. Or maybe they just like you. (Is there really any difference?)
Step Five: Invite.
Go to a blog you're following. Find their follower gadget. Click Options--it's right under your name. Click Invite Friends. From here you can add your Google, Facebook, or Yahoo friends, or invite them by email. They'll get an invitation to your blog, and come see what you're up to.
NetWorkIt is a part of PerkUp--it has ideas and instructions for nudging your blog off your adoring knee and into Blogger land.