Getting a blog up and running and writing your first few posts is a big accomplishment. If you’ve made it that far already, congratulations!

After you have several posts under your belt it’s time to start thinking about traffic.

Here are some tips on how to bring traffic to your blog and expand your audience:

1. Put your blog link in your email signature. All email programs give you the option of automatically inserting a signature in each email. Include your blog name and link in the signature field. This way everyone you send emails to will become aware of your blog.

2. Leave comments on other blogs. By now you should be following and reading several blogs. Occasionally leave a thoughtful comment on these blogs and be sure to insert your blog link into the link field of the comment.

If the blog is a high profile blog you can potentially receive a lot of traffic to your own blog this way because readers of that blog will see your comment and click on your link. In my experience this has been the best free way to drive traffic to my blogs.

If you comment regularly, the other blogger will develop a rapport with you and possibly mention your blog in one of their posts. You should occasionally link to other bloggers’ posts in your blog as well. This builds goodwill.

3. Participate in online forums in your niche. Do a search of Google Groups and see if there are any forums with lots of discussion. Many forums let you put your blog links in your signature field or at least on your profile.

You can also get a lot of blog post ideas simply by reading posts and paying attention to the types of questions being asked.

Forums can become time-consuming so limit yourself to a certain number of minutes or visits per day.

4. Social media. Twitter and Facebook can be ways to drive traffic to your blog. In addition to posting the link to your blog on your profile, you can post links to each new post after you publish it.

You can also sync your blog to Facebook so that new blog posts automatically appear on your Facebook page.

It’s also important to promote other bloggers’ blogs on your Twitter and Facebook accounts. If you read something cool by another blogger, post it to your Facebook or Twitter.

You don’t have to have a Facebook and Twitter account, but I do recommend having at least a Facebook account. Remember that Facebook has good privacy controls and the only people that will see your Facebook information are the people you approve to have as Facebook friends.

6. Register your blog with a blog network. Some popular networks/directories are  Blogburst and BlogHer (if you are female or your readership is more than 50% female). Millions of people belong to these networks and this gives your blog a lot of exposure.

7. Blog carnivals.  A blog carnival is like a magazine. An author will launch a carnival on a particular topic and collect posts from contributing bloggers. These posts will be published on both the carnival site and the author’s own blog. It’s a great way to get traffic to your blog.

Blog Carnival.com is one of the most popular carnival sites. As you follow various bloggers you’ll also find out about various carnivals that way too. Anyone can host a carnival, so feel free to host one sometime.

This list isn’t exhaustive, and you certainly don’t have to do all seven of these things. But start doing a least a couple of them (and definitely #2).

In my final post about how to start blogging I’ll show you how to track your traffic so you can see where it’s coming from. I’ll also include a final checklist of things to keep in mind as you go forth and blog.

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