Yeah, you need to promote by stealth! I slip mentions of my blog in between inane chatter, one liners and iniquity and as for my books, well they get a mention when they first come out and never again. Too much promotion is actually a huge turn off so you need to be cunning and low key. ;)
I've found Twitter really hard work and have never had a hit through it (have only been on for a few days mind!). I get most of my traffic through search engines and quite a lot through the BLW Forum (I post on that a lot, and my blog is in my signature). There's some magic trickery you can do to make your blog visible to search engines...
Kate It does take a while to build up a Twitter following so do stick with it. Search for others who have similar interests - maybe ask on your BLW forum if any of them are on Twitter.
SEO is a big topic. I am testing a WP plug in which is supposed to help. To be honest, I think that caution is to be taken with SEO. You can have great SEO but if the blog is not great then no one will read on once they find your blog.
Good writing and interesting topics are vital, so that when someone finds your blog through google, they continue to read, bookmark or follow your blog in some way.
I am in exactly the same boat as you, in terms of trying to gain more traffic.
MmeLindor - I enjoyed your blog about social media. It's extremely useful (especially the guide to Twitter) so thanks. Just tried to leave a comment but I keep getting an internal server error message (I'm not very technical, so presume that's my end...)
sorry, BLW = Baby Led Weaning. I joined when my son was weaning and have never left. I get a lot of hits from it cause I post there a lot and "know" most people there. It hasn't worked so well when I've posted on other forums...
MmeLindor - Have you tried Scribe at all? Someone mentioned it in a post on one of the other forums and have to admit it looks pretty good as an SEO tool but yet to find anyone who has actually used it. I must admit I tend to normally steer clear of plug-ins and sites that claim to massively increase backlinks and the like as you never know if they are Panda safe, but I'd be interested to know how you get on with your plug-in.
I also would be interested in finding a reliable plug-in for list building so if anyone has any good ones they can recommend?
Join networks, such as Mumsnet Bloggers Network, Tots100, and Britmums. Join in with blog hops and linkies, where you link up your post with others. There's some great links out there such as Silent Sunday, Listography, etc for example. Engage in chat on Twitter to build up a following who are interested in the same things you are and are likely to want to read your blog posts. My blog is castawaywithdreams.wordpress.com/
I'm not sure why but your blog isn't displaying properly for me, I have to scroll across to see all of it. I'm also not a fan of the centre-aligned text, either.
Some great content though.
My tips: make sure you tag all your pictures so that anyone searching for those particular images can find you.
Use Google Insights to see what people are searching. I put in 'fashion' and it came up with what people are searching for around fashion, if you see what I mean. Top of the list is 'fashion week' so if you write a post about fashion week you should drive some traffic.
Get your blog listed on any online directories that have listings of blogs that do similar stuff to yours.
Been reading this and v good tips. Thanks! Wondering about my own new blog Mussolini's Mam. Will have to learn how to do photos, backgrounds etc. Quite a task given am new to blogging and total non teccie. Type and save I'm afraid. Any advice gratefully received.
Make sure you tag each entry with keywords. eg: history, Florence, travel etc. This also makes your blog searchable and allows your readers to easily search for similar topics within your blog. You have an option to add tags when you write the post.
You also need to add Twitter/Facebook/etc buttons at the bottom of each post so people can share your blog with others.
As you're writing an expat blog I suggest you get your blog listed on expat-blog.com, you will get some traffic that way.