When I first started my blog it hardly got any traffic. I spent many hours writing content for it and was quickly discouraged. Writing great content doesn’t mean your blog will be successful. It takes a lot of work to build an audience.

So how do you boost readership and increase traffic to your blog? Here’s what I learned.

1. Write often
Google gives higher priority to sites with fresh content, so if you want to get more attention from search engines, update your blog at least twice a week.

2. Promote with social media
Share each blog post across your social networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

3. Write better headlines
The titles for your blog posts are just as important as the content itself. Titles help readers decide whether they should click and read more. Attract readers with solutions on which you deliver.

4. Include photos
Photos in blog posts boost readership. Not only does a photo make the post more visually appealing, but including keywords in the Alt Image tag on the photo, boosts SEO. See how I did it here.

5. Incorporate keywords
Keywords are at the heart of SEO. One of the easiest ways to generate more traffic to your blog is to ensure that every page on your site has a keyword strategy. So for each blog post you write, choose one key phrase that you believe readers would use to find that post.

Next, incorporate that phrase into the title of the post, the headline and within the content on the page at least two times, in a featured image on the page and also as part of the page link.

6. Incorporate outbound links
Not only does Google like to see outbound links on your site, the companies or people you mention will notice your post and link back to you. Plus, readers appreciate it when you provide resources to make it easier for them to find the things they’re looking for.

7. Add social sharing buttons
Make sure you include social sharing buttons for major social networks. Make it easy for readers to spread the word.

8. Share past content
We aren’t all looking at social media at the same time, so when you share a blog post, the majority of your followers won’t see it. So don’t be afraid to reshare past content. Readers don’t care when it was written as long as it’s still relevant.

9. Invite guest contributors
When others write for your blog, you add content that you didn’t have to write yourself and those contributors will also share it with their networks opening up new readership avenues for you.

10. Add video
Google owns YouTube, which is one of the many reasons that videos can drive more traffic to your site. Supplement your written content on your blog with short videos that are informative.

11. Cross-promote to your email list
Share a snippet from recent blog posts and include a link to continue reading on the blog. I use LexBlog, which has an easy way to set up a weekly newsletter.

12. Include a link to the blog in your email signature and any online bios you have

13. Please no self-serving promotional content
Just never.

What would you add to the list?

Heres a video on this topic.