Small update aside, a reader (which, btw, thanks to all who have recently filled out the survey! Please continue. :) ) asked awhile ago for blogging tips. I've heard this question several times. . .and am actually trying to figure it out myself. Anywho, I will do my best. :)
Content/subject matter: What is your blog about? Depending on the type of audience you are seeking, one or more main topics (aka, features or series) keep readers coming back for more. Often I stumble into every day, journal type blogs that while nice, aren't very interesting. Nothing wrong with sharing life events--actually, life-style blogs are often the most popular (how else can stalkers make a living? ;) ) but two small sentences about the zoo, or senseless captions between 500 pictures of elephants and lions. . .is not exactly interesting. It's important to remember that even if your life (speaking from experience, ;) ) doesn't seem exciting to YOU, it CAN be to others, depending on how it's presented. Visited a park? Talk about the sunset, the way the clouds looked, the fresh spring breeze. Be creative. Another good way of sharing life events is through regular, featured posts--you can showcase an outfit, summarize the week, or talk about your favorite foods. Imagination is the key.
Lastly, readers tend to like themed blogs. For ie, I follow several blogs geared specifically towards modest fashion. Or take my mom's blog--she scours the web (and sometimes writes herself and/or features a guest poster,) for relationship articles. That's it. Themes are helpful in making your blog stand out-- "yeah, I love that blog. It's all about purple polka-dot socks!"
Writing style: This one is tough, since not everyone is a gifted writer. My mom will be the first to admit that she just can't write--that's why she steals articles from the web. Not really. :P You don't have to be an especially talented writer to maintain an audience, but anyone is capable of creativity, wit, some sarcasm, and presentation. Are you a comedian? Use your funnies in a post. More of the serious thinker? Write on world events, the Bible, theology. And if your one of those people who creates pictures with words. . .DO IT. Develop your style, and remember, be yourself! It is so, so important for readers to see the real you. Don't feel like you have to be fancy just to gain audience--often the simplest blogs are the most popular. Show your heart. Be open, raw, and real. Whatever you do, don't fall into the "oh my goodness, I'll never write like HER!" or "but she has this many more followers. . .better copy her style." Blogging is a great exercise in being oneself--it is so easy to cast an online image. Hiding behind aliases, fake profile pictures, and overused themes can be boring. Lemme just say this, it's really difficult talking to a giraffe named Bilbo Baggins. Of course if you have preferences regarding privacy, then no judging. :)
Name that post!: Back to our trip to the park. Imaginative titling can be a HUGE incentive for page views, comments, and traffic. Instead of "a day at the park" why not an eye catching bit of drama like "A Walk Through The Shire" or "Rambling in Sherwood Forest". (and here I called mine: blogging tips. Ahem.) Of course, if your titling a movie review, just stating "The Desolation of Smaug" is perfectly acceptable. B)
Advertising: Here I really have no place to talk, since I am the WORST commenter in the world. However, it is very, very helpful to leave comments wherever and whenever you can. If you leave your blog link, be sure to firstly mention SOMETHING about the authors post--sound interested in he or she, and in what they have to say. Afterward you can mention something like, "I'd be honored if you'd check out my blog here:" Just don't be offended if your blogging-idol never shows up. Its the chance you have to take.
Another easy, fun way to advertise? Set up a Facebook fanpage, start a Twitter account, link to Pinterest, Tumbler, or Google+.
Picture-perfect: Pictures! VERY important. Even if you don't have anything to say, a picture covers a multitude of sins. Pinterest is my personal favorite for brightening up a post, though the links sometimes break and need refreshing. (as I'm finding lately. Nothing is more irritating than broken picture-links.) Also, a small tip--uploading photos privately to Facebook enables you to move a picture ANYWHERE within a post. Oh yes, and if your a photographer, please share! Personal photos are always popular.
Gimme that: Giveaways are good for growing a follower base, and/or keeping readers attention. However, be prepared for very possibly losing audience afterward; people are apt to follow just to win, not because they are interested in a blog. That's why its always really special when someone follows because they actually enjoy the content.
Annnd there is my very scrambled attempt at a post. :) If this is helpful at all, let me know!--and don't forget to mention YOUR tips for successful blogging.