So you've built a blog and spent hours coming up with great ideas. The issue now becomes, how can I help people find my blog? This is a common question that people have, and it can be a real challenge. With the magnitude of blogs available in 2007, it's easy to get lost in the crowd. The first and foremost important rule is: To be found you need to have something of quality that's unique. If you are just throwing words together and expecting people will really want to come see your site because it's on the Internet, you need to realize that it's not 1996 anymore. People want to find blogs that are interesting. I'm assuming that you already qualify on this point. So, the open issue is how to help them your great stuff.
Here's a list of pointers related to the mechanics of the Internet to keep in mind:
1) Learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a powerful technique guiding the configuration of your site so that it is understood and appropriately represented by the search engines. In other words, without really changing any of your content on your blog there are things that can help or hurt your ability to be found just by the nature of how search engines work. This is a very technical conversation that many people have written about on the Internet. Do a quick Google search on SEO and you'll get more than you could possibly read. The problem here is that SEO can be expensive relative to the income you will bring in from your blog. You may need to consider affordable SEO offerings from reputable SEO companies.
2) Find a way to get people to link to your blog. If you've not already learned this, it's important to recognize that the search engines are not just evaluating your content when they decide to show you to their users. They are also evaluating the number of inbound links to your site as a proxy vote for how important your site is. This is a major challenge for new bloggers. By nature of being new, you'll have no links. You need links to your site to help people find you, plain and simple. There are many ways to accomplish this. Some of the most popular are, linking arrangements with other bloggers where you swap, buying links from highly rated sites, listing in blog directories and posting on discussion boards with your blog in your signature.
3) A third possibility is advertising. You can advertise against keywords that will help people find your blog by topic. This means you write a short text ad that will show only when a user types your keywords as their search criteria. This can be quite effective, but does cost money. Google's adwords and AdBrite are two advertising programs I've used. These are called pay per click (PPC). The cost is between $.05 and $20.00 per click depending on the keywords. One advantage of this approach is that the sites that are advertising are likely to be highly ranked sites. When the search engine indexes them, the ad for your site may be showing and will be picked up as an inbound link.
4) A final strategy is to build pages at social bookmarking sites like Squidoo and MySpace. These sites allow you to make web pages with your content. While this may seem redundant, building a shadow site at Squidoo or MySpace that has tasters of your real content, and links to your real site, can really help people find your blog.
Follow these strategies and I think you'll be happy with the results.