In this day and age, everyone is turning to the internet to satisfy their communication needs.  Over the past few decades, “social” sites such as My space, Facebook, and Twitter have made it extremely easy to stay in contact with friends, family, and whoever else you want.

Now, a new age has arisen, the age of the blog.  Everyone seems to have one – may it be from WordPress, Blogger, Drupal, LiveJournal, or countless others – and they use it to talk about whatever they feel like – politics, entertainment, education, or that wonderful tortellini they had last night.  With the millions of blogs on the internet, many people wonder how they can give their blog a boost in traffic, get a good page ranking in search engines, or simply spread the word about it.

Below, I’ve put together 10 ways that you can get more traffic to and spread the news about your blog.  Enjoy!

1. Have Good and Relevant Content

The number one thing that you can do to ensure that visitors come to your blog, stay on your blog, and tell their friends about your blog, is to have good, relevant content.  No matter how good your design is, how much you tell other people about it, or even how high your page rank is, no one will come back to a blog that has junky content.  Notice that I also said relevant content, which is just as important.  If someone comes to your blog expecting to read about art, and they find themselves reading about your latest get-rich-quick scheme, they aren’t very likely to come back again.

2. Optimize for Search Engines

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a hot topic among web designers today.  Basically, it is a way to give your blog a higher rank on search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, Live, and Ask.  This is accomplished by doing things such as placing meta information at the top of your HTML files, not using too much Flash, and, as I said before, writing relevant content.  Here are a few articles to help you learn more about this interesting subject:

http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/01/15/dyi-search-engine-optimization/

http://www.webdesignerwall.com/general/seo-guide-for-designers/

http://www.cssnewbie.com/4-ways-css-can-improve-your-seo/

3. Set Up an RSS Feed for Your Posts

People are busy – they might love your blog and plan on coming back, but most likely they will forget.  So you need a way to remind them about it.  Meet the RSS feed.  If someone “subscribes” to your RSS feed, then whenever you post new content to your blog, they will either get an email about it, or they will see the new content in a feed reader.

There are many different ways to set up an RSS feed for your blog, but my favorite is FeedBurner because it is extremely easy to use and set up.  Most of the blogging platforms mentioned earlier (WordPress, Blogger, etc.) come built in with RSS feeds set up, but they give you very limited customization and analytics.  Feedburner, on the other hand, takes those bland feeds, and spices them up with lots of different options like email subscription, social bookmarking, ad imbedding, and many, many more.

4. Write Articles for Other Sites

Although this might be taking away content from your own site, if you write articles for other websites, then that will generate more traffic to your own website.  Make sure that the websites that you write for are big and get a lot of traffic; otherwise, you will just be taking away good content from your own blog.

5. Add Social Bookmarking Links to Your Posts

At the bottom of all of your posts, you should add links that “push” your article to the top of some of the most popular social bookmarking sites.  This way, if someone likes your post and “diggs” it, then it has more of a chance of being at the top of Digg (or whatever site), and more chance of generating traffic.  Here are the most popular social bookmarking sites:

Digg

Del.icio.us

Reddit

Stumbleupon

Design Float (if your blog has design-related content)

6. Submit Your Blog to a CSS Gallery

A CSS gallery is a website that showcases great use of CSS in design.  Of course, before you can submit your blog to one of these galleries, you will have to have a good CSS design, but if you do, then you will get a lot of traffic.  Here are some of my favorite galleries:

CSS Loaf

Best Web Gallery

CSS Drive

CSS Beauty

CSS Vault

7. Submit Your Tutorials to a Tutorial Listing Site

Do you write tutorials on your blog?  If so, there are a lot of sites that will list them for you, giving you some extra traffic.  Here are some of the major ones:

Pixel2Life

Good-Tutorials

Tutorialized

Tutcity

8. Start an Email Newsletter

As I said before, many people might love your blog’s content, but forget about it after a few weeks.  Another way to stop this from happening is to start a monthly email newsletter that gives news about the site, new articles, freebies, or whatever else you think might interest the readers.  Granted, some people might not actually read the entire newsletter, but they will be reminded of your blog, and hopefully come back.

9. Get Your Link in Anywhere

Put your blog’s link in your email signature, in your forum signature, in your forum “bios”, in the comments that you write for other blogs (in the text box that says “URL”, not the actual comment, or your comment might get marked as spam), in your IM status messages, on your t-shirt along with a funny quote, or anywhere else that you (legally) can.  True, some of these things might not generate that much traffic, but anything helps.

10. Tell Your Friends!

As simple as it may seem, telling your friends about your “cool new site” could actually rake in some more traffic.  If you tell your friends, and they tell their friends, etc., then this could be a great option.  Of course, it depends on if your blog has good content, if your friends are interested in the topics, and if your friends have a lot of friends. 😉