The first area that you should make sure that you have in place is the foundation for a successful blog (back to the basics). Here are few things that you should keep in mind:
(1) Make sure your blog has a niche topic so you can make a concerted effort to reach specific blog visitors. For example, if you have a hobby such as collecting rare books, then your main topic should be concentrated on reaching web visitors who need a rare book.
(2) Use categories/tags that are sub-topics of your main topic. Going with the previous niche topic, then good sub-topics would be: authors, genre, illustrated, modern, historic, etc.
(3) Content is key to building traffic to your website. Make sure that your content includes the keywords that you want associated to your niche blog.
Once you have the basics in place, then you need to create a "community" within your blog. Building a "community" means that you want to create a reason for repeat visits by your blog visitors. This will help you in the long run to one day setup a membership website. What does it take to build a "community"? Glad you asked. Below is a short list of things you can do.
(1) Create a way for your web visitors to contribute to your blog. This can be done by allowing them to comment on your blog posts or by allowing them to submit content to be considered for posting to your blog.
(2) Ask your web visitors to submit a link for consideration to be added to your "blogroll" in exchange for them putting a link back to your blog from theirs.
(3) Visit article websites such as www.EzineArticles.com and find articles that are in your niche. You would have to give credit to the author of the article but it is a great way to add content to your website.
Give your blog visitors a reason to come back by rewarding them for continuously visiting your blog.
(1) Give-away freebies to your blog visitors.
(2) Create a way for them to tell-a-friend about your blog.
(3) Have a contest for guest authors in your niche topic to be guest authors on your blog and ask them to share a link to the article on your blog from theirs.
(C) Writing Career