I've been writing more frequently and closely following this "second-coming of blogging" over the past six months and wanted to get the Quibb community's thoughts on how to build an audience for your blog.
Like most consumer products, retention is a problem for bloggers. Retaining readers is more difficult than getting a spike of traffic from Hacker News, Quora, or other channels.
My observations of tactics used:
Email address collection is a common tactic but I've found terribly low conversion rates from first and second-hand experience. I don't believe most readers want to read blog posts in their email.
Twitter is probably the best way to build an audience but of course promoting one's own blog content gets lost in the noise.
Followers/subscribers on distribution channels (e.g. Quora follow) is effective but locks you into that platform. I also see more bloggers write for multiple platforms or sites (e.g. guest posts). Side note: I find it surprising that neither Svbtle or Medium have a "follow" mechanic.
RSS… well, I won't rehash this topic.
How do you retain readers? Do readers even care to come back to your blog?