Everyone has their own methods for fueling their readership, and what it comes down to is always going to be content. But there are other considerations that some may be overlooking. Have more, add it:
Quality Content: People won't read what they don't like.
Focus: Try to pick a specific focus within music for your site. If this isn't possible because, let's face it, most of us like to touch on everything, try to keep the same writing tone throughout (e.g. make sure your site has personality). MP3 blogs are everywhere since mid-2005 and there's likely to be more this year before the trend subsides - give readers a reason to visit you over their other choices. Another way to have focus without limiting your site's scope is to have regular features, such as "Local Artist Tuesday," "Under Cover Friday," "Awful Songs by Good Artists" or whatever. The important part is to try to do them regularly and pick a specific day for them. Readers will come back specifically for the features.
Update Daily: Unless you're Scott Stereogum, you can't easily get away with not posting daily for long.
Technorati: This is a great resource, because people can search and find your blog, based on the topics they are interested in. It may also be helpful to tag all of your posts.
Aggregators: I would recomend ELBOWS, The Hype Machine, and Indieum. Similar to Technorati, and will get your blog read. Also, make sure any music you post is clearly tagged, especially if it is live. Not only will this make it easier for people to navigate the aggregators, it will get you more traffic.
Links: This can be hard to do, because people have to know what you are doing to care enough to link to you. Don't despair, though, it's more important that you link to others than that they link to you. Confused? Linking to other blogs on your own posts, will guarantee at least one extra reader: the owner of that blog. If your content is worthwhile, they'll link you back. Get this a few times, and you'll start a downhill snowball effect.
Socialize: Interact with your fellow blogger. Doing this (such as on the elbo.ws/vanilla forum) is how I got several links, got involved in a couple fun projects, and met some cool people.
Comment: Try commenting on other people's blogs. Try doing a search for the latest bands you've talked about on technorati. Go to the blogs in the results and comment on the related posts. DON'T talk about your site though, comment on their content. They will come to you.
Do Something Newsworthy: Early MP3s like Fluxblog were newsworthy because they were among the first MP3 blogs to gain an appreciable following, which caught the attention of several major media outlets, like NPR, and Rolling Stone; but you can do something newsworthy, too. A big news story can help you gain tens of thousands of inbound links, literally overnight. Plan an important event involving charity, or your favorite well-known music figure. Make the world see something common in a novel way. Whatever you do, one of the best services to help get the word out to the media is PR Web.
Alert Bands to Your Coverage: Indie bands are all about self-promotion, so if you write favorable words about someone, let them know it. Chances are good that they'll link to you from their site and you are likely to pick up some new readers in the process.
Directories: Add your MP3, podcast, or web site to a directory. There are many types of directories, and by adding your site to a few, it will do nothing but help your Google rankings, and send you some traffic. Some directories where you can add your MP3 web site are:
- Yahoo, (They charge $299 a year)
- MusicOnlyPodcasts.com Big list of Music Only Podcasts.
- Podcast Directory
- podCast411 Directory
- Podcast Exchange.org A podcast networking and promo directory.
- PodcastHost Directory
- Podcasting Directory
Feedburner offers a variety of feed services, including automatic creation of RSS enclosures (for PodCatchers). Among them are some great traffic builders:
- Pingshot automatically pings sites to inform them that your content has been updated. The list of pinged site's is quite comprehensive, and grows automatically as they become aware of more ping services.
- Feedflare helps you add links to your posts, on both your blog and your site feed which allow your users to help you build more inbound links.
- Stats help you understand your audience. How do your subscribers see your content? Find out which software is being used, so you can tailor your content to better fit the needs of your readers and listeners.