If you type the title of this blog post into Google, you will receive millions of results. This seems to be an issue that always crops up somewhere with blogging: how can you get more readers?
Way back in 2005 when I started this blog, I looked into various things as to increase readership. Over time though, I've drifted to another viewpoint.
My current thinking is that how many readers a blog has is sort of an "equilibrium". There is a certain demand for specific content, there are a number of blogs supplying such content, and each blog then gets a certain share. Now of course, an individual blog can try to acquire more readers but mainly I think this comes via changing the content itself or chasing after readers. At this point, I think neither of those things is worth it.
For a different example, let's say a certain band sells 10,000 copies of an album. There will be plenty of post-album analysis: "maybe if we had more promotion", "maybe if we chose different songs", "maybe if we released it at a different time", etc. But instead, what if 10,000 copies sold is the "equilibrium" amount for this album? By this I mean there's only so many people buying albums, and there's also a large numbers of bands to choose from when buying an album. So perhaps 10,000 copies sold is neither "good" nor "bad" but just a natural outcome.
It goes without saying that not every album is going to sell a million copies. And not every blog is going to have a million readers. Given the content supplied and the market demand, things will shake out at a natural equilibrium.
One last point I would say is that small is not bad. Lesser sales or fewer readers does not equate with anything negative, necessarily. Some people may naturally produce content that doesn't do well in the mass market.
In more of a Zen way, it just is what it is.