It goes without saying that in order to make money from your blog(s), you need to have people visiting. Now, to maximise income, this really needs to be targetted visitors - people who are actually interested in the content of your site. However, even "untargetted" visitors will help, as they increase the amount of incoming traffic and links, which will raise your positioning in the search engines, which in turn , will bring the targetted visitors.
From what I have learnt, either through personal experience or from other more experienced bloggers, the following are some important ways of increasing traffic. I have called this Part 1 as I will be posting later with more ways.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
This is really the first thing we need to do when we set up a blog. As well as setting myself up on Google and Yahoo, I also used Submit Express , which lists you on a whole lot of Search Engines, as well as having a free Meta Tag generator, which you can use.
Getting incoming links, especially from high-ranking sites, will increase your standing with the search engines, which will again increase your targetted traffic. I have found Backlink Builder a useful tool, where you can just type in your keywords and they will produce a whole list of sites where you can get related backlinks.
These also create backlinks to your site - sometimes reciprocal, sometimes one-way. You can see some blog directories at the bottom right of this blog. BlogCatalog and MyBlogLog are a combination of directory and social network and can be really helpful in generating traffic to your blog(s).
Another site I found useful is Free Website Directory List where you can find web directories by Page Rank and apply to get listed on them. Remember, the higher the Page Rank of the site you have an incoming link from, the higher the ranking of your own site goes.
It is preferrable to get one-way links for the serch engines to rank you higher, but even if you have reciprocal links, that still means that your blog is listed on other people's sites and visitors to their site will have the chance to come to yours.
Obviously, it is better to have these links with sites whose content is related to yours, and the higher the Page Rank and number of visitors they have, the better.
By commenting on other people's posts, you create more links back to your site, as well as getting exposure to visitors to the other sites. Commenting on sites that are Do Follow is better and one way to find them is to go to Google Image Search and type in U Comment I Follow. From the results of the search, you can choose which sites you want to visit and it is obviously better to comment on posts that are related to your blog. No spamming, though!
Joining social networks increases your exposure and so you can promote your blog(s). As well as general social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, it is especially fruitful to join networks that are related to the content of your blog. Remember - targetted visitors!
Part 2 to follow...