So you’ve got your blog, a post, and a dream: “Man, wouldn’t it be nice to actually make the time I put into this post worth it?”

For big blogs, just about every post picks up social media traction on its own due to return reader. Smaller ones hoping to grow traffic, however, have a different challenge.

The trick is to write awesome content, but you already know this. Rushed, 300-word posts won’t get you anywhere. Consequently, the world’s best post on your unheard-of website won’t earn you any traffic unless you actually go out there and show it to the world.

What should I do with my posts?

1. Share, Rinse, and Repeat

The first thing you should do is share your post to your existing social media channels. Tweet it, Facebook it, throw it out on Google+, post it to LinkedIn — you get the idea. The idea is to not annoy your followers, which is why it is important to space out your links and make sure the content supporting the post link is unique every time.

One of the easiest ways to promote your blog post is to tweet it out to industry leaders. These may be websites or actual people, anyone who has lots of followers. If you tweet it “at” someone, you have a much higher chance of that handle retweeting it out to his or her followers.

If you have a solid Facebook base, another trick is to ask your followers a question (like a quiz!) about your post. This may encourage a few extra clicks and social commentary.

2. Link Out

It is important to add external links to your blog post. There is a fine line between “spammy link-building” and “relevant links to reliable sources,” of course, and it’s up to you how you want to go about linking your content.

My recommendation is as follows:

  • Use relevant sources in your article to support opinions and show different points of view. Link to them.
  • Add links to any multimedia in your post. This is important for image-theft reasons and building outbound exposure.
  • Don’t link just because you think it will help! Make sure the articles and sites you link to are informative, have high traffic, and add to your content.

3. Solicit Feedback

People love judging things they read on the Internet. It’s almost human nature by this point, too, and your blog post is not immune.

Asking for feedback, however, is a positive way to engage with your social followers and other readers. One way to do this is to ask a few questions at the end of your post; active readers may answer them in comments, at which point you need to respond. You should also ask for feedback (e.g., “Do you agree?” “What are your thoughts?”) on social media.

4. Email

Email yields one of the highest click-conversion rates out there. The challenge, of course, is having email addresses to send things to. For big blogs, these addresses are usually gained when a visitor follows a blog with an email address.

Consider condensing a few of your recent posts into a newsletter-type email and send it out at the beginning of each month or week. You’d be surprised how many people will skim through emails compared to visiting your post via Twitter.

5. Revisit & Respond

Another great way to improve a blog post’s traffic is to continue writing on the same topic. Leaving a lingering question, for example, allows you to answer it in a future post (both of which are linked together). You can also do a Version 2.0 of a post packed with new information and ideas.

And there you have it — 5 ways to improve post traffic without stressing yourself out. What are your thoughts? How do you boost readership?