The best writing in the world is wasted if its intended audience never sees it. Amp up web traffic to ensure your blog reaches its optimal fan-building potential with these 5 final steps.

8. Track and analyze readers
Invest in some tracking software to understand traffic to your sites. You can start with free services like Google Analytics or Stat Counter to determine which of your blogs gets the most traffic, where your visitors come from, and which pages they like best. Later, you may want to pay for more advanced tracking. Figure out what your fans want so you can provide more of it! Tracking software also provides keyword analysis, so you can see how people are finding your blog in the first place.

9. Find subscribers
Your fans need know when new content is posted so they can connect immediately. RSS feeds are the easiest way to notify fans of new posts. Once you have the feed set up, display the RSS feed button prominently on your blog in many different places. Some users like to be notified by email. You can collect email addresses and send your updated blog out directly. To increase your fan base, offer contests that encourage fans to sign up for your RSS feed: give away tickets or VIP passes to your next event, posters of your album cover, shirts, or other merchandise. Above all, make signing up easy! It should only take one click to get weekly updates.

10. Create a Conversation
You’ve got to allow comments on your blog. Interesting discussions indicate an active fan base; a blog with zero comments on every post appears unpopular and discourages followers. Ask questions in the conclusion of each post to encourage reader responses. Get the ball rolling by asking a friend to write an interesting or controversial comment on your first post. Then, respond to your comments. Readers want to know their voices are being heard, and they feel more connected to the band when they hear back from you. Comment on other blogs, including forums and chats (see #4). Always include a link back to your own blog so casual readers can follow you home and become fans.

11. Avoid Routine.
Many readers lose interest when confronted with pages of pure text. Add the occasional funny YouTube video, unique MP3, screenshot of a website you discuss, or photo of your guitar. Anything that breaks up the text and requires a second glance will boost your blog’s appeal. Consider occasionally changing the type of blogs you write. Every once in a while, make your blog a video-blog. Just film yourself narrating the blog and upload it to YouTube. Create a music video and advertise it through your blog. Consider hosting a guest-blogger every once in a while (maybe the drummer thinks he can write better than you). Inviting band-mates, other musicians, or club promoters to share their opinions gives the readers a different point of view. If you’re then asked to become a guest blogger on their sites, the cross-linking can provide a boost in traffic.

12. Build a brand.
Differentiate your blog! Make sure it is recognized as your blog, not just another page on the web. Promote your blog in as many different ways as you can. Bring it up at performances and to friends. Put your blog on business cards, your website, and social networking sites.

These 12 surefire steps will get you started as a successful blogger and help you to develop a loyal fan base. Just remember your audience and keep them satisfied. Then watch your work pay off as you achieve popularity online and with your musical career!