So you’ve started a blog. What, you don’t have droves of people hitting your blog every day? No surprise. Many people think that just because they’ve started a blog, it means that they’ll automatically have a following with hundreds of readers checking out what they write about each day.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. To get traffic to your site, you need to be patient and implement a few strategies to drive traffic to your site. Here are five easy tips to increase traffic to your blog:

1. Use SEO strategies. Search engine optimization is how Google, Yahoo! and other search engines point infoseekers to your blog. However, if you don’t have the right SEO techniques, these search engines are going to skim right past your blog and move on to another one that addresses things in the right way. However, you don’t want to make it obvious that you are building SEO into your blog — you still want your blog to be authentic. By using different phrases to describe the same thing, you are optimizing your site’s ability to be picked up by search engines. If you are talking about running in New York City, try using phrases like “New York City running” and “NYC running” in addition to the obvious.

2. Make friends with other bloggers. The blogging community is tight-knit. Many bloggers spend a lot of time reading other blogs. Find blogger friends by posting comments on other blog posts. Avoid making comments that don’t seem authentic — truly spend time reading a blog post and answer a blogger’s question or offer some insight. It’s best to comment on blogs that talk about the same topics as you; after all, these will be more interesting to you.

3. Create a standing post and theme. Whether it’s Thankful Thursday or Tasty Tuesday, create a standing weekly post that people can look forward to and come back to your blog to enjoy. For instance, if you post a recipe on your site and deem it “Tasty Tuesday,” people who enjoyed reading the recipe will be more likely to come back the next week if they know that a similar post will be there.

4. Engage your readers. Part of blogging is sharing your experiences and telling your story to the world, but the other part of blogging is building relationships with your readers. If your readers comment on a post, respond to them. Ask your readers questions at the end of every post — this gives them something to think about and an opportunity to share their insights. Continue the conversation in your comments by asking probing questions to get more information.

5. Be patient. Unfortunately, it sometimes just takes time for people to find your blog. The more that you post, the more likely you are to find followers. Most blogs get a following based on word of mouth. Other bloggers love your site, and tell their blogging friends. Or, someone does a web search and comes across a page and finds it interesting. It takes a few months, but you will start to develop a following — as long as your content is interesting.

About Author:  Marie Smith is a social media professional who has helped companies and nonprofit organizations find their space in the social media world. She contributes to sites such as Degree Jungle a college student resource. She is experienced in finding unique ways to engage consumers and helping companies realize the benefits of building relationships with customers online.