The classic Buddhist koan comes to mind: If a tree crashes down in the middle of a forest and there is no one around to witness it, does it make a sound? In the same way, if you blog but no one reads your blog, is it blog marketing? You could argue, of course, that you are going through the motions of blog marketing and so you must be engaged in blog marketing.
Let's put that argument to rest and focus instead on some of the proven ways to actually get people to check out your blog posts. Here are three proven channels through which you can attract prospective readers and build an audience for your blog. Keep in mind that while all of these are somewhat likely to increase your readership, each one works best in certain situations and for certain types of audiences.
Broadcasting is exactly the kind of one-way, targeted-at-anyone kind of mass media communication we are trying to evolve from. But it tends to be cost effective, quick to implement and yields results relatively quickly. It also works best with channels that allow you to build massive communities around your brand, such as social media, email and live events. If you aren't too concerned about which segments will be reached by your promotional posts and if you are looking for maximum reach then broadcasting your blog posts is the way to go. Note that social media and email do have the capability to let you segment your contacts before you broadcast.
Social media is great for broadcasting, but it also lets you narrowcast - aim a message at a specific set of your social media contacts, even to a single person. One-on-one communication is the best way to obtain support from a known influencer or gate-keeper. It requires a significant investment in your time and energy, but if you are able to get the person's support you will be getting an extra set of "legs" to help you promote your blog. That person may eventually work as an evangelist to promote your brand and you get access to that person's entire network. Besides social media, email, a phone call and personal visits are your keys to opening up new promotional opportunities for your blog. Promoting your blog through this avenue also allows you to ride on your contact's reputation, making it easier for you to establish credibility within that person's network.
If you are looking for immediate, targeted results, paid promotion is the way to go. Options for promoting your blog include pay-per-click platforms such as Google AdWords and promoted posts on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Going this route will cost you; some marketers spend upwards of a thousand dollars each month on Facebook advertising. But the returns are significant, or why else would they keep doing this? Each advertising platform also has its own set of rules and guidelines and you need to master these because what works in one system does not necessarily work in another.