Everyone say hi to new branding blogger Mark True. To paraphrase his first post, "does the world really need another branding blog?" In his case, I think so. He wrote a really insightful comment on one of my recent posts and I clicked through to see what he was all about. Only a week's worth of posts up right now, but I found some smart, well-written stuff.
For those of you who are looking to promote your blog, follow Mark's example. Write something really smart on a like-minded blog. If they like your comment, they'll click through and read more. Blogging is the perfect real-world example of how branding and marketing works: it's not about promotion, it's about the experience. If you offer a smart, insightful blog that's well-written, people will come. If you're promoting and people aren't coming, then you're either 1) pissing them off with your email promotions, and/or 2) you're not writing what people want to read. Or you're not writing well enough and your posts are difficult to read.
Unfortunately there are people out there who would make it seem like blogging is easy. Sure it is, unless you actually want someone to read it. Then it's hard. It's why I don't post very often; it takes a lot of time to sit down and think of something smart to say, organize your thoughts, write it well, edit it so it's readable, add the links and post. This is not a 15-minute exercise.
Last comment: I think it's a fallacy that "you must post at least 3 times per week." If you're a news-oriented blog, it's a must. But if you're writing original content that people want to read, write when you're inspired. People won't abandon you; that's the beauty of RSS. But when you're first starting out, you do need to populate your blog with enough content that people want to subscribe. And it takes time to post smart comments on other people's blog to get noticed in the first place. You can start easing up when you've got enough inbound links to get the Google Juice flowing.