What is the best way to build followers on your blog? What are the steps to take to boost a blog's ranking on a search engine like Google?
Building followers takes time and there are multiple steps needed to build a true follower base. Having a follower base will ensure consistent traffic, and not so ironically, also assist with SEO (search engine optimization / ranking).
Here are the steps I took:
1) Create content on your site that is consistent, relevant, and valuable. Assuming that you've identified an audience that finds your content valuable, keep at it, and find news ways to provide value to that audience, and ways to bring in new audiences.
2) Leverage social networks to continue to tell that story across other platforms. People will find what you are saying and sharing across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and those will be perfect places for you to push traffic to your site & build a larger follower base.
3) There are many factors that go into SEO, but having well structured content, relevancy, consistency, and popularity (meaning that people are interested in what you are putting out there), your content will rank highly in Google. If your content isn't particularly interesting or popular, Google won't rank it highly.
4) Rinse & repeat. This is something you need to do over and over. I've been blogging for about 8 years now and for many searches related to the topics I write about, my site appears at or near the top of Google's searches. It's hard work, but it requires patience and dedication. It's not for everyone.