Tip of the Hat to Doug Karr for these great tips!
1) Don't worry about how your blog looks. I disagree with the article on this point. Many blogs are very simple, and some great blogs are downright. People are attracted by the quality of the posts, not a pretty layout. The exception, of course, is if you blog about design and graphics.
2) Put a picture or multiple pictures of yourself on the site. Notice the pic of me in my header as well as a picture on my About page. A blog is a conversation with your readers. It's difficult to have a conversation when you don't know who you are talking to!
3) Be sure to utilize blogging software that has the following features: trackbacks, pings, links, tags, categories, permalinks, comments, search, sitemaps, spam protection, search and RSS. Learn how to utilize all of them effectively. I use WordPress. It requires some plugins for some of the features, but it's simple to use and very robust. Rather than host with WordPress, I downloaded the software and host it myself – that way I have control over the software, data, URL and advertising – and can customize it to my liking.
See the other Top Ten Tips for Blog Optimization