There are a lot of very effective ways to promote your blog for free.
First off, there’s social media, which can be an incredible source of traffic, if you build it up and keep it up.
I would recommend creating profiles on a few different social networks (or rather, as many as you can realistically handle) and promoting your blog on there; link to it in your bio and then share your blog posts as soon as they’re published. Ideally, you should continue to share the same posts regularly, because social media updates “disappear” quickly.
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Don’t forget to also add social sharing buttons to your blog so that people can easily share it with their friends and followers. Click to Tweet is another useful tool here – it allows you to add tweetable quotes throughout your posts, so that readers can easily click them and share the quote and link to your post:
You should also consider joining relevant groups and communities – on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn. Then, be active regularly, ask/answer questions and promote your blog posts (but make sure it’s on a group that allows this first, so you don’t get kicked out).
With an email list, you can have a regular, steady stream of traffic that you can rely on every week.
To start building up your list, you’ll need to add opt-in forms on your blog (for a free e.g., the Optin Forms plugin for WordPress) and offer content downloads as incentives to get people to sign up – or, if you don’t want to create content downloads (guides, checklists, infographics, etc.), you can use the opt-in form to get people to subscribe to your newsletter.
However, if there is no incentive, it will be much more difficult to get people to sign up – so I would recommend creating content downloads relevant to specific blog posts, at least every once in a while, – it can make a huge difference to your overall numbers.
You’ll also need an email marketing tool, so you can send your list regular updates and newsletters (and drive traffic) – you’ll find there are some good tools that have free plans for beginners, such as Mailchimp.
Hope that helps and good luck! There a lot of other things that you can do (for free) to promote your post, you can read more about them in this guide to how to promote a blog post.