I've started a blog about the post-secondary education system (hobgoblinminds.com) and have no real readership yet (single digits). What are the first real steps in gaining traction?
When you're starting out, it's really good to comment on other people's posts who are writing about similar things. Do all you can to connect with people writing about similar issues as you, whether that's in blog comments, email exchanges, guest posting, or in forums. I also think content exchanges can be great- guest posts and that sort of thing.
Showing your authority can be helpful, too. Go on Quora and find all questions you can answer. Don't necessarily link to your posts, but get people curious about you and what you do. If you're providing them with relevant information on Quora, they'll be likely to check out your blog.