One thing that's absolutely vital for promoting a site or blog is link building. There are lots of free backlink checking tools out there that you can use to check your progress. One of the best is the trusty Yahoo Site Explorer. You just need to type "link:www.yoursite.com" into the Yahoo search box to see who links to you. That gives you a pretty thorough list.
And I recently found an even better one. It's called Backlink Watch. Best part about it is that it lists the anchor text in each backlink, and whether it is a "dofollow" or "nofollow" link. This is useful because if you are targeting certain keywords you can see how your efforts are progressing.