Yes, you can be happy with a blog which doesn’t have all of these but we are all just a bit greedy for a little fame. Here is what you can do.
Content is still king. It is what you have to offer. Have something to say. Say it in a way that is readable. Have a look at how news stories are written with the point of the story first and clearly stated right away. Afterwards come the facts, the spin off points. By the end of the story the information has trickled down to minor details which could be cut off should the news editor not want to give the space for them.
There is a lot included in layout: navigation, colour, white space, avoiding clutter, etc. A blog needs to be easy to read, easy on the eyes. Having a dramatic or exotic (technologically) layout/ template does not always work out well. Your layout should showcase your content, present it all to be read, found and enjoyed. My favourite layouts are simple, clear and don’t include much colour or scripts. Not that I do that on my personal blog. I love colour and trying things my own way and that is my place to experiment.
Some blogs have no or very few links. Links are how we share and discuss new things, they matter! Isn’t it great to wander into a blog and find some great new thing, a blogging group, an interesting new kind of art/ craft, even another clever blog widget/ gadget. The best part of blogging is the adventure of the discovery of new things and ideas.
It’s not just who you are or what your blog is about. Write it as a guide for yourself, to keep you focused on what you plan to do. Include a whole FAQ if you get ambitious.
Promoting your blog is not just a marketing scheme using SEO tactics, joining pyramid linkback schemes and piling on keywords. Commenting on other blogs (and giving feedback to the comments on your blogs) is better and gives you the chance to shine, show off your writing, and who you are to the blogger of your choice. Don’t pick a blog to comment on based on phoniness and traffic. If you want real, sincere readers show yourself to be the same.
With each comment you leave your link on another blog. Write something relevant, interesting or an opinion or experience you have had. If you lure someone to your blog from your comment on another blog, you’ve just successfully promoted your blog. Comments take time but so does any kind of blog promotion. However, you can choose which kind of promotion speaks for you.