Web developer, software engineer at LinkedIn, Custom Wordpress theme and plug-ins development, professional website consultant and freelancer
I've been a web developer for 10+ years and I have experience with custom building something versus using something that is templated. There are trade-offs to both and the right answer depends on what you need.
Using a template is really useful when a lot of pages are going to be the same. However, the downside is that it's a template. It will naturally have restrictions and there will always be something you will need on on off pages.
Having something custom made is more level of effort. It's harder to maintain consistency in an application and making something reusable across projects becomes more difficult. However, it does allow you more flexibility to change things on the whim without the confines of a template.
If you want to discuss a particular system in more detail, I'd be happy to have a call with you to answer your follow up questions.
I have owned several blogs that I drew traffic to. Here are some of the methods I used.
Something that immediate comes to mind is sharing on social media. Tell your friends and family. You can also write articles for other relevant blogs (guest posting) and link yours. This takes a bit of effort to email other blog owners to see if they'll let you post. However, if their audience is substantial, it can bring you traffic.
Some SEO also goes a long way though it takes time. The best SEO tip I can give you is to write for humans and not search engines. More and more nowadays, search engines like Google want to promote websites that are truly useful to their users. One of the tips I can offer is to make sure your HTML markup is semantic. This helps search engines identify what kind of document it is. Make sure your images have alt attributes included as this also helps search engines identify what the image is about.
Having your site being mobile friendly (usually done through responsive design) is a big player as well. The internet gets accessed by mobile more than ever and the numbers are only growing. Make your user experience friendly for your users.
Lastly, find forums or discussion boards where your blog post would be relevant. Answer questions there and casually build trust in that network. Occasionally you can post a link there if allowed but having a community that trusts what you say will take you a lot further.
If you need help with any of the above, I'd be happy to have a call with you to help you work it out.