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?
Are you already submitting your content to social bookmarking sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon? Those sites are great for gaining early traction. As soon as possible, start making a serious effort to convert visitors to subscribers so that you can rely less on social bookmarking sites.
Make a list of the 20 most influential writers in the space and reach out to them. At the very least, they might share one of your posts. They might even agree to trading guest posts.
Write posts that maximize outreach potential. The more people you can tell about your content authentically (e.g. "I mentioned you in my latest post."), the more pageviews you'll see.