People are hungry for content, something to fill their minds with, engage, distract, allow them to feel outside of themselves in a good way. When they come to a blog network instead of a random singular blog, they will see other articles in the sidebar, and click on those. They need content! Need it.
So. Let’s say your blog doesn’t have a ton of up-front appeal by itself, but if people come around a while, get to know you, they really like what you’re offering. How do you get them to come back repeatedly so they can get past the initial unfamiliarity?
Show up in the sidebar on a blog network. People come here for what they know, for PZ or Iris or other authors they followed from other places. But they need more, and they’ll see your articles in the sidebar. They will get to know you. Your stuff will be seen. All you have to do is be productive and you can have an audience here.
The pay is sub-minimum wage, but you could monetize that in other ways. Parlay it into speaking gigs, sell merch, take donations for specific kinds of content, whatever. But you can do none of those things without an audience. A blogging platform gives you a guaranteed audience. I love it. I’m not taking full advantage of it at the moment, but it’s here for me when I’m ready.
That said, we aren’t a good cultural fit for lots of people. You don’t have to agree with everything everyone says. There are bloggers here I won’t read at all, or that I’ll just skip their comment sections. But the bare minimum: You have to be OK with unapologetic atheism. There are many of us who are in full-blooded opposition to islamophobia, but none of us will defend islam itself from fair criticism, none of us think any religion should be shielded from blasphemy. That puts us at odds with large swaths of the liberal community.
Meanwhile, none of us are going to tolerate misogyny, racism, queerphobia, etc., and that puts us at odds with unfortunately large swaths of the secular community. Look around, feel things out, do what seems right for you. But know that it’s a pretty cool deal. Think about it.