If you are a true writer, you'll spend some time most days writing, thinking about writing, or editing.
Unfortunately, if you want people to read what you've written, then you must also do some promoting. I know there are people out there who don't like that part of being a writer--and to be honest, most of us would rather just write.
However, if you want to sell books and keep your publisher happy, you better set aside some time each day to promote. Try all sorts of promotion--then settle on those that work best for you.
At the very least a writer should have a web page. (A blog can serve as a web page too especially now that most of them have more than one page you can use.)
Any web page should be easy to read and to navigate. On it should be your book covers, something about each book, links to buy the books, your photo, one you don't mind being used elsewhere, something about you (an online press kit), where you will be making personal appearances,anything else that you think might interest readers. For other ideas, check out my web site at http://fictionforyou.com and it's important to keep your web site up-to-date.
My personal blog is http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com and I try to have a new post on my blog everyday. You can do more than one post and set them up to come out on different days. I also like to interview authors on my blog. This is free advertising for the author. I've offered this to all OTP authors, but only a few have taken advantage of it.
I also blog regularly on other blogs such as the Stiletto Gang http://thestilettogang.blogspot.com
where I post every Tuesday, Make Mine Mystery http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com
on the first and third Tuesdays, and I recently took on posting twice a month at http://criminalmindsatwork.blogspot.com These blogs I was invited to post to, but I'm sure because of the fact that I kept my own blog up.
Because OTP has it's own blog and if you're an OTP author, then be sure to post here ever so often and don't forget to post on your assigned day. This was mine. Also read the posts and leave comments--put your name on the bottom of your posts so people can easily see who you are. OTP's blog has many followers who aren't OTP authors.
Leave comments on blogs you visit. One more way to get name recognition.
And then there's Facebook and Twitter. Both are places where you can drive people to your blogs. Be careful though, don't just use these social networking sites to promote, write a bit about what's gong on in your life. Personally, I think you should avoid making political statements or rant about anything or anyone that might end up hurting you.
If you belong to a lot of social networking sites, use Ping.fm to alert all the sites at once about something new.
I like to do blog tours when I have a new book out and will be doing one in November for my new mystery with my other publisher. When I have a new Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel, I'll do another blog tour. I've found they are good for getting numbers down on Amazon.
You should also do some in-person events and book tours. Fellow OTP author, Mike Orenduff is the champion when it comes to those. I hope one day he'll do a blog on how he set his book tours.
I've found one independent bookstore that likes me to come and give a talk about twice a year and there's always a good turnout. I love book festivals and craft fairs. I have a couple of favorite writers and mystery cons--of course there's the PSWA conference, http://policewriter.com and Mayhem in the Midlands where I've gone enough that I have a following.
Anyway, that's a start. No one writer has to do the same things--but you must do something.
Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith
P.S. When this comes out I'll be at my family reunion in Barstow. I wrote this a week ahead of time.