Back in those days if you wanted to get noticed it was blogging networks and blog rolls that you had to be on and if there was only one blog roll to be on it was Ron's of From the Warp. Now Ron has been on hiatus from blogging for the last 16 months [come back Ron, we miss you!] but to this date, outside of google searches, From the Warp has referred more people to my blog than any other source, the main reason I still have the FTW blogger group logo on the right hand side [the other being it's very cool]. You can see I'm also a member of Tale of Painters Blog Network and the UK Bloggers Group, I even used to have the BoLS banner up there too. In truth though I'm not sure if any of these 'memberships' brings new readers or followers to the blog, certainly not based on the statistics my blogger dashboard tells me. This isn't a dig at them, it's not their fault, viewers can't be forced to follow up links I just think people are creatures of habit, they go to a location and do their thing, if they link to something else it must be pretty special or pushed in such a way to be worth following. However, no man is an island and so it's important to be part of the community so I will still continue to promote those groups I've committed to on my blog.
What I do find is that if you want folk to come to your blog then you really have to do the leg work yourself. Blog rolls work a little better, certainly Faeit212 is the place to be and Natfka openly wants new blogs to go on the roll. I think his blog has massive readership and quite a potential audience but equally the blog roll is large so your place within it when you post will rapidly be taken by someone else's post. Anyone who gets on his BlogExchange will see a massive surge of hits but once that post is 'yesterday's newspaper' there's no guarantee you'll retain those readers. So if you haven't applied to be included yet I'd consider when you want to be added, probably not in the infancy of your blog
There are a number of other blogs that when my blog has been mentioned I've had a surge in visitors - www.fritz40k.com was one, www.3plusplus.net was another. Recently someone posted a link to my Tyranid Aegis Defence Line in a comment on a BoLS news story - I got over 2,000 page views in one day!
However, a lot of my views come from forums where I'm actively sharing the work I've done, most often a short precis of the larger blog post. That way folk can either take what's offered or come to the blog to find out more and hopefully experience everything else on offer. Equally Facebook Groups and Google+ are a great way to access 1000s of people already interested in the hobby.
What I'm trying to get at is that there are options available to grow your blog but my evidence would suggest it is no substitute for hitting the streets and promoting it yourself. There are definitely sites that if you can get featured on will greatly increase your traffic but the double edged sword is that 'with greater traffic comes greater responsibility' with more followers your obligation for decent and more importantly regular content is increased. If you want to take it to the next level then you have to make sure you're delivering a 'next level' blog.