My initial idea of having a blog at all was to have an easy way for us to trade ideas, jabs, recipes for haggis, etc. Having a readership is nice, and we get more than a handful of repeat customers here. Be nice to have some more, perhaps, but in the end you -- and Flyer -- are my audience. (And I'd like to think that even with Sullivanesque traffic, I'd apply the same rule.)
But I know what you mean, too, that there is no real way to sell your blog without one of the hooks you mentioned. The biggest traffic spike we ever had was when we were, inexplicably, the Right Wing News site of the day, which shows the power of one good mention.
We could, perhaps, aim for a libel suit to pump up traffic. Nominations?