I see many websites having their own blogs. The blogs feature mainly the event news and some product information. After reading few of the articles and answers on this site, I see that blogs add to the overall traffic to the website.
So in short, I need to know how much value does a blog will add to my social ecommerce website.
With some companies the blogs have played a significant part of advertising. Many of the early users of the StackOverflow / StackExchange network were longtime readers of joelonsoftware or CodingHorror.
A blog for the sake of having a blog doesn't drive eyeballs to your site, but a quality blog can. The general news and event blogs are just fodder to make sure that search engines find you. Frequent updates to the content make sure that people know your site and company are alive. I have seen some sites that fake the updates. They have stale news and information, but touch the files so that they appear to be new.
Once people have decided that it worth returning to your site to read your latest entry, they will start to trust you. Which can lead to them valuing your opinion and your products. Three blog entries a year won't do that, but 3 a day from one person might be too much.
Is it worth it? That can't be known in advance. Boring or irrelevant blogs will be a waste of time. Over time the market will tell you how you are doing. You number of readers will increase, and some will wander through the rest of your site.
The amount of value a blog brings to any site - ecommerce or other - depends on how well the blog strategy is developed and executed. It's very much like farming in that there are two main functions; sowing and reaping.
Sowing involves creating content that is going to be interesting to the people who will ultimately buy your goods. Unless you have an incredibly well established brand and compelling products, news and product information are not interesting. If you sell car accessories, your blog should write about things that car enthusiasts would love. If you're selling a fitness program, write about diet and fitness tips. It has to be information that 1) people will value either because it gives them information or entertains them (or both) and 2) is so good and so remarkable that they will want to share it with their friends. If you can do that, then you're going to end up with a valuable crop.
Reaping means harvesting all of the benefits of your remarkable content. One of those benefits should be search engine optimization improvements. You'll get these if you've done some up front keyword research regarding your topics and written the blog posts following basic on-page SEO best practices (i.e. using keywords in the URL, page title, headings, copy, etc...) A second benefit of generating great content is the links other people will create to it. This will further enhance your SEO and also increase awareness and traffic. You want to make it easy to share that content with sharing buttons on your posts and also encourage people to comment by asking questions and engaging with the audience. Finally, and most importantly, these posts need to result in conversions. You need to turn the readers into customers through calls to action. For example, if you are selling fitness products and just wrote a blog post about how important it is to keep track of your caloric intake, include a call to action at the bottom of the post to buy your diet worksheets or smartphone app to record them.
Hubspot (a provider of marketing automation software) just published a study of 7,000 of its customers. One of the reasons why blogging works is that it is constantly adding new pages to your website. In this study, they offer the following statistics in that regard:
I'm writing a series of Business Blogging 101 posts that cover more on the subject.