How can one use a Blog for a business effectively?

Is the ability of the blogs to drive growth and traffic still in tact?
Well, blogs have taken an all new evolved form. A number of astute Social Media marketers have continued to use Blogs for businesses effectively, as traffic drivers.
A Blog is an integral part of any online marketing mix. It continues to provide a cost-effective push to businesses across the globe. But in a changed economic and market scenario how does a blog still help?
1. For starters it reinforces the knowledge base and insight of the company, which specializes in a certain area of business. The fact that information can be twisted in favor of the company’s business makes an end user explore more before taking a decision.
2. Content, coming from a trusted authority on the subject has the ability to hook information hungry people. Your corporate brochure (read business website) is more like a Salesman. Your blog is like a Counselor.
3. A blog helps tremendously for Search Engine Optimization (thankfully nobody questioned this being effective!). With blogs, critical updates about a new product or service do not require you to disrupt the structure of your website.
4. Consider your Blog to be your second property on the Internet. More number of sites you have the more business you are able to generate online.
5. Readers and participants of the blog form a niche community within your territory. These communities benefit you in the long run. Social networks are no doubt good, but you don’t own these communities.
What are some of the basics that need to be kept in mind while developing one –
1. As a blog is like a counselor, you need to be more subtle in your expression of thoughts rather than highlighting the achievements of the company.
2. Preferably, use a sub domain for a blog i.e. www.blog.yourdomain.com . This will help from the SEO point of view for both the blog and your website.
3. Ensure your information is Keyword rich (Density to be between 3-5%). It will also help get more engagements of your potential customer.
4. A faceless / nameless corporate blog is useless. Impersonal lacks credibility.
5. Promote your blog effectively through social networks. Viral marketing take over after a while if the content is interesting.
6. Encourage people posting comments. The more participative the blog is the more effective a community it becomes.
7. Make sure you are regular to post information on your Blog. This encourages people to keep coming back for more. The effort has to be continuous. Start with at least one post a month and then the creative juices flow as often!