Everything hinges on HOW MANY PEOPLE are following your blog AND whether they will ever buy or influence a purchase of your brand. There are millions of blogs out there, and the majority of them get very little regular traffic, even less repeat traffic. Successful professional marketing requires clarity and brutal honesty. Unfortunately, wishful thinking doesn't help much.
As someone who writes blogs for companies I would stress the points already effectively made.
You need to be aware of SEO - blogging is a great SEO tool.
You need to provoke a discussion. Don't be afraid to tackle tough subjects and have people disagree with you. If a blog post provokes a discussion then you've obviously hit the right note.
Know your audience. Develop a conversation with them. Don't talk at them but to them. A blog should be a conversation, one that they feel a part of and are comfortable enough to join in with.
As others have said, content is important. Keep it fresh, lively, entertaining and informative. You won't get success straight away but keep at it and promote your blog on sites like this one and on social media to encourage people to share it.
Lastly don't be afraid to inject humour into your blogs. If you can get your audience to smile then you have them hooked. The best way to engage someone is to make them laugh.
As I see it, it's like this; if they are reading your blog then they are already aware of you, so in that respect, blogging as a form of brand awareness is pointless. But as a means of brand loyalty, it's essential, the level of engagement it offers is second to none.
In order to build your brand awareness, you can't rely solely on your blog as nobody will say "hey friends, come and comment on this great blog" it doesn't work like that. I comment on hundreds of blogs but on over half of them, barely anyone I know knows I do it. Why? Because they don't encourage it. Don't get me wrong, they don't actively discourage it, but they don't give me the means and they don't give me the desire.
So how do you do that? For me, you have to use the Facebook / Twitter APIs. If you use for example Wordpress then you can get plugins that will take care of the back end for you. Automatically posting their comments on their social media feeds will allow them to share it without actually asking them to, this gives them the means to spread your brand, but what about desire? Offer them something in return.
It can often come down to the SEO behind the blog. I know of a handful of brilliant blogs that are not very well-known, because the SEO behind them is weak.
Also, it depends on how engaged your target audience already is with your existing brand. If you're not cross-promoting your blog articles through your other marketing channels, you're just accumulating missed opportunities.
Also, have compelling and engaging content. Both your blog, and YOU as an author, need to stand for something. Be original. Be different. Content marketing is a very noisy place. Stand out.
Lastly, be consistent. Don't throw in the towel after 30 or 60 days. Keep at it. Blogging should eventually be ingrained in your marketing DNA.
Blogging is crucial for two big reasons: becoming a subject matter expert in your field, and for better SEO results. Other "side effects" include people sharing the items -- you never know what will go "viral". If you are looking to get more visibility on search try to integrate popular key words. You can do free keyword research on Google Keyword Planner: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2999770
Very. Before you get to SEO, back linking, ad words, and optimizing make sure your content is WORTH READING.
Does your brand voice stand out? Is it consistent? More important: is your content relevant to your demo?
If any of the answers to these questions is NO then it doesn't matter how much money you throw at SEM, SEO, promotions, boosted posts, sponsored tweets, etc. Content is key!
Not a tough question. Very effective when done properly. Make sure your blog is well connected to your website and your social pages, so it is shared accordingly. Make sure your website has traffic. SEO or ad words and last but not least make sure your blog is worth reading. Have content that helps people and is really useful. Do these things properly and it is very effective.
Wow, its a tough question. You have some great answers already but honestly it all comes down to your plan of action. Do you plan on building and maintaining a community or just blast news. It really comes down to how much work your brand or company is willing to put into managing a community. I personally like Kathleen's answer.
Blogging can be an effective brand development tool. The first step is to clarify what you consider to be a blog. An actual blog reaches people who want information and wish to contribute to a forum discussion. Many companies post frequent updates to what is essentially an electronic newsletter. Both can work as long as you 1) decide on the topic. Why should people care about what you have to say? 2) Know your target audience. Offer clients and targets the opportunity to subscribe (opt in) by announcing the blog and sending a link 3) Most importantly, leverage the content across other platforms. A blog needs company! Focus on providing value and service. Share enough so that people will want to comment, if it's an interactive forum. Take the conversation and turn it into a white paper. Send a release to the trades. There is one kiss of death for a blog or e-newsletter: stale content. Play a long game and make sure you have the resources to manage the content, keep it fresh and relevant, and leverage it across other media.
Once you have created several posts across several sites, it is important to exploit them to further improve brand awareness. This can be accomplished by being interactive once the post has been published. Engage the audience and provide solid discussion points. Potential consumers like to feel the “human” side of a brand.
The more posts you publish with links to your blog or site, the higher your brand awareness will be. This will help drive readership to your site for additional information.