As features go daily, weekly, or monthly columns can generate a great deal of return visits to your website domain.
A feature writer can easily develop a following. This following will then check in from time to time to see what's new from this writer. Also as a writer becomes well known your articles will start to pull traffic from searchs on this author.
In our mind there is no question about the usefulness of a periodic column. The question is simply can you afford the time and/or expense of such a beast? And, this question does not have a simple answer. There isn't any immediate direct cost benefit from a column. It will either build traffic or it won't. It will either help with name branding or it won't. It will either develop repeat visitation or it won't. The results of these possibilities may take weeks or months to see.
So our question is, "are there columns which would be easy to post?" Is your site devoted to movies and you happen to love movies and happen to love telling people your opinions about movies? If you answer yes then a periodic movie column is a way to go. If you hate movies and/or hate writing about movies what on earth are you doing with a movie website. Dump that and get a website you do love.
There are syndicated columns available for little or no money. To find sources go to Google.com or another such search engine and look for something like "available syndicated columns." Doing this we came up with 10,000 results -- some of which may be pertinent to your situation. For example if you happen to have a site which could use hip dating advise from a couple of sisters you can get such a column for a couple of bucks a pop. Not free but certainly inexpensive.
If you want "free syndicated artiles" then look for that. We found over 4000 entries for free syndicated artiles. Surely some of those will fit your bill.
Sources of syndicated material (articles & columns):
To see an example try visiting the article from web-source on web design and development