One of the things that really attracted me to blogs (and now to 9rules) is the idea that one singular person can build up a veritable army of loyal supporters. He or she can build their personal brand from absolutely nothing, ending up with tens of thousands of daily readers and advertising revenue to replace a full-time job.
When blogging was still in its infancy it was thought of as a waste of time with no business value. Over the past few years however, people are now labeling it “the new journalism” because individual bloggers have broken news stories that traditional journalists might have overlooked or where afraid to touch. While others may still be comparing blogging to journalism, I see weblogs as far surpassing journalism for many reasons, but the most simple reason is that there’s no middle-man between you and your readers.
Many consider “problogging” to be the internet’s equivalent to freelance journalism, where you’re hired to write for other people who control the medium by which your message gets out to the world, but I think that’s pigeonholing the potential of blogs. That freelance writing mentality and workflow worked back when it was expensive to own printing presses and equipment (previously the only way to get your written word out to the world) but weblogs put the power squarely into the author’s hands, for good or for bad. You don’t need a printing press or support technicians anymore because if you own a weblog then you’re in charge of the entire thing: from writing to editing to publishing. Blogs give you the power to cut out the middle man, talk straight to your readers, and build your personal brand and profile.
In the same way that building a successful company from scratch is exciting, so too is building a weblog and your personal brand into something people recognize. That entrepreneurial spirit embodies all bloggers who start from scratch and want to build their audience, because running your own blog is akin to owning your own printing house: something that wasn’t truly feasible until right now.