In the past you, if you wanted to convey your thoughts and opinions to even a small number of people you had only a few options:
You could take the time to write a book and submit it for publication. Or you paid to have it published yourself.
You could also become a regular columnist with a newspaper or magazine. That was a difficult thing to achieve. Media organizations didn't give such roles to anyone. To be in the running you either had to be on their payroll as a journalist already, or earn sufficient credibility over a long period of time working as a freelancer. Occasionally, people who were highly successful already in their profession or business niche could score a regular column in some publication or other.
All these avenues required years of work, and ultimately a bit of luck. They were all so involved and time consuming that they were simply beyond the reach of most people.
While all of these paths are still available, and many who work in the media pursue them, there's another one that's open to pretty much everybody: blogging.
You can immediately start publishing thoughts about your field of interest. If you keep at it, and make sure you share your posts on social media, you can slowly but surely garner a decent following.
Sure, it's likely that your readership will never rival that of a typical columnist for a daily newspaper
Still, you can certainly end up with respectable numbers of regular readers -- and even make some money as a result. This is enormously satisfying.
Actually, it can be so rewarding that I suspect many who dreamed of having their own syndicated column have settled for the niche market domination that a blog affords.
And what bloggers lack in readership they can make up for in engagement. As well as being an online column, a blog is a kind of community. It's very much a two way process.
Of course today's high profile columnists are expected to engage with their audience online. But the vast majority of their readers don't actually converse with them in comments. They just read their weekly offerings in the printed edition.
In the blogosphere, however, everyone who reads your work can comment, and many do. This gives you a more accurate picture of how your views are perceived, I believe.
There's another advantage to blogging: You can say pretty much whatever you want, however you want (as long as you are not defaming someone, of course). This is not the case if you are working for a big media company. And as well as legal issues there are political considerations to take into account -- not to mention the sensitivities of major sponsors. This could really wear at your soul, particularly if you are a bit of a free spirit.
Last but not least, with a blog you can just take a break whenever you feel like it. That's certainly not the case if you're contracted to crank out a certain number of words every week. Having to do so could end up being a burden after a while, even if you're being well compensated for your work.