As we all know, the growth of the internet -- particularly the online classifieds industry -- has heavily eroded the traditional offline publishing industry. But there are still many magazines and papers in operation. They continue to require content from freelance writers and are prepared to pay for it-- although generally a lot less than in years gone by. One good way of getting such jobs is if you build some authority online. And that's where a blog can really help.
I know for a fact that blogs can get you writing work because it's happened to me. Years ago, when I was living in Sydney, I met a fellow blogger, who was also an experienced journalist. I struck up a bit of a friendship with him. Eventually he scored a gig editing a magazine, and was looking for columnists. He knew I had a background in comedy, and that a couple of my blogs were humorous in nature. So he asked me to write a regular satirical column for the magazine.
Sadly it folded after about seven or eight issues. However I did get enjoy the experience, it was good for my resume, and I made some money out of it (although I didn't get paid for some of the later columns as the publication went belly-up!).
Just recently I've had another paid writing offer that came directly via one of my blogs. It's a local blog about my city. A magazine editor found it via a Google search and saw that I had a lot of local knowledge. So he sent me an e-mail asking if I would like to write a short recurring local guide for the mag.
I don't think I'll do the job because there's not much money in it (although the word rate is pretty good). And it's not the sort of thing I really like doing. Still, it was a pleasant surprise to get this offer right out of the blue. And it certainly shows you how your blog can get you noticed by people who are willing to pay for written content.