Quite a few articles about the rise and rise of blogging. WSJ's Tunku Varadarajan starts with the premise that the first blog was born ten years ago. His article has generated some controversy; start with someone believed by many to be the first 'blogger': Dave Winer, and follow the links (specifically, his own contribution in a comments thread).
Marc Andreesen lists the lessons he has learnt in his five-week long career as a blogger. Along the way, he cites this page of his from 1993 as the candidate for the title of "the first blog." He also says, essentially, that "original content is king":
... [It] is totally clear that original content is what generates readership, at least for most bloggers.
Some bloggers who blog a lot and link to a ton of interesting things every day have high levels of readership without a lot of original content, but I'd argue they are in the minority -- most of the bloggers I've talked to over the last year who have significant levels of traffic attribute their readership mostly to original content, and this is certainly true for my blog.
I can see this in my blogging statistics -- a piece of original content that goes viral generates way more page views than a piece of content that does not.
I guess I shouldn't expect this linky post to generate a lot of readership for this blog...
The Business Week has a story on blogs that make money. There's also a slide show on some of the more prominent money-makers. I have to confess that I am reasonably familiar with just one of them: Boing Boing.