I'm a newbie and am wanting to start up my own blog. It is so much fun reading everyone elses...it's time I join you! But where do I start? I'm asking for feedback on how you got started. How did you go about setting up your blog? What are good blog resources for those of us who aren't all that computer savvy? How do you find time to manage your blog? I work full time and have a daughter. I can barely find time to visit all of the blogs I enjoy, let along manage one for myself!

What's your story? Can't wait to read them!

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Well, I think I started because I had so much to say, but it fell deaf on little toddler ears:) I thought, I'm a writer, I know there are other moms out there sharing all the gritty details, I can too. So, I did.

I am hosted through blogger.com, though I have my own domain name. It's been a piece of cake to work with. I say start simple, focus on the content, not on being famous or rich, and you'll grow to love it. You kinda learn all the fun tricks along the way:) I definitely recommend statcounter.com as a resource once you get your blog, so easy and amazingly detailed.

Read other peoples blogs, do lots of commenting, make lots of connections. That is the best way to build a solid continuous readership.

Lastly, I have no comment on how to find time to do it. I do it after the boys are asleep, it's therapy to me:) but some days, I don't have time to dress myself, so I can't give much advice onthe topic. Good Luck!
I have a personal blog, but I wanted to start a blog for all my mom friends, so I could give advice and how-to's. Things I wish I knew before my little one came. Also, I wanted to write about baby stuff, but I didn't want it to take over my family blog. I asked my friend McKenna to help me write for The Mom Crowd. Then it became apparent that the two of us couldn't keep up with it, so I asked two more friends who already had blogs to help me write it. I only have to post twice a week and each of them once a week.

I would highly recommend reading on Problogger.net if you are just getting started. He has a "For Beginner" section in the middle of the page.

Also, I think the main thing is just to get on the bike and start blogging. You will figure it out as you go along. If a peddle falls off, you just put it back on and keep going. The main thing is that you started!

You can start with a simple blogger account. Or I would recommend wordpress.com, it has a lot more features.

You can always blog at night. Set a timer and only give yourself one hour. That way you are forced to stay focused on writing your post, instead of surfing the web! :)
I started blogging four years ago on Blogger but it didn't really go anywhere. I posted for a few weeks and then lost interest. I started my current blog on Blogger three years ago when I was pregnant and then moved to Wordpress and my own domain when my daughter was about six months old.

You can see my old blog on blogger here: http://www.heathernoah.blogspot.com

My current blog with Wordpress is here: http://www.autumnatoakhollow.com

Each blogging platform has their own benefits/drawbacks. Blogger is very customizable if you want to create your own template or move/change elements on the page. They've actually changed a lot since I left them for my own domain. A blog hosted on Wordpress.com won't be as customizable, but it does offer a tracking tool that allows you to see how many visitors you've had and how they found you (which you could also do on Blogger by inserting a Sitemeter counter).

The really great thing about the free blogging platforms is that most will import posts from a competing platform. My advice would be to check them all out and see which one fits you. The most well known free platforms are Blogger, Wordpress and LiveJournal. There's also Tumblr which is for those wanting to post mixed media instead of the traditional written blog post.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me.

Heather
Now see - this is why I LOVE blogging. Complete strangers are so willing to help and answer questions. Thanks to everyone who shared and I hope to hear from more of you. It's great information and I will definitely be following up with some of you when I finally get the ball rolling. :)
I too am a newbie and I wanted to start blogging because I loved reading other people's thoughts on their blog. I started a personal blog and its really just a way of venting, ranting or just plain sharing with anyone who wants to read it.
Well I've always been kind of a geek. :) So I started a personal, (free blogger) mommy blog way back in 2002 or so. I wrote on it for years and then because of some stuff, gave it up. Those are still some of my favorite writings and I occasionally read them for a smile or a trip down memory lane. It was also a great way to keep up with my friends - none of them blogged at the time, but many of them were nice enough to read mine regularly.

Then at the beginning of 2007, shortly after I ditched my mommy blog, I started a natural health and fitness blog. At first it was simply an accountability journal to keep me beholden to some goals I had. :) But for some reason people I didn't know kept finding it and reading it, so it slowly morphed into an informational blog on that topic. Now it is almost solely an informational blog and I enjoy it so much, I'm gonna ride this wave as long as I can.

I'm also planning to revive my Mommy blog at some point, give it a face lift and narrow the focus a little. Blogging is way too much fun! I'm also pretty serious and dedicated about my blogging/writing at this point though, which makes me give it some priority over other things.

As for time management - I blog first thing in the morning when I wake up. As far as keeping up with blogs I like and friends I network with, I use Google Reader to keep me informed of others' new posts, and I read them and comment as I have time.

I ALWAYS take a break from all things blogging on the weekends. No reading, no writing on the internet. Just family time and fun time and alone time. :) This leaves me refreshed and less likely to burnout.

Resources - one of my all time favorites is Problogger.net - for a newbie, that is all you could ever possibly want to know. This site has helped me a lot in the past!

Hope this helps a little and good luck if you decide to start blogging! :)
Sarah
Going Bananas Blog
I was a reader of a few blogs out there, but the mom blog world was introduced to me by my friend at Cheaper Than Therapy. I began reading hers a few months back, and like a lot of other people, thought "Hey, I can do this!" I'd always considered some blogging on my myspace page, but never could get interested, and I think it's because it's isolating over there. Through Blogger, there's a huge community and we can all interact with one another. It's been a great way to meet some interesting people, and I find it a great outlet for sharing day to day moments, thoughts and even favorite memories from my childhood.

Good luck -- look forward to reading yours!
I am so glad you asked this question. I just started blogging and as someone said in one of the comments, I am just going with it and learning along the way. I had NO IDEA about problogger.net. I can not wait to do some reasearch. My blog is called www.mykidsregistry.blogspot.com titled "mykidsregistry and mompreneurship".

Thank for the tips ladies.
Yvette
As for finding the time to blog, I would say that if you keep your focus on it, it will become like second nature after a while. All the different aspects will gel together, and you'll take off - like learning how to ride a bike...just keep it up, and eventually you'll find time you never thought existed!

You rock!
I am definitely not a pro, but I've had my blog since December 2005. I had no idea what I was doing (maybe I still don't! LOL), but I had a friend who moved out of state, and she invited me to her blog, and it looked like fun. I love to write, and I love the computer and all things technical. So, my first blog was basically to explain why I chose the name Forgetfulone. I'm not a forgetful person, in general, but when I shower, if I don't wash my hair first thing, I forget whether or not I washed it! So silly, but that's the story.

Now I blog about whatever strikes me. I like to participate in memes such as Wordless Wednesday (because I love digital photography) and Sunday Scrappin' (because I love to scrapbook). Find your interests, and there you will find your inspiration.

My account is through blogger.com. It's changed a lot since I started, for the better. I have had my blog over two years, so I don't want to change domain names unless I eventually go to my own domain name, so I have never compared the interface to wordpress or typepad. I'm sure they are all comparable. I do have a livejournal account, but I don't like it as well as blogger.

As for tracking site statistics and feeds, you can sign up for free accounts with statcounter, bloglines, feedburner, and several other RSS feeds (don't ask me what RSS stands for, though), and they keep track of visitors, page views, point of entry, search terms, and so much more. I think it's all about getting out there and exploring.

Good luck with your new blog! The blogging community is THE BEST! I couldn't live without it. And, I like this topic so much, I think I am going to post something on my blog about it now.
http://forgetfulone.blogspot.com
I just started to let friends and family keep up with the lives of my little ones. I also got a big nudge from a friend. I think it's great to have an outlet for fun or not so fun things that happen in the life of a SAHM!
I started a blog called Phantom Keyboard way back oh......4 years ago I guess. It was about my fiction writing endeavors. Then I got preggo and my life changed so much, I had a surge of creativity and a little baby who ate up all my love and thoughts. So, Maternal Spark was born - I wanted to capture the newfound energy and creative ideas and I also wanted to figure out how to make time for them and connect with other creative moms who found themselves in the same predicament.

My blog is on blogger.com
I second problogger - a great resource and here's another link I love - 40 top blogs that will help you blog like a pro
check out bloggerbuster.com for help with widgets, layouts etc, etc.

and my #1 piece of advice is to pick a topic with a focus beyond what cute thing your kid did. I know we all blog about those things but there needs to be something more to hold a readership.

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