My Blogging Story

Chilihead started a fun carnival/meme that’s going on today over at her place. She’s asking people to tell the story of how they got started blogging. Check it out, and play yourself if you’re so inclined.

My Blogging Story

How did you start blogging?

My blogging career started when I applied for a blogging job at in November 2005. After I found out I got the job, it was a couple months before the blog went live. While I was waiting to get going, I started reading blogs to get an idea of what blogging was all about. (I’d applied for the job before I started reading blogs.) As I read other people’s blogs, I realized I had a lot to say, and that much of it didn’t exactly fit the ‘Ethiopia adoption’ topic. So in January 2006 I plunged in and began a personal blog.

Did you intend to be a blog w/a following? If so, how did you go about it?

I hoped people’d be interested in what I had to say, but I wasn’t sure how many would be.

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful?

I wanted to share the story of my family. Both blogs have gotten more popular than I expected. I think my two blogs feed off each other and help each other out. I also blog a couple times a month at

Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?

I’ve become more focused on hearing what others have to say– there’s a lot of wisdom out there and I like to have interesting discussions going on my blog. But I am also still a big sister and like to spout my opinion. Recently on my other blog, I spouted my opinion about something and a reader asked what gave me the right to give advice, and I thought, well, duh… that’s what blogging IS– telling how you feel about something. But I do try to be kind and not too dogmatic in stating my beliefs, not matter how strongly I actually hold them.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started?

I would not have started with blogger. I love wordpress. But I wish I’d taken the time/money to set up my wordpress blog on my own domain right from the start instead of having it hosted on wordpress. I have a domain of my own and I’m still tempted to move my blog so I could have more choice about what I do with my blog, but I don’t want to lose readers by moving–again.

Do you make money with your blog?

I’m paid to write my Ethiopia blog, which is a great blessing. I made money for one month on this blog (while I had Blogher ads up) but then someone told me that WordPress doesn’t allow ads in the sidebar. So that had to go, darn it anyway. I’m still thinking regretfully about that, and remembering that $74 check I got that one month!

Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it?
Some of my more tech-savvy relatives read my blog, which makes me feel very loved!

What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?

1. To get readers, participate. Comment on other people’s blogs. Jump in and join carnivals and enter contests. You can keep up with a lot of blogs via Bloglines. It’s a big timesaver.
For awhile I tried to comment on 5 new blogs every day. I’ve been a horrid commenter lately because I am so swamped right now.
2. If you think you’re going to be serious about this, get your own domain while you’re just beginning. Once you have a bunch of readers, it is a pain to ‘move’, and yet if you have your own domain, you’ll have lots more options as to what you can do with your blog.

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  1. Excellent advice. I think the domain thing is something we all wish we’d have done sooner.

    Thanks for joining the carnival!

  2. A Juggling Mum says:

    I liked reading your story, thanks for sharing it with us 🙂

    Rachel xxx

  3. Great blogging story! And I know what you mean about having your domain at the start. I too started with WordPress, but was hosted by WordPress. My husband tried to talk me into my own domain, and FINALLY I listened. The move was a little rocky. And like you, I wished I had done it from the beginning.

  4. Awww I want to adopt children from Ethiopia (Well, anywhere, really)! If I could just talk my hubby into it!

  5. If I were you I’d move to a self-hosted site. Your blog readers are loyal to you so I’m very sure they will follow you to the new site.

    It’s very easy to set up a self-hosted site too. I will gladly set it up for you if you like. Let me know if you need any help.

    I love your blog, have been reading it for months and will definitely continue to read when you have moved. Your children are precious!

  6. Enjoyed reading this!

  7. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks for the story. I’ll have to come back and read more about these 8, going on 10, kids. Wow! I have a pretty big garden too, though I wouldn’t call it a mega-garden. I think I have about all the weeds I can handle!

  9. I don’t think I could handle being my own domain! Oh, wait, you mean for my BLOG…LOL!!

    I just love your blog…sorry I don’t comment more often. My bad.

  10. Forgive me for not knowing the technical term, but I love your title. It is one of the cutest I have seen. It reminds me of how Google will do their logo differently every once in awhile.

  11. Okay somehow I didn’t manage to get my entire name listed on the comment above. What kind of name is Megh? I can be such a doof sometimes.

  12. I can’t remember my Bloglines without you. You were one of my finds golden finds.

  13. Duh- “first golden finds”. Need caffeine.

  14. I wish I could remember how I first found you. It seems like we have so little in common (no adoption here, no big family, no homeschooling [yet!]) but so much of what you write resonates with me at the same time! *wink* Keep up the great work!

  15. I love your header! That is so cute. 🙂 I completely understand about the domain name thing. I actually did it three times – first I had a blogger blog, then I moved to my own domain (using WordPress) and THEN I decided to change my domain name AGAIN and move AGAIN! I hope I didn’t lose any readers in the process! 🙂

    I’ll probably be back to visit!

  16. Oh Mary! I’ve never considered the domain thing. That was an excellent point. Hmmm… now you’ve got me thinking….(And just so you know, if you move – again – I’d still follow you to your new home.)

  17. sincerelyanna says:

    I’d follow you too. I really enjoy reading your blog everyday.

  18. sadly, i don’t even know how to go about getting a domain and the idea of paying for my blogging hobby still seems so silly to me. i enjoyed reading your background.

  19. Wow ten kids!! You are one amazing mom! Thanks for sharing your story.

  20. Thanks for sharing your story. I enjoy reading your blog, and love hearing about your adoption journey.

  21. Really interesting. I never thought about a domain. And your discussion on how to get read is very succint and clear. Thanks! I’ve listed you on the BlogRhet meme site; I hope that is okay. If not, drop a comment and I’ll take you off.

  22. First time here, and it’s a delightful place! Looking forward to coming back!

  23. I always enjoy your posts, and this is no exception.

  24. Yes there is a lot of wisdom out there. I have been delighted and encouraged by many. Thanks for sharing your blogging story.

  25. Excellent advice … but while I have my own domain, I haven’t a CLUE what to do with it … call me “TOTALLY TECH STUPO.” There. I feel much better now!

  26. I love the “listening” part about blogging, too. There really is some great wisdom in the blogosphere.

  27. Would you recommend wordpress? How much is it? I’m thinking about setting up a better website too and don’t really like blogger that much.
    Your stories about adoption are really inspiring! Wow.