Birth of a Blog and Google Reader

by 123pizza on July 25, 2008

Perfect Stranger

This is the account of how I a girl who wouldn’t write in journals for fear of others reading them came to write a blog. I first started reading blogs but am not exactly sure how I stumbled across that, probably from my husband since he’s the techy guy and I’m not (techy or a guy). I started reading Dooce and Pioneer Woman. If you are not reading them you need to be. Seriously. (I am much more pleasant now that I have been reading Dooce because I laugh so freaking hard).

Anyway, back to me. I got to where I was reading about five different blogs and kept wondering, “Should I start a blog?” Now where the heck did that thought come from? Why would I want a blog on the internet for everyone to see? What did I have to say that others would want to hear? Why did I want a blog? Was this some passing phase? (Almost a year later I would have to say it’s not a phase.)

So I started practice blogging. That’s where I wrote “posts” and make Best Friend and Hubby read them. They had to critique them to see if they made sense and were worth “publishing”. You see, I didn’t do very well in English and can’t remember the grammar rules to save my life so if I was going to publish live I didn’t want to look like a total idiot. A partial idiot I can handle but a total idiot is too much for me.

While I was writing practice posts I was also researching free blog hosts along with looking at others blogs to see what style I liked. I chose WordPress because I liked the way it looked, it was clean, had lots of white space, and it’s main page was informative. (I eventually purchased my own domain name and used WordPress as my blogging software.)

I then took the plunge and signed up for an account which officially made me a blogger. I called Best Friend and Hubby to let them know I did it! I had blog! After talking about it for a month (or longer) I finally did it! Yeah me! I was excited to share my news! Of course I couldn’t get a hold of either one of them and my kiddos didn’t show the proper amount of amazement.

At first I posted my practice posts but that was only a few. I still had lots of more days left and no more posts. Finding something to write about every day was difficult so I didn’t post regularly. I knew I needed to post often in order to retain a readership because I had quit reading some blogs that went weeks between posts (this was before I discovered Google Reader). I started keeping a journal and brainstorming for ideas. I kept a notebook or paper/pen in almost every room in my home so I could easily write down thoughts or ideas. I became obsessed.

I am constantly looking for ways to improve blog. I even read blogs about blogs. I read blogs out of my genre like Fervent Coder and Coding Horror. What the heck do I know about coding? Nothing but they are blogs and I can learn from their style and won’t be distracted because it’s not in my niche. Not only is Fervent Coder out of my niche but he promotes Windows and I use Linux. Coding Horror is a blog I read about on someone’s blog (the one who suggested reading outside of my genre and I can’t remember which blog said that). My eyes tend to glaze over when reading their sites but every once in awhile I actually understand something they are saying.

Which brings me to Google Reader. With so many blogs to read how do you stay on top of them? You can do what I did for almost a year and bookmark them in a folder named Blogs and open all the blogs into your browser at the same time or…you can subscribe to the blogs and use Google Reader to manage them for you. Google Reader will update your blog subscriptions so when your blog author posts then it is available for you to read. If they haven’t posted yet then you don’t have anything to read. It’s much easier to read your blogs this way than to open each and every one only to find out they haven’t posted yet. I would be opening twenty blogs and maybe a handful of those blogs had been updated. Google Reader handles all of that for me. It’s quick, easy, and makes my blog reading much more enjoyable (as in I’ve subscribed to three times as many blogs now that I’m using Google Reader). There are other readers out there but I like Google Reader because I already had a Google account.

Toblerone at Simple Mom has an excellent, step-by-step article on how to subscribe to blogs. I highly recommend reading it because it will save you precious time in the end. Blogging is fun and addictive. If you don’t have a blog you should at least be reading blogs. While you’re at it…why don’t you subscribe to my blog.

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