I’ve had a few people in my life recently ask me about starting a blog and how one goes about doing so. I figured it they were looking for that info, there are probably others that need a little advice, so here are my suggestions for the Blogger Wannabe!

First, pick your niche! Will you be blogging about your life, being a mom, crafts, home décor? Nail down the topics you are considering covering.  This doesn’t mean you’ll be required to only blog about these topics, but you want to be known as an “expert” and that is best if you know what you are talking about!
Do your research. Go online and find blogs with similar interests.  Pick two or three that you REALLY enjoy.  Now ask yourself these questions:
Why do I like it? Is it the style of writing, the topics they choose, the design?
 Is there something they do that sets them apart from the rest?
What is there schtick? Do they do something to draw the reader in?
Brainstorm your blog name. This is SUPER important.  I have heard from SO many bloggers that regret their name, but they have become too well known and don’t feel like they can change.  Take your time and make sure you really like the name you choose.  Shop it around to friends and family and get their take on it.  And lastly, do a search on the name online.  Make sure no one else is using it and make sure the domain name is available… because most likely down the road, if you don’t do so right away, you are going to want a custom domain.
Choose a service provider. There are many options out there, two of the most popular are Blogger and WordPress.  I’m not going to analyze the pros/cons of each provider in this post, but again, you can Google it and see that many people have done so!  There is also Typepad, Posterous and Tumbler. All of these offer a free option.
Set up a blog email. Using any free email platform, set up an account with your blog name.  I find it easier to keep my personal emails separate from my blog related emails, and again it offers a bit of professionalism to your site.
Set a schedule. You’ll want to post a few times a week to keep your content fresh and readers interested.  Again, the longer you blog you may find this changes.  I designed a Free Printable Blog Planner to help me keep track of things.  This gives me a space to keep my thoughts and plans for the blog.
Start blogging! You are ready to start blogging! Write up your first post, proof read and hit PUBLISH! 
PROMOTE. Get your name out there. Share your blog with your friends and family, create a Facebook page, Twitter account and Pinterest account.  Share your posts. If applicable, join other Blog Link Parties. Contact other bloggers with similar interests to see if they would be interested in having you as a guest poster.
And don’t forget to spend some time on the design of your blog. A pleasing design will not only show people you are serious about your site, but it lends an air of professionalism.  A well laid out blog will keep a reader on the page longer.  Keep it clean and simple. Don’t clog your sidebar with too much stuff. Utilize PAGES to store information such as an ABOUT page and a CONTACT page. Make the site easy to search but adding in a search bar and make sure you add links to your social sites (you’ll definitely want a Facebook page for your blog… then after that, feel free to look into creating one for Pinterest, Twitter, etc)!
Most importantly, have fun, BE YOURSELF and good luck!