Chilihead is sponsoring a blogging carnival , with the topic of Your Blogging Story. This is a great way to find out a little more about your bloggy friends. Thanks, Chilihead!

How did you start blogging?

I officially started blogging in the fall of 2005 on Homeschool Blogger. I think I wrote two posts, didn’t get out and meet other bloggers, just didn’t “get it” period. I started my blogger blog in May of 2006. In May of 2007 I got my own domain name and switched blogging platform to WordPress.

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

No, I had no intention of having a following. I wanted to keep in touch with family and friends, and keep a journal of sorts for the kids to be able to look back on our life.

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?

One reason I switched from Homeschool Blogger was that I didn’t want to feel like I had a homeschool-only blog. Now I would like to have an additional blog with an emphasis solely on homeschooling. I’ve set it up, but haven’t had time to develop it.

Also, I would like to set up a site for product reviews. I’ve recently been sent two items to review on my blog, and I love it! With a family our size, we’re a good test market for all kinds of things!

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

Yes and no. Some posts are obviously written towards an audience, my blogging friends, but many are definitely in line with my original intention to keep a journal for our family. My “kid funnies” category is my favorite. Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to tell someone something funny that one of your kids said or did and you just can’t remember it? I write it down immediately now and post it.

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

I didn’t understand the sense of community among bloggers. I thought blogging was one-sided: I would write things that my friends or family would read. I didn’t realize the interactive nature of blogging. I’d also forgotten how much I loved to write.

Do you make money with your blog?

I don’t make money with my blog, but I’m making money because of blogging. I have a blog template business called Barefoot Blogs.

Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?

Yes, they know about it. My husband has it set for his home page, but doesn’t always read it (as evidenced by the fact that he couldn’t identify the term “purple-itioner“); my dad reads occasionally; my aunt reads daily; my cousin who blogs reads it; my other cousins and sister read if I send them a link to a post that I think would interest them; my MIL read until she discontinued her internet service; my husband’s aunt reads occasionally.

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

Stand behind your principles, but realize that words can be misconstrued. Be careful about what you write, and never intentionally hurt or offend. When I blog, I am careful not to write anything that I wouldn’t want my family, neighbors, husband’s employer, friends, pastor (you get the picture) to read.

With that said, get out there and meet other bloggers! I agree with Chilihead – comments rock! – and you won’t get them if no one knows you’re there. I think non-bloggers have trouble understanding how you can make friends through blogging. It’s all in the comments; that’s where the dialogue takes place.

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