I will be the first to admit that I sort of stumbled into the world of blogging. I found my first blog through a couple of Google Alerts that I had set up. It was Money Saving Mom. I was intrigued. I started checking her blog occasionally and then through the assorted carnivals and links to the bloggers that supplied tips on deals, I found myself with a nice little collection of blogs that I was a loyal reader of.
Then, one day, I thought, I would like to join in on the fun. I would love to post my plans and successes for CVS and other shopping adventures. Almost by accident (all you have to do is select Create Blog from the upper right hand corner, so it wasn't that accidental), I managed to find myself in Blogger. I set up an account and chose a template. It really was that simple. Suddenly, now I was not only an avid reader, but I could be an active blogger myself. I started slow, but as I built momentum and visited ever increasing numbers of blogs, I wanted to change things, improve things, implement things that I liked on other sites and make my site my own.
I'm so far from a computer programmer, but I found that there were sites out there that offered help on "How To" for Blogger. Two that I continue to reference back to are Tips For New Bloggers and Quite Random. Using these two sites, I have managed to find the help I needed to change my standard Blogger template from two columns to three. I have found out how to put numbers in my comments - a huge help when you run a giveaway, I learned the hard way.
On top of that though, they have given me the confidence to explore HTML. When I wanted to add the menu bar to the top of my site, I checked out the source code on a couple of blogs, theirs included, to see how the menu bar was set up. Then I headed back to my site and implemented what I had observed. When I wanted to do a header and a button, I sought the assistance of my husband and together we worked through the HTML (popping over to the two sites I use regularly, as well as a couple of others for pointers) to make it all happen.
I'm still no programmer, but with a little help from the free online resources I have found, I have been able to modify my site to be a little more of me and a little less standard.
For more tips and tricks, check out Works For Me Wednesday on We Are THAT Family. Ironically, she has a post on Blogging Tools today. I know I plan to check out some of the sites she references.