I attended a workshop at LDStorymaker11 that Tristi Pinkston taught on blogging. She really knew the topic and gave a great overview of it. Her demonstration of how easy it is to setup a blog is the reason I’m here now.
After the conference I had the chance to visit her blog page and was impressed with not only the layout, but the amount of content she has on it. Tristi is a valuable resource for novice writers wanting to do blogs of their own.
Randy: Your blog has a lot of information about blogging; how did you become such an expert on the topic?
Tristi: Lots and lots of trial and error, giving things a whirl and seeing what worked and what didn't. I've now got things set up on my blog exactly how I want them - not that I'll never change them, because I believe that you have to keep things fresh, but the basic elements are now solidified and I'll add new things as I stumble upon them. It's been a lot of fun.
Randy: What is the thing you like best about blogging?
Tristi: I love having the opportunity to share what I'm thinking and feeling, to talk about things that matter most to me, to come up with fun things for my readers, and very best of all, to make friends. I've met wonderful people through blogging, and they have blessed my life in a lot of different ways.
Randy: What is about blogging that you like the least?
Tristi: I really haven't found too many downsides to it. I don't like the spam, and I really don't like it when I get virulent anti-Mormon comments, and so I have comment moderation. In that way, I'm the only one who sees it, and those things don't make it out to my readers. It's my blog, and I should get to create its atmosphere, not someone who has a serious beef with something I've said or who wants to sell something. I don't mind, and actually enjoy, intelligent disagreement, but ranting gets deleted. It's not considerate.
Randy: If you could only give one tip to the author of a new blog what would it be?
Tristi: To always be yourself. Your blog is a reflection of who you are, and you should choose content that speaks to your true self. Use your own voice, and while always remaining professional, don't let yourself become stiff or too formal.
Randy: How long did it take you to become really proficient at blogging?
Tristi: I've written personal essays and things like that for years, so the writing part of blogging came really naturally to me. The technology part ... well, I'd say I was proficient after a couple of months, but anytime Blogger throws something new at me, I stumble around for a minute before I figure it out.
Randy: Who do you think has the best blog around? Or would that be you?
Tristi: Well now, mine is pretty awesome, I won't lie to you there. But there are several others I visit regularly. First is LDSPublisher. (http://www.ldspublisher.blogspot.com) She offers fantastic information about the LDS market and tips for writers trying to break into that market. For the others, come check out the sidebar on my blog. I've got a ton of links. (And notice how I oh, so smoothly, invited you to come over to my blog? It's all about promotion, folks.)
In addition to the basic templates that blogger has available you can try either of these sites.