Blogging Carnival

So I was surfing around for some new blogs to follow since I'm addicted to pointless events in other people's lives the people I already read just can't write fast enough to satisfy my bloggy cravings, and I came across Don't Try This At Home, which I must say, is awesome. Anyway, she's doing stuff on her blog that I've never even heard of before, so I was all like, "Hey I gotta get me some of this!". She's got this Carnival blogging thing with auto-links and it was just like, "Whoa!" so I jumped onto the carnival bandwagon, even though I'm 2 weeks late. I'm number 171 in line, and I'm supposed to answer these questions about why I started blogging (like you're just addicted to the blog candy like me), but bear with me because I want to see if this carnival thing works.

How did you start blogging?
When Stepher (the sister) went off to law school in the Great White North (Boston), we would email back and forth every day. I would tell her little tidbits about my day, and she would share them with her law school buddies. It wasn't until then that I realized that people who are not directly related to me might still find my writing interesting (family is required to think you're interesting, but strangers? That means you have at least some talent). So the blog was born, and it just kind of grew from there.

Did you intend to be a blog w/a big following? If so, how did you go about it?
Hahahaha! Oh girlfriend, I'm not a big blog. I only reached 200 hits last month. I'm small potatoes compared to some of these blogs. But it did get bigger than what I ever thought it would, so I guess that's something. I was so excited when I got my first international hit that I almost wet myself.

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?
Goals? We don't need no stinkin' goals! This is just my little personal blog. The goal was to give me a place to write and keep my buddies informed about my daily hijinks. (Double word score for using the word hijinks!) Although now that you mention it, I have decided that it would be nice if each month the hit count grew a little higher than the month before. So far, that's happened. This month's goal: 201 people! Some comments might be nice too.

Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
At first it was to keep my sister informed about what was going on. Then a childhood buddy and I traded blog addresses so that we could keep up with each other's lives. It was really just for a handful of people that I knew. Kinda like those family newsletters that people include with their Christmas cards...just my way of keeping in touch. Then, people I didn't know started showing up to read, and I changed the focus to include them also. I don't know who they are, but we're all one big happy Internet family now.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
I probably would have left out identifying marks like Tony's name and where I work. I haven't been stalked by the crazies or anything, but you never know. I would have at least used aliases. Yeah, that's it...Tony's real name isn't Tony. It has been changed to protect the innocent.

Do you make money with your blog?
You can do that? Why would anybody pay for a blog that they could read for free? I don't understand that, but if ya'll are willing to pay for these witty witty installments, then sign me up!
Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?
Some of them do, some of them don't. I'm not really sure because I just recently found out that more family knew about it than I thought.
It started with my sister, who reads it every day. (Or is supposed to!)
Then I told Tony about it, who read a little bit of it, but then quit. (Everybody's a critic!) I don't think he follows it now.
Mom and Dad will pop on every few months or so and read all the posts at once until they are caught up.
Granny and Pap-paw don't get on the Internet, but Mom printed out all 188 posts so that they could read them in hard copy. (That's family devotion right there!)
I have various aunts and uncles and cousins who read, but I'm not sure how often. They'll just mention a post every now and then to let me know that they read it.
I don't think any of the in-laws know about it. I haven't told them in case I want to use them as comic fodder some day. (I'd use them as comic fodder even if they did know about it...just ask my mom).

What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?
Write every day. If you can't write every day, write at least every 2 or 3 days. The more you write, the more people will come back to read. I check the blogs I read every single day, hoping something new has been posted. If you let the blog go a month or two between posts, people will lose interest. The other piece of advice is just to have fun with it. You can have any personality you want on a blog. I'm not nearly this brilliant (or modest!) in person. It's like having a secret identity.