A FRIEND ASKS:
Q: Technically how hard was it to get the blog started?
A: Starting a blog through Blogspot is falling-off-a-log easy. For details see this post. Now, if you intend to try to turn your blog into a commercial operation, you will probably want to own your own domain. However, Blogspot now allows you to set up your domain so that it will point to your Blogspot blog, so it's even pretty easy to set up a blog using your own domain address.
There are many things you can do in order to attract and hold readers and make money off your blog, but these are all things you can do after you've started your blog. (In fact, you really can't do these things until your blog is up and running.) When you're ready, websites such as problogger.net can help you learn the ropes.
Q: How much of a chore is it to keep uploading copy?
A: That depends. Does your topic interest you enough so that you'll enjoy researching it and writing about it? Do you already have a lot of knowledge (maybe even articles already written) to share with your readers? Do you write a lot of emails about this topic? (I find that recycling emails is a great way to get "free" blog posts. Let's conserve those electrons!) Is the topic part of your life? (It's easier for me to write about cooking, gardening, and dogs than about modern architecture or the Chicago Cubs. But if I still lived in Chicago, ...) If your answer to most of these questions is yes, you probably won't find blogging to be that much of a chore. Keep in mind that typical blog posts are very short: It's not hard to come up with a few hundred words on a topic you know and care about, especially if it's a topic you're learning about on a daily basis anyway.
Q: What programs do you need techically?
A: To get started, none. Blogspot takes care of all of that for you. If you want to make your blog pretty, there are a lot of software packages that can help, of course, but they're not essential. You might also want to check out WordPress. This seems to be what a lot of professional bloggers use. But again, it isn't required.