Machine Embroidery is a hobby that can grow with you through time and eventually turn into a small business if you are inclined. It is a hobby with endless creative possibilities which is both exciting and overwhelming when you are getting started. After you choose and purchase an embroidery machine the first thing to identify is what format your machine accepts or "reads". The format is easily found by looking at your instruction manual or simply googling your embroidery machine make and model on the internet and looking for the "format needed". Most embroidery machines accept PES, DST, EXP, JEF, VIP, XXX, and EXP. Herrington Design on Etsy sells fonts and designs including all of these formats.
Once you identify what format your machine accepts you will be faced to consider the idea of investing in an embroidery editing program. There is a wide range of editing programs on the market in varying price points. My recommendation is always Embrillance Essentials.
If you are not interested in purchasing an editing program there are a few other options for you as well.
The first is to have myself or another digitizer on Etsy create a custom monogram for you that is ready to load directly onto your embroidery machine. Simply send me the letters you need in order (First, Last, Middle) the size and the format. Just convo me through Etsy prior to ordering and I'll give you a price estimate and the time estimated before completion.
The second option is to load the files directly onto your USB port and then open them on your embroidery machine. Most machines will only read one letter at a time in a hoop. This method will require you to "rehoop" your fabric after each letter or reposition your needle. (If you want your monogram to be "interlocking" an editing program or a custom monogram will be the easiest option.)
If you choose to load the files directly onto your USB port without using an editing program or having a custom order created, just remember to only load the format of files that your embroidery machine accepts. Loading other formats onto your machine will just result in a blank screen on your embroidery machine.
Hope this helps and happy stitching!