There are lots of guides to help you get started mining bitcoins. This is the one I used: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L9zO-VnLrY
It's about 15 minutes and shows how to install the wallet, install phoenix and connect to the Eligius mining pool. It is windows-centric
(sorry Linux folks, I feel your pain).
I was able to get my first deposit in of about 0.31 BTC in just over 3 days.
The only thing out-of-date in the video is the link towards the end of the video should contain "http://eligius.st/~artefact2/5/
Please feel free offer alternatives for Newbies, especially if you think they are Easier or Faster to implement.
Disclaimer: Don't mine bitcoins unless you want to 1) do it for FUN, 2) don't mind "wasting" power, 3) don't mind wear and tear on your GPU and power supply.https://twitter.com/websqurl