How To Start A Blog With Great Blogging Habits

Knowing how to start a blog is one thing, but knowing how to start a blog and do so with some great blogging habits is another.

It’s like learning to drive.  Not everyone that learns to drive is a safe driver.  It will depend on how they learnt and whether they learnt any bad habits along the way.

Whether you have been blogging for a long or short time, you will have developed blogging habits (whether you realize it or not).

We are all creatures of habit and it doesn’t take long to form one.  Some may be good whilst others not so good!

The trick is to identify what you are doing and learn how to start blogging with great habits right from the word go.

How to start a blog(Image courtesy of pakorn /

Now that has been established, let’s get straight into the tips!

1. Spend time on your post layout

An un-formatted blog post not only looks unattractive, but it will instantly put off readers.

You are building your reputation with each and every post you write, so think about the type of reputation you want to build.

There are so many things that go into formatting a blog post, and we certainly can not cover them all here.  You can read our post about blog post formatting, if you would like to know more specifics.

But in summary the main elements are;

  1.  Lots of white space
  2. Well thought out placement of SEO
  3. An outstanding headline
  4. Good use of spacing including paragraphs and sub headings
  5. The use of images
  6. Interlinking of your older blog posts
  7. Linking to relevant authority sites
  8. Easy navigation tools

Can you see how there is more to formatting than meets the eye?

You should continually be paying attention to the formatting of your blog posts to ensure that you are building a strong, healthy and appealing blog.

2. Check that your post flows

A great habit to get into with each and every post is to read it aloud before you hit the publish button.

Reading aloud means you are focusing on each word that has been written.  Our eyes can literally skim words on a page and reading in your head is a common way for missing errors on the page.

Reading aloud will slow you down and force you to read each word.  This will help identify whether the post flows well, and whether there are extra words that could be deleted.

You may feel slightly odd reading your own work aloud, but who is going to know!  Is it not better to be sure that you have a post that is the best that it can possibly be?

Try reading your next blog post aloud before you hit that publish button and see whether this helps!

3. See what your post looks like before you publish

I know that you are really keen to publish your new post, but just WAIT!

Have you previewed it?  If not…why not?

If you want to know how to start a blog with great habits, then one of the things you must ALWAYS do is preview your work.

Preview, preview and preview again.  When you are 100% happy with it, then you can publish!

Previewing your work will show you exactly how it will look to others.  If it doesn’t look good on the preview, the publish button is not going to magically change this.

Preview is your last chance to making sure your post is 100% up to scratch.

Things to pay attention to in your preview are:

  1. Are you links working?
  2. Are the images displaying correctly?  Are they aligned?
  3. Are paragraphs showing correctly?
  4. Is your article broken up with sufficient headings?
  5. Does the article flow or does it look disjointed?
  6. Are your fonts all consistent?
  7. Do you have large spaces where there shouldn’t be?

The preview will allow you to check the visual appearance, but it will also allow you to check all the finer details and read the post again checking for last minute changes.

I often preview after preview and it is amazing how many errors i still find on the 2nd or 3rd time.

Everyone is going to make mistakes at some point in time, but the preview will help keep those mistakes to an absolute minimum.

4. Share, engage, share, engage

One habit to get into straight away is to share your posts on social media.

By sharing your posts, you are letting the world know that you have new and exciting content.  It will draw readers to your site that otherwise may not have come.

However sharing without engaging will only get you so far.

Let’s say for example you have a couple of blogging buddies that you share posts with.

One of these blogging buddies constantly comments on the blog posts, shares on their networks and helps promote you.

The other blogging buddy shares their content and then……nothing.  They may hit the odd +1 on Google Plus for you, maybe even the odd Tweet or Facebook like, but you never see them comment on your site and you never see them actively share your content.

How do you feel about these two blogging buddies?

I am guessing that the first buddy who actively engages with you is going to enhance your blogging experience.

The second buddy however will start to annoy you, and soon you will see their post sharing as literally just being spam.

If you are not engaging with others, then it will only be a matter of time before others stop trying to engage with you.

Sharing should be a mutual process.

What on earth makes you think that your content is much more worthy of a blog comment, than someone else’s? Why should people comment on your site if you never return the courtesy?

Of course if you are in the league of the Pro Bloggers like Darren Rowse and Neil Patel, then you may not have the time to comment on everyone’s blog, but I can guarantee that they have spent considerable time building their networks and engaging with others.

So remember, share, engage, share, engage and repeat.

This is a great habit to get into from the moment you start blogging, and if you continue to do this, you will surely reap the benefits.

Now it’s your turn:

What other blogging habits would you give to someone that would like to know how to start a blog?

Remember…sharing and engaging is a GREAT blog habit to get into!!


Written by

Catherine Holt is the founder of Blogging Tips 101. She has been an internet marketer since 2012. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Google and Pinterest.

28 Responses to “How To Start A Blog With Great Blogging Habits”

written by Ryan Biddulph On 4 August 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine,

That engaging thing is HUGE. I scored an interview with Successful Blogging, a super influential site, and Sue Anne – the owner – noted that I added so much value to her blog through my comments that she had to interview me.

I scored interviews on and through my comments too. Engaging on other blogs rocks, but I’ve really doubled down on engaging on my own blog – quickly – and on social networks, to take care of my readers and commentators.

I’m stunned at my past foolishness. Before I started Blogging From Paradise I didn’t spend much time on engagement. I certainly cared about my readers but didn’t express my care freely enough.

Lesson learned; I comment quite a bit on other blogs but really take care of home first, responding to comments on my blog with 1-2 hours unless I’m sleeping.

Doing this has built a sense of community around my blog and it’s also helped instill an invaluable blogging habit in me. Regularly commenting and chatting builds bonds and friendships that are so prospering for both parties.

Thanks for the smart share Cathy.

I’ll be tweeting soon.


written by Catherine Holt On 4 August 2014 Reply

Thanks Ryan. Your right, engagement is huge. Like you I also try and respond to comments as soon as I see them, I never leave them. Readers are your bread and butter of your blog and if you don’t take care of them, then you will not build the blog up. Responding to comments shows that you care and appreciate readers interaction.

That’s great that you have been interviewed by so many influential bloggers through your engagements with them. And of course your interview on this blog too….lol. People know you from your commitment to being engaged, and that is what makes you stand out (among other things). A true lesson for us all!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us :-)

written by Kerry Russell On 5 August 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine.

Thanks for sharing this fantastic post!

As an introvert, it was a long time before I REALLY understand the importance of engagement and building relationships with others in my space…

The relationships we build through engagement open up SO many doors for us such as forming joint venture partnerships, building community around our blogs, or even just having others link to our posts via Twitter and other social media sites.

Hiding behind the confines of our own blogs is a recipe for failure and blogging is SO much more fun when you have peers to bounce ideas off – and you surround yourself with a supportive community to help you through times of frustration and overwhelm.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

written by Catherine Holt On 5 August 2014 Reply

Thanks for the great comment Kerry.

It is so easy to start blogging and think that it can be done alone, but the reality is that we do need each other to build and develop our blogs. It may be possible to do alone, but it would be a very long and hard road. Besides, blogging is supposed to be fun and it’s more fun if you can actually communicate with others!

You mentioned a good point about having a supportive community around you to help when things are overwhelming. This is so important and the benefits of this can’t be overlooked. Having a supportive network can do wonders for pulling you through the touch times and can make a difference between whether you are successful in blogging or not.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us :-)

written by Marc On 5 August 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine,
I think your point about formatting is something that gets overlooked a lot of times. Having posts that are easy to read is critical. I know when I go to a blog and the post is just a long string of text with no sub-headers, no bold text, and no real formatting I feel overwhelmed by a mass of text that isn’t easy to read or scan. I can think of a few blogs off the top of my head that have good content but don’t format it very well.

I think your posts are a good example of formatting. You use a consistent style with formatting all of your posts, which is another good habit.

written by Catherine Holt On 5 August 2014 Reply

Thanks for the positive comment Marc.

Formatting is incredibly important if you want your readers to stick around. If you have great content, but it’s difficult to read, the majority of readers will just not bother. It is worth spending the time and giving the attention to your post to ensure that is pleasing to the eye.

I like to keep consistency in my formatting for a number of reasons. Not only does it help to keep me on track, but it also develops my style for others to recognise.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts :-)

written by Andrew M. Warner On 5 August 2014 Reply

Hey Catherine,

This is a great post.

Points 1 – 3 are all really good and can really help with creating a good blog post. Point number 4 is the bread and butter though.

Engage, engage, engage.

That’s what it’s all about. I spend a considerable amount of time writing each blog post I put out, but I spend even more time promoting it and engaging with other bloggers the week that it’s released.

Nobody needs blogging buddies that’s only in it for themselves and won’t share your content. There’s no point in engaging with someone like that.

I learned that lesson a few months ago and I’m thrilled that it happened. Now I can focus my attention on building solid relationships with people who all want to help each other succeed.

Great post once again. Hope you have a great week.

- Andrew

written by Catherine Holt On 5 August 2014 Reply

I think we have all been in that boat at one time or another Andrew. It can be very frustrating when you spend a lot of time and energy engaging and promoting someone else, but rarely (if ever) see any engagement back. Engagement should be a two way process. If you help others, they will help you. It’s a win win for everyone.

I think it can often be overlooked how much time actually needs to be spend on the engaging and promoting. I know this was something I had no idea about in the early days and the majority of my time is now also spend interacting with others, blog commenting and sharing content. Besides, you also learn a lot more this way and it’s a great way to develop your brand and your presence online. If bloggers don’t want to particpate in this, then they should probably get out of blogging!

Appreciate you sharing your ideas here :-)

written by Kimberly Kline On 5 August 2014 Reply

Well said Catherine! I never publish without previewing either. I have often found problems and fixed them that I would not have wanted to go out to my readers. I am also a fan of leaving my post, even if it for an hour or two, before I do the last revision. Thanks for continuing to share all of your blogging tips!

written by Catherine Holt On 5 August 2014 Reply

It can seem like a never ending process previewing and reviewing work, but it is so important. I like you constantly find errors, and I also find it a good thing to step away from the post and come back with fresh eyes. It may seem like this is taking up more time than is necessary, but 9 times out of 10 you will find new errors that need fixing.

Of course there are times when things slip through the gaps and even after perviewing several times there are still errors. This just shows that you are human and readers will forgive you. The difference is however whether these errors are happening for the majority of the time which clearly shows previews are not occuring.

Thanks for stopping by and connecting with us :-)

written by Moumita Ghosh On 5 August 2014 Reply

Hello Catherine,

Amazing article. Every steps which you have mentioned here are important. Every steps are required for getting success in blogging career. Thanks Catherine for sharing such a wonderful article.

written by Catherine Holt On 5 August 2014 Reply

Thanks Moumita. It certainly pays to spend some time developing some good habits and you will see the results from them in the long run.

Thanks for stopping by :-)

written by Mathew W Weaver On 6 August 2014 Reply

Hey there, Catherine.

This was a terrific post, and pretty simple, too. Steps 2 and 3 were pretty much rock solid for me from the time I began, and it wasn’t till a few weeks in that I started commenting on other people’s blogs.

I guess my layout is pretty okay, but I’m still not too sure with how I should go about with SEO. I mean, the posts I do aren’t always tailored to the same topic.

In a nutshell, I write stuff that makes you laugh. Be it a story from my life, my observations on the never ceasing war between pedestrians and drivers and how we hate alarm clocks to research on crossbows and mosquitoes, I write to give people a worthwhile read.

And factoring SEO into that…. it kind of gives me a headache, lol. But your post hits right home. Cheers :)

written by Catherine Holt On 6 August 2014 Reply

Ha ha…you are not alone with SEO giving you a headache Matthew. I think most bloggers feel that way….me included! It’s a never ending learning experience, and I’m sure even the pro bloggers have their struggle days!

The fact that you are commenting on others blogs is great to build your presence and to let others know your writing style. This helps your brand and of course bring traffic back to your blog.

Keep at the posts that make people laugh. If it’s what you are good at, it is something you will be defined for :-)

Thanks for stopping by :-)

written by Mi Muba On 7 August 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine
The most amazing aspect of this post is it talks about blogging habits which if you develop will be big support to boost your blog.
All the three habits you mentioned specially of post prof-reading is very useful.
Initially it sounds strange to read your own post again and again. But once you keep finding mistakes in your each read you get to know how important it is to fully review the post as many times as possible.
The idea of sharing your post at social media and get feedback of buddies is awesome. It will work as a mirror to make you know what qualities and shortcomings your post has.
Thanks a lot for sharing another wonderful post.

written by Catherine Holt On 7 August 2014 Reply

Thank you Mi. Yes it can feel strange and often frustrating to read your posts over and over, but it really is beneficial. We make mistakes without realizing it and proof reading allows the final product to be the best that it can be. Working towards building a brand needs to give time and attention to the small details. If you have awesome content, but it is poorly written, it is unlikely readers will hang around.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us :-)

[…] Knowing how to start a blog can be quite daunting, but starting with great blogging habits will make life a lot easier.  […]

written by Kevin Duncan On 9 August 2014 Reply

Hey Catherine,

Nice tips!

The one I have to be conscious of is making sure my posts flow well before publishing. I do so much editing, transitional paragraphs are often reworked or removed altogether. And sometimes that can result in a post not flowing well from one paragraph to another!

This was an especially big issue with my latest, 8k-word post. :-)

Great work!

written by Catherine Holt On 9 August 2014 Reply

It’s good to be conscious of that Kevin if you are doing a lot of editing. But from someone who reads your blog posts a lot, you have nothing to worry about (So you are clearly previewing your work well!)!

Thanks for sharing with us :-)

written by YourFriend On 9 August 2014 Reply

You shared some fundamental requirements to be a successful blogger. I think about 90% of the bloggers don’t pay attention on what you mentioned above and the result is obvious. They soon fail and give up.

Formatting your Post
Formation of your post indicates how much you care about your readers. Poor formation of posts means that you are writing only for the sake of writing. You are just being a content generating mill, nothing else.

Connection with People
It is really important to get introduced and tell people about your Blog. If you don’t do that, nobody will ever come to know about your Blog. To let people know about your Blog, you will have to connect with them by reading their posts and posting valuable comments on them.

Preview, Preview and Preview
It is kind of a same thing as formatting. You should make sure before publishing your post that it is attractive and compelling enough for the readers.

Sharing and Promoting
Spend 20% of the time in generating content and 80% on its promotion. Promotion is way more important than creating a content.

Proper Flow
Good grammar and proper flow of your post is very important. Poor flow of content really makes you look like a dumb in front of your readers. Also it is the best way to put your readers off.

Thanks for sharing those nice tips Mr.Duncan :)

written by Catherine Holt On 9 August 2014 Reply

Thanks for you very thorough comment YF, much appreciated :-)

The % that you raised on sharing and promoting is very interesting. I think a lot of bloggers fall into the trap of working so hard on their content, but then fail to spend the time promoting it and connecting with others. You can have the most amazing content, but if you are not working your promotional strategy, then who is going to be reading it?! I love how you have defined this, as promotion is so important for a successful blog.

One thing that you are great at is your blog comments. If you leave valuable comments on other’s blogs, then people start to notice you, and will pop over to your blog to find out more about you! This is something you do very well!

Thanks for sharing your ideas, it’s really appreciated :-)

written by Shaan Haider On 11 August 2014 Reply

These are some real nice tips… I remember starting my blog casually without any strategy in mind. Later I had to work on tens of articles which I have posted in early days of my blog.

So, it is always better to start your blog with a clear vision and good habits from thee very first day.

written by Nathaniel Kidd On 13 August 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine,

I like your points here. I think it is vital that we provide our audience with a quality product each and every time we write a post. It should draw the reader in for obviously good reasons and not because we have bad formatting, misspelled words, or any other the other reasons you mentioned here.

Engagement is vital as well. We take the time to create quality content and now we have to share that content and follow that up by engaging with everyone that reads it. That is how we build lasting relationships and get noticed. Thanks for sharing.

written by Catherine Holt On 13 August 2014 Reply

Quality and engagement are crucial in blogging arn’t they Nathaniel. At the end of the day, what is the point in spending all that time writing blog posts if you are not going to talk to anyone afterwards! The job is not done when you simply press the ‘publish’ button, in fact this is when the main job just starts.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us :-)

written by Sanjay Pal On 24 August 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine,

I loved the first fact that you have shared, saying about the vitality of post layout. Being human, we are instinctively drawn towards beauty. It can be said for everything as well. Though beauty is skin deep and I believe it so but when it comes to presentation, it can’t be out done. Just due to laziness, some bloggers don’t even go through the rudimentary details of perfecting their blog. Having thus said, the blog shouldn’t be too garish, neither it should be too dull. But a combination of these two can work wonders. Maybe your post is very informative and good but if it isn’t attractive enough, and by attractiveness I mean a proper format, layout, using vivid pictures and the way you are displaying your thoughts, chances are there that people wont even go through them. A subtle and eye catching format is like your ticket towards inviting your readers to your blog.

Reading out loud is a good way to catch any flaws. I’m glad that you have even mentioned this point as well. It’s true that when we read in our mind, chances are there that we may skip few words or there might be certain grammatical injunctions. Just the other day I was writing an article. While I was into it, I believed that there was no possible mistakes but when I read it aloud, (Good Heaven), I didn’t even realize the subtle errors which I committed. Therefore, reading it aloud before you publish is very important.
And last but not the least, sharing, sharing and sharing. All your hard work will go in vain if you don’t stay active and share your posts on social media. At the dawn of this 21st Century, we have witnessed a surge of social platforms. We therefore should put it into use. If not, then I believe that there is no need to be linked with this blogging field. Because if we don’t let people know about it, then how’d they be aware? Huh ????

On the whole, I must say Catherine that it was a very good and quite a thought inspiring article. Many new bloggers and even some struggling ones too will surely be able to learn a lot. Keep it up girl and have a fun filled weekend. God Bless !!!


written by Catherine Holt On 24 August 2014 Reply

Love this thought out comment Sanjay – thanks!

It’s amazing how many bloggers simply don’t realize the importance of layout and design, or maybe they do but their interpretation is just not connecting with others. I have seen blogs with black backgrounds and luminous yellow and orange writing. I can tell you that I didn’t bother reading those posts! Then there are the ones that are literally stuffed with ad’s, everywhere you look. I can totally appreciate the use of ad’s but not everywhere your eyes look. It is these things that can really make a difference as to whether someone is going to hang around on your blog and will make a difference as to whether they return.

I’m pleased to hear that you have used the reading out loud approach too. It can make you feel a little silly, but it is amazing at what mistakes it can highlight. At the end of the day no-one is witnessing you feeling silly, so you don’t have anything to loose!

Thanks for sharing your in-depth thoughts with us. Have a great weekend :-)

written by Hiren On 2 December 2014 Reply

I always notices that your blog posts are so unique and well explained
with deep information.

The best thing which I like most in your articles is that your
articles are so easy to understand because it was written in so easy
language and it really helps newbie bloggers like me.
It really sound great when you read such a post which is totally
helpful to you and your mostly doubts has been cleared after reading
that post and your post is of that kind.
I would must recommend it to those newbie bloggers who need it the most.
May this post will also helpful to them as it helped me. What you say,
Am I right or not?

written by Catherine Holt On 23 December 2014 Reply

Thanks Hiren, so pleased to hear that you enjoy the posts and you find them useful.

Leave a Comment