2 glasses with coffee on a table, there is a decorated biscuit on a plate beside the coffees and house plants behind the coffees

Introductions over Coffee #3

4 minutes

Welcome back to Introductions over Coffee, where I provide some guidance and insights for new bloggers and maybe as a refresher for us all. I also introduce a new blogger to the community. Please make them feel welcome (as I know you will).

For any new bloggers who want to raise their profile, please follow the guidance in my posts and do not spam my comments section.

I’ve changed the layout this week, so we have our new blogger, followed by my tips. I’m wondering if I should start getting our new bloggers to introduce themselves. What do you think?

Introducing : Tom Crossley’s Journal

Table with 2 coffees in glasses with a cake on a plate in front of the glasses.  Behind the glasses are houseplants.
Image by Maria Paredes from Pixabay

This week I want to introduce Tom Crossley of Tom Crossley’s Journal. Tom started posting to his blog in mid-April. He has a variety of journal writing (he has a good post about a coffee shop), he also writes some poetry and flash fiction so I know he’s going to appeal to many. Please pop over and have a look at his website for his posts. But to get you started, here are a few of his posts:

On my own in a cafe

The benefits of photography for anyone

Acer Tree

Welcome to the community Tom 😁

Beginner’s Tips

I was wondering what I’d write about today. What do I think will help people without overwhelming new bloggers? So this week we’re going to think about our identity and being authentic.

Woman sitting at a table, she is holding a pen to her mouth, her elbow is sitting on a notebook and her laptop is open in front of her, but behind the notebook
Photo by Ivan Samkov: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-working-in-home-office-4240505/


Last week I talked about the importance of having a working gravatar as its our digital business card. However it’s also important to think about what message it sends out about you. You don’t need to have a picture of yourself although some people might prefer that. I would say pick something that reflects the image you want to portray. Mine was chosen as it signifies hope, new beginnings and opportunities – at least I hope that’s what it says.

Be authentic

In the beginning, some bloggers worry about sounding good as a blogger, but the best way to be successful is just to be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else or something you’re not. Generally people, your readers, will pick up if you’re not being genuine. As I’m writing this, I imagine I’m talking to you, the reader, personally and write what I’d say to you.

Write using structure, vocabulary etc that you are comfortable with. I’ve written a couple of blogs about writing that might help you. Ive shared the link to one at the end of this post. The most important thing is that you are comfortable.

Remember no one is perfect, we all make mistakes and would want to make things better, and we get better with practice – so writing – and publishing your posts is great practice. Also, if you read other posts, you will begin to understand what you like and don’t like in writing style, which will help you too.

Your name

Some people may choose to be anonymous, and that’s fine, but if you use your blog site name, people won’t know what to call you. Think about how you might want people to address you if you don’t want to use your real name. It makes a difference in comments and chatting. It comes back to what I said above about identity. What is your blog and blogger identity?

I invite and encourage suggestions of topics to cover in future posts, so please let me know if there’s something you’d like to see covered, or if there’s something you’re struggling with.

I review the new bloggers I come across to decide who to highlight in this post on a weekly basis, and some have been asking what I’m looking for. I would say the following are my criteria:

  • a blogger who interacts with their readers and responds to comments
  • Are they posting regularly – if someone posts weekly, that’s fine, but I’d probably observe for a few weeks to see how they’re getting on
  • Do they produce quality work – if its text, is it full of spelling/grammar mistakes
  • is there sufficient information to encourage conversation through the comments section
  • If someone regularly spams, they will not be featured. I accept that people can make mistakes at the outset, but they should learn and adapt what they do

I accept that this process is subjective, based on my opinions. Equally if you spot an interesting new blogger, send me a message through the Contact Me part of my site with their details.

To keep up-to-date with my blog, if you haven’t done so yet, fill in the box below to subscribe to Curiosities, Castles and Coffee Shops.


    • When I first started blogging here, I did keep my name hidden. I wasn’t sure where the posts would take me and I was worried about any negative reactions. Then someone commented in a post I read about knowing how to address people and decided to use my name. I guess I’m not ready to put my photo up yet, although it is on my Wise & Shine profile

  1. Authenticity- YES! It becomes clear really quickly if you are trying to write in a prescribed manner or copy the style of another writer. Just doesn’t work at all. Be yourself and you will find your tribe!

  2. I was feeling the same as Deb…your advice to be who you are, Brenda, feels right-on. I think it’s hard to sustain anything else, much less summon the enthusiasm required! 😘

    • I agree wholeheartedly. Put your effort into being you. That said, I think its the only way to also really discover who you are. You can’t do that if you’re hiding or pretending to be someone else

      • You are so sweet. Thanks for giving me a reason to take a break! I’m doing final checks on the proof of my book…and my eyes are…bleary! How are you feeling today? I was paying attention to bits you shared over the past few days. Hope today is good! 💕💕💕

      • The infection caught has been kicking today and really struggled walking to the train, but I’m home now. Going to grab a cup of tea and put my feet up fora bit. But just busy – last 4 weeks of term, so crazy busy

      • Oh…four weeks to go…that’s good but it’s also still a chunk to get through…enjoy your tea and the little pockets of time for quiet and rejuvenation. 🥰

      • Oh goodness. But I know how much you care…giving thoughtful feedback and assessing work with high standards in mind! 🥰

      • Hopefully the proof reading is going OK. It is tiring as you need to concentrate so much

      • Yes — going well! I just told Wynne it felt very weird to hold a copy of it in my hands…but doing another round of reading to spot pesky things is important. Thank you so much, Brenda! 🥰

    • Thanks Kellye. I think I need to start a list of tips as I really struggled to come up with something on the spot 😁

  3. Great tips Brenda. I love your tips on the logo, I don’t use my picture, but a logo that I believe represents joy. And yes, authenticity is key to enjoying the process long term. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love that as you are giving tips to people for how to innovate, you are also innovating and changing up the style of these posts. What a great example!

  5. I love your blog concept, and the regular highlight of blogs you love is a cool feature! Which makes me wonder: how do you find new blogs to read or follow? I always struggle with the WordPress key words and discover section. I know the community is largely beautiful on WP, but there is also a lot of rubbish, due to the sheer volume of content published through it. I struggle finding the cool blogs to engage with (when I do, I do). Cheers, Robin

    • I know what you mean. I think the posts with blogging advice and supporting new bloggers attracts new ones, so I check the ones who commented or liked my posts. Also I try to check our some of those responding to prompts.

      But I agree it can be hit or miss. I flag their posts and monitor their activity.

      • I can imagine they are popular. Yes, I typically engage with my commenters and regulars, but it’s a relatively small group. I love the comments section though! I think it’s often the more interesting part of many blogs 🙂

    • Also if I have a week where I don’t have someone I want to promote, I’ll just publish the guidance … and maybe showcase an existing blogger … I won’t puts someone in just because it’s needed. I’d rather leave it blank than compromise, if that makes sense

      • It does make sense. Blog types and some consistency can be really nice, but it shouldn’t feel forced. When I did daily posts for almost two years, I went through times where it felt forced. Forced is never good. Now I skip regularly. (Although I am not sure if content improved lately haha)

      • Got to go with what works for you, and sometimes what fits with your life. I’m trying to work on one for this evening, but a cup of tea first 😁

  6. I think learning others blogging tips, what they feel have worked for one another. As everyone has something to give. Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren – bournemouthgirl

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