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 #7

8 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 usually introduce a new blogger to the community but not this week as the person I planned to feature is triggering some alarm bells so I want to monitor a bit more before sharing. I should also say that we’re appearing a little early (or late) this week but Tuesday coming is 1st August, so I want to continue with my monthly letter then, so Introductions over Coffee will be Saturday for one week.

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

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

Beginner’s Tips

My summer of blogging and creative writing hasn’t exactly gone according to plan but on the first anniversary of Curiosities, Castles and Coffee Shops, Introductions over Coffee is going to reflect on some mistakes made around frequency and scheduling of posts hopefully, sharing some wisdom for our new bloggers. Where appropriate, I’d also encourage our more established readers to share their experiences too.

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/

Are we ready for summer?

It was the start of the summer holidays (24th June, 2023) and I was excited for the summer to come (6 weeks of “freedom”). I was posting 5 days out of 7 and was looking forward to the opportunity to build up a “stockpile” of posts written in advance so I could have at least 2 weeks’ posts scheduled. That was my objective by the end of my holidays (back to work on 8th August).

Its now 29th July (10.45pm as I write), I’ve not published anything for 5 days and its been pretty hit or miss for most of the month. So what has stopped me writing and posting, let alone doing some of that advanced-planning work? I can’t really blame the broken wrist as its now more or less back to normal. I have had 2 really bad migraines over the past month, one last week lasted for about 7-8 days.

Taking a step back from what I’m doing to reflect on what’s happening and why, I’ve realised that I need to look at how often I write, what’s realistic as opposed to what I want to do and what’s required to allow everything to run smoothly. What will allow me to meet my target of 2 weeks posts in advance, although the timeline needs revised. These factors are what I’m going to take us through today.

Getting the basics right

We probably all have ideas of how often we think we should publish or want to post to our blogs but as I’ve outlined with my example, we need to be realistic and there are a range of factors that should be considered. We need to be realistic about what we can achieve given other commitments and the type of posts we are producing. Some of my blogs can be fairly straightforward, being produced quickly. Whereas others require research, which can be more time consuming.

Many offering blogging advice will tell you its less important if you blog daily, twice a week, fortnightly, monthly etc; the key is consistency. For me, that’s where I’m falling down – being consistent over an extended period of time. This is where my second point comes in. To help ensure consistency, you also want to think about scheduling.

I’ll go into scheduling in more detail next time, but basically, you want to set yourself a schedule to work with and stick to (ensuring consistency). You also want to use the WP tools to schedule your posts once you’ve written them. By doing this, you know you have posts ready and waiting to go, and because you’ve told the WP system when to post, it will appear automatically without you doing anything else.

Why did I struggle?

There are a range of factors all combining to mean that while I was able to meet my schedule when things were working well, I wasn’t doing my best work and I had been unable to schedule far in advance at any point. However, any issues (such as migraines) and I don’t have anything in reserve and my blog suffers.

I was trying to write too much, writing constantly. I love writing, so was happy doing this, but it did mean other aspects of my blog were suffering:

  • I was not working in advance, creating posts which could be scheduled – so not creating that safety net if and when necessary.
  • I was so busy writing, I wasn’t finding the time I wanted to spend engaging with the community or reading their work.
  • unable to read work by other “new to me” and new bloggers
  • no blogging admin/housekeeping
  • sometimes I was spending so much time writing, I wasn’t getting the time to explore, which feeds into my posts

What have I learned?

Its all very well realising that things aren’t working out as well as I might like, but I need to take those insights and figure out what to do to improve the situation, and strengthen my blog and probably also remove some of the pressure I was putting myself under to publish so frequently. I suspect many of these steps will be relevant to many bloggers:

  • I was publishing too often and I need to reduce frequency to achieve consistency.
  • Recognise that not all posts can be written quickly. Be aware of the volume of work required for different posts and give myself sufficient time to do this.
  • I need to reduce my posting frequency if I wish to plan and schedule ahead of time and to allow me to engage in the other necessary aspects of blogging.
  • As I write a draft with pen and paper before typing up my posts, I’m going to explore typing more directly to improve efficiency. I’ll need to review for effectiveness.
  • I need to recognise that I can’t be a perfectionist as a blogger. I don’t need to create 5 drafts before I’m happy to post something – I’m getting better at this, but its easier on some occasions more than others.
  • I need to be disciplined to not post extra days and work on building up my “stockpile” of scheduled posts.
  • I need to learn to curb my enthusiasm – if I produce something I get impatient and want to hit “publish” today – I know I’ve said this before – so its something I’m still struggling with.
  • My migraines are always worse in summer (I hate summer) so again, I need to be realistic about what’s achievable during these months.

How do I make things better?

I plan to review progress, and hopefully success, and report back later in the year, so to give us something to measure against, here are my objectives:

  • Posting 3-4 times a week (Mondays – Wise & Shine; Tuesdays – Introductions over Coffee; plus posts on Thursdays and Saturdays
  • Be disciplined and do not exceed my planned structure
  • Have at least 2 weeks’ worth of posts scheduled/ready to post by the end of October.
  • Am regularly reviewing work on the Reader (at least once a week)
  • Engaging with the community regularly (daily)
  • By the end of October to have built up a selection of new bloggers as potential features for Introductions over Coffee
  • I’m engaging in good blog administration management on a monthly basis and I’ve reviewed and updated my blog style and pages by the end of September
  • I will review progress to make any required adjustments every 2 weeks and will provide an update to the Community at the end of October.

Advice for other bloggers

  • You need to decide what posting frequency is going to work for you. Don’t be led by others. You know your commitments and availability. You also know the type of blog you are working with.
  • Don’t be frightened to experiment with timings – try something, review and evaluate. If it doesn’t work, try something else. Nothing is set in stone, try different approaches to see what is going to work for you.
  • Don’t be too tough on yourself.
  • Whatever you decide upon, be consistent
  • Make use of WP scheduling facilities
  • Don’t neglect other aspects of your blog – its not simply about the posts you share. You do need to carry out admin, making sure your links work, that your pages etc are up-to-date.
  • Don’t ignore the community – you need to engage with them
  • Ask questions

Image shows a woman sitting at a laptop looking at an internet page and holding a cup of tea.

What I’m looking for in new bloggers I feature

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.


  1. We make grand plans but the follow through can be impeded by circumstances. I post 2-3 times a day as I have no job and no other responsibilities. I write in response to prompts mostly so it’s sort of fixed that I’ll write when on which prompt. On the days I have less to do, I sit and e write a few posts to schedule for next 2-3 days. It helps when I have other commitments.

  2. It all seems like great advice Brenda! Blogging (I think) should be an individual endeavor and we all have our reasons for being here and for sharing our words. Honestly I don’t get caught up in much of what blogging is supposed to be but that’s just me and I think I have a very different purpose for being here compared to most bloggers. Writing for HoTM has made me adapt a bit to routine but really I am the outlier as a blogger. I have no patterns and I’m fine with that 😉

    • I think we do what works for us Deb, being individuals, it’s what we have to do. Thanks for bringing your experience to the discussion 😁

  3. There’s so much good stuff in your blog! Love it Brenda. I had to especially laugh reading you describing your want to hit publish right away after you complete a piece. Oh my goodness, I can so relate to that impatience!! It’s a strange agonizing feeling. And also, give yourself a break on your publishing schedule. You’ll figure it out. It has to work for you. Anyway, thanks so much for this great advice.

    • Thanks Brian. I’ve got insomnia tonight … so probably get more writing done. I’ve ‘realised’ I’ll need to be careful I don’t just use the extra time I’m creating to just focus more on the 4 posts a week and not do anything else. But as you say, I’ll get there. The problem is so many ideas jumping about … so many potential posts 🤭

  4. Having got to know your styles you apply to the themes an eloquent and informative presentation. Some visitors will find much to be taken in with the the specific themes they are invested in of yours. Your educational theme, outdoor visits to ‘tourist’ spots, blogging advice and your ambitions of fictional storytelling. All have specialised inclusions. I’m lucky in that I write from whimsical day to week to months thoughts. Drop of the hat style. No true analysis on style. If something interesting enters my life….blog write it down quickly. I can’t imagine how you continually achieve what you do. And do it so well. Visitors, I find, take an interest in my specific subjects more than others. It’s like a favourite author with a few titles in their bibliography. Some you would never part with because they left an amazing impression. Others you read and enjoy, but they make less lasting impact. We are our own worst critics aren’t we? Keep on being you. Write less if it’s stressful. Your followers will still tap in for a full read on seeing something new. Whenever it is published. What you have achieved is a very successful blog site. Brilliant. All the best Brenda.

  5. a great post, Brenda.
    I’ve been thinking (scattered) around this too and I’m glad you shared these important points… sorts of sums up my scattered thoughts 🤭.

    ouch to those dreadful migraines 🤗 🤍

  6. Good tips Brenda! I would like to share my experience. I decided to publish once per week. And this is going to stay like that. I changed the way I draft. Until one year ago or so, I used to write in word, look for photographs on Unsplash, upload them in the media section of WP, revised the articles at least 3 times, do the grammar check (as non English native speaker I think it’s fundamental), and finally I copy it into WP. Now, I draft the post directly on WP, use the photos provided by them, revise it a couple of times and do the grammar check. It has dramatically reduced the time I dedicate to my blog. As regards the scheduling, I managed this year to program the publication of four posts before I left for holiday. It was the first time since I have been writing and I am very happy about this achievement! It was very hard though!

    • Thanks for the insight Cristiana – you always seem well organised and I guess you’re doing twice per week really – once on your own blog and once on Wise & Shine :). I can imagine getting 4 weeks’ worth of posts before going on holiday was demanding. I understand about the spelling and grammar check – to be honest, everyone, including native English speakers should do this – or maybe especially native English speakers

      • That’s true Brenda, I do it twice, how could I forget? I like you saying that spelling and grammar check should be done also by native English speakers! You put a smile on my face. I am not sure I can say it for English speakers but I can surely say it for native French speakers. Sometimes I spots mistakes that are really basics! But it’s true that when you learn another language you pay more attention when speaking/writing.

      • Given the amount of times I write on assignment scripts “you need to proof read” for native English speakers. You’re right, when we learn other languages we learn grammar better than we did for our native tongue – that’s certainly the case for English. I remember learning Spanish (I could already speak French) and being shocked when one of my classmates asked what a verb was – such basic grammar

  7. Pre-Covid I had a routine of Mondays and Thursdays which I more or less stuck to. For obvious reasons, the first lockdown is the only time I have ever had a bank of pre-prepared posts (about 20 I think), but these days I am doing so much that I would like to write about that I don’t have time to write it! I need to rethink my blogging so I suppose my point is, yes, your advice is all very pertinent but sometimes life takes over and ruins the schedule (as you have found). For me it’s a hobby so I shouldn’t feel guilty or neglectful, but I do a bit! Another point is that posting very frequently is a real turn off – there are many blogs I skip over and only properly read a post here and there.

    • Thanks for your input Anabel and you’ve given me some things to think about – needing to accept that I have more to publish/write about than is perhaps going to be possible, but that just means I get to pick the best bits rather than not being able to do everything. I also accept that because I write about a range of different things – my visits etc, new blogger pieces such as this, posting on Wise & Shine as well as my study skills. Not everything is going to be of interest to everyone.

  8. Sorry to hear you’re struggling with migraines at the moment Brenda. I’m currently having issues with my sinuses which is no fun either.
    I find my Monday Matters posts require quite a lot of research and planning, whereas the ones about my BuJo pages or my own experiences take much less time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the blogging process. It’s prompted me to do a bit of reflection on mine too.

  9. Your plan and wisdom is very guiding.🙇🏻‍♂️

    I wish someone was there to tell me this 2 years before.
    Like then I was more focused on quantity, I was posting mindlessly. I had 9-10 blogs in a month back then and with time I understand my pace.

    I hope you feel better with the migraines. Please rest well and do whatever makes you feel better.
    Sending some love my dear friend 🤗

    • Its started raining, so my current headache/migraine has lifted for now 🙂

      I think this is some information I had, but I think when you start blogging there are so many things to consider, its easy to forget – or get stressed when you think you’re not coping or failing in some way. Its important that new (and some established bloggers) view this as a journey of discovery to find what works for them – its about experimenting with different approaches rather than beating themselves up because something didn’t work – it doesn’t mean they’re a failure – just that they’ve not found the best approach for them yet. Also, look on blogging (and I’d say all aspects of life) as an opportunity for learning, growth and development – we are continually looking for ways to improve what we do

  10. My only advice would be to think about how many posts you think you realistically can do every week, and cut that number in half. Start there and give it a good few months before re-evaluating.

    I’ve settled into a once a week post and some weeks that is a struggle to accomplish. But without the goal and commitment I would let those slide by with nothing posted at all. I don’t have much for reserves, but I’m happy if Friday comes and my post is ready and scheduled to go live on Saturday morning. I’m impatient to send my ‘babies’ out into the world, but I too need to get better at that!

    I’m glad to hear your wrist is back to mostly normal, and I hope the migraines go far, far away soon! 💞💞💞

    • Oh thank you Dawn – I’m hoping the migraines disappear soon too 😁😆

      I love your tip about thinking about a number and then cutting that in half – maybe I’m still being optimistic with 3-4 a week, but as you say, I’ll work with it and review later in the year. The only “plus” is I’ll be reposting my study skills blogs regularly, and that will count as one of my weekly posts – it’ll just be editing/updating them, but I don’t think the basic skills will change that much

      • You’ve already had a number that you reduced, I think you have a good plan in place based on your history! Awesome that one of those regular blogs is already (mostly) ready to roll! I just think of new bloggers all fired up to post daily, work full time, raise young kids, etc….and burn out happens too quickly. I find it’s internally easier to increase my frequency than decrease it….and if I get midweek inspiration for a prompt, I can do a bonus blog that week…but I need to do better about getting scheduled out even a week or two.

      • I agree. I’m glad that despite having a full time job, I don’t have kids to worry about – well except those in the classroom 😆. But I’m also helped by the fact that the study skills/academic ones and any that are related to HR/the world of work are also work related, so can work on them during work time too (I’m producing lesson/class materials in a different format is all).

        I agree, sometimes the prompts can pull me in, but I think/hope I’ll focus on getting the basics right and get a few posts scheduled ahead, then if I’ve got that done and see a prompt that really catches my attention, I can run with it

  11. Great advise, Brenda in regards to posting more frequently that we can realistically handle. Consideration must be given to research, taking photos, writing, editing and actual life experiences, And then there’s our lives outside blogging, it all takes time.

  12. Though writing consistently is always a good idea, what do you think about quality over quantity? As you mention, publishing daily puts a lot of pressure on the writer, and then perhaps quality diminishes. Sometimes.
    Sorry to hear about your migraines. That seems like such a long time to have one. Ugh! Hope things improve for you Brenda.
    Also, curious to know if you only feature new bloggers.

    • Hi Alegria, some very interesting questions – I agree about quality – if we want to attract people to our sites and have them return, they need to find well written and interesting posts.

      Yes, that was a really bad migraine – they usually last about 4 days for me, but that last one was double that length. But they’re always bad/worse in the summer months

      As for your last question, given Introductions over Coffee is focused on new bloggers, I do like that to be my focus – I usually look at how many followers they have – I’d generally not feature someone with over 100 followers. But as I’m finding, sometimes, I will find it difficult to find a new blogger to feature; in that case, I will feature someone from the community

  13. What a great question about how often we should publish posts, Brenda.

    I think it’s a bad idea to force ourselves to blog. In my experience, that only leads to what many call blogging burnout where blogging becomes a chore rather than bringing enjoyment. never feel you have to blog just for the sake of blogging. However, if publishing blog posts more than once a day is something somebody feels happy with, then stick with it. We all need to find our perfect blogging balance.

    However, I’ve never found a blogger whose blog posts are all excellent when they publish more than once a day. As somebody else mentioned, quality is more important than quantity. The difference between blog posts from somebody who published once every few days to somebody who publishes multiple a few times a day is stark. I’ve found not rushing to publish what we write is much better than writing something and publishing it straight away. There are many blogs I do not follow because the quality of posts are poor.

    Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.

  14. I had to pop back to this blog to thank you. I was excited to have my next 2 blogs written and scheduled. I had 3 prompts speak to me early this week, inspiring 1 post to incorporate them all. I was going to post immediately, but stopped to look at what I already had scheduled. Neither of those posts were time sensitive, both could easily be pushed back a week. So, I did so, and scheduled the prompt response for my scheduled Saturday post! Thanks for helping me think that through, and now I have a margin built in to let my muse breathe a little! 💞

    • Sounds like you’ve had a really productive time and things have come together well for you. It’s good when you can take a step back, decide what’s important and reschedule. It’s also good when we get excited by blogging 😁

  15. Three times a week seems to be my sweet spot, with occasional 4-5 post weeks. I work up to a week ahead, but rarely further than that in advance. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Oh thats not so good. I get stressed if I don’t plan. I guess we need to find what works for us individually 😁

Leave a Reply