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 #9

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.

Introducing :  ??? Could it be you?

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

I’m taking a different approach over the next few weeks and inviting new bloggers to drop me an email (through the contact me page) to apply to be featured here. Tell me how long you’ve been blogging and why you should be featured in a future post. Please see the information at the end of the post explaining my criteria for featuring bloggers.

This is a chance for new bloggers to be showcased to a wider community.

Welcome to the community 😁

Beginner’s Tips

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 time, in #8, I wrote about using prompts as an entry route into blogging for our newer friends. I’ve also written on Wise and Shine about the arguments for and against the use of prompts. They can be beneficial,  but they need to be used effectively.  Today, I’m going to provide advice to new bloggers on how to get the most from the prompts.

Using prompts

Using prompts is a good way to get started as a new blogger. The WP Daily Prompts provide questions for you to answer. It provides a good framework to start blogging, but you want to ensure that you write a good post.  One that’s going to attract and retain readers.

Take time to think about what you want to say. Consider different perspectives, and cover them all.  You want to produce something worthwhile.

Review posts shared by others responding to the prompts

Generally there are hundreds of responses to each prompts. It is worthwhile looking at them – which ones are well written? What makes them good? What can you learn from them? How can you copy or adapt what they are doing?

Conversely, there are also some responses that are poor. Some are really just repeating the question/prompt, but others are not engaging. It will also be useful to study them. If you dislike something, can you identify why? Why did you reject a post? Try to understand what’s putting you off. This way you can learn about the mistakes others are making to help you avoid making the same mistakes.

My tips

The responses that I dislike are very brief. Bloggers try to answer the question, but with a very basic answer. For example, the prompt from yesterday asked for our favourite time of day. A poor post that won’t attract readers might simply respond saying “my favourite time of day is morning”. There is no discussion, no explanation or reflection. To be meaningful, we’re looking for more information. Enough discussion that might encourage others to like and leave comments – to engage with us.

Good luck to our new bloggers, and have fun with the prompts. Having fun should be our #1 priority.

It’s important to me that this series really reflects the needs of the community, and new bloggers, so please let me know what would help you.

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. 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. Some really useful tips Brenda. I think reading posts from others and evaluating what makes you like or dislike them is a really good way to establish what makes a good post. P.S. I hope the academic year is going well for you so far.

    • Hectic and exhausting as I adjust to the pace, but yes, I think its been a good start. I hope you’re well too Laura

      • It’s not long before the holidays feel like an age ago is it! I’m okay thanks. Looking forward to doing some more sessions at the uni soon.

      • I don’t take the classes, but I work with medical students and help them develop their communication and clinical skills. I take on the role of the patient and they work with me in a range of ways doing consultations, multidisciplinary meetings, offering advice, carrying out tests etc. I also talk to small groups about my medical conditions like bipolar disorder and asthma.

      • That sounds really useful/beneficial to the students, giving them practical experiences

      • Yes, I find it really rewarding. Plus I use my teaching skills when giving them feedback and ideas for development.

  2. Great information, Brenda. I’d add that bloggers also need to give more information when leaving comments instead of leaving comments that simply say ‘wonderful’ ‘that’s nice,’ great photo’ etc. Expand on why you thought it was great rather than just tell a blogger you enjoyed their post. Engaging in the comments section is as important as making a post engaging.

    • I agree. Sometimes the comment is so generic it feels like the poster didn’t even read the blog post. In fact, sometimes it’s clear that they haven’t!

      • I agree, Laura. Bloggers have even told me they click the ‘like’ button without reading a post. Leaving an engaging comment adds so much value and is a sure way of getting noticed by other bloggers and readers.

      • Thats crazy … like after you read … not before. Shows the way some people think. And that’s before even considering the serial likers

      • I get my fair share of serial likers, too. And then there are the ones that like every comment I leave regardless of which blog I leave them on. It’s as if they’re lurking just around the corner. More ‘scratch your head’ moments.

  3. I have to admit that I do read all of the posts that I follow, however, I don’t always leave a comment. I do click the like button, but if the topic is political, I don’t “like” it. You’re doing a wonderful job, Brenda.

  4. I am a new blogger, sort of, came across this post, I like to read posts were I can smile or learn, here I learned something, thank you

  5. Great post. I know when I first considered the daily prompt, I found the simplest answer to be boring. So I decided I would try to develop them into engaging stories from my past or relatable posts from my present. I love using picture too. Even if they are from the free library, I find pictures break up the monotony of the written word. I also try to choose thoughtfully when I choose photos. I always chide myself for not taking more photos personally, but setting up a shot is time that I don’t always have. I am going to try to take more photos personally though.

    Thanks for the great blog!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Geneva. I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself for using the free photos. I do take a few of my own, but they tend to be in my exploration posts. It takes time to find our feet, creating something meaningful, but its definitely worthwhile. 😁

  6. I love the advice, Brenda, thank you…..especially to read and learn from others…both what you like and what you don’t like! I feel this has made me a better reader as well, learning from the comments on my posts that are the most helpful and uplifting and trying to do better myself. 💞💞💞

  7. They are still your posts, so they will appear on your blog. I guess you could create a new blog to respond to the prompts. I think if the prompts are coming from other bloggers, you could respond on their comments section. However, I don’t think there is an alternative with WP Daily Prompts

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