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 #11

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. Do not spam my comments section.

Introducing our new blogger : Maningisylvester of ManingiWrites

Introductions over coffee and cake at a table
Image by Maria Paredes from Pixabay

I’m delighted to introduce Maningisylvester today. Having a look at his blog, he appears to post daily. Primarily he’s responding to the WP prompts, but not exclusively. In addition to a range of general posts, Sylvester is also sharing weekly instalments of a story.

As ever, I’m providing links to Sylvester’s website and a couple of posts, including Part 1 of his story. (I’m also hoping I’m getting his name correct in assuming Sylvester is his first name).

I like his clear writing style. His posts are informative and hopefully will make you think too.

One word advice for Sylvester, and maybe other new bloggers too – make sure your ‘About’ page is relevant.


Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and let the sounds guide you towards a state of complete relaxation.

Story Time! Stolen, Ruined Heart (Part 1)

Welcome to the community Sylvester 😁

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/

Making comments work

Most established bloggers I mix with would all tell you that the comments sections of our blogs are invaluable.

Why comment?

We all define success in different ways, but for many people, having meaningful exchanges in the comments sections of our blogs is important. Think about how it feels as a new blogger publishing your posts. You’ve finished your post, you’ve hit publish but not much is happening. You wonder if anyone will read your work. I’m sure they will, but you need to make the first move. Go and read other blogs, like them if you’ve enjoyed wht you’ve read. But you should also leave a message saying why you liked it.

In this section I’m going to look at the art of leaving meaningful comments. Its a good skill for all bloggers to develop, but its really going to help you as a new blogger to grow and develop, both you and your blog.

An example

Rosa is a new blogger, she’s really eager to start writing, posting and getting lots of visitors to her website. She’s finding and visiting blogs though the WP Reader. She sees some of the comments sections are really busy so thinks this is good, she will meet lots of bloggers and if she says hello and leaves her web address, people will come and visit her, read her posts and follow her.

Such a bad mistake.

Spam is deleted

Rosa is unlikely to get much success in this way. If someone posts on my blog comments saying visit my site; follow me or shares their website link, I’m going to either delete the comment or mark it as spam. Most established and experienced bloggers do the same thing. And we’re highly unlikely to visit your site as you are spamming.

So what’s the correct way to use comments?

Door to Dialogue

When we publish a post, sharing our work, we want our audience to engage with us, and that happens in the comments section. Its where we share ideas, discuss those ideas and sometimes have differing opinions. We get to know each other and sometimes, over time, develop blogging friendships with like-minded bloggers. This is why meaningful comments are so important. You’re not going to start a conversation with “nice” or an emoji – say something meaningful to get a dialogue going.

In a recent post by my good blogging friend, Hugh of Hugh’s Views & News, he raised the subject of comments and through his post, which I recommend reading, brought up some interesting questions. In fact, go and read Hugh’s post and then return here to continue with the discussion about the way we use comments.

Like Hugh, I believe we really want to engage with each other, and have meaningful conversations. Blogging for most of us is a hobby, so it should be fun, and our conversations should be fun too.

Advice over coffee

Whilst its best to leave meaningful comments, many don’t. There are probably many reasons why people do this, but they’re probably missing out on the opportunity of getting to know more people, and people getting to know them. If others get to know you; see how you behave, what kind of things you say, they can decide that they are interested in visiting your site. Equally, don’t always assume everyone will sign up to follow you, and sometimes people will visit a few times before deciding to follow you. At other times, people have a limit of the number of people they follow because its difficult to keep up if you follow too many.

The quality of comments you leave and your engagement with the community is the key to growing your blog and readers.

Commenting trends

I found Hugh’s comments – or the conversations left in the comments section of his post about the trend being to not leave comments worrying. That will kill the community. Perhaps there are good reasons people don’t want to leave comments, but they’re missing out on the full experience. Following on from the example put forward in Troy Headrick’s post, writing in the Wise & Shine blog, we should be more defiant. In this case defying the apparent trend to not comment. We should push for our own trend – chatting with like-minded people who want to talk to each other. Lets keep the comments alive and kicking.

As indicated already, there are many reasons that bloggers won’t leave meaningful comments, what can we do to encourage the leaving of better comments? I know of a blogger who, at the end of her posts, opens up the conversation with an instruction to “discuss”. You can check her work out for yourself here. I love her style with this (or maybe its the teacher in me).

So, what are you going to discuss in my comments?

Over to you!

It’s important to me that Introductions over Coffee reflects the needs of the community, and new bloggers. Leave me a message in the comments or send me an email via the Contact page to make suggestions for future topics.

What I’m looking for in new bloggers I feature

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

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 engages with them through their 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 – are the comments meaningful.
  • 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. There is never an excuse for spamming.

I accept that this process is subjective, based on my opinion. If you have any questions about my criteria, please ask.

If you’re a new blogger and would like to appear in a future edition of Introductions over Coffee, please send me a message through the Contact Me page. Equally, if you spot an interesting new blogger, send me a message in the same way, sharing their details.

Sign up to my blog today so you don’t miss out on future new blogger tips, and all my other wonderful posts.


  1. There are wonderful bloggers out there. I read a lot. In fact I am reading more in word press than anywhere. It is really hard to comment on everything and sometimes I feel bad when I just like on something.

    • You should never feel bad for not leaving a comment. If you cannot add anything of value in the comments section, click the ‘like’ button and move on. You don’t need to prove you have visited. Bloggers value thoughtful comments much more than comments that do not go anywhere. So never feel bad for not leaving a comment.

    • I agree with Hugh, Ganga. You should never feel bad or guilty for ‘just’ liking something. Liking a post is definitely a valid reaction. As Hugh says, sometimes we just don’t have anything more to add. Other times, you might just be busy

  2. I do think that comments build up the community spirit and even a simple message can ignite a conversation.

    • You’re right that comments build up a community, but they need to be the right types of comments that open up discussion and engagement. I’ve seen many blogs that have ‘dead communities’ because all the comments left are non-engaging and do not open up any discussion about the contents of the posts. Very off-putting to new visitors.

      Comments such as ‘This is interesting’, ‘ I enjoyed reading this’ or ‘Nice story’ are not engaging other than a return comment like ‘Thank you.’ So my advice is to open up the discussion by saying what made a post interesting, why you enjoyed reading it, or what made it a nice story. Those bloggers receiving those new engaging comments appreciate us much more when leaving engaging and thoughtful comments.

  3. agree with you on the comments and great advise again 🙏

    lovely introductions, Brenda… seen as 3 for me.
    Thanks for sharing. 🤍✨

  4. I started following your blog. My only goal is to grow together if you also follow my blog. Interacting in our posts. I hope you don’t mind the message and I look forward to your response. Thank you 🙏💯 🇪🇦

    • Rather than asking somebody to follow your blog, try leaving thoughtful and engaging comments on other bloggers’ posts that prove you want to engage with them by adding something of value that mentions the contents of a post.

      You should never follow a blog that publishes content that does not interest you, so don’t feel upset if somebody does not follow your blog if they’re not interested in your content. It happens to all of us.

      If you follow a blog simply because they followed your blog, you’ll end up on a slippery slope to becoming overwhelmed with the number of blogs you follow, and blogging will become a chore and a stressful experience.

    • Hello PK. Normally I’d remove comments asking me or others to follow, but given the focus of my post I’ll leave it in. I have to concur with Hugh. I have almost 800 followers, and I’m sure Hugh has many more. It’s not possible to follow everyone and to be physically or mentally able to follow all. However, if we chat and engage, that is helping your blog irrespective of whether or not I follow your blog. Our interactions are likely to attract other people to your blog so it helps grow your blog.

  5. Thank you very much. I am working towards improving my blog and having read your recommendations, starting soon there will be improvements on my blog! I am much grateful for your insights.

    • My pleasure. The Intros over Coffee series is focused on tips for new bloggers, but if you need any advice, please ask. There are some very good bloggers who will, I’m sure, also jump in with advice and guidance 😁

  6. I dont think we should feel obligated to comment on everything we read. That’s why sometimes it’s necessary to limit the amount of bloggers we follow, so we don’t feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I can’t really think what I’d want to say beyond I like this … but thats what the like is for 😁
    Sometimes also people can get busy, and don’t have the time for a lot of comments, so will like

  7. Well said about trying to comment on each post that we happen to read.
    It’s humanly not possible.
    It’s a good idea to limit the number of people we follow so that sincere exchange of thoughts possible.
    But sometimes it’s a difficult decision.
    I think the “like” button makes sense.
    One of the bloggers whom I follow expressed the difficulty in writing a comment because of the physical limitations and instead she uses the like button to send a message that , she really liked the article.
    Earlier, I used to think that the “like” button was getting misused.
    She proved to me that I am wrong.

    • I think the like button is used in lots of different ways, but you get to know your regular readers and followers. I have some who just like – including family and friends who like but don’t use the comments, but will talk to me or message me directly too. Not everyone is comfortable using the comments

    • Interestingly, some bloggers have told me they click the ‘like’ button without reading the post. They say it shows their support for that blogger, even though they did not read the post. I also get the occasional blogger who will click the ‘like’ button on loads of my posts within seconds of each other. When that happens, I know they haven’t read any of the posts.

      However, there are many bloggers who do use the ‘like’ button for what it’s there for (like the blogger you mentioned in your comment). They will read the post, may not want to leave a comment or have nothing of value to say, so they’ll click ‘like’ and move on. And there’s nothing wrong with that, yet some bloggers seem to think there is a problem in not also leaving a non-engaging comment just to prove they’ve visited.

  8. Hi Brenda, you raise some interesting points in this post, and thank you for linking to my recent post about comments.

    It will be a sad day when readers stop engaging with bloggers by no longer leaving engaging comments that open up discussion on the contents of blog posts. I’m already witnessing an uprise in blogs with what I call ‘Zombie communities’ where all the comments left are non-engaging comments such as ‘Great post!’ from the same bloggers.

    I agree that not everyone has the time to leave a non-engaging comment, but think of all the time we can save if we stop leaving loads of non-engaging comments on all the blogs we visit. We could leave one or two engaging and thoughtful comments that will make a lot of difference to the blogger who wrote and published the post. And our engaging and thoughtful comments will get seen by other visitors, who are then more likely to visit and follow our blogs.

    • Adding to the changing trends, I’m starting to see occasional short/basic comments being left by bots. Another reason to leave meaningful, engaging comments

      • That’s another great point, Brenda. If all the comments of a blogger are similar to those of what spambots leave, it’ll put other visitors off from visiting that blog.

      • Really, if you are seeing automated bot comments you should think about your anti spam protection and possibly augmenting it with some effective anti bot spam tools. Protection from bit comments should be a fundamental of an anti spam program.

      • Thats true. Maybe they just feel like bot responses. You’re right, a lot ends up in spam, so the software does work

  9. I’ve unfortunately had to limit the amount of bloggers I follow. (As of this moment, I’m 10 days behind reading the ones I already follow. )

    If a new blog intrigues me, I’m more likely to follow and comment on a new blogger to help them get a community started and will stay connected to those that acknowledge comments, even if it is just with a like button.

    Some day I hope to have more time to read, comment, enjoy as much as I desire to!

    • That sounds so familiar Dawn. I got caught up, then caught a tummy bug that floored me, so behind again. I agree, it’s not possible to follow everyone I might like too – just not enough time/hours in the day

  10. Got it. Great advice. Have just started blogging myself a few weeks back. Pl have a look at my site. It is limited solely to humour via life experiences. You may not always get the context, it being India centric. Hope you find it interesting though.

    • Glad you found the post helpful. Ideally it’s not really good practice to ask people to visit your site. It’s better to engage – as you’ve done here. Keep comments relevant to the post you’ve read. That will create more meaningful communications and encourage people to visit your site

  11. Another great set of suggestions, Brenda! It doesn’t hurt for us seasoned bloggers to have a refresher course once in a while. I hope you’re doing well and that your week is off to a good start.

  12. Hi, Brenda! I am visiting due to Hugh’s post where he shared your and my link to our posts regarding the quality of comments. I definitely share your experience.
    It has not happened that much lately, but still, if someone leaves a link, a “follow me, check out my latest post, I followed you and now please follow me back” I also simply delete the comment or even mark it as spam. You explained this very well and very objective that maybe those people are not aware that this won’t ever work.
    I am surprised that still so many mix up blogging with platforms like Twitter or Instagram. Bloggin is something personal. As you said it so well, it makes not much sense to follow too many blogs because then it becomes nonpersonal.
    Thanks for your post. I like the light you are shining on the topic, Erika

    • Thanks Erika. I tried to leave a comment on your post but I couldn’t. I did send you a message though. I’m glad you liked my post. I’m doing what I can to teach/educate and help new bloggers learn 😁

      • Hi, Brenda, thank you for making the effort to leave a comment on my post. I have no idea why it did not work. I will check my spam folder. Maybe you slipped into it.
        However, I think it is a very good thing to support bloggers with hints and advice – also “older” ones… hehe. Because those who are here for several years do their thing as usual and overlook new tools and options.
        So, keep up your good work, Brenda. Thank you!!

      • Thanks Erika. I think its also good as a refresher as we take on so much when starting out, it’s easy to miss bits. Also, we can get into routines and it’s useful to see different perspectives.

      • I totally agree! Since I don’t have much time, I can definitely get lost in routines and don’t have the nerve to check out new tools. So, having peeps like you and Hugh, is a blessing for hear in a short and clear way about new blogging developments.

  13. Hi Brenda, I am visiting from Hugh’s post. I appreciate your advice to leave ‘meaningful’ comments, as I too believe that is what creates ‘community’ among bloggers. I personally appreciate comments specific to what I have said as that generally indicates the reader has actually read the post. I find it helpful to ask a question or two at the end of the post to prompt responses and generate conversation.

    • Hello Suzanne and thanks for visiting. I think I need to practice more with questions to generate more reaction. 😁

  14. After I started blogging, it took me a while to really “get” the idea of commenting. Then, I realized there is a wonderful community here in the blogging world! When I read a blog post I enjoy, I try to always leave a thoughtful comment. I love it when my readers do the same. There’s nothing worse than “Great post”, or a comment that makes it clear the individual hasn’t read the post. Why bother?

    • Thats so true Michelle. I love it when my readers engage with me through the comments. Those exchanges are so enjoyable, and it’s how we get to know each other. As you say, it’s a great community, but you need to engage with it. Like all great communication, it has to be two-way. 😁

  15. I wholeheartedly agree. Blogging is much more than just posting a blog. All it takes is interest, curiosity and thoughtful chat to be welcomed into a warm community of like minded souls.

    • You put it so well Lindsey. ‘Interest, curiosity and thoughtful chat’. Perfectly expressed. Thank you 🙂

  16. The number of people who have engaged in this discussion does show how much this resonates with people. I took Hugh’s advice (who hasn’t?) a while ago and don’t follow blogs that don’t particularly interest me, and that allows me more time to engage with those that do. Honestly, I can’t imagine just commenting on someone’s blog with just a few obligatory words, and I stop engaging with bloggers who do the same.
    I’ve always thought it odd why someone follows a blog and never even comments at all, not even a ‘like’. Not all of it is to get a follow back, I’ve had people who have followed my blog for a good while who never interact in any way.
    That’s why I’m always grateful for the small ‘hardcore’ bloggers who do, and I do my best to reciprocate.

    • Thanks for visiting, and leaving such a thoughtful comment. You’re right, there are also many writers who read out posts, are loyal followers,but don’t share any likes or comments. I can include friends, family and work colleagues in that category. I know they read the posts as they’ll discuss content when they see me, or send messages but they very rarely share on the comments section. I also shared a post on Wise & Shine a few weeks ago where I explored why people might not want to engage. Although that was more about identity, I can’t help feeling some of the same reasons could apply here.


      • Thanks Brenda. I think some people, especially non-bloggers such as family and friends, don’t quite realise how much it means for us to get feedback, even if it’s only a ‘like’. And as they rarely bring up my blog, its not easy to let them know.

  17. Sometimes I e found that ending my post with a question gives readers a suggestion for a comment. I’d heard that some people don’t comment because they don’t know what to say, so the question is meant to be a starting point.

    • I must admit it is easier sometimes than others, but I try wherever possible to leave richer comments. Now, with my Intros series, I need to lead by example

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