The photo for this article was provided by the interviewee.
This interview series actually started with me chatting with coffee bloggers, who represented the intersection of three of my interests: websites, writing, and coffee. Earlier this year, I saw that there was a new speciality coffee blog on the scene, Mandy’s Daily Grind, and I had to reach out to learn more about the project.
In this interview, I chat with Mandy about starting a blog, registering a domain name, and her coffee interview series. I hope you enjoy the interview.
What is Mandy’s Daily Grind? Why did you decide to start your own blog?
I see Mandy’s Daily Grind as an extension to my instagram page (mmdailysgrind) which I started in lockdown. Initially I thought I would use this to record all the different coffee beans from different coffee roasters but it has became a bit more than I anticipated. I share my attempts at creating latte art, different coffee equipment and keeping in contact with the awesome coffee community on instagram. But instagram is predominately about the image and I wanted to create a blog where I could post reviews of coffee and equipment where the article is my main focus.
How did you choose a platform on which to host your blog?
I looked at a few different platforms but what I was looking for to start out with was something that was user friendly as I do not have much experience in website building. I chose one which suited my needs as a beginner and that offered good customer support and help guides as well as something that I thought could execute my vision.
How difficult would you say it was to start designing your blog?
Yes for me initially it was a bit difficult, I had to do some research and watch a lot of youtube tutorials to be able figure out things like hyperlinks and posting media as well as how to edit videos to advertise the blog but once I got the basics down and got more familiar with the layout and how to edit the site I was happy with how it turned out.
I notice that you registered a domain, mandysdailygrind.blog. Why did you decide to register your own domain for your blog? Would you encourage other prospective or existing bloggers to do the same (if they do not already have a domain name)?
There really wasn’t a lot behind my decision to register a domain. When creating the site I had options of what I could name it one of the options was mandysdailygrind.blog as the name represents who you are and what you are all about it just fit perfectly to me.
How much time did you spend setting up your blog? What was the biggest challenge you faced?
I spent a lot of time on the initial set up. This is probably because I am not very tech savvy! Another big challenge for me and still is, is finding the time that I want to spend on the blog. I would spend a lot more time working on the blog if I could but I just have to squeeze in the blog time around my full time job and family life.
You are publishing interviews with coffee professionals as well as other articles. How did you decide to make these your initial focuses? Do you have a schedule in mind for writing articles?
So the main reason I wanted to start the blog is to learn as much about specialty coffee as I can. I have a particular interest in what goes on behind the scenes and the process that is behind the finished article coffee beans that you can pick up from the shelf at your local coffee shop. I figured the best way to do that is to learn from the people that work in the industry and that is why the interview was my initial focus.
I really want to continue to learn so my plan is to run a mini interview series. I don’t have a structure in regards to a target of how many articles/interviews I want to publish each month as I feel I would be putting myself under unnecessary pressure. It’s very early days with my blog but I plan to collate 5 or 6 interviews/articles per mini series and then release one per week but when the start of the mini series starts it just depends on when I have managed to collate my articles/interviews.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of starting their own blog but have not taken the leap yet?
My advice would be to go for it! Setting up my blog has opened up conversations and connections with people that I perhaps would not have had the opportunity to otherwise.
What coffee(s) are you drinking at the moment?
At the moment I am drinking a blend actually which is rare for me. It’s the Kilmartin Castle blend from Dear Green. It’s 60% Guatemalan and 40% Brazilian. Highly recommend!
If you could only drink coffee from one origin in the world, what origin would it be and why?
Ethiopia - I love Ethiopian washed, its my absolute go to.
What is your go-to method of preparing coffee at home?
I have a Sage Barista Express espresso machine at home which I am in love with at the moment so its defo espresso for now.
*You can learn more about Mandy’s Daily Grind on her website at mandysdailygrind.blog or on her Instagram @mmdailygrind.