So, that last post marks the 3rd time this blog has been Freshly Pressed and I’m having a hard time figuring out how I want to write this follow up post (which I’ve said before, is a great problem to have) for new readers, and certainly old readers as well. So instead of the usual quick follow up post filled with thanks and gratitude–by the way, THANKS! and, um, GRATITUDES!–I’d like to do something a little different. I’d like to share with you guys a few thoughts on the way I assemble my blog posts before publishing them and how that coincides with some of the “criteria” WordPress has outlined for getting content promoted to the Freshly Pressed Page. I’d like to think that maybe some of this information will help you increase your chances of getting Freshly Pressed or at the very least, help you in building a readership.
Anywho, here are some of my thoughts.
What I think of Freshly Pressed:
It’s a confidence booster and a traffic spiker.
But in no way do I think of it as a “best of” award or as a new normal in daily pageviews–trust me, your stats come down just as fast as they go up. It’s also incredibly humbling at the same time. There are so many talented bloggers and great posts being published daily on WordPress, and most of them will inevitably fall through the–very large–Freshly Pressed cracks and never reach the audience they deserve. But that’s not for me to decide and nor do I want that responsibility. But I hope that for those of you dreaming of getting Freshly Pressed, that you do in fact someday get to experience it.
For those of you that couldn’t care less, please, teach me your ways.
And If you’re a new blogger here at WordPress, I think the best advice I can give you, is to tell you not to aim directly at getting something Freshly Pressed. It’s a lucky perk for opting into the WordPress community. Rather, aim at making awesome content and you might see that good things tend to happen. Besides, you’ll feel miserable chasing after it and you’ll miss out on all the other good stuff blogging has to offer.
Why I blog:
Sitting down to a blank page and bringing it to life with illustrations and/or writing is a super exciting challenge for me. But I also really enjoy sharing that final product with you guys. And so I try and make something personable, yet highly relatable to lots of people in hopes that they enjoy it as well. I like to think that I work for me, but I create for you.
On writing “unique content that’s free of bad stuff”:
I don’t think there are a lot of heavily illustrated blogs out there on WordPress. So that probably covers my bases pretty well, as far as “unique content” goes, but honestly, doing illustrations is how I best articulate what’s going on in my head. And that’s why I draw so many of my posts.
Ok, jeez, I can see your eyes rolling from here, so I’ll attempt a better answer. The posts that I’ve had featured on FP were all highly relatable and prompted discussion or sharing of personal experiences. If you strip away all of the illustrations, you get 3 simple posts about: working in a 9-5 culture, living with roommates, and growing up in the 80s/90s. How many posts have you seen on those topics? A bunch, right? A lot of people can relate to at least one of those things. I just attacked it from my own angle.
And as far as ‘bad content” goes, I like F-Bombs. They’re part of my vernacular, in moderation of course, as evidenced by the few scattered throughout this site like Easter eggs. In fact, 2 out of my 3 featured posts have stylish variations of F-Bombs in them. So it’s possible to have “bad language,” just remember, impact over shock value.
On including visuals:
A majority of what I do on my blog is mainly visual, but you know that, so I won’t elaborate anymore on it. But as far as more traditional blogging goes, it seems that having at least a headlining visual is a good way of drawing in NEW readers. This is certainly the case for me when I look at blogs. I’ve always thought of blogging as relating much more closely to a magazine layout rather than a book. At a quick glance, walls of text without minimal breaks tend to be off putting to me, even though I do really enjoy long-form. I just typically already know the style of the person writing it, which makes it much easier trying to tackle longer lengths. It comes down to this, visuals are really acting as a secondary headline, and if deployed with a little panache, just might be what you need to get some people through the door. The hard part is finding the right visuals. But there are options out there if you aren’t able to generate your own. Just make sure to source your material.
I love a clever headline. I hate trying to think of them. But they’re incredibly important. This your pitch to potential readers. Luckily, most of your followers will probably read the content regardless, because they’re already invested in you. The tricky part is getting those other readers. Sometimes you’ll have a brilliant title right off the bat, most of the time you probably won’t. So, the only advice I could say for this is to just make sure your headline states in a very clear way what the reader should expect in the rest of the post. I usually try and think 3 or more headlines and then just go with one that seems to fit the best.
On relevant tags:
This is a big one. This is how FP editors and a good portion of the WordPress community can find you. I wasn’t using tags at all during my first couple months of blogging. But once I started using the appropriate tags, I was Freshly Pressed within the next couple posts. I would highly suggest looking up some of the most common tags and adding them to your content when you publish. The common tags tend to be general things like, “books” or “humor.” This makes it easier for people wandering around certain tags to find you. I typically use 5-8 tags that are relevant to my post
Ok, that’s all for now. I have to go feed the Freshly Pressed editor I’ve locked in my basement.
I hope you could find something useful in there. Hit the comments section below if you’d like to ask more about something in particular. Thanks again for following along.