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:

Just kidding.

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.

On headlines:

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.

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68 Responses to “Freshly Pressed: A Word To My Fellow WordPressers”

  1. Margarita

    Congratulations Tim! I noticed that about the tags. It finally dawned on me that using tags that WP uses will direct more traffic through my blog…and it has! As to the caring about FP, here’s my general philosophy: I strive to make myself happy every day…if WP cares to add to that experience, YAY! If not, I’m still happy! xoxoM

    Reply
    • timmer

      Thanks, Margarita! Tags are unbelievably important for allowing your content to be found. I can’t believe I was blogging for 2 months without using them.

      I agree with your FP philosophy. I don’t know what the point would be to blog and not have fun while you’re doing it, and to interact with a community that feels the same way. It certainly does take a lot of commitment to create the things all of us share. Why someone would waste so much of their free time blogging just to inflate stats or go after FP is beyond me.

      Reply
  2. bottledworder

    This was a great post. Loved it. You said many things I’ve noticed myself but you said it better. I’ve been FP-ed twice. My blog is very different from yours and so the ones featured didn’t stress much on visuals but did, I hope, have original content. But I think the most imp thing you say here is that we should not blog with the aim of getting FP-ed. If the blog is able to maintain quality over a period of time, it gathers followers and they stick by you. Being FP-ed does provide a boost but aiming for it from diff angles by modifying content might take away from the whole experience of the blog and that might end up doing more harm than good. On the other hand, if the blog is good, it increases its chances of being noticed by the editors and get FP-ed! (Also, each blog is diff. So what works for one FP-ed blog may not work for your own blog and simple imitation might lead to disaster)

    Reply
    • timmer

      Wow, you nailed it as well with your comment. I hope people can see that it all comes back to consistently creating strong original content and that–in and of itself–can be just as, or even more advantageous than FP in the long run. Great content (actually, great blogs) don’t need to be validated by FP, but I certainly hope they find a readership one way or another.

      Reply
  3. becca3416

    I am still waiting on Freshly Pressed to throw me a bone.. or some hot ham water. Either will do. Congrats, again!

    Reply
    • timmer

      Just keeping putting content out there to be targeted ( I was gonna say ‘boned,’ but that would gotten awkward real fast)! I’m also a big fan of how you title some of your posts! Intriguing and enticing to a passerby.

      Reply
  4. creeped

    I’ve resigned myself to the fact that ill never get Freshly Pressed. I’m stubbornly unrelatably (nicely put – unique; harshly put – arsehole). However, it is always exciting when one of the bloggers I regularly read gets an FP. I like to think I’m surrounded by good company (loser’s speak for consolation prize).

    Well done! Again!

    Reply
    • timmer

      Thanks!

      It kind of bums me out though that there a lot of–I don’t want to say “edgier,” but that’s the best I can come up with right now–blogs that kind of get defaulted out of Freshly Pressed because of content nature and style. I think some sort of age appropriate FP section would be neat to spotlight those blogs.

      Reply
      • creeped

        If you are counting my blogs with your reference to “edgier” blogs then, yay! I love to think of myself as being edgy. Cutting edge. Cutting. Cut to the chase. Chase the dragon.

        Wait? What just happened? Anyhoo, if not I’d hope you get a chance to check me out sometime. In the meantime congrats in the really lovely feature article about The Second Lunch this week. Deserved!

  5. EzraWontShutUp

    “Ok, that’s all for now. I have to go feed the Freshly Pressed editor I’ve locked in my basement.” >> Brilliant, punchy ending. I’m reading along straight faced (mostly because I’m at work), and then ka-pow: laughter. You’re a winner in my book. Glad you got freshly pressed again so I could stumble upon your blog.

    Reply
    • timmer

      I read once that humor is all about surprise. So I lured you guys into a false sense of security and then BAM! Thanks for stumbling on in. Help youserlf to some hot ham water.

      Reply
  6. noni mugo

    thanks for this really funny and encouraging post! i’d be lying if i said i couldn’t care less. but still i imagine that, like many before me, maybe my writings will start to matter after i’m gone. this helps me cope with not being freshly pressed in the sense that it means i’m still alive.

    Reply
    • timmer

      keep on writing!

      As another little tid bit of info. I’ve always though of Freshly Pressed as a want and not a need.

      Reply
  7. When I Blink

    Great post. And I’m so delighted to discover your blog — that, for me, is the most fun part of FP: bringing great content to light and opening up connections and conversation. (I was just FP’d for the first time and have been so tickled by the new readers who are visiting and commenting.)

    Love your illustrations! Can’t wait to dig in and see more.

    Reply
    • timmer

      Congratulations yourself! I’m happy you were able to experience the rush of having a ton of people see something you wrote!

      Reply
  8. free penny press

    I’m so darn happy to see you FP again.. see what that hiatus did for you? Recharged those creative batteries..
    So well deserving you are !!
    :-) (I wish I could draw a cool face but all I can do is this corny smily thing)

    Reply
    • timmer

      You couldn’t be more spot on. I’ve been working on a post promoting taking a blogging hiatus and hopefully this will help with showing the benefits of time off.

      Thanks for the words of support!

      Reply
  9. Sara Rosso

    I love your illustrations and I’m jealous that you can punctuate your blog posts with them. I can write, and I can take photographs, but drawing is just a skill I lack. They make your content fun which is probably why you’ve been getting some love!

    Reply
    • timmer

      Thanks for the kind words, Sara. I’m a big believer in leveraging your skill set to the best of your ability. So, quirky drawings and short sentences for me. I’m sure you feel the same way about your skills as well. And I agree, “fun” seems to be a valuable commodity in the blogosphere.

      Reply
  10. Fiona @ lifelyricslemoncake

    Proud to be an ‘Old reader’ Tim! Teeny bit jealous but very happy for you. You’ll be famous :) So decent of you to do helpful posts like this instead of dancing around with Ernesto, taunting us. Uh oh – you haven’t GOT RID of Ernesto? All these Freshly Pressed, you don’t need him anymore? *lip wobbles* I have been seeing flashes of purple around my blog you know :p It impresses me how regularly you update and how organised you are for times you feel it’s too much/ you know you won’t be able to. I’m all about the weak apologies when I have been AWOL for a week or two as me and my Writer’s Block have a stand off. Don’t like being like that!

    Fair play, dude ! Love the blog!

    Reply
    • timmer

      Hi, Fiona. Yes, definitely an old reader!

      No, Ernesto’s still very much present. I just have some other things I’m trying to get established (Momo, being one of the in particular). He’ll be back before you know it.

      Reply
  11. lylekrahn

    All so true and it cleverly gets linked to another FP article without even trying! To prove your point, I was enjoying my own little world with my offbeat sense of humor and when I finally realized that FP was impossible, it happened this week.

    Reply
    • timmer

      Thanks. I thought it would be a nice way to kind of pay it forward and help some people out. Congratulations on your FP as well! Another case of enjoying what YOU do and having something good come out of it.

      Reply
  12. Agnes.K

    I think you are pretty awesome! I always look forward to your new posts. And no i am not a stalker…i promise!

    Reply
  13. AC Lundin

    In the beginning, when I found Freshly Pressed, I wanted to be a part of it. Now I couldn’t care less. As the days, weeks and months have passed by I have managed to collect 46 followers that have found my blog in ways that I don’t really know, read it and chosen to press the follow button.

    Every time I get that e-mail telling me that I have another follower, I tell all my friends (they are getting a bit sick of it, they don’t seem to understand the kick one get out of it), and smile for a whole day. I have also noticed that some of them really read some of the posts and press the like button! I choose to believe that they like that particular post since they aren’t pressing like on all the posts, just some of them. That give me an instant ego boost, someone likes what I’m writing!

    See, at the end of the day, I’m writing for me. Instead of coming home to someone to talk about my day with, I talk to my blog, I tell it what I’ve been up to that matters. I also noticed that since I started posting pictures of my dinners I spend more time on making the food look pretty, because you eat with your eyes as well. I also make an effort to do things, to have something to write about, I almost always have some project going on.

    And that’s how I couldn’t care less if I get Freshly pressed or not, my blog have raised my quality of life.

    Reply
    • timmer

      Thanks for the chiming in AC. I completely agree that writing is like a conversation and that our blog acts as the listener. If someone else stops by to take a look around and engage with what we’ve written then that’s great.

      Reply
  14. sweetmother

    hey there friend, i bookmarked this post, specifically to come back and read it later because i want to hear what you had to say on the subject. i really liked that you compared what you do to what fp seems to want. i thought that was a great compare and contrast. i’ve been fp’d twice, but i never try for it. mainly, because i think i would drive myself mad if i did. all the best, sm

    Reply
    • timmer

      Hi Sweetmother! I’m pretty sure I discovered your blog through FP. It was “Did my post suck today” thing you wrote, which I really really really liked. But, yes, it seems like my blogging style sometimes matches up with what they look for on FP. I just try to make things I think people will enjoy. Everything after that is gravy. Thanks for stopping in.

      Reply
    • jrhardinblog

      I have been blogging for several years using text and photos. I find great satisfaction in the self expression. I had not realized what “freshly pressed” meant and am gal to know.

      Reply
  15. thecheekydiva

    Thank you for this post. I really enjoyed it. I was Freshly Pressed myself on September 27th, and it was a wild ride for a lot of reasons. For one, I wrote two posts that day. One that I thought was great. A fellow blogger emailed me and told me “this is the kind of thing that gets Freshly Pressed”–what a nice thing to say.It was a piece about my love affair with Pandora radio, and almost no one read it. Later that day, I wrote a Blogger Idol At Home Challenge piece that was very quickly written, and although typical of me, not my best work. As luck would have it, I WAS freshly pressed that day. For the Blogger Idol piece. I was so excited that I emailed friends and family to tell them about it. When they read it they were all so mad that they have decided to never speak to me again, and I eventually took the post down. It was heartbreaking. But it’s fitting, because the post was about dysfunctional family traditions. Apparently the traditions live on. I also removed every post I had ever written about my family. I can’t even tell you what a terrible feeling that was. I didn’t write another word for a week or more because I felt like I had been cut in half. My family never even read my blog until I alerted them to my being FPed. Your advice is great. Write for yourself. Do what you do best, but remember, what you write has the potential to be seen by a lot of people–including many who may not like it. So, if you plan to write something that is going to rock your world or alienate you from people you thought were your family, I highly suggest you either keep your identity a secret, or prepare for the fallout. Congratulations on multiple pressing.

    Reply
    • timmer

      Hello, thanks for sharing. It certainly is a risk having something be seen by a lot of people, as well as people you know at a very personal level. It’s something I often question myself over and over again in my head when I start making something that feels a bit more personal than my usual content. Sorry to hear about your own experiences post-FP, but hopefully things will turn around.

      Reply
      • thecheekydiva

        Thanks for the reply Timmer, sorry I just saw it. What it has done for me is to make me more aware of what I write, and to be damn sure I’m not going to inadvertently cause ill will with my writing. I won’t ever post again about a living, breathing non-celebrity type person (who can clearly be identified) without giving them the option to read first. Lame and cowardly I know, but I can’t stand having people mad at me.

  16. makleven

    Great post, and I bet your going to be freshly pressed, for discussing fresh pressed haha. I appreciate that bloggers now are reaching out and wanting to share their knowledge with other bloggers. It makes for a friendly and well educated blogosphere :D. You also have won me over as a viewer, not only because of your witty comics that are drawn in simplistic manner (which is great) but that you have no problem saying fuck when you think it’s necessary. I think your dead right, you use it to much, it’s stupid, use it at the wrong times, it’s just crude or shocking, but when used just right, “fuck” can create a great response by readers. If I used it correctly there, well let me know! no but seriously i’d love to hear back :D

    Reply
    • timmer

      I do like the idea of engaging with the community and helping out when I can. I also like profanity. When used sparingly it can really punch up the dialogue. It’s like spices in cooking. Your usage was spot on.

      Reply
  17. Nerd With Taste

    THIS IS SO TRUE!!!! But your stuff truly does deserve to be published… comedy gold I am telling you! Congrats!
    ~ nerdwithtaste.wordpress.com

    Reply
  18. heekeow

    Very useful information for new comers like me. I have just joined the WordPress community in November 2012 and was trying to understand the meaning of “Freshly Pressed”. Landed on your blog by clicking on the link in the article that I was reading. Nice illustraton. Well done. I have just started a blog to share the journey of the creation of my art and design works. Cheers.

    Reply
    • timmer

      My pleasure. I’ve always appreciated other bloggers who’ve shared information about what the road ahead can be like, so I’m just paying it forward. Best of luck on your journey into the blogosphere!

      Reply
  19. kickerkim

    Love you blog. I can’t seem to even easily navigate looking for good quality blogs (present company excluded), so I’ve no idea how anyone might find mine. I’ve seen the recommended blogs section but is there someway in which you can just browse through? How on earth did the WordPress guys ever manage to find you once let alone three times to shower you with accolades? Now I want accolades. Now I want cola. I don’t want ‘ades’… But I digress. I do that.
    Best,
    Miss Moeity (www.missmoeity.com)

    Reply
  20. Winter Foxes

    I love the “hot ham water” reference. It’s great reading something that is funny AND educational.

    Reply
  21. mihirkamat

    I enjoyed your post thoroughly; you provided some great insights into blogging better. When I write, I don’t try too hard to be freshly pressed (maybe that’s why I haven’t been FP’d so far!), but I do try and focus on the little things you mentioned. Maybe I need to get a basement…

    I’m a fan of your illustrations, they’re crisp and to the point. And funny!

    Congrats on being there three times! And here’s to world domination!

    Reply

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