Waking up to find myself “freshly pressed”

(Warning: this blog post is unusually  self-referential and includes high levels of enthusiasm. We’ll be back to regular programming next time.)

"Wake up, Fabiola! A little bit more of the world is watching!" -- Image by bobaliciouslondon on Flickr


On Thursday morning, I zombie-walked down the stairs and headed for the bathroom.

After washing my face with cold water — which did nothing to perk me up — I stuck my toothbrush in my mouth and left the room. (See, I have this weird habit: I like to walk around brushing for a while – usually stretching, looking out windows, or just wandering through rooms.) Yesterday, I decided to check my email.

My toothbrush almost fell out of my mouth when I saw my inbox:

Wha ah eell?” I said in garbled English. Now, I was awake. I dashed back to the bathroom to rinse, and then ran back to the computer, all the while wondering if I’d posted some inflammatory slur in my sleep.

Turns out, WordPress had featured me on their homepage, and I was simply experiencing the bump in traffic that goes along with the distinction.

Bottom-right corner: that's me! (Well, that's my dog, but I wrote the blog post.)

Twitter was taking note:

And, at time of writing, my stats have shot up like a hockey coach’s blood pressure in third period. My previous record (in orange) was obliterated!

Freshly (im)pressed!

Then, came the subscriptions. Now, this is the important bit. The following people have freshly committed to checking this blog out on the regular. In a world of inbox overload, they’ve said “Sure, I’d be okay with hearing from the Fab Files again.”

So, I’d like to say “Hello!” “Thank you!” and “Welcome!” to fellow bloggers who’ve just subscribed:

cbejjani, Ricky Staines, Tinadot, Lorna, JourneyExplorer, NightOwlToddDanforth, Annamaryas, Bobhelfst, CelesteMichele, KD M, Bryannaphillips (a new blogger!), Mikeing, ndangerously, Shumack, Dadailydrudgerydayzzzalexxelizabeth, mcreekalynnmyers, Ilsa Razzak, Melbzz, Sedera of the Island

Hello, as well, to the new readers without public blogs!

I’ve hyperlinked the names above because I’m committed to going through and reading their stuff more carefully, and I invite anyone else visiting the Fab Files to do likewise.

To me, the increased ability to connect is one of the most incredible things about this new media landscape.

Journalists have, for a very long time, had a one-way and top-down relationship with their readers. Bloggers, however, have been much more likely to connect with one another in a more peer-to-peer fashion. Since I am a journalist and a blogger, I’m very interested in navigating the space between — or, the “green lines,” as Clay Shirky puts it. (This will only make sense if you watch the following TED talk.)

But if you don’t have the time  to see the video through, here’s the quotation that stood out to me. (Since it’s out of context, the “they” he refers to are members of the former audience.)

The point: I’m excited that you’re interested in me. I’m interested in you, too! And, since it’s such an incredible boost for any blogger, I encourage you to check out the “Five Ways to Get Featured on Freshly Pressed.” The following is an excerpt accompanied by their top five criteria. (See the original article for an explanation of each item.)

Happy blogging!

Each weekday, we select about ten new blog posts for the Freshly Pressed section of the WordPress.com homepage. These posts represent how WordPress can be used to entertain, enlighten, or inspire.

Getting promoted to Freshly Pressed is a major traffic win because WordPress.com receives a high volume of page views. And, we have a feed set up so people can subscribe to Freshly Pressed. Why do we do all this? It’s our way of saying we like you. We really like you.

So, by now you might be wondering how to get featured. It’s all about the content. Here are five bits o’ advice that will increase your chances of landing on the homepage:

1. Write unique content that’s free of bad stuff.

2. Include images or other visuals.

3. Add tags.

4. Aim for typo-free content.

5. Cap off your post with a compelling headline.


17 thoughts on “Waking up to find myself “freshly pressed”

    • Of course! I’ll be sure to read more of your stuff. Journalism is a (relatively) small industry, so I think it’s important to read one other.

  1. This is awesome news, Fab! Go you!

    I’m just wondering about one of their points on crediting pictures correctly. I get most of mine from http://www.weheartit.com and credit the website, but is it better to credit the weheartit user who found it? I’ve noticed that other Freshly Pressed blogs don’t even credit their photos at all, so … I don’t get it!

    • I err on the side of caution and go with Flickr’s creative commons search. Since you don’t advertise on your site or alter the images (to my knowledge) you should be good to go with any CC license. This is all you need to know:

      The following four license elements are variously combined to form the six different licenses under the Creative Commons. They’re listed here exactly as they appear on Flickr. If you’d like to share some of your rights, visit this link to figure out which combination best suits your preferences.

      Attribution (BY)You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give you credit.

      NonCommercial (NC)You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only.

      ShareAlike (SA)You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

      NoDerivatives (ND)You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

      I have a full article on it, if you want to read more: http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2010/04/19/DigitalRights/
      Hope that helps 🙂

    • I’m not sure why they feature some blogs with no photo credits. I’m guessing the criteria are more like guidelines than hard and fast rules.

    • No problem. I’ve had a look at your blog and I’m definitely interested.
      I’ve never thought of combining gin and lemonade, but I’ll definitely have to give it a try!
      I also admire your prowess as a reader of books – 100 is a serious goal!

  2. Congratulations! I know how you feel when you see sudden spike in reader’s. Mine was last year about this time when I wrote about the Adam Giambrone scandal — unfortunately no one really commented, but coolest traffic spike ever.

    As for your last post, I’m still trying to figure out how to come up with a response that’s more intelligent than “nu-uh!”

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