A year ago on this day, I woke up to find hundreds of email updates on my phone, suggesting that while I was sleeping, my humble, little blog was being read by a LOT of people. I hadn’t considered that side of the situation, when I had been emailed by the higher-ups of WordPress a few days ago. I was just excited that the post of their choice – Of Of’s – would be up on the Freshly Pressed section, and I would be proud to see it, as I have had the opportunity to when I have been published a few times in newspapers and magazines. It never really occurred to me that hundreds of people will come around here, on blogging homeground, and be interested in some of the other fare on offer. I didn’t know that only few of them would stay, but stay for a surprisingly long time, even a year. So, before anything else, I’d just like to say – Thank You.
Let me step back and be a cold, hard analyst for a few moments now. Before being featured on Freshly Pressed, I didn’t really know what it entailed. I knew it was a sort of editor’s pick section, often picking posts on contemporary issues though other, more universal topics were also involved. It was only after getting featured and reading up on it did I realise it is a big deal to a lot of prolific bloggers. I use the word “prolific” vaguely to suggest bloggers who are interested in putting out original content, at least, weekly. A few bloggers have been featured more than once; many worthy of such attention never have. I don’t think even prolificity is a requirement to be “chosen”, because I have read Freshly Pressed posts by bloggers who often have a relatively high-profile professional life, and may write, very infrequently, about some aspect of it, which the editors consider to be readable material for the masses.
Whether you are a “big” or “small” blogger, and I was a very, very small one and still am, the only thing you can do about being featured is to have original, insightful content. You can’t really write like other bloggers who have been featured because it is what you have to offer uniquely, and as a whole, that will further your possibilities of being considered. Of course, this is only my assumption after blogging for almost a year and a half. I don’t know anything, as I often tell you.
I haven’t done much since being featured. I haven’t even bought my domain or made my blog more “attractive”. Most of all, I still don’t publicize on other social media. I have the automated publicize function for my twitter account, but people rarely visit that, including myself. I still do what I used to do when I began blogging with an appetite – write.
My featured post was a quirky little thing, a humorous, self-loathing take on the ‘Of‘ that is a preposition that, sort of, gets used here a lot. If I had the choice, I would have chosen one from so many other posts that deal with deep, serious things. I still feel, from time to time, that a certain post deserves more attention. Do I think it is Freshly Pressed worthy? I cannot say. I’ve never been featured again, but I am grateful for the purpose it served. It took a very small blog and brought it a regular readership. That is worth more to me than a post that gets especial attention.
There are so many things I want to do for this blog. I already have a rough manuscript for a book based on it, that I hope to publish before the year ends. I’ve been meaning to make a podcast on Shakespeare that would work on familiarizing people with reading Shakespeare in his own words. There are other, hazier goals, which mainly centre around two things – I want to use my personal resources more, no matter how much I maybe deficient in external ones. And, I want to use this platform to help people more, promote people with their various talents, as well as make it a place for people to find helpful resources for some of their various stresses. I don’t want to be too professional whilst doing either, because I really do not want to betray any sense of authority in all of it. Yes, this blog is of opinions, mainly mine, but my ideal for it is to be a place where people are encouraged to simply think about everyday things that affect them, without the various inhibiting factors that come in the way. I find that to be, generally, the best use of my time and my life.
Have you ever been featured on Freshly Pressed? If you haven’t been, is it important to you?