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What Makes a Post Freshly Press-able? Literature and Libation

Every day, 19 WordPressers are featured on the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress.com. And every day, many more wonder, “What do I have to do to get Freshly Pressed?”

Well, it’s time to reveal what the folks who push the launch button are thinking. Each week, a member of our editorial team will do a close-up on one post and why we thought it was Press-worthy. We hope we can provide insight into the process and give you tips and tools to make your blog the best it can be.
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Before we delve into today’s post, there are a few preliminaries to get out of the way:

  1. We don’t actually get to push a launch button, although that would be awesome.
  2. There are half a million of you and a handful of us, and we’re scouring the blogosphere day in and day out. If we don’t find you, it’s nothing personal – promise. Keep writing, and we’ll keep looking.
  3. We’re real people with different perspectives and tastes, so we’re drawn to different content. And we love feedback, so if a Freshly Pressed post feels really off-base to you, let us know!
  4. We do not accept bribes, although that may just be because no one has offered us enough gold bullion… yet.

Last week, Oliver at Literature and Libation made it to Freshly Pressed with Craft and Draft: Character Counts. If you haven’t wandered over there to read it, you should remedy that immediately (especially if you’re a fiction writer).

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

There are lots of reasons to love this post, but the big three are:

  • The content was informative and entertaining.

Two-Headed Humanioid PirateLots of Freshly Pressed readers are themselves writers, and we thought this post – a tutorial on the mechanics of character development, with homemade Lego illustrations – would speak to you. The figures morphed as the easy-to-follow post took us though each step of the character creation, refinement and revision process.

The accompanying commentary was clear, well written, and made us laugh hard enough to shoot coffee out of our collective nose. On his newly-born character, left, he writes:

I mean, it is kind of identifiable as some sort of humanoid, but there are some major problems here. One: his period-inappropriate tri-corn hat is on fire. Two: He has two heads, one of which is completely black and has no face…

This is an extreme example, but my point remains. It is very difficult to properly build your character the first time around. Heโ€™s going to come out with conflicting motivations, bad dialogue, missing limbs, and possibly even a flaming hat.

See what we mean?

  • The photos were genius and filled out the content.

Many posts can benefit from an image; they add another layer of texture to your words. Photos also help break up a longer post, and are useful for clarifying complex or intangible points. Oliver’s Lego shots took the potentially ephemeral process of developing a fictional character and grounded it in something nearly all of us can identify. Plus, they were cute as heck.

  • The organization and layout made reading easy.

Reading dense blocks of text is difficult enough on the printed page, and even more so on a screen. Smaller paragraphs help readers scan more easily, while headings make a longer post digestible and keep readers from getting lost in your content.

Oliver took full advantage of both guidelines. Paragraphs were short and focused on a single point. Headings broke the process down into four discrete components.

What did you think of this pick? Will you be reading along with Craft and Draft?

For another glimpse into what makes for great Freshly Pressed content, check out the roundup of July’s top 10 posts over at the News Blog or read So You Want to Be Freshly Pressed?

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  1. How do we know you are real people? And if you are indeed “real” people…. how much (exactly) is “enough gold bullion”? Not that I’m offering….just curious.

    I have found wonderful blogs to follow through FP. So thank you for the good choices!

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    1. Hmm… I can only vouch for myself. I suppose my colleagues could be automatons. As for how much gold is enough, you’ll just have to make an offer and see. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. I’m too stingy with my gold bullion. And I think this may be a trick. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But keep up the good deeds WPFPers.

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  2. I have known many bloggers who started out blogging but then lose interest pretty quickly. Just because they lost patience. One must realize that it takes time for a blog to mature. The blogs that we have seen, admired, and inspired us to blog have been really old ones and those bloggers have been blogging since ages. Patience is the key. Don’t loose out hope, and you’ll realise that Freshly pressed is just as close as your level of patience to build your blog.

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    1. I can’t second this enough. It took me years of weekly posts to really find my groove. I had years of ~15 hits a week, but I just kept plugging away, for the sake of my writing and well…fun. In that time, I matured, my writing matured, and my readership grew. It’s like fine wine or something.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. This gives me hope!! I also have to keep remembering: as wonderful as it would be to be Freshly Pressed, & to have bazillions of readers, I am writing MindMindful for ME (but…..I’d still like to have bunches of readers ………….)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The main purpose why i chose to blog was to make sure that I share my art with the world, beyond the boundaries of social networks. And I also know that it’s not going to be easy and will take a lot of time. I think there’s a purpose behind the whole process taking time. When you start blogging, you are new, you need ideas, you need inspiration, which definitely lacks in every bloggers earliest posts. At such an infant stage if the blogs get a whole lot of attention i’m sure that is not gonna create a good impression about the bloger to the users. A blog “has” to mature over time, as it happens, even the number of readers automatically will. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Well, sorry to tell you, I’ve been blogging for 7 years now, and I still only get an average of 30 hits a day and I still find it hard to find things to write, so I guess I must just be rubbish at blogging! Not entirely sure why I still do it…

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      2. I enjoy it and have had little glimmers of success. I think when I stop thinking about how it will be received, I’ll probably find it a lot easier. Like the original post, I have a heap of started entries that sound like rubbish to me, but others might enjoy. I thought the condom bit was hilarious…so you never know. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      3. I’ve found that blogs that focus on one particular topic, or interest tend to find “success” a lot more easier than the ones which are diverse. I think you should try to figure out what it is that intrigues you the most. Something in which you feel you are the best when you do it. I’m sure you will find a change.

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    3. I know I’ll never be FP because my blog covers humor, human interest stories, information, memoirs, and fantastic nature posts from the redwoods.
      Your examples are great. However, I was shocked to find one blogger recently being FP. It was her very first post, and I thought that was a little unfair to the rest of us.
      I do have a peek every now and then at the FP choices and sometimes am bored or disappointed. I can be disappointed in my own selections, too.
      I wish more good bloggers would respond to comments.
      I’d love to have more readers. I need the feedback.

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      1. About the blogger that got fp’ed on the first post, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing to happen. I would collapse with a heart attack if that had happened to me. Mostly because of worry, knowing that now I have a lot of eyes watching me.The main purpose why i chose to blog was to make sure that I share my art with the world, beyond the boundaries of social networks. And I also know that itโ€™s not going to be easy and will take a lot of time. I think thereโ€™s a purpose behind the whole process taking time. When you start blogging, you are new, you need ideas, you need inspiration, which definitely lacks in every bloggers earliest posts. At such an infant stage if the blogs get a whole lot of attention iโ€™m sure that is not gonna create a good impression about the bloger to the users. A blog โ€œhasโ€ to mature over time, as it happens, even the number of readers automatically will.

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      2. You have excellent points to think about. I think that it would have been a terrible thing for me to get FP right away. I would have felt very pressured and then disappointed if folks didn’t stick around, or I didn’t fulfill their expectations.
        As to ideas, inspiration, I have no lack. I’ve been saving so much over the years, inside my head, and on scraps of paper, notebooks, that I have to hold back, so as not to over post, if there is such a thing.
        I agree and thank you sincerely for the comments. You are correct, a blog does have to mature over time, and I believe I’m doing so, as I’ve noticed what people are most interested in, how they seem to drop by when I write a little life story.
        You write as if you’re speaking, and I appreciate that.
        I write because I “have to.” I threaten to stop every now and then, and suddenly, I’ll shout, “I have to write something!” The somethings are already swirling around in my head.
        Very supportive, you. I appreciate it.

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  3. I have seen some very average posts on your list, but this one is exceptional and totally deserves to be freshly pressed! Thanks for the lead.

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    1. Agree. Whatever happened to the Freshly Pressed era of Joy Victory’s editorial stint? You have Only eleven picks for FP at the time but ALL were truly exceptional.

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  4. Yes I agree with Madhu, I have come across some AMAZING posts through FP but many of them I felt were average. I follow some talented writers on WP but none of them were freshly pressed. Thanks for this post, I hope to get Freshly Pressed some day. It’s on my bucket list.

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      1. Most times, I’ve ended reading an FP post laughing through snorts or feeling some sort of inspiration….sometimes it’s just like meh. I’ve gotta say that the writing is excellent in all posts you pick but the content is not always that interesting. It may be a personal thing to me and not a reflection on you in any way…I can’t describe it without putting someone on the spot. I want to read a post that gives the reader something, something that resonates and lasts. Not just an account of an average “what” that the writer happened to do and write about and it’s not giving the reader anything. I don’t know if i’m making sense now ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  5. Freshly Pressed is good fun and I always find something worthwhile to read. It’s especially fun when it just happens to be a blog that I’m already following. Keep up the great work and maybe some day I’ll make the cut. *Fingers Crossed*

    Cheers!
    G-LO

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  6. Ah ha!!! You answered a question that I actually had a few days ago. I was going through the Freshly Pressed posts and was looking at them like: “How the heck did this make it?” Now I know I will probably never be freshly pressed…. Hahahahaha…

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  7. How do you review posts? Do you really go through and try to visit everyone? If so, wow! Do you all wear glasses from looking at the computer screen 23/7? Kudos!!!

    daisy

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    1. I’d love to say that we try to visit *everyone*, but we do sometimes need to sleep. We try to get to as many folks as we can every day, though, looking for a mix of topics and voices that we think y’all will respond to. And yes, several of us wear glasses.

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    2. Good one Daisy. Like you, I am always in wonder how they manage to pick The best of 421,846 bloggers, 1,093,040 new posts, 1,282,915 comments, & 276,212,875 words posted today on WordPress.com.
      :O

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  8. Hi,

    I am glad I found this post because I wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH ever since my post โ€˜Is Blogging Addictiveโ€™ was freshly pressed on 25 July, only two months after I started blogging! To say that I was surprised would be understatement. I was ecstatic. Not because I thought it will bring loads of readers (I did not know that would happen) but because you liked my post! The post I wrote straight from the heart and without any pretence. As it turned out many people found that speaks to them, resonates with them. And that is the biggest prize anyone who puts words out to people can hope for. That those words travel and touch others. For that I am truly grateful!

    Daniela

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  9. Good evening, Wordpresidents. I’d just like to thank you for Freshly Pressing my scribblings the other day.
    It was only upon reading the email that it dawned on me that there’s a team of you diligently sifting through every word we write. I believe the great philosopher Spiderman once mused ‘With great power comes great responsibility’, and whilst it must surely be worth it for every glint of gold you find, I can’t say I envy the reems of ramblings you have to go through to determine what they might be.
    Thank you for your dedication to what must be all-too-often a thankless task.

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    1. I agree with almost everything you said. the only thing i disagree with was the fact that it was in fact spiderman’s uncle Ben who said it. Spiderman simply recalled the statement often.

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      1. Ah, my mistake – kudos to you, sir! You are clearly a much greater nerd than I, Eric. (This might seem insincere – my intentions are good!)

        One might argue that Stan Lee was the great philosopher in this case, but saying that wouldn’t be as funny.

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  10. My topics change on a daily basis, and my writing is not all that great. haha. guess I will have to pray someday to be freshly lightly leaned on, instead of pressed…

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  11. A dear friend, for whom I cannot help but be happy because of our admiration for each other, was FPed not long ago. My friend does not use humor, does not really inform about anything except daily life, and that, I think I can say, is not well-written, and I think anyone would say it is not well-thought-out. It’s just musings. Few visitors. No real content. No theme except,maybe, self. Etc. Sometimes the photos are rather wowie — other times so-so. Same for grammar and spelling.

    I was very happy for my friend and I thank you ALL for noticing the bullion I sent on the behalf of that friend’s site. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Also totally excited to find Oliver!

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    1. We love a good musing; seemingly random musings are so often relatable. I do feel I should point out, however, that none of the bullion reached my pockets.

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  12. my very first blog piece at my second blog internetbrainchild.wordpress.com was recently freshly pressed. A good friend of mine also happened to get his first post of a new blog pressed. This makes me think that newer blogs are more likely to be FP?
    Also, going off the content of the posts I have seen, international appeal seems to be preferable to commentary on national interest stories. Would this be a fair assumption?

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  13. Regarding #3 above about offering feedback to FP, I can attest to this one: I was STUNNED by what I considered some particularly “off-base” content in a post a few weeks ago, brought it to an admin’s attention, and *poof*…it was gone within minutes.

    Thank you for listening to the meager masses. I had never been shocked before by an FP post…but I was this time. And anyone who’s ever read my blog knows: I’m not even easily shockable. (Though I clearly make up words. Like shockable. But whatever.)

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for the insight here — I’m excited about the new 19 times/day “Pressing” possibilities!

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      1. Interesting. I enjoyed speaking in public and entertaining, so I have no problem with it. I just wondered, because as I’m writing, I’m actually talking in my head or speaking out loud!
        Like your style!

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  14. It’s been a huge thrill to be chosen for Freshly Pressed four times. I’m in awe of how much content you’re wading through daily to make these picks.

    A few thoughts on the FPs you choose, in general…it seems (?) you’ve finally relented and allowed some tougher/more political posts into that mix, and I’m really glad. It looked, for a while, that only non-controversial photo/travel/food posts were being chosen, and it felt a little safe and predictable. I like the international mix very much as well.

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    1. We certainly want to make sure we’re offering posts that will have broad appeal, but edgier posts – as long as they’re well-written and not defamatory – are great too. We want to inspire others to write as much as we want to highlight those of you doing good work. In any case, glad you’re liking the mix!

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  15. Once you click on a FP entry, also check on some of their prior and later posts. You’ll find some gems that few others have found.

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  16. I have discovered quite a few favorite blogs via FP — a recent discovery is Small Farms Matters Big. That guy can write. FP is a great WP feature — really makes it feel like a community out here in cyber space. Nice job.

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  17. It’s funny how Freshly Pressed is the unattainable prize, that I wonder about every day, even though a month ago I had no idea what it was. I have found so many wonderful things to see and read here, only some of them being through FP. I search topics as well. I do read the Freshly Pressed blogs every day though, and I hate to say it, but I must agree with some previous posters that I am surprised at some of the entries chosen. It makes me think that my chances of being pressed for something really good that I worked hard toiling over aren’t much higher than for a piece I splurted out with a hang over that I personally feel is crap, just to say I wrote something everyday. Time will tell I guess. Over all, though, I love the idea, and it does bring many wonderful writers the attention they deserve.

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  18. Well I’m a WP newbie, never been FP but that’s okay.. I still keep reading so many other wonderful blogs and that makes it A-O-K!!!

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  19. I agree with some of the others who commented that posts are just average sometimes in FP.
    Also, I know that you favor writers on WP, but there are some amazing artists and I would like to see more of thier work in FP (I’m not talking illustration)… the “art” tag is always high up there in number of posts so more artists, please!

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