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.
We love when a blogger jumps head first into a debate and uses their blog as a forum, and that’s exactly what Clare, the writer behind A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff, does with the recently Freshly Pressed post, “The Rise of eBooks: Evil or Essential?”
First of all, Clare’s writing is solid, the humor is sharp, and her voice is authoritative. Good, confident writing goes a long way. But what else stands out?
Sensationalist headlines can be intriguing:
Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?
Can Your Jeans Kill You?
The title “The Rise of eBooks: Evil or Essential?” is just as attention-grabbing. If you’re presenting two sides of a debate, whether it’s a controversial political issue or a lighthearted discussion on chocolate versus vanilla, pique your reader’s interest immediately in the title. Be bold and brief: use this headline to reveal what your discussion will be about.
In this case, since many people already have an opinion on the topic of eBooks (and the value of printed books), asking a simple yet provocative question is a surefire way to lure a reader.
This type of title isn’t appropriate for all posts, but it can be effective when you’re weighing the pros and cons of something, or asking your reader to consider different perspectives.
A clean, easy-to-follow format is the simplest way to keep a reader happy and engaged with your text until the end. Clare presents the disadvantages and advantages of eBooks in a series of short, snappy paragraphs, each with lead-in sentences in bold. As a result, each point she makes is clear.
If you’re writing a post like this in which you’re presenting numerous points, avoid long paragraphs that don’t allow your readers to breathe. Consider using a bullet or numbered list to keep your post focused and succinct. Or, experiment with the use of bold, italicized, and underlined fonts to draw attention to specific parts of your discussion.
The author allows you to decide for yourself.
At the time of writing, this post had nearly 350 comments—a fair amount of which are personal, passionate comments about reading and publishing. Why did this post generate such a healthy, lively discussion? One, the Clare’s take is opinionated but extremely balanced: she presents both sides—as well as a “neutral point” at the end—allowing readers to come to their own conclusions. Two, she ends the post with questions:
What do you think? Are you a total convert to e-readers or do you remain devoted to the humble paperback?
As you can see, you can engage your readers when you give them the space to express their opinions.
What did you think of this Freshly Pressed pick? Do you want to read more from this blogger?