FRESHLY PRESSED!!! And now…why did it happen?

Joyful girl

How I felt after winning “Freshly Pressed”. Image courtesy of hotblack, Morguefile.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, June 19, I logged into my WordPress account, with no suspicion of the whirlwind that was about to hit me. I had hit a personal blogging milestone that morning — I published my 50th blog post (the one about Lucy Maud Montgomery and Prince Edward Island) — and I was curious to find out what the reaction had been from my usual readers.

And there it was, front and center, on the WordPress homepage for the entire world to see. Along with a group of other bloggers, WordPress had chosen my June 5th blog post about wacky word origins for their “Freshly Pressed” award.

There was “Oh, WOW!” repeated about a billion times. There was the wild shrieking dance of joy, accompanied by the appropriate celebration music and a packet of chocolate pretzel M&Ms. There was a tweet on Twitter. There was immediate notifying of friends and relatives: “Guess what happened? The website that hosts my blog featured me and some others on their homepage today! This is HUGE worldwide publicity for my blog!”

I was briefly tempted to set off fireworks in the backyard. However, I desisted because a) it was still daylight, b) I didn’t have any fireworks and c) we save those for Independence Day (July 4th).

Congratulations poured in from kind people all over the globe (well, okay, Antarctica and Iceland missed out on the party, but I suspect Internet service is a bit spotty in those areas). Comments came from old and young, married and single, male and female. I heard from people in Asia, South America, North America, Australia, Africa and Europe. Some congratulations came from fellow bloggers I’d already “met”; others arrived from new readers who happened to click on that Freshly Pressed link.

Likes, blog followers and hits to my blog skyrocketed. My blog followers are now double what they were (thanks, new followers) and blog hits increased by the thousands.

My e-mail inbox squealed, reeled and fainted. Then it recovered and busily resumed collecting new e-mails with its usual efficiency.

Once the initial elation died down, I grew analytical. What made WordPress choose ME, since my blog was relatively young in the blogosphere? I had studied the Freshly Pressed selections, which featured a mix of topics, some relating to current events, news or holidays, others relating to people’s interests such as photography, travel or cooking. Some blogs were younger than mine; others were older. I had also read the judging standards WordPress uses, described in the Support section in the article “So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed.

I hoped that I would make Freshly Pressed someday, but I didn’t expect it to happen this soon since I was competing against thousands of other bloggers (according to their stats, WordPress hosts a total of 74 million blogs and has half a million posts published every day). I think WordPress mostly chose me because I met their judging standards — create unique content, be visually appealing, add relevant tags, give credit where credit is due, use a compelling headline and so on. But I suspect that following proper SEO (search engine optimization, a.k.a. how to get your posts found by search engines like Google and Yahoo) techniques didn’t hurt, either.

So now things have calmed down somewhat and I’m adjusting to the new normal. I’ve made more blogging friends and have been made aware of some wonderful blogs that I intend to visit as soon as I can.

And the best part? People worldwide shared information with me and we traded facts and opinions on different topics. I learned some new things, such as the origin of “cost you an arm and a leg” and the fact that “Singlish” exists.

This interaction with people all over the world is what I love most about being a blogger. I can safely call myself a blogger, now that I’ve been officially recognized by WordPress, right? (insert wicked grin and saucy wink) I hope anyone who hasn’t been Freshly Pressed yet gets to experience the same joy, someday. Good luck.

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44 Comments

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44 responses to “FRESHLY PRESSED!!! And now…why did it happen?

  1. Happy for you — still has not happened to me — but there is still hope. I enjoy your blog and am not at all surprised you were FP.

  2. I’m one of those people who don’t expect to be Freshly Pressed, although it would be nice. Other than the Mt. St. Helens eruption, I’ve seen little in the way of history blogs being featured.

    Congratulations to you again!

  3. Congratulations…!!! Keep it up. :D

  4. I’m not surprised! And congratulations!

  5. Wow! Good for you! I’ve been in a self-imposed blog exile for a few weeks, so I missed the excitement, but I really wanted to tell you congratulations! :)

  6. Love your blog and glad you made Freshly Pressed. Might not have found you otherwise. I blog for their lives (the animals, that is) so would love to make it, but I guess 2 weeks in doesn’t give me much of a chance.

    • Thanks. I know what you mean about not finding blogs otherwise. There are so many wonderful blogs out there, I wish I had time to read them all. I don’t get the chance to see some blogs because hey, I have to sleep sometime. But it’s been great fun discovering the blogs of everyone that stopped by to “like” or leave comments.

  7. Congratulations for freshly pressed and being recognised! Being a blogger on WP is awesome.

  8. I’m so happy you were freshly pressed. I taught my mom the word “defenestration” and now we use it at least a couple of times a day, cracking up the whole time. :)

    • Always happy to amuse! I hope both of you use the word with suitably dramatic tones of voice and gestures. ;-)

      I could see this word becoming part of a Monty Python skit, like “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” *giggling*

  9. the curtain raiser

    Congratulations and well deserved! You can certainly call yourself a blogger and an entertaining one at that. It’s amazing where pressing that “Get Started” button can lead.

  10. I am very happy for you Eagle, you are an extremely talented writer. Good work, please keep it up! God bless.

  11. Congratulations! I know that feeling of euphoria quite well, as I’ve been FPed twice. I think the big secret is if you can’t think of anything else, post pictures of baby kittens, and that’ll bring ‘em in. : ) But your blog is awesome, so you deserve the recognition! Keep ‘em coming, and now I’m going to go and review your post. I think I know the one, but I haven’t been checking Freshly Pressed this week (too busy packing!).

    Savor the moment, but don’t worry, there’ll be more!

  12. Great blog, it’s really entertaining. Cheers, Judy :)

  13. Eleenie

    What a terrific achievement, many congratulations! :-)

  14. Congrats! And well deserved it is.

  15. I’m one of your new followers because of FP!

  16. Wow, congratulations! That is excellent news! And I think they picked a good one to feature. That’s been one of my favourites of yours so far (so far in my READING of your blog, I mean). I haven’t really checked out Freshly Pressed, but I’ll give it a look. Always looking for more good stuff to read, and if they picked you, they must have discriminating tastes. :) And like you, I hope I see myself there one day. A boy can dream, right?

  17. Yay!!! Congrats! And love the “saucy wink!!!”

  18. Congrats! That’s so awesome.

  19. Congratulations!! You deserve it. :)

  20. Yes, I read your post. It was the first post I read when I clicked the button of freshly pressed. That idea has been in my mind recently, so it did match my day. :D

  21. Kristina

    Congrats. :) We’re in the same boat, though I have been blogging since 2009. I never thought I’d be freshly pressed either, no idea how and why it happened now. We should just enjoy it. :)

  22. I wanted to let you know how much I have been enjoying your blog and have nominated you for the “One Lovely Blog Award!”

    Looking forward to continuing to follow!
    Marcene

  23. Being Freshly Pressed is a lot of fun. It has happened to me a couple of times. The first time it happens I was just like you, extremely excited. It is still excellent when it happens again, but the first is the best.

  24. Congrats with the freshly pressed. Was there a yellow symbol for freshly pressed in the top right corner, like you get from comments, follows and likes?

    • I didn’t see a symbol. I’m told you’re supposed to get an e-mail letting you know that you’ve been Freshly Pressed, but I didn’t see that either. I only knew when I saw the homepage that day with my blog post on it.

      However…I did come across an unfamiliar symbol tonight. I reached 1,000 likes on my blog and got to see a little trophy cup symbol. Nice!

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