This is one of those kind of navel-gazing bits of writing which when done by others, I sometimes enjoy enormously. And sometimes cannot stand. It might not interest you at all– though it does reflect something I am trying to figure out. If it doesn’t (interest you at all) forgive me.
When you enter WordPress.com there is a page called Freshly Pressed which features ten new blog posts daily. These are great to peruse and if you are a blogger like I now am, I think (though I have never been selected for Freshly Pressed) this is phenomenally great advertising. Being featured there is a great way to increase your traffic, virtually speaking. (On our commutes to work we’re looking for less traffic; on our blogs–more.) A few days ago, I stumbled upon a short article at WordPress.com which consisted of five pieces of advice about how to get featured on Freshly Pressed. They were as follows– but not in this order and I quote some directly and also paraphrase below:
1. Write unique content that is free of bad stuff. Don’t plagiarise, write hate speech or porn (a paraphrase of their words). Check.
2. Add tags. It has to do with how they can surf around and find things they might be interested in perusing further. Mostly I add tags, though not always. Check-minus.
3. Aim for typo free content. Well again, I always aim that way, and I believe I often, but not always, achieve said goal. (By the way, you should email me when you notice I have posted something where I forgot to finish a sentence or there is a misspelling or other typo. Privately would be nice, but however you do it, I’d like to know. I do want to correct typos.) I’ll give myself a “mostly I succeed with this” grade. Check.
4. Cap off your post with a compelling headline. It says that your headline should stand out, avoid excessive punctuation, swear words or vague statements. Who knows if my headlines stand out or are compelling but there are no swear words nor do I use excessive punctuation. I’ll give myself a check on this, even though meeting this standard is more subjective and vague. Check-ish.
But as we come to a critical piece of advice, I fall apart almost completely– if Freshly Pressed is my goal. I have some work to do before I can even hope to be featured on Freshly Pressed. (And maybe they are right and this is a general failing of this blog.) On their list it wasn’t last or least (it was actually second on their list)– they say;
5. Include images or other visuals. This they say should be an element of most blog posts. Most. Oy– by this standard, this blog’s a loser. Or if I want to take a more constructive approach, I have some work to do. Let’s leave it at that. No check at all– a near failing grade on this one.
So, you readers out there, what’s your vote? More visuals? Visual images with every post? And you bloggers out there… I need guidance. Clearly. Do you use only your own photos? Do you have a scanner? Do you know where to go for stock photos or images of things– that are free and don’t pose copyright violations problems if you post them?
I am also very aware that while there are some beautiful images of my daughter and snow on this blog, there are no images of me. The gray in my hair, the wrinkles around my eyes. For sure I should do some more internal work on the beauty of middle aged women. Or I should have started blogging younger. Anyway, I think I need more visuals.
Suggestions? Send your ideas about this. And be patient. One day maybe you’ll find me Freshly Pressed. Or not. Perhaps I’m really an old fashioned hard copy girl, posing as a blogger.