Stats

Reflections of the Freshly Pressed

In May of 2014, I achieved one of my blogging goals:  I became Freshly Pressed.  It was a pretty cool moment for me, and one that many other bloggers would like to achieve.  But as amazing as it was, it didn’t play out like I had pictured in my mind.

So what was my experience like?

  • First off, it’s tough to explain to those outside the WordPress community why being Freshly Pressed is a big deal.  My mom told me congratulations of being “newly ironed”.

    Freshly Pressed / Newly Ironed.  Potato / Tomato

    Freshly Pressed / Newly Ironed. Potato / Tomato

  • I didn’t see the statistical explosion that I expected in terms of views.  I was expecting thousands and thousands of views of the Freshly Pressed post and a notable spike for other content.  That didn’t happen.  Granted, a lot of it has to do with the piece that was chosen:  2,500 words on the trap falls of paying NCAA student athletes doesn’t convey “this is going to be a fun read” like some of the other Pressed posts.
  • My traffic on the day I was Pressed was far, far below my personal best, and has been topped by several other posts before and since.  I don’t get a ton of traffic, but even with all of the exposure that being Pressed provided, that post will only be the fourth most read thing on this site for the year
  • That said, I received far more likes on that post that anything I’ve ever published.
  • Ditto for followers.  In the first two weeks, I gained over 200 followers, which almost doubled my count to that point.  Most of these were actual people and not the foreign language spam accounts that seem to be attracted to my blog of late.
  • Most of my posts do not get comments, but the Pressed post had over 50.  I had some excellent, well thought comments on that piece.

What advice do I have for those who aspire to be Freshly Pressed?

  1. Be patient.  I was at it for almost three years and 350 posts before I got picked.  And I’ll be honest – the piece that got me pressed is not my best work.  I like it, but I probably could find a dozen or so that I feel are better.
  2. Visit other blogs and comment.  I have no way of proving it, but the email notifying me of my Freshly Pressed selection came a day after I commented on a Daily Post blog post.  Would I have been selected if I hadn’t commented?  Maybe.  But I doubt it.  And almost definitely not that particular post.
  3. Don’t be afraid to break the rules.  In WordPress’s “So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed” guide, they list several recommendations.  You may notice that my Pressed post does not have any accompanying images.  They say “Readers are overwhelmed by huge chunks of text”, yet I have several lengthy paragraphs with not a lot of white space.  My headline (“NCAA Pay for Play (P)”) is not catchy, and the random letter in parentheses (part of an A-Z challenge I was in at the time) is odd.  And there are probably more of their recommendations that I didn’t follow.  Bottom line:  be yourself.

Life Lessons from a Football Shoe

Yesterday, I posted about a viral video teasing the football cleats Nebraska will wear against Wisconsin.  I wrote about it because the topic had a number of things that appealed to me – Husker football, uniforms, a timely topic, marketing, and the opportunity to be creative and sarcastic.

I figured it would be one of those things that would primarily appeal to me, and a handful of others.  I acknowledged this with an asterisked aside in the post:

The video does a decent job of generating interest – at least for those of us who are moderately obsessive about Nebraska, uniforms, or fancy shoes*

*Writing about such broad and popular topics, it is a wonder that my readership isn’t in the millions.

So obviously this post racked up the views yesterday.  Thanks to this piece, FeitCanWrite had its best readership day yet – a 50% jump over my previous best day*.

*I won’t bore you with the numbers (or make you sad with my pedestrian stats), but my readership still has not reached the millions….Yet….

It just goes to show two important life lessons:

1) In life, whenever you are sure of something, you should prepare yourself for the opposite to happen.

2) Never underestimate the passion of Nebraska football fans.

Year in Review

Today marks the 1 Year Anniversary of Feit Can Write.  What started as a (in part) a vehicle for me to further a freelance writing lifestyle has turned into a major creative outlet and a platform for me to share my views and opinions with the world*.

*Or at least the microscopic corner of the world that is friends with me on Facebook.  Also – I am definitely available for any freelance writing needs that you may have.

 

Random Feit Can Write facts and stats from the past year:

  • Over 8,000 page views, at least 40 of which came from people outside of my family and Facebook friends.
  • Readers (or at least accidental clicks) from over 60 different countries, including Sri Lanka, Luxembourg, and Northern Mariana Islands.
  • 138 posts (not including this one)
  • The most read post was about my plan to blow up college football.
  • The Thought of the Day from Nov. 30 has drawn four measly views (which is sad, because I think this one is pretty good).
  • 139 reader comments.  Let’s pick it up a little bit here people.  Most of these comments are either me responding to somebody or the…um…interesting dude who berated/threatened me pretty for my thoughts on Penn State.  This year, I’d like to see some more interaction from my dozens of faithful readers.  Tell me what you like, what you hate, or feel free to be like our pal Marty and threaten karma on my ___ for no good reason.
  • My work has been co-posted on huskermax.com and the Kansas City Star’s website.
  • The two Google search phrases that have driven the most viewers to this site?  “Meaning of Feit” and “Zuri Garibovi“.
  • Other Google search phrases that led people here include:  “normal looking guy”, “mizzou trough urinal”, and “gays per capita city lincoln, ne”.  I hope you found what you were looking for.

Without turning this into a weird mix of the clip show episode of a sitcom and an awkward awards ceremony thank you speech, I’d like to thank you all for reading, commenting, Liking, sharing, and any other feedback you give me.  While I’d probably still be doing this if I was the only one reading it, it definitely makes it more special for me to know that others are drawing enjoyment from what I’m doing.

Thanks again!

dave

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