Ever been freshly pressed? I haven’t. I would certainly like to be but that may come later because for that to happen, I need to find a quality that meets a standard.
When I started writing this blog, after almost an year of hiatus, back in August, I did not know anything about blogging norms. I wasn’t even aware there was a freshly pressed gallery. When I saw it for the first time, I did not know what it meant or how you get your blog there. To be honest I actually never paid attention to it. When I really figured out what it meant to be freshly pressed, my obvious wish and goal became to be featured there. I realize this takes time. Its not that it all depends on blind luck, (I’m told it doesn’t) but the quality of what you write, is what really counts.
There are blogs out there which get thousands of likes and hundreds of comments. There are blogs with tens of thousands of followers. As an amateur blogger, this feels intimidating to me. And it makes you question the standard of success in the blogging community? Is it the numbers, the amount of followers, the number of comments, what is it?
I do not have all the answers but over time I have understood a few things, and my apparent failure of not being freshly pressed in the three short months since I started writing, has certainly raised another important question for me, “What is the point of being freshly pressed?”
When you are freshly pressed, people read you regardless of whether they may like your blog’s layout, design or color scheme. They do it because your writing certainly makes a point and they can connect to it. And yet after a couple of days, the glory starts to fade. The numbers decline, slowly things get back to normal. What do you do then? That is the idea that made me write this post.
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly want to be featured. But is that all? Being freshly pressed may bring you a huge following but will those followers stay with you in the indefinite future? The answer to this is obvious enough. This may only happen if you are consistent in the quality of your writing. We all follow blogs because there are great writers and bloggers out there. Whenever I come online one of the first things I do is to read my favorite bloggers, none of whom are freshly pressed, ironically. I like them without the glory, I read them because I enjoy the art those bloggers and writers have shared with the blogging community. And that is the point, if you are dedicated to your craft, people will follow you and people will read you.
Being freshly pressed may bring you a lot of readership but if you want that readership to stay with you, you need to excel at your craft. In the end, isn’t it what we all want? That people actually read us, regardless of how many followers we have. I have some followers, but only a few ever read me. I do not blame them, I need to be better. Numbers and traffic all play a role but that is a bonus, that is a boost, do not expect that award to instantly make your readership fall in love with you, no matter what you write. That is not how it works. The point of being freshly pressed is recognition but don’t let the glory compensate the quality of your writing. It is very easy to enjoy a huge following but if as a blogger you are not consistent in the quality of your posted content, you will lose your readership.
To be honest I may not be freshly pressed for a long time but I need to improve my skill to be successful at blogging. I hope to gain more readership and I want them to actually read what my blog and not hit the “like” button because they expect me to go to their blog and hit the “like” in return, as a favor. I have certainly done that at times, going to other blogs, liking their posts and and following their blogs so that a few will come and read my blog too. What really happens is that there comes a time when we cross the line which separates marketing strategy from outright mediocrity, at this point the blogger is simply deluding himself and missing the whole point of blogging.
I know at times one may feel desperate for readership but you got to understand, if you are not getting enough readership, improve, don’t use cheap marketing strategies in the hope that at least a few people will like your posts in return.
One other thing is that not all people who follow you will read you, that is a given and that is something you can’t control but by improving your skill you can make sure that a good number of people will enjoy what you write. A city on a hill cannot be hidden (Mat 5:14). If you write good, you will be noticed and your readers will enjoy what you have to share. This is what any blogger should hope to achieve. The end goal is not being “freshly pressed”, it is to maintain your following and improve your craft.
The question then is not “Am I going to be freshly pressed?” rather it is “What is my vision as a blogger?”
Believe me, if you want to be successful at blogging, you need to know what you want to write and why should anyone like your post? What is the point of your post? These are honest questions. As a blogger, you need to know what you want to write and who will connect to it. Experimenting with your blog is a good thing (I have done that) but when you achieve a level of excellence, your readership expects you to keep delivering it, and the best writers are those who strive to do this.
This post may not end up being “Freshly Pressed” but I certainly hope to connect to a few people who may struggle as a blogger to deliver quality, and I want to convey this message – even if you do not get freshly pressed, keep improving your skill and maintain a quality in your writing because that is the standard of being a successful blogger and ultimately, the point of being freshly pressed.