WordPressers Making a Splash: January Edition

We were all impressed earlier this week when we reviewed the incredible achievements of the WordPress.com community in 2013. Even as the year drew to a close, though, many of you found the time to win a few more (symbolic) trophies for your collection of blogging accolades. Before we clear the stage for the great things you’ll accomplish in 2014, let’s celebrate those WordPressers who made a splash in the past few weeks.

A blog-to-book success

Transforming one’s blog into a published book is always an impressive feat. To have that book project published by the prestigious Oxford University Press is doubly so. Ben Ramalingam did just that with his blog, Aid on the Edge of Chaos, now also the name of his book. A researcher who works in the field of international development and humanitarian aid, Ben’s work has been endorsed by Nobel laureates and lauded in the British press, including, most recently, in New Scientist.

23 ways to go very, very viral

Unless your internet connection has been down for the past few weeks, chances are you’ve crossed paths with Vanessa Elizabeth’s lightning rod post, 23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged When You’re 23, the viral hit from her blog, Wander Onwards. With an addictive list format and a provocative argument to boot, this was the post heard around the world. Picked up and republished on The Huffington Post and dissected on Jezebel‘s Groupthink blog, this post inspired dozens of replies, from every imaginable perspective. You know you’ve hit a nerve when even some of your rebuttals attract hundreds of thousands of readers.

Planting the WordPress.com flag around the web

Vanessa’s post was far from the only one to make the rounds on the eve of the new year. Ben Irwin‘s informative post on poverty, 20 Things the Poor Really Do Every Day, also found its way to The Huffington Post. Continuing the tradition of WordPressers’ visibility at that publication, former pastor Ryan Bell had one of his posts from his blog, A Year Without God, also appear on The Huffington Post.

Ryan’s recently launched site, where he records his thoughts on a yearlong experiment to lead an atheist life, has already attracted the attention of other media outlets. It has also been discovered by hundreds of bloggers who’ve tuned in to the thoughtful debate inspired by his posts.

Nothing is rotten in Michael Hobbes’ kingdom

Michael Hobbes, the writer behind Rottin’ in Denmark, has been very busy these past few weeks. While one of his earlier posts from last year landed him a spot on WordPress.com’s list of top posts from 2013, his more recent pieces have been popping up all over the web.

His devastating account of the aftermath of a colleague’s death was published on Billfold, and then picked up by the Harvard Business Review Blog Network. Michael’s 2014 is already off to a prolific start, with another absorbing piece, How Did Zimbabwe Become So Poor—And Yet So Expensive?, up on New Republic. 

Has one of your recent posts made a splash on WordPress.com or on social media? Are you transforming your blog into a book? We’d love to hear about your accomplishments!

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  1. Joe Owens

    I cannot say any of my blogs have gone even near viral. I suppose I am not controversial enough. Perhaps I need to antagonize someone and get the attention, but I prefer to give my readers quality posts that don;t incite their anger.


    • Ben Huberman

      It seems that posts that go viral can appeal to many different emotions; it’s often completely impossible to predict which post is going to blow up. Which is why your strategy — quality posts that appeal to your audience — sounds like a particularly solid one.


  2. sharmishtha basu

    WordPress is amazing!


  3. brecore

    Win for the blogging world!!!! 🙂


  4. John Moore

    WordPress rocks! Love the product, the great team, and the wonderful blogs that are making use of it every day! -John


  5. littlemisswordy

    Little Miss Wordy went from Blog to Book just 7 months after starting the blog. Sarah Book Publishing released Red Circle Days by the blog’s author, Leah Vidal, available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks and directly through the publisher.


  6. Speak Of Marriage

    Well, it’s my (ongoing) goal to have my blog published. (I’m thinking of self publishing.) Though I don’t have many readers or responses to my post (and I have not been posting as frequently as I should), I think my circles of relationship will help me garner purchases of the book but I digress. It seems it may not be my blog following that is of a problem, it’s my lack of initiative to complete the book. HELP!!! I have it almost finished. I’ve got to get it done. (Ok, I’m going to rant mode now and I’ll spare everyone.) Love you all. 🙂


  7. Jack Benton

    My Blog https://ehssafetynews.wordpress.com/ was featured in the HBO Documentary “Toxic Hot Seat” which premiered in December 2013 on HBO. I have a post on my blog about being featured.


  8. yourproblemisthis

    Hello, I’m a new blogger writing a mini-book and hoping to get it published via ebook too. Just need to know if my story is actually worth it or not. My story i am writing at the moment is called The Case No One Wanted. =]
    It also is music to my ears that people have been successful through blogging with their books.


  9. seweverythingblog

    I love the fact that you recognize your most viral and accomplished bloggers. I have found many a great writer through your Freshly Pressed feature.
    Alas, I have few readers after 10 months of “niche blogging” and even less hope of a book deal. But my 72 blog followers are much, much appreciated, including a couple of relatives! And I’m happy just writing the posts, and learning how to attract more followers. Maybe it’ll be different at this time next year.


    • Ben Huberman

      You have several dozen people following your posts — that’s definitely something to be proud of!


  10. William J. Hudson

    The possibilities are an inspiration.
    Wordpress Rocks !!.


  11. worzelodd

    I have such fun reading the blogs and commenting, my goal eventually is to have The Colected Wisdom of Godfrey published as a book, in the glorious spirit of Whirled Peas, nonsense verse and profound dislike of beets. Thank you Word press, from Godfrey.


  12. beenough

    You made a splash with this post.

    Thanks for sharing.


  13. Dinah Snipes Steveni

    Hi WordPress,

    Really enjoy reading about these successes and achievements. It’s like going to a dinner party and putting the world to rights. Thanks.


  14. gpcox

    As best as I can estimate, I have added approximately 1400 Followers (many who have become friends) in 2013!


  15. anewamystew

    I would love to get my blog out there more. I write often, and have a few followers. People read it, but do not seem to subscribe. The ones who do read regularly have suggested for me to publish. I am not familiar with the procedure since I am a relatively new blogger. Is the difference maybe writing more often? How does one get “out there” more?


  16. friendlytm

    I can’t claim to be successful, but I did publish two books on Blurb.com in Nov and Dec last year. The contents are from my two blogs:”food for thought”, and “My Notebook”, I learned about Blurb from a fellow blogger and wanted to try it out The process is not difficult. The only thing I need is time! The quality of the printed book is very good.

    I also published an ebook (Angkor Wat), from my second printed book. I submitted the eBook to iBookstore. and was accepted.

    I am quite happy of my published books.. ..of course I can’t compare it to the book published by Oxford University Press, Will continue to publish and blogging this year!



  17. Anonymous

    You just need to do what you like and you can never know when it becomes a big thing.


  18. nykeypad

    Last year I began blogging about NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo’s initiatives to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge, and while I’ve stirred the pot a few times, none of my posts have gone viral. I’m pleased that several dozen people follow my blog Kaleidoscope Eyes (nykeypad.wordpress.com), dossier with editorial commentary, and have connected with several WordPress bloggers as well. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.


  19. fredaq8

    One of your stories has inspired me to write something similar a feat on my blog: http://fredacontreras.com/a-blog-to-book-accomplishment/

    Many thanks and I hope to give more time this 2014 in writing.

    I wonder, have you heard of Suite101.com? I was one of its earliest Contributing Editors (August 1999 to December 2002). I would have utilized WordPress had it been around then 😀


  20. Fig & Quince

    I don’t think it’s possible to plan to go viral. Blog from the heart, best quality you can offer, and cross your fingers and hope for the best.

    Congrats to the featured bloggers!


  21. Potato

    Great inspirational information you’ve got up there. I agree, there’s no one who can say if their next post is gonna go viral. Keep writing, and provide your readers timely with quality posts, are some well regarded strategies to be kept in mind. Regards, potato.


  22. arkansasrose

    I haven’t gotten more than 4 comments on my entire blogging. Going viral? An unlikely dream but I will still dream it.


  23. You'll Soon Be Flying

    Great read. There have been some interesting topics go viral for sure! My biggest “Splash” so far, in my newly created blog (began in October, but just started writing daily the first few days into January 2014) came on January 7th after writing this post “An Open Letter to my Sister: Give up. You’re not the Favorite.”


    For my little blog, which at the time had a mere 2 followers, and had a total of 124 hits, this post made a BIG splash. The post received 311 views that day, from 7 countries, and since it has remained my most viewed post, catapulting my blog to over 1700 views in 15 countries just one week later.. I guess people do love a good, juicy open letter!


  24. nishkarshsharma93

    Congratulations to the featured bloggers! 😀


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