Every day, 19 WordPressers are featured on the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress.com. And every day, many more wonder, “What do I have to do to get Freshly Pressed?”
Well, it’s time to reveal what the folks who push the launch button are thinking. Each week, a member of our editorial team will do a close-up on one post and why we thought it was Press-worthy. We hope we can provide insight into the process and give you tips and tools to make your blog the best it can be.
Before we delve into today’s post, there are a few preliminaries to get out of the way:
- We don’t actually get to push a launch button, although that would be awesome.
- There are half a million of you and a handful of us, and we’re scouring the blogosphere day in and day out. If we don’t find you, it’s nothing personal – promise. Keep writing, and we’ll keep looking.
- We’re real people with different perspectives and tastes, so we’re drawn to different content. And we love feedback, so if a Freshly Pressed post feels really off-base to you, let us know!
- We do not accept bribes, although that may just be because no one has offered us enough gold bullion… yet.
Last week, Oliver at Literature and Libation made it to Freshly Pressed with Craft and Draft: Character Counts. If you haven’t wandered over there to read it, you should remedy that immediately (especially if you’re a fiction writer).
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
There are lots of reasons to love this post, but the big three are:
- The content was informative and entertaining.
Lots of Freshly Pressed readers are themselves writers, and we thought this post – a tutorial on the mechanics of character development, with homemade Lego illustrations – would speak to you. The figures morphed as the easy-to-follow post took us though each step of the character creation, refinement and revision process.
The accompanying commentary was clear, well written, and made us laugh hard enough to shoot coffee out of our collective nose. On his newly-born character, left, he writes:
I mean, it is kind of identifiable as some sort of humanoid, but there are some major problems here. One: his period-inappropriate tri-corn hat is on fire. Two: He has two heads, one of which is completely black and has no face…
This is an extreme example, but my point remains. It is very difficult to properly build your character the first time around. He’s going to come out with conflicting motivations, bad dialogue, missing limbs, and possibly even a flaming hat.
See what we mean?
- The photos were genius and filled out the content.
Many posts can benefit from an image; they add another layer of texture to your words. Photos also help break up a longer post, and are useful for clarifying complex or intangible points. Oliver’s Lego shots took the potentially ephemeral process of developing a fictional character and grounded it in something nearly all of us can identify. Plus, they were cute as heck.
- The organization and layout made reading easy.
Reading dense blocks of text is difficult enough on the printed page, and even more so on a screen. Smaller paragraphs help readers scan more easily, while headings make a longer post digestible and keep readers from getting lost in your content.
Oliver took full advantage of both guidelines. Paragraphs were short and focused on a single point. Headings broke the process down into four discrete components.
What did you think of this pick? Will you be reading along with Craft and Draft?
For another glimpse into what makes for great Freshly Pressed content, check out the roundup of July’s top 10 posts over at the News Blog or read So You Want to Be Freshly Pressed?