Digging Ditches – How I Got Freshly Pressed.
So last week one of my posts got Freshly Pressed.
What this means is that my post was featured on WordPress.com’s homepage, where each weekday, ten posts are selected from around 450,000 new blog posts!
What it also means is a lot of traffic to my blog… like 85 000-hits-in-10-days-kind-of-traffic!
So, needless to say it has been quite a buzz! Especially for someone whose previous record for a post was 350 hits, and who didn’t even know what Freshly Pressed meant.
So, how do you get featured? Well, according to WordPress, it’s all about the content. In a very helpful post Five Ways to Get Freshly Pressed they offer great tips for blogging that I think any blogger should follow, to get featured or not.
But let’s be honest, while I agree that content is king, there are a lot of great blogs out there with great content who still haven’t featured. Of course, there is always an element of “right time, right place” that factors in.
But here’s the bottom line – if you want to get featured, it’s all about “digging ditches”.
Steven Furtick sheds light on a story in the Bible where a guy named Elisha asks God for rain (read asks God to feature his blog on Freshly Pressed), and God responds by saying, “Dig some ditches first, and I’ll make it rain.” In fact he says, “Make this valley full of ditches.”
The truth is none of us can make it rain.
None of us can orchestrate “right time, right place”. No one can control the circumstances that ensures the editor reads our post. But what we can do is dig some ditches in the meantime – follow all the advice we can get, spit out quality content consistently – and prepare for the day when the rains will come and fill those ditches!
Keep plugging away. Writing your best. Checking your spelling. Using great images. Adding tags. Thinking of compelling headlines.
All of us can decide to write no matter what, even when it hurts.
And I think this principle is true for much of life. Some people just arrive. They write one post and “BOOM!” – instant traffic and fame. But for the most part, behind the scenes of great bloggers like Seth Godin and Michael Hyatt lies hours and hours of faithfully plugging away and the digging of many ditches. Malcolm Gladwell says that if you want to really shine in any field or skill, you’ve got to put in the hours… 10,000 hours in fact.