Being Freshly Pressed Ruined My Blogging Experience.

Before you start saying “wow, you’re such an ungrateful snob”, hear me out.

When I first started blogging back in November, I was hooked on checking my stats. Someone from India read my blog! That’s so cool! Wow, 10 followers! This is awesome, I’m totally reaching people. So I continued to write, and check my stats. And then I would try to write things that would make my stats go up. And when my views dropped I would try to come up with something that people couldn’t ignore.

English: Black Friday at May 9th 1873 at the V...

A very different Black Friday in 1873. They are probably saying “out of my way or I’ll slit your throat”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And then I got featured on Freshly Pressed. And it was amazing! I’ve never felt a high like that from writing. Or, well, anything. I imagine this is what meth feels like. An insane high like you’ve never felt before, and from that first hit, you’re hooked. [Side note, drugs are bad. Don’t do drugs, kids.] My views skyrocketed. It was incredible to watch that first day as my updates feed got busier than Wal-mart on Black Friday. And the next day, it was even better. I went from having a personal best of almost 50 views in one day, to almost 2000 views two days later.

Now I sit here, writing as usual, and nothing much has changed. My stats bar has been slowly declining and is starting to plateau again. Other than the influx of followers, nothing much is different about my blog. There are just more people seeing it typically. But now those views don’t mean as much to me, nor do the likes on my posts. I like that we can get some conversation going, though. That’s definitely a plus. I used to try to reply to every comment as it arrived on my blog. With the wave of people reading my posts, though, that just wasn’t possible. Or maybe I just got lazy about it.

This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t want to be Freshly Pressed again. Oh, I want it. I crave it on days when I feel like my writing is getting dull. I think about that first brush with blog stardom, and fantasize about the next time it happens, if or when it ever does. I’m motivated by the very thing that ruined my blogging experience. Sometimes I feel like I’m not writing for me anymore. I’m writing for that Freshly Pressed Angel, hoping one day he or she will look down on me again and decide I’m worth showing to the world.

For now, though, all I can do is write and wait.


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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

28 responses to “Being Freshly Pressed Ruined My Blogging Experience.”

  1. snosler says :

    Oddly enough I get it – I used to blog on Blogger and recently switched to WP – I left a few thousand followers there … part of reason for switching was that I had gotten to caught up in that whole thing and I ahven’t checked my stats once since switching. I’m sure they’re far from impressive but it is what it is 🙂

  2. The Rambling Man (aka The Night Hawk Photographer) says :

    I know what you mean from the point of view of not having been Freshly Pressed. Each time I post something that catches people’s eyes, it starts an influx of views and it makes me feel so happy. Conversely, if I write something that doesn’t get views, I don’t feel bad, since my blog is mine and the act of writing is the enjoyable part, it’s a therapy, so views are just a side effect (I should follow what snosler does and not bother looking at the stats but the bar chart up the top of the page when you’re on your dashboard makes it difficult, it grabs your eyes).

    I don’t think you’re ungrateful at all though. It’s one of those things, where sometimes more is not better. It’s why I don’t have a Facebook account or Twitter account to promote my blog. I left Facebook precisely because of the complete superficiality of the contact I was having on there and since then I’ve rediscovered a closeness of contact with the few people who really matter in my life.

    Anyway, I’m burbling and I shouldn’t (I should be at home in bed since I’ve got a cold but I’m procrastinating a) because I don’t want to be at home – I’m moving in 2 weeks and I can’t wait, my housemates are a right bunch… and b) cause I have to take the tube, and then the train, and then the bus, and I haven’t gotten the energy up yet…).

    Still… I shouldn’t write an essay about that on your wall. Just thought I’d share my experience. After all, that’s what it’s all about, right? Or have I just misunderstood life, completely? 🙂

  3. nancysmysteriousletter says :

    I totally get what you mean, but, maybe, like I still am, just try and try to do your absolute best. Like, read other blogs to see what’s already been done.

  4. stephssoapbox12 says :

    I started following you not because of the popularity, but because of your voice. I like what you have to say and how you say it. Just listen to your heart and write what you like.

  5. purpleperceptions says :

    I think I can understand what you mean… But well, if it wasn’t for freshly pressed, I would never have found your blog (’cause I’m stupid like that, lol). So here’s hoping you’re freshly pressed again! =)

  6. foolishsage42 says :

    Maybe it’s time to branch out to other platforms. Maybe try getting some of your posts published elsewhere?

  7. TechChucker says :

    Having not been freshly pressed, and doubting I ever will, I cannot relate, but I think I can understand. I did a very unscientific test with my blog the other day. My blog focuses on technology and literature. I’ve recently switched my focus from tech to lit and my views and followers has increased incredibly. So I wondered if I posted another tech post, would my newly acquired Lit followers just blindly hit like to my tech post?

    Turns out, none of them did, which was what I was hoping. They weren’t interested in scripting and junk and thus, they didn’t blindly click like. I would say you can now try experiments to see what your users are doing when they visit your site. Try putting links to information and then you can track if people are going there. That’s just something I’ve done, but I don’t have thousands of daily visits.

    • skavop says :

      TechChucker, Could you put a link to your blog or site on your Gravatar profile, or post it here, as it sounds like something I’d enjoy reading?

      • TechChucker says :

        I just clicked my name “TechChucker” at the start of my reply and it brought me to my blog right away. I’ll take a look at the Gravatar profile as well.

        • skavop says :

          Sorry I’m an idiot. I only clicked your Gravatar. Not to worry, I got there in the end. Thanks, Technically Challenged Fellow-Blogger

  8. rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm says :

    Thank you so much for blog all ways I am enjoy it your wonderful blog. Please stop on my blog and Facebook has radio interview from reporters solo sailing around the world

  9. travels with mary says :

    This is interesting– I like my blog right now because I feel like I have a sort of “community” with my followers. It’s fun to see search results pop up and see where my blog reaches in the world– but I don’t have many followers and 2000 views sounds impossible! I think you should take the blessing that your words did reach a ton of people (that’s why I’m still here following you!) and keep writing for you. It worked once, who’s to say another post won’t open up a different door?

  10. njhasan says :

    “My views skyrocketed. It was incredible to watch that first day as my updates feed got busier than Wal-mart on Black Friday.” Lol. I love that.

  11. eddy says :

    Ah the stats checker syndrome! I have it big time. I check my stats at least 10 times a day. I got so high when I reached 66 hits in one day which is my best till now. I don’t know what would happen if I got 2000!!

    But I do one good thing. I don’t relate my stats to my posts. If you do that then you become a “commercial” writer. Changing your writing to get more stats. You become a stats whore. That would totally ruin the writing experience.

    I like to write for the sake of writing. For the sake of sharing my ideas. And the best thing I do is that I don’t write into the WP post editor directly. I write on my computer into a folder called buffer. It contains at any given time about 5 or 6 unpublished articles. Everyday I write at least one article in the buffer and post one article from it.

    This helps in many ways but one thing it does is that it makes me feel as if I’m writing an article as an article and not as a blog post. Maybe you can try this to start enjoying blogging again.


    • janinerussell says :

      I do the same thing! I keep drafts, and restrict myself to only publishing one thing per day. It makes me more picky about what I put on my blog. Thanks for the reality check, though. You’re right, I’m worried about becoming commercial. I need to get back to why I started writing in the first place.

  12. MYNDFUQ says :

    I too feel the dread of the stats get the best of me. I once heard a great blogger say to not see blogging as work. Don’t feel trapped in the obligation of feeding out content. You started writing because of the pure enjoyment of it. Never force it. The audience will begin to notice this once you do.

    Blogging is a pure extension of your voice. Keep it authentic. It’s the reason why I follow you. Thanks again for the reminder.

    • janinerussell says :

      Comments like this make me so relieved. I worry all the time that as my blog changes, it will only go downhill. I needed that reassurance that if I go back to doing what I love, it’ll be intrinsically worth it, and people responding positively will just be an added bonus. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  13. hannophenn says :

    Write about thinks you like and what you want to share .don’t write because of the stats it will kill your god work and the pleasure you have doing so. Keep blogging and I read and I will comment on some or just like it or not .No pressure from me ,I think you are great.

  14. dsmythjr says :

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels this way about stats. The more views and readers makes me want to extract more meaningful things to write about… Keep doin what you’re doing!

  15. Judy Lesko says :

    Janine, I follow your blog and enjoyit immensely. Why can’t you be happy with mediocre stats like the rest of us? JK! JK! 643+ loyal fans is a great number. You rock it : ) Shanti.

  16. Anonymous says :

    One wonders about the selection process as well. Many good essays are overlooked by those folks at WordPress doing the judging.

  17. rossmurray1 says :

    Stats feeds the latent OCD I never realized I have. Good post, this.

  18. The Callithumpian says :


    I am so glad that I discovered your blog this evening. I am going to “follow” you and am looking forward to hearing what you have to say. Thank goodness for Freshly Pressed.

    Con regard,


  19. jrlookingbill says :

    Understandable; your words caught lightning in a bottle (which must be cool to see) once. But that was n’t what you were writing for. Views certainly are n’t the measure — it ought to be some admixture of getting your thoughts out, seeing improvement, and feedback. The ‘objective’ measures do n’t show qualities.

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