Photo Credit: Luc De Leeuw

Among our professional goals, Dash and I have a desire to become fresh pressed.  This is the highest honor in the WordPress realm.  According to the website, fresh pressed posts “represent how WordPress can be used to entertain, enlighten, or inspire.” Quite simply, it means that you’ve been selected by the WordPress staffers to be featured on the site’s homepage, which bumps up your daily hits astronomically.  We crave this.

We’ve been hoping to receive this recognition ever since we started Phreelance Writers. Even before our first post, back when we were still deciding on our layout, we talked about the what-ifs that our work might yield: appearances on Good Morning America, book deals, keys to cities—but above all, we fantasized about being fresh pressed.

We researched our goal, looking up the ways that we might achieve it.  Here’s what we found.  These bits of advice comes straight from a WordPress staffer’s blog:

1. Write unique content that’s free of bad stuff.

If there’s anything that we do well, it’s create unique content. See for yourselves.  We’ve done fiction, personal stories, non-fiction articles, creative nonfiction, profiles, travel writing, and even a few magazine-style “top ten” features.  We even introduced what we call the “forum” post, where we pose a question related to writing and invite guest writers and readers to contribute their thoughts on the subject.  One of our followers even commented that she’d read some of our observations on the teaching of writing and incorporated our advice into her teaching curriculum and grading strategies.  Is that “inspiring” enough for you?

2. Include images or other visuals.

We put up photos whenever they’re relevant, and even sometimes when they’re not.  We always credit the source if it’s not us.  Heck, we even had a video of a turtle stranded in a city puddle, and a blog post that used it as a metaphor.

3. Add tags.

Dash and I have both taken classes in journalism and modern journalism.  We’ve learned how search engine optimization matters.  We know how to tag, and we tag like beasts.  If someone googles anything remotely similar to what we’ve written about, they’ll be able to see our posts.

4. Aim for typo-free content.

Admittedly, we’re not perfect.  We self and peer edit, sometimes twice, but occasionally we’ll miss a word here or there. But that shouldn’t stop us from attaining fresh pressed status.  The advice blog says, “If you’ve got a few typos but we really like your post, we may ask you to fix them.”  Cool—but we’ve never even received a word from the WordPress crew.

5. Cap off your post with a compelling headline.

We’re never vague, we never swear in the titles, and we never use excessive punctuation.  In fact, we’re often pretty clever.  But don’t take our word for it—take a look at the evidence.  The advice blog says a good headline looks something like this:

Good headline: I Won the Lottery and You Didn’t!

Sure.  Not bad.  But take a look at ours:

That’s just a few of them.

We’re fresh.  Please, WordPress, just validate us already.