how to survive being “freshly pressed”

I was delighted to find myself “freshly pressed” at WordPress.com Tuesday. About 11:15 a.m. comments started rolling in and page views started climbing.

Let’s just say that over 13,000 page views in 24 hours is pretty amazing when you are used to about 45. So is 120 comments in a day, when you are used to three or four.

My wife told our neighbor that I was “ecstatic.” “What does that look like?” our neighbor asked, who couldn’t imagine it. Well, I can’t describe or explain the emotional impact of this yet. But I can respond to it: it’s what writers want.

The holy grail of blogging is being noticed by someone who has the power to drive traffic to your blog. All bloggers want this but are not actually prepared for. When it happens two questions spring to mind. What is going on? And, what am I going to do next? Finding the answer to the first question is quick and easy. The second one is not.

It can be immobilizing, actually. What should I write next? How will I get some of these people to come back? You check the stats over and over again, haunted by the promise and frozen by the obligation. So here are my suggestions for surviving the experience.

Don’t overthink it. You don’t know why they picked you and they aren’t going to tell you. Write good stuff, use better pictures, think of better headlines, chek your speling errors and use lots of tags, WordPress tells you. But how do they decide, you wonder. Dice? Logarithms? Chance? Luck? Fairy dust? It doesn’t matter, so

Go to bed. Yes, it’s tempting to sit up all night and watch the rising column on the stats graph shrink your previous totals into oblivion. Tempting, but not helpful, my wife pointed out. When I got up I had 1200 more page views, the same number I would have had if I stayed up. Rest is important. You are going to need energy so you can

Stick to your plan. Nothing much has really changed, except your ego. (See “Humility and how I achieved it”.) But you still need to do what you were noticed for in the first place. Be consistent and focused. Post regularly, collect ideas, be thoughtful. Stay on track as you absorb the implications of new readers and new responsibilities. After all, you still have to

Serve your readers. The best part about being freshly pressed is that you are reminded of how much depends on the people who read your blog. It’s humbling, really. Or should be. People give you moments of their busy lives. Respect them. Honor them. Thank them. Message is always connected to motive, so you only serve your readers if you

Remember who you are. I was surprised that almost 1000 readers looked at my “about” page. It tells them who I am and what I meant to do in the first place. I wish I had looked at mine more often, not to celebrate who I am but to remember my promise. Not everyone shares or even appreciates this vision, but the ones who do are the ones likely to come back.

In marketing they call this your brand.

But in life we call it integrity, the sense of purpose that defines our character and generates trust. Writers need this— a sense of purpose that motivates them to write and motivates others to read.

If we have this integrity every post can be freshly pressed.

Even if no one notices.

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About wally metts

Wally Metts is the daysman. He is director of graduate studies in communication at Spring Arbor University and is a pastor at Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, MI. The father of four adult children, he and his wife Katie raise barn cats and Christmas trees in Michigan. His grandchildren call him Santa.

25 Responses to “how to survive being “freshly pressed””

  1. I’m thrilled for you, Dr. Metts, but more for the people who have discovered you. They are in for some excellent writing and great thinking.

    And I can say I knew you when I was one of the 45!

  2. Words of wisdom. I believe that is how I found your blog. I liked it. I subscribed. No regrets. Keep on doing what you are doing. Several of your posts I have re-posted to my Facebook page because I enjoyed them so much. I hope you don’t mind, but I also added you to my blogroll. I appreciate your directness and the obvious love and respect you have for your family. Thank you!

  3. Wow Wally! Congrats! You are right up there with food press. A great time slot too. 🙂 don’t get too prideful now…. Just kiddng.

  4. I found your blog through freshly pressed and became a subscriber.

    The reason? I needed a man-tidote to all of the Christian lady blogs she follows and forwards to me. It’s encouraging to find a guy committed to following Christ while living a life of the mind. Keep going.

    • “Man-tidote.” That’s hilarious!
      I, too, found Daysman’s blog via Freshly Pressed. I agree, it’s an encouraging breath of fresh air.

  5. Wally,

    Since we’re not home right now I haven’t looked further on most sites. However, I know I come back and keep reading because I like the way you express your opinions. Keep writing with integrity. That shouldn’t be too hard for you! 🙂

  6. Of course, now that I post the comment I reread it and notice that a crucial piece is missing:

    I told my wife about your blog and subscribed even though I’ve ‘given up the internet’.

    Now the second piece might make more sense. 🙂

  7. What’s this nonsense about humility? C’mon, Boss Man! I’ve been honing my skills as the Gatekeeper to Dr. Metts– “Oh dear, this tea won’t do at all. Dr. Metts needs his tea served at a perfect temperature. I’m afraid we’ll have to cancel his speaking engagement here…”
    Sigh.
    Stupid integrity.
    (And congrats, again. You might be too good of a man to be proud but we aren’t as good. So we’ll be proud for you.)

  8. Even though this is how I came to subscribe to your blog, when I read your post’s headline, I thought it had to do with those who are obsessed with ironing.

    I was one of those who checked out your “About me” page. Why? Because I wanted to know if I had anything in common with you. Would there be any chance I could be as widely read (should I ever begin to write)?

    Oh, love your spell “chek” by the way.

    • you have to begin, of course.

      and you have to persist.

      being read, i think, depends on both skill and providence, but you should write if its in you. to discover what you think and share it with others.

  9. I’m still so thrilled for you. Your writing has always inspired me and I know it will (continue to) inspire others. Glad some new readers will have a dose of the daysman! Love the idea or articulating our personal brand, by the way. I may have to post about that!

  10. I’m not an avid reader of the ‘freshly pressed’ blogs, your picture actually stuck out to me. I thought it was neat and wanted to know what you were writing about.

    I was impressed when I read your post, just because you’re an incredible writer. What made me subscribe though was seeing that you were a follower of Christ, advocate, and journalist. Those are my ambitions in life.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I’m very glad you’ve survived.

  11. You caught my eye on freshly pressed, peeked my interest with ‘I’m not Buying it’ but captured my heart with ‘Who is the Daysman’. I love how that is even worded instead of the usual ‘About Me’. And because your motives do really matter, I subscribed. Being a brand new blogger, I am sure I can learn a few things from you, but not so much about the blogging. More perhaps about the pilgrim’s perspective.
    God Bless!

  12. Great advice! Years ago I started blogging on “Windows Live Spaces”. I knew nothing about blogging or what a good host site might be… well, very early on I was – I don’t remember what Spaces called it – but the equivalent of Freshly Pressed. I went from being someone who was just enjoying her ‘online diary’ to being obsessed with my stats, with my comments, to the point of becoming ridiculous. I finally had to give up blogging for awhile because I spent so much time on it; not only writing but trying so hard to maintain readership, that I forgot why I was even doing it.
    I do enjoy your point of view.

  13. I like that term Daysman. Never heard it before. Congratulations on Freshly Pressed. It happened to me last month and I almost had a heart attack.

  14. I found you through a dear friend–she posted a link to your blog on facebook. Needless to say, I was immediately drawn in by your post Lessons in Loving (the one addressed to Rob who was apparently getting married), and I intend to keep reading. You have no idea how encouraging it is to see a man who is committed to following the Lord through a life of integrity, grace, and love. I believe you may have quite a few new readers from our friend group.

  15. Thank you for writing this. I was just “Freshly Pressed” today and I am exhausted from the “high.” I have only been blogging for 10 days. Well, I’ve been writing all my life and building / collecting / developing my blog entries for 2 years. Then I started it 10 days ago and my views went from 40-some to 80-some the next day to 800+ when I first noticed. I was shocked! By now the views have climbed up above 2,000 and I have been on Cloud-9 ALL DAY! But “surviving” is a great way to frame some of the feelings that come with this. Thank you for the reminders of how to handle the amazing thrill while remaining humble and grounded… all the while hoping for another day when you find yourself in the spotlight with your stats spiking!

    • Perspective in important. 🙂

      Congrats on being freshly pressed. I appreciate the work you went to to think through and launch your blog. Great beginning.

      Take care of your readers and you should see a new plateau after all rolls over, maybe another 100 readers. That was my experience.

      Be blessed.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] if any. i’m not buying it (108) men will be boys (34) so here’s to Katie (29) how to survive being “freshly pressed” (22) the perfect t-shirt […]

  2. writing as vocation | wallis c metts, jr., ph.d. - April 25, 2013

    […] Of course self-centeredness is counter to our notions of virtue. I’ve tried, unsatisfactorily, to wrestle with this from a Christian perspective. In one essay on my blogI respond directly to White’s quote above. I also thought about this once when I had over 13,000 page views in one day. / […]

  3. I’m still not buying it | the daysman - April 15, 2015

    […] Wednesday—this was my popular post in the last ten year, published back in 2011. It was Freshly Pressed by the good people at Word Press and generated a lot of extra traffic. Enjoy. […]

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