The first thing you will notice when going to WordPress is their front page with the “Freshly Pressed” blogs. At first, I didn’t quite understood this but thought it was nice. Several topics are always presented, like travel, food, books, movies etc. It’s interesting to see what is out there, what people write about and what moves them. This was before I had my own WordPress account.
After I made my account I understood the Freshly Pressed a bit better, and got slightly obsessed with it. Basically it’s a free advertisement for you and your blog. Thousands, maybe even millions will see your blog, and stay, which is a big deal for most bloggers. It can also lead to some personal issues…jealousy. Yes, I admit it, I am jealous of those food bloggers that get onto the Freshly Pressed page. I wish I would be in their place and I know that it’s somewhat childish to feel that way.
However, don’t we all want the most and best for our blog? Especially if you have a specialty blog? Sure, I write those recipes down so I can access them any time, any where. It’s handy, it’s my online cook/baking book. But I also want people to see it, recognize it and maybe take something home with them. I certainly do with other food blogs, thinking: oh, that’s nice, or, how genius that recipe is, or, I would love to take pictures like that.
Blogging is a competition I guess, or maybe I am the only one who feels that way.
So how do I get on Freshly Pressed with a recipe of mine? What is it they look for when they decide? I know there is a little help manual on what you can do, like tagging and good pictures and good grammar and catchy headlines. When I look at those Freshly Pressed pages I often wonder if I will ever be picked. (I know, among those millions of bloggers and thousands of food bloggers it will be difficult but eh, one can dream.)
Yet, I noticed a couple of things. Of course, I could be completely wrong with it, so bare with me. It seems that many blogs that are picked are “pro”, e.g. the wordpress.com part is missing. Another thing I noticed: many blogs have a white back ground. While I know white is a nice, clean colour I find it, well, boring. Is a touch of darkness too much for a food blogger? My background is sort of brownish-grayish and now I have a brown header. Is that too dark for the WordPress people?
Many of the pictures of food bloggers are excellent, no doubt about it. It’s an important part of that particular blogging style because you want to show how wonderful delicious your meal, cake, cookie, etc. is. I get it and work constantly on improving my photography. I think it went already up by using a light box. One thing I have an issue with though are props. I do not have 5 different tables I can use, actually just one. I do not have a nice old bench in my front yard/back yard or similar items. My tea towels are rather boring, I admit. If I would have a room just for my photography that would be a different story, however, right now my photography corner is literally a corner, on the floor of my guest room.
Another thing I wonder about, it seems a lot of those food bloggers use Photoshop or Lightroom or similar technology. While I do understand that it can enhance your pictures quite a lot I am also a fan of rather unedited pictures. Maybe it’s also a lack of knowledge that prevents me from using such programs. I do have them, it just seems more work than necessary.
I am a minimalist when it comes to a lot of things, might be my personality or my food blogging nature. I am not sure. One of the food bloggers that was featured for example hat 18 tags on the post. 18! Some of them seemed awfully useless, like “blog”. Why would you tag a recipe with “blog” on your blog? I mean, you should tag too narrowly, I know that too but that seemed awfully overdone.
One thing that bothered me a little bit though was that a person/blog, who was recently Freshly Pressed was Freshly Pressed several weeks later again. Dear WordPress, I am sure that the blog is great, fantastic, with good recipes and lovely pictures. But shouldn’t you give everyone a chance? Was there no other blog that could have been featured that day/week?
Maybe it’s just my imagination and everything I “notice” isn’t really there. Maybe this post is completely useless and I am just crazy over “Freshly Pressed”. But, this has been in my head for a while and I like to share with you. If you felt like this in your blogging life at some point, let me know. If you don’t blog or have never noticed or think I am nuts, let me know. I’d like to hear from you.
And to those people who pick the Freshly Pressed blogs: I am here, I have some unique recipes that are worth spreading the word about. Baking in Saskatoon combines the North American and German cuisine with a dash of international recipes once in a while. So far, I have not yet seen anything like that.
Happy baking, cooking and creating!