Freshly Pressed and Famous!

Freshly Pressed WordPress Collage Armistead Maupin

What a crazy week! I blogged about my favourite author, Armistead Maupin and within hours my daily hits went through the roof! The amazing Mr. Maupin then came to The Vibes to see what all the fuss was about, and left a heartfelt message in my comments section. I can’t really describe how happy it made me feel to get such a great reaction from someone who is one of my heroes – but it didn’t end there.

After the surprise discovery of a Moroccan Market in Manchester, I posted some little Instagram pictures I took on my iPhone and suddenly my email alerts went insane. For the second time my daily hits were meteoric and when I mentioned it to my friend he said, ‘Have you checked to see if you’ve been Freshly Pressed?’ I stopped to think: it’s the ultimate accolade in blogging, and to be honest I’d never expected to get ‘Pressed’ so I never even looked. There I was on the front page! Over the next four days I got about 13,500 hits, with my personal best of 203 dailies getting trumped by an unbeatable 4,527! On top of that, my Moroccan Bazaar post got 323 Likes, when I never managed more than 30 in the past. I got reblogged all over the place. Requests came tumbling in to redesign people’s blogs and countless enquiries arrived about my theme, the Adventure Journal.

WordPress stats Freshly pressed

The bizarre thing is, we sat down just the night before I posted and tried to work out the secret of getting on the front page. We deduced that less is more: not too much to read and not too many pictures. Perhaps a bit of stringent editing means we end up presenting the very best of our work in an easily digestible chunk. I guess busy people want a quick fix. Who knows? – but I think this strategy was in the back of my mind when I put together my Moroccan post. A big thank you to the WordPress team for rating my post and giving me the exposure!

My followers rocketed from 95 to 320 and I realised that I could never fully respond to all the Likes, the 100 or so comments or check out the blogs of all my new followers. And to cap it all, in the middle of all this madness, The Sunshine Award arrived, which was very welcome because I think that’s what this blog is all about – a bit of colour to blow away the shadows, or ‘sun in wintertime’ as my tag line used to read.

I’d like to say thank you to everyone who Liked, commented and followed – and if I haven’t responded, I’m not being rude: I will try to acknowledge everyone, it’s like being buried under an avalanche of emails, so…

Thank you note lined paper

Read Tales of the City and Moroccan Bazaar

Categories: Random, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

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54 thoughts on “Freshly Pressed and Famous!

  1. That’s wonderful. Really pleased for you and I love that flaming graphic! all the best, Kat

  2. hodgepodge4thesoul

    Congrats! Well deserved, your blog is amazing.


  3. Wonderful! Your blog is a beauty indeed – well deserved.

    • Thanks Carol – I’ve just noticed WordPress are using my blog in their Theme Showcase. I’m very honoured!

  4. Congratulations Mark, I loved your pictures of the Bazaar, they have inspired me to do more with my photos, I look forward to following what you do and take – keep up the inspiration, no pressure

    • Ha ha! You’re assuming I know what I’m doing. The truth is it’s all a bit accidental. It looks like you have some pretty amazing pictures on your blog already 😉

      • Thank you so much for looking Mark, as you can see I am new to this so the fact that you took the trouble means a lot. Hopefully now I’ve got started there will be more to come. Tina

  5. Congratulations, Mr. Superstar!

  6. CYT

    Congrats! Good work! Like your blog.

  7. “…a bit of colour to blow away the shadows…” I think this really captures it very well. And I also like your comment saying that it’s all a bit accidental as I tend to think about my photography like this as well. Keep on doing what you’re doing, it’s a wonderful blog.

    • I just translated some of your blog, and your American truck pictures from the ghost towns are really striking! It’s true that I take a lot of pictures before I get a good one, and I often salvage bad shots with image editing. I only have a basic camera and I have no idea how it works! Thanks for your kind words 😀

      • Thanks for your visit in ‘my world’ and even taking the time to translate some of my writing. What I’m trying to do most if the time is just to show what I see, especially the things that are bit more unusual objects and easily overlooked. And I’m rather out there shooting than thinking about how to do it, you can also take some quiet cool pictures just with a mobile phone nowadays. Glad you liked the truck pictures 🙂

  8. Mark, I saw Moroccan Bazaar on Freshly Pressed that day and wondered if you knew! But hearing form Armistead Maupin, I had no idea! We always knew your blog was awesome! I still love your blog layout and all its elements the best of any I’ve seen, and your virtual tours and photos are such a visual treat.

    • Thanks, Bernadette, that’s a lovely comment and it’s the kind of feedback I really appreciate!

  9. Hey that is really cool, both the reply from Armistead and getting on freshly pressed. Congratulations!

  10. Congratulations! What joy to hear from one of your idols! You’re blazing a trail for people to follow and appreciate. I hope you Are reveling in the joy! Well done!

  11. Hey Mark, thanks for the like today. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! That’s amazing! You deserve it mate. I’ve been looking for something new to read, so I’m off down the library for some Maupin!

  12. Wow – congratulations! You definitely deserve it since your blog is one of my favorites. Just back from San Francisco so I’ll put up some pictures for you if I ever get the chance to go through them all. 🙂

    • Thanks, Sheila! Can’t wait to see your pictures- SF is my favourite place on Earth 😀

  13. Even you were not being in ‘freshly pressed’ I still follow and like your amazing and inspiring art just that I think WordPress made the ‘shortcut’ as the gate for the outsiders to let them in and know you more..just like me, maybe I should pass many hours to be able to find this beautiful blog if you weren’t on the ‘spotlight’..and yes, you deserve for all these awards..keep up be forever ‘the colour to blow away the shadows’, or ‘sun in wintertime’ as you said, and I definitely agree..D

  14. Hi, Tri and thanks for such a lovely comment. It’s great to get such good feedback from someone with your creativity and talent. You have an inspiring blog yourself! 😀

  15. I love it when someone I follow gets Freshly pressed and was so excited when I saw you there – well deserved! I might try some of your freshly pressed tips out myself!

    • Thanks, Sam! I hope you get Pressed, too – it’s a real buzz. You never know, give it a go 😀

  16. Ahhaha! Love the graphics! 🙂 And, a super “Congrats!” to you!!

  17. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Well deserved!

  18. gaydeesdayout

    You must be thrilled and it is well deserved. The Moroccan Bazaar post was the one that caught my eye and drew me here I must admit! I think that your graphic designer’s eye makes your blog easy to digest and I feel that’s a real strength and encourages me to keep reading. Well done! 🙂

    • Good to hear from you, Sam and thanks for your feedback. I’m glad you like the design of my blog, because it took a long time to get it right. I learnt a lot from being ‘Pressed’, including how to spell ‘Moroccan!’ 😀

      • gaydeesdayout

        Ha ha- quite! I had actually just tried to write Moroccan on my Facebook status as had some amazing street food from the Moroccan stall at my local market…and managed to get it wrong. Some English teacher I am! 🙂

  19. Congratulations, my friend, that’s wonderful! Well deserved!

    • Thank you, that’s very kind of you! I’m sure you helped me get ‘Pressed’ by including me in your Daily Shot!

  20. I’m thrilled for you! You deserve every bit of it and more. May you find this is only the opening of the floodgates on a torrential flood of successes. 🙂 Cheers to you, my friend!

  21. Well done you….

    • Thanks, Nin. I sent you a message on your blog, get in touch if you need any design work doing!

  22. salfordave

    hi Mark thats really good i think . dont run in those heels , youll fall sweetie

  23. Congratulations! Beautifully designed site.

  24. Girl, you kick ass! Found you while researching this theme and you blew me away! Thank you for inspiring me. I’ll let you know when I am done converting. 🙂

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