How to Be Discovered on WordPress!

Featured on Discover is the blog award given by the WordPress editors. I’ve been honored to win five of these awards. They have brought thousands of views and lots of new followers to the Wild Ride. Today, I’ll let you in a little secret how you can be Discovered on WordPress too!

Editor’s Picks, Freshly Pressed, and Discover

My first Editor’s Pick was out of 375,000 other posts blogged on a day in October of 2011. I stayed on the editors’ radar and received two more in 2012. Back then, the WordPress awards were called Freshly Pressed. Now they are called, Featured on Discover.

 

Cue the sound of crickets.

One year almost to the day after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I won another Freshly Pressed for An Open Letter to My Boobs. That was in April of 2014.

grabbing my boobs

Since then, blogging has exploded.

Very few can hear our tiny voices when they are lost in a hurricane of people shouting to be noticed.

“Look at me! Look at me!” I screamed while drowned out by the roaring crowd. “Woohoo! Over here!” I jumped up and down and burned a few calories. Exhausted, I returned to my desk to write instead.

How to be Discovered

WordPress hosts one-third of the world’s websites.

Billions of people blog. In fact, according to WordPress Facts, 409 million people read 21 billion pages each month! 21 billion?

Assuming my voice would never be heard by the editors ever again, I focused on building my blog readership and community instead. Along with writing about my wild life in Colorado, I studied the craft of writing books. There’s a huge difference between writing essays and novels. I’m still learning!

For a couple of years, I read a lot about how to increase views. Most of the articles said the same thing:

“Write quality content. Your readers will come.”

“The more you blog, the higher your views.”

The beauty of Isolation

I have never been a prolific blogger and as far as quality content, I always think my readers will enjoy my posts. Ha! There is no way to predict the hits and the HUGE misses. I continue to write because it’s my passion and I love my blogging community.

I began to promote my blog more consistently through social media. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Stumbleupon funneled a lot more readers to my blog. I still wasn’t on the editors’ radar. “Over here!”

Here’s the thing. WordPress Editors want to find quality content too.

Enter The Daily Post.

If you aren’t following the Daily Post, you should. Editors like Ben Huberman do a lot of work to help bloggers build community. There are Daily Prompts, the once a week Photo Challenge, First Fridays, (exclusively for new bloggers) and Community Pool on Mondays. The WordPress Editors peruse the blog posts. Sometimes one is Discovered. Imagine!

Once in a while, I responded to a Daily Post. The linkup always brought a lot of new faces to my blog. I’m all about new faces!

In 2017, I reduced blogging from two to three posts a week to once a week to concentrate on book writing. The Daily Post slid to the wayside. It was a helluva year with the death of my brother and then a demon washing machine determined my fate. I traveled for a month while the house was repaired.

When life settled down in August, I wrote my six-year blogiversary post, 18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog and Increase Traffic. I had upgraded to a Business site in January and finally tried a plug-in after scheduling the post for the following week. What I didn’t know was that WordPress.com sites change in structure when Business plug-ins are added. As bad luck would have it, the post didn’t show up in the Reader and the views were a yawnfest. I’d spent a full week writing that article. I cried. Seriously.

Then I remembered Community Pool! I brightened a bit. Surely, I could find some new readers. I left the link to 18 Best Blog Tips in the comments explaining how I’d written the post for WordPress bloggers but very few had seen it. I made sure to comment on a few bloggers’ requests to check out their posts or blogs. That’s what puts the Community in the Pool!

I got a notification that Ben Huberman “Liked” my post. My heart skipped a beat. Maybe I had been noticed! How ironic would that be?

Yep. Two weeks later, my views rose. I checked out Discover and there it was. A Veteran Blogger’s Advice on Growing Traffic and Finding Community – 18 Best Blog Tips. I ran around my kitchen screaming. It became a Featured post at the top of the feed for a couple of weeks!

Then I noticed a bump in views at the end of December. First, I checked social media since I spend a lot of time marketing old and new posts. Then I clicked to Discover. Ben Huberman had written a post about the most popular Featured Blog Posts of 2017 – 365 Days of Inspiration: Our Readers’ Favorite Stories About Writing and Building Community.

18 Best Blog Tips was #3. I couldn’t believe it! It still hasn’t sunk in.

One of the most interesting takeaways from the ten posts is that writing, blogging, and inspiration are what resonates with readers.

Should you start responding to every Daily Post to get noticed?

I didn’t. Instead, participate in Photo Challenges and Daily Prompts when it excites you. It’s when we are the most passionate, that the words flow and we inspire others. Check out the Community Pool to see how others use it. Drop a link once in a while. These three avenues might help you get noticed by a WordPress editor!

Here’s the thing. Standing out also means, standing out from yourself. This totally runs counter to the prolific writer opinion.

What?

If you write seven days a week, your super stellar post may not stand out. In fact, your readers may have stopped by the day before and the day after, missing your amazing essay. That would suck. Keep in mind if you start posting constantly on the Daily Post with average work, you risk being passed over for the same reason.

That said, there’s a lot of luck involved in all of this. And there are some amazing bloggers out there who never suck no matter how prolific.

A more direct way to be Discovered.

The other way to be Discovered is to nominate your very best post or another blogger on Discover’s About Page. Scroll down to the bottom to fill out the form.

Use your indoor voice.

Following the crowd by writing about the most popular subjects can also place you in an arena filled with louder voices. I hesitated when titling my 18 Best Blog Tips post for that reason. Luckily, Ben read it. He found my perspective after six years of blogging and building community unique in some way. Thank you, Ben!

I hope this gives you some clarity and lots of hope. In the meantime, keep doing what you love: writing and blogging. You’ll attract more readers, which is the ultimate goal. Perhaps an editor will find you too!

Do you read Discovered posts? Have you participated in The Daily Post? Have you ever been Discovered?

How to be Discovered on WordPress

Click for more adventure on the Wild Ride!

Related Posts:

18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog, Increase Traffic, and More!

Discovered with 6 Ironic Twists!

An Open Letter to New WordPress Bloggers

365 Days of Inspiration: Our Readers’ Favorite Stories About Writing and Building Community. – The Top Ten List!

Discovered with 6 Ironic Twists!

Welcome new blog followers! I hope you’ll sit back, relax, and read how a surprising discovery was ironic in six twisted ways when one of my posts was featured on WordPress Discover.

Discover badge

Last week, while sipping coffee and checking my Twitter notifications, I noticed WordPress had tweeted my blog post, 18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote, Increase Traffic and More! It had been Discovered! The first thing out of my mouth, (second, after the coffee) was, “How ironic is that!” In more than one way. I’m cracking up as I write this.

I’ll get to the ironies, but first I want to thank WordPress editor, Ben Huberman for Discovering me! It has been such an honor. I may have gotten his attention through leaving this post in a Community Pool comment explaining one of the following ironies:

Irony #1.

One of my 18 Best Blog Tips is to try not to spend too much time on blog posts.

That post took hours and hours which turned into days.

Irony #2.

I wrote it for WordPress bloggers.

None of my followers saw it in the Reader. Which brings me to…

Irony #3.

18 Best Blog Tips also dove into mistakes I have made through six years of blogging. Here’s another one to add to the list.

I had upgraded my site to Business back in March, which allows me to use Google Analytics. That has been super interesting. I can check demographics and see which cities and countries are fans. Last week, London was my super fan city. Santa Monica (my beloved surfing spot), was the worst city in the world for viewing my blog. The US was the best country, but Israel was the worst. I have some work to do.

Mistakes were made.

Recently, I noticed I could start using plugins. My daughter, Courtney works in web analytics. She suggested I install Yoast to point out what I need to do for SEO. I attended a WordPress Meetup and was told installing Yoast would be easy and I could uninstall it if I didn’t like it.

When I arrived home, I shook while I pressed the Install button. Instead of getting the notification that it had worked, it said I wasn’t up to date with the basic WordPress Jetpack program. I had to call a Happiness Engineer, who rescued me and installed it. Whew!

The next day, when my scheduled story, A Day in London with Charles Dickens posted, it was to the sound of crickets. Of course, it was another one of those posts that took tons of time. It didn’t end up in the Reader for my followers. Bummer!! I contacted the Happiness Engineers and found out it was because I wrote and scheduled it before I installed the plugin. Apparently, the structure of the site changes after installing a plugin on a Business site.

 

For days, no one followed my blog. I asked my daughter to check her phone and the floating Follow button had disappeared. I had been warned but several other bloggers who use Yoast continued to have the happy little green floating Follow. Not me. Dang!

That was the deal breaker. New followers are more important to me than views from SEO. Someday, I’ll have books to roll out to them. I started blogging to build community.

Once again, Happiness Engineers to the rescue! Several of these angelic and patient computer geniuses jumped in to help over the next few days. My Chuck Dickens post returned to the Reader without likes but with all of its comments intact. Whew!

Irony #4.

I made the same mistake TWICE!

After working on 18 Best Blog Tips for several days, I scheduled it for the following week. It was written while I used Yoast. When it posted after uninstalling the plugin, it didn’t end up in the Reader, again. GAH!

Blog tips from six years of blogging. New ways to promote, increase traffic, grow community, and more.

Cue the sound of crickets.

Luckily, some of my followers click from their email. Fellow blogger, Words from Anneli helped me solve that.

I had written it for WordPress bloggers. Most would never see it. It was my six-year Blogoversary post!

Sharing it on social media made me feel better. When my friends reblogged it, their post appeared in search. That was a relief.

Then I remembered Ben Huberman’s Community Pool. He hosts this event through the Daily Post on Mondays. The next one is September 18th. Bloggers share posts, ask questions, or jump in and help others in the comments. I shared 18 Best Blog Tips and explained how it was written for them after six years of blogging but how it wasn’t seen in the Reader because of my Yoast fiasco.

Irony #5.

Which brings me to coffee splatters on my computer screen. After all the nervous perspiration and lots of tears, it got Discovered. WOW!

Irony #6.

The last time I was Freshly Pressed (the antiquated term for Discover), I was heading to the Pikes Peak Writers Conference for the weekend. The word got out that An Open Letter to My Boobs (an irreverent letter to my fake boobs after double boobectomies), had gone somewhat viral. Writers introduced me as The Boob Lady.

grabbing my boobs

This time, I was on my way to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Colorado Gold Conference. What were the chances? I became the Blog Lady. (Not as popular as boobs, by the way.)

So, good for me. Whoopie ding dong day.

How does this article help you?

  • Upgrading to a Business site with the ability to install plugins is perfect for a blogger who knows their way around the back end of websites or is willing to learn. You’re still a part of the WordPress community and have the interactive black bar at the top of your site. When I have books to sell, I may try plugins again. Like I said, the Happiness Engineers are super talented and are one click away. (It always amazes me how fast they are!) They hope to fix the Reader Search and make plugins easier and more compatible for Business sites and community bloggers like me.
  • I would highly recommend following the Daily Post. They have daily prompts and share helpful information for WordPress bloggers. Leave a link, once in a while, in the comments of Community Pool and be sure to help others. You might get noticed!
  • There’s an About option on the top right corner of the Discover page. This is where the editors describe what Discover is all about. Scroll down and you’ll see a form. You can fill it out to nominate other bloggers for Discover. I discovered that yesterday!

Thank you again, Ben, the Happiness Engineers, and my followers. It’s time to clean my computer screen and get back to writing books.

Have you ever won an award? Have you ever made any mistakes here on WordPress? Are you willing to experiment or are stories like mine terrifying? Ha!

Click for more misadventures on the Wild Ride!

Related posts:

18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog, Increase Traffic, and More!

An Open Letter To My Boobs

An Open Letter From My Boobs

An Open Letter to New WordPress Bloggers