Joining The Magic Blue Sticker People

Freshly Pressed Logo

I got Freshly Pressed recently. They give you a logo to put on your blog to show the world that you are one of the special ones. A magic blue sticker to plaster on your wall. (Not that many would see it these days by the time people use the Reader, the app or the email to read your post and never even make it to your actual blogsite. WordPress might want to think about that.)

When you start blogging, getting Freshly Pressed is the Holy Grail. (BYO coconut shells.)


You see it as a) the way to grow your readership and b) an affirmation of the quality of your blog.

For some, that affirmation comes early. For most of us, however, it might as well be an Oscar for how achievable it seems.

I long ago gave up my Freshly Pressed aspirations. In fact, I’d recently taken it as a point of anti-establishment pride not to have been Freshly Pressed. I joined the Never Been Freshly Pressed Club (yes, there’s a club!) and hung out with my non-high-achieving mates.

So when I got the email to tell me my Voluntourism post had been Freshly Pressed, my first reaction was to burst out laughing.

My second reaction was to feel nervous. I felt as if I’d been invited to eat at the Dean’s Scholars’ private dining table when all I really wanted to do was sit at the corner table in the cafeteria with my dorky mates. (Hi Joanne and Maggie!)


If you’ve never been Freshly Pressed, let me just warn you that the email you get that says “Congrats! You’ve been Freshly Pressed!” should actually read “Congrats! You’re going to be Freshly Pressed some time in the future and we’re not going to tell you when!” In my case, that took nine days.

I’ve often described blogging as being like a dinner party with lots of conversation and different views expressed. I love it. Getting Freshly Pressed means your dinner party gets gatecrashed. Most of them just stay long enough to drink your booze and then disappear. Presumably to move onto the next Magic Blue Sticker party.


You get a lot of new followers. Some days, as the notifications flowed in, I’d take on the persona of a paranoid and start shouting “STOP FOLLOWING ME!”

Strange people follow you. “I’m really not interested in buying real estate in India!” I called out but the blogger had already ducked down a side street in pursuit of someone else.

But lots of lovely people took the time to stop for a chat. They shared their own volunteering stories or told me they hoped to volunteer one day and my post had been helpful to them and some offered critical responses. (I’ll take criticism as long as it’s constructive.) Some flew past with a “I like this post!” but I wasn’t having any of that. I’d grab their arm and ask “What do you like about it?” Usually they’d just remove their arm and wander off without answering.

Some comments were…er…interesting…

First comment

Most normal people would probably let that go and just hit Like or even just ignore it.

I never said I was normal.

Full comment

Sometimes you just have to have a little fun to keep your sanity intact. (Or, in my case, to keep my normal insanity intact.)

A couple of people asked me for advice on how to grow their readership like I was some sort of blogging guru. I had to gently point out that I’d been at this caper for two years before getting Freshly Pressed (almost to the day as it happens). But because I am an inherently helpful person, I also gave them my tips for blogging. They’re kind of like the ones authors give to aspiring writers. You know, the ones they don’t want to hear because it involves work.

Tips for Growing Your Readership:

You have to read other blogs. Not just any blogs. Read posts by bloggers who write about the same things you’re interested in. Otherwise, it’s a relationship destined to fail because you don’t have enough in common.

You have to take the time to make a comment – a real comment, not just a “I like this!” drive-by comment. If they like what you have to say, they’ll come to your blog to check you out.

Keep writing even if some days it feels like you’re shouting over the traffic.

One person responded with thanks for the advice. The other I never heard from again.

It would be nice to think that this flurry of Likes and new followers will lead to bigger and rowdier dinner parties here at the MOSY abode but I doubt it.

And you know what? I don’t care.

For starters, I got some very important information out into a wider field than I could have managed on my own and for that I am grateful to the WordPress editors for choosing this post for Freshly Pressed.

The advantage of being Freshly Pressed so late in a blogging career is that you’ve already established your own circle of blogging friends who come to your dinner parties and always bring a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates. Comment exchanges become more interesting to read than the post because we’re all friends here and it’s safe to make a joke, poke fun or confess a guilty secret.

I’ll gladly welcome anyone else who wants to sit down with us in the future but come prepared with your rapid-fire witty rejoinders because that’s what it’s like around here.

Time to paaaaarrrrrttttyyyyyy!!





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112 thoughts on “Joining The Magic Blue Sticker People

  1. It’s all rawther mysterious, this blue label (you used to say that !) business; but without doubt your post deserved one, H me little love. In spades. As do you.
    I see Jude is asking the imponderable: how like her ! [grin]

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The great thing about rapid fire witty rejoinders on a blog is you can wait an hour, or a day or a…. to respond 😉 In “real life” people are usually 20 or 30 rejoinders ahead before I say, “Remember that thing you said a half an hour ago? Well, this is what i have to say about it….”

    Congrats on your little blue magic sticker!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I was freshly pressed years ago, when I had no idea what it was all about…only my stats and emails went through the roof, and I was dumbfounded. Nothing in my life changed, really, as a result. I have no idea who those persons are, who make the judgement.

    After you were fresh pressed, for about a week I got a lot of mysterious “liked your comment” emails about a comment I made on your blog. That confused me, too, until I realized you had been fresh pressed.

    I just hope you’re satisfied, now, and we don’t have to hear any more whining about not having a blue sticker. And since I am of the generation that thought “Party” was a noun, and not a verb, I guess I won’t be staying up late enough to join the celebration.

    Still, Congratulations!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Sorry about those emails. I would have sent out a warning about the “click Like on every single comment on the post” nuisance people but it was already underway by the time I figured out what was happening. I just crossed my fingers and toes that there wouldn’t be too many of them.

      Now I’ll just be whining about why my friends don’t have one. Or possibly whining because I do have one and now they won’t let me sit with them at lunchtime.

      Cynthia, you may read the last line as “Let’s have a paaaarrrrrrttttttyyyyy!!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like Cynthia, too tired to join the party. Congratulations Heather on being awarded your blue sticker! You do deserve it. I love the way you include video clips to illustrate your posts. I’m too tired for witticisms as I’ve had family staying a week… will take me a week to feel anywhere near normal again..

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Heather! Hi Joanne. Hi MJ and MR and Trent (I suppose I better insert an “et al” at this point. No, wait…) Hi to the drivers-by, too. And Cynthia? I know exactly what you mean – anytime one of my blogging buds gets a fresh blue sticker, I get additional traffic on my blog, too. Is that what they call “drive-by drive-by commenting”?

    Liked by 4 people

  5. As reigning President of the NBFP club, in honor of your achievement and on behalf of all our members, I’d like to send you a collective “raspberry”. Of course, we mean it in the nicest possible way.

    P.S. We miss you.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. As a new blogger I found you through your freshly pressed article and I enjoyed your reflection. As a new blogger I was looking for likes and followers and after only a week I’ve realised I blog for me and need to focus on that. Thanks for reaffirming those thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! Blog for you. Otherwise, it’s not enjoyable. Sometimes I go back to one of my early posts and I’m almost shocked to see only one Like and no comments. It feels like I’ve had this thriving blogging community around me forever. So that’s the other thing I would say to you, just keep going and doing what you enjoy, communicate with other bloggers you enjoy and it will all come together without you even realising it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Gee, I have the whole weekend to wallow in my feelings of inadequacy. I never realized I wanted one of those stickers. I can see I have to polish up my writing instead of sitting here playing solitaire all morning.
    In a more serious vein, your Voluntourism post was a killer and I’m glad someone was savvy enough to pick it up. Congrats—wear it in good health. And good luck answering all those new comments. You could hire some help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t wish for a blue sticker, Kayti. It’s a burden. Oh, the pressure to perform…. the expectations to repeat my success…. how will I ever cope?


      Actually, that’s just another reason I’m glad it only came around now. I can take it with a pinch of pragmatism. I’d hate to have been Freshly Pressed early on, raising expectations and then be wondering why it didn’t happen again.

      I’ve been missing from the Blogosphere lately because any time I got, I had to use to answer comments. Well, plus I was hiding in doorways trying to shake all those strange people following me. (And some of them are very strange.)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Heather let me first say a big congratulations and a big hug. Ever since your Crumb Wars series I have expected the blue sticker would find it’s way to you. Those posts are still some of my faves. I very much agree that one needs to keep writing in a way that suits each person. Some of the best advice I ever received early in blogging is if it isn’t fun stop doing it. My feeling is there is no need to apologize for being recognized by the editors of WordPress. Your post was excellent and yours is a blog I love to visit. Keep writing, keep having fun and know that some of those folks who turn up in the frenzy of the FP award turn out to be loyal followers and amazing people. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Sue. You’re very generous. I think it helped me enormously to forget about statistics and the whole FP thing and do my own thing. It’s freeing to just write what you feel compelled to write. And the Voluntourism post came out of that as much as anything else. I had to ask myself again if I was doing the right thing with the Nepal trip and then I just had to write about the thoughts in my head. But isn’t it funny when you let go of something and then it comes to you? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is indeed Heather. Last summer I had spent almost a year hoping for the blue sticker. Posts I thought had a chance didn’t receive the happy email. Then when in Italy and after the crush of tourism in Pompeii, I wrote from the heart about the irony of a site of a natural disaster being under siege and the email arrived shortly thereafter. Perhaps it’s just that reinforcement that we need to write as we feel it. Again sincere congrats Heather. Very well deserved!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I am glad that you got Freshly Pressed (as it were, I am sure you yourself are fresh and pressed enough as it is) as it meant I came across your blog and decided that you were the type of person that I wanted to read more from.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey, congratulations on getting the call and becoming a Freshly Pressed laureate! I took great pride in the fact that you got it for your post on voluntourism since I’d already read and (I think) commented on that one. It gives me greater credibility when I say to other bloggers, “Of course, I knew her before she was famous.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Congratulations on getting Freshly Pressed. I thought your volunteerism post covered great ground on the subject, well deserved! Never too late to be Freshly Pressed. Now, wear that badge with pride 🙂 I remember getting the honour about a couple of months after starting my blog, and that was almost there years ago.

    Great tip on growing readership. Read other blogs – there is always something to learn from them. Leaving insightful comments usually shows that you (perhaps) like their work, or find what they say interesting and I suppose this is where the foundations of trust and respect start to build here in the blog world 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mabel. Gosh, how did you cope with success so early?

      I think most of us start out wanting to be heard but it’s when you realise that half the fun is in the listening and in mutual communication that you really get the most out of it all.


      • I didn’t even knew what Freshly Pressed was when I got it back then…so unprepared. So true. Sometimes I find reading and responding to comments to posts are so much more interesting than writing and planning a post 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Aha! So that’s why I was getting all those likes on my comment. My ego is crushed! Well….not really….I did wonder what was so fascinating. Isn’t blogging weird? Not the blogging bit, but the other bits that come along with it. It can’t be just me, right? The ego inflation and fret when the likes come or don’t…then I realize, as you’ve described, there’s really only a small community of bloggers who’re really reading and commenting and sharing these ideas, and the rest are drive-by likers.
    If I say you deserve the fame, is that like saying you deserve the punishment? By the way, love your IT Crowd bit. And for an introvert like me, the blog world party is the best party. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Blogging is definitely weird. Isn’t it kind of a relief when you realise that stuff? So much easier just to impress your friends. 🙂
      I love the IT Crowd. So cringingly hilarious.
      I think there are a lot of introverts in the Blogosphere having a whale of a time!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s true, I’m one of those who starting following you because I saw your entry freshly pressed. I was disoriented in this world of “what to follow” and clicked on yours. I think I did it because I found it interesting for a nice discussion with my students. And it’s also very true that I don’t know how far my “following your site” will last. But I happened to have read this post and I can tell you I have found it even more interesting than “Voluntourism”, if only for my own reflection. At least you got freshly pressed and can have the opportunity to decline the offer; you have been recognised for something you’ve done with no intention of rewarding (or so I suppose) and you can still say ‘I want to remain where I am’. That requires having the whole picture of the experience. If you hadn’t received that email, still you wouldn’t have known what it would be like otherwise, right? Don’t know how much you like “Lord of the Rings” (if at all), but it’s like when Gandalf refused to receive the ring from Frodo’s free offering. He knew what it meant to bear it being himself so powerful.

    Hope this dissertation hasn’t taken much of your time. I only meant to thank you for sharing, whether freshly pressed or coincidentally met. Hope I don’t disappear too soon as a follower, but who knows?

    Many thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, you get bonus points for quoting Gandalf. 🙂 And you’ve made some really great comments. Thank you. I hope you do stick around but if not, that’s okay too. I’ve also found that sometimes you follow a blog for a while because it suits you at the time but down the track it may not and it’s okay to find other blogs to follow. There are only so many posts you can read! Good luck in the Blogosphere. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  15. I’m three years late to this party. In my defense, I wasn’t even blogging when it came out. I will commiserate with the sense of absolute isolation you faced earlier on before being Recently Juiced. There are days when I stare at my WordPress page and wonder…is anyone besides newbie wanna-bloggers who are not even finished setting up their page or just direct-to-spam-folder marketeers swishing in and out of my life?

    I can’t say I have mastered witty repartee. But, I am a dogged seeker of funny and will hunt down what makes me smile, possibly long after the writer has left the blogosphere. In this way, I am affirming you are immortal, if only in a you-have-a-digital-stalker sense.

    Liked by 1 person

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