On Friday, October 15th, one of SixEstate’s client newsblogs — Childhood Obesity News — was featured on WordPress.com’s “Freshly Pressed.” Freshly Pressed is a feed located front and center on WordPress.com that highlights 10 or so new blog posts every day that “represent how WordPress can be used to entertain, enlighten, or inspire,” according to Joy Victory, Editorial Czar at WordPress.
Childhood Obesity News is sponsored by eHealth International and Dr. Robert A. Pretlow, a renowned pediatrician who has devoted decades of his career to researching and raising awareness about the childhood obesity epidemic. His research, which is the focus of his new book, Overweight: What Kids Say, is based on what overweight kids think and say about this growing problem. Surprisingly enough, this is a perspective that’s almost completely overlooked by researchers.
Getting placed on Freshly Pressed is an extremely significant accomplishment, considering there are almost 800,000 blog posts published on WordPress.com daily, and Childhood Obesity News is a relatively new platform, less than six months old. Pat Hartman, lead blogger for Childhood Obesity News, has done a fantastic job directly connecting Dr. Pretlow’s research with what’s going on today with kids, parents, schools, and the food industry, among other societal factors that play a role in this epidemic. The goal of the blog is indeed to enlighten readers about the childhood obesity epidemic and inspire change.
So, aside from entertaining, enlightening or inspiring, what does it take to get featured on Freshly Pressed? Joy Victory, in the post I mention above, states five criteria that WordPress editors look for in a post:
- “Write unique content that’s free of bad stuff.”
- “Include images or other visuals.”
- “Add tags.”
- “Aim for typo-free content.”
- “Cap off your post with a compelling headline.”
Compare these criteria with SixEstate’s own standards for Newsblogging, and you’ll see why SixEstate blogs rise to the top at WordPress. We require all blog posts to cite at least one respected news source. All posts must have a compelling image that can be used legally. And all SixEstate posts go through a separate editor to make sure the headlines are strong, the tags are accurate, and there are no typos.
Every newsblog post adheres to all the criteria above, plus a wealth of additional journalistic and style guidelines. So it’s not exactly surprising that Pat’s post, “When There’s Nothing to Do but Eat,” was featured on Freshly Pressed; but it sure has been flattering.
So, what did Freshly Pressed do for traffic? The post was featured on Friday and remained up through Sunday night. Here are the results to date:
- 1,637 visits on Friday
- 1,262 visits on Saturday
- 1,316 visits on Sunday
- 743 visits on Monday
- And a total of 91 comments so far on the featured post!
It will be interesting to see how long the traffic spike continues. But it’s the array of insightful comments that has been most meaningful. It’s been amazing to see how passionately people feel about the growing problem of childhood obesity. Whether you’re overweight or skinny, it just hits home on so many levels. And you can see that when you read through dozens and dozens of similar AND different perspectives in the comments.
So, thank you, WordPress, for featuring Childhood Obesity News. Thank you, Pat Hartman, for blogging such compelling content every day. And thank you, Dr. Pretlow, for providing not just the research, but the unflagging dedication to fighting the childhood obesity epidemic.
Source: “Five Ways to Get Featured on Freshly Pressed,” Just Another WordPress Weblog, 04/28/10
Image: Screen shot of Childhood Obesity News on Freshly Pressed, used under Fair Use: Reporting.