Tag Archives: wordpress

The Freshly Pressed Experience

When my post Old Barn Coat was featured on Freshly Pressed a few weeks ago, I had a couple of loyal readers ask me to comment on the experience. I wasn’t sure I wanted to write a post like this because in reality we can all look at the blogs that appear on the WordPress front page and easily see how much traffic these posts receive, even if only temporarily.

But, as I know a lot of people write a post-FP’d post, at least after the first time it happens, I thought I should fulfill my obligation as well. Because it really was a fun roller coaster ride of blogging activity that I wish could happen to everybody at least once! So here’s my very thorough analysis, based on my personal experience, broken down into categories and with graphical images to assist in documenting this event as simply and clearly as possible.

Statistical Bar Graph:

During a Freshly Pressed event:

twin towers

For about a week your statistical bar graph will look very similar to a pre-9/11 Manhattan with a very large spike in the early days.

After a Freshly Pressed event:

Cripple Creek

Your statistical bar graph will once again begin to look like the streetscape of Cripple Creek, CO, trending dramatically downhill.

Hits:

During a Freshly Pressed event:

Pete Rose

Your site will be breaking hit records like the great Pete Rose, who still holds the all-time Major League Baseball record for most hits in a career. Just don’t place any bets on who will be Freshly Pressed next or you might be banned from ever blogging again.

 After a Freshly Pressed event:

bill_bergen

Your daily hits will eventually drop back down to normal levels, somewhere in the statistical neighborhood of Bill Bergen, who during a 10 year Major League Baseball career, compiled a .170 batting average and is often considered the worst hitter in Major League baseball history among position players (non-pitchers).

Subscriptions:

During a Freshly Pressed event:

Wall Street Journal

Your subscriptions and stature will grow to levels comparable to the world renowned newspaper, The Wall Street Journal.

Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

Weekly World News

Perhaps more like the Weekly World News. That’s probably closer to the writing skills and stature most of us possess anyhow.

After a Freshly Pressed event:

Alright… look… let’s be frank…

Times Brownsville Oregon

You’ll still only have about as many readers as this local newspaper whose lead stories on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 had something to do with a grain elevator and a cat.

Comments:

During a Freshly Pressed event:

bieber

When your post hits the front page you’ll have commenters reaching out to you like the screaming girls at a Justin Beiber concert.

 After a Freshly Pressed event:

Crickets

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My Oprah Interview

OPRAH: We’re here today with the world-famous blogger, Steve Warner who writes the hugely successful blog The Brown Road Chronicles. As you know, the massive popularity and growth of this blog has put the spotlight brightly on Mr. Warner as suspicions of doping and the use of banned blogging substances and methods has been swirling around members of the WordPress community.

Okay, Mr. Warner, so when we met a week ago today, we agreed that there would be no holds barred, there would be no conditions on this interview, and that this would be an open field.

ME: I think that’s best for both of us.

OPRAH: I agree. So here we go, open field. So let’s start with the questions people all over the world have been waiting for you to answer.

ME: Okay.

OPRAH: Okay. This whole conversation, we have a lot of time, will be about the details, Yes or No. Did you ever take substances to enhance your blogging performance?

ME:  Yes… wine…

OPRAH: Wine?!? So you have used Alcohol while blogging?

ME: Mostly just wine.

OPRAH: Okay, I get it… you like wine… but have you ever used any banned substances?

ME: No, I don’t think so, I did try BlogGro once…

OPRAH: BlogGro? What is that? Is that a banned substance?

ME: No, I don’t think so. I didn’t work anyway. I think it was just one of those Infomercial Scams. They charged me like $12.95 for the shipping and handling fee. Plus, even though the whole thing was totally guaranteed, totally refundable, like most people I never sent it back.

OPRAH: Did you ever use any banned substances like Plaigerisimone or Copynpasterone to improve your blogging performance?

ME: No.

OPRAH: When you won all your blogging awards, like the Versatile Blogger Award and the Stylish Blogger Award were you under the influence of any banned substances?

ME: Sometimes wine…

OPRAH: LOOK, QUIT IT WITH THE WINE, WINE IS NOT A BANNED SUBSTANCE …

ME: I know, but I’m funnier when I’ve had wine.

OPRAH: Look, can we please get back on track here?

ME: Sorry.

OPRAH: Okay, so, you’ve never used any banned substances. Have you ever used any other illegal methods to improve your blogging performance?

ME: Well, I did go see a Therapist one time when I wasn’t feeling very funny. That helped a little.

OPRAH: Last I checked, seeing a therapist was not illegal.

ME: No, you’re probably right…

OPRAH: When you were Freshly Pressed, were you under the influence of any banned substances?

ME: Ummm… I’ve never been Freshly Pressed.

OPRAH: Seriously?!?

ME: I know, right?!?

OPRAH: Okay, so then let’s back up a little… have you ever used any banned substances in an effort to become Freshly Pressed?

ME: Ummm… uhhhh….. ummm….

OPRAH: You seem sort of nervous all of a sudden.

ME: Ummm… uhhhh….

OPRAH: Mr Warner, I’ll ask again, have you ever used any banned substances in an effort to become Freshly Pressed?

ME: Ummm… uhhhh….

OPRAH: I’m waiting…..

ME: (Silence)

OPRAH: Mr. Warner have you been using Freshlypresstosterone?

ME: (trying to change subject) Have you heard that story about the Notre Dame Football player with the fake girlfriend……?

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I need a new slogan!

I’ve decided I need a new slogan.

If you look up at the top of the page you’ll see my header. Now I’m not sure I’m interested in changing the whole header. It’s been around for a few years but I still think it’s pretty good. Instead, if you read the fine print at the bottom, you’ll see it says:

Stories about country living, old houses, dirt roads, raising kids and other amusing and inspirational anecdotes!

Lame…

Sure, that’s probably what it was about three years or so ago when this whole adventure started. Sometimes it’s still about some of those topics. On the other hand, sometimes that slogan fits about as well as the pair of designer jeans I just had to retire because I couldn’t get the button fastened.

Yeah… can you say… New Years Resolution?!?

Anyhow, as you know I could go out and hire my marketing agency, the creative types that produced this fabulous radio advertisement and these extra-fabulous t-shirt designs.  But frankly they are very expensive.  So I am looking for some advice, guidance and feedback on what this blog is really about.

Plus, I have recently become the proud new owner of the domain name; http://www.brownroadchronicles.com, so I feel like I’m a lot more important and successful than I usually think I am.

Now, a disclaimer: this is NOT A CONTEST. You will not win a pair of fuzzy dice or a bar of goats-milk soap or a Brown Road Chronicles t-shirt. I’m sorry! I don’t have the organizational capacity to run a contest.  Some of you are very good at running contests and giveaways. I’m very good at not running contests.  I’m just looking for some input even if you say “that’s a great slogan, don’t change it!” I may not use any of the ideas, but if you participate you will have my eternal love and gratitude which many of you have already… and what better prize is there?

So, there you have it!

Please keep it clean… this is a family site!

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My New Radio Advertisement

The State of Michigan tourism department, “Pure Michigan”, has for several years been running a highly successful and award-winning radio advertising campaign promoting all of the wonderful places that people can visit in the state. The voice-over artist is Tim Allen, of television and film fame, who was a long-time Michigan resident.

So after hearing these radio ads over and over again, I thought, what better way to get more readers than to produce a radio ad promoting my own blog, The Brown Road Chronicles.

I’ve been working very hard on this, please take a listen, it’s hosted on Sound Cloud, hope the link works. Maybe soon you’ll hear this on a radio station near you!

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The 100th Subscriber Contest

Yesterday I received my 99th subscription.  I know you are not supposed to discuss your subscription numbers, that’s kind of like discussing salaries around the workplace coffee station.  But I am going to break the rules and do it anyway. That may sound like a lot of subscriptions to some bloggers and not much to other bloggers, but I thought it was a pretty neat milestone that I was on the verge of 100 subscriptions.

Other than a very small handful of friends and family (under 5 people) all of my subscriptions are folks that I don’t know other than through this blog. They come from all over the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe and South Africa, which is really cool! I have never really opened this up to my local friends via Facebook, etc.  I have a reputation to protect, you know! I am proud to say I have earned these subscriptions through hard work, shameless commenting on other blogs, dropping a few f-bombs here and there, some cute little poems, and of course writing some pretty good posts (and admittedly some crappy ones as well) that have drawn people to hit the “subscribe” button. As well, because of the sauciness of some of my posts, I have not had the benefit of FP’d to bring readers to me. I’m not bitter about that… it’s okay… sniff… really… I’m not… sniff… seriously… not… sniff… bitter.

A few of my posts have been responsible for lot’s of subscriber activity.  BOOBS, of course, has brought me many readers.  Getting Fu…Fu… Freshly Pressed has brought me a good number of subscribers and is likely the reason I will never be Pressed… but that’s okay… sniff.  Most recently my post The Meaning of Life generated roughly 10 subscriptions. Apparently that struck a nerve with people.

So I’ve decided to hold a little contest to generate my 100th subscriber.

Here’s the rules:

1. You MUST be a WordPress user. It’s just easier to interact with WordPress users.

2. You must be the 100th subscriber.  Yeah, I know that seems pretty obvious! But if I don’t get a chance to announce who the winner is right away and you subscribe thinking you won and someone beat you to it… well… you get the picture.

3. You can’t be a current subscriber… yeah, I know… duh!

Okay, so those are the only rules.

What do you win?

Well, as soon as I can, after seeing that wonderful e-mail come in that tells me the 100th subscriber subscribed, I will edit this post and tell everyone who that blogger is and put a big ‘ol link back to their blog

Then, if you want to, you will win the opportunity to write one guest post on my blog (yes, at my discretion).  That will, of course, put you in front of 99 other bloggers.  Not that 99 are really reading, so maybe 75 other bloggers… or perhaps 50 other bloggers… or perhaps only 25… actually I don’t really know how many of those subscriptions are actively reading.  But in any case, I’ll let you write a guest post.

That’s all you get… sorry there is no money involved… no little graphic awards. You know how I feel about awards, right?  So let’s get this party started. Good luck.

Ready…

Set…

Go…

WE HAVE A WINNER!!

Sarah at Keeping the End in Mind is the 100th subscriber! A quick glance at Sarah’s blog and she appears to be very new to the blogging scene, so please take a peek and give her a warm welcome to our little neighborhood of the WordPress community.  Her theme seems to be about “self-coaching” which is something I think we could all probably do better.  I can’t quite figure out where she is from but some of the word spellings lead me to believe she is not in the U.S.  We’ll see!

Now Sarah, first I will encourage you to update your “ABOUT” page as that is one of the first places readers go when they decide to stalk your blog.  Then, if you’d like to write a fabulous guest post I will post it on my blog here for all these other fine folks to read.  So, introduce yourself, write about whatever you want people to read or know about you, whatever… just keep it… you know… mostly clean.  This is a family oriented blog you know! Yeah and don’t ask all those commenters about that… they don’t know what they’re talking about.

You can reach me by commenting here, or at stevetwarner@yahoo.com.

Thanks for visiting Brown Road… and for being my 100th subscriber!  Myself and 99 other readers look forward to what you have to say!

Steve

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Someone just subscribed to your blog…

Part of the Phone Calls to Julie Series.

Ring, ring…

WP: Hello, WordPress technical support, this is Julie, how can I help you today?

ME: Hi Julie, thank you for taking my call, I’m terribly concerned, Someone just subscribed to my blog.

WP: Ummm, okay…. uhh… congratulations?

ME: Oh… that’s what the e-mail said too, congratulations.

WP: What e-mail would that be?

ME: Well, the one that said that Someone just subscribed to my blog. It addressed me with the word “Howdy”. Do you think Someone thinks I am a cowboy? I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “Howdy” before.

WP: Is this the guy from Brown Road Chronicles?

ME: Yes, yes, you remember me? I’ve called you about my BOOBS. You have been very helpful the last couple of times I have called. Have you read my blog yet?

WP: No sir, I still have not read your blog.

ME: Oh, that’s too bad, it’s really great!

WP: Sir, I am sure your blog is great, but really, is there something important I can help you with? I am very busy today? We are getting a lot of angry callers because we changed the subscription function on all of our member’s blogs without telling anybody. Now everybody is mad and the phones are ringing off the hook.

ME: Oh yes, I did notice that as well. I think that’s okay, I don’t know what everybody is all worked up about.

WP: SIR, PLEASE IS THERE SOMETHING I CAN HELP YOU WITH?

ME: Oh yes, I’m very sorry, I’m terribly concerned, Someone subscribed to my blog today?

WP: Yes, you mentioned that… uh…and why is that a problem? Most bloggers are happy when Someone subscribes to their blogs.

ME: Oh my, does Someone subscribe to a lot of blogs? Do you know who Someone is?

WP: What does that mean “do I know who Someone is?”

ME: Well, it sounded like you maybe know who they were.

WP: Knew who who is?

ME: Someone.

WP: SIR… I am going to hang up if you don’t tell me how I can help you today.

ME: Oh, I am terribly sorry, please don’t hang up. You see, I got an e-mail today that said “Howdy, Someone just subscribed to your blog, Brown Road Chronicles.”

WP: Uhhh… okay… and what is wrong with that?

ME: Well, it didn’t tell me who Someone is… you know, and tell me what their blog site is. It just said Someone subscribed to my blog today and it had an e-mail address and where they were from. I thought that was kind of creepy. And it said “Howdy”. Do you think Someone thinks I am a cowboy?

WP: Sir, it’s just an automated e-mail when a reader subscribes to a blog. I don’t know why it says Howdy, but no one here thinks you’re a cowboy… and it said Someone because it was a subscriber that doesn’t have a WordPress account. So we don’t know who they are.

ME: Oh my… you don’t know who they are? Does that mean they don’t have an About page that will tell me if they are a stalker or not?

WP: No, there is no About page, but don’t worry, it’s probably just someone that read something you wrote and found it interesting.

ME: Oh yes, yes… the stuff I write is very interesting. It’s very funny too. Have you read my blog?

WP: SIR, I JUST TOLD YOU I HAVE NOT READ YOUR BLOG!

ME: Oh you’re right, I’m sorry, you did say that. I just got excited when you told me my posts were interesting.

WP: I didn’t say your posts were interesting, I said that maybe this person who subscribed to your blog perhaps thought your posts were interesting.

ME: You mean Someone?

WP: Sir, please stop it with the Someone! Yes, I was referring to this person who subscribed to your blog.

ME: So you don’t think there is anything I need to worry about?

WP: No, I don’t think there is anything to worry about. But remember Sir, blogs are very public spaces. Anybody can subscribe to your blog.

ME: Oh my… who’s Anybody?

Click

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BOOBS

Ring, ring

WP: Hello, WordPress technical support, this is Julie, how can I help you today?

ME: Thank you for taking my call, I am terribly concerned, I think I might be developing BOOBS.

Click

Ring, ring

WP: Hello, WordPress technical support, this is Julie, how can I help you today?

ME: Hi, I just called a second ago, I think we got disconnected.

WP: Okay sir, how can I help you today?

ME: I think I’m developing BOOBS.

WP: This isn’t funny sir… is there something I can help you with?

ME: Have you seen my blog, Brown Road Chronicles?

WP: I am sorry sir, no I haven’t. WordPress has over 300,000 blogs, I can’t read all of them.

ME: It’s a great blog… about country living and other funny stuff.

WP: I am sure it is… Is there something I can assist you with today… besides your BOOBS?

ME: I think my blog is broken.

WP: You think your blog is broken?

ME: Yes, it doesn’t appear to be working properly… and I think I am developing BOOBS.

WP: Sir, please stop that or I will hang up! Can you give me some details about what doesn’t seem to be working properly.

ME: Well, it’s not tracking visitors like it should be.

WP: You mean on your stats page?

ME: Yes, yes, exactly, on the stats page. It’s not tracking visitors correctly.

WP: What makes you think it is not tracking visitors correctly?

ME: Well, I’ve checked my stats page 846 times today and it’s only showing 11 hits. I’ve been getting 60-90 hits per day.

WP: Well sir, some days are better than others, maybe it’s just a slow day.

ME: No, it can’t be a slow day, I wrote a story about Macaroni and Cheese yesterday. It was funny and I thought it would generate lots of hits today.

WP: Well sir, some days your subscribers just get busy and they don’t have the time that day to visit and read your blog… and maybe it just wasn’t as funny as you thought.

ME: No, no that’s not it… my subscribers all visited, I don’t have very many of those but it looks like they’ve all been hanging around because they’ve left comments. But I’m not getting all those extra hits that I usually get. You know, from the people that don’t leave comments.

WP: Well, sir, have you written anything new today?

ME: Can you excuse me just a second, the light on my phone is blinking. I may have some comments to read.

WP: Uh… okay?

A few minutes later

ME: Hi, I am back, sorry it was just some spam about one of those… you know… male enhancement medicines. Have you read my post about Cialis?

WP: No, I haven’t.  Now where… where were we? Oh yes, have you written anything new today?

ME: No, not yet.

WP: Well, maybe you need to write something new and post it today. One of the five ways of increasing blog readership is to write and post valuable content frequently.

ME: But I don’t have anything interesting or valuable to write today. I’ve only been at this for a month and I’m already running out of good ideas.

WP: Okay, well that happens sometimes. Have you read anyone else’s blog and left comments on their pages.

ME: No, I haven’t had time to do that today. I’ve been too busy checking my stats page.

WP: Well, maybe you just need to take a few days off and not write anything and don’t worry about your stats. I think it’s tracking properly though, I think today’s just a slow day and I am sorry that you’ve only had 11 visitors.

ME: No, I think it must be broken. My stories are really good!

WP: Yes, I am sure they are. Most bloggers think their stories are really good. Most bloggers have this delusion that they are going to be famous authors someday, when in reality the majority will just disappear eventually. I am sorry that you only have 11 hits today but I am confident that your site is not broken.

ME: But I’ve been getting 60-90 hits a day, I even got 95 one day when I wrote about my guitar and I got 91 one day when I wrote about getting Freshly Pressed.

WP: Yes, I understand, sir, but I still don’t think anything is wrong with your site.

ME: Well… can you log onto the site and see if anything looks out of place.

WP: Sir… I am sure nothing is out of place but I will take a look.

5 minutes later

WP: Hello, are you still there?

ME: Yes, I am still here. I checked my stats page 27 times while you had me on hold and I still only have 11 visitors. And I think I might be developing BOOBS.

WP: Sir, I don’t know what you are talking about with your BOOBS. But I checked the site and nothing was amiss. But I am concerned that you might be developing OBD.

ME: OBD, what is that?

WP: OBD is Obsessive Blogging Disorder. It is characterized by excessive-compulsive blogging activities like writing articles when you don’t have anything interesting to write about and constantly checking your blog stats to see how many people visited your site.

ME: Oh my, that sounds frightening, do you think I am checking it too often? I just looked at it 12 times while you were talking. Do you think I have, uh, what did you call it OBD?

WP: Yes, it sounds like you may have the onset of OBD.

ME: You think I have the onset of OBD? I think I am developing BOOBS. What can I do about this?

WP: Sir, this is not funny, stop talking about your BOOBS.

ME: Oh, sorry… I am not talking about MY boobs. BOOBS is just an acronym I made up for Badly Obsessing Over Blog Statistics. I think I am developing BOOBS.

WP: You are not developing BOOBS sir, but you are at high risk for OBD.

ME: Is there something I can do about it?

WP: Well, at present there doesn’t seem to be any cure. We recommend you just keep blogging. In fact, here at WordPress, we’ve instituted a post-a-day competition to try to help people work through the OBD condition.

ME: Oh, well maybe I could do that.

WP: But sir, you just told me you didn’t have anything interesting to write about today.

ME: Well I don’t really.

WP: So how are you going to post something today?

ME: Well, I don’t know… maybe I could post something about Obsessive Blogging Disorder or about me developing BOOBS.

WP: Sir, seriously! Stop it with the BOOBS! I think that it would be a good idea for you to start writing something. If you start typing it might help you be less concerned about your stats. Is there anything else I can help you with?

ME: No, thank you so much! You have been a big help… but now I need to get started writing.  Have a good day.

WP: You too and thank you for calling WordPress. Goodbye.

Click

ME: Okay, how do I get started… let’s see… oh, I know…

Begin typing…

Ring, ring

WP: Hello, WordPress technical support, this is Julie how can I help you today…………

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