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The Community Pool is for those of you looking for input, whether on post ideas, writing, blog design and layout,…

The Community Pool is for those of you looking for input, whether on post ideas, writing, blog design and layout, or anything else. If you have a post, page, or idea you want to bounce off someone, leave a comment. Your fellow bloggers can then click through and offer input either on your site, or in the comments here (feel free to indicate which you’d prefer).

Read on for the ground rules and to leave a comment . . .

  • You’ll get the best feedback if you can be as specific as possible about what you’d like people to respond to or where you’re struggling.
  • Please keep all comments civil and constructive. We’re here to help and support one another, not to beat anyone down.
  • If you haven’t looked at our Commenting Guidelines in a while, now might be a good time.
  • No running on the deck.

Photo by t_a_i_s.

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      1. I know! And, I find, I am more likely to explore the commenter’s blogs than those of people who simply “like” it. I’d be so helpful if people left something more than “So pretty!” and “Great post!” — but I am thankful for those too.

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      2. I agree. Although I appreciate and like I receive, I’m much more likely to check out a commenter’s blog.

        I also understand why people don’t comment – sometimes you simply have nothing to say on the matter! :)

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      3. I’ve been seeing an ugly trend in the “Likes” recently… Likes by spammers. They haven’t read the post, they don’t descriminate about the topic, they just automatically “Like” the new posts to give a link back to their site which is focused on selling something in order to boost their SEO (and as a bonus maybe you’ll click to view their advertisement too).

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      4. I’ve also noticed this. I suppose there are endless ways spammers can well, spam, in this day. It’s unfortunate really, particularly as there are so many (somewhat) honest salesmen/women.

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      5. when your are new writing, fears come to your mind and the fact to see a ,’ like’ in your post is exiting but could be more exiting and constructive eave comments. I am new writing and I would love to know what the community think about my job.

        I think if you like something (and as we all are writers in one or other way) I would love to know what you like most…..

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    1. My blog is here: http://liquidmatthew.wordpress.com/ I’m mostly looking for general feedback, but I’m most interested in how I can improve my About Me page, and whether the topics I’m posting about seem coherent. I’m worried I’m spread out too thinly, trying to cover too much. Thanks!

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    2. I also like to see comments, it kind of puts a face and personality to the reader. One thing that used to really bug me was that in stats section I would see 12 views for a particular posts but more than 15 likes. So I was like how could people like something they didn’t even read.
      Anyway I have stopped doing detailed analysis. I am happier to receive comments and chat with my readers :)

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    3. I also like comments more than likes, but I appreciate both. If I ask questions in my posts, I genuinely want to start a conversation/care about the response To me, blogging is not a gallery.

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  1. Last week I got some great feedback but, me being somewhat greedy, am back for some more.

    This week I’d love to know what type of thing you guys like to read on blogs and if my blog covers it.

    My blog is Opinionated Duck and I’ll be browsing the comments and giving feedback as much as I can. I’ll also be checking out some of your blogs too, my main priority being those that help me out but I’ll check some others out too.

    Happy blogging and keep writing! :) Thanks!

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    1. Hi, I have just started a blog; I am learning as I go. I have been looking a number to call for customer support and realize there is not one. I stumbled onto this page. You seemed to be very knowledgeable so perhaps you can help me. O.k so first, the Community Pool page said this is where you could leave ideas, comments… but I did not see where I could start my own comments, questions only where I could reply to others.

      Next, my original problem for seeking help. My blog is about stories of my family, cooking, recipes… I am receiving replies that have nothing to do with my blog; responses about shoes, clothing, and casinos gambling. Why and how do I stop receiving them? Is it possible that my address somehow got crossed with others?

      Thank you for your help,

      Linda

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      1. Hi Linda,

        You can leave your comments by scrolling to the bottom of the page and typing into the box that says ‘Leave a reply’. :)

        The likely hood of things are that you’ve been being spammed. This is a common problem among many bloggers have to deal with. You can mark these comments as spam on your dashboard.

        I hope I helped in the slightest. Good luck upon your blogging journey!

        OpD

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      2. If you haven’t already done it, you might also want to adjust your settings to require approval of comments before they appear on your blog. Otherwise, those spam comments might end up in the comment section of your posts.

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      3. go under Setting and click Discussion Settings. These settings will limit your spam. You can add words to comment black list to block some of the spam.

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    2. I just took a look at your blog and decided to be a follower :)

      Now I have two comments. The first is that I hope you write about whatever is interesting to you. This is not a job where you have to write what we tell you. I want to see your own personality, thoughts and interests on your blog. I hope this does not offend you.

      The second comment is I had a problem with your blog downloading on my laptop. I don’t know what your theme is supposed to look like but the whole right side of the computer screen was black. It did not look right.

      I hope this does not sound too negative. I am a pretty positive person and I look forward to reading your blog :)

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      1. I was wondering, who was this comment directed to? :) It just seems that it is coming up as a reply to both Linda and my comments

        Thanks :)

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    3. I just had a look at your blog, and found your wide range of posts interesting and insightful, with a nice simple layout as well as your own unique touches. After reading around a little I decided to become a follower, and can’t wait to read more. I really liked the writing prompts, and as I am a new blogger they are great ideas for starting new posts. I liked the photographs you have used, as well. :)

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    1. Hi, not sure about the blog template you are using. All your widgets are at the bottom of the page rather than down the side – I initially thought you did not have any. The first thing I look for on a blog is how you subscribe and an index of some description.

      Does anyone else agree with this?

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    2. I agree with Piglet In Portugal, I’d change the theme if I were you. :) The widgets are particularly crowded and difficult to find. I also don’t like to read a blog if the design is off.

      There are many themes you might consider, even if you want to remain minimalistic. Just take into consideration these points:

      Appearance
      Navigation
      Over-crowding
      Legibility

      As for the content, I believe you have some thought-provoking posts. In particular, Let There Be Peace.

      I see that you’re fairly new and as long as you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll do well.

      Keep up the good work!

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      1. I agree with the commentators above about the theme. Perhaps it’s just my laptop or the general lack of savvy with technology, but when I go to your blog, these wide dark margins appear on both sides of the screen–sort of “dead space”. It seems like a waste. Also it makes me wonder if that theme was more primed for cell phone reading.

        Also, I agree that you should make it easier for people to see and access your widgets. When I think, “Oh, I want to subscribe to this blog” or “Oh, I wonder if this author wrote about THIS specific thing”–I automatically look to the top right of the screen. I think it’d be helpful to have the widgets there. I didn’t even realize that you had those widgets there until I saw the comments above.

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      1. If it’s Google Translate that does it–it’s a yes and a no. It is not a good, smooth translation, but it does get the point across. May be helpful, but with a caveat–you should make it clear where the translation comes from (“Google Translate”, for example), so people can adjust their expectations accordingly.

        That said, HOW do you add that translate option? :-)

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      1. I am not sure if it is better than nothing. If I read a machine translation of something, I may believe that the original is also crap, just based on the crappy translation. It might do a disservice to you as a writer.

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      2. Machine translation is a joke. No chance to read my German blog using it. And I often wonder how could it work to do some aesthetic posts and to see it in a cellphone at the same time. That are expectations which couldn’t be fullfilled. It’s even a sad joke to see big photos on a laptop screen.

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    1. I use translation software and have no issues with the translation. Sometimes the sentence structure is awkward for me, but I still understand the meaning and that is all good with me.

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    1. I also find titles the hardest to come up with. Trying to get the balance between humour, thought-provocative and short always troubles me.

      I don’t know of what help I’d be but I am willing to try, could you like my to the correct link please? :)

      Good luck!

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    2. I actually like that title. I am a newbie blogger, so can’t really comment on how to maximize traffic, but, as a reader, I would respond to this. It reflects the feel of the blog and adds a sense of your voice at the very beginning. Also, I thought exactly THAT about my cat, so I’d want to read it.

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    3. Titles can be so hard! I liked the title, though. Sometimes, I think, we just have to roll with it. It sparks an interest from the reader–which is the most important thing.

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  2. I don’t know what blogging is,I’m a beginng writer with one book published The Runaway Files,by Tennessee Nate.I supposed tthis could be used as a journal.
    I would have to say spriits down today.My publisher told me in a month they are merging with Radom House.They said onlyauthors that sell well will be kept.All other authors they won’t print on demand know more.But for $800 I can get book turned into screen play.

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    1. Blogging is about sharing. Sharing information, creativity, or thoughts. Since you are a beginner at both blogging and writing, you could choose to blog about the writing experience from the beginner’s viewpoint. There are many Indies here; you can connect with a few and see what they are doing to promote their material.

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  3. I noticed people are using pingback but I am having trouble enabling it on my blog. I went to the support section and my screen options don’t have the same options listed as on the support example. What might I be doing wrong?

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    1. OK, not sure if this will help, but here goes: From the Dashboard, under Settings, go to Discussion Settings and then tick the box that says “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)”

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  4. Next month I will have been blogging for a year. My content is geared towards architecture & sustainability. I would like tips on how to get followers to be more interactive in commenting or making suggestions about what they would like to see! I love to feature photos of architecture, take the weekly photo challenge to show my perspective of the subject, and share my point of view on architecture and share my knowledge of sustainability. I also like to involve randoms of my life because I feel it makes my blog more personal. It is about architecture, design and sustainability, but is also about my journey in learning more about all of those fields. Check it out and let me know what you think! http://oldworldnewgirl.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/reclaimed-wood-love-idesign-sunday-green-bloggin/

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    1. I like your blog, it reminds me of the magazine ‘Dwell’. I like the addition of the personal thoughts, isn’t that what blogging is for ? My only suggestion is to maybe make the posts just a bit shorter, maybe split up the ones that might have multiple ideas ?

      And my goodness, you have more than 1,200 followers! I wish I had that many!

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      1. Thank you for your advice, Peter! I tend to talk a lot and I think that shows in my post lol! And I think the followers are from integrating my facebook with this, so I hope to get more active followers who will create conversation based off of the blogs. To be compared to “Dwell”.. just WOW! Thank you =) I will take your critiques and try to make OWNG better!

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  5. I posted this question on last weeks post – posting this here again since there were no replies –

    Hi Community Pool, looking for some feedback on my blog. I don’t have a general theme or focus in terms of topics, I just write about what I feel or am doing at the time. I’m into poetry, writing songs or just putting my thoughts down on paper. I’ve categorized my site in that way, would like to know what you think and if there’s a better way of doing things so that readers can find my content easily.

    Thanks in advance! Here’s a link to my blog – http://mihirkamat.wordpress.com

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    1. I really don’t think you need a set theme, I have used three subjects in my main title Photography, Pain & Life but with that I can cover almost everything. What I did do and I will warn everyone about it. I had over a year of work on the blog and I was tired, had all manner of things to do including closing some obsolete databases on my server and yes! you guest I closed down the wrong one and wiped everything songs, poems, muses, photographs all gone. So if a pop-up asks ‘Are you sure you want to delete this’ double check or be sorry. Anyway over the last week I have been rebuilding – http://mysoresoul.co.uk/ you welcome to look :)

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      1. There is nothing worse, I need to pay attention sometimes, I once deleted one of my external hard drives with over a thousand images on, luckily most of them were backups but still the same these things happen and it hurts lol.

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    2. I like the look of your blog–it’s uncluttered, so whatever is the mood or theme of your post–it can talk for itself.

      However, with such a wide span of themes covered, I wonder if it would be helpful to have a Category Cloud, with not just the main categories (poems, songs, thoughts), but drilling further down, so readers can easily hop to the themes within those three areas that interest them most. What do you think? Truth be told, I find that cloud helpful for quickly finding posts on my own blog–for example, my main categories are “Wanderings,” “Weekend Escapes,” “Wildlife”, “Festivals,” and “Musings”. But, say, I want to see everything on the American Southwest or Puerto Rico under “Wanderings”, or see “UNESCO sites” under any of the categories–I can easily get to that from the cloud anywhere on my blog.

      In terms of positioning it on the right-hand-side of the screen, I’d put it right under your “What Readers Liked” widget. Also, I’d put the “Follow this blog” further up. To me, it’d seem logical to first have a widget about you, the “Follow this blog”, then “Search this blog”, then “What Readers Liked”, then “Category Cloud”.

      Perhaps, above the last “Notice”, you could add the calendar of your posts. In my own reading, I sometimes remember when the post was published, not the exact title–so that would be another way to help people find what they want.

      I hope this is helpful. I look forward to reading to your next posts.

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      1. Thanks – these are some great insights. And yes, definitely helpful.

        I’ve not been a big fan of the category cloud, especially since I write about a host of topics. I’ve had folks telling me that it does not really make things easy for them to find something they’re looking for on my site – maybe it’s just me. I’ve also been a bit divided on the calendar – it’s definitely a great tool but just takes too much real estate on the page without adding too much value.

        That being said, I will consider the placement positions you spoke about.

        Thanks again for the wonderful feedback. I am following your blog as well – will watch for more!

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    3. It appears that you have a focus on feeling, emotions. You have some very interesting titles. With such colorful titles, it would be nice to have a more colorful background.

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      1. Interesting thought! I’ve been trying to keep the look plain and simple so that the focus is more on the content rather than anything else. But it wouldn’t hurt to experiment with something new! Thanks for your feedback!

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    4. Mihirkamat, I checked out your blog and quite like the layout. Your topics are light and engaging, You have splashes of color with the graphics you added. It works. Please do your thing… There are all sorts of ideas out in the blogging world about to niche or not to niche. I say write and grow and if a niche calls you, then act on it… Don’t bother with it right now as you are developing a body of work and will find out what appeals to you as time goes by. Best wishes!
      E

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  6. I am relatively new to blogging (mine is a travel blog: http://transplantedtatar.wordpress.com/), so I am grateful to have this forum to request feedback. Here are two of the questions I’ve been wrestling with in particular:

    1) I wonder if my blog organization makes sense. Is it easy enough to navigate? Does it encourage further exploration? (I began with one of the free templates–this one felt more comfortable and flexible to me than the others.)

    2) I wonder if my individual posts are too long. For example, here are my two longer posts: http://transplantedtatar.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/two-craters-and-two-ruins/ or http://transplantedtatar.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/a-day-in-that-astonishing-chicago/ Would it be better to split them up? I just get so excited about describing a day that splitting it up seems like weakening the total “package”, ruining the flow.

    Any and all critiques are much appreciated!

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    1. I had no issues finding my way around the blogsite, I did not think the post Two Craters and Two Ruins was overly long; however, it was two posts together in my opinion. If you seperate the two blog post, you can bind them together with a sentence that says you are going heading to the ruins and leave a link to follow to the ruins post.

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      1. Thank you! I know you are right, I just have this anxiety about splitting up something that was this one-gulp experience for me–so then people can stumble upon one and not see the other, and not get the full picture. But you are right–it can all be linked.

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      1. Thank you for this feedback! You are right. I know you are. I just need to get over myself and do this the logical way, instead of hoping to provide this “one-stop-post” that gets too overwhelming in practice.

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    2. I read “A Day in that Astonishing Chicago” and found it a bit too long. You could probably break it into two manageable posts. My very first post was so long I preemptively broke it into 3. I completely understand your concern about readers being able to navigate and read the full experience. I handled that by linking back to the first part of the post at the very beginning of the second and third parts. Then, the end of the first post links to the second, and the second to the third. Just something you might want to try.

      I loved looking at the pictures in your post; even after I stopped reading I kept scrolling down and enjoying the images. They are magnificent! You might also consider posting a photo gallery and using short captions to share more of your experiences without writing a very long post. I would love to see more of your photos.

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      1. Thank you–linking to previous posts at the very beginning is a good idea–and it would relieve my general worry of breaking up the story. And thank you for the pictures comment–a gallery, yes, maybe–or some posts with more pictures and less words. Sound good, actually. ;-) Thank you.

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    3. I love the way you’ve organized your blog and the font size is great for those of us who need reading glasses. i always advice bloggers to PLEASE have a recent posts on the sidebar for easy navigation and you have that already. I like your top post widget with pictures… I love visuals.
      As for your long posts, it’s always a good idea to break up the paragraphs so the eyes don’t wander. You can have a post in series too – I II II – and link them. I’m a big fan of pictures… they say more than tons of words… Use them. Keep on going. You’re doing great!
      E

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    4. to transplanted tator…I think you need to add a picture header, to ease all the headers…too many words and some other colors than grey for your background…just makes it easier on the eyes. And I don’t know how others feel, but I hate getting my email hammered with blog comments, and since we now have the “Reader” for those we follow, it’s kind of redundent. So maybe lose the big box that says, Follow me via email, it just takes up space you can use for better things and when someone “follows” you they get your posts already in the Reader… good luck, and really interesting blog….:)

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    1. Wow, great captures of movement–both outwardly and internal (in portraits). I like the photographs of bodies moving, like the shoot in the desert or the dancers, but I think I connect to your images more when you capture a face, an expression, somebody’s internal world, as well as the movement (like the photo of the monks, or the underwater images).

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    2. I’ll also say ‘Wow!” All great photos! I wonder if you could give some more detail on how you take your photos ? Such as the type of equipment you use, any filters, type of lightings, that sort of thing ? I’m not much of a technical photographer myself, but I like reading about how photos are taken, how they can be made to look better, F stops, and all that technical stuff.

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    3. incredibly good photography, you definetly have the eye….the one thing I did notice tho, is some of them seem just a tiny bit blurry….although it could just be me, lol, but maybe you could download a photo program, that lets you adjust the detail in digital photo’s….it happens to me alot when I upload them into the uploader, they alter somehow and look a touch blurry. Otherwise, I expect to see you working for NatGeo or Vogue someday, those are really good!!!

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    1. I agree with Sha’tashari about images–they’d be helpful in bringing your point in each blog to life.

      Generally, I must admit, the grey spotty background around the blog was distracting to me–it is agitating and took away (for me) from focusing fully on your individual posts.

      Also, I’d add some more connections between your blogs, and maybe some brief context. For example, this 55 Things to Do list (http://thepunktheory.wordpress.com/challenge/bucket-list-55-things-to-do-before-you-die/)–looks great, but it leaves me wanting to know why some things are important to you, and how those things that you did measure up to your expectations (you could link them to posts about your thoughts on each one, or at least for some of them).

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    2. I do like the look of your blog layout. It feels like I am looking at a really nice leather portfolio. However I wish I could read your entire post without having to leave your main page.

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  7. I need some advice on the easiest way to organize my posts onto different pages. Busy Mom, not a lot of time to spare…blogging through nap/rest times. I have 70 posts and people tell me that they can’t go back and find older posts, so I thought pages to organize the topics would be best. Yes? Is there a shortcut? Help. Thanks! http://www.mommyverbs.wordpress.com

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      1. Please forgive my ignorance here…is that what I need? I do name categories on my posts, so with this widget it would sort the posts into those for others to find them easily?

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      1. Thanks. Really appreciate the help. I’ve been learning as I go…and I don’t think I have a good handle on the tagging and/or categories yet. A work in progress. This is a great forum to put out a question…I’ve been looking for something like this. Thanks!

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      2. Yes! Thanks! Your page is neat and clean and organized and chock full of goodies! Kind of what I had in mind for MommyVerbs. Ok, off to the dashboard. Really appreciate the help and feedback.

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    1. You already have an archive widget up, so folks should be able to find older posts fairly easily. If they’re having trouble finding posts on a particular subject, then yes, as Glitter Mama suggested, using more specific categories/tags will help.

      For example, your most recent post looks like its sort of a music/movie review (sorry, I just scanned it), but it’s tagged Daily Post and Things I Do. If I’m a reader looking for more of what you’ve got to say about music/movies, there’s no way I’m going to be able to find it.

      And yes, when you tag a post, readers can click on your tags, and it will bring up all the posts that share that tag. Or if you have a search field on your blog, readers could type in whatever subject they’re looking for, and will find posts featuring that tag.

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      1. Thanks. I will agree I haven’t figured out tagging and categorizing yet. It is truly a wonder anyone can find anything! Ha! So, what are pages good for? I guess I was envisioning a way of organizing a little better. I blog about a lot of different things, but it usually ties back to kids, mommyhood, parenting, with a few just about my stuff thrown it. Now that it is growing up and I’m a little in love with it, I just want it to work for me and to share with others. Really appreciate the help from you and Glitter Mama!,

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      2. You can also use pages to accomplish this, but not all themes allow you to do this. For example, you could have your posts listed chronologically on the first page, then you could have pages with the various categories, which would be linked from the main page.

        That may be the way you decide to go, but not sure if having a page dedicated to “things I do” is going to help your readers find the topics they’re looking for, so I would work on making the categories more specific.

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      3. I agree. I jumped into the deep end with this project and started tagging and creating categories before I knew what I was doing. Great feedback. One thing at a time…the pages sound a little difficult and maybe for another day.:-) I’m assuming to fix old posts, I just go in and edit the categories and update?

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    2. I agree with Glitter Mama and Karen above on adding category widgets on the right-hand side, but also–at least for me as a blog reader–I like having some sort of a menu at the top of the blog (I feel quite constricted if I don’t see that, automatically). Basically, it would just offer another way to navigate your blog, in addition to all the options on the right-hand side. So, on my blog, for example, the top-of-the-page menu options are the five main categories I assign to all of my blogs (in addition to the more specific sub-categories and tags and the “About Me” menu option). The side-bar widgets allow for a more nuanced navigation, but this top menu is still helpful.

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      1. Thanks for the feedback…I like the idea of a menu or pages set up with different verbs (the focus of my writing)..but I don’t think my theme offers that option? Or I just haven’t figured it out yet. If you don’t mind..I just went in and renamed the categories for my posts..wondering if that makes it any easier to tell what is there. I’m open to feedback! Thanks for taking the time to offer suggestions! I love this community!

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    1. I agree. Your blog is very well organized and easy to navigate.

      Just two thoughts:

      1) Perhaps my brain is odd, but, as a reader, I have come to expect to see some navigation options at the top of the blog–like on the line you have “About”–all the rest of the space could also have the categories as well (although, of course, you have them on the side–this would be another way to read on).

      2) On the main page, each individual blog post shows up in full as you scroll down. When I arrive at blogs for the first time, I like to scroll through–just to get a sense of the content. I think I’d see more of the content if these each individual blog just showed a glimpse of it–with the option to “read more”. I’d be more likely to click through and, also, to look further down. Also, I am no expert on WordPress–but I wonder if you’d then get more meaningful stats data (people looking at individual blogs, rather than your main page).

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      1. Thannk you so much. I recently changed from the read more to show all, and was thinking I should change back so you’ve helped, I think I’ll change it :) Yeh I want more pages at the top but my wordpress theme makes it very awkward :/ Thanks so much, very helpful x

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    1. I had to hunt for the categories; found the Galleries too broad of a stroke as I still wasn’t sure what I would be seeing. I have seen other bloggers put watermarks on their art; however, it does take away from the image. It seems that once the eye sees words, it keeps returning to them.

      It is my opinion that it is not possible to protect anything posted on the internet. Images, words, links, can all be lifted off the screen. Posting disclaimers and copyrights will provide a legal reaction if you discover someone stealing, but they truly are not a strong deterrent.

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    2. I think the layout you have chosen is great for highlighting your recent posts…but I would suggest adding category tabs to make easy to locate photos I may find interesting…ie: people, pets, kids, etc.

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    1. I actually signed up to follow your blog, it’s very funny! But how about more photos of where you live ? I’ve been to Italy, just once, and I always love more photos of Italy.

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  8. I am new to blogging and would love constructive feedback. I think my focus is making sure all of the content is consistent with my photographs? I would also like it if someone good tell me if my post are too long and as the reader you just get tired of reading? You can find me at
    http://sincerelylakesh.wordpress.com/ I am looking forward to hearing from you. Oh and feel free to comment anything else that you notice. Thanks!

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    1. I’ve only been doing this for six months–and I struggle with the worry that my blogs are too long as well, but, as a reader, I really didn’t think that your posts were too long.

      Like the one on the Baptisim of Ohrid Lake–I enjoyed it very much, but I would suggest naming it something more descriptive. “Sunday Funnies and Other Stories” don’t tell the reader much–the baptism seems to be the centerpiece of this post, so why not mention it specifically in the title?

      Also, the pictures are great–and you do a good job presenting/framing them in your blog. I wonder thought if some of the longer paragraphs in that blog would be more “livelier” with a smaller (medium-sized) picture on the side of the paragraph. So there isn’t too much unbroken text–there is an image to encourage people reading. Just a thought.

      Also. My reading habit is to scan a new blog–just scroll down on its main page. You have the entirety of your posts showing now. Perhaps more of your posts would catch people’s attention if only a small [top] part of them appeared to whet the appetite.

      I look forward to reading more from you!

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      1. Your amazing and thank you. I have to figure out how to minimize my post. I hear you on being more descriptive and will have to process how I can do that without losing “sunday funnies etc”. Perhaps, it will work better as a category as opposed to a vague title. smile. Thanks again.

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      2. On my theme, minimizing posts was an option I clicked on at some point during setup.

        OH! And I know exactly what you mean about awesome series! I had this series in the beginning that I thought would be awesome: Wistful Mondays, but I found that just distracted from people finding the posts (maybe these series would be meaningful later, when we are famous?). On your Sunday Funnies, perhaps you could add a colon each time and then mention the specific place you are writing about? With my “Wistful Mondays”, I just made that a category, eventually, and gave up the whole title to the actual place.

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      3. I totally hear what you are saying and I think being more descriptive so this way I can get more reader traffic. It started as being descriptive and then I felt that it was not working. So I added the category ugh…I will try adding the colon and seeing how I feel about it.

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      4. How do you make only the top portion of your post visible to whet the appetite? I’ve seen that around and I’d like to do that with the posts on my blog. Is it a theme, or a specific setting on my dashboard?

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      5. This is a reply to Janine Hoffman. I couldn’t find a link to your blog so I reply here. You have two options to do that: Either you chose a theme, like Oxygen or Origin … they are made up that way. OR … while writing your post, there’s an icon in the tool bar called «Insert more Tag». Click that one where you want to break up your post and you’ll get the «continue reading»… Hope this helps.

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      1. Up in the left corner, there is a print of your blog name. Hold your mouse pointer over the name of your blog and a drop-down should appear. The random button is near the bottom of the drop-down menu. It says, “Random Post.” Click on that phrase and the site will present a post at random from the blog you are on.

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  9. I’ve been reading over all the comments for the past 10 mins…and what can i say? i’m as punch drunk as i was the first time i posted my first ever blog (if you can call it that) I’m such a newbie with everything and looks to me that everybody here can give me a lot of help! All i wanted is a space for me to write down anything and everything i would not want to forget or something i want to recall, memories, emotions, something i overheard or read about. I had 5 likes on my previous post and i feel so proud of myself that someone took the time to read. I would really appreciate it so much if you can give me tips and pointers and i would really love to see positive criticism (is that even a correct term?) and i’m sorry if my english is not really grand and correct, it’s not my first language. I’m a Filipina and my native tongue sometimes gets the better off me. i’m looking forward to reading your comments soon. Have fun everyone!

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    1. I took a quick look at you site…. I’ve only been blogging a little over a year but it took me a long time to learn some ins and outs. I would suggest you put on an ‘About’ page. Not too much information but a little about yourself and what you probably will blog about…It doesn’t have to be only on one subject…I blog on pretty well anything that comes to mind. But it gives the reader a place to know a little.

      Next install a ‘tag cloud’ in your sidebar… This gives the reader the option of finding blogs with certain subjects or ‘tags’. I didn’t learn the importance of tags for some time after beginning so I thought I would mention that…It’s how people find you too as well as Categories.

      I can’t now remember everything on your home page…memory is short but do you have a ‘follow me’ on your sidebar? These sidebars are done by Appearance, Widgets…but you maybe already know that.

      Just a few suggestions….I’m still learning myself…Diane

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  10. Hi, my blog is at culturallife.wordpress.com
    I am unsure about whether the content my blog ‘grabs’ people and makes them want to read more or whether I am trying to cover too many topics on one blog.

    Also, I’ve been thinking about changing the layout, wondering about removing the tag cloud and adding an index of different topics (e.g. separate areas for movie reviews) along the top.

    So, yeah, I’d really appreciate feedback on my blog content and layout.

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    1. I agree, the tag cloud takes up a lot of space, and you already have the category cloud. What would the index of topics look like? (at least it would seem confusing–outside of the WordPress world, I think people may wonder what is the difference between the category cloud and the tag cloud–or maybe it’s just me).

      I was not overwhelmed by the breadth of your topics, but I think they would be signaled better right away if you added the most important menu options at the top of the blog (where you have Home, About, and Disclaimer). When I look at a new blog, that’s where I turn to for a brief definition of everything available to me.

      Finally, I am not very active on twitter, so perhaps I am not the best person to comment on this, but having twitter comments above the more navigational Blog Archive and Cultural Life Calendar takes up valuable real estate, I think. It brings more attention to how to interact with your content in a different system, while underplaying how to navigate your content in the system you are already in. Just my reaction. :-)

      Oh–and Finally-Finally–is there an option to simply search your blog? I think that should be up top, together with ways to sign up for notifications.

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      1. Hi, Transplantedtater. Thanks for your feedback. It’s really helpful. :)
        Oops, I meant ‘category cloud’, not ‘tag cloud’. I don’t think there is such a thing as a ‘tag cloud’! My fault….I was typing in a rush. Sorry if I confused you!

        Yep, I’ll remove the category cloud. I was planning on adding pages along the top, under the header photo. So I would have a ‘header’ page (e.g. one labeled ‘Movie reviews’) with drop-down sections of different categories below each page. And the index pages would be at the top, along the bar with the Home, About and Disclaimer pages, like you suggested.

        Thanks for the advice about the twitter feed too. I’m really grateful for the comments and advice. :)

        I do have a search option – it’s at the very top of the blog, in line with the title. Bu perhaps it’s not very noticeable…maybe I should move it.

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      2. Grace, I am sorry, I didn’t notice the “Search” option at the top–yes, there it is. I guess I missed it because I just scrolled down right away for the main part of the blog.

        No problem about the typo–I feel the same about the edit function!

        On your blog, you do have a tag cloud–and it’s quite long. Now that I look at the category and tag clouds–probably the tag cloud is more descriptive (especially if you re thinking of getting rid of the category cloud), but maybe you could limit it to fewer words?

        I think it would be helpful to add the categories–and just more options at the top of the blog. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts!

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  11. I’m extremely new to blogging and could use any constructive criticism you find on my blog page. Please tell me the general feel you get when you visit and what I could do to attract more viewers and viewer interaction. The page is FoxySilverGal.com hosted at wordpress.com. Thanks so much in advance

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    1. When I go to your site and scroll down the posts, words “happy with myself,” “confident,” “powerful” (especially from these posts: http://foxysilvergal.com/2013/01/24/and-who-said-greygray-hair-cant-be-foxy-and-fierce/ and, despite the challenges, http://foxysilvergal.com/2013/01/24/watching-ziggy-grow/), and “beautiful” come to mind. One thought came to mind: On your home page, under your “Foxy Silver Gal” header and by the “About me” line on the right-hand side, I wonder if it would be possible to put a picture of you–something that would create an instant visual connection with you (like your Gravatar, for example).

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      1. Oh. Sorry about that. I think just clicking on the name above..foxysilvergal, takes you to it. At least it did when I tried it.

        Thanks for trying.

        I tried to copy and paste the link into this post, but for some reason, not working either. Oh well. Thanks.

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      1. Something is wrong because that link still only takes you to a page where one can go nowhere else… Maybe because you are the owner of the site you get in but I’m sure not…I would check with WP or Go Daddy if that is your host…

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      2. OMG! I can’t believe it. Is my blog so terrible that no-one is willing to take a look and offer comments on how I can make it better. Thank you writerwannebe763 for trying. Thank you transplantedtatar for your suggestion. I made a couple of changes, but really would appreciate other opinions as well.

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      3. I got in just fine, first try…and it is a wonderful site for fashion tips, etc….I would make one or two recommendations…..first that is an awful lot of black….can you change the very back background to something more colorful, such as yourself?? lol and also, I’m older, using Granny glasses now, and I have a lot of trouble reading white letters on a black background…. for some reason my brain doesn’t read them well…and I must re-read continually….which is a pain. So maybe just alter your colors a bit in the posts, to lighten it up…and it would be fine. Good luck!!!!

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      4. Thank you very much. I’ll look into those changes. I don’t know the access problem, but have contacted WP about it. Glad you were able to get in. I need all the help I can get. Thanks so much.

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  12. Hi, all! My blog can be found at http://www.xmelissalittle.wordpress.com. There are a couple of things that I’d like to get everyone’s opinion on (please comment here opposed to my blog).

    1. The views, likes and comments on my blog are not steady throughout any given week. One day I might receive 70 views and the next day I might only get 4 views. I have only been blogging for 3 months now. Is this normal or can you find something that I may be doing wrong?

    2. After taking a look at my Categories and skimming over a couple of posts, where do you feel my strength lies? Like most here, I am an aspiring author and I’d really like to know what readers enjoy hearing from me the most.

    Thank you so much!

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    1. I love all your posts tbh, writing is lovely :)) The views-are you commenting on other blogs? Also when you are writing your posts, try find the option slug…..you can change the info, im bad at explaining but basically if you have a post titled ”My fave beauty products” you could instead change the bit in the address bar as ”fave-rimmel-beauty-products” sorry if that makes no sence at all lol! google it x

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      1. Glitter Mama: Yep, I am totally dumbfounded so I will have to Google that. LOL! Yes, I do comment on other blogs, but maybe I should be commenting more. Thank you so very much for taking the time to check out my blog and give nice feedback. I appreciate it! x0

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    2. Hi. :)

      I have been blogging for a year and a half and I experience similar trends with my blog. Sometimes there is a real drought in terms of my blog stats and comments. Then I’ll post something about a particular topic and my stats will rocket. I think that’s pretty normal for most bloggers and I wouldn’t be concerned about it.

      Addressing your second question, I had a look at a few of your categories (“Personal” appealed to me – I enjoy reading stories about other peoples’ lives) and your writing is very powerful. Your writing about your mother moved me. I’m sorry for your loss.

      I enjoyed browsing through the “Inspiration” category. This post (http://xmelissalittle.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/a-dream-dignity-and-dedication/) caught my attention. I enjoyed the picture with the famous phrase, followed by your interpretation and thoughts about it. Definitely do more posts like that! Including photos and images add visual appeal to readers.

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      1. Hello, Grace!

        Thank you for the wonderful feedback. I’m glad to know that the trends are normal and that I’m not “old news” just yet. ;-) It does seem like it’s all about the topic or even the title. My day for the most views was when I wrote something called, “Ignorant N***er”. I’m sure it was definitely the title that sparked interest.

        I’m glad that you enjoyed the “Personal” category. I really do enjoy writing about things that have happened in my life so that I may help someone else who could be going through something similar.

        The “Inspiration” category is getting bigger. I seem to have steered that way lately. I do enjoy helping people to see their worth and potential.

        I will be sure to add more photos to my blog.

        Thank you, again, for your help. xo

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      2. No problem. :) I really like this new Community Pool idea. It’s great for us bloggers to socialize.

        Yep, I noticed that post and the title made me stop and read it. A bit of controversy always gets people talking!

        Happy blogging!

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    3. Views are inconsistent even at their best. The most effective way I’ve found to increase your visibility is to make virtual “friends.” Read and comment and follow other blogs. Not only do those virtual relationships help increase your blog traffic, they also leave you with a fellow blogger to learn from and encourage.
      I loved your blog so much that I am now following you and looking forward to reading more! I especially liked what you wrote about your family or recent experiences. They were relevant and fun to read.

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      1. Kaela, thanks so much for your input. I have realized that I need to comment on more blogs and have started do so first thing this morning. :-)

        I’m glad you enjoyed some of the posts from my blog. There’s always something goofy going on in my household.

        I am following you now as well. I was hooked when I read the post about your baby girls birthday. How special! Oh, and your About page was awesome too!

        So very nice to meet you and I look forward to chatting with you more. xo

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    1. Hello, I am three days old in blogger world but I had a look at your blog and this is just what struck me. In terms of the writing it reads well but maybe you are trying to fit too much into your posts, nothing is ever gone into detail so I do not really get a feel of who you are. I hope that makes sense, I have had no coffee and thus may be intelligible. Regarding comments, if you post on others blogs they are likely to come look at yours and give a reciprocal comment.

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