Menu

Community Pool

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.
  • To keep from losing your place in the comment thread while you visit others’ blogs, right-click on a link to open it in a new tab or window.
  • No running on the deck.

Photo by t_a_i_s.

Show Comments

206 Comments

Comments are closed.

Close Comments

Comments

      1. I be just had a look, I see what you all mean, the black bit on the too doesn’t scroll away, so makes everything difficult to read x

    1. Seconded. The readable window is very narrow, and it makes for a less satisfying reading experience.

    2. Nice. I just stopped to check the visual impression and was captured by the images and the titles. It is simple, but it seems to be effectively simple.

    3. Going to have to agree with these other people. Your window is distracting. But your blog is pretty kickass, so it balances out.

    4. Hey! I have to agree with other comments: your blog looks great, but the fact that the top bar follows ,me down the page blocks my view. It would be ok if it were more narrow though, and I like the layout of the blog otherwise!

  1. Hey!
    My names Amy and I’ve really just got into this blog thing :)
    I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on what I have so far? Cheers if ya can :)
    My blog can be found here: amybyrne19.wordpress.com :)

    1. Amy, i love your writing content. i am not to fond of your theme though, but I think its just me, for some reason when i come across that particular theme, I don’t feel like hanging around to long…but did like the topics you wrote about…just my two cents…

      1. Thanks for the reply and the feedback!
        That’s funny, I’ve actually just spent the last half hour trying out new themes cause I wasn’t too fond of the one I had!

    2. Hi Amy – I love your blog title and the simplicity of your layout, but I can’t say that it entices me enough to keep reading. Also, in the sidebar, I’d rather see Recent Posts, Categories and Tags before seeing a calendar.

    1. Hey Bradley!
      I think your blog is really interesting! I love how varied your posts are, regarding both topic and type. At this point in time, if I were you I’d keep doing what you’re doing cause its great! I’ll definitely be back :)

      1. Thank you for the lovely feedback!
        I’ll definitely keep up what I’m doing, though I’m looking to be even more diverse and start doing video blogs and more ambitious projects like that at some point, just generally experimenting with whatever.

    2. The format looks great and the dark background works, however, white text on a dark background is hard to read. I could not read much before the text started blending. The images are appealing and do draw a viewer into reading the text.

    3. You have interesting viewpoints, I must admit. Definitely one of the better opinionated blogs I’ve seen. Then again, I probably have a bit of a bias. You play guitar; thus, you are great.

    4. Hey Bradley, I really like your blog- the dark colours set the tone, and the beautiful artwork (wish I could draw like that!) just jump out at you from the darkness. Nicely done.

    5. Hi Bradley,
      I love the content of your blog. The dark color works so I’d say keep the theme. Oh, and you’ve got skills, I like the art work! :-)
      Keep doing what you’re doing.

      P.S. I loved the hair post :)

    1. Hi Becsym,

      Your theme is the normal wordpress theme. I like the background color you’ve added to it to give it a different feel.

      If you go to the Appearances section in your Admin panel, I am sure you will find more themes which properly represent your writings.

      1. Thanks for taking the time to look, I have started to play with the Appearances section- tried a different theme lost all my widgets for a min and then started again … I think this is going to be a work in progress.

      2. It can be tedious sometimes. But I can assure you it pays off in the end. Hope it all works out

  2. Since I’ve started writing, I’ve only had one comment. But wow! The excitement I got from that single comment pushed me to write better material and think hard about what I want my readers to take away from my posts. I’d like to think my writing is somewhat unconventional, so I won’t attract millions of readers. But knowing someone is reading my material is greatly satisfying.

    1. Hi Benny – Love your blog! I’m not a student anymore, so my immediate thought was that your blog probably wouldn’t be relatable to me. But I’ve just gotta say, I wanted to stick around and see what you and your blog were all about. Your blog post titles pulled me in. I’ll be rethinking how I title mine now. Glad I paid your blog a visit.

      1. Thanks Tanya!

        I spend a lot of time thinking about my blog titles. Very few have come to me instantly and most I’ve had to research the catchiest and thought provoking title. I’m hoping to expand my readership to more than just students. The messages within the blogs are for everyone. The Student Survival Series was to help me get started.

        Thanks again for taking an interest in my blog!

      1. Thanks! I’ve finally found a new hobby I can invest my ideas into. I never really know what’s next but I do know I like writing.

    2. Yeah, I really like what I have seen of your blog so far! Your topics are unique, your writing humourous, and you break up your posts in a way that is easy to follow :)

      Lily

      1. I find it best to segment my points in short paragraphs and sentences, bolding specific phrases or words. For those that don’t read it all, the bolded sections give them enough information to understand the general idea.

        I’m trying to let my personality through in writing. It’s a wild mix of slapstick comedy. court room drama, and a spectrum of “in-between’s”.

        Easy to read was something I was really striving towards. Thanks for your feedback and support!

    3. Hi Benny,
      I was most taken with the content and the style of writing – impressive. Love the fact that your theme is simple and does not take away from what you have to say.
      I especially like the approximate reading time notation, something I’ve never thought of but seems pretty handy.
      All in all you’re doing great. I’ll definitely be back for updates!

    4. you got a pretty awesome blog going on there. like someone said, i didn’t think i could relate since i am no longer a student, but your posts are humorous and leaves me wanting to read more. props!

      1. The first few had been written with students in mind, but the messages are universal. I’m still trying to find my writing style and my voice to continually improve and help people.

        Thanks for your kind words!

  3. Hi! I’d love feedback. I try to keep my blog simple as possible for readability but wonder if sometimes it’s too basic and needs to be more compact. My hope for it is to be easy to navigate, interesting and for me to look professional. Any thoughts on the posts would be appreciated as well. Where can I improve? http://caseyvoight.wordpress.com THANK YOU in advance!

    1. Your blog is awesome, Header is sweet, love the change in fonts in the header. Menu sweet. Only issue I have is the font size…a bit to small for me, i’m blind anyway…site is crisp and clean though…love that.

      “Emotional magic is awesome”

      1. THANKS MOCHA! I worried I wasn’t getting many reads because of my content but perhaps it’s because people can’t see it. I appreciate the observation:) I will certainly modify.

      2. Your content is fine, you write well, one other observation, I would put a little preview or blip of your book below the cover art. Again, just my opinion, my view from way up here in the nose bleeds

    2. Just dropped by and found a wonderfully vibrant blog full of interesting writing and art…keep on moving in the direction you are headed. It works.

    3. My goodness! The initial impression of your theme leaves that amazing feeling. The only reason people would not read your blog is if they go back to their admin page to make something like it.

      Theme’s good. If the borders around the posts on the main page can be done without, better. Commenting is good too: the same fonts make it feel like your readers also create content alongside.

      Content, well, you must have seen the comments I littered all over your blog. Great posts.

      1. Oh I agree, those darn borders, I just need to get a different theme that doesn’t have those. Thanks so much for the feedback Yasky, the part about ‘going back to their admin page’ made me laugh out loud, what a nice thing to say.

    1. Hi…I found that your theme was perhaps not the best….because all your information is at the bottom;of it and not easily seen or read…I think themes with side widgets are more appealing.. You could have a tag cloud, and other widgets…

      I think it would be also better to have a ‘follow me’ widget at the side besides the one at the very top …it’s more visible to readers….

      Just a couple of thoughts… Diane.

    2. You may have heard it before, but…to gain a following one must interact with other bloggers. Read, comment, and lf you so choose, like. When someone comments on a post that the blogger has not seen before, must bloggers are curious enough to check out the new commenter.

      1. Hi, yes I have kinda heard that before. I do try to read lots of other blogs and comment and like if its something that has interested me. Thanks for the feedback :)

    3. Hi,
      I actually like your content, made me chuckle a couple of times. I do, however, agree that another theme with side widgets instead may work to your benefit.
      That said, keep ‘em coming ;-)

    1. Your blog is fine just as it is. You write with an easy style and offer a window into a world for others to see. Keep it up.

  4. All writers out there, I would like any information of finding ones writers voice, even blogs I can visit that address the subject…thanks all, oh and check my site out and give me any advice you can, i’m thick skin so lay in on…thanks again

    1. Hi! I looked at your blog and was very confused. the about page seems to indicate that you’re willing to accept any type of submission and post it on your blog. That’s cool, but it tends to allow your blog to not have a focus, which lots of people look for. i would suggest narrowing down the submissions that you accept?

      1. hmm thats interesting a friend told me the same thing…a thought I had for submissions was to post something (a topic) on what I would like for submissions for that week…what do you think…and thank you for the input

  5. I would love some feedback on my blog, I will go through and take a look others also. Cheers and Thank you http://successfromhhome.com/ Have and awesome day. The next time you pass someone give a smile, cause you will get one back and it will make you feel great :)

    1. Hi. I’ve just looked at your blog and my only comment would be that the header for me is quite busy and it makes the writing a little hard to read. But I am a complete newbie so please don’t take any notice of what I think! Good luck with it all going forwards. :-)

  6. Hi there, fellow bloggers – I would love to know your honest FIRST IMPRESSION when you see my blog’s home page. Then read one of my posts, preferrably from the HUMOR category or ABOUT THIS BLOG. Does it entice you enough to click around my blog and read more?
    Thank you for checking it out! >> http://typicaltanya.com/

    1. Hi, after reading what you posted here on community pool, I said I would enter your site and tell you exactly what FIRST comes to mind as I enter your site. My internet is slow and well the background image popped out first, two white lines coming across the screen, first thing I thought was duck before I got decapitated by the lines. Then the page loaded and the old woman smoking freaked me out, then the cute puppy dogs calmed me down…then I relaxed and started to take in the overall theme of your blog, and I liked it, I like your title, but then the baby dolls freaked me out for some reason..so i’m all freaked out again, and i’m glad you said go to a humor post…so I clicked on the ‘F’ word one with the old woman smoking and started reading…since forty is around the corner for me, I left the post saying…Forty bring it ON

      1. LOL! Oh goodness! Sorry, Mocha, didn’t mean to freak you out. You had me cracking up at your reaction though. It got me thinking about the images I use. I don’t want to freak people out. I really appreciate the feedback. Thank you!

    2. First impression… I like the design and the organization, but the coloring seems a bit off-topic. It could just be me. Especially for a blog about faith and God, your blog is really relatable and mainstream (in a good way). The humor page is cute :) I reblogged the post about attitude (day 4 of the 7 days of inspiration), because it is really relatable to what’s happened recently. Great job!

      1. First of all, thank you so much for reblogging my post! And I appreciate your feedback more than you know. But I’m not sure what you mean by the coloring may be off-topic. The coloring of what? I’m in the process of updated the look of my blog and will definitely keep your comment in mind. Thanks again. :)

      2. Oh, the coloring of the background (gray with thin, white lines). It really could just be me. In a way though, it makes all the pictures of the post stand out more. And I could stand to update the appearance of my blog. I’d be much obliged if you could also look at my blog. No problem!

    3. My first impression was really good – prominent title, pictures, good organization and use of colour. I’m a sucker for those scrolling photo/post things.

      I’m afraid that I didn’t actually find the posts in your Humour section that funny, although they were relatable (I agree with the mainstream comment above). I was enticed to click around your site some more, though! I just don’t usually read slice of life :)

      Lily

    1. I really like the colors and layout and the kind-of nostalgic photos. Your use of lighting is really nice. And the way that you write is so personal, like you know the reader. Kudos on that. But your blog would be even cooler if you wrote more posts that aren’t from the Daily Post. I do that all the time, but it would expand your horizons so that readers know more about your thoughts. I also appreciate the trackbacks near the bottom of each post. It’s a good way to get more readers (especially other bloggers) to check out your site. Great job!

      1. Thanks for that very human and informative response.
        I wrote a post a while ago about why I use DP at the moment. It’s like my writers training wheels. Eventually I will take them off and endeavor to write FREE..I do put quite a bit of ME into the DP as I go but it is my intention to try to write unprompted..If only there were more time. Thanks again for the valuable comment.

    1. First, I love the title. I think the layout is pretty good too. The first thing I would recommend is updating your “About” page! Right now it’s the placeholder page wordpress uses. It would be great to use that space to tell your readers who you are, what you’re blogging about, and how long you’ve been doing what you do. Or you could remove the page altogether so it’s at least not distracting. :-) Happy blogging!

    2. I noticed that there are no “Like” buttons on posts, which are integral. I was going to Like your post, Aside, but couldn’t! Although I love the red-hued backdrop, I am not so sure about purple for your blog title.

      Good luck blogging!

      Lily

    1. I like your blog it is easy to read and you have good content, the only thing I would add is the display, the side bar is good and I think is a must have for a blog. But it feels as though your display is lacking personality, add a bit more colour or change the background. It just seams very old, by old I mean a website you would find in 2006 or something. If you would like any help or that I would more than grateful to help. :)

      1. I had to use the Readability plugin to read your poses. The content is good but the theme does not efficiently use browser space. Wider themes with larger fonts should keep people on the page for longer.

    2. Hello! I don’t have too much to add to what others have said. The style is simple and clean. You could dress it up with colors or images in the background, but I don’t think you have to. I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your writing style, and I’ll be following you! :)

    1. I like your blog is it nice, easy to read, has a side bar. But I am one of them picky people and have a little comment on our background. Where you have the picture it looks nice but then when you school down it changes to just green, maybe tile the picture of sent it that when you scroll the picture still stays there and does not change to green. Just my thoughts. :)

    2. Hi,
      I like the variety of formats you use for your posts and I love the nature of your content. Thoroughly enjoyed reading and will definitely be back.
      I only had one concern though: I couldn’t find a Follow/Subscribe widget and I almost left the page without following, forgetting I could use the Follow icon on the top of the WordPress toolbar. Adding that may help.

  7. Hi I just started a couple of months ago, I would just like some advice on my blog content, also if you have any comments on the display of it, layout, links, easy to read ect. Thanks heaps.

    1. Your blog theme is clean and crisp. Should be easy to get people to stay once you have them on.

      How to get them on, link your blog to social media and be active on both.

    2. I like the style and organization of your blog, the colours are pretty but not distracting. I think that right now your posts might be more interesting to you and to people who know you than to the general WordPress audience, but if you inject some humour or write about more specific, interesting situations than what did (or did not) happen in the course of a whole day, it would be cool!

      Lily

    3. Hi! I love the layout and theme you’ve chosen for your blog; it’s bright and cheerful, and I really think it would draw people in. I think that you should include more photographs or pictures into the home page, for example adding them into posts.

      Your About page is inspiring and insightful, and I tells the viewer a lot about you. I also love the little social network icons underneath your picture. It’s a great start!

      1. Thanks, I like to add pictures but I get a little lazy. And I also have a thing where I don’t like to use pictures that I, myself, have not taken. So I don’t like putting in pictures from google and that. But thanks and now I will try a little harder to put in some pictures.

    1. It is nice, you have good content and the layout is nice, you have a sidebar, a must if you ask me, and you have links to social media. So all good. I just have to say I really like your tag line it is one of the best I have seen.

  8. Hi all! I’d love some input on the layout of my blog. I recently started using a static home page that links to the blogroll, so I’m wondering if it’s still clear what I’m doing and where to find the things I’m posting. Thanks and happy blogging!

    1. Love your blog, your concept and your sense of humor. I am now a faithful follower awaiting the anticipated 52 so we can look back and revel in your success :)

      Signed,
      Inspired cheerleader.

    1. Thanks for your input on mine! I checked out your homepage and was immediately drawn in by your writing. I have to follow your blog because I’m interested in how your adventures in self-publishing work out. I think your tone is very approachable and it sounds like you’re just talking to someone, which I like very much. As far as the type of posts, I think that should be completely up to you. It’s your blog, so you should write about what you want to write about as long as you’re tagging and categorizing so readers can find their way. Good luck in publishing your first novel, and happy blogging!

    1. I am a bit confused. The link that you posted took me to a blog that is no longer active.

      1. I guess the first time I linked from your name. So my comment is that you need to change your links to both send people to your current blog :)

    1. Kudos on the pun, I’m horrible at thinking of them. Showing the stages of a painting seems like a great concept to me and I think your site is quite well organized

      Lily

  9. I’m new to the blogging community and currently post random contents both my thoughts and just my personal life. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi!
      I really don’t read many creative writing blogs, so I can’t give you much input regarding your writing. Sorry! But I can tell you what I think of the organisation and layout of your blog! Here goes:

      Right sidebar: I think some parts of the right sidebar take a bit too much space. You could set up the list of blogs you follow to rotate between 5 to 20 blogs, instead of listing them all. You could also shorten the tag cloud a little.

      Generally speaking, the layout is straight forward and focuses on the written material. I notice you get many comments, but not many votes (rating starts). If your readers don’t use them so much, maybe you could remove them. Everything is written in small characters, except for the post titles, so I would try to avoid any visual fuss. I notice you try to use images where possible, which a visual person like me appreciates.

      Anyhow, you seem to be quite successful with your posts, as you get many comments. Getting a conversation going can be challenging in some cases, and is very rewarding!

      Well done! :)

      The Geek Anthropologist

      1. Hi,

        I’ll make those changes to the sidebar, I actually hadn’t been paying attention to it at all! And you may be right about the rating system, but I’m sort of attached to the number of stars I’ve gotten on my top posts, haha. It’s a bit hard to part with those even if my usual posts don’t garner that attention

        The small font on the layout I use is a bother sometimes, and hard to get around. But I like the layout itself so I took the bad with the good.

        Thank you for giving such helpful advice even long after I posted that comment :) I really appreciate it.

        Lily

  10. Always looking for constructive feedback from other bloggers on my blog. I’ve been blogging for a while now but have finally started honing down my interests and topics. I love to travel so i focus on that and my life overseas. I know travel blogging is very competitive but I’m interested in pursuing it as a career (I’m already a full-time writer). Any tips, tricks, ideas any one has for me are welcome and I am more than glad to return the favor.

    1. For some reason when you click on my picture, it brings you to my previous blog. While I figure that out, the blog I’m actually using currently is cotihowelltraveler.wordpress.com. Thanks in advance!

      1. I get this powerful feeling that you want more readership because you mentioned that travel blogging is “competitive”.

        I don’t consider my personal blog as “competing” with other blogs related to cycling, travel, food, culture….areas where I do blog.

        Remember you aren’t competing. If it’s your personal blog, then put yourself forward first and forget the competition. Make your blog shine with your authentic self.

        In glossing over your blog, it would help there was an “About” page that summarizes the blog in 1 sentence. Also a snappy intro about yourself and why travel consumes your interest. I don’t a good sense of who you are as a person. All I know is that you are probably North American. Do you speak a 2nd language? What do you learn most from travel or hope to impart to your readers?

  11. HI everyone! I’m a new budding non-professional photographer who would love to keep a cozy little “virtual” place (a.k.a. a blog) to display and share some of my photos with people who share the same passion. Here is it: http://charlottetaiphotography.wordpress.com/

    I’ve been looking through the free templates offered for one that’s suitable for a photoblog.. anyone has any idea? I’m not yet ready to invest money besides the necessary gadgets.

    http://charlottetaiphotography.wordpress.com/

    Cheers =)

    1. First: I like your watch! ;)

      I think the theme you picked looks great! The other templates I like for photo blogs are Widely, Hatch and Mixfolio.

      The bottom section is a bit crowded, but things are still clear. I notice your follow button is all the way down, and could be more evident. Your photos are listed as “all rights reserved on Flickr”, but do you mention anything about copyright on your blog? I didn’t see any mention of that…

      Nice photos and nice blog! Good job!

      TGA

      1. Hi! Marie, it’s very nice of you to gave me your advice! Thanks for reminding me about the copyright issue, I’ll certainly look into it. The problem with the follow button is I have no idea how to make it to the top since I’m using a free template which is rather rigid and I don’t think (or I don’t know) i can change the layout much. Anyhow, I’ll certainly try to.. thanks again! =)

  12. Have other people changed their blog theme recently? I’ve tried once, just a few days and just gave up. I don’t have time to spend fixing up the blog posts if a different blog theme from my present one, ends up with misaligned blog posts/photos, etc.

    Maybe I’m lazy.

    1. Hi! Personally, I ask my self if I should change my theme all the time. I find other theme look more modern, but I got used to the one I am currently using and somehow it seems to fit…I may finally make a move when I get the next batch of logos and icons, never know!

  13. Hi I would very much appreciate it if you guys can check my content and writing style and give me feedback. Its important because I started blogging just this march. check my blog @ sheilacioustreehouse,wordpress.com

  14. I have introduced my friend to blogging and if this isn’t one of the thougt provoking and natually simple bits of writing then I don’t know what is. I am not saying this because she is my friend, I say it as I love this.

    juststaci.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/just-a-thought/

    1. I think you should blog about what you want to blog about, readers will appreciate good honest writing and will follow your blog no matter what the subject if you’re presenting things in an interesting way. I follow some book review blogs, one is a blog on a genre that I don’t actually have much interest in, yet I find the blogger’s writing interesting and now appreciate the genre much more now.

  15. I am always looking for more feedback on my posts, especially my most recent one, where I included a video clip for the first time. I’d appreciate anything you have to say about my short stories, constructive or otherwise, and I am more than happy to share my thoughts on your writing and blog as well.

    Thankyou !

    mydiffer3nce.wordpress.com

  16. Looking for two things from the community. What sticks out, what to keep and what to fix. Criticize the writing, topics, content, photos, layout, theme it’s yours to decide. I just wanna know what works and whats not. Should be the first two that come to mind. Thanks for your support and insights.

  17. I’ve been keeping a travel journal blog for the past 4 years, writing about the adventures I’ve been sharing with my husband, our joy in discovering this country and what its’ been like to trade it all in and leave the rat race. We are currently in CA, and, in a most horrible circumstance, my husband has been diagnosed with cancer and admitted to hospice. He isn’t expected to last the month. Our travels have taken us to all of the lower 48 states and we’ve made so many new friends along the way, and I’ve now turned my blog into another kind of travel journal-the final part of our journey together til we must part ways. I want to present my blog in the best possible way through this, and welcome people into our final goodbyes. Find me at happilyhomeless2.wordpress.com.

    1. Your writing is touching. I will be keeping you in my prayers.

      One comment there is no place to leave comments on your blog. You might want to add that, so that others can “speak” to you.

      I do hope your journeys will continue and I wish the best for you and Handsome Husband.

  18. Hey guys,
    I just published a post on my blog about not knowing what to do this Summer other than staying in the house and asking readers for their advice. I encourage you guys to check it out and provide your feedback in the comments. The address of my blog is http://www.brownbabee.com

    Thanks :)

  19. Hi, I’d love some advice! I like my theme but find it annoying ‘cos I always need an image to go with a post or else the homepage looks bizarre.
    Does anyone have any advice on themes? I quite like the new one, ‘Adelle’, and I used to use ‘Under The Influence’, neither require featured images which is a big bonus!
    Advice would be GREATLY appreciated! :)

  20. Hey Everyone!
    I need your help. First of all, I’m new to this whole blogging thing and I would like for you guys to let me know what I’m doing wrong or right so far.
    I’m looking forward to reading all the comments!