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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.
  • 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.

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  1. I would actually just like to share this piece my friend Cando wrote on being a parent to young children when it’s not actually the easiest thing in the world which for some reason blew up on my blog – got my second largest day of visits and hit 1000 views in a day [which for me is pretty insane] so ja just a really powerful piece that has been affecting and encouraging a lot of people – http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/taboo-topics-parents-of-small-children-meet-candi-fourie

  2. Hi everyone! I’d love feedback about the content/writing style of my posts. I fear that since I’m only in high school, some people might not be as willing to read it because it might seem too childish.

    That being said, any commentary about the blog in general (visual appeal, widgets) would be gladly appreciated.

    Thank you so much!! – Catherine, from Never Stationary

    neverstationary.wordpress.com

    1. Have you ever heard about a book called A Writer’s Reference? It is a college textbook on writing (obviously). Study it. If you’re looking to become a better writer, I suggest studying grammar and reading loads of books! And get inspired! Good luck.

      1. Not to say that your writing is bad! Of course not. Also I would suggest going out in the real world and do some “travel” blogging or “event” blogging. Peeps like that and be creative!

      2. You can write poetry, short stories, stuff about your family, maybe some music that you like. Make it personal.

    2. Catherine: Your writing is not childish at all. I enjoyed the post on your high school play. You’re writing about your experiences and that’s the best, always. There are some minor grammatical mistakes but nothing that you can’t sort out.

      I don’t think your theme is best suited for your content. Your blog is focused on writing and readers should have an idea of what each post is about. So the picture only does not help in inviting first time visitors to read your posts.

    1. I just read one of your post and it is actually a good read. WP has a SUPPORT section on how to attract traffic. Lots of tips and tricks. Try Daily Prompt and Weekly Photo Challenge. Commenting and following others will help to see who reads what. Welcome to WP.

    2. I like your layout, theme, color choices, background and all. I also like the subtitle “A garden of thoughts and meditations.” I like it all. The only thing I don’t get is the word “Roasted.” What does it mean or refer to in the context of your blog? I’m probably just a bit dense today.
      For post content, what interests you or what interests people you know?

      1. Thank you ! Yeah, I know, I was so excited about starting a blog that I didn’t really give myself enough time to think of a name. I think I chose “Roasted reverie”, partly because of the alliteration, but also just to convey the idea that I wouldn’t just be writing about fantasy ideas, but more about topics that I had contemplated, analysed or “roasted” for a certain amount of time. Almost like turning the topics over on a grill and trying to cover all aspects of it. Also, I plan to include some recipes on my blog at some stage, so “roasted” seemed fitting. Plus, I quite liked using a physical adjective to describe an abstract object. Hope that answers your question! I am considering changing the name though, if I work out how :)

    3. OK, I get the reference to “Roasted” now. That was thoughtful. I don’t know that I would change it then, since the alliteration is soon to be more obvious, but it’s up to you. I like the individuality of it.

  3. Dear fellow bloggers, I am an elementary school teacher and have launched a teacher blog called The Inspired Teacher. The purpose of this blog is to inspire fellow educators by sharing personal stories that have been meaningful to me in the classroom. The stories will be followed by a reflection to express what I learned from the experience and how other teachers can apply concepts in their own environments. When you visit my blog, please hit the “follow” link on the top of the page to automatically be notified when I publish a new story.

    I would like to share a story that I posted. My main question is: would this story resonate with people who are in the world of education i.e. teachers and parents.

    http://theinspiredteacher.org/2013/05/11/reunited-with-my-students/

    1. I think it would resonate with anyone who has a heart, loves kids and loves teaching. I’m not a teacher – just a parent of full grown children and I was deeply moved.

    1. I read somewhere that humor can help sometimes to attract clients. I just got a writing contract last night from my FIRST client, who said they contacted me because my ABOUT page made them laugh. It turns out they were looking for someone who can write with humor! So you never know. Check mine out, it’s short and simple but it did the job.

      My blog is http://josephrathjen.wordpress.com

    2. I dunno. I think MY About page should be more like an elevator pitch: 3 to 15 seconds of info is about all anyone would be interested in unless they’re looking for something else. I could always link to another page from there. As for anyone else, I can’t say, but if I had a gun to my head I’d just say whatever you write, make it coherent and create one overall mental picture. That’s just my 2 cents, though, since you asked. :)

  4. Does anyone know how to print out a blog webpage? I use the Columnist theme, but everytime I print it out the very end of the right side gets cut off. Adjusting the printer and margin settings doesn’t seem to work at all. I would like to print out the whole page, have it blown up and framed, so I can put it next to my little league trophies from 40 years ago!

    Thanks for your help…

  5. My blog started off as a page where I would write things about living in Ireland and/or living with multiple sclerosis is about, but recently I’ve been writing daily prompts and weekly writing challenges. I am a bit in limbo whether I would open up my blog completely, i.e. writing about everything under the sun or if I should stick to my two main topics. I’d welcome any advice. Thanks in advance!

    The link is: http://willeke73.wordpress.com/

    1. I took a look at your blog and think thar writing about everything under the sun shouldn’t be a problem. It seems to fit well with your style and you can always use categories to separate things a bit if you want :)

    2. I would suggest opening up more. Start with small steps – maybe one subject at a time. And just monitor the feedback for reader interest.

  6. Hey, everyone :) My name is Joe and I just started a blog this month called A Regular Cup of Joe. So far, I have loved the experience on WordPress and the supportive community. I wrote a couple great posts that people really seemed to like about motivation and pushing yourselves. The next day I wrote this post, http://aregularcupofjo.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/a-handshake-broke-my-wrist/ . I was wondering if I could get some feedback on my writing and some pros and cons of the post. If you want to check out the rest of my blog and tell me what you think. Thank you

  7. Looking for any general feedback to improve traffic, entice readers to dig deeper and get past home page and into the article. I get plenty of hits on the homepage but only 10% click the article and read further and 1 of 10 register for email updates.

  8. Would love someone to look at my layout and see if it’s easy enough to navigate. Tips in colours etc would be great. I’ve been changing my blog colours each month to suit my mood but is it better to keep it the same? http://teresadawn.wordpress.com Any other tips on getting more traffic/subscribers would be great too

  9. Hi… I’m really having an issue and can’t figure out why and have asked WP support..but so far no answer
    Yesterday sometime after 10:30 am I stopped receiving email notifications of new posts by those I follow. I still receive from people outside of blogging, I still receive those that are “daily” notifications, I received this one from the Daily Post or from self hosted sites. I receive ‘comment notifications’ But no ‘instant’ notifications of new posts.

    I have checked all my settings (I never changed any) I tried to read other wp support issues relating to this, I went and re-did my follower notification requests..I cleared my cache and cookies …It is not my email that’s at fault because I am receiving some as I stated previously.

    Has anyone ever experienced this and could advise me. My blog is hometogo232@wordpress.com

    Here’s hoping….thanks Diane

    1. I thought I would say that I found out what the problem was… I found out just by relentless searching and actually by accident…that my email address is ‘hotmail’ and has been taken over by Outlook and they took over my emails ..There was another site and all of them were there in the ‘junk’ folder …. I’ve had some help and so thought I’d better just let you know..Diane

  10. I’ve been seriously pondering something lately and would appreciate advice. I have 3 blogs but have pretty much decided to get down to just one. Which one? Can I combine them and thereby keep the comments, etc, from each one? These are the blogs: http://remissionary.wordpress.com; http://lovinthetrip.wordpress.com; and http://carrymelord.wordpress.com. I have Freshly Pressed articles on two of them that I would love to keep, but may not be able to. Since I only post about once a week, it’s gotten harder to maintain all three and do any regular posting.

    1. Hi Jennifer, lovely style of writting, couple things, try and put your posts on their individual posts scrolling down and down to read puts me off take a look at mine and you will see what I mean
      http://www.mysoresoul. co.uk
      http://www.rainbow-photography. net
      You can set that in you dashboard. love the header and background nice and fresh and more important its interesting, love the anecdotes, the stories. I know the heartache that family has been through.
      Over all I love it =)

  11. I was looking for input on my blog so far. It hasn’t been a year of blogging yet and I sometimes wonder how well I am doing with it. How does the blog design look? What do you think of post content/topics? Are they too varied for one blog? Do you have any ideas on topics that I could discuss and haven’t yet, or on ways to improve on what I already have?

    You can find the blog at magnuswendler.com :)

    Thanks in advance!!

    1. Thank you. Hi, we are both from Canada. I’m from BC. I am a very visual person and the first thing that attracts me is the Theme. Have you tried playing around with other themes that are lighter in colour? Also, how about expanding your topics. Have a look at other post in the Reader section and see what Canadians write about. Hope it helps.

  12. Is a blog copyright protected? I questioned this in my first post. How much should I write about my future books or doesn’t it matter because it is my words anyway?

    1. You should dig into the intellectual property of the matter. It seems as if that’s where most business related practices are going for protection. Even academically its very serious to steal someones intellectual property. I’ve seen many professional platform bloggers and podcast give pieces of information away as teasers and incorporate their post into their own books. We all feed off each others ideas but you should probably get a legal opinion if your really concerned about legalities and theft. You may need to invest in copyright protection and other avenues. You could always look at it like this if someone is using it, its probably that good.

  13. I am having a problem with anything I write underneath my photos. I center the words and then they move when I save draft. I spend 30 minutes every day trying to get them to stay put and then I publish – some are correct and some are not. Very annoying. Help!

  14. Hey everyone!

    I am a novice at blogging and aspire to be a novelist in the coming time. Currently, I am posting book reviews so that I cultivate the habit of writing regularly. I need a feedback on my blog – the content, layout, language and more. Also, it is just 2 months now since I have started blogging. It would be great if someone could give me a direction to progress, apart from book reviews.

    Here is my blog – http://abloggyaffair.blogspot.in/

  15. Hey fellow bloggers! I started blogging during the latter part of last January but I never really got much traffic up to now. I’d really want to hear your advice on how to get more traffic especially since seeing people read my posts really inspires me to write some more. All tips, tricks, comments and advice are highly appreciated!

    Please also do check out my blog at: http://doitchoco.wordpress.com/

    I really want my voice to be heard and for other people to learn from my experiences so tips on how to get and attract more readers would really be helpful! Thank you everyone!

    PS. It is also really my first time to be active in commenting in wordpress. I use to just write on my blog for the sake of keeping a memoir but I realize the importance of sharing what I write and the fulfillment it gives when you know that you were able to impart something in your readers! :D

  16. Hi guys! My name is Amy and I’m a student studying English in Dublin. My blog is still a foundling at the moment and I was wondering if I could get some feedback on it. Anything from the content to my placement of widgets on the sidebar, anything would be really helpful to me :)
    You can find me at amybyrne19.wordpress.com
    Thanks a million in advance!
    Amy :)

    1. Don’t worry about it Kenneth, a lot of people twice by accident, or on purpose, but either way…it don’t matter anyway, don’t you think? I ain’t got nothin’ to do with ignorance.

  17. Now this is a fact…I know if I were to say something like: all the interesting people have died and gone to Hell, and why has our species come to the decision where the mundane is acceptable and anyone truly interesting, like me, is out of style…this may be the beer talking, but who the hell cares anymore…there is an asteroid on a collision course with planet earth as we speak which will wipe all mundanities…yep…and I may be the only person who survives…present company is an exception of course…did I say that correctly? Who the hell cares…I’ll have another cold beer if you don’t mind.

  18. Hi, I’ve been blogging about running for a little over a year now. I like to convey my experiences and try to encourage others to take up running or at least a more active lifestyle. I’ve written this article several times and it keeps changing.
    I’d be very happy if someone could take a look at this piece and tell me if it’s any good, or if I should try another revision. I hope this request is appropriate for this forum. Thank you.

    Many people run but not everyone who runs considers themselves a runner. Some people feel they are not “a runner” because they do not race, only run a few days a week or only jog occasionally. Am I a runner, are you a runner, and what makes us runners?
    We are all natural born runners; our bodies are designed to run. Everywhere you go, you will see able bodied children running around. They run on the playground, at the park and often in our homes. It is difficult to keep a child from running. To them it is natural and fun. There is nothing forced about it and children certainly do not “work” at it.
    Are they runners? Are they not runners because they don’t race or have any idea how long a 5K is? Of course they are runners! They embody the spirit of running as much as, if not more so, than any adult. To them running is freedom and joy; it is play and is as natural as breathing.
    My point is that our bodies and our spirit are made for running and this is manifested early in our lives. Even as adults, each of us has a runner inside of us. Some of us are natural athletes, and some of us barely possess the mechanical ability to put one foot in front of the other. But the ability to be a runner is there.
    You are not alone
    I know many people who have run multiple races and who run on a regular basis but do not consider themselves “runners”. It is as if the word had some exalted meaning that they feel unworthy of claiming for themselves. It is as if they felt saying “I am a runner” even to themselves would burden them with some rights, responsibility or duties that they did not feel worthy or capable of.
    When I first started running I did not consider myself a runner either. I was just a guy poking around blindly at this thing called running. Runners were different from me. They ran. They knew what they were doing and they ran races. I didn’t know anything and I only ran when I was lucky enough to get a Boston Marathon number.
    It’s funny the stories we tell our selves and what other people see and think about us. While I was training for the 2003 Boston Marathon I was fat, dumb and happy going along for the ride into something I knew nothing about. I wasn’t a runner; I was blithely running at lunch and training for one of the biggest running events in the world!
    The Thursday or Friday before Marathon Monday, Carol, one of my colleagues at HP, kept asking me when I was going out for my run. “You know you need to keep training”, “The Marathon is this Monday, isn’t it?” I finally finished what I was working on and went out for my run. It was probably 5 miles. Carol tended to be motherly and I thought it was nice of her to take an interest in my race preparations.
    When I got back to my work area I discovered that while I was out doing the run that Carol thought was so important for me to get in, my team had set up a party for me! They had some food and drinks and everyone had a small gift for me! I was totally surprised and deeply touched. I don’t remember all of the gifts but some of them were handmade and very creative.
    These people all saw me as a runner. They saw me go out running several days a week, they saw me hanging out with the other runners in the office and they knew I had a number for the 2003 Boston Marathon. I guess if I saw some guy doing all of these things I would start to think that they were a runner also.
    While I did not think that running three days a week made me a runner, everyone around me did. While I did not think that getting a number to run in The Boston Marathon meant I was a runner, to everyone else it did.
    My first foray into running was a bit crazy, and just happened out of sheer luck. I did not decide one day to become a runner; it just happened over time. My friends, colleagues and family thought of me as a runner way before I did.
    By nature you are a runner. Even if you have never run since high school gym class, you are a runner. If you have been trying to start running or thinking about starting running you can call yourself a runner. Do not concern yourself with how often you run or how far you run. You were born to run and it is part of your fiber.
    The call to Action
    I know that most people who read this blog lead active lifestyles. They probably consider themselves runners, cyclist, swimmers or triathletes. The fact that they participate in and train for an activity allows them to define themselves as a runner, swimmer, etc.
    If you are not one of these people I hope this message rings true to you. Just because you do not own a pair of running shoes today and have no idea how far a mile walk will take you, does not mean that you are not a runner. There is a runner inside of you waiting to be discovered.
    I encourage you to discover the runner inside of you. I also encourage you not to do what I did and take on a world class marathon as your first race.
    Being active is a joyful part of life. Do not miss one of the joys of life because you feel unworthy of calling yourself a runner. You are worthy and you deserve the joy that running can bring to your life.

    1. Hi,

      I gave your site a quick look and read four posts. I like that the posts are short but are complete thoughts. The layout is clean and appealing. I tend to write long posts which probably get read less than shorter articles would.
      I don’t have a ton of blogging experience so I can’t really offer much more input than that. I hope it helps.
      Andy

      1. Thanks for taking a look! I appreciate it. Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to get better traffic? (I have read and re-read the WP article on it and still can’t seem to get much traffic)

      2. I’m not an SEO expert but I think these tips may help.
        You should create categories to group your posts under, i.e. food, family, religion etc. Then when you write your post about cooking brisket for your mother you would use the categories of food and family.
        For tags you should be more specific I.e. brisket instead of food. The way I understand it even though the word is in your article, the tag makes it easier for people to find your post when they do a word search.
        Can anyone else chime in and confirm that?

  19. How do you guys write posts that draw a lot of traffic to the site? Suggestions?!?!? (and yes, I’ve already read the WP article on drawing more traffic to a blog).

  20. Hey guys!

    Could you give me some feedback on my writing style please? I’m doing a 30 day blogging challenge to try and get myself to start writing every day and posting on a regular basis. So far all of the topics are opinion-based and I want to know if I’m making a good argument for what I’m trying to say.

    I also would like to know if the spacing is good. I tend to want to write in long paragraphs, almost like I’m writing an essay. I’m trying to break out of this habit so my posts don’t look like large chunks of text.

    Thanks!