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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.

169 Comments

    1. I think that that’s a really really good post. I love the tone you use in your writing and I think that it is a great piece to reblog. I don’t know much about writing style or how to critique it, but I do think that the post is very well written. I hope this is helpful. Keep up the good work!

    1. Wow! That’s really good. I love the quotes you put in there, I think they went nicely with the photos. And the photos: they are so beautiful. I love the black-and-white and the diversity of the pictures. Good job!

    1. Hi! I just took a quick peek at your blog. I didn’t read everything, but one thing that stood out to me were your photos. They are really nice! I love the way they look and just overall think you are doing a great job blogging.

  1. Hello! I would love if you would take a quick peek at my blog. All feedback is welcome. I don’t really have anything specific, just sort of the blog in general. Thanks!

    1. I don’t have any ideas for posts but I do have a suggestion for getting more traffic.

      You seem to enjoy writing top ten lists, and readers tend to gravitate towards things like that. Maybe your future lists could have “top ten” somewhere in the post title.

  2. Hello all!

    I’ve posted in the community pool before and sadly didn’t receive any responses. I’ve now been blogging a bit more and was desperately looking for some feedback. Anything on the style I’ve chosen, my personal writing, the content, what I can do to improve and how I can make the menu and content clearer.

    http://www.aniquejjordan.wordpress.com

    Thanks wonderful WPers!

    1. I think that the theme you have chosen is really nice! I also really love your pictures! I didn’t delve too deep, but your blog looks really cool! Keep up the good work!

    2. I would recommend you use more pictures! I clicked on the post about SA. I would love to see more images from that trip! Shorter and more concise paragraphs keep people on the Internet more engaged.

    1. I really like this photo! I think it does show movement really well, and I love how it is blurred but you can still see that it’s a motorcycle so clearly. Good job!

    1. Despite your request, I’m leaving my comments here in case someone else can benefit from them too.

      I do the writing challenge every week (and read other people’s contributions) and have a few thoughts:

      1- Often, a lot of bloggers will write very similar posts for a challenge. You took a unique angle on the topic and made it work. Keep doing that.

      2- Your submission was a lot later than most if not all of the rest. I (and probably others) stop checking for new submissions by the time Friday rolls around. I only found yours because you commented here.

      3- A lot of us do the challenges for the fun of it, but WordPress almost always picks at least one submission per week for Freshly Pressed. If you want a chance at that, you probably need to publish your post by Thursday afternoon (Singapore time).

      1. Ah… it looks like you can wait until Friday afternoon then. Assuming that WordPress uses Eastern Standard Time (United States), you’re 12 hours ahead of them.

  3. Hi everybody. This is my first time in the “Community Pool.” Like most of you, I’m not a new writer but I am a new user of WordPress.

    I would appreciate any critiques and/or feedback on http://thetroofohio.wordpress.com. Please let me know what you think and your thoughts or recommendations on any improvements I could make. MUCH appreciated.

    1. Honestly, your blog title might be a problem.

      I don’t mean to make any accusations at you because I don’t know you. I just think a lot of people are going to look at that title and say “this guy’s a racist” once they see you’re white. Fairly or not.

      1. I don’t see the connection between the word “troof” and racism? I do appreciate your comment though, because I definitely have no intentions of offending anybody.

      2. Let me put it this way. By describing troof an “Ebonic term,” you seem to be using it respectfully. Others might think you’re making fun of how Black people speak.

        The question is how many people can discern the difference.

    1. Your post is simple, straightforward and to the point. Although it conveys the story concisely, I’d have liked a bit more descriptiveness to accompany the story. Maybe describe the hero a bit more and how his fear made him feel, maybe a few lines of what sort of place the hero thought he was in. But that’s just my opinion.

      I do like your content. Please keep up the great work. I’m a fellow fiction writer as well – check out my site if you’d like to read.

      - Mihir Kamat
      http://mihirkamat.wordpress.com

    1. Yes, Google should answer each and every one of our questions. And I get so pissed when Google fails me! Nice one. Good that you kept it a short length for a more personal, heavy write up like this.. That’s just my personal opinion. The more you can say with the least amount of words always hits the hardest.

    1. Your blog has some really good content. I especially like that you have a highly visible link called “Liberty in North Korea” in the header; it’s a subject that few people write about.

      However, I would strongly encourage you to change your blog theme. The one you use would be better suited to photography blogs. If I could discern the subjects of your posts by looking at pictures alone, the theme might be okay. I (and most other people) aren’t going to spend the time to move a cursor over each picture to see the post title appear; some people won’t even know to do that.

      1. Bumblepuppies, thanks so much for your feedback! I will definitely consider changing my blog theme. :) Hope you find some interest in the North Korea issue!

    1. Great blogs don’t need a common theme. As long as you have a point of view that you would love to share with the world, the rest does not matter.

      I didn’t dig deep into your site but I like the fact that in some of the posts I read “you” are conveying your point of view, not via another person. It’s much easier to read and the story flows very well.

      I myself write on a lot of topics that normally depends on how I’m feeling that day. I focus mainly on getting my message across, whether it is via prose or poetry.

      Hope this helps.

      - Mihir Kamat
      http://mihirkamat.wordpress.com

  4. Hi. My blog does well in subscribers and hits, generally. However, none of my posts get that many “likes” or comments. Not as many as I get hits, or anywhere near that. I have tried asking for feedback and encouraging my readers… but not sure why I’m not getting the comments I want, etc. Any suggestions? I do visit and comment on lots of other blogs (many on a consistent basis, and others as I find them). I’d appreciate any feedback you can offer… http://talesfromthemotherland.me/
    Thanks!

    1. First of all, I just went to your blog and scrolled my way through it. I like the topics you are writing about. But without being judgmental, coz I mean no offense, I feel that your posts are a little way too long. Too much stuff to read at one go. That could be a reason why you’re not getting much “likes” or “comments”. Try to shorten things a little. Or divide stuffs into multiple post. Isn’t short and sweet what everyone likes? But this is just my personal observation, and I shared it coz I feel it may help you. Good luck! :)

    2. I agree that the posts are too long for what most readers seek. If you prefer long posts (and if that’s what your subscribers want and are used to), use the WPlongform tag on anything over 1000 words. That’s the tag people search (if they know about it) when they want to read something long.

      1. I like your blog and writing style! I just read First World Problems and it was great. Just a suggestion your list of problems could have just been the first sentence without the explanation, cutting back the length of the piece and also adding a snappy, funny vibe. But I thought it was an excellent post, so don’t take this feedback the wrong way. I just followed you on Bloglovin’ which I’m lovin’ lately.

  5. Hey people! I just want some feedback on my blog; more specifically it’s appearance, layout, and writing style.

    My blog isn’t really specific, it’s more of a place for me to experiment with writing; I’m trying to find my niche in this world.

    Thanks! :)

    1. About the layout, I like the theme you have picked up. But two things which I didn’t like personally are the green background, and the left-aligned text. I think that a white or black background would look better, and a justified text for paragraphs is much more nice to read. It’s just my view. No offense intended. Good luck! :)

      1. Thanks for the suggestions.

        For the background, I probably won’t change it because I like it too much and I’m not a huge fan of a plain black or white background.

        I did try out the justified format and I will admit, it does look a bit cleaner and more professional. The reason I have left-aligned is because I feel it’s more familiar with a lot of people. Also, this is mainly a nit-pick, but the justified format will sometimes add extra space between words and it bugs me a little. But that’s just me.

    1. Since your site is a photography site, I would much rather see your pictures HUGE on the page. It seems to me there’s way too much text when the pictures should be the main feature that draws the eye. I would work with that … you want your beautiful pictures commanding attention when people arrive … less text, more pic. hope that helps!

  6. how i can get financial benefit from the free blog ? kindly tell me the procedure which i should have to follow ? When different visitors will visit my site, then how i can be paid financially ?

      1. You have more chance of elephants in evening dress having cocktails in Parisian night club then making money from your blog. To make money you need to have superior knowledge about a subject, you have to attract readers who want yout superior knowledge, then attract buyers who will pay you to write about, write for them or offer something that will sell. while you are waiting for the latter, start writing, write something interesting, write what people want to read and go from there. Its far from easy!!

      2. Even if you do all that Mysoresoul says, making money from your blog is a long hard road, and everything is stacked against it–particularly on WordPress, where they forbid some kinds of advertising. I tried for years to monetize my blog, then gave up. I now only blog when I’m burning to do so, out of love, not hoping for money. Ain’t gonna happen.

  7. I’m relatively new to blogging and haven’t really found where I fit in yet within the whole community, but I’d love for someone to take a quick look at my blog just to see if they like my work and what I’m doing :) I’d really appreciate it if anyone did :)

    1. more images please to break up the text, nice writing. are they your images? if not please could you acknowledge the photographer please. Keep going your doing great well done :D

      1. haha, well thanks :) I was thinking of dabbling with some more pictures but find it quite hard to find those which convey the same/similar thing as what I’m writing about! You know, I didn’t even think about that, I will most definitely do that in future! Thanks for the pointers :)

      2. Your welcome, have a look at the images on my site there are many images, let me know if there are any you would like to use and I will give you the ok. there is a big debate raging about photos and copyright hence the hint about acknowledgement :D

    2. The text is too light; it also needs to be broken up by photos or even just “air” (space). Sorry but I didn’t read the content. I do feel strongly about the text needing to be darker.

  8. Hi, I’d like some opinions. I’m quite happy with my theme but would like to change my font to something more modern and unusual. Can anyone suggest a good, readable font that would look nice on my blog? Thanks.

    1. Overall, you have a good blog.

      Other than how infrequently you post, the one thing that screams out at me is your header image. It looks like something antique. If you plan to continue writing posts that will appeal to a wide age range, you might want a header that doesn’t misrepresent your blog’s contents. (Some themes will even let you create your own, but it may not be worth changing your entire theme just for a new header image.)

      1. Thanks for the feedback, and I agree! My current header image is one of the stock photos in the 2010 template, and I have been looking for something more suitable/personal. Previously, I was using the iNove theme which does not have a header image. I have also been struggling with how much to focus (not too wide, not too narrow) my blog. I have many interests, but I don’t want the thing to be all over the place and confuse people.

  9. Hi people,
    I’m new to blogging – just 1 ½ months old. I’m looking for constructive criticism. Also, if I happen to be doing anything well, please let me know so I can keep it up. :)
    Many thanks,
    Sona

    1. The only issue I notice is that the blog’s content seems a little different from the rest. Especially the poetry. I wonder if it would be possible for you to start a second blog and link to it from the header menu you currently have. (The linking might not be possible. You’d have to ask someone who works for WordPress support.) “My Blog” could remain for your philosophical and religious posts and your new link could be labeled “My Poetry.”

      Of course, it’s also possible that there’s a connection between your poetry and the religious/philosophical contents that I’m not seeing. If so, you might just need to include a tiny bit of explanation with your poems.

      1. I agree. Although the poems I chose to add, with a little stretch of the mind, can be connected to the blog’s contents in a roundabout manner, it certainly does not fit in. I didn’t know what else to do so I added it into the blog posts, much against my wishes! Your suggestion of another blog is spot on.

        Circumstances in my country led to a couple of pals coercing me to start a blog asap and so I dived in. However, I’m highly dissatisfied with the layout of the whole blog. I plan to revamp it thoroughly – hence my request for feedback.

        I want a one-stop website that contains: 1) a blog and an about the blog section for my war against racism (religious/philosophical) ramblings, 2) a section for useful related links, and 3) a comprehensive about me section, which will contain stuff such as my poems, songs and art, not necessarily connected to the blog contents.

        Is that asking too much or is possible? Please advice and/or if you know who I should contact at WordPress for the needful.

        I deeply appreciate you taking the time to help me – thanks a lot!

        Sona

      2. It can be done. Step by step (sort of):

        1- Your main blog should become your front page. This MIGHT take care of itself if you change themes.

        2- You can create/edit pages similar to the way you create/edit posts. Have one called “Links” (or something like that) and one called “About me.”

        3- Add the Pages widget.

        4- Create your second blog (the one for poetry and the like).

        5- On your “About Me” page, you can include a link to that second blog.

  10. Hello! I’ve done a lot of fine detail work organizing my wordpress blog, crafting a few extra pages, getting the sidebar widgets just right … I’d like your feedback on whether it feels well organized to you; does your brain quickly make sense of what’s available there? or does it feel scattered and heavy on your brain? Thanks!!! http://www.thiswildwakingjourney.com

    1. Background color made me pull my head back. Widgets look fine. I found the cloud and tweet widgets useless for myself. I’ve been trying to mimic those that are successful by putting the most important things in order. You can see my sidebar for help. No one is exactly the same but I’ve taken ideas from a few of my favorite platform podcasters. I do like that you put up a teaser and building up suspense for your book. This blog I follow, talks a lot about that process, if your interested let me know.

      1. Hi IKIRBY … thanks for your comments. Yes I’d love to know about the blog you follow. I’m always thinking about how I can optimize my page to make it easy on readers. That’d be great, thanks.

  11. What’s up ya’ll! I’m looking for some feedback on my header, sidebar, and the general look and feel of the front page. Does the page create a sense of interest? Is the general theme of the blog easy to grasp immediately? Does it make you want to keep clicking and hang out awhile?

    Check it out!

    http://www.thechowderhead.com

    \m/

    1. hey Adam … I think you’ve got a great platform, site looks interesting, clean, etc. but I don’t understand your tagline at all … “grab a cup. 5 bucks at the door.” … I have no idea what your blog is about as I look through the page. I would suggest working on the tagline.

      1. No. Just plain. The tag line is a party reference – “the party’s inside”. Grab a cup, pay five bucks at the door.

        Make sense?

      2. oh ok … well, if that’s a tagline your audience will easily get, then awesome. I didn’t get it at all. … but I may not be your audience. … I will say that even I did get it, and I do now, it still gives me no sense of what you’re actually blogging about.

  12. Hello. I’ve never had a blog, but like a new convert I’m mad for it at the minute. I struggle for inspiration a bit. Any suggestions for direction in particular welcome..

    1. Hi
      If you’re struggling for inspiration try following the daily prompt. You’ll get pretty much random suggestions that you can probably twist to work for you any which way. Your blog looks nice and clean but you might want to get an “About me” page or similar on there just to let us know all about you.

  13. Hello everyone – I’m new to blogging. After taking up a new hobby of photography, I decided to blog it. I take all my photos with my iPhone. If you have time, can you please view my site at: bigdogdiving.wordpress.com. I would appreciate some honest feedback. Thank you ~ Efren

    1. Your photos are great but your theme isn’t the best match. You write so little with your photos that you could get away with one of the dreaded white-text-on-black-background themes. (A plain black or white background makes your photos pop more.)

      There are a few themes that are designed for photo blogs. Check those out, plus Piano Black if you don’t mind discouraging people from commenting. (Except for headlines and titles, the text on Piano Black is REALLY hard to read.)

      1. Thanks for the advice. I change my blog as you recommended. Please take a look and tell me what you think? Again, thank you so much. ~ Efren

      2. I agree. Thanks again for your advice and recommendation. Please visit often and check out my individual photos. I would love the same critique with fresh eyes. ~ Efren

  14. I keep running across these blogs that I assume are on the WordPress.com platform because I am being given the option to “follow” their blogs. Their blogs look incredibly different, though.

    Here are just a few examples:

    takingbackearth.com
    annalinnehan.com
    joshrhyne.com

    Has anyone seen these? I am sensing some of them are connected with the Empower Network.

  15. Hi all, I would like to take this opportunity at community pool to ask for feedback on my website that I created 2 months ago. I have changed the layout and I’m working on building my content.
    Any kind of feedback is welcome, please be constructive – I want to learn.
    Some important questions I’d like to be considered are – Is it navigation friendly? Is the content (in terms of font and layout) well presented? What can be done better?

    1. Loaned treasures from my past seems like it should be a list. My favorite 10 blog post. Or something to the effect and list them by numbering them. Why they are important to us and you. Some wise words I fell upon and am now passing to you. Have fun!

      1. When I read your feedback, a light bulb switched on. Thanks! I cannot change it now but I will keep that in mind from this moving forward!

  16. I’m really interested in knowing what everyone thinks after their initial discover of my blog. I have 70% first time visits and an avg of 2 mins per visit base don google analytics. What makes you want to leave after two minutes. I figure it has to be something in the post. The writing or the conclusion and connecting to another post isn’t desirable. Majority if my post are about 500 words. So two minutes feels like they are getting through one post. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m looking for your feedback and verification.

  17. I like to see chatting feature in wordpress, where i can chat with my online readers, followers etc..i can mention my gmail account and allow people to chat but it is just a workaround. do anyone know anything about it, or do u think it should be there..

  18. Hi Friends,
    I’m a brand new blogger over at http://www.fitface.wordpress.com . when I say new, I mean NEW. ha, I’ve been working endlessly trying to get my blog to look enticing, memorable and exciting. I don’t know how to use photoshop so I figured simple would be better for me. I would really appreciate some feedback based on what you think could use improvement.?
    Thanks a ton,
    Kaycee :)

    1. I see the potential for having a memorable and exciting look on your blog. Here’s a step by step idea:

      1- If you still have the jacket you’re wearing in your profile pic, take a close-up picture of the material or put it under a scanner. (The pattern would make a memorable background image.)

      2- Change your theme to Comet, Confit, or San Kloud (or test all three).

      3- Use the jacket picture as a custom background. (With San Kloud, you can also change the theme options to make the text boxes yellow or orange, if you prefer.)

      I can’t promise that the result will look good. I used a similar procedure to design my blog’s appearance but it took a lot of experimentation to get something I like.

  19. Hi. So I have been traveling a whole lot. Most of my photos don’t have me in it and my friends and family want those photos. I protested because photography wouldn’t be fun if it’s all about me. So, I picked up Coco and Pan from Copan Ruinas in Honduras last month. They’ve joined me on my trips and have been featured on my photos. Here’s a link http://denquinsay.wordpress.com/category/coco-and-pan-iphone-shots/

    Let me know what you think. Thank you.

  20. Thank you so much Bumblepuppies. I have saved your suggestions on a word doc on my computer. Shall eat this elephant bit by bit ;) and get back to you when I’m done, if that’s okay with you?
    Once again, your help is greatly appreciated.
    May you always find help when in need!
    Ta,
    Sona

    1. On the whole, it’s good. That border (or background image) is one of the best I’ve seen.

      However, I’m not entirely clear what the purpose of your “writing” page is. If it’s a longer work in progress, identify it as such. Is there a reason why that one piece of writing receives its own tab separate from your main blog content?

    1. I liked your blog. I really liked that you have pictures with your posts. It really makes one connect to you. The only suggestion I have would be to put a picture up on top of your blog. When I clicked on the link, and this could be my computer, but its just blank white. You have so much character in the writing but it does not show when you first click on the page.

      Jen.

      1. “Picture up on top of the blog”…that is a good idea. That will by my project this week. I don’t even have a “name” yet…it is still is “just another blog”…I appreciate the reply. thank you. – ir

  21. I have a question. Is there any way to use a different font size on the wordpress? I find the writing so small and consequently kind of serious. Some of my blog topics are serious so I guess that isn’t a bad thing but sometimes it would be nice to use a ‘fun’ font. Suggestions?

    1. Yes, but only for your posts. (Not for your menus…)

      When you’re writing a post, click on the Show/Hide Kitchen Sink button; that will give you a second row of buttons. Then, if you click on the “Format” drop-down box, you get options.

    1. I really enjoyed your blog. I am new at blogging so I dont have much advice to offer. The one disadvantage I saw was the name of your blog. It would not come up in a search engine unless of course i was looking for your name. I honestly think I would have thought it was a blog from outside of the USA and may not have bothered to look at it had it not been in this comment feed. I am glad I clicked on it and enjoyed the content very much. I think a different name would be more appealing and easier to remember. ~jen

      jennvilleusa.wordpress.com

      1. Jennifer, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and to offer your feedback. It is so funny that you mentioned the name of my blog, b/c when I set it up, I had the same thoughts that you did, but followed the advice of a social media strategist, I went with my name. I definitely will revisit this issue. I look forward to checking out your blog, as well!

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