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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. Love your photos! What I would say is to perhaps change the background theme to a more photography based one? So it looks in-keeping with the photo posts?
        Return the favour?
        laugraeva.wordpress.com
        Cheers!

        Like

      2. hey.. thank you for your input.
        But I didn’t understand why you felt that i should change the theme. Mine is not particularly a photography blog. I know there aren’t enough articles since i started blogging only a few days ago.

        Like

      3. For your blog, i read just 2-3 posts. I liked one of your post.
        You look good in your gravatar photo but it isn’t clear enough.
        Also i would like to see a few more colours on your blog. White and orange looks monotonous.

        Like

    1. Hi SUZIE81,
      Content A+, but high text density often discourages readers and they move on to another blog. Maybe a short introduction paragraph followed by a bullet list with concise sentences (15 words or less). You selected great images to support your content. With 20,011 views I don’t think you need my input—you’re doing fine:-)

      Like

      1. I personally find this advice to be absolutely terrible. If everyone followed this advice, the blogging world would be a horribly boring and formulaic place with little or no room for true self-expression. As such, I would strongly suggest to only use this format if the post truly warrants it, otherwise you’ll just become as formulaic and trite as the reality TV shows you just called out for being formulaic and trite. There is a time and a place for the suggested format, but not all posts qualify. The use of images can help break up the tedium of looking at a large block of text, and it seems you already do this and do it well. As long as your article is well-written and interesting, people will read. Maybe a few will go past you because they are lazy or afraid of expanding their universe to new ideas, but those of us truly interested in good writing will stick around. Keep up the good work.

        Like

    1. I am truly amazed by your sea of knowledge. Your content is a hybrid of history and personal statements which make your entire post stand out even more! However, it’s a little lengthy. Writing too long might not appeal to some others (I like long posts however). Like what the wise say, “Simplicity is beauty”. Overall, it’s a brilliant post! :)

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      1. Thank you very much for such a great comment. And thanks for the advice on the length of the post – I agree in that it’s a little too long…

        Have a great day!

        Like

    1. Hi there,
      I enjoyed the post and how it was written; I like bite sized nuggets of information and this hit the spot. Would you be so kind as to feedback on my writing? (Shouldn’t take long… I am trying to keep them short and punchy!

      Cheers!

      http://itsmybloginnit.me/

      Like

    2. I really liked what your wrote! It totally held my attention through the whole post with the brief explanation of each instance of revenge. Great job!

      Like

  1. I have a slef-hosted wordpress blog and I’d love to get some feedback on the content, look and navgation aspect of my blog. Thanks for your help!

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      1. I thought your blog was beautiful. I could not get onto the twitter follow, but hopefully someone else can check that for you since my computer is doing weird things and I never know if it is from my side. I love your blog name and your menu so simple across the top.

        Like

      1. Hello ;)

        I think you need to add some pictures or illustrations in your posts, side menu would be good too. It looks good even if you keep it without any changes :)

        Like

      2. Laugraeva … i think your blog would be greatly served by clarifying what you’re writing about and making that more known in the header … rather than just “random ramblings” … make a choice. What are you passionate about? Then focus on it. Good luck!

        Like

  2. Hello friends… I am freelance web content writer, as well as a freelance photographer. My blog is doing pretty well showcasing my work as a photographer. Now I would really appreciate if you could give me some suggestions on how I could build it up for a content writer. Or if you feel that I should create a different blog all together for that? I really need this feedback, so fellow bloggers, kindly help me out here… Thank you…

    http://turn2pagelife.wordpress.com/

    Like

    1. I don’t think there’s an easy answer to your question.

      If you want to put your writing on the same blog you currently have, you’ll probably need to change the theme. The text/background color combo you currently have would be a nightmare to read in longer posts. However, your current theme looks great with your photography and you might mess up the photography experience if you change the blog’s color scheme.

      If I were you, I would open a second blog. However, I would write a post on the photography blog that announces the creation of the second blog so that (hopefully) your followers would check out that second one too. I would also add a very prominent link (perhaps using the image widget) on both blogs connecting them to each other. You might also add a link on your “About” page.

      Like

      1. Thank you so much… I was really feeling lost about this. You have provided me with a genuinely good lead, so I’m definitely gonna take you suggestion and starting working on a new blog. :)

        Like

  3. i just created my blog, The Ergot, last night. I feel like I’m on the right track as far a scope, but I’m not sure how communicable the content is considering it’s a new blog.
    Please check it out and let me know if everything posted so far is written understandably and if the site if easily navigable.
    Thanks!

    Like

    1. So far, the site is well done for the most part. Just make sure your future posts fit the blog concept you’ve developed.

      My only concern (and this may not be correctable) is that your sidebar does not appear on your home page. If someone clicks on a link to your homepage once you have more posts, there is almost no clear link to anything older than the three most recent posts. (I’m accustomed to the header menu being for page listings, not category listings. Therefore, I’m not sure how many people are going to realize that the “art” button will take them to posts in the “art” category.)

      Like

      1. Thank you! I thought the lack of a sidebar on the homepage was a bit odd. Unfortunately, the theme distributed the option for the sidebar to the “About” page and I can’t edit the Home page to give it a sidebar. I’m not completely sure if it’s something I can’t correct because I’m new to this, but I believe my theme has infinite scrolling so I’m assuming that’s why the sidebar isn’t accessible from the homepage.

        … but then again, I could be very confused.

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    1. Just one suggested improvement:

      Your tagline is “Updates & tidbits from my poetry,prose and freaking awesome life as a 20something lawyer in lagos,nigeria.” It’s wordy, puts the most interesting details at the end, and doesn’t match the more serious tone of your writing. Delete “freaking awesome life” and find a way to move “20-something lawyer from Lagos, Nigeria” to the front. Your profession and location make you relatively unique around here and that’s what will attract people to your blog.

      Like

    1. It depends on how broad your target audience is. For the average person, your blog will probably be at least somewhat difficult to understand. For people with above-average education who choose to click on a blog called “The Whimsical Circumlocutor,” it should be fine.

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      1. Yeah the name is slightly… eclectic, let’s go with that. Hopefully the name itself will attract readers, my blog’s nearly two months old now. Thanks for bothering to comment, by the way. Although you haven’t asked for it, I’m going to follow your blog as it seems to be written by an intelligent and well read person, as the title suggests.

        Like

    1. make the sight more visually interesting. better header … put some veggies in your header … give it a little more visual appeal … i think the sidebar is a bit messy, too … you could clean that up so that it doesn’t distract as much from the main content … and more pictures in your posts! good luck!

      Like

      1. Thanks for your input! I’ll work more on your suggestions! I visited your site and actually enjoyed reading it! Good Luck with your next 30 days :p

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      1. Thank you fíe your feedback!! I visited your blog and I liked it! You made me wanna go to Memphis hahah I like your cheerful posts :)

        Like

  4. I am having a bit of trouble deciding on the layout. I want it to be clear, yet, sophisticated. I cant seem to find a balance. Or maybe I don’t know how to take advantage of all my options. I was using Chateau, which I liked.. but the main picture was huge. I have switched to another theme. I don’t know if I am happy with it. I want it to feel comfortable, easy on the eyes to read, and navigate. If anyone had any suggestions I would love to hear them. Thank you!

    Like

    1. Dear ruaca
      I think you should look at other peoples blogs and see what theme they use, you may get some inspiration! Don’t stay to the blog theme you have now if you not happy with it change it to a theme that you’re okay with in the mean time!

      Like

      1. That’s the thing, I cant find one that ticks all my boxes. I have looked at some other blogs. So many great looking ones out there. I think I am just not utilizing all the options. I having a difficult time understanding some of things and searching for answers I find difficult as well. It’s probably the novice in my use of this site, I am sure. I need to find someone who can help me I think. Thanks for your reply! :)

        Like

    2. Try adding a custom background image to the theme you have. These are easier to develop than you’d think. I created mine by scanning an old piece of clothing (you could also do a close-up digital photograph) and playing with the color settings in the image editing software that came with my computer. You could also create a 1-page PowerPoint document that consists only of a colored background. You could use one of PP’s preset patterns or develop a gradient background. (My test blog at http://blacklightcandelabra.wordpress.com/ uses a tiled gradient background.) If you go the PowerPoint route, be sure to save your document twice: as a .ppt (that you can edit later) and JPEG (that you can import into WordPress).

      Like

    3. While I do like all the themes WP provides, I find Chateau a little “messy” and a bit distracting.

      Like

  5. Dear Daily Post I have followed your advice but still no followers and I have written about nearly everything could you do something to help me gain more followers, Franki’s Fanciesxxxx

    Like

    1. Change the background image or get rid of it. It’s so busy I can’t read your content. (Also check the comment I left Ruaca, who is right above you in these responses. A pale-colored gradient background from PowerPoint, while still cheerful, might work much better for you.)

      Like

    2. I also don’t understand what you’re blogging about. Try answering why I should follow your blog in your header … why would it be interesting to me? Why do I care what Franki’s Fancies are? … what does it have to do with my life? How does it distinguish itself from the millions of other “random writing” blogs out there? Make a choice … what are you passionate about? Then focus on that and let the reader know immediately, up front, that this is what your blog is about … readers who resonate with that will follow you. Right now, it just seems way too vague. Good luck!

      Like

    3. Hi Franki. There are two big but easy things you should do right away to give your blog a clear identity. First, create a custom tagline for your blog. It is still set to “A fine WordPress site,” and that doesn’t tell us anything. Second, create your About page. It is also still set to the WordPress default. Tell us who you are and the purpose of your blog there. ;D

      Like

    4. Hi Franki, I really like the theme template for your blog, the layout is easy to read and not overfilled with clutter. I agree with the other commenters that a tagline would be useful to immediately tell me what your blog is about :)

      Like

  6. I need some advice! What is your honest opinion of my guest blogger Danka? Should I allow him or any of his animal friends to share their opinions on my site? please be honest :)

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    1. I think it is cute and like it. I like how spunky your blog is and comfortable. That is me though. Some people might think the animal stuff is silly, but I have never seen a blog quite like this and think it fills a niche. I hope someone else steps in and offers advice so you can get well rounded opinions with this.

      Like

  7. Hey, tell me: How’s my writing style:
    webdesignerarsenal.wordpress.com
    bit.ly/wdarsenal (if the above link scares you)

    Please answer me back. All responses welcome.

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    1. (Fair warning: I am not a web designer but i do have professional experience with technical instructions.)

      I don’t think you’re successfully addressing newbies or experienced programmers.

      Your blog title and statement that “everybody knows the wonders that CSS can do” made me think you’re addressing experienced programmers. I didn’t see the “very little about me” comments until later.

      But then some of your tips look like things a competent programmer should already know how to do. (I could be wrong about that, though.) And some of the instructions can’t be followed by a newbie. For instance: “So, in the HTML, we make a div with the class of a box.” You lost me there and I can usually follow tech writing. You need to define your terms. That one line had three:

      1- HTML: I thought that was a programming language. So how do I go “in” it? (Others may recognize HTML as something at the end of a URL but won’t know the programming language connection.)

      2- Div: huh?

      3- Class: I understood this but many others won’t.

      I recommend picking one audience (newbies or experienced programmers) and tailoring your content accordingly. When it comes to tech writing, one size does not fit all. If you want to address both groups, you will need to do so with separate posts… or with posts that have separate explanations for the two groups.

      Like

    1. I think it would be more useful to ask if the terms are interesting to the readers you attract to your blog. My gut feeling is that it will feel like a rehash of AP English to some but a refreshing look at literature to others. Have you visited your followers’ blogs? You might get a good sense from that on what their views might be.

      Also, I noticed that a couple of your literary term posts exceed the 15 tag limit. That means they didn’t end up in the reader… so you probably didn’t get a good feel for how popular (or not) they are.

      Like

    1. Heya … I think it’s nicely set up. Visually it works well for your topic. I did find myself wanting a little more clarification about WHAT specifically you are writing about in terms of books and lit. I mean, it’s a huge subject … so what’s your specific niche within that? Answering that question might help you find readers – or rather help your prospective readers FIND YOU – more readily. Have fun!

      Like

    2. I really like your blog! You are really on the right path. One thing I’d do, though, is revise your About page a bit. Instead of explaining the purpose of the blog in the fourth paragraph, bring that information up at the very beginning so readers will know right off the bat what you’re about.

      Like

      1. I am following you now. However, I am failing at finding a ´´like´´ button for your posts. Since it’s a feedback post, I thought I should point out that it’s nice to have one. Or maybe it’s just me that can’t find it? :P

        Like

      2. Hmm. The “like” button may not be working properly or I have failed to activate it on my blog. I’ll check it out.

        Like

    1. First off, mindfulness is misspelled in your tagline.

      Also in your tagline, I have no idea what macro photography is and neither will many other visitors. Instead of the macro word, perhaps your tagline should highlight your work with flowers and other natural subjects. That would grab more people’s interest.

      And your photography is strong enough to hold their interest once they start looking through your pictures.

      Like

      1. Bumblepuppy……..thanx for the eagle eye, hard to seem very mindful when you can’t even spell it. I also made the assumption that, being a photographer, I thought everyone knew what macro photography is. We do kind of get into our own profession lingo thereby excluding folks, my bad…………thanks for your time & inputs,& blessings to you……j

        Like

    1. Your blog needs a tagline and an About page. If I arrive at your blog, I can’t tell what it’s about; all I see is your name “Jandah,” which is not very informative. Since you’re going the “random thoughts” route, perhaps your tagline could say something about the person having those thoughts.

      Bottom line: A visitor has no idea what to expect if they click on a second post of yours. When that’s the case, they just won’t click.

      Like

  8. I’d like two things please! The first is any comments about writing style as I think it is all getting a bit sandy. The second is about tags. What is the benefit of doing it and how are they used? Are they like web links so readers can go to another site? Thanks

    Like

    1. I don’t know what you mean by sandy, but your style is fine.

      And tags are what let readers find your post on the WordPress Reader. They help bring traffic to your blog. Just don’t use more than 15 (tags and categories combined) or else you lose this benefit.

      Like

  9. I’ve recently made significant changes to my header, my newsletter sidebar sign-up – it’s all colorful and vibrant, but is it too distracting? … I want people focusing on content, but I also want acting on my free download invitation (newsletter) … also, are the main links too long? Thanks!

    http://www.ThisWildWakingJourney.com

    Like

    1. I really enjoy your blog, I find the content very relevant. My honest opinion is that I do find the vibrant colours a tad bit too distracting, but again that maybe just my visual personal preferences. Your content is excellent and I don’t feel like you need the variety of colours. I was however drawn to the free download upon first arriving on your page. :)

      Like

      1. I actually teach mindfulness. I’m the director for the Center for Mindful Education in Los Angeles. http://www.mindfuled.com … Anyway, about your site, I really like the header image. It tells me immediately what your site is about. Good job. I thought the rotating banner images were moving a little fast. I’m looking on my mobile phone though, so perhaps it’s different on a desktop. I am not a big fan of the “read more” style of blog posting. I would prefer to be able to see your entire post right on that page, rather than having to click through to see more. You’re probably doing this in the interest of keeping the page cleaner, and showing more of your posts. However, I would suggest listing your favorite posts in a widget on the right column, and letting the full posts appear – keeping them clean, of course – but letting them appear in full on the front page. That way you can be sure if readers visit your page they’re getting your full content without having to jump anywhere else. Just my suggestion. Have fun!

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      2. Hi Bryan: I checked out your website, what an interesting job you have!!
        Thank you for taking the time to provide some real concrete suggestions for improvement I really appreciate it! I do agree with the read more style of blogs; its something I went back and forth with when setting up my home page.
        Thanks again Bryan, and I look forward to following your future posts.

        Like

    2. Hi Bryan,

      SoundEagle likes your blog thiswildwakingjourney in general, and don’t find your header, newsletter sidebar sign-up distracting. However, there are at least three issues with the sidebar sign-up as follows:

      1) It is entirely an image, and the texts appear to be a little fuzzy.

      2) Since it is an image, it takes just a fraction more time to load, and Google search engine cannot index or process the content (if you have reason(s) to want it to).

      3) It is better to open the sign-up page in a tab or a (pop-up) window so that the current post or page is still preserved.

      For the same/similar reasons, SoundEagle would also like to suggest that you let the texts in your “WHY THIS BLOG” image be real texts and not be absorbed into the image.

      Otherwise, and on the whole, you do have a lovely and attractive blog! :)

      SoundEagle hopes that you will find the suggestions helpful and relevant to you.

      Like

    1. I really like the layout and theme for your blog, you don’t have too many widgets and clutter. I would fill out your about page instead of leaving it the generic word press default. :)

      Like

    1. I thought you blog theme was very nice and clear and your name is quite catchy. I loved the joke about your grandmother walking 5 miles a day. I think you blog will get plenty of followers and I think I’ll be one of them!

      Like

    1. I really like you blog, the about page is clear and tells readers exactly what to expect. My only point would be that when I first log onto your website I feel overwhelmed by the logo and the picture in the header section, it feels a tad bit to cluttered and it distracts me from your content.

      Like