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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.

451 Comments

    1. Hi Ash – your writing and your site is beautiful … the only thing that occurred to me is that you might want to put a search function in, so that people can put in the name of the piece that has stayed in their mind and return to it without scrolling? I can imagine people would get very caught up reading and would want to go back to exactly where they were …. xx

    2. I loved reading your prose. It’s late, but the way you write means that I will steal a few moments tomorrow to read a bit more. Would you (and anyone else) be able to comment on my writing style- in particular, the length of post. Should I elaborate a little more? Many thanks!

    1. I think this is a good point that I hope you continue to explore. At first I though the post was somewhat sappy; but as a new blogger it is so easy for us to inflict self discouragement. I have began using the help of a blogger and a non-blogger for support and necessary criticism toward improvement.

      Question: Do you mind reviewing some of my tags? I seem to struggle with this a little. Could you also quickly check the overall feel of the blog? Thanks again.

    2. Suzie81 -I really enjoyed this post and something I really needed to read! I haven’t written on my blog in awhile for various reasons but I was starting to feel like maybe no one cares. Your post encourages me to keep going!

    1. Honestly, the home page looks so empty that it didn’t make me want to continue. For starters, visitors need to know immediately what your blog is about. I know you have an About page, but your header menu fades into the background image. I didn’t notice it until I started looking for anything that might be missing.

      I did find the + button, though, and clicked on it. I can’t even find the listings of your most recent posts.

      And then I eventually found the other + button which brings visitors to where they can leave a comment. It’s not labeled, so it was quite confusing.

      Your content may be good (I didn’t check and I don’t usually critique content) but I wonder how many people actually get to it. I’d suggest a more intuitive layout.

      1. I agree with bumblepuppies. A new layout could definitely work in your favor. A layout that is clean and easy to navigate. I was able to take a look at one of your posts and it was enjoyable to read, but it was also hard to find.

      2. Thanks so much for the feedback I’ve changed the layout so that my recent posts are displayed immediately on the homepage. But I’m not sure how I should display my about page in a more prominent place. Really appreciate the advice thanks :) Oh I’ve stuck to the spun theme cos it’s my favourite haha

    1. Let me put it this way.

      The design looks good. However, I’m not sure all that dark gray quite fits a jewelry design blog, even though you specialize in wire-wrapped jewelry. I kind of expect more pop from a blog on your topic.

      Nevertheless, the design is tasteful… which is also important for your blog topic.

    2. Since your blog is (mainly?) about promoting your jewelry, I’d suggest creating a header that highlights your art. You can even upload more than one header image and allow WP to randomly alternate between them that way visitors always get new eye candy of what you’re selling. Right now, I feel a bit of confusion when I visit your site.

      You have the description of your jewelry, but the layout – although clean and uncluttered – does not tell me where I’m at.

      Go back to the basics: why have you created this site and what do you want out of it. Then review your design with the answers to those questions in mind.

      Now. The theme you chose – this is an elegant theme, you know, it’s nice to look at. But for me it just ads to the confusion. What am I supposed to click first? Where do I go next? I only read one of your posts though, and the content seems totally appropriate to your business.

    3. I liked the way you incorporated the pictures. I can’t seem to do that and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong to make them stay where I put them. Have any suggestions?

      1. You could add a twitter icon/widget to the side of your homepage, so that they could follow your thoughts more regularly than a blog post.

        Do you mind checking out my blog?

  1. Abozdar.wordpress.com
    That is my humble blog, comments, feedback, kicks, pats, whispers, shouts, smiles, frowns..all welcome :-)

    1. I’d suggest you stop using the word “humble”. You’re too good for it, and people like me who are not at your level of writing may feel lesser than. Or something like that. I’m trying to compliment you. The layout, the photography, the prose = great job!

      1. Look who is saying that, versatility personified, thank you that is very kind of you :-) by the you meant fanatic ;-)

      1. The only thing is that now I know you I may steal all your words and don’t give you any credit ;-) I am already using your pen name in following
        a beautiful ring lady
        Going steady
        Then she meets
        A mad man
        Who came to
        to her circus
        Borrowed her lion
        And ate her
        favourite hen :-)

  2. Curious what people think about my theme. I didn’t really consider it much when I first started, but now I think it’s pretty bland. Would be open to paying for one. Any thoughts? Thanks. coveredinbeer.com

    1. If I were you, I’d try changing the background color (the gray border) to a different color. Something orange-ish to go with the beer header might liven things up a bit.

      Don’t forget, also, that you can do a live preview any paid theme before choosing to buy it.

      Actually, doing a live preview of many themes is never a bad idea. The theme I chose was one I would have never picked based on the thumbnail image, but it turned out great once I got my custom elements on there.

  3. I released my first book, “At First Sight”, yesterday as part of its global launch. I want to get the community’s opinion on my website – http://mihirkamatbooks.com/ – which I’m using as a platform to provide information on the book’s availability and other relevant news.

    Appreciate any feedback you may provide. If you’d like to know more about the book, please leave me a message using the contact form.

    1. Does your theme allow you to use sidebar widgets? If so I’d remove your social media links from the bottom of the homepage, and create a clean widget on the side with all your links. Personally – since it’s a page to promote your book, I’d put the links up top. Other than that, it’s a very nice, professional and clean site.

    2. I think you’ve done a good job of making all information about the book easy to find. I might suggest that you include an excerpt of the book to get people interested in reading more. I’d also suggest using the widget that posts your twitter feed in the sidebar to keep your readers up-to-date with your news. Good luck to you!

      1. Thanks – I do have a book excerpt posted using the “Read Excerpt”, may need to make it more prominent. The twitter feed is a good idea, will look into it.

  4. Chiming in for a ‘please make suggestions on my website/blog’ … http://www.intothesoul.com …. if anyone’s interested I’d be really appreciative. I’m a clairvoyant, my site covers spirituality, using your intuitive gifts, psychic readings, crystals and lots about love. Is it too much? …. thanks in advance xx

  5. Hi. I have a blog here called “Statesmen Not Politicians.” The problem is that no one seems to be able to find it. I can pull it right up on my computer, but when my friends search for it, no one can find it. My reading setting is set for letting search engines find it. I’m stumped. Does anyone have any ideas?

    1. It might be on a different page on Google. For instance, my blog used to be on the 1st search results page until a singer released a CD with the words Sister and Eternal in the title. So my blog got pushed back to the 4th page. I believe if you continue to post and make use of effective tags, it will start to show up in search results. It took my blog about a month to show up on Google when I typed in the title of my blog, The Sisters Eternal. I hope that helps!

      1. Thanks for the advice! I’ve decided I’m going to start posting every day or so, regardless of whether I think anyone will see it. I began to day with a post about Voter ID. We’ll see how it goes. Thanks, Sisters!

  6. thesonofkings.wordpress.com
    Check it out my blogging friends! I’m new to the blogging world and ALL feedback, criticism etc is GREATLY appreciated. This is my blog about my forthcoming novel (more posts to come shortly). All advice welcome. Enjoy! :)

  7. Hey guys! I’m considering adding a monthly feature to my site to do with crafting (knitting/food/pictures/whatever I can think of). I already had something going via my Works In Progress category, but it’s been a while since I’ve had something “in progress” to brag about.

    I guess my question is, given that it’s predominately a theatre site, is it too random a tangent to add? All thoughts welcome :)

    http://laidigsbroadway.wordpress.com/

  8. Good morning all!
    Have a look at my blog :) I’ve recently changed the theme and I would like to know if it’s appealing. Also, I have made the resolution to blog about what I like aside from blogging a lot about the book I’m in the process of publishing. Are you getting a sense of who I am with the introduction of my A Piece of Me category?
    http://thesisterseternal.wordpress.com

    1. I randomly clicked on a story under the Piece of Me category.

      A- This theme is appealing (I used it for my company’s site)
      B- Are all your “pieces of me” posts fiction or is there also non fiction included?

      This is a site mainly to promote your book? If so, may I suggest you use a static about me page for the home page. And move your blog posts to another page… Kudos to you on putting something pretty nice together though!

      1. Thank you! So far, there are two subcategories under A Piece of Me: short stories (fiction) and Music Appreciation where I showcase music that I like. I want the site to function as a promotion tool for my book as well as a blog where others can learn about who I am. From the suggestions I’ve received so far, I’m seeing that my blog needs more clarity. I see there is some revamping that needs to be done :)

    2. Your theme seems just perfect for the purpose of promoting your book! The Piece of Me category left me slightly confused – maybe a sentence or two to introduce it would help? Though I don’t know if it’s even possible to add any text before the list of posts in the category.

      1. That’s a great suggestion! Thank you, Mara. I will see if there is a feature for that. I did have a post explaining the category, but it seems that it can get lost amongst the other posts. If there isn’t a feature like that, I’ll change the name of the category for clarity :).

    3. The layout and theme seem really good, I like the prominence of the book cover and the resolution makes everything really clear and easy to read. I’m not seeing this introduction though, that might be me looking in the wrong place I suppose.

      1. The introduction is great, I’m doing a similar sort of thing with my own wordpress site. I update flash fictions, poetry and sometimes excepts in the hope it will help build an audience for when I finally finish ‘The Lady Winters’ (currently at 25000 words).

    1. I like the way you used the quotation formatting, but not sure if the color you used for the text is different enough to really set it apart from the rest of the page. Also, you might want to underline, bold or otherwise differentiate the names of Mr. and Mrs Hacker to more clearly separate them from the dialogue. Just my thoughts. It’s a great post and I look forward to seeing more from you!

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