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


Comments are closed.

Close 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?

    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.

    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 – – 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’ … …. 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!

    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 :)

  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?

    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!

  9. Hi all! I just started my blog last week and have been posting almost every day. It is about travel, fashion and lifestyle. I would like to have your candid opinion on my blog and it’s posts! Thanks for stopping by

    1. Good blog. Is it Cinque Terre in the header? Clear structure. Good About Me Page. Me personally I would prefer the navigation possibility in your footer immediately under the header photo. Good luck in NYC.

      1. Thanks! Good eye – it is cinque terre! I’m still working on the kinks of using wordpress so will have a look at playing with the footer. Great feedback, appreciate it! x

  10. Hello, fellow bloggers! I’d like to ask for help with my site design: I recently changed to a three-column layout to accommodate all the widgets that I love, but I wonder if it doesn’t feel too heavy and cluttered? I can’t tell myself because I see it everyday… Any feedback much appreciated! Thank you and happy blogging!

    The blog I need help with is:

    1. Hi Mara Eastern! know you from the zerotohero forum. I like your blog. I can find my way. Don’t think it’s to cluttered. You did a good job with the three columns and the widgets.

      1. Hi, Marius! Nice to see you, sure I know you too!

        I tried checking your blog several times but only today did I find that besides German, there’s some English (I’ve just read the scary story about ME in bottle)…

        Thank you so much for the feedback. I appreciate it a lot. Good luck with your blog (you’re using a beautiful theme, by the way)!

    2. I don’t think it looks cluttered. However, I don’t think it’s a good idea for what is mostly a photo blog. By adding the third column, you reduced the maximum size of your photos and I think that hurts your blog.

      1. Thank you so much for your feedback! I didn’t think of it from your perspective, so your input is extremely helpful! I’ll surely keep your point in mind when I make the next change. Meanwhile, good luck with your blog too!

    3. I have to agree with Bumblepuppies above that the 3-column design doesn’t showcase your photos as well as it should – because some are quite striking. To me, it does feel too full. There are so many words in different settings across the page that it’s hard to choose where to put your eyes first. You could possibly use different background colors or more distinct borders on the columns to better differentiate them, if you want to keep all that content right up front. Or make several pages with different content types on each.

      1. Thank you so much for your feedback! I’m really very grateful for your insights! Thanks for the tips also – I’ll be definitely thinking about it and see what I’m able to do, also technically speaking :-) I wish you happy blogging!

  11. Hi, looking for some input please. My site is (wordpress base)

    I’m looking to get an audience really and need some help on reaching followers. I know I’ve not posted much yet, but it’s still very early days for me. Please comment on the site and/or post with any tips. Thanks

    1. I’m no expert at this type of blog, but here go my 2 cents. First, beautiful choices for color and art, though I’m not sure all your text needs to be that color. Not sure why you need the calendar widget in the sidebar, unless there are events you’d like to highlight with it. To gain followers, you may want to find other bloggers who interest you and comment on/follow their sites. You may also find that if you offer some advice or links that help the people you want to attract, they will find you. Try for interesting titles and strong tags/categories with each post. (new writer is a tag that often finds like minded individuals.) Also, add a blogroll with sites you follow to get cross-traffic. Good luck to you! Please drop by my blog sometime.

  12. Hi, I’m seeking input/advice/constructive criticism on creating a weekly feature for my blog.

    Inspired by tips from the Zero to Hero challenge, I’m thinking of starting a regular feature on my blog and would appreciate hearing some feedback about it. My idea is for a “Saturday Shelfie” weekly feature. As you can probably guess, a “shelfie” is the book version of a selfie! It would be fun to get other bloggers involved in this feature.

    The criteria is simple: take a photo of your current book and post it on your blog along with a brief (spoiler-free) synopsis of the book and your thoughts on it.

    My plan is to design a logo/badge for Saturday Shelfie which other participants can use on their blogs when they publish their Saturday Shelfie posts.

    What do you think?

    The only issue with my idea is that I want it to be a weekly feature every Saturday but on average it takes me more than one week to read a book, so some weeks I’d be posting the same photo of the same book. Does anyone have any creative ideas for working round this problem (apart from the obvious solution of reading more!)?

    1. Great idea with the SHELFIE. Would take part. Maybe it’s better to do it every fortnight or every month. Don’t know. But the more I think about it the more I like your idea.

      1. Thanks. I can’t see any other bloggers who are doing it at the moment. Maybe it will catch on and become popular!

        I like the idea of changing it to fortnightly or monthly. I had it in my head that I wanted it to be weekly but there is no reason why it has to be.

    2. I love the idea of Saturday Shelfie, it sounds wonderful, but if you’re worried about your reading speed then why don’t you find two or three other bloggers who are also keen readers and get then to post guest blogs in rotation to your own.

      1. That sounds like a good idea. I used to read a lot more – one year I kept a reading diary and read over 60 books! But now I don’t have as much time to read. I’m hoping that other bloggers will get involved anyway and share links to each others’ Saturday Shelfies.

      2. Well I’d be more than happy to get involved, I tend to get through books at a fair pace. I started Divergent at 11pm last night and had finished it by 4am. I didn’t intend to read for that long but I got kind of caught up in it.

    3. I think that it’s a wonderful idea and that other bloggers would certainly get on board. Using guest shelfies could be fun, too, if you don’t read often enough – perhaps along the lines of “my friend was reading this when I met her for coffee” or “I asked my mom to take a shelfie while she was on her cruise.” You could also include any other print media you found interesting that week – a great magazine article, a new cookbook for example.

    1. Great blog. the structure of the headquartes page is clever. Must think to adapt it. The texts I will read but it’ll take a bit. It’s not my mother tongue and I’m a bit tired at the moment.

      1. No worries, I’m glad you’ve taken the time to visit the site and I know from experience that reading in a language second to you can be difficult.
        I’m currently trying to improve my French and learn Latin.

    2. Your blog is beautiful – love the background and the easy navigation to the various pages. Nicely done. This story is a little outside my usual favorite genres but, that said, I think it is off to a good start and really hooks the reader. I will be back to see what’s next!

    1. I like the layout and look of your blog, and the use of media. the short post format also keeps it interesting and easy to read. However, the most recent post seems a little thrown together, with some typos and grammar mistakes, and is a little “jumpy” from one thing to the next. Didn’t really understand the point it was trying to make. Good luck! Hope this is helpful.

    1. I like your content, you have a great point of view and the writing feels honest. The page itself gets a little “boring” to look at with so much type and little to break it up. You may want to try adding a few headers, colors or other tricks to your page to keep the reader’s attention, especially with long posts of this type. Keep up the good work!

  13. I write on psychology, life, relationships and anything that catches my fancy (as they say) with a mix of photographs and quotes. Any feedbacks on my writing etc. is appreciated. Also, any theme recommendation?

    1. I like your theme. :) It’s clean and uncluttered and showcases your photos very well.

      The only thing I would suggest is adding an About Me page. Whenever I visit a new blog, the first thing I look for is the About page. I realize that not every blogger wants to share a ton about themselves, for example, I didn’t add a photo to my About page until relatively recently. But when reading blogs it’s nice to be able ‘to put a face to the words’.

  14. Hello, I am new to the community here. My name is Katie and I will be trying to get to everyones page that has left a comment on here. I do have a favor, I posted a poem today titled “Universe” and I would love for you all to check it out and let me know what you think! My layout is lame, I just started this whole thing yesterday so keep that in mind please. I love the feeling of community here!

    1. I think that you are off to a great start. I started in January and know it takes awhile to ramp up and discover the layout that suits you. That said, the clean look of your page is very appropriate for your poetry. It makes a nice showcase without too many distractions, so the reader can focus on your words. It is a lovely poem, too. I look forward to seeing more from you!

      1. Thank you very much for the kind response. It is nice to hear that it gets easier on here. Me attempting to navigate throughout this website is a site to see in itself! lol

  15. How do you get picked for Freshly Pressed? Oh, and I would appreciate any feedback on my blogs. :)

    1. The title is good. “Love changes everything” is not so good because it is vague Something more descriptive like “Following love to a new country” might work better. Some expats don’t know the word expat…

      1. Thank you bumblepuppies. I wasn’t sure about the tag line either. I will consider this suggestion because as you say expatriates sometimes don’t know the term “expat”. Thank you for looking at my site.

  16. Hi there! I’m very new to wordpress and I’ve set up the account for a fashion brand I’m taking over the social media for. I’d love your hints and tips on what makes great posts on the subject, I was thinking of being more diverse than simply talking about the brand. I’d basically just love someone to give me an outline of how they, as an experienced wordpress blogger, would post and interest an audience! thanks! :)