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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. Nice blog topic. I heard about Eurovision a few years back but since I don’t live anywhere near Europe, it’s hard to find more than a few performances online. Your blog will definitely help me learn more about this show and also watch more performances.

      Like

  1. Hello, community! I’d much appreciate your feedback on the pages of my blog. I made several pages with timeless content to tell the readers more about the blog and help them navigate. I wonder if the pages do the trick for you. Will you click them when visiting for the first time? Will you notice they are there? Are they clear to you? Thank you for any suggestions!

    http://www.maraeastern.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a great idea and I have done that in the past. It took me a little while to find yours simply because it’s on the dark area at the top and I couldn’t easily see it above the banner – perhaps put it at the side? Hope that helps ?

      Like

      1. I agree with Steve re. the visibility of the menu, but I love what you’ve done with organizaton with categories. I haven’t been very disciplined on that front. Perhaps when I get more posts under my belt, I’ll take a note from you and do the same.

        Like

    2. There is some scope of improvement, but that doesn’t mean it looks bad. You could try a theme that would suit your content better than the current theme. Try some and see if it works. :)

      Like

      1. Thank you for your feedback! It’s much appreciated. You’re right about the theme, I’m not too happy with the current one but I couldn’t choose anything more suitable so far… I think I may need to go for the customisation upgrade. Happy blogging to you! (Your blog theme is perfect :-) )

        Like

    3. The menu being “hidden” away at the top took a brief moment to find, but wasn’t too off-putting. My only real criticism is one of personal preference: I don’t care for the theme, but that is purely an appeal (or lack thereof) to personal aesthetic. If you like the theme, by all means, go with it.

      I would agree with CCHICANERY that playing around with other themes might not be a bad idea, especially if you are uncertain about the one that you have. I would agree with that even if I liked the theme that you have. I have changed themes I think four times on my primary blog, and at least twice on my other two, and I don’t know that I’ve necessarily found the “perfect” one yet, though so far for me, it’s the best one I’ve found. Perhaps the one you are using is your current best, but you may need to look around and try others on for size. You can always use the preview mode without having to commit.

      Like

      1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and helpful criticism! Yes, I need to change the theme, now I can see it. Believe me that I tried in preview all the themes there are (now when I arrive at a blog, I can usually tell the name of the theme the blog is using by simply glancing at its looks…), but somehow I can’t find any better fit for me yet. I guess I’ll need to try again :-) Many thanks again and good luck with your blogs too!

        Like

    1. If I were you, I’d change the blog title to what you’re using as your subhead: “Diary of a Nomad.” It’s much more interesting and specific than what you’re currently using. SInce your subhead is so small, it’s easily missed under the much larger title, and that title does not make me want to read further.

      (However, I like your photos.)

      Like

    2. Your pictures are really beautiful! I would think that a photography theme would enhance these photographs; for example, Hatch, Triton Lite, Mixfolio, Fontfolio etc. (:

      Like

  2. HEY! I would love for you to come visit my blog! I recently changed my theme, and would love to hear what you have to say about it :)

    I’ve also recently posted an article about hate. I would be very glad if anyone can provide with some constructive criticism regarding my writing.

    I thank anyone who helps me out here in advance!

    http://swagnificentintellect.wordpress.com

    Like

    1. Your blog is very clean and easy to look at. I can’t see the photos at the top of your post but that just could be my problem. Also, you should update your profile pic rather than the default icon – it gives you an individuality. Happy blogging!

      Like

      1. Thanks a ton for your input :D yes, I think it’s a problem from your side, because I can view the photos from my laptop.
        Yes, I will update my profile pic – that does make sense. :P
        Thanks again.

        Like

    2. The look of the blog is very pleasant and I can see the photos, too. The only minor inconvenience is that the text in the sidebar doesn’t read too well because it’s dark brown on light brown…

      Like

    3. I’m probably gong to be a little harsher than the others, but please understand that I am 1) nitpicking, and 2) offering the constructive criticism you asked for.

      To begin with, the appearance of your blog is generically pleasing. The layout is good, The color pallet is nice, but it needs some more contrast. The brown sidebar links on that wood background are practically invisible and nothing on the page makes me want to hang around for more. Perhaps a more interesting background or a custom header of some kind, and definitely do something about the sidebar.

      Now about the post. I agree with what you wrote, and overall, it isn’t poorly written. The problem is the overly conversational tone in which it is written. I understand that many of us tend to write as we speak, but perhaps some editing before pushing publish is in order. There are certain phrasings that could use some polishing, at least from my point of view. If I were to edit for you, here is an example of how I would rephrase a section of your work:

      Your words from your post:

      … Why not, (as banal as it sounds) maybe, rise above them? Because look, here’s the thing – in most of the cases, the offender doesn’t have the faintest clue that you’re pissed off at them. They’re going to carry on with their lives, completely oblivious to the fact that you’re cursing them. So you’re at loss, aren’t you? Because you’re just going to continually….

      This would be my suggested rewrite:

      … Why not, as banal as it sounds, rise above them? In most cases, the offender doesn’t have the faintest clue that you’re pissed off at them. They’re going to carry on with their lives, completely oblivious to the fact that you’re cursing them. You’re the one at a loss, because you’re just going to continually….

      Again, these are minor details. Your overall thought structure and the general flow of your post works very well. Keep at it and you can only get better.

      Like

      1. WOW WOW WOW that is probably the best criticism I’ve heard from a complete stranger! it means so much to me that you wrote all of that in such a detailed manner. I will definitely keep your suggestions in mind. And work on my appearance too. Thanks a ton, again.

        Like

  3. Hi community! I started blogging in January. I would love to know what you think about it… I am a parent but I don’t want my writing style to be too 1 dimensional… and only be of interest to women or parents… would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    Like

    1. I loved your apology to ‘Dog’, and the inclusion of visually engaging photos. I’m not a mother nor parent, but found your apology so fun to read – and quite accurate at times. I, too, had a dog of similar temperament. Keep up the good work!

      Kate

      Like

    1. You have a very nice, clean blog format. It’s visually appealing and makes it easy to scroll through. For someone like me who easily gets headaches looking at a computer screen, your blog is a sight for sore eyes… literally! My only advice would be to place your instagram widget closer to the top of the page just in case someone doesn’t scroll all the way to the bottom. You have some great pictures there so it would be a shame for your readers to accidentally miss out on that.

      From one Jessica to another, keep up the good work, girl!

      Like

    2. Ditto! Your blog is simply written which makes it enjoyable to read. I like your photos – it gives the feeling life is good. The same feeling that morning & chocolate evoke. Nice blog.

      Like

    1. I love it that the blog is called Innocent Love and your theme is Lovebirds! It looks very nice! Just blog on about anything that captures your attention, I think you’re doing just fine so far :-)

      Like

    1. I loved your post! I think the “hi my name is” part is awkward for everybody, but you handled it well. and I truly do think you nailed the authentically-humorous thing (I loved the “for when I start exercising, which I am definitely going to do… definitely. maybe.”) I struggle with the exact same thing. I want to be funny but I don’t want to SOUND like I’m trying to be funny. haha :) but I think you’re definitely on the right track, great job!

      Like

    2. I enjoyed reading it, and yes, it made me laugh. You should add the like button to the bottom of your posts. Had it been there, I would have liked it.

      Like

  4. Also, I have one more question – about pages and posts.

    So if I decide to make my front page static, what will happen to my posts? where will they get posted?

    If I decide to make another page called “blog”, can I make my posts appear there in a reverse chronological order? (keeping my front page static.)
    If so, how?

    Thanks a lot!

    Like

    1. Make a page called Archives. There is a way in the setup menu to do this. You might want to use the “More” feature on your posts so that people can summaries of the articles, rather than having to wade through them. If you want to look at my blog, you can see how i did it. Happy writing, Silent

      Like

      1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I did have a look at your blog, and the confusion is slightly dispersing now. I’ll look into the More feature, Thanks again!

        Like

    2. @saurabh
      re: static front page
      By default the front page of your blog displays all published posts (not pages) in reverse chronological order, with the most recently published post on top. That is for the convenience of your returning visitors, who come to read your latest post, and who are not likely to be happy with being compelled to click through the same static page with the same blah, blah, blah on it every time they visit the blog looking for the latest post.

      However, if you do not want all the posts to show on the front page, then you can create a static front page called for example “Welcome” for your site and a “Blog” page for posts. To do that create two pages first.

      After you do that you go to > Settings > Reading and make the designation change and click “save changes”. http://en.support.wordpress.com/pages/front-page/

      Like

      1. Yes, now that you’ve laid it out so easily, it seems to make a lot more sense. Thanks so much!
        Also, can I make my posts appear in a reverse chronological order on my “blog” page, while keeping the front page static on “Welcome”?
        and what are the settings for that?
        Thanks again :)

        Like

    3. @saurabh
      re: static front page and reader impact
      It’s my not humble option that those who create static front pages for aesthetic reasons such as “I want my blog to look like a website” are not on the ball. We have 3 – 4 seconds before any visitor to our site clicks out. Returning readers don’t cotton to clicking through the same static front page with the same blah, blah, blah on it every time they come to read your latest post. I never ever create a static front page on my blogs because I learned years ago that they are traffic killers. Read more on the characteristics of post based structures (blogs which are attractive to search engines) vs page based structures (websites which are not attractive to search engines) here http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/05/12/better-blogging-at-wordpress-com-pages-and-posts/

      Like

      1. Thanks for that link. I have a question I’m wondering if you could answer with your experience. My blog is new and I just switched to a static front page. I still have a latest posts link as well. But that link you posted said search engines look for updating front pages, however I used the recent post widget on the sidebar. Does that solve the issues with static pages and SEO or is the updating sidebar not enough to make a difference?

        Like

  5. Hi Everyone. I have started a blog a little while ago and it’s going fine with a increasing following. I ma getting a good few likes, but very few comments. If anyone has time to glance a at the blog and pass on any opinions as to why this might be I’d be very interested to hear any views.

    Any other comments, including critical comments are also welcome of course

    Like

      1. Hi Steve, thanks for your reply, I’ve checked my dashboard and seen my primary blog was set incorrectly. Sorry about that, it’s my age and lack of computer literacy. The blog I was querying was Let me tell U a story @bublicksblog.org. Us oldies are useless at times!

        Like

      1. Hi Mara,

        Thanks for your reply, I’ve checked my dashboard and seen my primary blog was set incorrectly. Sorry about that, it’s my age and lack of computer literacy. The blog I was querying was Let me tell U a story @bublicksblog.org. Us oldies are useless at times!

        Hopefully now a better blog should sit in front of your eyes, my apologies inadvertently wasting your time

        Like

    1. I’ll have to agree with Mara, especially if you continue to use that template, the lack of pictures is a little off-putting. Also, as much as I like the background image, the repetitiveness and the bold colouring does detract from your site. It pulls the focus away from your writing.

      Like

      1. Hi Carol

        Thanks for your reply, I’ve checked my dashboard and seen my primary blog was set incorrectly. Sorry about that, it’s my age and lack of computer literacy. The blog I was querying was Let me tell U a story @bublicksblog.org. Us oldies are useless at times!

        I hope a better blog should sit in front of your but just like with Mara and Steve, I apologise for this wild goose chase and inadvertently wasting your time

        Like

      2. It’s certainly a better blog, the design is much cleaner and inviting. I’ll have a wander about but from what I’ve caught on first glance it looks good, the post previews seem enticing.

        Like

    2. Oh I see! Much better now, much more better! I love your little story in the About Me widget in the sidebar. I also love your theme, I’m a great fan of warm and dark colours, alas, I’m a bit worried about the readability of longer pieces. That was actually the reason why I didn’t grab this lovely theme for my own blog… But it’s surely subjective, your blog is fine!

      Like

      1. thank you for the new feedback. I agree with your concerns but it was a but of a compromise as I wanted a dark/warm theme, and without going to a premium template, this was the best I could do. What I’ve tried to do to compensate is to put in a catchy featured picture for each post, and a grabber of a first sentence or line. I’ll just see how it goes

        Like

    3. I do understand the complaints about the lack of images. The theme is designed around the use of images, but I don’t personally think it looks that bad, but I do see their point. The one thing I would suggest is to perhaps have a calmer background and use that comic in place of the default S logo in the corner.

      Regarding your lack of comments, well, I can’t particularly help you there, aside from, leave comments, get comments. Otherwise, they tend to be an organic uncontrollable thing. As long as your site is getting traffic, eventually, you’ll get a comment or two.

      Like

    4. Hi, I don’t know if my computer is configured strangely, but I don’t get any images as headers to your posts. As a result, the front ‘page’ of your blog looks really quite busy. I toyed with using the Suburbia theme, but decided that I don’t use enough photos or pictures to make my blog visually appealing and easy to navigate. Have you considered changing your theme around and using more widgets? It might make it easier to navigate for people, and therefore more likely to comment?

      Perhaps a theme like Expound, or Chunk?

      Kate

      Like

      1. Hi,KATE

        Thank you for your feedback, it is much appreciated. You may have been directed to an older “s” logo theme which was an older blog, that was my mistake, and you have my apologies. The blog I’m referring to is at http://bublicksblog.org/

        Sorry about that, I’m still a bit computer illiterate at times. I will certainly check out Expound or chunk though, thank you for bringing then to my attention

        Like

  6. Hi Community, hope you are all well. I am fairly new to the blogging community though I have been writing for some time. I’d appreciate any feedback or advice on my blog on the pages thereof and I would be happy to do the same for you. The link to my site is http://www.theshevster.com. Feel free to comment on any of my posts that touched you or use my contact page to contact me directly with your thoughts and views. Thank you :) The Shevster

    Like

  7. Hi, I have been meaning to start a blog on WordPress News & Tutorial (more like daily updates similar to one wpdaily.co which is not active anymore). I have finalized 2 domains but not sure which one to go with:
    Should I go with NamasteWP.com or The WP Post.com?

    Like

    1. @hchouhan
      namaste.wordpress.com is already registered and so is TheWPPost.com.

      Be aware that there is a whole industry out there focused on and making a fabulous income from domain name squatting. They have robotic programs that crawl the web and search for URLs people are discussing so they can purchase them first and extort big money from those who want them. That is why posting any URL for any custom domain you may be considering anywhere online is not in your best interest.

      Like

      1. Hi. I had already registered both namastewp.com as well as thewppost.com. Just wanted an feedback on which domain sounds better. I preferred TheWPPost.com as Post has its own meaning in WordPress terminology and it felt more serious like a newspaper. Would love to get your thoughts on it.

        Like

  8. Can anyone tell me how to turn Zemanta on? I accidentally switched it off during the Zero To Hero Challenge and i can’t find the direcrtions in the Help section. Thank you, Emily

    Like

    1. What is a purp and what does it have to do with the content of your blog?

      I know I can look it up but the average visitor won’t. The average visitor will think “purple” and say “huh?” at all the gray and quite possibly leave quickly.

      Like

    2. Hi Nikeole; Your blog has a clean look, with bright pictures and interesting writing. That all makes me want to know more about you. But, when I go to the ABOUT and CONTACT, I don’t see anything about you, and that makes me sad. Maybe you could look at other people’s about pages and pick out things you could and would like to say to introduce yourself. Thank you for inviting me to look, Silent

      Like

  9. I’m new to this whole blogging thing and I’m looking for ideas for what to post. I’m into writing short stories and poems which there are more than enough prompts on wordpress. However, I’m looking for more opinion based topics in any spectrum. For example, social, emotional/internal, political issues…. basically anything you can have an opinion on. But I am at a loss for what readers would want to read about. Any ideas and requests?

    Like

    1. Hi Milissuhh,

      I wonder what they want to read about, too, because…well.

      So , a couple of ideas. First, the WordPress team puts up Freshly Pressed articles. That might get you an idea on what the “in” things are. Since they aren’t much into fiction, I don’t have to worry about seeing my ideas up in lights. Second, if you are following a particular category, you might keep track of what people are writing about. If something moves you, you might have a “trendy” post.

      I would like to say that I don’t care what people are reading. And that is…almost true.

      Thanks, Silent

      Like

  10. I actually just created my WordPress account yesterday. I’m new to blogging and I was wondering if I could get tips on how to get others to read my blog and get interaction/feedback from other users.

    Like

    1. Another way is to read other people’s work and comment on it. Sometimes they will look at your blog, and join. I do not know how people get to thousands of followers. I cannot imagine that. Silent

      Like

    2. @aguilarpatty
      Social networking is strictly give, give , give a lot to get a little. That means if you want comments on your posts then you must comment frequently and meaningfully on blogs with similar content. It also meas that if your want others to promote you post through social media sites you must promote their posts. Reciprocity cannot be relied upon and thinking that it’s strange if your posts does not get comments belies the fact that even A list bloggers do not get tons of comments on every post. The ratio of views to comments will choke you because it can take hundreds of views to get a single comment, let alone, one that’s meaningful.
      Use the tips in the tutorial Staff have linked to the bottom of your Admin page. http://learn.wordpress.com/get-connected/

      Like

    1. As for the content, I think you’ve got a good thing going here. Well written posts and an organized webpage, though I think the blog itself could be enhanced with a theme change. A lot of the free ones are actually really good, but it can be a pain to search through them. Other than that, keep doing what you’re doing!

      Like