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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. I would put your categories as tabs on the top of your page and your other sites in a different section. Maybe in the “About This Site” tab or make a separate just for them.

      Hope this helped!

      1. Definitely something to consider. I originally put them under the “Home” tab because I viewed them as subsets of of the whole; thus, making them a submenu made sense in my mind, but I can see your point.

      1. Thanks. A lot of the font goes to the creator of the theme, but I do play around with adding style attributes within each post to tweak the appearance as needed.

        Regarding the author quotes: Thanks. I figured since it was a blog that was supposed to be about me trying to be a “real” author and not “just” a blogger, having the writing quotes seemed to fit. I think my personal favorite is the last one from Earnest Hemmingway.

    2. I’m new to some of the different styles of the blogs and had to take a moment to figure out how to read your posts. Once I did I enjoyed it. Especially the one about aging. Boy can I relate! lol Good job.

    1. First, your hair is beautiful! Now that that’s out of the way, I like the graphic for the welcome page. I’m looking at it on my phone so it doesn’t show me the whole site. But, I like the way it coincides with the name of your blog :) maybe you can add a blurb beneath the cup to give a synopsis of what your blog is about (even though your tagline says it’s ramblings, you can give more detail on the welcome page).

    2. I must admit that I was initially taken aback by how minimalist it looked, though in truth, compared to true “minimialist” themes, you have quite a lot going on.

      I love the title of your site and overall I think the theme works for you. How necessary the welcome page is, though, I can’t genuinely say. My first impression is to like it, but it does make it hard to see what new is going on at your site. Perhaps even if you just added a “Recent Posts” widget to it, it would make a sufficient difference in that regard.

    3. I really like the minimalist theme you’re using! The blank space really works for me, and helps your posts to stand out. Since you’re dividing your posts via the category, I’d suggest that you consider adding a recent posts or popular posts widget to your welcome page.

      The image on your welcome page is great, and I think that you could add a bit of content below to tie it together and welcome your readers. Will your hair/makeup pages include tutorials? What goes in the ‘usual’ category? If I see that it’s interesting to me, I’m more likely to click through.

    1. I was at least able to get the link in your username to work.

      Due to the obviously personal nature of your blog, it becomes difficult to accurately critique your work. I understand the need for writing in a far more personal voice that is typically more suited for personal journals rather than a venue intended for mass consumption, but it does make it hard to say, ”You’re doing this well,” or, “You could improve that.” As a result, my only bit of advice is just keep blogging.

      1. Thanks JED. I checked out the site you told me about and I really appreciate you sharing. Thanks. You know, we are always looking for pictures for our post. Right?

  1. Hey everybody! :)

    Back around 2005 I had a Blogger account. At the time, I had just learned the word “blog.” Kind of like how I recently learned the words “selfie” and “twerk.”

    For over a month now I’ve committed to posting on my new WordPress site, The Offensive Playbook EVERY day. And I’ve been doing it. If you like satirical Onion-style writings, comics, amusing photos, and just about anything in that vein, I’m your guy.

    While I have no trouble with content, I am no web designer. Not by a long stretch. I’m a quick learner though. For instance, does anybody here know what a “widget” is? I do! Found out last week by clicking around my page’s options. (Yes, that’s how green I am.)

    Anyway, I believe my site is worthy of some superficial improvements, and if you’d like to help me out, I’d be ecstatic if you popped on by, read / looked at what I’ve created, and left a comment or two with some ideas. You’ll also find my email on my little Gravity Profile thing.

    (Looks)

    Whups! Gravtar! I am SO stupid! Sounds like an old Atari game or something, doesn’t it? Heh heh.

    But seriously…help?

    All the best,

    James,

    The Offensive Playbook (OPB)

  2. http://bunehill.com/tse-1-book-trailer/

    Happy Sunday :) Today is my birthday and I would appreciate it if you all would take a look at this book trailer for my upcoming eBook, The Sisters Eternal: Ava Faye. Tell me what you think and follow my blog if you like what you see :)

    Thank you and have a wonderful day. I’ll be sure to take a look at your blogs as well.

    -Lysa

    1. Happy birthday. The pictures on your trailer were great but I would have liked to have more about the book. It seems a little long to me. I have a book trailer for one of my novels and it’s much shorter and has more story content. If you’d like to see it go to http://www.suecass.tateauthor.com and it’s on the books page.

  3. I don’t know much about design so I would love to get some feedback on my blog. I like to keep things modern and simple for the most part.
    Also any comments on my writing style would be appreciated! I’m still deciding what kind of tone I want for my blog and what I want to write about.

    http://www.anolivedaily.com

    1. I think your design is simple, clean, and refreshing! I would say try to match the photos with their paragraphs, if that makes sense? For example, When talking about A, put paragraph A above the pictures paragraph A talked about.

      Hope this helped!

      1. Thank you! Yes I definitely get what you mean. I have debated back and forth about which post layout I like better (photos within the text or photos after the text). Maybe next time I will try it the other way around and see how I like it!

      1. Oh, I’m pretty sure there’s a way into San Diego Zoo from Balboa Park. Sorry, I’ll check my recent map of the place. If you do go to Balboa park, the neat place is near the International Houses, as the UN gift shop isn’t on the map.

  4. I am trying to extend my blog content by including posts about New York City events an attractions. This week I featured a post about why walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is awesome
    http://newyorkcliche.com/2014/03/19/9-reasons-to-walk-across-the-brooklyn-bridge/
    and another about a NYC event celebrating french cookies: “Macaron Day” http://newyorkcliche.com/2014/03/21/macaron-day-nyc-2014/.

    I would love feedback on these posts– were they engaging? Even if you’re someone who doesn’t live in NYC? (I have readers from across the globe, I don’t want to exclude!) What could I improve? Do you think these posts are interesting?
    Thanks so much and if you’re looking for feedback too, I’ll try to return the favor!

  5. Hey
    I started blogging a few days back. I have quite a few ideas for short stories and novellas. I used to write a poem or two but now I have decided to be more regular. As I am not a student of literature, I might be lacking on the technical front. I would love to get my work critiqued. Thanks in advance.
    http://lochabvarun.wordpress.com/

    1. I like the clean look of it but may I suggest you do a tiny bit of editing on your sentences. There are several places you need a space between the end of one sentence and the start of the next. It may seem like a little thing but in writing it isn’t. Good job though.

  6. Hello! This is my first blog. Just looking for general thoughts about the content. Interesting? Boring? Helpful? Inspiring?Maybe topic suggestions? I typically write about my thoughts & lessons I’m learning in life & through my yoga practice. Thanks! :)

    1. I like the blog a lot and I think you have a clear idea of where you want to go with it. I like how you’ve stuck to a theme. My only suggestion is to be more consistent with your posts if you want to gain a good following. People tend to forget about you if you go too long without new material. Great job though :)

    1. I like your writing a lot ;-) Just a suggestion: some of your posts are quite long, so maybe you should display just the beginning of the post on your home page and use the “more” tag, so that the reader could scroll down quickly and browse more posts at once.

  7. Hi guys, I’ve done one of these before and got some great feedback so I thought I’d go again. I have a fairly new blog where I talk about my experience living with mental illness. I was wondering if I could get some feedback on my writing and I’m curious if those outside the mental illness community find my posts informative or interesting? Thanks so much :) I look forward to hearing back.

    http://inconsistentlyyours.wordpress.com/

    1. Your posts are long enough to keep me interested and your writing style is mysterious (in a good way!).

      Sorry you’re suffering from this illness :(

    1. I think you’ve got all it takes to start…the design and layout is good…. maybe the ‘latest posts’ widget to give quick access for readers to choose one or two they might read…. I’m not sure what the W life beyond graduation is… but maybe it’s just me…. Diane

    2. Hiya there Selina. Your site looks good, but i was curious about what you intended as far as categories. Perhaps a widget for recent posts would fit better? I think that will help your readership better keep up with you.

    1. Hey RAE… I read you’re poem I’ve Sinned and who hasn’t right? Some powerful thoughts to consider. Also, I notice that you have many tags… would it be possible to have the tags feature or categories on your site so that people can see it quickly and reference what poems fall in that category? For example, a category could be Friendship, another could be love… anger, confessions… etc. Thank you for sharing yours.

  8. Hello everybody in the Community Pool. It is the first time I’m using this so still not sure how does it work but I hope you can help me.

    I just would like to get feedback from my writing. And, if it’s possible, I’d also like to learn more ways on promoting my blog. I think my ideas are good I just need to get more readers.

    Thanks in advance,

    Tony

    http://thegramophonereporter.wordpress.com/

    1. The blog looks interesting, though it’s not my niche really. Not sure if it helps but I found your articles quite difficult to read because of the rather small white font against the dark background — maybe it would we worth thinking about increasing the readability of the text?

      1. Thanks. I was actually looking for comments on my writing but any kind of feedback is always welcomed. I don’t know how to change the font I think it is predetermined by the layout. If I change it, I’d have to change the entire layout I guess

  9. First month into blogging. I’ve started with two section idea. One for personal thoughts and experiences. The other for my commentary on recent news and events.

    I started using subjects to separate the two. Is there a better way to do that? I’ve created a page on the blog for them both.

    The other question I had was about sharing pictures / videos from the sites I grab stories about. Legally, can I use / link to a photo or video that is on CNN / Detroit news ect…?

    It looks like this is a good place to find ideas about what works for others. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say (good or bad.)

    http://umadyet.wordpress.com/

    1. To be honest I don’t know about the ‘news articles’ on the web.. You could likely check wordpress.com support and find out…. but as far as other pics and videos you can’t use re copyright laws unless you pay if that option is available or you ask… I have two sites that are free to use stockvault.net (you need to sign up but can use the ‘free’ images… but not the premium without paying) and freedigitalphotos.net but you have to give credit to them… Hope that helps a little. It took me a long time to find out about photos etc. Diane

  10. For anyone who can help me I’d appreciate it. My daughter, who is 30-something and internet- experienced, helped me set up my blog. I have the BOOK LITE theme. I’m internet-challenged and still learning. I tried to add other sidebars to my post without success. What do I need to do? If that theme doesn’t support sidebars I’ll understand. Also, being internet-challenged, I don’t know how to get different smilies and the little red heart symbol. I accidently stumbled on :) but don’t have the slightest idea how to find the others. You can comment on my sight. I’m assuming I’ll get an email message that I have a comment. Thank you. I’ll appreciate any help you can give me. :)

    1. Hi… I don’t believe ..pretty sure you don’t have sidebar options… you can switch to a theme that does though by going to your dashboard and on left hand side you see the word Appearance ..click on it and you’ll see themes… click on it and you can go and select another theme …. I believe you’ll get the option to preview it (I haven’t ever changed mine so I don’t know but usually when you change something you do) Some themes have one sidebar and that would be called a two column theme and some two( which I have) and that’s called a three column theme…. Why don’t you at least have a look … from experience that’s about the best way to learn
      As far as emoticons I’m giving you a link to something wordpress recently sent out re them… hope this helps… Diane
      http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/new-emoticons/

    1. Wow, that’s a cool find. I’m surprised they actually make a video for you. I’d be kinda scared to submit my site. Reading comments is one thing but there is something daunting about listening to that long of a review of myself. :-p

    1. Ohhh I could smell that wisteria. :-) Very nice even though white on black isn’t my favorite. Thankfully your font is large enough for me to read.

    1. Over all I think it’s a nice blog but having a cockroach jump off the page the first thing- not my cup of tea. :-) Nice job though.

      1. Nope, I do those regularly. On the “Daily Prompt” we get a prompt for a blog post, but we also used to get a photography prompt with that too. Thanks Diane. :)

      1. Thank you. For checking it out, and for following along. I only hope I make it worth your while. I will give it my all. ;-)

    1. Don’t we all. :-) I don’t think we can “make” anyone follow our blogs. It’s a matter of interest as to what we’re writing. It does get frustrating at times but don’t give up.

  11. I’ve been blogging for some time now and I have continued with the same theme. I’m looking to change it so it will really nice if you could give me some feedback related to that. I would really like to know is it comfortable for you while reading.

    PS- I will love to give feedback to your work as well :)

    1. the theme of ua blog is altogether good. it is worth noticing.. but its just that one thing that makes the posts difficult to read…= u change the layout from 2 post layout to single post layout..and then it will be all okay

      1. Hi thanks for your wonderful feedback, are you taking about changing the sidebars? I will check if the template can have just a single sidebar. :)

      2. no not about the sidebars but about the way ua posts are displayed… they are displayed in 2 columns.. instead u should make it one column layout….

      3. matlab ki aapkay home page pe sirf do chaar pages hi detail main display horahay hain baqee posts detailed posts nai hain .. sirf kch hi detail hai un main

      4. I went through your blog and there are real problems that you should rectify -
        1.Post title are leading you to dailypost[dot]wordpress[dot]com don’t come and paste the header.
        2.Please check the links on the right hand side (the about me and linkedin ) they should link to your public profile. First sign out from those services then copy the link of those profiles and use it.

        Have a great day :)

      5. actually i had ma accounts on linked in and about.me but i ahve deleted them.. so srry for that… and for your first point i couldnt understand it.. sorry

      6. The heading of your posts are linked to other sites. When someone clicks on the heading, the post page should open up instead I was redirected to dailypost[dot]wordpress[dot]com :)

      7. the posts that lead u to daily posts are the only posts that are linked to daily post.. otherwise ma other posts dont open like that… just the posts linked t daily post open like that

    2. You clearly know what you’re doing, and you’re doing it well (it looks like several thousands of people agree with me, based on the page view counter!) but do you have to have so much… stuff? For lack of a better word? I feel a little overwhelmed when I look at your page. That can just be fixed with some spring cleaning. Good luck with whatever changes you make, but don’t change too much becasue you’ve clearly figured out the magic formula for this!
      – TheAnsible
      http://jperez600aday.wordpress.com/

      1. HI, Thanks for your wonderful feedback and I will definitely try to fix the things you said. Though I would have to figure out what stuff should not be there. WordPress is definitely a good community to be a part of :) :D

      2. I went through some of your posts and they are really well written. The theme looks great. Few suggestions -

        1.Do add the like button it engages more people.
        2.Since your blog is not on a general theme like travel or food. i think you should try to find bloggers who write about similar topics. (Use reader for this)
        3.Add your social network profiles to your blog at least twitter to start with :)

        Have a great day :) :D

  12. Ahoy there fellow bloggers! I would really like some feedback on my blog! (click on my username) don’t hold back any of your thoughts. Is it visually appealing? Are the posts interesting?
    Thanks a lot to those of you who take the trouble to visit my blog and give me any sorts of tips :) follow if you like the blog! thanks!

      1. Thanks a lot! :D I visited your blog too, and I have one suggestion – I think you should keep the background static, and no scrolling. also, if it’s possible, change the background image. But that’s only my suggestion. It’s obviously entirely unto you =))

  13. Always appreciate feedback about any part of my blog, but especially the What I’ve Been Thinking About category. Would love to hear your thoughts!!! Justashyguy.WordPress.com Thanks!

  14. I would love feedback in my comment sections of my blog regarding how I am doing as an online persona. How well do my posts reflect who I am/draw readers in? Thanks to any of you who help a sister out.

  15. Hi everyone! I want to change the look of my blog and would love some tips: what do you hate most about the design of my blog now? How would you change the layout, colours, widgets… to make it better? Any feedback much appreciated!

    And a question for Michelle Weber: has the scheduling of the community pool changed? I noticed it was published several hours later than the usual time…

    1. I find it okay… unless you might want to make the color more prominent… and maybe add a ‘recent posts’ and or ‘top posts and pages’ widgets… I would put them up top somewhere ..where they are readily able to be seen.. then readers may go and read some of them when they land on your site.. Just a couple of thoughts.. Diane

    1. I liked it. If you add more color it may detract from you writing. Experiment with it but may I suggest you decide where you want the focus. Good job.

  16. Hello! This is my first blog, and I’m looking for some feedback on how my writing has translated from writing personal emails about my excursions to writing for a broader audience. Also looking at the lengths of the posts would be helpful.

    Thanks!

    1. I agree with Sue. You’ve got great stuff. Not only is it intersting, it’s well-written. You could teach other new bloggers a thing or two! If you’re truly looking for critique, I find the scolling photo bar under the header to be a little distracting, but it’s not so annoying that it keeps me from reading. Overall, I’m very impressed.
      – TheAnsible
      http://jperez600aday.wordpress.com/

      1. Thank you both! While perhaps not so constructive for the writing, certainly an ego boost. I agree about the slider, I’ve looked into removing it, but have gotten no response//success.

    1. Navigating is pretty easy so that’s good. Personally, I’d reduce the size of the header image. I found it a little jarring given that it is the first thing I see when I go onto the site.