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Community Pool

Looking for feedback on your latest draft or your new header? Find critique and camaraderie in the Community Pool.

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). A few guidelines:

TIP: 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.

  • 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. If you simply leave a link to your blog, it’s likely to be overlooked.
  • 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.
  • No running on the deck.

Photo by t_a_i_s.

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  1. Hi everyone! I need some feedback on my menu navigation bar. Is it clear and does it lead you where you would expect? Is the number of items in the menu ok or does it feel cluttered? Any suggestions much appreciated!

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    1. Hi there! I run this blog about football, culture and the culture of football (soccer, that is). I really would love to hear your opinions about its look, and maybe some suggestions. Thank you.

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      1. Hi, I had a look and have to say I was pleasantly surprised. That’s because I’m not a big football fan and for some reason, I had expected something more brash and in your face with bold reds and blues. Your blog has soft colours which are easy on the eye. Everything is well-spaced and organised with zero clutter. Very nice.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I like the overall menu bar; it gives a good sense of the breadth of your content. The labels are good too. I wasn’t quite sure what I would get with ‘navigate’ – I was expecting a search or some list of categories. I really liked your drop down for explore. My only advice was to consider the order, with the things people most want to do more to the left and the peripheral things to the right, since most people read left to right. Explore, for instance, seems to me to be one I’d like to see first.

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      1. Good! This helps a lot! It’s very useful to look at my blog through your eyes, from another person’s perspective! ;-) Happy blogging, Jenna, and thank you for your suggestion! I’ll definitely look at it!

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    3. Hi, personally I would say you have too many pages. You have the categories and archives in your blog so a dedicated page is superfluous. Also, you could combine your Contact and Connect pages into one Connect page.

      Good luck :)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, thank you so much for your input! That was exactly what I was thinking (but I didn’t write it down in my comment of course so as not to influence you), so I think I’ll go for it! Thank you again, and happy blogging!

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      1. Thank you so much for your feedback and congrats on joining the community! The navigation menu is easy to create, you’ll surely find out soon for yourself! Good luck with your new blog :-D

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      1. Thanks a lot for your feedback, Alice! That’s an interesting point, it didn’t occur to me at all, so I’m glad that you bring it up! Happy blogging to you :-D

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    4. I thought your menu bar was just fine. Very clear and concise. The uncluttered design of your home page didn’t seem to be unbalanced by the navigation options. Good job

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      1. Thank you so much! In fact, I’ve been fiddling with the menu based on everyone’s suggestions, so you probably just saw the final version of it ;-) Glad that it worked! Happy blogging!

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      1. My fiction specifically. I mean, I might write about other people’s fiction, in a review sort of way, but overall the blog is about a book I’m writing.
        Aul

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      2. I would keep your posts tight on that and the world you’re building. I would also consider starting off (and I don’t say this very often) with a static page that gives the basics of the story. Then give people a way to navigate around to deeper posts and story bits. One word of caution (I’m an author): If you want to sell your story, be careful how much you put on the internet. Publishing it on a blog or website IS considered publishing, and most reputable publishers won’t “re publish” something. They want first rights. FYI.

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      3. Wow, I’m really glad you said that about the publishing thing. You’re absolutely right! And by the way, my opening page IS a static page about my book. Thanks for the advice!
        Aul

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      1. I just realized that I do have some constructive criticism: To me, at any rate, the pages and categories were confusing. I eventually found my way around, but it does seem that there mght be a better way to organize your site, at least from a menu perspective, so that it is more clear where your blog posts are and whic links point to static information (pages). I felt as though I was perpetually ending up at your home page, though I thought I was choosing different links. (Too much with too similar of titles and content.)

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    1. I really like where you’re going so far Maddie. I can see a strong point of few already. Looking forward to seeing you bold your content.

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      1. I`m aware of the fact that the objective may change a litlle bit with time (and def after I will learn everything about the toolbar ofcourse) , thak you for your support and advice :)

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    1. I first had a bit trouble with finding the posts you refer too, but then I found the appropriate category. I like your fresh topics and obviously, as a woman, I agree with your perspective. On the whole, I enjoyed the two post I read!

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  2. Hello everyone *waves*

    I would like to have some feedback on my blog layout, writing and everything else.

    In terms of layout, would it be better to have a static post in the home page and directing people to the menu navigation bar based on the categories?

    In terms of writing, I would appreciate some constructive feedback on them. (:

    In terms of everything else, …. have a quick browse!

    Jill.

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    1. I think your blog looks great! You have really great balance: between photos and text, types of content, different topics, etc. I also think your posts themselves look really good. You use block quotes, lists, etc. to make your posts easy to scan. Well done.

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    2. Hi Jill, from another Jill, :)
      I think your blog is easy to navigate around. Your layout is logical and clear – which I think shows respect to your visitors. I don’t know about the static front page. Personally, if I’m a repeat visitor to a blog site I like being able to view at least an excerpt of new content when I land on the home page.

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      1. Hi Jill :D

        Thanks for your comment! I am somewhat neat freak so I tend to make sure my page is not too cluttered. Yeah I’ll take your suggestion into consideration. Once again thanks!

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    3. Hi Jill. I personally prefer a changing home page over a static one. Looks like you write on a wide range of topics, so your navigation is helpful. This may be more a matter of personal taste than a critique, but as a fellow blogger suggested to me, having catchier titles to your posts might inspire more readers. I can see some were personal in nature, so I’m not judging. Just thought I’d pass that along. Once I applied that advice I saw a (small) uptick in viewers on my travel blog

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  3. I started a new template next week and have it built out with widgets, featured posts, etc. Would appreciate comment on layout, content and how easy it is to get to the content you want.

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    1. HI Jenna,
      First, knowing hardly anything about football, I love your tagline! As to your layout – it’s straightforward, and easy to follow. Great use of colour, too. Combined with the headings and fonts they work really well. I think they suit your subject!.

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    1. One thing I noticed in your posts is that the images you use seem to “sit” a little awkwardly on your text. When placing them you should be able to ‘right click’ and have your options as far as placement. When you preview before you post, make sure you don’t have any widows and orphans (words or letters stranded at the beginning or end of your text box. Hope it helps. Thanks for the invite to view your blog

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  4. Hi there! I run this blog about football, culture and the culture of football (soccer, that is). I really would love to hear your opinions about its look, and maybe some suggestions. Thank you.

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    1. I think the look and feel is great. The “magazine style” template really works for a subject matter like this. I am not 100% sold on the sepia-tones, since football is about color and brightness, but it’s working. I don’t speak the language, so I’m not entirely sure I get the content. What’s your point of view? History? News? Updates? A bit of all of them?

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      1. Thank you for your kind words. Since we are many authors, there’re very different points of view, which is part of the plan. The main idea is to talk about football from a cultural point of view. By the way, I really like the way your widget area is working. The colors and images make it very dynamic. I’m checking it out, and it is a very interesting blog.

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      2. Actually, I like the sepia tones. The above poster is right that football is about glitz and colour… but also for most of us the 1950s-60s was a golden age of The Beautiful Game and if I were to read a magazine like this it would reassure me that it isn’t just about the modern game, I am just as likely to read an article about George Best as I am to read one about Lionel Messi :)

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      3. Thanks, I’m glad to see the sepia tones are working. Well, if you can read spanish, we have not written about George Best yet, but you sure will find something about Cruyff, Coluna or Sánchez ;)

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    1. LOVE what you’re doing with the photos. I like how we see part of the photo in the feature, then read the poem, then see the whole photo. Often, we have a different perspective seeing the whole picture, particularly after the poem. Well done.

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      1. Many many thanks for your beautiful, full of praise feedback, really happy that you are able to understand thinking behind my blog :-)

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  5. Hey! I’ve often endured the writer’s block and to stimulate my brain I’ve searched for usual methods to pass it but none were working. However, I’d like to know how you deal with it?
    You can also check my blog out :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think if you have writer’s block, it’s a good idea to do something else for a while. Focus your mind on something new entirely. If you’re passionate about your subject matter, something usually will pop up that will interest you enough to write about it. But the more you tell yourself “I have writer’s block! I can’t write” the less you’ll write.

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    2. Whew! That’s a hard question! I don’t think I have the answer, but I found out that writing is easier for me when I do it directly in my Dashboard (not in a Word document) and when I simply publish what I write without judging it too much. Of course, it may be a good post or a bad post, but it’s part of the learning!

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    3. When I experience writer’s block, I will typically go read something else. Try reading something inspiring like famous quotes to get you through it. Sometimes just doing laundry helps. (Bring a note pad.) Good luck :)

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    4. Thinking about writer’s block is counterproductive, in my experience. Unless you’re working on a deadline (bless your poor soul, if you are), take a few days off. The words will come back to you — and it’s a spectacular feeling when they do.
      –TheAnsible

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    1. VERY interesting topic for a niche blog! Good choice. I like how you use color and photography to add visual interest to your posts, too. The only suggestion I have is your font color; the pale color against the white background is hard to read. I have a friend who’s color blind, and the lack of contrast would mean he actually couldn’t read your posts at all. I might try a much darker color for your text.

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      1. Thanks so much Jenna for looking and providing feedback. I am not sure how to change the font color as that does not seem to be an option with the Custom Design feature that I am using. I can change the font and the font size but I’ve not seen how to change the color. Maybe it is right in front of me and I can’t see it – but I do agree with you that it is too light. I’ll continue to search for the solution. Thanks again!

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    2. Hi Mary. I think your site design is consistent with your theme. I think it should emanate the field of interest you are writing about. I definitely got a refined, artistic vibe from looking at it, and it seems to me that’s what you’re going for. On my own travel blog I tried the old world map feel, and I’d like to think it puts people in a traveling frame of mind. I think you accomplished the same thing by your design

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      1. Hi, Ben. Thanks so much for taking the time to look at my blog and providing feedback. It took a lot of trial and error to get the look it has now. Refinement is definitely the look I was wanting. I did pop over and took a look at your travel blog. Wow…a dream job! Your love for the subject shines through. I love the map background! I think the overall appearance would be even more enhanced it you make your pics larger. Great job on your blog!

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    1. I don’t like to give exact theme suggestions, because it’s so personal. But you can go into your dashboard > appearance > themes. Sort by free or premium. You can then preview each one; it will put your content into the theme and you can see if it’s what you want – for free. I recommend this highly. It’s hard to know how your content will work in a theme without previewing it.

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      1. Thanks Jenna.
        Appreciate your help …
        but was looking to shorten the process.
        This blog is our “official allotment” blog and, after a fairly exhausting day today (I need all the sympathy I can get :-) )
        Some people had asked me …
        So – guess I was cheating a bit.

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  6. i would like some feedback on my blog… a little world of my thoughts just a little… i would love your feedback on my thoughts as to what extent they are bad and to what extent they are lovely…. you can check my blog at aimanpeer.wordpress.com

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    1. Hi Aiman. I checked out your blog. You have some striking images, which is good. One suggestion, the slang and abbreviated language you use describing yourself seems inconsistent with the elegance of some of your poetry. Perhaps try to be a little more consistent in style?

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  7. Hi people of the blog world, I am brand new to the blogging world and just wondered if anyone would give me some feedback as to the content, look and feel of my blog. I’ve only posted 1 post as of yet but it would be extremely useful to me. Thanks!!!!

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    1. Your post looks great, and I love how you use color and imagery to build visual interest. I would not center your text, though; it makes it hard to scan/read. I also don’t get a sense from your title/subtitle what your blog will be about, so you might want to think about that as you build content. So far, it looks great, though.

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      1. Thank you, yeah I am not sure what sort of direction I want to go in which is defiantly reflected in the blog. Hopefully as I build more post I can :) Thanks for the advice about the text.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Its a nice layout/template. Also try not to worry too much. I began blogging a bit over a month ago. About a week ago, I changed my template. In time, you will get a greater feel for the look you are going for.

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    2. Hi Lori and welcome to blogging (not that I’m a pro with less than a year’s experience). I liked your photo collage at the top. If I could make a suggestion I’d say to pay a little more attention to the grammar you use. Probably wouldn’t notice it in conversation, but when in the written form, the punctuation has to be right in order to convey the right idea. I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it and discover your own style–and readership that enjoys it. I wish you much success

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      1. Hi, yeah that is a problem I struggle with generally anyways with having dyslexia. Proof reading isn’t always my strong point. Thanks for the constructive advice.

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    1. Appearance is not who you are. Yes it’s an important part of our life but don’t let that aspect of your life control you. It can over ride who you really are. Good post.

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    2. Hi Hayley. I like your combination of anxiety remedies and some delicious-looking recipes. I guess if the former doesn’t work than you can fall back on the latter :) I think it is great you can recognize when anxiety is getting the best of you. I’ve found that just that simple step of pausing, taking stock of the situation and holding back the onset of a flood of negative emotion can do much to allay the negative reactions anxiety can provoke. It is a useful subject and thanks for sharing your coping techniques with the rest of us

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  8. Hello, everybody! I would like some feedback on the newest post I’ve written in my blog, as I didn’t write in there for a long time due to my tight schedule and I want to get sure it doesn’t seem off or strange with the mix of humor and other tones. And also, it would be nice if you could give your opinion on the blog overall and how it looks like. All help will be very appreciated! Thanks in advance!

    http://thetwothousands.wordpress.com/

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  9. Hey! I would like some feedback on some of my blog posts. They’re mostly about my life as a teenager, but if you could look at them and comment on them, that’d be great!

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    1. When you say stories, do you mean “news articles”? I was expecting more fiction from your description but that doesn’t seem to be your point of view. Or am I mistaken?

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      1. You’re correct, Jenna. Mainly I write news articles but some link backs on my blog, although on the Allvoices news website are actually non-fiction “stories,” i.e., my personal story: “A woman’s tale of rising from the lows of depression.”

        I don’t write fiction, but have recently fallen in love with creative non-fiction and have started writing it.

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    1. I also write a sports blog, and I can tell you a couple of things. First of all, people who are passionate about your sport are hungry for information; if you write unique, interesting content, they will come. That said, I’ve found that unless you’re full time (and even then) it can be hard to keep up with all the news in a particular sport. Unless you have a niche (a particular team, or in my case, referees) it can get overwhelming. Or you end up just reposting other news from other sources or reblogging stuff. So, you might want to consider a unique point of view and stick to that. If you’re doing recaps, do only recaps, even if something else interesting comes up. I have to do that with my blog; I write about football (referees) and often pass up stories that are cool because they don’t have a refereeing angle. Good luck!

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    2. Hi Bryan. I also run a blog about sports. Football in my case. Me and some friends want to write about football from a cultural point of view. Anyway, something that has help us grow is to organize posts by topic and keep this on a visible men. Many readers will find your blog from different sources, but this makes them stay on it. Also, I hope my english is not very messed up.

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    1. I think your posts are very good. Very thought out, full of insight, and really an interesting point of view. My only advice would be to keep each post focused on the subject matter, rather than veering off into something new at the end. Make that a new, excellent post on its own. :) Your content stands up great by itself.

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    1. Hi Surayya. I think your friends were not acting biased when they commended you on your post. Your sense of goodwill contrasted with helplessness to make an impact came across splendidly

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    1. It may have something to do with your theme. (My last one added way too much white space for my taste.) Right now, it looks like you’re compensating and there’s no line break at all. So it may be that it doesn’t look as bad when it’s published as it does when you’re editing…

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    2. It’s not the theme… it’s how you are entering. If you switch to text view, you can remove them… however be warned that if you compile your posts in this view you will need to know the HTML. I alternate between the two, sometimes preferring one over the other.

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      1. I know HTML. However, someone said that if I hit shift+enter it spaces once. Lot’s easier than messing with HTML, where you can screw up your whole life!

        Is there a community forum around here?

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    1. Love the content! very interesting point of view and subject matter. I was kind of expecting comedy from the title alone, but it works.

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      1. Thank you :) The name has it’s own story, which I guess I should write about one day. But I’m glad you like it, I appreciate the input.

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