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Community Pool

The Community Pool is for those of you looking for feedback, 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 . .

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. Mara, this definitely works! I love polls. I recently tried one to get some feedback about teenagers and high school subjects. You definitely are witty. I like your writing style — wish I had a knack for writing shorter, witter sentences. Keep up the good work! : ))

    2. I enjoyed your 365 photos deal…and you are not a bad photographer, give yourself more credit. Well organized, nice clean look and feel on your blog…I haven’t made it to 201 yet :)

    1. I love the subject and I love your take on it! Especially the sentence: “Posting pictures of my cats on my Facebook page. I have to look at pictures of my friends children.” YES!

    2. Hi Suzie! The only real recommendation is when you are referring to the post that inspired you up near the top is to put the link to it there. (I personally would link the words to it).

      Great post! :D

    3. Nice post Suzie. I think you made your point clear. While I don’t share your penchant for long baths or Dolph Lungren, I found it amusing how you unapologetically stated your case. In fact, the subtle hint of humor is something I try to incorporate in all my posts (hopefully) to my readers’ delight

    4. Suzie:
      You do not have a Right to live the way you wish to live. People assuming a right that they do not own is what has gotten our planet into the sorry state it is in. You have a right and an obligation to live with other’s in a state of harmony and mutually
      beneficial trade relations. By way of example, kitten’s are not needed to replicate our species, babies on the hand ( at least
      occasional ones) are needed. To compare your enjoyment of kitten photos with your friend’s baby photos, well you know where I’m
      going with this.
      Love Peace and Happiness, and I hope you do the same for me.

    5. Hi – I really liked your blog – very honest and candid. It’s also a great concept – we should not apologise for what we think and feel about things – I may just do a post on it this week! I think your writing is refreshing and witty.

    1. You should make the change if you’re decided that it’s for you. I definitely wouldn’t delete any of your previous blog posts though, variety is ok and it’s also ok that a blog is evolving!

    2. I don’t see where you’re taking a risk. If fashion is your passion (pardon the rhyme) then anyone who follows you will have the same one as well. Best wishes

      1. I have blue eyes too, Suzie.

        You probably can’t tell from my (current) profile picture, ’cause I’m trying to my best to look cool with my “Clint Eastwood Stare” and shit.

        PS – I don’t mind that you have a feller. We can still go out and do some of the latest dance drug. Mojitos, wasn’t it?

      2. Oh, and yes – I am on Twitter.

        @OffensivePBook

        Follow me, and I’ll be sure to follow you back tomorrow (ahem) in 4 hours, when I’ve had about three hours of sleep and am in my cubical, guzzling coffee, administering “Clear Eyes” drops and trying to look like I care about my real job.

        Ever seen Office Space?

        Yeah…that.

      3. Whups – replied to this in another post.

        Still – for you and anyone else reading, it’s @OffensivePBook

        Follow me, ’cause like, I’m kind of the best.

        AndrewWK, a certified rock star, followed me earlier today, so…yeah.
        :D

    1. I like your blog, I love that you include loads of images and have videos on your blog and there is not a lot of writing. It makes your blog more interactive and engaging for me.

    1. I love the autumn colors of the blog too. About the content, yes, I agree. Whitney Houston was right: Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.

  1. Hey guys

    I started a blog today because I’ve been thinking for a while about writing a book or essays about some of the things I’ve been through with a little bit of my imagination and opinions.

    But as you all know, starting a book from scratch is a little bit hard specially for someone without the required education or experience, which is why i though that i can start with a blog and see if it goes well with the reader then i can develop it later into a book.

    I would like to know what you guys think about this and give me your opinion about my first try.

    thanks and good luck to all

    salvadorious.wordpress.com

    1. The headline is striking but the format of dense reams of text may become dull without something to break it up. Try including some images in the posts and a good header. Also, use the “more” tag after the first paragraph for each post.

      Otherwise it is coming along quite nicely!

    2. If I may suggest some constructive criticism. There’s too much exposition in the beginning. You don’t have to reveal everything about your characters right from the start–they can be fleshed out as you go. Also, a rule of thumb is to SHOW not TELL the reader as many details as possible. For instance, instead of TELLING us that Brian works at the same place as Amanda, have them speak to each other, when one can say “I didn’t see you at work the other day” thereby SHOWING the audience that they work together without directly stating it. In my young adult novel I have dialogue right from the first line, and that is designed to entice the reader to keep reading

    3. Like it,

      A must header needed.. Also just like your last post put some pictures in the previous ones.. Love your writing though.. Don’t you think an about page should be there? Something which tells about you and why you started this blog..? The rest is pretty cool..
      :)

    4. The blog looks nice, well done…my two cents/question, beside that I agree with everyone who stopped by here before: should you have a clear distinction between essays and book? Also, the title above SALVADORIOUS says the blog is clearly about you…I thought it was about the book/essays?
      The beauty of blogs is that it’s always a work in progress and I look forward to keep reading what you do…best of luck!

      1. Thank you for ur comments and as you can tell I am still less than a week old so I still need to figure out what I want and how use word press properly. Thank you! Best of luck to you too

    1. Hi! I checked the page and here are a few comments! I feel a little overwhelmed by the colors and the fonts. I would probably use a grey or black color for the general text and color only for the fonts. I really like the images. I think the links are well-placed in the text, which is written organically! It will work to showcase past work in my opinion!

    2. Absolutely loved your blog, but I would agree with Marie-Pierre…the look of it is a bit overwhelming…colors, fonts, background clash and make it a little harder to follow…content is amazing though, well written, open, honest…truly looking forward to reading more as you really connect with your audience. All the best!

      1. Thank you for following. I have changed it: I stopped using Brush Script MT, which I find pretty but which got no positive feedback, and used the largest font I can in my theme, “Heading 1″. Formatting it is a lot less fiddly. I feel it needs print larger than the normal font for the theme Nishita. An improvement?

        Thank you for following. Welcome. I like to establish blogging friendships, reciprocally following and commenting. I have a few thought-provoking commenters. Comment, and I will comment back!

      2. Much improved! Much much much easier to read and follow! I would consider the background color/pix…right now it’s a bit bright and makes it a little hard to focus on writing, but it’s a preference naturally.

        It is my pleasure and look forward to reading your posts!

    1. Wow, your blog is aesthetically one of the best I’ve seen – it’s gorgeous!

      Your about page is good – short and snappy, covering relevant information without being too self-aggrandising or too vague.

      1. Thanks so much for taking the time to check my blog out and for the feedback! :) It took me some time to find the right theme, and so far this is the best I’ve seen for clean lines & readability.

    2. I liked it! I particularly liked that you gave reasons for someone to read your blog. As someone with a limited following I’m considering incorporating that into my own About Page

      1. Thanks so much for checking it out! I learned that little trick from my research on “How to write a good About page.” I guess it worked!

    3. I see that you may be attempting something similar to what I am doing. I made a Titles Page that I will organize one day so the flow of the story can easily be accessible. Tell me what you think. grimbaldptalmuss.wordpress.com

    4. Well done! You set up the tone right off the bat, it’s clear where you are going, well written, to the point…very classy and you really open your world to us…looking forward to more!

    1. Loved the blog about the “vintage” ways in which we had to get through school and our assignments. Consider me a new follower I look forward to being entertained :)

    2. Looks, very clean, easy to follow, well written, good mix of witty and serious. I think most people could relate to, for example, to your post on things you and your husband have fought about…Looking forward to keep reading!

    1. The blog looks very vivid and lively, but it probably won’t be for me, the moving images are too harsh on my eyes… I love the animated image of the daisy though, this one is not moving too much ;-)

    2. Hi catdiggedydog,
      I like the content of your blog, and at least that latest post is relatable for a lot of people. I’m not so sure what age groups you’re talking about….between what ages?
      As to the layout of your blog: to be honest, it isn’t the most exciting, but your words are really what will keep someone interested and coming back, and i think you’ve accomplished that.
      Aul
      By the way, I’m writing a book and want to get the word out. Please check out my blog at http://montairyus23.wordpress.com/
      Thanks!

      1. I’ll totally check out your blog! Thanks for responding to my questions!! I was just wondering because I’m a high school senior and sometimes my experiences and reflections can be a little rudimentary.
        I decided the layout of the blog simply for that reason, that the words would be the main focus. I like minimalist themes :) Thanks again! – Catherine

    3. Hi Catherine, I took a look at your blog. The content is good, the format is great. I went straight to the “About” page as most people do but I feel that is a bit messy. It could be shorter and more succinct and I lost interest in it. I see you cover a variety of things.

      I would suggest:
      * Remove the “How I write my posts” and “When inspiration strikes” or at least combine those two into “Why I love writing”
      * Put the extra curriculars on a separate page
      * My favourite book doesn’t really belong on an about page – you may want to write a blog post about it, or a separate page for favourite books

      Otherwise, I’m not the target audience but it is a nice site!

    4. I liked the layout and cosmetic nature of your blog. I thought it had a good flow and you do well with keeping your content and verbiage mature enough for different age groups!

  2. I just changed my theme on my blog. It was From Dawn to Dusk and now it’s Natisha. I like the change and was ready for it. It’s 11:30 now. I am conflicted about the current header I have up. It’s a little formal. I struggle to stay on topic with my blog. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi caseylove1985,
      All I can say about writer’s block is don’t think too much about it. If you’re having trouble writing about something in particular, write about something else instead. I don’t advise that you stop writing, however. A short break can be useful, but don’t estrange yourself from writing.
      As to your writing style: just proofread a bit more to make sure your sentences flow and make sense, along with considering your word choice. It happens to everyone in which you miss something, but proofreading is important. I hope this was helpful!
      By the way, I’m writing a novel and want to get the word out. Please visit my blog http://montairyus23.wordpress.com/
      Thanks!
      Aul

    2. Hi Casey. Writing style is a personal thing and is like comparing apples to oranges–just a matter of taste so long as the spelling and grammar doesn’t detract from your narrative. As an amateur photographer myself (specializing in travel photography as a look at my blog would reveal) I can relate to your interests.

      Regarding writer’s block, I find it effective to consider a main theme and then write posts on various aspects. For example, you mention growing up in Philly. You could do a series on what school was like, summer vacations, your favorite sites, all under the same heading. Then when that’s exhausted move on to the next. Best wishes and I hope this helps

    1. Looks lovely! But the text in the sidebar is hard to read owing to the background that you picked. Maybe a different background would be better in this respect?

    2. Hi Anamika. I too found the text on the sidebar hard to read with the background. I think the background image is really nice, so I’d change the text color if possible. Also, your About Me page doesn’t tell the potential reader/follower much about you. Perhaps you can flesh it out?

    1. Your post was really interesting. Especially the way you described the taxi driver. ‘Like me.’ had an impact. It’s interesting how one can get to know about a lot of things through a random conversation :)

    2. The only suggestion I’d make is the style is a bit bland (especially if you’re thinking diagonally ;) Perhaps a jazzier style might be more befitting, but overall nice job

  3. Hello people :)

    I started a new series on my blog called Coffee conversations!

    It is all about addressing people’s queries they send in through their mails.

    Here’s the link-http://thatindianminimalist.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/lovemoves/

    Would love a feedback on this post and the blog. :)

    1. Hey Hardik Nagar! (Is that your real name? It can’t be. Can it? Either way, it’s awesome.)

      Do you think you could repost the link so I can click it? I’m a busy man. I look forward to checking out your blog! :D

    1. “Good” is a relative term. I think your style plays well to what I perceive is your target audience. I like the block letters in your header like it was an old Nintendo game (or at least that’s how it came across to me).

      1. That’s exactly what I was going for with the header. A lot of my posts tend to be about gaming in some way and so I was trying to emulate that with the header. Thanks for your feedback it’s appreciated.

    2. Hello –

      My blog is Creo Somnium, latin for Create and Dream. http://didntjustwakeup.wordpress.com
      I intend for this blog to be one that inspires people, that generates creativity within them. Do you think it does that? Does it do it for you? What would it need for that?
      Additionally, Does the layout help or harm this mission? Furthermore, what might help encourage involvement from other bloggers i.e. comments.

      Thank you very much – Sahara

      1. OMG, I always got the question if I was Sarah Lee. (I’m Kathryn.) Did you get razzed about the dessert line: Sara Lee? I even got a bit of that!

      2. Yeah. When people sing to me “Sarah Smile” or the Starship song I’m like, “Thank God I’ve never heard that before!”

    1. Karan has some competition in coffee conversations! Yours has less gossip and more useful advice! I liked reading the post, although I felt like I was scrolling down for an eternity. I know many people like reading separate sentences but I am a fan of paragraphs. Overall very well done!

  4. Oh! I need an opinion on another one! I did this last weekend, you see, and I titled it, “My Parents Told Me I ‘Ruined Easter.’”

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I think I ruined Easter pretty damn good, but…NEXT year? Next year I’d like to know how to ruin it a little better, you know? Just like, comment on the post itself with your suggestions (if you care to bother, that is – no pressure), and I swear to the Easter Bunny, I’ll implement your ideas in 2015 if they’re any good. :)

    http://theoffensiveplaybook.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/today-my-parents-told-me-i-ruined-easter/

      1. Well, one of Jesus’s commandments when he stood atop Mount Olympus with his tablets, was to find ways to disrupt the “False Idol” that is the cursed Easter Bunny with “Graven Images,” was it not?

        …wait, was it not?

        I’ve got to Google that.

        BRB
        :/

    1. I agree with Mara Eastern: the idea of lessons is a cool concept, and although the lessons are short, they’re easy to remember and can stick with you. :)
      Aul
      By the way, Ii’m writing a book and want to get the word out. Please check out my blog http://montairyus23.wordpress.com/

    2. The lessons are good, but a potential reader isn’t getting much more than a sentence or two for their attention. Perhaps meatier posts will draw more readers

    1. Thanks for sharing with us! Reading over the stories and the responses, I could feel the energy rumbling between you, the writer, and your readers! It’s awesome and inspiring to me!

  5. Hello everyone! This is my first jump into the Community Pool. . . I write a mixed blog of mommy stuff/poetry/Buddhism. I’m wondering specifically if anyone has any tips on formatting poetry on WordPress. I can’t seem to make it single-spaced, so it ends up looking all choppy. Also, when I open the poems in my smartphone app, the lines and spacing are all messed up. Thanks in advance for any comments!

    1. Hi Cathy. Nice post. I think I agree with you on principle. Liked your about page too. One suggestion: Perhaps you can jazz up your titles to draw readers in. That’s something I try to do with my blog. A curious title will provoke a curious reaction and hopefully clue people in to the fact that your blog exists. Hope this helps

  6. Hey guys, I’m really trying to get some comments going with my posts. I want to hear feedback, and know what you want to see more or less of. Also, I would love some movie/music/tv/book recommendations! Check out my blog and leave some comments and answer the poll on my latest post! Thanks y’all!

    1. Enjoyed you blog and think your target audience must love it as well. If you’re looking for a book to review, I’d be remiss to not recommend my own, The Gardens of Sir Verity–a mildly surreal young adult novel (even though my blog is travel themed my creative writing has always been there as well)

    1. Very nice pictures. I’m an animal lover myself and have several pictures in my photo gallery of animals I’ve seen in my travels in the wild. Feel free to check them out

    1. Hi Sarah. Like your header image and Title. In fact, I enjoyed the titles you chose for your posts. That’s something I give much thought to myself as a rightly worded title can bring in more viewers. Your writing style is very personable and whether or not you make a living at it, I think it is safe to say you’ve achieved your goal of being a writer ;)

    2. Great job with your writing! Really enjoyed the 2-3 posts I read already…If I may be neat picky it would be the organization of the blog itself…a column on the side with “previous posts” or something like that, so that we can jump right to a particular post, rather than scroll down, would be really helpful. Your header is sweet as is the title. Well done! Looking forward to more!

      1. Thank you for the kind words and feedback! I will reach out to WordPress peeps and see if they can help me change that. I just love this layout so much but I think it is one of the “everything on one page” type deal, unfortunately. Much love to you!

  7. @teacherblack, comments on the other community pool page have inconveniently closed in the past couple hours, so I’ll have to respond to you on this new page.

    Regarding the Cracks Between the Rocks post:

    Thank you! I did have a little trouble with that middle section and making it fit with the rest of the story. In your opinion, is it okay that it was unclear about the kind of love it was? Because I meant it to be both, but I don’t want it to be confusing. And I love that you got those two feelings from the ending because they’re both right, in a sense. I’m so glad you liked the story and thank you for taking the time to give feedback! It’s very much appreciated.

    1. First, I would add some graphics or photos to make it more visually appealing. Your About Page needs to be personalized and try to come up with intriguing titles. Hope this helps and best wishes

  8. Need a little help. How do I pre-select which photo from a posts is featured with its listing on WordPress? When I select the “select featured image” on the edit page it only uses that photo on MY blog page listing but not on the WordPress listing???

  9. Hi Bloggers, I just want to know what I can do to improve my blog? Whether it is just the overall appearance and layout or if I need to lengthen my blogs or have more images etc.

    I am fairly new to blogging and would love feedback from anyone.

    Thank you!! :D

    1. Took a look at your site. I enjoyed your take on reviewing your interests (games and movies for example) and think the posts were proportional to the subject. Personally I think you’re on the right track. My only suggestion would be the appearance of your header and title don’t really stand out (as opposed to mine that take up half the screen :) so perhaps a little tweaking there but overall very nice

      1. Ooh ok, thank you for your feedback and I will have a look at the layout of my blog and I’m glad you liked it :D

        And I checked out your blog and it is great, I like your layout and how everything is out together :D

    1. Hey Naomi. First–love the graphics. Give a nice feel to your blog and I assume say something about your own tastes. Your writing is enjoyable and your purpose in doing so in your about page is commendable as well. Best wishes

    1. I like the photos! It makes it look very professional and I can’t help but feel very inadequate now lol! no seriously they look really good.

    1. Overall, the design works. As you continue writing, you’ll eventually want to change your theme to something with more than one column. There’s a limit to how far people will scroll through post listings and you’ll want links to your archives.

      Other than that, I’d suggest switching around your header menu. Your tagline says “Gaming, Films, and Music” and your About page says “gaming, films, and music.” However, your first three categories are “Music,” “Game,” “Movies.” Make it consistent.

      Also, I’d rename the “Adventures” category (try “Travel”) because “Adventures” is unclear. It could also refer to an aspect of gaming or films. I’d also add an “S” to the end of “Update” to make it clearer.

      1. ooh ok awesome, thank you for such a detail reply. I will take on board what you have said and consider putting to forward to my blog. :)

  10. My landing page is directed mainly at people who are interested in the camino de Santiago. I started my blog last year to record my journey – I am walking again this year, leaving in a couple of days. I have recently updated my side bar. Would appreciate any feedback. Many thanks
    http://magwood.wordpress.com

    1. Overall, it’s really great. I see only two minor details:

      1- The links to images in your sidebar don’t all work. Try clicking on each one to make sure the visitor is directed to the full-sized picture.

      2- Why horses for the header? (I know nothing about the region you’re hiking through, BTW.) Unless you’ll be seeing a lot of horses on your trip, I’d change that header to something more relevant. However, don’t change it if you have to rush to do it; the horse header is artistically solid and will work better than something hastily put together.

      1. Thanks so much for that. I didn’t know about the sidebar pics and will look into it.
        I did know that I need to change the header photo. I wasn’t quite sure what direction the blog would take initially and I love this photo of my horse running free by the lake. I have some lovely (and much more appropriate) camino images. I will swap as suggested.
        I really appreciate your criticism.

    1. Seems like you found a place for your voice. I’d recommend more photos of the things that interest you, as well as one of yourself for your about page. People are more inclined to read when they have an idea of who they are listening to. I thought your poetry was excellent and not surprisingly since I have a travel-related blog, can relate to your love of travel and foreign cultures

      1. Thanks.. I’ve been thinking about adding a picture for a while now. I will get around to it at some point, hopefully.
        Thank you so much :) And that’s nice.. I’ll check out your blog.. I love travel blogs.. :D

    1. Definitely not boring. I think anyone with a genuine interest in keeping their patience as a parent would take the time to read it. Others with only a passing interest (or no teenagers) maybe not, but this is in no way a reflection of your writing. Sometimes you gotta say what you gotta say, though I too have been working on shortening my word counts to keep my readers’ attention

      1. Thanks for your feedback, Ben. I appreciate it. I noticed you mentioned on another person’s reply section that you don’t have a large following. I feel the same. I think I chose a limiting audience, although I like the challenge of writing about teenagers. It’s tricky because I don’t want to embarrass my own teens but I want to be honest in explaining this is can be a tough age group. I will spend time reading your blog and others’ and give feedback. Good luck!

      2. I checked out your blog. It’s fantastic! I have done some traveling (England, Germany, Austria, Caribbean, California)… but I can tell that I would be completely overwhelmed by India. You are a great writer and I love the photos. I think you will get a lot of followers by giving feedback to others. Your site deserves more followers!

  11. “Good” is a relative term. I think your style plays well to what I perceive is your target audience. I like the block letters in your header like it was an old Nintendo game (or at least that’s how it came across to me).

  12. https://sometimesblogs.wordpress.com is my blog, I started using this site a couple of days ago so could use some helpful advice or whatever really, my posts are very varied so there probably will be some interesting stuff on there. I’d love anyone to respond because I don’t know very much about blogs etc.

    1. My first suggestion is to create an About Me page where potential readers can find out who you are. A well-thought out picture and gravatar would help as well. Tag your posts effectively and keep them concise with relatively low word counts. Hope this helps and welcome to the Blogosphere

    2. welcome to blogging. Your theme is great. If I could make a suggestion, add an about page. It will introduce you to the audience and set the tone for your content. Most bloggers will head straight to the about page with coming across a new blog. Otherwise you’re off to a good start.