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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. Hello friends… Greetings from India. 🙂

    Would love your feedback on the overall look of my blog. If someone has to add something regarding the content too, you are most welcome.

    I was also wondering if I should start with a guest-post section in my blog. What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? Also let me know if you feel that you would be interested in actually writing something if I did start off with the guest-posting.

    http://turn2pagelife.wordpress.com/

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      1. I plan to keep it open topic. Just for a change. Because I personally blog mostly about photography. So this add-on could bring in some color to the blog. But there has to be some guidelines for sure. So maybe it could be like 10 points or 5 points about a certain thing. Maybe I could give a choice of topics and the interested author may choose what he/she finds most comfortable. All these are just basic ideas now which I have in my head. But I want to hear your suggestions. This is why I posted the question here.

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    1. I think the overall look is good. The posts with lots of photos are really eye-catching and make me want to read. In that vein, my only suggestion would be to break up large blocks of text, like in your last posts, with visual aids. If not photos, you could consider, using pull-quotes or other graphics.

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      1. Thank you!
        I checked yours out; I love that blind you made! Awesome! I want to make loads of stuff like that for my first home, it looks so lovely!

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      2. You’re welcome!
        Haha thankyou! It wasn’t as easy as the tutorials made it out to be, I had a few tantrums but it all worked out in the end lol

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    1. This is awesome. You are obviously very funny from what i have seen. I love it. It is really honest in a refreshing kind of way. And witty. I laughed really hard when I read your latest post about little red riding hood. NIce Blog!

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    2. Great blog, the Little Red Riding Hood story is particulalry interesting as I studied English Lit for my degree. The fairy tales have come along way from what they were intended to be, as cautionary tales for women, if you get a chance read Angela Carter ‘The Bloody Chamber’ for a 20th Century take on the fairy tale.

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  2. I need an idea for a new tagline. I’ve been using “Random thoughts from a cranky guy…”, but it has been brought to my attention that maybe I’m not as cranky as I thought. The majority of my posts have been silly or humorous. anybody got an idea. my site is http://okaywhatif.com

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    1. I like your blog. Your tagline can be changed once a week or daily into something snarky or funny like “What If (tagline) people stopped looking like their dogs.” Or you don’t even need a tagline. Sometimes blogs don’t need one.

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  3. Hello everyone! I’m brand spankin’ new to the blogging community, so I’d love ANY feedback people have have on my page. The good, bad, and the ugly. This is something that I have already grown to love and would love to make it as strong as a blog as possible for you all to visit 🙂 Any advice you all have, I’m all ears. Thank you! chocolatemedals.com

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    1. I like your blog for the most part. My only criticism would be your blog title and tagline. I liked both of them when I saw them until I read your blog. You say you’re part of the “healthy living community” and it shows in your blog content, but that’s the last thing I expected based on your title/subhead. I expected more of a “fat, beautiful, and proud of it” angle or a frustrated dieter or something like that.

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    1. A couple of thoughts:

      1- You need to add tags to your posts. That’s a critical method of getting views from people other than friends and family.

      2- There needs to be a link in your header to the stream of recent blog posts. I know to click on the most recent archives but many visitors may not. (And I know you included that sort of information at the end of your “About” page, but not everyone will read that far.)

      3- Very few comments is usually the name of the game when it comes to blogging. Unless you build a huge audience, that’s pretty typical. (And even if you get a huge audience, lots of comments aren’t guaranteed.)

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      1. many thanks Bumblepuppies. I shall work on tags when time permits. As regards your point 2, inserting a link in headers to recent posts, could you elaborate please. Do you mean a link in the title? I have tried to work out what you mean before asking, but unfortunately have failed.

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    2. Near the top of your blog, you have a link to “Home” and a link to “Packing list for Camino de Santiago.” Since “Home” for most people is the blogger’s most recent posts (like what I and Bravesmartbold have), it helps to have another link up there called “Blog” that connects to the same thing. I’ve seen it done but I’ve never done it myself. I imagine there should be instructions posted on the WordPress support page.

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      1. Hi again, thanks so much for that idea. I have spent a lot of time trying to achieve what appears not to be possible on a wordpress hosted blog, but have now set up a ‘posts’ home page which I think will work as you suggested. What do you think? I really appreciate your input.

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      2. That format is a little off because it’s tough to tell where the new posts are (if that’s what one is looking for).

        Go to “my blogs” and then “Blog Admin.” From there, click “customize” on the “Appearance” menu (on the left gray sidebar). On the right blue sidebar that comes up, you should see something that says “Front.” Switch the option for that.

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    1. A few thoughts on what to improve:

      1- Be sure to proofread.

      2- Having a picture in each post will bring more readers. (The picture often increases the size of your entry in the WordPress reader, and that’s a good thing.)

      3- A few post titles (Such as “Quick Blog: Thoughts”) aren’t very descriptive, at least not in a way to make new readers want to click on the link to your post to find out more. Post titles are advertisements; make them interesting.

      4- Consider adding the category and archives widgets. Right now, people have no way (other than endless scrolling and clicking on “older posts) to see your older posts.

      What you shouldn’t change is your use of very large pictures (when possible), especially since you seem to have them at a low enough resolution that they don’t load slowly.

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      1. Thankyou!
        Most of the things you noted, I already new I should/had to change and just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I will definately proofread (a few people have pointed that out actually, mostly my mother haha) and I definately hadn’t even thought of the widgets and archives so thankyou again!

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      2. Bumblepuppies, I love your blog. Your posts are very refreshing and they make me think.
        I also appreciate that you give such thorough feedback here and wonder if you could take a look at mine. I don’t post very often and will work on that. But any general critique? Do you get a sense of what the blog is about? And what changes would you make to increase engagement/ make it more appealing?
        Thanks!

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      3. Thanks!

        I took a look at your blog and have a couple of thoughts:

        1- Normally, I would think that “Reader. Writer. Wanderer.” contains a lot of fluff because writer is obvious when you see a blog full of text. And then writers are usually readers. However, I see that you are a credentialed writer and your blog includes discussions of reading. So, I think your tagline is short, punchy, and accurately descriptive (which is good) but it may not come off as substantive to the visitor who hasn’t read through your posts.

        2- Since your blog looks good otherwise, I’ll pick on your resume. If I were you, I would move the skills section to the very top and add a line of journalism-related skills. Those computer skills are gold because they distinguish you from other applicants and you should therefore put them front and center. Since so many companies do such cursory resume scans, they may not even get as far as your skills listing. (If a professional career advisor suggested that you list your skills at the end instead of the front, follow their advice, not mine.)

        3- The only way I know for you to increase engagement is for you to post more regularly. I’ve seen blogs where the blogger has over 1000 followers but claims to get only 60 views per day. There is no magic bullet for that one except consistent posting and a lot of luck.

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      4. Thanks so much for your specific feedback! I recently changed my tagline for probably the third time since I’ve owned this blog, so this one is in beta phase. That’s given me something to think about.
        And yes, posting regularly and consistently is definitely an immediate goal.

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    2. I agree with Bumblepuppies about the photos. Whenever possible, I think including at least one or two photos in your posts will help with 1. breaking up large blocks of text and 2. drawing readers in. Big, clear photos make a lot of difference, especially with the craft posts. Personally, if I’m going to do some DIY, I want to see detailed images of the process. With the “frame-lift” post, for examples, photos of each (or most) step would have been nice.

      Other than that, good work on consistent posting and building your voice!

      Hope that helped. 🙂

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      1. Thankyou, yes thats definately something that even I knew I should be doing haha I’m still new to a lot of this so it’s good to have opinions on it.
        Thanks again.

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      2. I love your blog. I think the only thing I would change (if your theme allows it) would be to put the categories and subscribe button on the sidebar. My previous theme only allowed for my archives/categories etc at the bottom but it’s definately worth your while to see if you can have them on the side because I’ve noticed that when someone has a page open with only one post they’ll generally want to read more but having to scroll down and find somewhere else to click on can be a drag and let’s face it, people want to see things quickly with little hassel but if you can’t and love your theme, I wouldn’t bother! Fantastic content by the way!

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      3. haha cool, you’ll be surprised at how quickly people subcribe or read other posts just by having it on the side

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  4. Can anybody read my blog and tell me what they think, please? I’m still pretty new to the blogging world and still finding my feet…well hands, if you know what I mean. haha. Much appreicated if you can!

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      1. OK, yeah, I see. It’s because it’s about so many things I thought I’d give it that name, and the posts willk speak for themselves, if you know what I mean?

        Do you have any name-change suggestions?

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      2. Hmm, I haven’t yet found a specific genre as I’m still finding my feet on it.
        But I pretty much blog about anything/everything that interests me: News, Relationships, the Law… things like that. I don’t have one pinpointed topic of conversation :/

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      3. I do like ‘Prep Kid’ to be honest. But don’t you think it lacks a little touch of personality? That’s why I thought I would add my name to it at the end… But I definitely see where you’re coming from. I’ll certainly consider it!

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  5. My blog has reinvented itself numerous times and is still evolving. I have read that one should stick to a particular subject but I find that mundane. It’s called “Ramblings, stories and lies from the roads of life”. Feedback would be good and I will reciprocate…. http://ryeder.wordpress.com/

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    1. You may reconsider changing your blog title into something more unique and descriptive. I like the background picture, is there any way to make the picture as a full one to fit the entire background?

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  6. Hello! My name’s Lisa, I just started a blog on my quest to become awesome. I have lots of questions that I would be totally grateful for feedback on! Like, is my blog topic too vague and self-obsessed? Is the layout helpful? Should I try to promote a personal blog like this or will it just get me in trouble at work?! Does anyone want to read about something like this!? A friend set up a football blog and has reached 33,000 hits in 8 weeks… this both depressed and inspired me. What do you think of my quest? Is it childish? Have you got any ideas on how to get there?! All suggestions and feedback welcome!! Thanks, sorry for rambling…

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    1. If your good at rambling then you will make a good blogger 🙂 I have left a comment about the goddess they call Kate Bush. As for your blog, I hate scrolling down over huge amounts of script that I am not interested in Pork Ball especially, I would advise you to use the categories and give each post its own home, you can see how it works on both my blogs
      http://www.rainbow-photography.net
      http://www.mysoresoul.co.uk

      We have all tried KB dancing at some point in our lives, to the point of puddles at our feet, those who say they haven’t tried it KB arm waving or a high pitched shrill and wet themselves doing so is a down right dirty stinking liar…………….Or something like that. Welcome to blogging and the weirdos among us present company excepted 🙂

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    2. I don’t know if you are wont to wearing items of a sparkly nature; but if you are, you should buy a tiara. It should be covered in bright, shining diamonds and in large-letters spell out the word “Awesome!” You should wear this tiara and parade up and down the streets of the city, calling to passers-by, “I am Lisa and I am Awesome! And so is my blog!” And you should become so overtaken by the combined awesomeness of you and your blog that you dance from sheer joy – jumping and spinning and twirling until you get dizzy and fall over.

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      1. Hahaha this is brilliant! Uncannily I am indeed drawn to garments of a sparkly nature… and I already own TWO tiaras! Sadly they don’t say AWESOME, and never get enough outings, but parading on streets is probably the logical next step!! 🙂 I came across a Brazilian Carnival shop in London that does dresses for £100 (maybe it was fate)… now it’s all making sense!

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  7. Wow! This is great! I’d love to get some feedback without having to go groveling to my followers to ask. I know right off the bat one thing I have a problem with is consistency, I write in fits and starts, nothing for a couple of months then a barrage of posts. But what about my content? Am I funny? Are my posts well-written? Are they too long? I have 250+ followers, but I don’t get a lot of comments. How do I generate more activity with my posts? Thanks in advance! I’ll be happy to offer my feedback in return!

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    1. First of all, understand that we are all blogging in quicksand. There’s a heavy attrition rate among bloggers and, if you’re gone for several months, a decent chunk of your 250 followers will no longer be blogging and, therefore, probably won’t be logging into WordPress to read blogs.

      The 250+ count is a sign of how many people have felt you were good enough to follow. It says nothing about how many of them are still your potential audience.

      I don’t think the lack of comments reflects on the quality of your blog’s content. If I were you, I would pace the release of blog posts. I publish one post per day, but some days I write multiple posts and some days I write none. (It depends on when i have something to say.) There’s even a really neat scheduling option that lets you tell your blog to publish a post on (for example) August 21 at noon instead of today. Having posts appear more consistently would help you a lot.

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    1. You can link your posts to facebook and twitter. I do this but none of my friends really read my blog. Basically, I go on here and I self-promote in a very subtle way 😉

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    1. I liked the layout and the content. Like how you are taking the readers on a journey through your new journeys in Germany. Can’t wait to read more and see what places you have traveled.

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    2. I really like the illustrations you include, like the maps of places you want to visit or the differences between American and German coffee. The only other thing that you could use are pictures of Germany!! There must be so many beautiful places you’re discovering. Why not share them with us?
      Definitely following!

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  8. Hullo. I have finally got the hang of WordPress functions and themes etc. So now I need followers and readers. How can I increase traffic to my blog? And what in the world are ‘pings’ and ‘ping backs’?

    Also, I would love it if some of you leave comments on my writing and tell me whether people will come back to read more?

    Here’s my blog:
    http://livinginpak.wordpress.com/

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    1. A pingback happens when someone posts a link to your blog post. It’s basically a link back to the page that mentioned you.

      As for gaining followers and readers, I can only suggest 2 things:

      1- Try to have a picture for each post. It makes posts show up better in the WordPress Reader.

      2- Patience. You’ve only been blogging regularly for less than 2 weeks. It takes a lot more time to gain a following. With 20 followers so far, I’d say you’re on a decent pace.

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      1. Thanks for the help!

        Unfortunately, patience is something I have in the same quantity as water during a drought…it comes and goes. Oh well, I guess now would be the time to call up all that I have!

        The picture tip was very helpful, I didn’t know it played a part in increasing traffic.

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  9. Good day, I was informed by a fellow blogger that they could not reach my site by clicking on my icon picture because of an error message they received “domain mapping”. (I got the message from a comment reply that I left on their site). Can someone let me know if they can view my site and if not, help me resolve this issue. Thanks in advance!

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  10. I have 2 blogs on WordPress and would love to have feedback on both. One is on leadership and one is on prayer. Please share. I am looking for more followers and better content.

    Prayer Therapy
    Movers, Shakers, Leadership Makers

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  11. Hi I’m having a hard time changing my profile pic,”gravatar” It’s frustrating. I have gone to the help menu, and clicked on Change gravatar but it takes me to a blank page. Anyone with any suggestions ? Thanks!

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  12. Hi guys! 🙂
    My name is Tetyana, I am from Ukraine.

    I’ve just started blogging on wordpress. I registered a while ago, but then I lost my login info till now.
    Currently, I am developing blog page and its content.
    I want to talk about self-assurance for girls in any aspect.

    I would like to receive your suggestions and opinion for subjects you would like me to talk about
    And any other opinion will be very welcomed, with any criticism, suggestions and opinions.

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    1. I think that is a very wonderful idea for a blog! The only suggestion I can think of is to allow for submission piece be accepting onto your blog to make the blog more interactive for readers and also to make the issue and topics you cover on your blog more diverse so that it would be easier for everyone to find something that relates to them. (just my opinion) Good luck!!

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  13. Hi! I just returned to blogging after forever. Right now, my blog does not have a focus. I am writing about what catches my fancy. Would love to know what you think and if you have any suggestions for me.

    Ninitha

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  14. I know I’ve posted in here a lot today, but can you let me know if you think my blog is a little too random… Do you think that I should pin down one particular topic? Or do you think it adds to my online character?

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  15. A like button…on the post, or on the site in general? But thank you very much! I really appreciate that. I will try to make it a better reading experience for you!

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