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Community Pool

The place for advice, feedback, and friendly blogging chatter.

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Have you just published a new post and are dying for some feedback? Did you recently start your blog and could use some layout or design advice from your more seasoned peers?

Tap into the wisdom of The Daily Post blogging community and leave your question here in the comments. Others can then click through and offer input either on your site, or in the comments here (feel free to indicate which you’d prefer).

To help us make the Community Pool a productive space for discussion, here are some tips you might find useful:

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.

  • While you’re not required to, we encourage everyone who requests feedback to also reply to at least one or two other bloggers who need some help. Spread the love!
  • The Community Pool comments section can get quite big — and starting duplicate threads doesn’t help. Thanks for not posting the same question more than once!
  • If you’re looking for quality feedback, be as specific as you can. Questions about a particular post tend to draw more comments than ones about entire blogs. Questions about specific design elements are more likely to be answered than ones asking for general layout advice.
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  • Please keep all comments civil and constructive. The idea is to have fun — it’s a pool, after all!
  • If you haven’t looked at our Commenting Guidelines in a while, now might be a good time.
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    1. Wonderfully well written blog. The only thing I might suggest would be to add Read More tags to some of your longer pieces so there isn’t so much scrolling required between some posts.

      Like

      1. Jacqui when you post, there is a button that has a “page break…” you post it after a few sentences so you’re whole blog post isnt on your main page, and they can click “read more” to finish reading. it saves space and scroll time on your main page, and makes it look more organized!

        Like

    2. I just read your latest two blogs. First, I love the title of your blog. Something that is very honest about it. Not just thoughts, but loud thoughts, thoughts that need to be heard. Second, your writing and the questions and thoughts you have are important. Important to ask, important to answer in your own voice. Looking forward to reading more from you, don’t change anything! Happily following 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure! When I have some time I will be reading more of your work. I have mentioned this in Community Pool before but a title that grabs you makes a big difference, and the theme of my blog was born from the title, not the other way around.

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    3. I enjoyed reading your work. I agree with Leisel below that breaking your text down with a “read more” will 1. intice the readers to click the post and read more and 2. your readers won’t be scrolling forever to get to your next post. Great blog! Look forward to more! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Did you intend to disable comments? If you did, that’s fine, I just wanted to make you aware. Also, the post on marriage equality got me to thinking, you might my perspective since it still excludes me.

      Like

    5. I’m trying to use the read more, specifically for my post Legally Married, but I don’t think it’s going through. I can edit a preexisting post, right? Can someone tell me if they can see it so I know if it’s just me or if I screwed it up?

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    6. Nice blog. If I were you than I would like to change navigation a bit as I had troubled getting back to main page after visiting “About me”.
      Can you set homepage link right at the click of main image ?
      This should save time of always going to menu and navigate to Home again.
      I am not sure if your theme allow that though. Keep blogging.

      Like

  1. Hello there lovely fellow bloggers! I haven’t been for a swim in a while so here goes…

    I am currently hosting a flash fiction event each week on my blog at ismithwords.com.

    If you are in need of any inspiration, or you just want to put some work out there for some friendly feedback, please come and visit and have a go at the latest challenge. It is open to flash fiction but you really can interpret the theme as you wish.

    It’s called Literary Lion, and you can see this week’s prompt here…

    http://ismithwords.com/2015/08/12/literary-lion-i-see-you/

    Whether you just want to get involved or have any feedback on how the challenge is presented I’ll be excited to hear your thoughts and happy to have a look at your blogs too 😀

    Laura

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I always love how your blog is set up and the challenges you give your readers. I don’t write like I used to (and certainly you’ll never see it online) but it’s still inspirational.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello! I’m Leisel from Skill Up Skillet, a weekly updated geek and game themed food blog. A few days ago I finally took the plunge and purchased the domain for my blog and I’m incredibly excited for what the future holds.

    Last week I also made one of my most favorite recipes to date, a (Super Mario) Toad Bombe Cake. Not only does it look ultra cute and fancy, it’s also easy to make! You can even choose between two different fillings: Nutella or Peach. Check out the recipe here: http://skillupskillet.com/2015/08/13/toad-bombe-cakes/

    I do have one question this week.. My FB and Twitter have had explosive growth over the last month, but I’m lacking email subscribers. Does anyone have any tips or tricks for enticing readers to subscribe to your blog via email? Can’t wait to interact with everyone– cheers!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You can add a floating email subscription button… I also have trouble wrangling email subscribers but I think adding the button is a good way to help the cause 😉
      Congrats on your growth BTW!

      Like

      1. Haha, I’m not great with it myself. I followed you (on Twitter) via Danny’s social media drive on Dream Big and that’s when I spotted them 🙂 Doubling up on the following though now!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I put a link down. I hope you and your readers enjoy. Love the idea of still keeping in contact with your blog thru us. Enjoy your vacation and Thank You for the support!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d like to get more involved in writing outside of my blog and would like to join in, but I want my blog content to stay relevant and to not be broken by stories. Is there a way submissions can be made without posting on our blog, for example as a comment to the prompt?

      Like

  3. Good afternoon guys! I am about to start my second short story having received great feedback from the first. Please stop by and check out my blog if you are interested in following. Your time and comments are much appreciated as always! Take care. Mark

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get this. My roommate has had a similar situation happen with her former psychologist. We ended up dumping the first psychologist and getting someone who actually cares and will give her the time of day. Already seeing significant results.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So happy to hear that! It’s time for doctors of all kind to get back to why they went into their profession! It’s time to care about the people again, not the money or the sponsors

        Liked by 1 person

    2. What a good read! I feel you on this topic for sure, except my family doctor is a bit different and what you wrote about sounds way more like the specialists I see. Doctors just don’t care, and one’s that do are so hard to come by. It really is time we re-look at the medical system. And the fact she laughed at you?! It is your body, if you want to do some non-invasive tests just to know then why not! I’ve had to be assertive like that with so many doctors, it is just unbelievable. But again really well written and thought provoking.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! Sadly, you along with others are able to relate to the post – which shouldn’t happen! Hopefully one day soon they take a moment and look at what they are doing and get back to helping the patient rather than just prescribing

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    1. I know exactly what you mean! That’s why I come through and check out everyone’s blogs, comment on a few, and hope someone’s curious enough to check out mine. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours? Mine is about having 3 spouses.

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    1. Brilliant article! I don’t know that I would have been able to to rank the characters at all. You’ve made excellent choices in your writing. Harry Potter is my all time favorite series.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hey! Just looking for feedback on my blog in general. Mine is a lifestyle blog, so it’s a little bit of everything: cooking, around the house, pets, work, marriage, and anything else you can think of! I’m still new, so…any and all comments/feedback are (is?) appreciated! Link to my blog is below!

    https://thenewishwife.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you! Lol it is, but we live out in the country so we can have a few. They’re all in a nice kennel and they’re mostly hunting-dogs, not pets. I have two inside (my pug and my pit) and one “yard-dog”, a blue heeler, who has a dog house right by the front door that she shares with her friends the cats. lol It’s interesting, but I’m too much of an animal lover to get rid of any of them.

        Like

      1. whats a blavatar?? I was thinking about doing a personalized header, but i didn’t want to over-do my layout. I may just do a collage of pictures?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Your post wasn’t at the top for once xD

      Anyhow…

      1. Upload a blavatar

      2. I think you should put the main objective of your blog in the second para of your About Page because that’s the first reading priority of mine- to know what I will be getting from it 😮 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I certainly do look for honesty in writing… And until your post had never thought that honesty and truth were different… But I have to agree!
      I guess honesty in life is something I hope to accomplish with my blog… Check it out If you want!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey everyone!

    I write a weekly Shakespeare-inspired webcomic and decided to do something a bit different with it this week by writing a double-length musical cartoon, which should be just the thing for fans of Shakespeare and 90s alt-rock (there’s a crossover audience there, right?) Hope you enjoy it, any feedback on the site would be much appreciated!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hey! Cool blog! I love what you have going on here though I would suggest going with a lighter colour as the current one distracts from the content. It is your blog so your choice in the end but that would be my suggestion.

      Like

    1. I added my two cents, because that’s just crazy. My followers aren’t NUMBERS, they’re actual people who share my interests and grow with me. I’ll hop in my Community Pool and bloody like it, thanks. These are my people.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I’d got the Bloglovin’ message but hadn’t thought much of it until I read your post. But when I did, I completely agreed with you, I think that building a relationship and a rapport with readers and followers is much more important than just the numbers.
      Best, Matt

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Hi Sherina. I don’t really get Bloglovin’ Like you, I occasionally look at the app/site but I don’t particularly like it if I’m honest. As for the challenge, I didn’t comprehend the shallowness of it until reading your post – I feel like deleting my widget now! Not that it really matters, I think I have two followers on it (and I’m sure one is spam!) Much prefer using WordPress reader and interacting with real bloggers – many of the ones I’ve seen on there seem too ‘professional’ anyway, as if you’re just following a large corporate company. So yes, in complete agreement with your letter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi there. Thanks for your suggestion. I actually do have an about page on my blog. But I will definitely take your suggestion about the blavatar. Also, I would also like to invite you to visit the blog whenever you can. Have a great day!

        Like

    1. I think I’ve read every Agatha Christie book and I enjoyed your enthusiastic teaser about ‘And Then There Were None’. It’s good that you don’t include spoilers and I liked the format of the post, with the ‘What I Like About It’ section.

      The white design of the blog does put the focus on your words, but I felt a bit more colour might be welcome. I wondered if the widget bar might be better on the other side – I might not be typical, but as we read English left to right, that feels more natural. I get the distractions (other things to think about reading etc) after I’ve started reading the post, not before.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Susan!

        Thanks for your reply. The credit for the Agatha Christie series lies with Pallavi as it is her idea and her execution. I will pass on your comments. I’m glad you liked the turkey. The entire idea of Weekly Wonder is to introduce the Reader to a new book, revealing just enough for the Reader to make an informed decision about whether they would like to read it or not but without giving any spoilers. I have found color distracts from the content but, at your advice, I might experiment with light shades. As for the widget bar, I was honestly not aware that I could switch sides or if that was possible with the theme. I would really appreciate it if you could tell me how to do that as I myself felt the same distraction that you did.

        Thanks a lot for your inputs.

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      2. True. Thanks. I am on my phone and the autocorrect is not being very helpful right now.

        I am aware of that but there are factors other than widget position that I take into account when choosing a theme and having experimented for quite some time, I am finally happy with this theme. I will look into it and see if I like another theme. Thanks a million!

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      3. I feel the same about my own theme – it isn’t perfect, but it’s the best I’ve found so far for what I want to do. If it makes you happy that’s much more important than any minor detail!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks!

        I’m glad you liked the blog!
        As for the time to read, I have a suggestion: I plan to do a post on how to read more in a few weeks. How about you follow till that post? If it helps you get more time to read, you can follow me and get great book suggestions for your new-found time and if it doesn’t, feel free to unfollow, no hurt feelings. How does that sound?

        Like

  6. Hey Friends! April from The Honest Root here!
    My blog is about sustainable and socially responsible shopping , green living healthy eating, and the like. (Its fun I swear!)
    I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and I feel like the blog is ready to take off…
    Could you review the layout, writing style, ease of navigation, and whether or not the posts are actually interesting?
    Thanks a million, and of course I will return the favor!

    – April

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi April. I had a quick glance at your blog. I like the theme you are using. The colours are tranquil and the text is easy to read. I haven’t read many posts, but those I read looked interesting. I liked what you had to say about Cecil the lion! I think that because you give details of shops, your blog becomes more local and that might discourage people from across the globe from becoming regular followers. Good luck with your plans for the future. Regards, Margie

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello:)
      I am a big fan of movies and I love how you express your opinion about a movie already from the title of the post…made me smile:)
      I’ll be back to read some more…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Swimmers. Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!
    I have a few tings I wanted to cover today.
    First off, since starting my WP site and joining in with this community, I have seen a tremendous amount of support and feedback. So Thank You to all. I appreciate you all from the bottom of my heart.
    I have a few questions I hope I can get answered. And I’m sure throughout the day I will think of more, but these are the ones I would like to know.
    1. What is the best way to search Blogs/Authors based on the content they have in common with you?
    2. Are there Themes for free that are also completely free to customize with out upgrading to a premium plan? Colors, fonts etc.? (that day will come) The few that I have poked around with and demoed still have restrictions to choosing your own colors and fonts. Is there a blank slate out there?
    3. What is The Liebster Award exactly. I have seen many bloggers receive and nominate others, and a lot. How does it work? Who is qualified to nominate/be nominated?
    Thank You so much for taking the time in reading my comment here. I also love ANY feedback on my site. What I can do better. Theme etc. I really do appreciate it!
    Here are a few posts I did over the weekend. I hope you enjoy!
    Cheers from The MomHood
    https://themomhood.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/the-clapper/
    https://themomhood.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/nicotine-carcinogens-and-poison/

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh okay. I notice a lot pop up when people host or post to challenges. Is it more common for that or can you be involved through regular postings? The sound of getting an award is great, but I have also read people comment that it can be a hassle?!

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      2. Eh. It’s a hassle if you have issues talking about yourself, and nominating people can be tricky. It’s rewarding, though; I’ve made some great connections through the awards I’ve been nominated for. People tend to nominate people they know, so network!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Megan!

      I can’t answer #1 very well, except to say that I would start searching for a tag that interests you, then you can find all kinds of blogs. As for searching, I still have no idea, but I hope this helps somewhat.
      Yes, there are free themes that you can customize quite a bit. You just have to play around with some of them. I don’t delve too deep into customization, but I know that quite a few details can be changed to your liking.
      The Liebster Award is this really cool thing that helps bloggers learn about new blogs and become engaged with their community of fellow bloggers. Basically, once you’re nominated, you display the award on your site, then you answer questions about yourself (a fun stipulation to accepting the award), then you nominate X amount of people. Once this is completed, you inform who you have nominated, and encourage them to display the award on their site. Any blogger can be nominated. The Liebster Award is a nice way to recognize the hard work us bloggers put into our site, so it’s a fun way to say “Congrats on your devotion!”
      Hope this all helps!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This helps a lot! My site is only a couple months old, so I am still learning and getting the hang of things. I really love color and design, so I am looking for one that I can completely make my own, before I dive into paying premium. Thank You for your help!

        Like

      2. No problem at all! I’ve been doing WordPress since January and there are definitely a lot of things to check out and learn. I know that WordPress just added a new theme called Illustrator(?). I’m not sure if that’s free, but it looks very polished and great for pictures. Personally, I use the Intergalactic theme. Before that I used Sketch, which is pretty easy to manipulate. Keep up the good work!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Megan!
      With regards to 1), I think just searching targeted key words (ie tags). For example, if I wanted to look for book blogs to follow I can look for ‘Agatha Christie’ (I’m a big fan). Blogs with this tag in are likely to be at least partially book orientated. Alternatively, you could simply ask! Perhaps not this week, but if you posted here at the Community Pool saying ‘I’m just looking for some great blogs about X to follow’ then I’m sure you would get plenty of responses.
      With 2), I think that WordPress recently announced that there were a few free fonts (Google fonts I think) that could be customised on any theme, and I think that background can be customised on some (most?) themes.
      The Liebster Award (3) is given to blogs with under 200 followers and is generally perceived to have two motivations. One is recognising your blog quality. The more cynical one is to get multiple links to the person who nominated you’s blog (which is meant to boost SEO too) and thus traffic. Whether one views it as a fluffy nice recognition that helps you build a relationship with readers or a cynical traffic boosting ploy is up to you.
      Hope this is helpful.
      Best, Matt

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Hi Megan,

      Others have already replied with lots of helpful info, so just adding a couple more things —

      1. The Reader is definitely the best place to look up blogs that focus on similar topics to yours. I’d recommend mixing up some popular/broad search terms with more specific ones. You’ll be exposed to a wider variety of posts that way. Another good place to start is our Recommended Blogs selection, which you can access from the Reader as well (it’s the fourth tab from the top on the Reader’s left sidebar). Once you find a site that resonates with you, a smart thing to do is browse its blogroll, if there is one. You’ll often find great curated sites in these.

      2. Many, many free themes support custom backgrounds, which would allow you to tweak your site’s palette to your liking. And we’ve recently announced a large set of free Google fonts that you can choose for your site on top of those offered through the (paid) WordPress.com Premium plan. You can find out more information on the new, free fonts in our recent announcement.

      3. We recently ran a post explaining the ins and outs of blogging awards, including the Liebster, so that might give you a good idea on whether or not you’re interested in participating in that type of activity.

      I hope this helps!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Your words feel very real, very uncensored for sure. Excellent writing! I really see little need for any changes. Looking forward to reading more of your writing in detail

      Like

  8. I’ve started blogging frequently again and my two most recent posts are on the lack of black authors and how to start and keep habits going. I’d appreciate some feedback on the content or writing style (or both…)

    Thanks!

    Improvingslowly.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people