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Community Pool

The place for blogging advice, feedback, and camaraderie.

Note: The Community Pool will be closed for the holidays next Monday, December 26, 2016.

Thank you, Pool participants, for providing incredible feedback to your fellow bloggers in 2016 — especially those of you did it so regularly and generously (looking at you, paminat0r, Natalie, and V Donovan!). See you all in 2017!

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

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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).

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  • 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!
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Are you a new blogger looking to share your very first post? We have a special forum for bloggers just like you in our weekly First Friday posts.

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  1. Greetings fellow fictioneers! Here’s a link to a story I just published on my flash fiction blog, To Cut a Short Story Short. It’s a (700) word tale of a rather unusual evening at my local pub, entitled Black Swan, Green Lizard. Please check it out and I hope you enjoy it!
    https://simonjwood.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/black-swan-green-lizard/
    Also, if you might be interested in joining a 300-word fortnightly story group please contact me via my blog and I’ll be happy to send details.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I’d like to plug Simon’s story group. I’ve been participating in it for a few weeks and I find it oddly satisfying to knock out such short pieces. I usually write in the 1200 – 1800 range.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for that Jeff!

        Yes, it’s fun and quite satisfying to tell a tale with only 300 words, although it might take a little practice at first. Great for getting into a habit of regular writing and for honing one’s editing skills too!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha, actually it is more or less a true story apart from some fantasy elements ;-). Couldn’t find him online but he was brilliant! He is due back at some stage so maybe he will inspire another story! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for ‘liking’ and commenting on the story.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi can you share more info about your story group? Follow my blog: JPROBINSON.ORG. I’m working in a manuscript now and have some character info online. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, can you drop me your e-mail address via my contact page please, then I can send you full details.

        Basically, you start with a designated (randomly picked) word and include two other designated words in the body of the story/article/essay/poem – which should have exactly 300 words. You can write on any subject in any genre. The group currently has 21 members and is conducted by e-mail, NOT posted on my blog. The next deadline is Sunday 25th December – Christmas Day.

        https://simonjwood.wordpress.com/contact/

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hiya guys!

    I actually came prepared to the pool this time! (usually I just come after a while and so I’m so deep inside the pool that people barely noticed me at all, but not this time!)

    It’s just that I wrote something new and would really, reaaaaally like to hear your opinion about it. I kinda take a darker theme this time, and it’s longer than usual too. So come prepared!

    Anyhow I’ll see you at my blog then! 🙂

    Cheers,

    https://yfns.wordpress.com

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Wow – your writing is very powerful. Thank you for sharing. The picture you have chosen draws the reader in. And even though, as you have indicated, the topic is a bit dark, your writing reflects hope from the characters point of view.

      I look forward to reading more.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. As always, loved it 🙂 Left you a short comment on the post!

      I know we already follow each other, but would you please check out one of my posts? Click on my name and choose whichever post appeals to you most 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Just commented. Cute poem! I love the juxtaposition of opposites. 🙂 My suggestion: maybe add a few more tags to draw in new readers, like “opposites” or “happiness.” You don’t need a lot of tags, but a few more may help!

      Would you please check out one of my posts? Click on my name and choose whichever post appeals to you most 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi All: The vast majority of the blogs I read fall into the memoir category. I expect them to be an accurate retelling of events, and when executed well, include some cultural commentary too. I’m currently experimenting with a hybrid form of writing that is autobiographical, but may include some fictionalization to make my point. My goal isn’t to deceive, and I explain what I’m doing in the post. But I’m curious to know if it’s a blog-reading “turnoff”. This week’s story is a good example (and it’s short).

    Please let me know what you think. https://jefftcann.com/2016/12/17/the-break-down/

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Just stopped by. I don’t think it’s a turn-off — you’ve set up an interesting scenario and you’ve explained that it’s not entirely true. I think many people have felt like they don’t have many/any friends, so the content is relatable as well.

      As a writer, though, I feel the story is unfinished. How do fictional Jeff and Sophie get home? When does fictional Jeff decide to call Joe, and who is he? A college friend, a high school buddy, a neighbor, etc.? Having Joe not recognize Jeff is important and sad, but it’s very different if Joe is a current neighbor or if he’s a high school buddy Jeff hasn’t seen in ten years.

      I once heard that everyone needs a little therapy, so you’re not alone 😉

      Would you please check out one of my posts? Click on my name and choose whichever post appeals to you most 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I actually really loved reading it and then reading the disclaimer at the bottom saying it was not real because for me, it was an unexpected twist. I love that you write about a scenario you had been thinking that while journey. Imagination is a gift and I appreciated you sharing it!

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Great post! I don’t think you have to worry too much about declaring what is and is not fictional. I think people assume that some blogs are a reflection of real life whereas others or more on the storytelling side.

        I loved this post and the message I took from it.

        Liked by 3 people

    3. I like it. And isn’t it funny that we can have 400 friends on Facebook but can’t rely on one if a situation like that came up?

      Unless you’re the guy who wrote “A Million Tiny Pieces” (James Frey, right?) I don’t thing adding a bit of “Ad-lib” to a blog post is a big deal. I guess it’s a bridge between memoir and true fiction writing, you know ?

      Liked by 4 people

    4. Just left a comment.
      I think you’re fine as long as you put a disclaimer just letting people know it’s fiction. I wouldn’t fiction-ize ALL the parts of the autobiography, or it would start feeling fake. But a few here and there shouldn’t be a problem.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think the post itself is too long at all. It’s nicely broken up by the questions/headings which makes it very easy to read. A couple of the sections themselves get a tad long (like the answer to question #2), but not necessarily unreadable. If you’re worried about it, you could try summarizing the answer and sprinkle in snippets of direct quote, although i’m not sure how well this would read with the overall format of the post.

      Overall, I thought it was a great read!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you! I appreciate your feedback 🙂

        Just swung by your blog – love your humor in the “How to be an Interesting Person” post. You mention in the photography section that you covered this in another post — link to it! As a reader unfamiliar with your blog, I have no idea where to start if I want to read more about your photography aspirations. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I started reading your interview, but then I noticed your prior post was on meaningful living – which is near and dear to me. I think you have a lot of great points in that piece, and I think it’s cool that you closed it out with a meme of your own making. I agree with you that you don’t need to shake up your life to live meaningfully, but it certainly helps to scrape away the chaff.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Awesome! I’m glad you enjoyed it. A lot of my blog is about meaningful living, because it’s an important topic to me as well — and something I only started doing recently. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Just commented! I love the third stanza because you give so many great details in it. Awesome! I don’t really have any suggestions, except to maybe add an image to go with your poetry, maybe of the car driving or the scar or something else you feel will add to the poem.

      Would you please check out one of my posts? Click on my name and choose whichever post appeals to you most 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You have got a pretty interesting layout for your blog. I loved it.
      I would suggest for you to add few more widgets on right pane like your twitter feed, Instagram pics, Facebook Page. A search bar on top of right pane would be a great ad on. Happy Blogging….God Bless….

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks for the feedback Jeff! I’ll have to write a post more about my travel lifestyle, but I currently travel extensively for work so he only comes with me on the fun trips (once or twice a year).

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Thanks for sharing your blog!!! I quite like your site.

      I really like the pictures you have chosen for each post. The formatting (border) is quite nice, and the pictures are really interesting thus drawing the reader in.

      I quite enjoyed your post on How to be An Interesting Person. You have a lot of ambition!! I find that I want to do EVERYTHING and sometimes I have to choose 1 or 2 things to focus on. I love hiking, and find that going early when in hot climates works – the air is still fresh and there is something about being up before the world is busy.

      One suggestion I might make is to expand your header photo and/or add menu items. I think having more on the header might draw readers into your theme.

      I look forward to reading more 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thank you! Your feedback is so kind. I was actually just reading through a few of your blog posts and thinking they were very inspirational. My life right now is very similar to your’s pre-bike.

        I’m still figuring out all the formatting restrictions and the header is one I fought with for several hours last week. I completely agree that it needs more – I just need to figure out what I want to do with it!

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Sophie – it will all come to you 🙂 It took me a while to figure out my layout and I still think I could keep working on it.

        I just finished my first book – it is the whole story of how my bike changed my life. I am a different person. It will be available on Jan. 18. A lot of my posts are a similar them of what is in the book.
        I look forward to reading more of your work 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

    3. Hey Sophie, I like your pictures that you use as well as the what your writing about. I feel like that’s why most people or at least me anyway started blogging. I needed a hobby and sort of an outlet for my thoughts. We have the same humor!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you! Sometimes I’m not sure if the humor sounds the same in writing as it does in my head so glad to hear someone thinks I’m funny! The blogging was originally just something to motivate me to do the other stuff, but I’m finding that it’s the thing I look forward to the most so I guess I’m right there with you. Blogging is a great hobby.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Just commented. Nice poem! 🙂 My only suggestion would be to maybe change some of your tags — “wordpress” and “straight from the heart” will probably not bring in many new readers, but tags like “Christmas” might (or you can use any other holiday-themed word!)

      Would you please check out one of my posts? Click on my name and choose whichever post appeals to you most 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. We’re in the midst of a 12 Days of Christmas Series and are posting all things Christmas right now! We normally do Music Monday posts, so since today’s 12 Days post is on a Monday, it’s all about music, and we featured 7 underrated classic Christmas songs. Curious what you think of the post (and the series for that matter!) Thanks for checking out! https://nostalgiadiaries.com/2016/12/19/12-nostalgic-days-of-christmas-7-underrated-classic-christmas-songs-seventh-day/

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Nice post! I like how you formatted it to include videos right in your post, and also that you put the artist name and song title in another color and bold. Awesome! My only suggestion: maybe add the names of the singers/bands as tags to draw in their fans? If you do that, be careful you don’t have more than 15 tags and categories combined, or WP will block your post from Reader 😦

      Would you please check out one of my posts? Click on my name and choose whichever post appeals to you most 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks for the advice on the tags. We feel like there’s a fine art to the tags that we’re still trying to figure out. I’m sure we’ll find the perfect combination soon 🙂 And checked out your Simple Secret post and commented. Love your blog!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Thanks for sharing your post! I really enjoyed it 🙂 I love your idea of the 12 days of Christmas.

      I thought your post was very well formatted and laid out. I love that you included the songs for people right there.

      Have a wonderful holiday season!

      🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I really liked the “Loving Yourself” post. It was beautiful, and you hit on a bunch of really important points! Great post 🙂

      My only suggestion: use categories and tags. Categories organize posts within your blogs, and tags help new readers find your blog. You can have up to 15 total. You could tag this post as “self-awareness” or “love” or “inspiration”, for example.

      Would you please check out one of my posts? Click on my name and choose whichever post appeals to you most 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I love your pieces. You’re awesome!! 🙂 Great use of images, awesome content. Rock on!!

      Would you please check out one of my posts? Click on my name and choose whichever post appeals to you most 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Reading your post was quite an unforgettable and humbling experience. Very thoughtfully written stuff. Well done for writing about the valuable work that those organisations do and qudos to you for volunteering.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. What a wonderful idea to have a blog party!!! I love your enthusiasm and willingness to support fellow bloggers. I would love to join in 🙂 And perhaps I could host one in the New Year 🙂

      I really love how festive your site is!!

      I look forward to reading more 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

    2. This sounds like so much fun! Is there a way for you to add some sort of RSVP-type feature? Something that people could click to be reminded about the party the day before would be nice. I’d love to contribute, but if anyone has a memory like mine, they’ll have forgotten by the 28th.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not sure about that here on wordpress lol. That’s why bloggers usually post about it a week in advance. On that day I will make sure everyone sees it and people are supposed to share/reblog so that more bloggers know about it and can join 😉

        Liked by 3 people

  5. This week I worked on my blog: Heatherroberts.blog. I chose a really cool theme to show off my biology and college projects along with my recent blog posts.
    Come check it out and tell me what you think!

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Hello, all of you bloggers and blog followers out there; My annual presentation of “The Christmas Carol” continues here at KALEIDOSCOPE, not to mention that there are plenty more Christmas delights in which I have published in the past few weeks! Also, I have got a few more posts that I plan to publish before I take a much-needed holiday break, so I very well suggest that you check out my blog at http://www.j2w7.wordpress.com! May I wish each and every one of you in the entire Community Pool all the joy and happiness this season, as well as a very Merry and blessed Christmas, and much joy and happiness in the New Year beyond. With Heartfelt Love-JW

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Hello everyone!!

    First of all I would like to thank everyone in this blogging community for all of the feedback and support.

    And, now, I would LOVE to share that I have self published my very first book !!!

    You can check it out at https://justagirlandabike.com/book

    All proceeds will go to World Bicycle Relief, helping children and women access food, healthcare and education.

    My bike changed my life. I wish to spread change to others.

    Love and Peace to you all 🙂

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Here are a couple of things to consider. (1) “make our own choices, but not free to choose it’s consequences” should be “make our own choices, but not free to choose their consequences” (2) You have a run-on sentence which might work better broken into parts. Here’s one way to restructure it using questions. “Are we responsible for our own fall? Is a person allowed to trouble society just for his own welfare? Can he justify his actions by stating that he isn’t breaking any rules because he is entitled to ‘freedom of choice’?” https://gracelead.co

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Great post! Stress is actually what convinced me to start my blogging venture last week.

      This is totally a personal preference, but I think I’d like more personalization in your posts. Right now, the article is a little generic and reads like something you might find on a buzzfeed-type website. One thing that draws me to the blog format is hearing about personal experiences to go along with all the research and background information. This may just be me though.

      Overall, very easy to read.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Wow! You clearly put in a lot of thought and research into your post. Like Sophie said, you could possibly personalize your post, unless of course you want to be more of a resource than a personal aid. I started blogging in October, and it’s a fun thing to do. Have fun with your blog!

      memyselfandthecamera.wordpress.com

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I love it. I especially loved getting to the end and reading the disclaimer about it not being real but playing over in your head….that happens to me all the time. Imagination is a powerful thing, I think you should be able to use it 😃

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Matt, I know you’re from USA so this might be a bit different but I am from NZ currently working in the UK. For young people (my fiance and I are 25), in both of these countries it is incredibly difficult to get into the housing market. Can you write about alternative ways to invest money other than property and the pros and cons? Or some tips to getting a deposit together for a home and how to get a bank onboard?

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Hey! Thanks for your input! I will definitely try and write up some posts about those things! I am not sure about the market conditions and factors of where your from, but i will do my best to make the tips applicable! Thanks for commenting!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Loved your post on masculinity. Just commented! Great content. My only suggestion: consider using images. They add color and break up the text a bit. For this post, you could use the gender symbols or a picture of one of the stereotypes you mentioned, or whatever else you feel would add to the post.

      Would you please check out one of my posts? Click on my name and choose whichever post appeals to you most 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks! I’ve been meaning to add images, but I couldn’t make up my mind on how to do it in a way that compliments. Nice suggestion, I’ll give it a go! And sure, it’ll be my pleasure to check out your page! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people