Monday, July 8, 2013

Write Quality Content

Back in the days, when the concepts of SEO and key word research were new, quite a few marketers figured out how to cheat the system without writing quality content. They would find the right key words, follow a set of SEO rules, and write short articles with little useful information but a very obvious link that would send the reader to the site they were promoting. Since they cracked the Google search engine algorithm, their articles would show up  at the top of the search results - exactly where you want to be in order to make money. There are still plenty of people seeing outstanding results because of their ability to meet the market demand by going after the right keywords, but Google has become a lot stricter and is more selective as to who it sends traffic to. At this time, Google wants to see if you have a good following. Are you being informative and engaging the readers, do you have Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin, Twitter followers, do people come back to your site on a regular basis to see what's new? If Google search engine runs into a topic that can be found on a site with little to no reputation and on a site of a blogger who put a lot of effort into building the blog and establishing online presence, chances are that it's the blogger who is going to get the priority spot at the top of the search results. And you really can't argue with that, the blogger did put a lot of time and effort into writing quality content and engaging readers on a regular basis.

If you write for Squidoo, I am sure you know that Squidoo has always been pro unique, useful, updated  - UUU content. But, with the recent updates in Search Engine algorithms, the UUU concept is more important than ever. Squidoo HQ has been stressing out the importance of sharing personal stories and creating "rich" content that only You can produce. Cheating the system no longer works - write quality content, if you want to stay on Squidoo. No wonder that we are hearing this message loud and clear. Squidoo is competing against many established bloggers with a great following. The bloggers attract attention by sharing very personal stories and photos, by being real, and building relationships with their readers. So Squidoo has to stay competitive in order to keep the top spot on the web.

Writing high quality content on a regular basis may be easier said than done. But if you follow these tips on how to Write High Quality Content fast, manage your time wisely, and put a lot of effort into building your presence on Squidoo in your niche, you are very likely to get a good return on time invested.

Update July 19, 2013: got these tips from Ezinearticles by Email and thought they are worth sharing: create quality content in 7 steps.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Return on time invested

Whether you are a full-time blogger, an affiliate marketer, a writer, or if you are simply trying to add a few extra dollars to your income by writing online, remember to ask yourself: am I getting a good return on time invested? I used to ask that question a lot when I was starting out on Squidoo. After almost 3 years of writing online, I am still not completely sure whether I am getting a good return on time invested... But some of that has to do with Time Management. Recently, I have been trying to work on minimizing distractions and increasing productivity. If you are organized, good at managing your time, and articulate, you are more likely to succeed in blogging and writing online.

It is true that some people write on Squidoo just for pleasure, and the money they earn is an extra benefit. But if a good return on time invested and recognition are equally important to you, you may frequently ask yourself: "Am I working towards a fulfilling career or wasting my time?" So how do you measure success? I think it's about making progress - finding a niche, establishing your presence online, building a brand, learning to use Social Media to attract attention to your articles, Squidoo lenses, blog posts... If you have been writing and promoting your work for a while but are not seeing any returns and don't feel like you are making progress, you may either need to regroup and re-access your approach to writing and blogging or consider a different career.

A week ago, I joined this site Bubblews. It was recommended by Potpiegirl, someone I have been following for a little while. I have learnt to be careful about trusting everything affiliate marketers recommend - no offense, but they have to make a living too, and they do sometimes join in on projects and recommend products they are not completely keen on. The site is another place to add to your online presence, build another link to your site or Squidoo profile. You submit short articles with at least 400 characters, view other articles, like, dislike, comment, and watch your bank grow. Looks like they let you include links to other content online, and many people are taking advantage of that. There are quite a few Squidoo lensmasters already writing for Bubblews. The site is already flooded with inspiring stories about people cashing in their fist $25 earnings within a few days. There are hundreds of people literally killing days liking, disliking, connecting, publishing, etc. It may be very much worth it to some people, but it's not going to be a site I will be spending my days at. Although it's good to have an online presence at Bubblews, it is still a very new site that hasn't established authority on the web. I like the concept of writing freely, but I don't feel like I will be getting a good return on the time invested there. Therefore, I will continue to concentrate my efforts on Squidoo and my own blogs, while writing on Bubblews occasionally. On the other hand, for a newbie, Bubblews may be a good place to get started. If the site is a success and you have built up a collection of high quality articles, you may get some good returns later.

Are you getting a good return on time invested? Time waits for no one - awesome video, be sure to click on the link to watch it on YouTube.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Squidoo Tip # 18. Manage your time wisely.

I think that one of the toughest parts of a blogger/ affiliate marketer's job is time management, at least that's what I struggle with the most. When you are your own boss, it's easy to get distracted. You may have plenty of new ideas for a new blog post or a Squidoo lens, but you also feel like there is so much to learn about blogging and making money online, so you read one article that leads to another, and, before you know it, an hour or two have gone by, and you still haven't produced the new content that should make you money. Squidoo is an awesome community, and it's a great place to make connections with other bloggers/ lensmasters, but, once again, it's easy to get carried away and spend most of the day commenting on lenses, participating in the forum, etc. Then, of course, there's Twitter, Facebook, Email, social bookmarking sites, and, hey, you can always do some online shopping, since you are already in front of the computer, checking out these must-have items... Anyone else struggle with time management?

When you work for an established company, there are different departments, and these departments set goals and objectives, and most of the employees usually have a pretty good idea what they have to accomplish in the next day, week, or month. They also have someone they have to report to, and someone who makes sure that distractions and web surfing are cut down to a minimum in order to boost productivity. But when you work for yourself, online, your goals and daily tasks may be somewhat undefined, and the absence of productivity control results in lower productivity. So how do you fix this?

My advice would be to come up with a long-term goal - something you see doable and accomplishable.  For example, you want to boost your Squidoo income by 10 percent. Then figure out what it will take to accomplish that goal. If you are already making $200 with say 30 lenses, then maybe you should aim to build 3 to 6 more high quality lenses in order to make $220 per month. If you want to succeed in blogging, it's a good idea to have a direction and a list of daily/ weekly tasks with set limits on how long it should take you to accomplish each task. Some writers use timers - you set a timer for each task, and once the timer goes off, it's time to move on to the next one. The sense of urgency is a good motivation to help you complete the tasks. I often allow myself to make minor compromises, like taking an hour and a half for a task I wanted to complete in an hour. As long as I check off 75% of my To Do list, I consider it a day well spent.

Do you have Time Management ideas you would like to share? I would love to hear what you guys do to stay on track in your online work. As always, have a productive day!

Update July 18, 2013: Just found this article with 3 Top Tips for getting things done, good advice.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Squidoo tip #17. Keep your lenses fresh, but don't overdo it.

How often should I update my Squidoo lenses? Some Squidoo lensmasters put a lot of effort into updating their lenses on a daily basis. They have come up with great techniques on how to update a dozen lenses in minutes. Although I believe it's important to keep your lenses fresh, I also know you can seriously overdo it. Yes, you may pick up some extra traffic on Squidoo from being moved up in the search results, if a reader uses the "Recently Updated" filter. You can also ping all recently updated lenses in Squidutils. But I recently read that Google may view republishing your posts (lenses) without making any big changes as an attempt to cheat the system, and, therefore, penalize the publisher for it. Also, I would advise against any drastic changes to a lens that gets a steady traffic from Google. A small change may cost you some visitors. A good example is my Best Gifts for 2 year old girls lens that was getting a steady 100 to 150 visitors per day until I made a few changes. The daily traffic dropped to under 50 visitors a day. And, since I didn't backup the lens in any way, I haven't been able to revert the revisions I made earlier.
So what's a good rule for keeping lenses fresh without overdoing it? I think that adding new content frequently is extremely important the first few months after you publish your lens. Add new modules, new links, improve your lens, establish your authority on the topic. By frequently, I don't mean every day. Maybe a couple times a week? Then, once you are seeing good traffic, I think it's a good idea to slow down with the updates and only update lenses a couple times a month. The technique seems to be working for me, but you might see different results if you are working with a different niche. Please do tell me what you think. How often do you update your lenses?

Have a productive day on Squidoo! Happy Tuesday :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Squidoo Tip #16. Use YouTube videos to promote your Squidoo lenses.

Have you tried using YouTube to promote your Squidoo lenses? I have heard that many people are very successful in driving traffic from YouTube to their websites, so I decided to give it a try. In my newest Squidoo lens How to get rid of fleas on a kitten I featured a YouTube video of my kitten taking a bath in a bathtub. If you click out to watch the video on YouTube, you will also notice that I posted a link to my Squidoo lens in the description of the video. I am happy to see that I already have had a few lens views from the YouTube video, and, as of today, the YouTube video has only had around 30 views. If a video you post goes viral, imagine how many lens views you are going to end up with. Also, it's an extra link to your Squidoo lens, and that's a good thing when it comes to SEO. Here's the Youtube video of Tiger:

Do you have any experience of promoting Squidoo lens with a YouTube video? I would love to hear from you!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Squidoo Tip # 15

Public Domain Image (CCO) from
The Squidoo success tip I am sharing today is the best advice I can give new lensmasters who have fewer than 25 lenses. Join RocketSquids! I promise, you won't regret it. The program is designed for new lensmasters who want to learn the basics of Squidoo and get help and advice from experienced lensmasters. Every week, RocketSquids  are given a challenge to create a lens on a certain topic, like "Something I Love". If the lens is submitted by the weekly challenge deadline, it will be featured on RocketSquids bootcamp page. That's when RocketSquid Greeters along with Robin (Community Organizer), Susan (Squidoo Greeter), Kab (RocketSquid Coordinator), and Bonnie (Community organizer and head of the Giant Squid Club) will have an opportunity to visit your lenses and give you suggestions on how to improve them. If you run into any problems or need advice on how to properly credit photos, use HTML in your lenses, or use Squidoo modules, you will be able to ask questions and get answers at RocketSquids forum.

In my opinion, the Bootcamp is the best place to learn "How to Squidoo".  Plus, you get plenty of visits to your lenses, comments, feedback, and you may even get noticed and later featured on Squidoo blog as a new and promising lensmaster with UUU lenses. If you are the type of person who is afraid of commitments due to your overloaded work schedule, no worries. There is no penalty for not turning your lenses in by the deadline. Of course, I wouldn't recommend making it a habit. But if you think you can publish a lens per week at least twice a month, join in!

As always, Happy Squidooing! Please do let me know you stopped by. I will be happy to approve relevant comments with links to quality Squidoo lenses or your blog :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

What happens when you go after super popular key words?

I know it's been forever since the last time I posted, but I am trying to get better about keeping my Squidoo lenses and blogs up to date. There is something that bothering me today, so I figured I will go ahead and share. The topic of today's post - What Happens when you go after super popular Key Words?

So what happens when you go after super popular key words? You get no traffic from Google. NADA... You can bang your head against the wall and jump around in agony, but that's not going to make Google send traffic your way. You may try to build a bunch of backlinks, but, chances are, it is not going to change your situation. I seem to be somewhat grasping the main concepts of SEO and affiliate marketing, but I am making the same mistake over and over again. Here's my latest result of ignoring SEO rules: Best Valentine's Day gifts for Her. Here's how my thinking works. I really like the topic. I can come up with some really good gift ideas. I am going to make a really good lens, and women are going to want to share it with their boyfriends and husbands to give them some hints on what they want for Valentine's Day. Well, guess what, great strategy, BUT I am forgetting that RedEnvelope, AskMen, MensHealth, Esquire, and a whole bunch of other well-established and popular websites with great traffic also think that "Valentine's Day Gifts for Her" is a great topic to post about. So what do I get after several days of picking out gifts on Amazon and putting the lens together, and then promoting it in several different ways? I get a lens that is not recognized by Google in any way and that's nowhere to be found in Google Search Results. Nice, right? About time I should learn my lesson. Wish me good luck! Too often I act on the spur of the moment, and Google does not like that...
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