Thursday, March 7, 2013

Updating & Weeding Out Lenses - Squidoo Work is Never Done!

How are you are going with the winds of change at Squidoo at the moment?   I think it's a little early to tell how the changes so far (limiting of likes and blessings) have affected lensranks, but in anticipation of the new filters I've been busily going through my lenses.

I've decided to go through the lenses alphabetically because that way I can actually go through them all.   Over the years when I want to make changes I've tried doing the lenses in other orders and I never seem to actually finish which is why I have some lenses that haven't been updated in ......... well a long, long time!

I have also used the dashboard labels and have got one called Needs Work! where I have transferred some lenses.   Next week I am husband-less which is a time when I seem to get a lot of work done and the plan is to finish working my way through the alphabet and then tackle the Needs Work labeled lenses - I should mention I'm actually doing the work as I go on the majority of them so the lenses under that label shouldn't be too many!

I am actually going to move the content of some lenses to a blog I have as there are a few which keep dropping into wip, not because of lack of content, but because people aren't searching for it.   I have a themed blog and when I feature these pages I get visitors, but I think the pages will perform better on the actual blog instead of on Squidoo.

Most of my content will be staying on Squidoo however.   

While I'm busy updating I'm also having fun adding some of the pages to my Lou16 Facebook page - for those of you who missed the news last week I've finally joined Facebook.   I don't think it's helped my traffic much yet, but I don't know as I need a few more likes in order to be able to enable stats on the page so if you'd like to visit my page and click on the thumbs up button it would be appreciated :D

Another place that I joined recently was Pinterest.   Now when this site was in beta I got sent an invite, but for some reason I could never sign in (it was my computer as there was another site that I had the same problem with) and while I was trying to fix this I started hearing all the infringement of copyright discussions regarding Pinterest.   I put everything on hold and did nothing else about the site and then the November traffic drop occurred. 

One of my lenses has done very well over the past few months and hasn't experienced it's usual winter drop (in fact it's doing better than it was in the lead up to summer which is generally it's best traffic time), when traffic on the majority of my lenses dropped I noticed that this one continued to do well.   When I looked at what was so different about this lens one thing stood out to me - it had been pinned over 1000 times!   The amount of traffic from Pinterest wasn't overly high, but I thought the pinning itself must've been a ranking factor for not just Squidoo, but also Google as Google was sending me a lot more traffic than previously (this lens has been around for years).

I've found that pinning can be a lot of fun and I've started to spend some time each day doing it.   As I'm updating I'm also pinning lenses that I have boards for.   An example is that I just went through a selection of costume lenses I have and as I have a Fancy Dress Board I've been pinning several costumes from each lens onto the board.

I don't just pin my products by the way - I pin lots of other things too, however I have two boards where I only pin things that I will get paid for if they purchase them - my t-shirt board and my fancy dress costume board.    

I'm not sure that I'm doing everything the way I should be on Pinterest, but I've built up a few followers and the repinning of my pins has been going crazy with two of my pins going viral (unfortunately they weren't pins of anything on my lenses/pages so I don't know if that resulted in much actual traffic).   If you haven't used Pinterest before you might want to check out Lori's lens on Pinterest - A Promotion Guide for Pinterest.

Anyway time to go back to my Squidoo spring cleaning and hopefully by next week we'll know more about the changes that Squidoo are implementing and how they'll impact our bottom line.

Friday, March 1, 2013

More Changes - The Future of Squidoo

Well there's been a few changes on Squidoo over the last couple of days and I'm holding my breath just waiting to see what's going to happen next!   In the meantime I've joined Facebook, yes I'm a little late to it, but I've finally caved in to the social pressure :D

I've set up a Lou16 page where I'll be sharing Squidoo links, Zazzle products and other things that I'm doing online - I'd love you to visit and see what you think (I'm also after a few likes for the page so that I can install analytics). - Lou16 on Facebook.

I managed to finish the Zujava 28 leafs in 28 days challenge and was looking at going through my badly neglected Squidoo a/c to do some weeding and look at giving away a few lenses - the four week ban on transferring lenses has put that on hold!

Going through my lenses is still going to be a priority although what direction Squidoo will end up taking is still up in the air.   I'm sure many people are in the same quandary as I am with some lenses that do not have a lot of content BUT make lots of sales and rank well on Google - do I change them or leave them?   As the saying goes if it ain't broke, don't fix it, however what steps Squidoo decides to take could rather force our hands.

I've decided to go through as many lenses as I can over the next few weeks and add content to some that I know need it, but the ones that are performing well in Google and for sales I will probably leave alone and hope that they'll be okay - I assume that as a giant they'll be a heads up warning if changes are required and that's when I'll implement things.

What are you going to do with your lenses?

It will be very interesting to see how Squidoo steer us towards the future and while I didn't like going through the post Panda hubpages drama at least they sent out emails to people outlining which hubs were in violation and what needed to be done.   I really hope that Squidoo is very clear with their message in four weeks and that we all know where we stand.

The one thing I have taken away from the last couple of days is that it's a very wise thing to diversify so if you  haven't yet I really recommend that you do whether it's with Wizzley, Zujava or another site.   Spreading out the risk is very important if you want to/have to rely on your online income - when hubpages made all of their changes after being slapped by Google lots of people found themselves down hundreds (and some thousands) of dollars per month.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Plan to Succeed

I haven't written much on this blog of late because I've been busy diversifying away from Squidoo.   Now I have to adjust my planning to get a better balance between the different online sites that I earn with .   I've been busy trying to think of what advice or tips I could give you in this post and as I'm looking at how I went last year and seeing where I need to focus this year it occurred to me that my most important piece of advice would be just one word - plan.

It sounds simple doesn't it?   It really is the key to succeeding at anything in life, not just Squidoo.

I can still remember the first month that my Squidoo pay was in 4 figures, it was the same month that I hit (what were at the time) record payments from a couple of my affiliates as well.   To say I was ecstatic would be putting it mildly.   The same month I lost a part-time position in the 'real world' which meant everything was coming together for me to work online full time.

What's the point of this story?   The month in question didn't just happen.   I had a lot happening in my life in the five months leading up to it so I planned far more than normal as I wanted to be prepared.   It paid off! 

When I've had disappointing periods since I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that it was due to my either not planning for something or else planning, but not following through with my plans.

Today I banked an Amazon check for my December earnings and this check's the biggest Amazon check I've ever received.   This months total earnings however are not my best months ever.

Why?   Some changes were made on another site that I earn on and although they gave me time to make and implement a plan to offset how my bottom line would be affected I failed to do so (I had lots of reasons at the time, but in retrospect they appear like excuses!).   The result is that my income from that source was a third of what it was this time last year.   So the moral of the story is -




This week (cue the mission impossible music) your mission should you choose to accept it is to ....

Take out your calender and mark important dates for the year ahead and make sure you plan for them.   Once your plan is in place make sure that you follow through with it as well.

This blog post will not self destruct in five seconds.

Meanwhile off topic for this blog I'm spending quite a lot of time on Zujava at the moment (I'm participating in a leaf making challenge for February) so if you'd like to check out what I'm up to here's my 'leafography' - Lou16 on Zujava.