Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sales are the Key!

I have a lot of catching up to do!  My family went on vacation at the end of October and it seems I've been trying to catch up with each holiday since.  Well, I only made $2 in November from Sept. and I was really discouraged.  I started to get more involved with church things, play groups with my little boy, working out, holiday stuff, etc. and put Squidoo on the back burner.  Then, I got paid for this month and remembered the sales I had made in Oct.

I realized that you can make money from anything someone buys on Amazon or ebay, as long they started purchasing from a link that you had on your article.  Thus, it is important to have interesting and great products that people want to at least check out because they may not buy that item, but they could buy others that also bring in money for you.

October 2012 royalties (paid out 12/11/2012)

  • Total royalty-earning lenses on date: 7 lenses
  • Total donated to charity: $0.00
Lens Payments Paid Charity AdPool  TLAds  Sales    Total
Halloween Holograms $3.51   $0.00   $0.52      $0.13     $2.86   $3.51
Spooky Zombie Theme Party Food $2.32   $0.00   $0.52      $0.13     $1.66   $2.31
How to Save on Major Appliances at Sears $0.81   $0.00   $0.52      $0.13     $0.15   $0.80
Instant Costumes with Hats and Ski Masks $0.66   $0.00   $0.52      $0.13     $0.00   $0.65
Horrifying Rats $0.66   $0.00   $0.52      $0.13     $0.00   $0.65
Scrumptious Italian Chicken Sandwich $0.66   $0.00   $0.52      $0.13     $0.00   $0.65
Skip-It Toy: Childhood Memories $0.66   $0.00   $0.52      $0.13     $0.00   $0.65
Subtotal $9.25   $0.00   $3.64      $0.91     $4.67   $9.22
Reserve Hopper & Other Account Payments Total
Subtotal $0.00
Less PayPal Cash Adjustment
Transaction fee $-0.18 (This has gone up a lot, maybe because of sales?)

Cash total paid via PayPal: $9.06

(9.25-.18 ~ 9.07 still wrong)                                   Total that should have been paid: $9.04

Not quite sure how they are doing their math, I'm guessing there are some additional decimals being evaluated into the equation?

This is why it is important to go through EVERY pay out!  I did not go through last month's and I really should have.  I don't think it is a big deal here, but what if the payment is really off?

Anyway, as you can see, sales made up over half of what I made made for October!!!!  This is the most I've made so far since starting with Squidoo!

I wanted to get my butt going for December and had all these ideas for Christmas, but lost my gusto and so much came up that I just didn't pull it together.  I am happy to say I made my second charity lens: Carved Christmas Gourds.  I haven't written any other articles, but  I did make some sales this month though!  I am going to push forward for Valentine's and see where it leads me.  It is a good idea to make lenses that are not Valentine's specific, but rather revolve around love or couples, so the lens won't be seasonal.   Here are some other updates and activity from my profile:

 Have you checked out Squidoo's Cozy Magazine yet?


Another purple star!!!!!

I have also had some lenses featured on the Celebrate Magazine the last couple months, but haven't been keeping up on them.  If you still need gift ideas, it is the perfect site!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - Images and gifs for social networks

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

See You Later Halloween, Hello Christmas!

Hello All,

My family went on vacation for two weeks and I tried to make sure to keep up with my lenses while we were gone, but it can be tough!  Halloween brought good success, as I made more sales from those articles - not much, but I am still excited about it!  Not sure how long the high ranking will last from those, but it sure would be nice if it could stay that way throughout most of the month.   My Haunted Hayride Madness did really well, although I'm still kind of kicking myself that I waited so long to write it.  Hopefully it will be just as popular next  year.  It was featured with other lenses on the Squiddo front page through Halloween and, as seen, was mentioned on the Happy Halloween Magazine facebook page.  I was kind of sad to see Halloween go, but am getting excited about Christmas!

"Aren't you missing Thanksgiving?" you might ask.  Well, I have four articles I have already written geared towards November that I hope do well this month: How to Save on Major Appliances at Sears has already started getting some good traffic, as Thanksgiving is the next big large appliance sale - I also updated and pinged this article.  Carved Gourds - The Perfect Fall Decoration, which I wrote a while ago, but didn't really pick up and I feel that these creations are so amazing, so I'm hoping people will get to enjoy them this month.  Delightfully Easy Fall Casserole, this is a recipe people can be used for Thanksgiving leftovers and I may need to edit it a bit to get more of an audience for that.  My latest lens that I wrote right before leaving on vacation is A Great Gift for Black Friday, which features Black Friday hats that are just perfect for that day and as gifts for those joining in the shopping fun!  As it is already November, it is too late to write an article if I want to make money on it this month, so I am moving straight on to Christmas, hoping that these three articles do well while crossing my fingers.

Celebrate, the new Squidoo online magazine, is now up and running!  There are tons of gift ideas on there and right now it is geared towards Christmas.  I have already added some lenses to the magazine, which include: Take Along Toys - The Best Gift for Babies, these are very popular toys and a huge life saver for parents and I am really hoping this one will pick up soon, Stuffed Animal Storage Bag, which I need to update and am thinking about changing the title,  Top Toddler Toys for Playrooms, I originally titled this "top ten..." and then realized I was going down the wrong patch with the article, so I had redo the entire lens,  George Foreman Grill, a gift for him, and A Great Gift for Black Friday.  I also would like to add Must Have Helpful Kitchen Gadgets to the magazine, which also needs to be updated.

In more exciting news, I applied for the Giant Squid Club and was accepted!  After being accepted I also received a purple star for my Tricks to Quick Cleaning article!  I AM OFFICIALLY A SUPER SQUID!!!  I am so excited!  Here is to future lenses and helping fellow Squids!!! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Some Things To Keep in Mind

Sometimes when you're writing on the internet you have to give yourself a good slap in the face!  I realized, once again, that lenses I created this month won't start earning any money until next month, which means the Haunted Hayride lens I wrote won't earn anything until next year.  DANG!  Here is a realization I also had then and possible tip.  If you want to write great articles for a holiday or special event, start writing or updating them the month before!  Also, I think I might have mentioned this before, but PING YOUR LENSES!  You can do it free at Squidutils and should do it every time you update or change something on your lens (article on Squidoo).  Also keep in mind that these will no longer be popular after the actual day has passed, until the next year, so it is a good idea probably to write a few great holiday lenses for holidays throughout the year, so something you have written is always rising in lens ranking.

Also, be careful of the RSS feeds you decide to put on your blogs and lenses.  Many a time I've seen horrible things starting to pop up on articles or blogs that don't match the topic and may be offensive.  I am thinking about writing a lens about it because I don't think people are really aware of it, as I see it happen often.

Anyway, happy writing and may your Squid goals be met!  Don't forget to keep these tips I mentioned in mind ;)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Pay Day!

August 2012 royalties (paid out 10/12/2012)

  • Total royalty-earning lenses on date: 5 lenses
  • Total donated to charity: $0.00
Lens Payments Paid  Charity Ad Pool Text Link Ads Total
Skip-It Toy: Childhood Memories $0.51   $0.00      $0.39          $0.12 $0.51
How to Save on Major Appliances at Sears $0.51   $0.00      $0.39          $0.12 $0.51
Dragons: Just a Myth or Real Creatures? $0.51   $0.00      $0.39          $0.12 $0.51
My Top Three Baby Calming Products $0.51   $0.00      $0.39          $0.12 $0.51
Top Ten Heroine Suspense Movies $0.12   $0.00      $0.00          $0.12 $0.12
Subtotal $2.17   $0.00      $1.56          $0.60 $2.17

Reserve Hopper & Other Account Payments

Subtotal $0.00
Less PayPal Cash Adjustment
Transaction fee $-0.04

Grand total paid: $2.12


(Hmmm, Grand total matches, but the Subtotal should be $2.16)



I've Been A Busy Squid-Bee and I Became an Angel


First, I'll give an update on my new lenses. I realized that I am a little behind on posting about these, so here is a list:
Stuffed Animal Storage Bag - 09/18
Halloween Holograms - 09/20
Delightfully Easy Fall Casserole - 09/22
Scary Halloween Rats - 09/26
Instant Costumes With Hats and Ski Masks - 09/29
Carved Gourds-The Perfect Fall Decoration - 10/02
Take Along Toys for Babies - 10/05
Haunted Hayride Madness - 10/12

Holy cow, I didn't even realize how much I have done in the last month until I listed it all out like that!!! I've been writing a lens about every three days, with the exception of the last one.

Now, for the story behind them...better get some popcorn, this is going to be a long blog entry!

Click here for more graphics and gifs!

Stuffed Animal Storage Bag: I created this article to complete a quest to write about an Amazon product.  I absolutely love this product!  My son loves it too and everyone that comes over asks us where we purchased it.  I am so glad that we bought this, as there are no longer a pile of stuffed animals all over the house.  I thought those that completed the quest would be spotlighted or featured somewhere, but I haven't seen anything.

Halloween Holograms:  I LOVE holograms!  I can't get enough of them.  When I was little my dad worked at a mall or something where they had this really neat studio (a different store from where he worked, not that where my dad worked wasn't neat or anything) that featured all holographic art.  The pictures looked like they were moving and could jump out at you and I was just mesmerized by them and I have fond memories of going there.  What better time to feature these awesome creations than Halloween?

Delightfully Easy Fall Casserole:  I also was completing a quest when I shared this recipe.  It was something I was waiting to make until it was officially fall.  It is great resolution for Thanksgiving left overs too!  My grandmother made it the best, but couldn't remember how when I asked her, which I talk about in the article.  It is a comfort meal for sure!

Scary Halloween Rats:  A Halloween quest had gone out to write about a Halloween creature.  Some examples were listed, but I didn't want to write about what everyone else was writing about.  I bounced a few ideas off my husband, who really didn't add much input.  I had almost settled on crows, but that night I was sitting watching my son's favorite movie with him, which is Disney/Pixar Ratatouille.  That was it!!!!  After that I just started searching for the scariest rat items I could find on Amazon.  I also discovered Zazzle, while I don't sell anything on that site directly, there are some great images you can use and the HTML code is already provided and your readers have another product option that they might love.

Instant Costumes With Hats and Ski Masks:  I felt like I hit the jackpot with this one and it has been viewed a lot, but not the most.  I think it is a great idea; put on a hat or ski mask that is a character and you've got your costume!  No hassle, inexpensive, and simple.  It was featured on the Happy Happy Halloween Squidoo Online Magazine and on their Facebook page.

Carved Gourds-The Perfect Fall Decoration:  I literally got goose-bumps from writing this article!  I wrote this to complete my final RocketSquids challenge, which was to use the new autumn theme.  I was looking at the fall decor we have and realized my all time favorite piece is the carved gourd we have.  Growing up, my family always loved to go into art and gift shops and thankfully my husband still likes to do this.  We were is a tourist town that we visited often in the fall and we picked out this great decoration there and also bought an owl gourd tree decoration for my mother-in-law, as she loves owls and these were just so beautiful.  The lamps I found for this lens are AMAZING, I can't say enough about them and can not do them justice.  Thank goodness the creature puts pictures of his latest projects on his site and includes the RSS feed - I used the RSS module for the first time for this lens and it was great because I didn't have to site the pictures or include links, it is already done and when that page gets updated, so does my article!  I was just a little sad to realize I would no longer be part of this group, so I immediately applied to be a Squid Angel.

Take Along Toys for Babies: I completed yet another quest when I created this article.  It was for a Gift Guide topic and there is going to be a new Squidoo online magazine called Celebrate that will be coming out soon.  I thought this might be featured on there, but it doesn't look like they have it up and running yet.  I'm guessing it won't come out until after Halloween.  Here is a thought though, to keep sales lenses and fresh and up to date I'm guessing that you could keep the Gift Guide topic and change the subtopic to the holiday or event that is most popular at the time, especially if it is a gift for any occasion.  I might play with this theory and get back to you on my findings. ;)  Also, check out this great lens that I found to get great tips about writing sales lenses: Why I Write Sales Lenses on Squidoo.

Haunted Hayride Madness: This was a big quest sent out from the Happy Halloween Magazine, the first 250, I think it is, will be featured on Halloween!  I sure hope I made it, I completed it two days after the challenge went out I believe.  I shared a true story about the hayride I will never, ever, forget.  I had been saving this story for the perfect moment and I hope I did it at the right time.  It has been very popular already (already 60 visits and counting) and it just got featured on the Squidoo main page, not lens of the day, but still awesome!  The child that was on this ride was actually rushed off by the adults that brought him as soon as the mishap occurred, as they thought it was part of the scare as well.  When we were walking back to the parking lot in the dark one of the actors was guiding us and an actor was just sitting out in the field and scared the living day lights out of me!!!  It was also so dark that I stepped in a hole and twisted my ankle.  My mom has this sixth sense kind of gift when it comes to her kids that she just knows deep down when something will go wrong and we took my sister who was older because she could make the decision on her own at that age, but we really tried to convince my mother to let us bring our brother.  For whatever reason she said she felt he shouldn't go.  Boy, was I glad he didn't go on that ride with us, it was too scary and his leg had already been injured from sports or something, so the walk back would have made him hurt even worse!

 ^ Haunted Hayride

I also reached some major mile stones this last month that I'd like to share:

~ First Sale! ~

My goals now are to update all my lenses at this point and write a lens about my RocketSquid experience and then I will be applying to be a Giant Squid, hoping to join soon!  I am so excited this experience is going well and hope I am giving people added motivation to join or stick with it!  I love this community!  Many blessings to everyone!

For more Squid Images like the animated SquidAngel visit:

Saturday, October 06, 2012

More Ways to Follow

You can now follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, check it out!

Follow Me on Pinterest

By the way, if you want to add these buttons to your blog, visit and to get the codes. Add a links widget or box to your blog, then copy and paste in the codes using HTML.  Now you too can add followers!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Scrumptious Food = Purple Star!

I received my first purple start on Squidoo!!!!  Before we get to all that though I wanted to talk more about my Spooky Zombie Party Food (Going to make you wait in suspense for a little while.)

I created this lens to complete the "S" RocketSquid Challenge, see more here: Letter S Challenge Lenses.  It was my first Halloween article and I might have over done it!  I found some of the neatest and horrifying zombie food out there!  Unfortunately, it has continued to be a little too gross for some, but when you are having a party theme that is the undead, what can be too icky for that?!?  It is not like I included real brains....okay, maybe I did, but they aren't human brains people!!!  I personally loved making it and know that if anyone tries some of the recipes, candies, food molds, that their party will be a complete hit at Halloween!

Back to the PURPLE STAR AWARD!!!

The purple star is a coveted award that lensmasters (authors on Squidoo) receive for out of this world awesome articles!  I received one for my Scumptious Italian Chicken Sandwich!

This was the first time that I had created a food article (lens) where I actually make the food.  I thought it would be hard, but it was actually really easy because I just took pictures as I made one of my favorite recipes, original recipe courtesy of my amazing sister, and then wrote it all down when I was done.  I had received a quest at the time to write a recipe article that featured chicken.  At the same time I had a RocketSquids challenge to create a super-niche lens.  What is a super-niche?  It is a very specific idea or subject that has been whittled down from a very a very broad subject.  Take the subject photos for example, then from that you could get landscape photos, then trees, then birch trees, Alaskan birch trees, and finally you could have photos of Alaskan birch trees in the fall - it is so specific it is hard for anyone else to cover the topic and it makes it easier for you to STAY on topic.  Anyway, I decided to submit the article for both the quest and the challenge; best decision I ever made!  It received double the amount of views and because it turned out so great it also was mentioned and noticed by some of the top volunteers at Squidoo - you really want them to notice you for good stuff that you do because that is when you will get mentioned and featured!  I actually submitted this later in the week for the RocketSquids challenge and was still number two on the list - kind of blew my timing theory out the window, but I was excited none the less!  My lens was also number two out of six of the "Eat More Chicken" featured from the quest recipes submitted!

Once that started happening I received the following email:

Boy, I was elated!!!   I couldn't believe it!  I thought it would take a lot longer to get one, but it just goes to show you that any article can do great.  I am so appreciative of it and very honored!  Part of the honor of getting this star is nominating someone else for it.

People are still saying good things about the sandwich recipe and I really owe a lot to my sister!  She was trying to find something to make for dinner one night and basically just started pulling stuff out of the pantry and fridge, only had enough cash on hand to buy bread and mozzarella cheese, and presto - started something amazing!  When she texted the recipe to me I took it, cut down the time & changed some ingredients to fit my family's tastes and now it is a family favorite!!!  I have included the original EXCLUSIVELY for those that read my blog, no where else will you find this!  If you want the new recipe though, you'll have to visit my lens:
Scumptious Italian Chicken Sandwich.  If you add changes to this recipe when you make it that you love, then let me know what they were and you may get some credit on my article!  There are already some variations listed there, including vegetarian and gluten-free.


Doesn't it make your mouth water?!?  It is so good and smells amazing when you make it!  Give it a try!

(For more chicken recipes visit: Eat More Chicken)

To find out more about the purple star award visit: Purplestar - Why You Might Want One

Saturday, September 08, 2012

First Pay Day!!!


It isn't much, but my first pay day has finally come!  My charity lens hasn't made any money yet, the Discover My Mother Had Cancer article, so you won't see that for a while but I hope it will soon.  I also would like to create more lenses (articles) for charity down the road.  My pay out is at a dollar right now, so I will increase that as I make more.  I have been waiting for this milestone!  Feeling good today and got some good motivation from it all!!!


  ~ Cash Paid Via PayPal ~

July 2012 royalties (paid out 09/08/2012)


  • Total royalty-earning lenses on date: 4 lenses
  • Total donated to charity: $0.00
                                                                                                                            (BREAK DOWN)
Lens Payments Paid  Chrty TxtLnk AdPool Total
Family Vacation – Driving to Your Summer Destination $0.47  $0.00 $0.11   $0.36      $0.47
Dragons: Just a Myth or Real Creatures? $0.47  $0.00 $0.11   $0.36      $0.47
My Top Three Baby Calming Products $0.47  $0.00 $0.11   $0.36      $0.47
Best Ways to Save Big on Large Appliances at Sears $0.47  $0.00 $0.11   $0.36      $0.47
Subtotal $1.88  $0.00 $0.44   $1.44      $1.88
Reserve Hopper & Other Account Payments Total
Subtotal $0.00
Less PayPal Cash Adjustment                                          
Transaction fee $-0.04 GRAND TOTAL: $1.84 PAID

Tags and Bookmarks

It amazing to me that I am always learning something new about Squidoo.  I look back and my journey has a cycle; it has been up, then down, then a lot of helpful finds and updating/recreating, and back up again.  I have mainly been focusing on updating all my lenses this week.  I finally went to Squidutils and checked the health of all my articles.  When you do this you can also take a look at the the effectiveness of your tag words.  Tag words are words that are used frequently in your article that people will use to search and find your article.  I found out that even though the default is the put your title as your primary tag, it is best to put a two to three word phrase that has to do with your title, but is frequently searched.  It is good to keep the first letters of each word capitalized to keep it separated from the others and formatted nicely.  You also do not want tags that only you are using because people will not be able to use those to find your article.  You also want to use words and phrases already indexed on Squidoo.  When you type in part of the word, give Squidoo a minute to show you a list of phrases using or different versions of the word.  This great way to find out how your tags are doing and what you might need to change.  You also want to be sure to include SEO or tag words in the titles of your photos.  Don't use the exact same words; vary it, but keep them on topic with your article.

I am really glad I went through to update all my lenses, I was able to change photos, I added movie quotes to Feel-Good Movie Favorites, I completely revamped my very first article Discovering My Mother Had Cancer While I Was Pregnant, and found out that somehow all the tags were gone on my article about how to Save on Large Appliances at Sears (no wonder I wasn't getting hardly any traffic on that lens).  That is an important point, always SAVE!  In every section of the workshop on Squidoo there is a save button, hit that every time you make a change, then make sure to click on the Publish button otherwise your changes will be lost.  Anyway, take a look through my articles, as there have been some great changes and new additions:

I got my Halloween groove on as well with Spooky Zombie Theme Party Food and entered it to complete the "S" Rocketsquids challenge.  Some people found it too spooky and even though it was the second lens listed from completing the challenge it didn't get as many views, but I just completed a Halloween Party quest with it, so hopefully that will bring some more traffic.  Soon after publishing it I had a shock though.  It was marked for duplicate content and what had happened was that I had put long quotes in the description of two recipes.  However, I had cited my sources with links, so I followed the process it listed on the email notice to contact Squidoo when you believe your lens was improperly locked.  I also emailed one of the top people at Squidoo because I was worried my article I had worked so hard on was going to be deleted.  I am not going to list the person's name, as I'm sure they don't want everyone writing them when they have a locked article.  I was emailed by this person in the past, when joining one of the clubs, if I ever had any questions or problems to let them know, so that is why I felt I could contact them.  (You know who you are and thank you so much!!!!They unlocked my lens and confirmed that I had links to my information.  I deleted the quotes and wrote my own description of the recipes and included even more links, linking the pictures and the recipe.  There is a talk bubble module that already has quotation marks that I now have used for my Feel-Good Movie Favorites article and I haven't had a problem with using that to quote things now, but I think you do have a limit on the characters though, so you have to choose your quotes wisely.  That was the first time that had ever happened to me and my heart sank because I get so excited about every lens I create and I NEVER have duplicated content.  In fact, some say that you should not use the first person when writing, but I feel it connects the reader to me as the author and allows me to include my feelings, thoughts, and experiences to make it unique content.  Here are some rules and helpful hints in regards to original content: Squid Don'ts.

This article was an eye opener for me this past week: Social Bookmarking Sites - it talks about promoting your articles, the right way, using social bookmarking and sites that are Squidoo friendly.  This not only was super helpful for promoting my own article, but others as well, and now I have  a place to always have all the articles that have helped me on Squidoo.  First I went to Google Bookmarks, since I already have a profile for my blog, but found out that in the future iGoogle will be discontinued.  I read some user comments and someone had suggested  What an awesome site!  You can create tabs for your bookmarks, categorizing them, and you can add their button to your Internet bookmarks bar and when you find a site you love you can just click on that button and it allows you to add the site directly to your allmyfaves list.  If you have an account or will be creating an account, make sure to add my blog and/or Squid Lenmasters Page!

So there you have it, more tips and helpful info for Squids like me!  Coming soon: chicken recipe article, you won't want to miss it!

If you love food, then you will find a lot of great recipes and easy cooking on my Squidoo profile!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Needing Motivation and Ideas ~ Getting on the Early Halloween Bandwagon

Well, I haven't been good about keeping up with challenges or quests the last little bit.  Our little family went on a mini vacation and while we were on it I found out my sister had gotten engaged.  I also am planning a party at our new house - life is good and we are so blessed!  It has been hard to get excited about writing though with all this amazing stuff going on, but I am trying to get back into it.  My two latest articles are: Sack Lunch Ideas, great stuff for parents that make their kids lunches or even make lunches for work, and Easy Indoor Grill, all about the George Foreman grill - my kitchen tool I never want to be without and has saved me many times while preparing meals.  The first was actually a Rocketsquids challenge that I turned in late, hence not getting a lot of views, and the other was a quest that I missed the deadline for, but at least I finished them - woo, hoo!  It was really hard to just pick one kitchen tool that I love and I wish I could have just submitted my Must Have Helpful Kitchen Gadgets lens, but it had to be one tool and when completing a challenge or quest they ask that you create a new lens.  How was I doing so great and now am down to feeling like I am completely lost on what I should be writing about?!?!  Uhhhhhhg!!!  Side note:  I haven't gone back to Squidutils - I need to do that and maybe I can get my low ranking lenses back to a good spot.

Anywho, they are celebrating Halloween like it is October already on Squidoo and I'm really excited about it, even joined the Squidoo Halloween Club, you can find out more here: Halloween on Squidoo.  Hopefully it will get me motivated to kick out some great lenses.  I feel like I'm kind of running out of creative ideas, especially in my lens design.  Really hoping the money starts coming in next month, even if it is a few cents - that will help get me more motivated for sure!  Until next time - keep creating!

* Surprise!  I guess it has been 6 months since I joined Squidoo, I really had hoped I'd be further, but I feel good things are around the corner and that it will just keep getting better. *

Monday, August 13, 2012

Food, Kitchen, Cooking and Featured Articles!

Wow, these were a couple of BIG weeks for me and it has taught me that I need to be patient and just keep the creative juices flowing.  I have a feeling this journey on Squidoo will continue to be a roller coaster of feelings, doubts, success, emotions, and more, but in the end I really enjoy it.  Writing has pulled me through some tough times or just helped me get thoughts out into the world that I didn't know how to share.

Video not for viewing - screen shot only.
Well, for me it seemed to be a food, kitchen, and cooking focus these last couple weeks.  I may have even found my niche, but I am not going to single out an account for it and all things pertained to those subjects are very broad...I feel I found that things have helped me when it comes to being in the kitchen or foods I really enjoy and it seems this is what people are looking for and that is exactly what I've been looking for.  First, I finished the Letter "A" Lens Challenge from RocketSquids with the article Anytime Foods. It was number two on the list and after having some time to play with it I can safely say that submitting your lens (article) sooner will put you higher on the list. They may change that in the future, but it has worked for me so far, so it is worth giving a try if you are a member and take part in the challenges. I actually had the idea for this article a long time ago and jot my ideas down somewhere when I have them. When the challenge was presented I suddenly thought to merge the words any and time to make one word to include in the title; the original title I wrote down was Foods You Can Eat Any Time of Day....pretty long, huh? The idea came to me after eating a breakfast burrito for lunch and it suddenly hit me that there were foods I liked to eat any time of day, then I started checking the internet and seems I wasn't the only one that didn't care what time it was to enjoy this delicious foods, which so far includes pizza, chicken sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and burritos, but I will probably add more as time goes on.

Then I received a Monday Squidoo quest that said to create a lens that talked about something you did the day before.  Well, I was thinking about how we go to church, then relax, sometimes watch a movie, but then it came to me that Sunday has been deemed our easy dinner night.  Suddenly my Easy Dinner Sunday lens was born!  I usually outline my articles, but the deadline was 24hrs, so I created the entire thing on Squidoo and published it all in a matter of hours.  I didn't think anything would really come of it, to be honest, as it was just a fun quest and I threw it together so quickly that I wasn't sure if it was really had good quality stuff.  I fiddled with it for a few days and then yesterday saw it featured on the the front page of Squidoo!!!  I was sooooooo excited!  I certain amount of lenses that they choose, I'm not sure how many, get rotated in 15 spots on the front page and about every third time I clicked on the page it was one of the 15 and I think they run the same ones for a week!

*Side note:  we are about to potty train my first born and this lens was also one of the 15 that day, this article had some great books for kids on potty training: Top Toilet Training Books for Children.

When Monday rolled around it was time for another RocketSquids challenge.  Go figure, it was a food or cooking challenge!  It was a sign for me that I needed to keep going on this route.  This time I wrote about Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets.  There a some items in my kitchen I just can't imagine being without, so I went through my kitchen and picked out all the gadgets that I believed would help if everyone had them in their kitchen.  Once again it was listed as the second lens to complete this challenge, as I completed it early.  To keep up with all the RocketSquids lenses visit: The Rocketsquids Lensography.

My article is highlighted in yellow.
Well, if this wasn't all great enough, in between all these great happenings, I finally got my points for the Favorite Toy Quest, which I was already really excited about, but then I found out that my lens about the Skip-It Toy was featured as one of the top 30 favorites.  I also found out this quest was sent to the "top lensmasters in the Hobbies, Games & Toys category," which I apparently was because of my spoon collection lenses.  This is all so awesome and I very happy and excited to be receiving all this great exposure!  I so appreciate it and am really happy people are enjoying my writing.

I haven't made any money yet, but we will see what next month turns out, as I have said before pay outs lag by two months, so I won't see the profit from this month until November I believe.  I really hope it turns out well.  A quick update on my little boy; he is doing better, saw an allergist two times, and he may not need ear tubes.  Hoping his ears start to drain properly soon.

Good luck to anyone else that is also going on a Squidoo journey and may you have a great week!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Have I Got Some Tips for You!!!

Okay, I don't even know where to start.....first, I'll just say to manage your widgets!  What are widgets?  They are kind of like modules available for the right sidebar of your lens.  You can find them to the right of your workshop tools when editing your lens.  There are three available right now - RSS feed, Featured Lenses, and Amazon Spotlight Personal Review.  The RSS feed is great!  I now have my three latest blogs showing on each of my lenses.  The featured lenses rotate 3 lenses, even though I think you can put as many as you want to.  Right now, and I might change my mind down the road, but I like to only put three of my lenses that I think people will be interested in that are reading that lens.  Hopefully that will domino effect, as they click on the next lens which will have other featured lenses.  The Amazon spotlight can help you feature any product you want, as it works more like an ad; it can be some related to your lens or a product that you personally just love and want to promote.  I can't believe I wasn't using these before!  Find more about widgets and tips using them in these lenses: Sidebar Widgets and Spotlight An Amazon Product Using the Sidebar Widget.

More about RSS I could have sworn that I saw an option like this on blogger.  I did a little searching and found this link: How to Add an RSS Feed on Blogger.  Well, then I realized that I didn't know what the RSS feed URL would be in order to show my Squidoo articles, so I did a search on Squidoo - just typed in RSS.  Which led me to this lens: RSS Feeds Submission Directory, (loving this lensmaster for writing this lens) clicked on one of the links and it sent me to Squidutils.  A lot of people have actually mentioned this site and I don't know if it was because I was so new or what, but I was confused about it and just kind of went past it - BIG MISTAKE!  Once I logged in I found my RSS Feed URL, followed the directions from the "how to" link and BOOM - I've got my Squidoo lens feed showing on my blog!  How cool is that?!?!

Squidu: The Lensmaster's Lounge...this is a forum for Squidoo members that I first checked out when I discovered more about linkage and increasing your lens ranking.  It has good and bad points, but I think an important thing to do is to restrain yourself from saying some things that might not make you look good.  There have been some amazing members I have met on there that are super helpers and so supportive, a few that just want to bring everyone down, and some that think they need to be the "Squid police."  It is my belief that this world would not be as interesting as it is without so many different characters, but I have really had to bite my tongue on some things. Anywho, someone was posting a question about needing help on their lens or something along those lines - I can't quite remember.  Well, you have a signature that you can have show up at the bottom of your posts and this person had two different lensmaster profiles!  I knew this was a ligit thing to do, but a light bulb finally switched on when I checked out both of his profiles.  This lensmaster had different niches that he had and every lens or anything having to do with that profile was about that niche.  For example, if you live vacuums you could have a profile named Vacuummaster and then write on nothing but vacuums.  This is is how people are really making the big bucks on Squidoo.  To be honest, from a personally point of view I am still on the fence on what or how I feel about doing this.  One of the things I HATED about being in the business world was that everyone was a shark, take out the competition kind of mentality and I feel like this kind of is the same concept.  Once you have written so many lenses on the subject and do it really well, then no one can really compete.  Is it smart and make sense, for sure, is it a good thing to do the other writers, not sure how I feel about that.  What do you think?  Leave a comment for me.
UPDATE:  This forum has been transferred to SquidooHQ at the following link:

Back to Squidutils...there are sooooo many useful tools on this site!  Basically it is the all time lens manager.  You can check your links, Amazon stuff, name it!  My next goal is to go through each of my lenses using this site and find out what is lacking and then fix it.  Little tid bit I've already found out - make sure when you take the allowed pictures you can use for your lenses and save them that you put similar words in the document name that you have in your lens title or tags.

Are you liking, bookmarking, or taking notes?!?  Well, these are mine and I wanted to share them because there some key tips in this blog entry, not only for those on Squidoo, but bloggers as well.  Hope I helped someone out and if I did maybe you could send me a little credit? lol  Keep writing and reading!!!

Once you join or if you are thinking about joining Squidoo, check out this lens (article): What's Your Story?
I joined to do exactly that, to "write about what I know and love".

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Little Discouraged

I've been working my butt off and networking like crazy and my lens rankings are getting better, but my top three are getting worse, so it is more or less evening out.  I also worked really hard on my Top Ten Heroine Suspense Movies for this week's RocketSquids challenge and our computer ran out of juice late Saturday night because our power cord had apparently stopped working.  Sunday night I created as much of my lens on Squidoo as I could using my iphone as I could, but it is tough to do it that way and my phone wouldn't let me do everything I can when using the computer.  Monday morning we had a doctor's appointment for my little boy, then went and got a power cord.  I was an hour late submitting my lens.  However, I left a comment on the Rocketsquids Top 10 Lens Challenge lens and the lensmaster kab added my lens to the list, which I really appreciated.  There were so many lenses included for this challenge, which is great, but mine is not getting a lot of views from being so low on the list.  Better luck next time I suppose.

I also completed a squid quest on the 28th that was to write about a toy.  I came up with the idea to write about the Skip It Toy.  It was a quest I was so excited to do and when you completed the quest you were to get 250 points, I think it was, and also have the chance of getting a purple star, which are given to exceptional lenses and really help you to get recognition.  Well, today the quest has disappeared, as the the due date was yesterday, and still no points and don't know who was awarded the purple star.

Upon visiting my blog I also find that I still don't have any followers.  I'm hoping I just need to work on being more patient and that good things will come with time.  I keep reading about how to do better, get more traffic, and all these other great tips and I try to apply them, but I'm not seeing results right now.  It makes it tough, especially when my hubby doesn't really get why it is so important to me.  Although, he has been very supportive when I take the time to publish my lenses, which for me can be quite a process, and wanted to get the power cord ASAP, so I could finish my challenge.  Besides all that, in the all too real world, my little boy has been having problems with his ears, was sick with strep and a chest infection this last week, and has been cranky because of it.  Our vacuum also stopped working and the place we were last renting from is holding part of our rent.  It has just been one of those weeks and I really could use some good news.  Just gotta look towards this week with hope that will go better.  I'm off to get breakfast with my baby boy - I know that will help us both feel a little better! :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Added a Followers Section!

Photo credit:
I realized I did not have a join this site button on my page, so I added one (right below the about me section) and hope to see some faces added, as I need some followers!  I am still getting use to all of this, so please bare with me.  I hope you enjoy reading and don't be shy to comment.  If you are also a lensmaster on Squidoo, feel free to either leave a link to one of your lenses in a comment on this post or my very first post that I made on this blog.  Welcome to you as you join me on my journey and life behind writing on Squidoo!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I'm Back!!!

Photo credit:
We have been moving into our new home that we had built and I was without internet for quite a while.  Moving can be a pain, but we are so happy with the new house and I am ready to pick things back up!!!  The last lens I created was How to Clean Your Spoon Collection.  Somehow I will need connect with more spoon collectors, as these seem to currently be my least popular lenses.  I realize after not being on Squidoo for more than two weeks that it is a weekly, perhaps even daily, hobby.  Within that time all of my lenses have stopped having earning rankings, except three.  Two of those three were ones I created for RocketSquids challenges, so it does pay to be part of the group.  I also missed two RocketSquids challenges during my time away from the internet, but this week the challenge is to write a Top 10 lens, which I am very excited about!  Time to socialize again and get the word out on my lenses!!!  Good luck to you other writers out there and make sure to check out my stuff ;)  New lens coming to ya soon...

Sunday, July 08, 2012

I Like to What?!?!

That's right I said I Like to Spoon - the title of my last lens!  Did I mean to put that?  Yes, it was a "play on words" so to speak and I wanted to catch people's attention.  Hopefully it worked!  This was written to complete a quest using the new "Do the Polka" theme - it has pastel colored polka dots and is really fun.  I received 200 points for completing it and I might get featured in an HQ lens - we will see.  You learn a lot more about me, as I write more lenses and I gave away my identity in this lens!!!!  Not sure if I like it or if I am warming up to the idea of sharing my secret life with family and friends.  Whenever I decide to reveal my true identity to those that are closest to me you will have the first notice and inside on how it all goes.  I try to be funny in this lens and hope others share my humor.  I talk about being a spoon collector, which I have to admit is kind of geeky, but I like being different.  What is geeky really anyway?  Definition one, according to Google: An unfashionable or socially inept person.  And number two: A person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest.  I'm going to go with the later in this case.  Either way, I don't really care, all I know is I like doing it and it brings back so many good memories for me, as I started collecting them while on a family vacation.  I don't know if it because it is summer or because I am missing my family so far away that this subject seems to be on my mind a lot.  I actually featured my Summer Trips Driving as a Family lens as well as a lens I read that originally inspired me to write about my spoon collecting. (Check out this lensmaster's stuff: Scarlettohairy)  I actually have another lens on this topic already in the works, so stay tuned!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A Lot of Quests and Challenges = Overload!!!

I don't think I have mentioned this before, but Squidoo will send out SquidQuests that allow you to increase your level and trophies...I think it is just a way of helping people get more involved in the community and makes the whole experience a little more fun, but there might be another reason I have yet to discover.  Anyway, these are done at random and there are two quests that I really would like to complete within the next week that each can give me 200 points if I complete the task well.  I also have my second RocketSquids challenge that we are to write a lens in which we ask a question.  With fourth of July today, closing on our home, packing and moving I just couldn't imagine writing so many lenses at the same time.  Thus, as I just wrote my Dragons Myth or Real Creatures lens that would fit this not too long ago, I decided to submit it for this week's RocketSquids challenge.  I fully understand that the point of joining this group is to create new lenses, but I did not want to miss this challenge or create a completely new lens right now with everything going on, especially as I already had one that I could submit.  The question is, will it be accepted?  I tried asking if there is a rule against it and the general answer seemed to be that it is frowned upon, but permitted.  I did revise my lens and republish it from the things I learned from my last RocketSquids challenge, which I think counts.  Just something I wanted to jot down quick for the night - to be continued...

UPDATE:  The article was not only accepted, but mentioned and number three on the list of articles submitted!  I didn't realize I had gotten featured until people started leaving me comments.  I still wonder how they decide to put that list in order on RocketSquids - maybe it is the order that they are received because I put that one in pretty early.  Here it is in all it's glory. lol:

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

RocketSquids Success!

Well, in less than a week my Summer Trips Driving as a Family lens has made it up the ladder to a little over 17,000 lens rank!  It really helps that RocketSquids publishes a lens with each week's submissions for the challenge (see screen shot taken of published featured lens with a few others from the challenge below).  I hope to see a lot of other future lenses with this group get such a good lens ranking!  I am not sure how they organize the lists, but to find mine it is placed at about 15 down on the the list and if my counting is correct I believe there were right around a total of 75 lenses featured for this challenge.  I know it not meant to be a competition among us, but it would be interesting to see where your article is ranked amongst others within the challenge.  I have been getting a lot of feedback from other lensmasters; some good and some bad.  I really appreciate it when someone has constructive criticism, but have a hard time when someone thinks they just need to tell me what I should be doing creatively.  I guess that is the price for putting your stuff out there, but most times it is good and I am learning a lot!  I would suggest to anyone that is currently in the group or considering joining that you change your comment settings to be notified to approve comments instead of just allowing any comment to be posted, as you will get a lot of critiquing.  Here is some of what I've learned so far:  people like a customized bio for each lens - include key words from title, it is better to break up writing into sections instead of "blocking", choose any featured products wisely, make sure your intro photo is a square photo at least 250pixels in size, always give credit to your pictures (that is a tough one, but worth it and I am currently trying to work on going back to other lenses and add this), and people really like personal experiences included in the lens - which is great because that is how I like to write a lot of my lenses.  All of these tips will help increase your lens rank.  I appreciate that I was sent the invitation to become a member of this group and am eager to see what other creativity and lessons come from this experience.  There are some other really great RocketSquids Summer Travel Lenses, so be sure to take a look at them!
iphone screen shot of RocketSquids Summer Travel Lenses

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Edit and Revise

Well, the last couple days I have just been editing and revising my lenses, which I'm sure I will periodically do throughout the future, as I learn new things. The main thing I've been working on is making sure that all my lenses have right around 20-30 tags. A tag is a word that people use to find your lens. It seems my ranking has gotten better since I've done this, but I have read on some lenses not to have more than that general number of tags. I've also been changing some of the words, as they were not quite as good as others I could have chosen. I also received a message from another lensmaster saying they could not read the fantasy font I had on my Dragons More Reality Than Myth lens.  I really appreciated the heads up on that!  I was worried that not everyone could see that font on their computer depending on the type of computer or web browser they are using.  Thus, I changed it to Times New roman, hoping that will correct the problem.  That is one change I would like to see happen on Squidoo; more ability to format the page and font.  Right now you can't change the font at all except using HTML and there are different themes for your page, but that is about it when it comes for format changes.  I wonder why it is so limited in that aspect?  I also spruced up the Save Big On Large Appliances At Sears page that I created for the upcoming 4th of July sales event that Sears has.  I finally added up all the purchases we made at Sears and found out we actually saved more than I thought, which was great to add to my lens!  I also have added a prediction module and will give credit on the lens to those who get the prediction correct.  I will be updating that at every major sales event that I mention in the article.  I found out about this module from the RocketSquids page and am very glad that I decided to join so far!  If you see anything that needs to be changed on any of my lenses it would be great if you could send me a message letting me know, as I probably don't catch everything.  It is still early, but happy upcoming Independence Day to you all and if you are shopping I hope you find some amazing deals!

PS:  Updated, edited, and reformatted my blog today, what do you think?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

First RocketSquid Challenge Completed!

The challenge this week, my first one, from RocketSquids was to write a lens (article or web page) having to do with Summer Travel.  In the beginning I actually picked a vacation spot I have fond memories of, but I had a hard time remembering all that we did, as I was so young.  I started doing some research and found all these other great things that you can also do there.  My little one got sick soon after I accepted the quest and we are currently having a home built, which is behind on the estimated closing by at least two weeks.  I started to get overwhelmed and felt like I was treating this as an assignment rather than my usually enjoyable writing.  I really started to think about all the trips my family had taken and then realized my funnest memories were those of being in the car together as a family.  My mother is deathly afraid of heights and with how expensive it is for a family of five to take an airplane, we never flew for vacations.  Summer Trips Driving as a Family were always something I looked forward to because it was a special time that family used to bond.  I also found some great road trip products that I would even like to look at purchasing!  Although, we have been very blessed in my own family now that we are able to take most trips by plane, but ever time we do go on drive somewhere I like to do those things my parents did with us with my little one and will continue to do it with all our future children as well. Once I decided that was what I would write my lens about everything just fell into place. It just is more proof that I need to stick to writing about something that is interesting, personal, or important to me.