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.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Learning More About HTML

“Look at what I can do!”
It may not be very exciting to some, as most people writing blogs probably know a lot more about HTML than I do, but I was very excited to find these tips given by another lensmaster:! I tried some of these neat tricks on my lens, as well as on this blog entry as you can see, and it really made some things pop and added the color I was looking for. The formatting on lenses seems a little restrictive with certain subjects you may be writing about and I noticed other could change their fonts and add color, but I just didn't know how. I'm excited to use these on future lenses, I just have to make sure not to get too carried away! This is great for anything that you would use HTML for, not just blogs and Squidoo articles. This lensmaster has also written an advanced HTML article...

On a side note, I was invited to join RocketSquids! From the description I was sent, as well as looking at what others have said, this is a work at your own pace Squidoo boot camp. Only those that have less than 25 lenses published can join. Challenges are given throughout the week and you are taught new things as you go. I think this will be a great way to get more involved with the community, highlight some of my lenses, as well as allow me to get some good feed back on how I am doing. I haven't seen my lens rankings changing much and I really need those to get better if I am to make any money from this venture. I am still very new to all this though and have to remember all good things take time - or something like that. Smiley

You will notice that I am very casual on this blog and nontechnical, as I want it to be more of a journal rather than a thought out process - my unedited writings, if you will. I take a lot of pride, as well as put a lot of effort into, my writing on Squidoo. I want it to be my stay at home job, not just my hobby. It is fun and very enjoyable, but I also want my lenses to be informative and helpful. Well, wish me luck and I will keep you updated on what happens while being a member of RocketSquids, which I should be starting in about a week!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dragons - Reality or Myth?

I just published a lens, in the wee hours of the morning, in which I looked into the possibilities of dragons actually existing. I did the most research and had the most content in this lens than any other, thus far. It took three days, several hours a day, to write the content and I started putting it on Squidoo at about 11pm and did not finish until 3am! I obsessed a little too much on this one probably. I tried a few new modules and kind of took a different formatting approach. In my lens, Dragons More Reality Than Myth, I wanted my readers to look at dragons in a different light and, if they aren't believers, to plant the seed of possibility. I personally love dragons and think they could be real. What fun is life if we can't keep an open mind and imagination? I also featured another lensmaster that had written a lens about free dragon clipart, which sure came in handy when I was putting my lens together. I cover dragons throughout history, the world, and here today. It still amazes me that practically every part of the world believes in a type of dragon! How can anyone explain that?!? I haven't heard of any other mythical creature or folklore that has been so widely spread amongst people, with the exception on Santa Clause, but that that is a lens for someone else to write, as the research on this lens took way longer than I want to spend on others. It is so much easier when you write about something you know well - that is almost part of who you are.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Squidoo is Addictive!

I've mentioned a couple of times that writing on Squidoo is addictive, but reading lenses is as well.  You don't have to be a member to read or like a lens; you can connect with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, etc.  I like to do searches and just check out what is new and kind of "network" in between writing my own lenses.  There are so many topics that you can pretty much read about almost anything you would want to and if you can't find what you are looking for, then you can write a lens about it - it is a win win situation.  If you aren't careful, you could spend hours on there though.  When I am looking for lenses on a specific topic I tend to get side tracked by all the other great lenses that come up in the search.  For instance, just today I was looking for ideas for a date with my hubby and found a lens on Yorkshire Pudding, which had talked about what they are and even had an easy recipe.  Some of my favorite lenses that others have written, so far, include: Best Travel Toys for Toddlers, Zero Calorie Foods, Centerpieces with Wire Lights, Nap Mats for Preschool, Simple Homemade Fudge Recipe, Forest and Tree Murals...  I'm sure I could add so many more to this list and will probably feature more as time goes on.  You will also find out there are some lensmasters (writers on Squidoo) that almost specialize in certain subjects.  Often with authors such as these, if you like one lens more than likely you will enjoy most of their other lenses.  As for me, I just write about whatever comes to mind that seems like others would be interested in reading, which hopefully hasn't already been done.  I always try to put my own perspective into everything I write, so it can be a different way of looking at the topic.  If you haven't checked it out already, I would definitely recommend that you do, even if you don't want to be a writer on Squidoo, there is so much to look at on the site that it is worth at least one visit!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Moody Males

My most recent published work is Moody Male Syndrome.  My husband was being really cranky at the time that I decided to write on this topic and not to long after that I also had a friend text me saying that her husband was being moody too, so I did a little research.  Come to find out there is an actual syndrome called Irritable Male Syndrome - I wasn't too far off!  I found some great information on this topic and learned a lot more about men and what makes them get so bothered at times.  My greatest discovery, for me at least, was that men have hormonal cycles just like women - who knew?  It makes sense now having done the research, but it so often seems like everyone only depicts women as having hormonal cycles.  I really liked getting my frustrations out while writing this lens.  It is amazing how therapeutic writing on Squidoo has been for me.  This was also the first lens that I used a duel debate module on; it should make for an interesting part of the lens if people start to vote on who is the moodiest sex.

Side note:  I do not have Facebook likes on my lenses yet, please share and/or like if you find one that you enjoy.  I'd also like to get some comments on my blog....your thought, questions, and anything else just send them my way!  I look forward to hearing from you!

 Whatever you do, do not tell your husband he has this while he is mad, it makes him more upset.  I think it is funny, but I know some women might need the warning.

Making Money - Tiers in Squidoo


I did a lot of searching on Squidoo and everyone seemed to explain the tier system in a way that was hard for me to really understand.  Finally, I found a lens that outlined it in a simplified way: Tiers On Squidoo.  Come to find out a teenage boy was the lensmaster of this article!  I was blown away, he is such a great writer - better than some adults, and I took a look at some of his other lenses.  It gave me hope and made me feel like I can reach my goals if this kid can write all these cool lenses, then there is nothing stopping me.  Anyway, tier 4 are the lenses ranking above 85,000, like mentioned last time, and you are only earning pennies (if anything) on these lenses.  Tier 3 is a lens rank of 85,00 to 10,001 and your earnings are right around 30 cents for these lenses.  I like how he adds that, "it really doesn't seem like much, but if you have a lot of lenses it adds up."  Tier 2, 10,000 to 2,001 and Tier 1, 2,000 and higher, seem practically impossible to reach, but if you do you are making anywhere between $7 to $50 per lens.  He also goes on to talk about how sales are an important part of making money on your lenses (not included in the previous projected in earnings) and the lens rank obviously affects that, as more people are seeing your article.   I believe I mentioned this before, but your lens is counted at the beginning of the month, then you get paid about two months later, so I'm thinking that means you have to make sure your ranking is the highest right at the end of the month to get that ranking to stay up through the 1st.  My highest ranking article, thus far, has been Five Feel-Good Movie Favorites with a ranking in the mid 40,000 area.  Your lens rank changes every day though, so there isn't any way of knowing if you will still have such a high ranking tomorrow, so I wonder if there is something I am missing?  I started trying to find out how others felt about this and found a well written lens about how they should change the tiers, so more people get some of the profit.  The article didn't say anything negative about Squidoo, in fact they have over hundreds of lenses, but pointed out that it is hard to make good money on there considering how many people are now members, and so on.  I agree, I think they should add more tiers to the system, so people have a greater chance of making a profit.  We, the writers, are the reason that people do go on Squidoo after all.  It will be interesting to see how everything goes and whether or not I make any money from this venture, but I do enjoy it and feel like the community that has been built is really great.  I will stick with it and you can keep up with my journey here!

CORRECTION:  Perhaps I overlooked it in previous lenses, but I learned from reading this lens: How To Improve Your Lens Rank that the rank, as well as what you get paid for the lens, is based on the average rank it had for the month.  I would venture to say that the month in which you create the lens would be the lowest pay out then, as it seems that all my lenses have started in Tier 4 and stayed there for at least a few days.  I agree with this writer when she says that probably the best way of increases rank is by having good content - hopefully others agree that I have good work and enjoy the way I present the information.  Until next time - have a good one!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Lens, New Modules

Well, I decided to go ahead and create a new lens yesterday.  This time it was on Tricks to Quick Cleaning and I tried a lot of new things with this lens.  There was actually a lens Squidoo HQ published that talked about a few new modules that you could try this weekend and I tried a couple of those, which included a sticky note, along with an Amazon MP3 module I had never used before.

What is a module?  Well, as Squidoo puts it they are the building blocks of your lens.  The text itself is actually a certain module. Depending on how you use them, they add character, can feature products or songs, and just all around help your article become a little more interesting.

My process for writing my lenses goes a little like this; I type out my thoughts, give it structure, and as I enter the content into the dashboard I add modules that bring a little something extra to the article, I publish it, then view it and start to go through every little detail, republish a few times, and finally leave it alone when I think it is looking great.  Did I ever mention I have an AA in Business Marketing?  That's probably why I love doing this so much!  I have to be careful of word "useage"and spelling, as I've never been very good at that part of writing, but the visual part of this is right up my alley.

On a side note, my Five Feel-Good Movie Favorites lens is currently ranked at a little over 75,300, which I believe means I should start seeing some money come from this soon!  I still need to do more reading, but if I'm remembering how this works clearly, there is about a two month lag time on the payout and only the articles that have Tier 3 ranking or higher by the beginning of the next month are counted.  I think that means if I were to get paid on this lens it would be counted at the beginning of next month and I would get paid two months later.  I have to look into this a little more....stay tuned, as next time I will try to explain little more about Tiers and pay.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Feel-Good Movie Favorites

 Five of My Favorites; I finally have you up to date on all my lenses thus far!  Woo, hoo!!!  I think this was my funnest lens yet.  I was watching the movie The Holiday when I started writing this lens.  I wasn't feeling too great at the time and there are some movies that can seem to make me feel better no matter what!  I picked out five of them and started writing until 2am, took pictures, and published the lens.  I find it is the easiest to write about something that you love because you could go on and on.  I limited myself to five because I knew it could quickly get to twenty or even thirty.  I find that I lose interest or scroll through the lens quickly when it is too long, I don't have anything to confirm it yet, but I'm guessing others probably do the same.  I also tried out my first poll on this lens and have added some to others since.  I think you also find out a little more about who I am and what I like from this article.  Do you love movies as much as I do?!?!

Relaxing and Calming My Baby

My Top Three Baby Calming Products

I was sitting there one night thinking about what my next lens could be and I was immediately hit with an idea after giving my son his bath while putting on his calming lotion.  There were some miracle products that I had found that help with calming and relaxing my baby and I decided I wanted to share those with other moms.  The products include Vicks Baby Rub, Johnsons Baby Bedtime Lotion, and Camilia Teething Relief.  I can not say enough about these products!  They truly have been life savers when my little guy is cranky.  It is tough when you are new mom too because you always seem to be second guessing what you think may be making your baby upset.  I remember staying up nights wondering sometimes if my baby would ever stop constantly waking up and crying, even though he had a clean diaper, a full tummy, and didn't have any signs of being sick or hurt.  I started reading books and asking everyone I could as to what else I could do.  I tried a few different products before we found these and how I wish I had them from the very beginning!  I hope another mom finds that these products help her during those extremely difficult situations.

Friday, June 08, 2012


I still need to catch everyone up on my other lenses, but I had a break through with my articles that I was excited to share.  So what I found out is that in order to start getting paid for your lenses on Squidoo, you need a lens ranking of 85,000 or lower.  Basically this is how noticeable your lens is amongst all the others, so you want a low number.  Up until now, which I've only been a member for less than a month and have 4 lenses right now, I've had a ranking in the mid 200,000 area.  Considering how many people must be involved on Squidoo, at first I was kind of happy with that.  Then, yesterday I started to get a little discouraged.  I did some searching and I found this article ""  This is a great article for anyone trying to get more traffic to their blog.  I only tried a few of the tips and in one day my ranking went up by 100,000!  I'm not making money yet, but this really put the wind back in my sails and I am ready to push on.  One key I have also realized in increasing your views on Squidoo is to get involved with the community; like other lenses, comment, take polls, take quizzes, ask questions, and people will start to notice you.  I just love how this is one site where you get rewarded for being kind to others and helping one another.  I am now feeling a little more positive about everything.  It is hard to write articles that you think are amazing, that others would also enjoy and find helpful, and then realize that no one is really looking at your work, so I now know I need to get the word out.  I also got a few likes and comments on my lenses yesterday, so I am feeling really good!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Big Savings

This time I wrote a lens, it was something I was excited to write about.  My husband and I are currently having a new home built and we wanted to get appliances for a good deal.  Our budget was under $5,000, which can be very difficult to achieve.  I did a bunch of research online, talked to friends, called family to find out how we could make it all work.  We finally decided to get our appliances at Sears, as they seemed to have the best customer service in the area we live, which can be hard to find, and the best prices at the time.  We visited the store several times both online and at the nearest location to get as much information as could.  We hit the Memorial Day preview sale and bought all new large appliances for under $4,000.  We saved over $1,500 from the original prices, perhaps even more than that general area as I have not sat down and actually punched out the numbers.  I could not believe we had done such an amazing thing and I had a deep desire to help others do the same.  While I wrote this article, I started to look at things from a marketing point of view for the first time.  I started looking through the modules and tried a few out to see which ones might fit the best.  I also started playing more with the themes and format of the lens.  If I could recommend something to a new squid it would be to really play around and dabble in a lot of things before you publish your first lens.  In fact, I should probably do that more with this blog, as it is my first and only one.  If you would like find out more about how we saved, here is the link to that lens: Save Big on Large Appliances at Sears

My First Lens

 I wasn't quite sure about the world that I had entered when I started a profile on Squidoo. The first story I decided to write about was when I found out my mother had cancer while I was pregnant.  It was one of the worst and joyful experiences of my life all mixed into one.  I finally felt like I could deal with it all and that maybe I could get past the pain if I wrote about what happened and my reactions throughout it.  I started a draft and pretty much forgot about it for weeks.  Once I finally got back on Squidoo, I found that I had not yet published my lens.  I quickly got to work and once I published this first article I found that I wanted to immediately start the next.  With this article I decided that any money made from it should go towards a cancer charity on behalf of my mom.  I really appreciate and admire that Squidoo has that feature.  To read the lens click the following link: My First Lens

Finding Squidoo

For a long time now I've been trying to find something I can do from home that I enjoy, which will bring in a little extra money.  For the first two years I was married I was the bread winner, making around $15 an hour.  I quit because my husband had started a new job.  At that point, I decided I wanted to be a homemaker.  Shortly after relocating with my husband's work, we conceived and nine months later had a beautiful baby boy.  I have reached a point in my life where I want to do something that is just me, something that makes me feel important and brings gratification.  Squidoo allows me to do this and surprisingly has already become somewhat addictive.  I love not only writing, but reading other lenses.  You can interact with the articles and like them through Facebook, Twitter, Pin It using Pinterest, or even recommend it here on Google.  It is the thing I do to get away from every day life.  I usually work on it at night when there are no distractions and I am just left by myself to share my thoughts without any critiquing.  It has also helped me to not snack as much at night because my attention is focused else where.  I don't like to just throw out my opinions, what I really enjoy doing is helping others by sharing my experiences.  I would be lying if I said I don't hope to make a little money while doing this as well, we shall see as time goes on.  There are some amazing stories of those that have been making thousands of dollars a month, which are very inspiring and definitely add motivation.  If after reading my lenses you find you like an article I've written, please make sure to click a like button and feel free to leave me a comment on Squidoo.  While you are there check out some of the other great lenses.  If you are already a Squidoo writer, send me your lensmaster name and I'll make sure to return the favor.  Hopefully this journey will a prosperous one for us all.