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!