Saturday, June 15, 2013

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Lens of the Day: Flying Flowers

Posted: 15 Jun 2013 06:48 AM PDT

I am concentrating on yellow things found in nature: butterflies, birds, and wildflowers. There are yellow flowers, and then there are yellow flying flowers. Both birds and butterflies are flying flowers. Let a little sunshine into your day! Read on…

Friday Q & A

Posted: 14 Jun 2013 01:31 PM PDT

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 12.12.57 PMHere’s some questions from around the community.

Q: Why were there bugs with the Amazon Module roll out?

A: Bugs happen. It’s the reality of working on a live site (we don’t have downtime) and even with testing (which we do) it’s not a perfect science. Our team does work very hard to communicate problems to lensmasters and get things up and running quickly. The best thing that you as a lensmaster can do if you encounter a bug is to file a Bug Report so that it gets logged into our system.

Q: I hate the new changes. Why don’t you listen to lensmaster suggestions about new features?

A: This is a great question. We have a team of development people who carefully design new features based on research and stats. We also do read lensmaster feedback that’s submitted via our feedback system. For example, we had a lot of requests for a Coffee theme which we implemented. We’re also reducing the size of the Amazon product when you have only one item in your Amazon Module based on your feedback. These changes should be live soon.

However some people like apples, some oranges. It would be impossible to please every single lensmaster with design nuances and features. We do strive to roll out new tools and benefit both veterans, newbies and the company as a whole.

Q: Are you trying to push veterans off of Squidoo? I’ve had a lot of my old lenses locked.

A: Absolutely not. Squidoo is a big place and there’s room for everyone. We value veterans and newbies alike. However the reality is that we’re moving into new territory with the search engines. SquidooHQ spends a great deal of time trying to figure out how to get our lensmasters their fair share of traffic. In order to do that, we’ve got to listen to (and respond to) what the search engines are telling us they’re looking for in the sites they point to. When they change their standards, we need to change ours, or risk losing significant amounts of traffic.

Squidoo is also reviewing all lenses on the site (this is an ongoing process) with the new quality standards and that means that lenses created 3 or 4 years ago might not meet these new standards. This isn’t a judgement against the lensmaster who got their lenses locked, just a change in policy that will benefit the community as a whole

Q: Why should I make new lenses?

This is an easy question. Because new fresh content matters. Readers want to see current reviews, recommendations and what you care about right now. Of course there are tens of thousands of older lenses out there that matter too. These lenses are the foundation that many of you built your accounts and reputation on. Good, solid, quality lenses that continue to receive nice traffic and sales. But there’s also a lot of thin lenses that aren’t so good out there. These are the lenses we’re removing from the site. The best thing you can do is update the current lenses you’re proud of and create new content that meets our new quality standards that we announced in March. There is a huge amount of opportunity for lensmasters to climb the ranks with new lenses, grab that opportunity.

Q: How can we make money on Squidoo writing the sorts of lenses you are now advocating?

A: There are two ways to make money online: race to the top or race to the bottom.

The race to the bottom involves getting as close as you can to the no-fly zone. Pump up lots of links, use multiple accounts, swap ratings, do what you need to trick people into clicking. You’ve all seen advertisers, eBay sellers and non-reputable websites do stuff like this. It works for a while, and you can even make money writing ebooks to tell people how to do it. It feels automatic and easy, until it stops working, and it always does.

The race to the top, on the other hand, involves being personal and staying far away from those edges. People on Squidoo have built entire lenses about just one product, not a list of 70. If your recommendation about that product is honest and compelling and yes, remarkable, not only will people buy from you, but they will tell their friends.

Squidoo is a great place to build a reputation. To build lenses that complement one another, to engage with other lensmasters who fit in with your work, and to be the sort of person that others seek out for help and advice. These folks aren’t having trouble making a living online, because they start from a place of generosity. By paying it forward, and doing it publicly, they come out ahead.

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