Thursday, October 31, 2013

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Introducing The New Recipe Module & Recipe Lens Format

Posted: 31 Oct 2013 08:50 AM PDT

We’ve got two exciting new releases for you today.

First up is an exciting upgrade to the Recipe Module.

The new recipe module can be found in your content tray on a lens in edit mode. Once you add the module you’ll have the ability to add a Description, Image, Ingredients and Instructions all from one module. You can also enter the Recipe Stats underneath the edit  box. You can set your image for left, right or big picture and link and title the URL to your photo. Existing recipes will have this update too.

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Next up is the new Recipe Lens Format.

This lens format is exclusively for recipes and will be available to the RocketSquids and the Giant Squids soon. The new recipe format will allow users to share one recipe on a beautifully laid out template that includes the ability to upload a background photo. You’ll be able to add 3 Amazon products that compliment the recipe. We recommend using a complementary  cookbook or utensils that you need to create your recipe. These lenses will also receive tier payouts.

You can see a screen shot of the new recipe lens format below and check out my live Banana Bread lens right here.

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Creating Great Content: Connecting with Readers

Posted: 31 Oct 2013 06:30 AM PDT

5548053540_c5629f418eSomething all great lenses have in common is great content that readers connect with.

That means the reader understands the author’s words, intentions and easily absorbs the information that’s offered.  If you’re wondering how you can improve the content you’ve already created or create better content in the future, I have some advice and tips for you. It’s not hard to create great content that readers connect with if you’re prepared and purposeful when you write. Let’s get started!

Let your readers be your leaders

Maybe you already have a lens that’s doing alright, but you know it could do better. Here’s your chance to be proactive – Make sure your lens has at least one or two social modules where your readers can interact with you and each other.  Always try to read the comments on your lenses and your profile page too. You should also check out other lenses around Squidoo, outside blogs, Amazon reviews, or anywhere else you think your target audience might be visiting. Are they asking questions? Talking about the content they want to see or what they enjoy? See a question you can address or a problem you can solve? Use it as a starting point to add onto an existing lens or start a new one.

Your lens traffic stats on your Dashboard are another invaluable tool for targeting your content better. If a particular word or phrase is leading people to your lens on a consistent basis, make a note of it and consider expanding your lens to address that particular audience better. Identifying your audience is less about demographics and more about finding people who share a common desire, whether it’s for information, a place to shop or a place to meet and  talk with other like-minded folks.  

Many times people wind up on Squidoo looking for something specific – an answer to a question, a product recommendation or just another real person’s advice. Creating targeted content is a way to reach those people and give them what they’re looking for.

Build on past success

Check out a lens that you’re proud of for ideas. Try to follow the same process you used – Did you do a lot of research and take notes? Maybe you added content as you found it until you had something you felt good about. Whatever you did, do it again! Don’t worry if there are things that you can’t find  - maybe your first lens has video but your new one doesn’t. Never make cookie cutter lenses, they don’t do anything for your reputation and can make your readers feel like you don’t have any authority.

When I say replicate your success, I want you to try to get into the same mindset you were in when you created your top lens, but don’t worry if they grow in different directions. Every lens should be unique and the important thing here is feeling creative and being uniquely you.

When you’re finished, give your lens a thorough edit – learn more here.

There you have it  - simple ways to improve your lenses, old and new. Now it’s your turn to share: How do you connect with your readers? What’s your strategy for improving existing content? We’d love to hear from you, so sound off in the comments below!
Photo Credit: familymwr via Compfight cc

Happy Halloween

Posted: 31 Oct 2013 06:29 AM PDT

Happy Halloween Squidoo!

Image Credit

Three Halloween Costumes My Daughter Still Blames Me For

1. Three Halloween Costumes My Daughter Still Blames Me For

The other day, during a marathon cleaning/rearranging session, I unearthed our old Clue game and couldn’t resist taking a peek. All I found was the board, a pad of worksheets, and a couple of pens rattling around in the bottom of the box. No cards, no…

Witch, Witch Come To My Party

2. Witch, Witch Come To My Party

WITCH, WITCH COME TO MY PARTY Since the time when our boys were young, we have been impressed by the quality of the stories published by Child’s Play books. My boys were big fans of books like The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hung…

Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas as a Halloween Tradition

3. Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas as a Halloween Tradition

Every year for the past four years now, my daughters have come up with creative ideas for decorating pumpkins for the annual local event the Illumination of the Jack O’Lanterns. They have received the award for the ‘Most Creative’ pumpkin th…

Halloween at Disney Sea

4. Halloween at Disney Sea

It’s just a few more days until Halloween arrives and it’ll most likely pass most people by here in Japan. Halloween is not celebrated in Japan like in other countries and although stores and restaurants get into the Halloween mood by offering pu…

"What Does the Fox Say?" Fox Costumes and Other Animal Costume Ideas

5. “What Does the Fox Say?” Fox Costumes and Other Animal Costume Ideas

The end- of- the- summer break out hit from brothers, Vegard and Bard Ylvisaker, has not only gone viral within days of being uploaded on Youtube on September 3, 2013, but all of the crazy animal costumes are sure to inspire costume ideas for office partie…

Amy Farrah Fowler Costume

6. Amy Farrah Fowler Costume

I have always been a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory. A television program for adults due to it’s content, it is one that I cannot watch while my children are home when it airs at 8:00 in the evening. So every Friday afternoon, before my kids are home…

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Stencils

7. Halloween Pumpkin Carving Stencils

It’s easy to to create a fantastic Halloween pumpkin Jack O’Lantern with a pumpkin stencil design or free pumpkin face pattern and special pumpkin carving tools. You can sculpt or carve a real pumpkin – either orange or white (or even some other…

DIY Jon Snow Costume from Game of Thrones

8. DIY Jon Snow Costume from Game of Thrones

The HBO ‘Game of Thrones’ television series is a huge hit with viewers. Based on the fantasy novel series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ by George R. R. Martin, the live- action interpretation is a bold, colorful production. The costumes are…

Audrey Hepburn Costume

9. Audrey Hepburn Costume

If you want to know how to dress up as Audrey Hepburn, then look no further than this complete guide to creating an Audrey Hepburn Costume! Find everything you need to dress up as Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, from costume and accessori…

Pumpkin Carving

10. Pumpkin Carving

I started carving pumpkins by myself when I was in middle school. I remember taking my time to get it just right and being so proud of my work. In 8th grade I entered a Jack- o- lantern contest at school and won! One of my teachers liked it so much he aske…

Lens of the Day: Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas as a Halloween Tradition

Posted: 31 Oct 2013 05:28 AM PDT

Meet Kylyssa, she’s a Giant Squid!

Posted: 30 Oct 2013 04:25 PM PDT

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What is the single best piece of advice you’d give to everyone?

Live in the moment and revel in joy and wonder wherever you find them.

When did you make the biggest difference?

I don’t think I’m qualified to answer this question. Only people who feel I’ve made a difference could answer it and they might not agree with each other.

Who had the most influence on your life?

My momma had the biggest impact on my life. Even though her life was hard and often strange and frightening she loved people with greater intensity than anyone else I’ve ever known. It was from her that I learned that love is not something sappy and weak; it is strong and fierce and often painful but if you want to burn bright and make a difference you need to embrace it, thorns and all.

What was your greatest moment?

Again, this is something for other people to decide. I hope my greatest moment is still ahead and that it involves helping people be more kind to one another.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a published science fiction author.

What did you admire most about your mother/father/parents?

I most admire about my mom that she loved with the heart of a lion, unflinchingly and with no reserve.

That is why my favorite lens of my own is one I wrote about my momma.

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Forget about trying to fit in. You’ll never be able to do it and you’ll waste a lot of effort and stress trying to. Figure out what your positives are and try to make something helpful to others out of them instead.

Share something you learned at your day job that applies to life in general.

It’s more satisfying to accomplish something as a team than all alone.

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

I’d be as old as I am and that changes by the moment. If I woke up with amnesia, I might think I were a young person who had had a rough time of things lately until I saw a mirror and then I might guess I were somewhere between forty-five and fifty.

What is the one thing you'd most like to change about the world?

If I could wave a wand and change one thing for the entire world, I’d take away all unnecessary fear. I think people could get down to living kindly together if they stopped being afraid and lashing out in fear.

Favorite Lens

The Ashes of a Lion’s Heart: A Story about Momma

-KylyssaGiant Squid on Squidoo

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