Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

An Interview with Mark Montano: The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 06:30 AM PDT

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 9.29.34 AMIf you’re into DIY decor, Mark Montano might as well be your king. He’s a creative, larger-than life personality and an interior designer who has authored 11 books (most about crafting and DIY style) and appeared on TLC‘s While You Were Out and 10 Years YoungerStyle Network‘s My Celebrity HomeABC‘s The Tony Danza Show and WE TV‘sShe’s Moving In. He’s also a former fashion designer and is known to joke about how he’s so crafty that he sleeps with a glue gun.

Review of the Day: WakaWaka Power Pack & Solar Light

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 05:43 AM PDT

Lens of the Day: April Fools’ Day FYIs and FAQs

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 05:12 AM PDT

Hello April!

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 04:56 AM PDT

Easter Bunny - photo by bensonkua on flickr via creative commonsWelcome April, the month we watch expectantly for Easter bunnies and warmer weather, at least here on the upper half of the globe.

How are you spending your April? Here are 4 suggestions to help make the most of the new month here on Squidoo.

1. Dust off and promote your Easter, Passover, and Earth Day lenses. Why? Because each of these events is a major topic and if your lenses are fresh and up-to-date, they’ll be the first to be found in searches and on social media. Lenses about major holidays have the potential of increasing your overall traffic by a huge percent. What could that mean to you? More visitors, more sales, and better lensrank for all of your lenses, that’s what.

2. Join our new movie and music clubs. Movie and music reviews are very popular areas of interest — and reviews you write for club quests will be featured on SquidooHQ, giving you a head start on getting eyes on those new lenses.

3. Follow The Green Thumb: A Place for Gardeners to Gather on Google+ and on Facebook, and join Squidoo’s gardening club. Get inspired by other lensmasters’ featured gardening lenses and watch for upcoming challenges to make your own.

4. Make a new how-to lens. April is a great month for starting projects around the house, both inside and out. Take pictures of your project then create a lens to show it off and help others learn how to do what you just did.

So tell us, what will you be doing to make April special?

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Must Have Product Reviews From Our Giant Squid Storytellers

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 05:26 PM PDT

Last week we asked our Giant Squid Storytellers to share a product review of one of their favorite must-have items. Here’s 15 of the lenses we received. Take a look. They might have reviewed something you want, need or have to have.

Get Cozy with a Women's Columbia Fleece

1. Get Cozy with a Women’s Columbia Fleece

As a work- at- home mom and writer, my ‘work’ wardrobe consists mostly of t- shirts, sweatpants, hoodies, and sneakers. When I’m not pounding away on my laptop, I’m cooking breakfast, lunch, or dinner, doing household chores, or chauffe…

The Magic Popcorn Bowl

2. The Magic Popcorn Bowl

A Confession I am a junk food junky and always have been. To keep my addiction under wraps when I was young really wasn’t a problem. I was extremely active and genetically set to being skinny so my eating habits weren’t revealed in weight. I alwa…

St Ives Apricot Scrub

3. St Ives Apricot Scrub

I use St Ives Apricot Scrub to wash my face most days. I really like this product because it doesn’t contain a lot of chemicals. I have never read the ingredients, but I do know that it doesn’t have any soap in it. It doesn’t foam on my face…

No Garlic Press? Simple is Best!

4. No Garlic Press? Simple is Best!

This workhorse presses garlic and doesn’t fall apart after years of use. The Progressive International Garlic Press is not as expensive as other presses but does the job equally well if not better. In this case you get more then you paid for! I learne…

My incredibly reliable and Indispensable Kindle Fire HD

5. My incredibly reliable and Indispensable Kindle Fire HD

I am a lover of books, and relish the both the smell and feel of new books, be they paperback or hardback, so for many years, even the thought of even a e- reader seemed like a betrayal. I used my computer for e- mails, documents etc. and never gave it a t…

Keep your Coffee ( or tea ) Hot with the Thermos Carafe

6. Keep your Coffee ( or tea ) Hot with the Thermos Carafe

There has to be a better way! My Thermos Carafe is undeniably, the most used appliance in my apartment. Prior to that, I did it the hard way, that is I used to boil water as I needed it. I never thought much about it except that I knew there had to be a be…

Vinyl to CD - Teac Recorder

7. Vinyl to CD – Teac Recorder

I did the research. I read all the reviews. I wanted a recorder to transfer all 700 of my vinyl albums to CD. It took some time, I am very cautious when I spend large amount of money. I looked at several brands. In the end, I picked the Teac because I have…

Smith 190216 2-Gallon Max Contractor Sprayer

8. Smith 190216 2-Gallon Max Contractor Sprayer

I want to have an organic yard and garden, I really do. However, here in Colorardo there is a nasty weed called bindweed. It looks like a morning glory but acts like a wild west equivalent of kudzu. My landscaper recommended Ravenna Grass as an ornamental…

Can't Live Without My ASUS!

9. Can’t Live Without My ASUS!

I’m a songwriter, freelance writer, and I maintain a website and social networks for my church. So I cannot live without a working computer. I spent $1600 on my HP Pavilion a few years ago and to my dismay, it was stolen from my home. My insurance ded…

Stop! Don't Cut Off Your Hair Just Yet! Help Your Damaged Hair With WEN!

10. Stop! Don’t Cut Off Your Hair Just Yet! Help Your Damaged Hair With WEN!

What happens when you use a product with 11 different amino acids, 25 natural oils and extracts, and zero suds to wash your hair? Nothing short of a miracle for your hair! Starting in 1993, hairdresser Chaz Dean played the mad scientist and after seven yea…

Beauty Product for Eczema

11. Beauty Product for Eczema

For the longest time (decades) I have suffered from a form of eczema on my legs. At times when it was hot and dry outside, the eczema would itch and flake to the point of driving me crazy. This must be where they came up with the term ’7 year itch…

My Shred-Friendly Digital Food Scale!

12. My Shred-Friendly Digital Food Scale!

My parents gave me this digital food scale for Christmas, and while it was neat, attracting the attention of my daughter who loves to bake especially well, it was used infrequently in the first weeks following the holidays. That all changed when I stumbled…

Sleeping Beauty and Her Electrifying Kiss!

13. Sleeping Beauty and Her Electrifying Kiss!

If you have a car that is ‘sleeping’ the winter months quietly ensconsed in a nice warm garage, then you are going to need some help getting that battery juiced up before bringing your baby back out into the real world. I’m the proud owner o…

My Mantis Tiller

14. My Mantis Tiller

Spring is almost here, a least we all hope so, then it will be time to get outside and start to clean up the yard, get the deck or patio in shape, and clean up the lawn furniture. Once the yard is cleaned up, you’ll want to get the flower beds, and ga…

You Only Need One Tool And It's A Dremel

15. You Only Need One Tool And It’s A Dremel

As a home owner I have a garage full of tools. I could probably pack the entire garage up. I only need one tool and it’s the Dremel. You can do almost anything with it. The garden Rotary Tool will cut branches, and comes with 3 sharpening tools for sh…

5 Things To Make Your Product Review Lens Pop!

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 01:35 PM PDT

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 4.32.05 PM1. Get Personal. When people read a product recommendation, they want to know they can trust the person who wrote it. That’s why a personal touch is so important. A review written in the voice of the reviewer helps to explain why you know what you’re talking about. Why you’re the expert. Why you can be trusted. Be yourself, just don’t be anonymous.

2. Get Focused. Don’t stray from your topic. Keep your product niche narrow and stick with it. While including a few alternatives to your main product is fine, remember that your reader probably found your lens by searching for the product by name or type, so that’s what she really wants to know about.

3. Let them know you care. “Just the facts, ma’am” probably isn’t enough for a product review lens. Facts are great, helpful, and even required when describing an item. But go the extra mile by providing a personal anecdote about how you use the product. Use the guestbook to solicit comments as well as questions from your readers. If you do get a question, research and post a timely response to show readers that you really do care.

4. Get noticed. If it seems everyone, absolutely everyone is talking about it, don’t join the crowd. Instead, narrow the product niche. How about focusing in on one important accessory? When you do, use words and phrases in your lens that people actually search for. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and search the way they would, in language they would use, for the information you’re planning to present. We call those search terms “keywords,” a topic that people fret about all too much. Just use words that real people use. It’s fine to use keyword-finding tools, but put common sense to work first.

5. Make sure your links work. How many sales have been lost because the link to a product doesn’t work? Think back to a time when you’ve been drawn into an awesome story, or sold on an idea or a product, just to click on the link and the item isn’t there. It happens far too frequently. Remember the UUU’s of Squidoo: make your lenses unique, useful, and updated. Check your product links often to ensure that all products are still available and their links are still alive and kickin’.

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