Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Lens of the Day: How To Lay A Floating Tile Floor

Posted: 07 May 2014 05:54 AM PDT

tileWould you love to install new porcelain flooring but dread the demo work of removing the old tiles?  We’ve done that and it causes a HUGE mess.

If so, today’s Lens of the Day just may be your dream come true.

Visit How To Lay A Floating Tile Floor by KateHon to learn all about the SnapStone porcelain interlocking floating tile floor system. She’s included complete instructions (with photos) so you can do it yourself with professional results.

I wish I’d seen this lens before we redid our old bathroom.

Introducing Jen09_writes

Posted: 07 May 2014 04:40 AM PDT

Lensmaster jen09 writes on SquidooToday we’re pleased to introduce lensmaster and RocketSquid student jen09_writes. Here’s our interview:

How did you find Squidoo? As a stay at home mom I was looking for some ways to make a little bit of extra money while still staying home. I have always had a passion for writing and so I started looking into that a bit. While I was mostly looking for information about blogging, I somehow came across a website that mentioned how great Squidoo is and I thought, “That would be an awesome starting point”. I really liked the community aspect and thought I should join to get my feet wet with writing and make a little extra money as well.

Of the lenses you’ve made so far, which is your favorite and why? That’s a tough one. Obviously I like all of them or I wouldn’t have written them :-) In all seriousness though, my personal favorite would probably be “Top Five Reasons To Be a Stay at Home Parent“. I like this one because I think it has the potential to encourage others to do their best to stay at home with their children, and it also motivates me on days that I am overwhelmed and wondering if I am doing the right thing by staying home.

What one tip would you give to a new lensmaster starting out? Obviously I am still new to Squidoo and need a lot of tips myself, but if I were to give a new lensmaster a tip it would be this: READ THE FORUMS. I have learned so much about writing, SEO, formatting, and more simply by reading what others have learned the hard way. I absolutely love looking at the lens’ others are writing and I like receiving criticism on my own work. If you want to become a successful lensmaster, be sure you read the forums.

Many thanks to Jennifer for participating and to you for reading our interview. Don’t forget to visit Jen’s profile page to check out her favorite lens and see what else she’s been writing about.

Getting the “Best Of” Your Lenses

Posted: 06 May 2014 11:01 AM PDT

file7901236552504Whether you’ve had a lens selected as a Best Of or you’re still a hopeful candidate, today I’ll give you some  tips and advice to help you get the “Best Of” out of your Squidoo experience. Being in charge of a creative project like writing and maintaining lenses give us the sense of freedom that’s essential to doing our very best work and continuing to develop and improve as writers. I want to encourage you to think of your lenses as a constantly evolving portfolio of what you’re capable of creating. Don’t leave your old lenses to stagnate and focus only on the new. Instead, think of every lens as having a shot at being your “Best Of” and try out some of these ideas and tips to get you there.

1. Refine and re-design

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the web is in a constant state of re-design. Every relevant page on the internet today is under construction and your Squidoo lenses are no exception. I think of a static page as a dead page – much like last week’s newspaper, the information it contains still has value but today’s paper will always be a better read – even if they cover the same stories in both.

That’s not to say you need to change the information in your lens. If it’s good, it’s good, but some housekeeping or small refinements to your text are always a good idea. No change is too small – even a reply to a comment or a switched out Amazon item can keep your lens relevant and signal to readers that you’re actively involved with presenting them the very best lens you have to offer.

2. Keep everything…or don’t

I often see lensmasters wondering if they should keep an old lens or scrap one that’s not performing as well as they’d like. You can read my thoughts on this situation is my blog post “Save or Scrap”. My advice for lensmasters gunning for a Best Of, official or just your own personal best is to keep everything that you create. There’s rarely a lens that’s beyond repair or not worth having on your account. That said, if you’re tired of looking at it and don’t want to invest any more time or energy into it, scrap it! The power is yours.

3.  Banish passive voice

Writing in passive voice isn’t exactly the worst thing that you could be doing. While passive voice isn’t necessarily wrong, it can be vague. I write in the passive voice often, especially when I’m writing first drafts or journaling. Check out my second sentence for an “in the wild” example. See that “can be”? It adds ambiguity to my statement and is less direct than if I’d said “Passive voice is more vague than active voice.” It’s a habit that’s proved difficult to shake but thankfully, a quick edit lets me convert instances of passive voice into the more direct, clear and attention-grabbing active voice. Here’s an example of sentences written in passive voice and their active counterparts.

Passive: ”My garden was invaded by moles”

Active: “Moles invaded my garden”

Passive: “The old car was restored by us”

Active: “My son and I restored the old car”.

Writing in active voice results in tighter, less wordy sentences that get straight to the point. Compared to passive voice, a sentence written in active voice is clearer about the subject of the sentence, whether it’s the “what?” (MOLES!) or the “who” (My son and I).

I hope these tips help you get the “best of” your lenses, new, old and everything in between. I’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment – how do you get the “best” out of your work?

Photo: Morguefile

5 More Helpful Gardening Club Lenses

Posted: 06 May 2014 09:53 AM PDT

In addition to today’s Lens of the Day, I thought you might enjoy reading a few more of the lenses we received from members of the Gardening Club for last month’s quest.

I’m especially in love with that adorable mannequin garden planter. How about you?

How To Make A Dress Mannequin Garden Planter

1. How To Make A Dress Mannequin Garden Planter

The first time I saw this project was on Pinterest and I fell in love with it. I saw several pins, but when I clicked on the instructions I either got someone who was selling it, no step by step instructions or the instructions were no good. I was on my ow…

Transition From Container Garden To Plots In 5 Easy Moves

2. Transition From Container Garden To Plots In 5 Easy Moves

I am so very excited about my gardening efforts for 2014. This year I am making the transition from container gardening to plots in about 5 easy moves. The past few years have bound my garden to a small patio. This year, I have room to run. Starting a gard…

Easy Plant Multiplication!

3. Easy Plant Multiplication!

I love springtime and the rebirth of everything in the garden. But I also love how my houseplants react to the increased light, especially daylight hours. What happens is that they start to branch out, fill out and become much more full and vibrant. But th…

Getting those tomato seeds in early enough

4. Getting those tomato seeds in early enough

This is the time of year when I feel the need to get my tomato seeds in, as I like the plants to reach at least 15to 18 inches in height before I plant them out. They need to be sewn in the first half of March because it can take up to eight weeks for the…

Spring Gardening, Tomatoes

5. Spring Gardening, Tomatoes

` Even as winter spends it’s last gasp, it’s time to think about those planting those tomatoes for the spring. Depending upon where you live, you can start them inside your house or outside. If the weather permits starting them outside, (and you…

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