Thursday, July 31, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Q: How Important is Having a Guestbook on My Lenses?

Posted: 31 Jul 2014 06:00 AM PDT

orange monsterA:  A guestbook or comments module can be a very valuable tool both for you and for your readers. Here are three benefits of including a guestbook on every lens:

1.  Offering a place for questions or comments shows that you care about your readers.  If you forgot to tell them in your recipe instructions when to add the eggs, they’ll let you know.  (Be sure to make corrections promptly if someone does point out a mistake or omission!)  If they want to thank you for recommending a book or movie, they’ll be appreciative that you provided a place where they can do that.

2.  Asking “What do you think of my recipe/project/product?” can elicit great user-generated content and information and ideas that you hadn’t thought of.   If a reader has used the same product you reviewed and loved it just as much as you do, their input could be just what the next reader needs to make the decision to buy the item.  A great comment from a reader might also provide a topic idea for your next lens in the same niche.

3.  A guestbook can also be used to solicit new readers.  Asking, “Who do you know that could use this information?” then suggesting that readers share your page with their friends is a great way to generate goodwill – and new traffic.

We suggest you set your guestbooks to approve comments first so you can filter out the occasional but inevitable spam.  Be sure to respond to guestbook comments, especially questions, in a timely fashion. It’s good practice and good etiquette as well.

How do you use the comments module in your lenses?  Feel free to share your secrets with us in a comment below.


Community Lensmaking Quest: Review It!

Posted: 31 Jul 2014 05:50 AM PDT

8344048410_176048abb9_zHey Squids.  We want to know what you’ve been shopping for lately.

Have you recently purchased a new computer?  An exciting book?  A pet product… like today’s Lens of the Day?  Or maybe you’ve been shopping for school supplies or baby shower gifts?

Whatever it is that you’ve recently purchased, we’d like to see your personal review about it.

Did you love or hate that new movie?  Were you delighted or disappointed with that new electronic gadget?  Is the KitchenAid brand mixer really worth the money you spent on it?

To complete this quest, create a new lens about something you recently purchased.  The item can be something large or small… in size or in price.  We want to know your honest opinion and we’d love to see a photo or two if possible.

The key to this quest is in the writing.  Use your own words to tell us about the item.  Think about the things you’d tell a friend if they asked you about the product and share that on your page.

Here’s an example of a personally written review.

You can create a traditional lens using the link on your dashboard, or you can use our Product Review format by starting your lens HERE.

When you’re finished, share the link in the comments below.  One or two or several of us might be getting ready to buy the same thing and we’d love to know your opinion of it first

Next Friday, we’ll grab a handful of the lenses we receive from this quest and show them off right here at SquidooHQ.

Original Image Source (CC BY-ND 2.0)

3 Can’t Miss Cooking Hacks

Posted: 30 Jul 2014 01:37 PM PDT

Our Cooking Hacks 101 community quest not only produced a terrific Lens of the Day but it also brought in some great ideas that might come in handy when you’re working in the kitchen.

Here’s 3 that you might find helpful.

The Easiest Way to Peel a Hard Boiled Egg

1. The Easiest Way to Peel a Hard Boiled Egg

People have been peeling boiled eggs for years. Yet, everyone is still looking for the easiest way to produce a smooth, perfectly peeled egg! Many people have developed their own special method that works for them, at least, most of the time. Some people a…

Simple kitchen hack using glass jars

2. Simple kitchen hack using glass jars

Below you’ll find an image of an item that is so very important in my kitchen. It saves me time – money too – and makes several cooking tasks so much easier But it gets even better. It doesn’t cost a penny and takes about a minute, if that, to ma…

Quick way to soften butter

3. Quick way to soften butter

I don’t know how many times I’ve jumped up from my computer to bake a cake or make cookies from a recipe that looked so easy and so good I had to try it that very minute. Do you do that? I dash about, pulling the ingredients from the fridge and t…

Have you created a lens that shares a useful cooking trick? Share the link in the comments section below so we can all check it out.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Community Lensmaking Quest: 10 Tips

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 08:06 AM PDT

5064328494_ded6efa167_zThis morning, in my email, I found a great post from an excellent food blogger I follow, 10 Tips for Growing Your Food Blog.   As you might expect, it’s a blog post full of terrific advice from a lady who really knows what she’s talking about.

It got me thinking, everyone has at least one thing that they’re really good at and know a lot about.  What are you an expert at? Have you got 10 useful tips to share?

No matter if you’re just-a-beginner at what you do or you’ve been doing it for decades, I bet you’ve got plenty of great advice that somebody else would find extremely helpful especially if you keep in mind that just because you know all about it, doesn’t mean that everyone else does.  And whatever you’re into, in this big wide world, you’re not alone.   There’s always someone else searching for information about it.

To complete this community quest create a new lens that shares some of your own experience, expertise and wisdom with the world.

Ideas might include:

  • 10 Ways to Keep Active Children Quiet on a Rainy Day
  • A 10 Point Checklist for Editing a Term Paper
  • 10 Things You Should Know Before Vacationing in Canada
  • The 10 Tools Every Gardener Should Own and Why
  • 10 Bathroom Cleaning Hacks
  • Or any 10 tips you have about something you know well.

If you don’t have 10 bits of advice to share, you can choose a lower number.

Be sure to be personal and let your reader know why you’re the best person to be sharing this advice.  Maybe it’s because you’re a mom or grandpa.  Maybe it’s because you’ve studied the subject for a while.  Or maybe it’s just something you’ve been doing all your life.  How ever you learned, share your story about that on your lens too.  This will build trust with your readers.

Before you get started, we’ve got some great tips of our own to help you create a better and more successful lens right HERE.

When you’re done reading our tips, get to work on your new lens and when it’s completed please return here and share the link in the comments below.

This quest will end at midnight on August 5th but you’re welcome to use this fun lensmaking idea at any time.

Now go ahead smarty pants.  Teach us all a few things.

Image Source (CC BY 2.0)

It’s Pasta and Picnic Time!

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 06:23 AM PDT

Recently we’ve had several delicious food quests running and today I’d like to point out two of them.

First up, I’d love for you to stop by our It’s Picnic Time! quest lens to find a whole bunch of terrific take-along food ideas that you’ll enjoy for the rest of the summer. Visit Squidoo Food Club Quest: It's Picnic Time! to see them all and be sure to bookmark all of your favorites.

The second food quest I want to brag about today was one that was looking for Perfect Pasta recipes and we received tons of great lenses for this one. You’ll find one of the lenses from this quest featured as Lens of the Day today.  Browse through the following to see seven more of those scrumptious pages.

Have you got a great macaroni or picnic recipe to share?  If you do, be sure to post the link to the lens you’ve made about it here in the comments.  After all, one can never have too many great recipes.  Can they?

Vegetarian Lasagna

1. Vegetarian Lasagna

Learn to make vegetarian Lasagna with veggie burger. Making lasagna is pretty each and pasta dishes are fun to make. There are so many variations of them. Everyone makes it different. What’s really nice is that you can swap out one ingredient for anot…

The perfect pasta salad: Tuna Macaroni Salad

2. The perfect pasta salad: Tuna Macaroni Salad

This macaroni and tuna salad is the first thing I ever learned to crook as a new bride. We were broke most of the time and it was good, cheap and filling. It still is. I love it because it is so versatile. You can make it fancy, as it is in this picture, b…

Creamy Summer Tuna Fish Pasta Salad

3. Creamy Summer Tuna Fish Pasta Salad

A summer staple in our in our home is tuna fish pasta salad. Sometimes in the summer months, it just seems to darn hot to eat. I find that on those sticky humid days, I prefer to enjoy something that is light and cool and this delicious tuna pasta salad is…

Spinach Fettuccine with Blue Cheese Sauce

4. Spinach Fettuccine with Blue Cheese Sauce

Looking for a change from the traditional fettuccine alfredo? Then try this! Recently when my friends and I took our annual road trip to Iowa, we tried this recipe. Gwynn’s brand new kitchen was ideal for shared cooking so we all pitched in. We had a…

Poor Woman's Basil Pasta

5. Poor Woman’s Basil Pasta

So it’s getting late, you’re hungry, and maybe your family is hungry too. Such fun! Then, you remember that package of pasta that you have in the pantry, or perhaps that package of leftover pasta that’s been lingering in the fridge. Perfect!…

Lemon Butter Bowties with Chickpeas

6. Lemon Butter Bowties with Chickpeas

The easiest thing about this recipe for Lemon Butter Bowties with Chickpeas is that I can have all of the ingredients on hand and ready to roll whenever I please. The hardest part of making this dish is cooking the pasta, so with that in mind, this is a su…

Cheesy Vegetable & Macaroni Pie

7. Cheesy Vegetable & Macaroni Pie

Macaroni Pie is a favourite Sunday and special occasion dish in the Caribbean. Macaroni Pie does not normally contain vegetables. However, in this my customized ‘Cheesy Vegetable & Macaroni Pie’ recipe version, I usually add some vegetabl…

4 Habits of Successful Squids

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 06:14 AM PDT

orange monsterHere are four ways to give yourself an edge when it comes to becoming a successful lensmaster on Squidoo.

1. Proofread! Proofread your lenses carefully. Reading EVERY word on your lens OUT LOUD is the very best way to find mistakes that are otherwise easily overlooked by you but that pop right out at your readers.

2. Cite your photos! Here’s a guide to using photos on Squidoo. Review this and pay special attention to the section on citing your photos. Even when you use your own pictures, it’s important to give yourself a line of credit so people will know they’re yours. And if they’re not yours, be sure that you have permission to use them. The lens at the link will explain more.

3. When you ask for a critique, follow through! The “critique me” portion of the Squidoo forum is active and we love that! It’s disappointing, though, to notice great feedback but no response from the lens author who asked for the critique in the first place. On the other hand, it’s very satisfying to see prompt replies by new lensmasters who truly appreciate – and apply – the advice they’ve been given by generous Squidoo veterans. Even better? Watching those same “newbies” paying it forward, helping others once they’ve gained their own lensmaking expertise.

4. Slow down and aim for excellence! Squidoo isn’t a race. It’s better to write a lens one day then re-read it the next day, fix the mistakes that you find, and then publish and announce it to the world. Even if you miss a quest deadline, you’ll be submitting an excellent lens right out of the gate which will give you a better chance of having a lens that qualifies for the official “best of Squidoo” list. Having as many lenses as possible designated as “best of” certainly will take you a long way down the road to success on Squidoo.

Do you consider yourself a successful Squid? What habits have you developed that are helping you reach that goal?


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Happy Friday! Here’s a preview of the new lens design.

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 12:54 PM PDT


Just wanted to give everyone a little sneak peek of the new lens design. This lens is How to Make Gorgeous Glitter Paper Butterflies from Kinworm on the Paintball theme. We’re still tweaking the design a bit but thought you’d enjoy this preview of what we’re working on.

Have a great weekend!


Why Should I Participate in Squidoo’s Community Quests? (Includes a Lensmaking Challenge)

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 09:28 AM PDT

5614813544_b480316fcd_zOur Community Lensmaking Challenges aka Quests are open to all members of Squidoo and we encourage all of our lensmasters to participate in as many or as few as they find interesting and here’s why.

Get New Ideas

Each week, our sitewide challenges provide you with several unique lensmaking ideas to inspire you and spark your imagination.  With each idea we offer, we always invite you to get creative with the topic.  Many of our more experienced lensmasters will tell you that some of their best lenses were created in response to a quest simply because it forced them to think outside of the box.  So, with each new idea we provide, before turning it down as something you’re not interested in, we ask you to put on your thinking cap for a little while and you just might surprise yourself with a unique new idea.

Get Some Inside Traffic

When you post the link to your new lens in the comments at a quest challenge, it puts your work in front of the entire Squidoo community.  If fellow lensmasters enjoy reading your page, they might leave you a Squidlike, a nice comment or even help you get the word out about it via social media.

Of course to get real traffic to your page, you’ll need to  create UUU lenses and then do some sharing of your own outside of Squidoo but our challenge posts are a great first place to show off your newly published work.

Learn From Others

Visiting the lenses shared by others at our community quests is a great way to learn how to become a more successful lensmaster yourself.  You can see the creative ways other lensmasters are responding to the topic and also all of the different techniques they use when building their own lenses.

Gain Recognition

Quest participation is also a great way to put your work front and center where your community leaders can easily find it.   These are the people who choose lenses for our Best Of categories, Spotlight Posts at HQ  and also for the exclusive Lens of the Day spot found at the top of our home page each day.

Your Challenge

  • To complete this challenge we invite you to visit the Lens Challenge tab located at the top of the page at SquidooHQ.  Here’s a quick link to it.
  • Choose one of our previous quests and complete it by creating a new lens for the topic before midnight on July 31st.
  • When your lens is finished, stop back here and share the link in the comments below.
  • After the deadline, we’ll feature a bunch of the lenses we receive in a special post right here at SquidooHQ.

If you’ve already completed all of the quests that you found interesting, you are more than welcome to participate again by creating another new lens for any of the topics there.

We can’t wait to see what you build!

Original Image Source (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Missing Images

Posted: 24 Jul 2014 05:09 PM PDT

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.11.33 PMA few of you have been experiencing missing images on lenses. We have fixed the problem but it many take awhile for the photos to show up. You can either wait or  re-upload the images if you want them to appear right away.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Look What I Made! 9 Neat Things You Can DIY

Posted: 24 Jul 2014 10:44 AM PDT

If you like making things and doing it all yourself, we’ve got 9 wonderful lenses for you to browse through today.

All of the following very different How To lenses came from our recent community quest called Look What I Made!   In fact today’s Lens of the Day and those being featured over the next two days also came to us from this fun challenge.

With so much to look at, I’ll let you go right now. Enjoy!

DIY T-Shirt Pillows

1. DIY T-Shirt Pillows

Does your teen have a stash of favorite t- shirts they no longer wear but can’t bear to part with because they have some sentimental value or they just love them too much? Instead of burying them in the bottom of a box, with the chance of them seeing…

How to Make a Kindle Cover

2. How to Make a Kindle Cover

Making a Kindle Cover from Faux Leather is really quite easy. If I can make one anyone can. After looking for a year for a cover for my Kindle and never being able to find one that I truly liked, I decided to try and make one myself. How hard could it poss…

Big Bows for Steampunk Halloween Decorations

3. Big Bows for Steampunk Halloween Decorations

Nothing says Halloween more than Steampunk. Where technology meets Dracula with his Victorian style, dark colors, ruffles, lace, and big buttons. Follow this step- by- step tutorial to make Big Bows for Steampunk Halloween Decorations. Accessorize hats, su…

How to Crochet a Simple Decorative Mixed Color Centerpiece

4. How to Crochet a Simple Decorative Mixed Color Centerpiece

If you have a table, dresser, dressing table or shelf that’s, what I call ‘blah- looking’, then this ‘Simple Decorative Mixed Color Centrepiece’ will add some life to it. I came across a booklet from Linhas Circulo, a Brazilian com…

Easy Digital Scrapbooking

5. Easy Digital Scrapbooking

I love scrapbooking but can never find the time to really do it like I want to. I also have tons of pictures on my computer that I have saved from my phone over the years, but not since my son was a little boy have I actually had any printed up of him. I r…

How to Make Waterproof Vertical Storage - Cheap Chic Upcycled Demo - Easy Breezy Fashionable Function

6. How to Make Waterproof Vertical Storage – Cheap Chic Upcycled Demo – Easy Breezy Fashionable Function

Who doesn’t need more storage space? I know I do. I’ve gone from three desks arranged together to one tiny desk. I feel like I’m in a dorm and determined to keep the stuff I need without being surrounded by clutter. That was the inspiration…

Make Aluminum Plant Tags from Old Cans

7. Make Aluminum Plant Tags from Old Cans

Every gardener loves plants, especially new and exciting ones. The trouble is keeping track of all these variations and varieties. Garden tags are an absolute necessity! The problem of labeling and identifying new plants struck me recently after attending…

How to pass the guard using the Kimura

8. How to pass the guard using the Kimura

I’ve been passing the guard with the Kimura for about seven years now, shortly before getting my BJJ black belt. Ever since then, my game has evolved largely around this technique, which I’ve used at every level of competition in the world, up to…

Christmas Cinnamon Pinecone Wreath

9. Christmas Cinnamon Pinecone Wreath

Every year for our county fair I try to do something different. This time I decided to enter the crafts division and selected to make two items – an ornament and a Christmas Pinecone Grapevine Wreath. It’s easy to make a professional looking grapevine…

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Q: What’s the Best Way to Get Traffic to My Lenses?

Posted: 24 Jul 2014 06:00 AM PDT

orange monsterA: To get more traffic, you need to create and maintain useful, updated, unique content. We call that the UUU of Squidoo.

Useful lenses answer questions and provide specific information that people are looking for.

Updated lenses are reviewed regularly, checked for dead links or out-of-date content, and revised accordingly.  (Read more about that here.)

Unique lenses offer something that all the other pages out there that are written on your same topic don't offer. For one, your writing voice is different from everyone else's. Read Tom's article to find out why that's important.

The more you write, the more lenses you create, the more great lenses you read and study, the better you'll understand the concept of and the importance of UUU. So be yourself, keep writing and making more lenses as you develop your personal, recognizable style, choose useful topics and keep your lenses updated, and the traffic will come.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Community Lensmaking Challenge: Music Product Review

Posted: 23 Jul 2014 09:13 AM PDT

14268264154_678a351d39_zHi Squids,

We’re pretty sure everyone has a favorite music product, be it a favorite CD, a comfortable chair for rocking out, an instrument, big headphones, a music-themed movie, a car radio system car or any other type of player or any other musical product you love.

To complete this challenge we’d like to see a new lens about your personal favorite music product.

You can use our Product Review format found HERE or just create a new traditional lens.

Here’s an example of a musical product review format lens.

We’d like for you to write a completely personalized review and include some background like how you found the product, who introduced you to it or maybe even a fun anecdote about using the product.  Share your best tips and advice and a photo or two if you’ve got them too.

If you’re using Amazon modules, write your own descriptions without borrowing from the wording at the Amazon site.

Most of all have fun with the topic and get creative.

When your lens is complete, be sure to stop back here to share the link in the comments.  We’d all love to see it and compare notes with each others choices.

We’ll share a bunch of the lenses we receive in a spotlight post next week.

Image Source (CC BY 2.0)

Squidoo Lens Redesign & CSS Compatibility

Posted: 23 Jul 2014 06:56 AM PDT

As part of our lens redesign project we need to take some steps to get ready for the upgrade. One of those steps is to make sure that all content is compatible with the new design, which means we’re going to eliminate custom CSS. We are not removing custom HTML, just custom CSS. Removing custom CSS will create a more consistent look and make the site much easier to maintain.

Below you’ll see two examples of what happens when we remove custom CSS on a lens. As you can see, the lens content is not disturbed. The custom borders, colors and lettering are simply going to be removed.

There is nothing that you have to do during this process. Everything that needs to be done will be on our end.

First example:

CSS removal - example 1

Another example:

CSS removal - example 2

Can You Have Too Many Lenses?

Posted: 23 Jul 2014 06:30 AM PDT

13760712845_ac895a22a3Squidoo lensmaster Colin recently posed this question on our HQ forums:

Can you have too many lenses?

It’s a good question that really got me thinking. The short answer is “Yes, you can have too many lenses.”

Now, don’t go running off to thin the herd just yet. The long answer is important and merits your consideration. Everyone has to answer this for themselves on an on-going basis, but thankfully that’s easier than it sounds.


First, I need to remind you that it’s important to keep your lenses fresh. Even if you already know what I mean by fresh, don’t skip this next part, OK?

A lens that’s fresh has:

  • Current, accurate information
  • Working outbound links
  • No broken images
  • No missing or deleted video content
  • No missing Amazon, Etsy, Ebay items
  • No spam comments
  • No Twitter modules showing dormant accounts or searches taken over by spam

I’ll stop there, but you get the idea. Information can go out of date, sites you’ve linked to can disappear off the web, items are discontinued and videos get taken down. When something you added to a lens is no longer adding value to the reader, it’s gotta go. If you’re able to replace the missing item or module with something else, go for it, otherwise, scrap it and get on with your day.

This is the basic “Maintenance” that a lens will need during it’s lifetime to stay fresh.

Another habit that keeps lenses fresh is ongoing edits of your written content. Over time, your writing reveals room for improvement, especially if you’re a beginning writer or new to Squidoo. Sometimes edits are small, like corrections of spelling and grammar errors, unclear phrasing or confusing sentence syntax. Ambitious edits are encouraged too: rewrite a paragraph, add content that answers the questions your readers use as search terms or overhaul an entire lens from the ground up.

You can also add new modules of any kind to expand the depth and breadth of your lens, switch out existing content for something better or cover additional points in any way you see fit.

These are the “Upgrades” you can and should do to improve a lens and keep it fresh.

As you can see from my examples, both of these larger categories contain smaller tasks, projects and opportunities for creativity.  Every lens will present a unique mixture – some lenses require more time and effort to add value (like this one) and others are more low-maintenance (like this one). For most lenses quality is more important than quantity. It’s better to make a meaningful change once a month than a trivial one once a week.

In other words:

Maintenance + Upgrades = Freshness

When you’re deciding how many lenses is too many for you, you need to be honest with yourself about the types of lenses you have and how much you need to put into them to keep them looking their best. The actual number isn’t so important, the experience you’re having is. Try these steps to find the right number of lenses for you.

1. Direct your attention where it works

If you get nothing else out of this, I want it to be this:  The next time you get on Squidoo to write or work on a lens and don’t know where to start, take a moment and direct your attention to where  you are succeeding.

What are you the most proud of? Where do you get the most comments, visits, sales?

Is it the subject, the season or where you’ve shared it that’s working? Does it need maintenance? Upgrades?

Could you create a similar lens to address a topic you haven’t written about yet?

Check your “favorites” and keep them fresh and then strike off in a new direction – work on something similar that you know could be better. Use these lenses as jumping off-points, then improve lenses that need some love, start something new or to tackle your oldest half-finished draft. Learn from your successes and apply that knowledge on other lenses.

2. Have a gameplan

If you have a lot of different kinds of lenses and you’re not sure where you should be going, try sorting your lenses into priority groups to help direct your attention where it’s most useful.

You can use Lens Lists for this or just sort them in your head. An obvious “group” are seasonal lenses – don’t stress out if they’re going into Work in Progress because it’s out of season. Sometimes they are low priority, a few months before they come into season, bump them up again. Don’t slave over lenses you don’t enjoy working on or force yourself to work from the oldest updated lens first.

Prioritize by what makes sense for the season, what you want to write about or what you’re inspired by. If you have lots of lenses to visit and freshen up, break them into batches – check 5 today, 5 tomorrow, 5 this weekend instead of feeling like you have to get all of them today or they’re all doomed.

Be patient with yourself and be reasonable. If you find yourself with more lenses than you think you can handle, a little patience with yourself and a plan can make all the difference.

3. Streamline where it makes sense

Before you delete anything or stop writing new lenses altogether, look for the simple ways to lighten the load.

Combine multiple WIP  lenses with a similar topic into one lens that’s more comprehensive. Between two lenses that need work, work on the one you feel more strongly about. Instead of creating a draft for every idea, write them down on a piece of paper for a week. At the end of the week, keep the ones you like the best. Delete or leave in WIP lenses about recent fads or events of the past (but consider resurrecting them years later to see if nostalgia draws new readers!)

I hope all this information has given you something to think about and new ways to approach your lenses, whether you have 1, 100 or even more. There’s a lot to think about whether you’re actively creating, maintaining your existing lenses or actively paring down, so do what works best for you and remember to keep it fresh and have fun.


Now it’s your turn – let me know what you think about the idea of “too many” lenses? Does it matter to you? How many lenses do you have now and what’s your plan for the future? If you already have a sizable number, how do you manage keeping them all fresh?  Let me know in the comments!

Photo Credit: eastmidtown via Compfight cc

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

What’s In Your Backpack? 9 Lenses Stuffed With Back to School Ideas

Posted: 22 Jul 2014 07:08 AM PDT

Last week we asked lensmasters to create lenses that hosted their best backpack filling ideas for students going back to school.

In addition to today’s Lens of the Day, which came from this same quest, we wanted to show off a few more of the lenses we received.

Browse through the following 9 lenses to find some very creative and different ideas.

Back to School Supplies List for a High School Student

1. Back to School Supplies List for a High School Student

With my older daughter starting high school this year, I need to figure out what special or extra supplies a high school freshman might need that are different from the middle school/junior high supplies she has used at school for the last few years. We ar…

Packing a Backpack for a Young Man Going to University

2. Packing a Backpack for a Young Man Going to University

My nephew, Zack, is going away for his second year of university in Sudbury, Ontario. Sudbury is in northern Ontario. Zack has his first year of university there last year so he already knows it is a colder climate with more snow. He’ a good snow shov…

Marvel Avengers Backpack and Supplies for Boys

3. Marvel Avengers Backpack and Supplies for Boys

For anyone who loves superheroes, the marvel avenger comic books or modern films/cartoons were probably a big part of their childhood and are still today one of the most popular and best- selling forms of memorabilia – especially in the form of children…

What's in the Deacon's Backpack?

4. What’s in the Deacon’s Backpack?

For many people who are elderly and not able to care for themselves any longer, many times the only alternative is to go to live in a nursing home. These homes vary in many ways, but their primary function is to look after those who are old and frail, help…

Hippie School Supplies for Girls

5. Hippie School Supplies for Girls

As I walk into my nineteen year old daughter”s room to put her clean laundry on her bed, I look around her grown up space and wonder how did this happen? Once upon a time, her bedroom was a canvas for the childhood princess room I always longed…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Backpacks for School

6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Backpacks for School

It’s almost time for school to start, and to start thinking about buying school supplies. My 9 year old grandson says a backpack is one of the things he looks forward to buying the most. He chose this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Backpack as one of hi…

Filling a College Student's Backpack

7. Filling a College Student’s Backpack

I bet you’ve seen these signs in Target already, and it’s only July. That means back to school season is upon us again! As a college student that has done this back to school stint a few times, I thought I would offer some pointers on what to loo…

Top 10 Teacher Picks for Sophia Loving Elementary Age Girls - Backpacks, Lunch Boxes and Back to School

8. Top 10 Teacher Picks for Sophia Loving Elementary Age Girls – Backpacks, Lunch Boxes and Back to School

If you want the student to stay much more motivated, surround them with themed items they like. This concept works well for students of any age, including adults. It got me through college. Many times students must tackle those tasks that are not what one…

Essentials for College

9. Essentials for College

Be it your first year or recurring, every college student needs to be prepared for school. Of course every school has essentials but those tend to revolve around textbooks and software recommendations. Either way you will be needing more than what is initi…


Salad Samurai: Interview with Vegan Author Terry Hope Romero

Posted: 22 Jul 2014 06:18 AM PDT

screen shot 2014-07-22 09:17:58 AMIf you're into vegetarian or vegan food, or a foodie who loves awesome cookbooks and recipes presented with fun and flair, then you know the name Terry Hope Romero.

3 Important Reasons to Change Default Module Titles

Posted: 22 Jul 2014 06:00 AM PDT

orange monsterModules are the building blocks of Squidoo lenses. Ranging from text modules to video modules to Amazon, photo gallery, poll modules and more, modules hold the content that make each of our lenses personal and unique. Besides relevant content, there’s one more thing that every module on your lens should have and that’s a descriptive title. Each title should be written by you to replace the default titles that the Squidoo workshop fills in when you add modules in bulk.

Here are three reasons why you should replace those default module titles with well thought-out titles of your own:

1. Search engines need information about your lens. In fact, the module title field is one of the places where search engines look to find out what your lens is about. Therefore, title fields are perfect places to include keywords that describe your lens topic. That's an important factor when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization) and a fundamental reason that descriptive module titles are key if you want to make lenses that will be included in SERPs (search engine result pages) where potential readers can find them.

2. Your reputation is at stake. Default titles make lenses appear incomplete or unfinished, which makes you (the author) look unprofessional. It’s hard to concentrate on what you’ve written about your topic if it’s introduced with the words “New Text Module.” And, really, what does “New Comments” mean to your readers? Not much. Instead of the defaults, write something descriptive in those title fields to engage your readers and keep them reading.

3. Using custom module titles will help you reach 100 percent on the lens scorecard. While the green scorecard scale is only a guideline when writing your lenses, if you see a score of 91 there instead of 100, it could be that you forgot to replace a default module title. Making that important change may bring you up to 100 percent which should be the goal on every lens you own.

So, those are my three most important reasons to update module titles. Do you have others? Anything else to share on this topic? We’d love to read your input in a comment below.