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Squidoo Traffic Not Exctiting These Days

I'm almost gone. In a few hours I'll be flying to my partner's country where I'm going to spend a few weeks. It's a sunny area. However, it may be one of the last times I can get to there since my Squidoo traffic dropped like a stone along with matching earnings. 

If you have read my previous post you know that I had to change my lenses primary keywords so as to match the lens topics and not the default Squidoo categories in which my lenses are listed. This hurt my lenses bad since for a few days I've got next to nothing in terms of traffic.

Now they seem to get some visits once again and miracle! one that looked lost for good gets more views than before. It is probably a matter of time to see traffic increasing once again. Hm... Not sure as I just checked Squidoo's traffic stats on Quantcast and, once again, Squidoo's overall traffic is dropping. On 26th May there was a traffic peak. Since then traffic decreased and it is now more or less the same as on 30th April. 

I hope that numbers will be higher when I'll get back from my break abroad.

Nothing to write a novel about as you can see.

Well HQ took measures that hurt the site, that is a fact. And even while some lensmasters consider those decisions and the algorithm changes as good for the site, for the writers and for our reputation, I will not agree.

Setting the filters' standards too high will keep the site from keeping its best authors as, I'm afraid to say that most of their best assets have already left the site and I don't expect none of the new ones (big voices or not) to be able to keep the site's standards as high as they once were.

Where have all they gone? Else where, most of the time on their own domain name where their work is respected and preserved as it deserves.

There are some lensmasters who stayed but didn't take the time nor have the pleasure of updating their lenses. I just checked on of them earlier today. The account is still there, no update in a year. The niche was taken over by a new lensmaster who does not write 1% as good as the other one. But the great lensmaster's lenses aren't featured on the site any more. Though they are excellent pieces of work.

Let's not blame Squidoo for the traffic loss, though. But Google has also its fair share of responsibility in this mess. Problem is that as long as people will use Google as search engine, things won't change and the company will keep thinking they are the Internet's owner.

Since I don't play that kind of silly and unfair game, I recently filed a negative feedback for the bad results in searches I ran. Now each time I don't get the result I look for, I file a feedback. You can find the link at the bottom of result pages.

This comes in very handy as a way to let them know they're wrong. 

Not long ago while searching for "where to find a black hat...", I was returned black cat and black cab or so results. All gay related. Since I'm not gay and wouldn't be searching for gay stuff, I thought it was a really really bad joke. Makes Google look like jerks. Ok  did it as a joke but the results were there.

Anyways, while looking for a studio for rent, I only get "all inclusive hotels" as returned results. What was I looking for? Oh yes, a studio for rent... So I search now mostly on Bing. The page results look like Google's but the results are good.

Well that was my rant for the day. I wish you some quiet, peaceful and happy weeks. I'll be back soon!


OMG! I just realize that last week when I tried to update Best vacation lens the system pretended it had too much duplicate content. Today it is spam words.

So what are the filters up to? Are they properly set up? Are they even working? Not sure...

Posted by Holly Day


Changing All Primary Keywords on Lenses

Because I was not really active on Squidoo these past months, I realized recently that I missed a few things that would help my lenses to be found. Eh... Since the new dashboard design, I never thought of the keywords and other settings available in our backoffice.

It was brought to my attention by a lensmaster/friend who is expert in SEO and driving traffic to lenses. I want to thank her once again for the heads up!

What did happen? When Squidoo removed the former keyword form and introduced the new one, all my primary keywords were switched into the default category ones.

From the old dashboard to the new one, primary keywords changed

For example, my "growing strawberries..." lens' primary keyword became "vegetable gardening" or something like that. My "mermaid prom dress" became "prom dresses". And so on.

Thus I had to change 104 lenses' primary keywords so as to make them indexed by search engines in regards of their actual keyword/keyword phrase and not for Squidoo's default categories.

I know this is my fault as I haven't paid enough attention to the latest "improvements" done on the site. But in all cases, I think HQ should have let us know that our primary keywords would change with the dashboard switch.

Anyways, changes have been made. I took advantage of doing so to remove the love lens and bookmark widgets from the lenses, update some products that were out of stock or those of which Amazon and other affiliate programs changed the links to.

Things were running smoothly as I updated the pages until two of my best content lenses were hit by the filters. 

Best family vacation destinations seems to have too much "duplicate content". Indeed I added a bunch of touristic information links, Google maps, etc. So yes there's surely some content that is duplicate - the links introductions for example. There was never a problem and I don't earn enough from this lens for me to make any change. It's nowadays almost in the abysses of the site rankings, so I don't see a benefit for me to modify this lens.

Instead I'm going to rewrite everything, split it into 5 different pages and move them to my sites. My readers will enjoy getting Italy, Spain, Greece and other countries information for them to spend their holidays.

Then my Friends TV show lens was hit as well for... er... words that aren't allowed to be published on Squidoo. Now that is a first for me! What kind of words a lens like that would use that is so bad to tell that the filter hit it like a silver bullet?

Unless my Friends lens is bound to disappear and leave room for lower quality lenses using the same title?

As I often noticed that, whether on Squidoo or other platforms, if a topic works pretty well, some other smart guys will copy the topic and try to build a page that they think is a good one on the subject. They then will promote it like fools and get more traffic to it than the original one.

Copycats are legion on such platforms and that is something I definitely hate with a passion. If you carefully study these sites you'll quickly see that some people who aren't absolutely not accustomed to write about some topics took them over or literaly stole them from their actual owner whose involved in the topic entirely.

Ah well that is the Internet. At least I could update my lenses, provide them with good keywords and will keep you updated on how good they are doing since then or how bad they are doing.

See you soon :)

Posted by Holly Day


Outsourcing Online eBook Tips

Outsource your recipe ebook
Hello and welcome to the last article related to how to outsource your online business. Here I'm going to take an example on how things will work. These tips can be applied to a previous guide I wrote - this one walked you through how to publish your e-book or Kindle book.

Outsource your recipe ebook

Outsourcing the writing of ebooks is a pretty popular practice. The advantage of ebooks is they are typically less expensive than traditional books, because the publishing costs associated with publishing an ebook is significantly lower than it is for publishing regular books. 

Here are a few easy guidelines that should be followed when outsourcing the task.

1. Choose an excellent writer. He/she must have alot of experience in the recipe/cooking/kitchen niche. Don't ask an insurance writer or motor cars expert to write recipes.

An ebook is a important project in which you invest a great deal of time, money and energy so you have to be sure that the final results are of a high quality.

2. Before the writing begins, create the ebook outline. It is a crucial step as a well built up outline will assist in making a logical flow to the content presented in the ebook. 

As the outsourcing customer, you owe yourself to actively participate in the outline creation. The writer may have ideas about the content he wants to include or thinks is pertinent but it is your responsibility to make the decision regarding what goes in the ebook. 

Once the outline established, you will be ensured that there will be no surprise with the end result.

3. Ask someone else to read the document instead of letting the writer edit the ebook. As the writer did the job, he may overlook the mistakes as he subconsciously makes the correction as he is reading through the document. 

An independant person is not as familiar with the project so they are more likely going to detect mistakes.

4. Make sure that pictures ordered from another outsourced company match the recipes that fill your ebook long before publishing it. Otherwise you might find yourself with recipes and no matching photos.

5. If you plan on outsourcing your ebook cover, then once again make sure that it matches your ebook content. Don't publish pasta recipes with a Mexican cover.

6. When outsourcing the PLR rewrites, check each article through Copyscape so as to make sure they are absolutely unique. Sometimes, PLR are simply spun and rewritten using that technique. This doesn't make them unique at all and some original writings might be left.

7. You can outsource the ebook promotional tasks through social media and other means. Supposing the company that is in charge of this job plans on writing a lot, ask them to ensure that they don't post the same article/blog post/promotional text every where. Ask them to rewrite each of them as many times as there are supports to post them to. They can greatly make it using an article spinner/rewriter. There are some very intelligent out there and rewritten texts results are outstanding.

Well these are just a few of the things you should take care of when outsourcing your online business. Wishing you good luck if you opt for such a way to save time and money. I'll see you soon for more articles, tips and tricks.

Posted by Holly Day


Online Business Outsourcing Mistakes to Keep Off

When outsourcing your online business you may fall in some traps. Indeed, if you consider outsourcing your online business, your goal is to create a more profitable company. 

So, here is a short list of the mistakes you should keep off... They will save your business and reputation all at once.

Get to know those you're going to work with

One of the biggest mistakes you can face when outsourcing your online business is the fact that you hire someone who lives in another part of the world.

How do you get to know that you can trust this person? It is hard to tell... especially if the individual has no feedback regarding his/her past activities.

However you can ensure that you hire the right person or company by doing a research online. Typing his/her name in search engines might be helpful. Another idea would be posting in forums and ask for feeback. 

On another hand, if this person has a site, you may want to check the existing feedback. If there is mention of their clients' names and email addresses, you can shoot them an email with your questions. 

Make sure to communicate with your virtual assistant

Remember that there are chances that you are not the only customer of your contractor: they probably have other obligations. 

For this reason you will want to recall that communication between the bot of you (you and your virtual assistant) is crucial. It must be in a productive way.

Always make sure to communicate your exact goals to your assistant. This will provide both parties with 100% satisfaction.

Be careful with your budget

Take care of your budget: depending on your projects, your payments may be recurring. I also recommend to carefully study the available payment methods offered by your assistant:

  • Cash payment before project, 
  • After project payment, 
  • Recurring commission... 
Also, before hiring your virtual assistant or outsource all other online business tasks, I highly recommend to browse the different plans offered. This way you will also avoid paying too much.

Your contractor and their resources

Make sure you use the full capabilities of your assistant and their resources. While some will do independent work on a recurring basis, others may help you in your most important projects. Also make sure they have the resources to help you (place, staff, etc.) 

Posted by Holly Day


Which Online Business Tasks Can you Outsource?

Hello and welcome to our next article related to online business outsourcing. So now that you know what outsourcing means, you surely want to know the kind of tasks that you can outsource...

Here are a few of the things you can ask someone located in another area to do for you.

Outsource website design

In order to attract your readership your website must be attractive. However, it must also be user friendly. Problem, you are not website building and design savvy and it might take long for you to get things settled once for all.

If you recognize yourself in this description then you should outsource these tasks. Hiring a professinal will help you attract more visitors and, for a part of them, turn them into repeated visitors that may even end up becoming buyers.

Hire someone to blog for you

Web 2.0 is an important part of an online business. In order to add value to your business, you should have a blog. However, updating your blog can be tedious so, in order for you to keep in touch with all your potential customers, you should consider looking for ghostwritten blog posts and outsource your blog tasks.

Having someone post for you on your blog on a daily basis will allow you to focus on other tasks that are mandatory for your business. 

Have a ghost writer write articles for you

Another important part of your website is writing good content to put on your website as it has an effect on your search engine rank and attracts more visitors. 

For different reasons you may not want to write your articles youself. This can be because you are SEO optimization clueless. Another reason can be that you are not able to write great product reviews (if you want to make money as an affiliate). There is a wide number of motives for you to not write all articles yourself.

In any way you should consider outsourcing: there are a lot of freelancers who can write the content you want. 

Rewrite PLR articles

If you are an affiliate marketer, you may buy PLR articles thinking of rewriting them later. If you are like me, you certainly bought all attractive PLR offers ini your niche(s) - (kitchen and recipe PLR, toys and holiday PLR, garden PLR, and so on).

However, you may also find yourself overwhelmed with the huge number of articles that are waiting for you in your computer and that you never took the time to rewrite.

For such a task, you can hire a PLR rewriter. Some rewriters do the job for as low as $1 per article.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO can be the hardest part of your online business. In order to make the most out of your search engine optimization, you should consider hiring an expert who will do it correctly: this will increase the traffic to your site.

Here again, run a search in order to find the most reliable company that offers their services for the lowest fees.

Outsource your customer support team

If you sell products, you will need costumer support. When outsourcing customer support, you will be making the most out of your time and ensuring that your customers get the most out of their products.

There are many other online business activities that you can outsource, such as video creation, DVD, press release, etc.

Posted by Holly Day


Squidoo Payday

Yesterday was payday at Squidoo. I must admit that I haven't had such a low payout in years. It seems to me that my earnings reverted back to what they were when I didn't focus on working on lenses yet.

Well there is to say that apart from a seasonal lens that is ranked higher for a few days - because it made a few sales - my best performing lens is in tier 2 with only 150 visits/week. This doesn't provide food for money generation.

This also doesn't look good for Squidoo's average traffic as a whole. How many lenses in tier 1 do get more than 200 views/week while in the past tier 1 lenses did get more than 50,000 each? I've got some with such a huge amount of visits.

The dramatic traffic drop that started one year ago doesn't seem to recover and I have no good vibes as to whether the site will recover its legendary fame. It's sad because we used to be once a great community, we used to be once considered as the best resource on the Web. I do think that we should have remained that famous for these qualities. 

However, Big G has decided otherwise and I'm not sure that nowadays the best of things is produced on the site. Sadly, one year ago I didn't see a brighter future and things are looking like I was right. The site is not going to recover by June as I predicted.

From discussions going on on Facebook, groups, forums and other Internet communities, some got a nice payout this month. But how hard did they work to get such an amount? 

As for me, I promoted some seasonal lenses but they didn't get any additional traffic from the promotion. But unless I subscribe to a social media schedule program or get a software, I don't think I'm going to spend more time on such tasks. It's tedious, not always worth the effort. And to say the truth one article from my tarot site gets more views than four related lenses.

The fear of getting lenses and accounts locked is too high for me to keep on building lenses. I just update the existing ones, will keep them on there as long as they aren't locked. Fingers crossed for this to never happen again, though. I was too upset with the locked ones and it was really hard to see them go.

Well that's it for Squidoo, I haven't lots of things to say about it any more and have to write my next outsourcing article.

Happy weekend everyone. See you later :)

Posted by Holly Day


Is Online Outsourcing Beneficial for your Business

Hi there :)

Last week, I started a new online marketing series dedicated to online outsourcing. It is a very good strategy if, like me, you are serious about building your small company but often feel overwhelmed with all the tasks you have to deal with.

Why Should You Outsource Your Online Business?

As a self-employed, you will find that outsourcing is one of the most exciting things to do.

Indeed, lots of business owners think that they have to do everything, from A to Z in their business, by themselves so that the tasks are carried out correctly. It is obviously wrong.

Here are some benefits of outsourcing your online business...

Online outsourcing allows you to save time

Outsourcing your online business means that you will pay someone to perform repetitive, boring or tedious tasks; which will allow you to focus on your income earning projects.

Some tasks like designing your ebook covers may require a lot of hours of work if you are not that skilled to Photoshop and other graphic editors. A graphic designer will allow you to save several hours per day each time you will need a graphic to be conceived.

Save on expenses thanks to outsourcing some tasks

By outsourcing your online business you will also be able to save costs such as your time, ebooks, CD's or software. For instance, you could hire someone who specializes in areas of your business that you do not want to learn - or have no time to. This person will already have the needed tools to perform their tasks; which will not only allow you to save time but also money.

  • A graphic designer will have all the software he/she needs to create your ebook, CD or other product covers,
  • A ghost writer writes faster than you would do as he/she is accustomed to having to search and write quickly,
  • A Website designer is supposed to know how to write HTML, PHP, Ruby and other IT languages,
  • And so on...

Guarantee of Quality

By handing these tasks over to an expert - who therefore knows his work in the smallest details - you will also have the opportunity to provide a high quality product to your customers who will trust you more.

I know that some people nowadays emphazise on personalizing your written content, and they are not entirely wrong but a ghost writer for example, is trained to such a task and will be able to actually write your ordered content with a personal view.

Expand Your Offers

Outsourcing your online business also gives you the opportunity to develop more projects, allowing you then to provide more offers to your customers.

By learning about outsourcing and implementing outsourcing techniques, you will have more time to focus on more important aspects of your online business.

This is the best way to make your business grow and become more profitable.

Posted by Holly Day