Greekgeek's Online Odyssey - Hubpages and Online Article Writing Tips

cool squidoo tips

Shortcut to Squidoo Login Pane

I get it. They want us to visit the front page of more often. The trouble is, if one is working between three accounts all the time, every time you logout, you get tossed to, and then you can login, and then you get tossed to, and THEN  you can get back to your dashboard. Argh!

It was fun for the first day in the half, but I am tired of having to go to Alberta by way of Atlanta. (TWA frequent flyer program — I hold long grudges.) Therefore, here’s a shortcut to the Squidoo login pane.

Bookmark this:

Don’t bother logging out. Just go to that URL and you can log in and get back to work.

Thanks to TheFluffanutta of SquidUtils for reminding me of this.

Silly Squidoo Trick: 3-Month Stats Shortcut

Do you check your long-term (or at least medium-term) stats regularly to investigate traffic sources and keyword trends?

Here’s a fun trick. Make sure you’re logged into Squidoo, then click this SquidStats shortcut (I programmed it myself; it’s safe).

This shortcut skips over the multiple steps I was having to take to see three-month stats:

  1. go to the dashboard
  2. click “Stats” under a lensname
  3. click “traffic” tab
  4. choose “3 month range”

The only catch is that you have to remember a lensname — the part of a lens URL minus — or have the lens open so you can grab the end of its URL. (or, if on the dashboard, right-click to copy the URL, paste it into the entry box, but delete before hitting return.)

If you find this Squidstats shortcut useful, then drag it onto your bookmarks bar.

My Five Key Methods of Squidoo Success

…which aren’t quite as successful as they were due to Squidoo setbacks, but that’s another issue. Even so, while I’m panicking at having my Squidoo income dropping from $600 to $400 in the next month or so due to lensrank drops and recent upheavals, I have not abandoned five key methods I use for being moderately successful on Squidoo.

Most of you have seen me rant about all of these before, but I see some new Squids coming aboard who are asking “so, how do you do it?” Also, I wanted to do a self-check and see which methods I’ve discarded, which I’m still using. These are the clear winners:

1. Choose Topics that Meld Your Passions & the Web’s

I created this diagram a while ago for Squidbits, and it still holds true:

How to Pick Topics That Get Traffic

If you write on what you love without considering your audience, people may never read it, because they may not be interested in what you have to say. But if you use the “content farm” method of looking up what people are searching for and churning out half-hearted content, they won’t read it either, because your material won’t satisfy them. The trick is to figure out which parts of your interests, expertise and passions overlap with what lots of people on the web care about, and then use YOUR knowledge to give them what THEY want.

To figure out what YOU know (the left side of this chart), see my Ten Suggestions for Squidoo Lenses, which is NOT a list of specific ideas, but a brainstorming aid.

To find out what THEY want, do this:

2.  Keyword Research and On-Page Optimization

See my “New Long Tail SEO” tutorial for how I research keywords before creating a new page, and how I use traffic stats on existing pages as leads to refine my content or as ideas for new articles.

3. Encourage Clickthroughs

See my “How to Get More Clicks, Sales” tutorial.

Squidoo lensrank rewards lenses that get lots of clicks and interaction, on the theory that, hopefully, they’ve found something useful or interesting enough to click on. Clicks aren’t the only proof that your visitors have found something they like on your page, but it’s hard to gauge readers’ reactions unless they interact with the page in some manner.

4. Attract Visitors With Graphics

See the “attracting visitors with images” section of my Uploading Images tutorial. I love this method because it’s so easy to do; you can incorporate it just like capitalization and punctuation.

5. Cross-link Related Content

Once I’ve landed a visitor, I try to make the most of that visitor by sending him/her to more of my content. You can’t cheat by creating a virtual scavenger hunt sending visitors from one page to the next looking for real content—if you don’t give visitors what they want, they leave in ten seconds or less. But if you’ve provided good content that your visitor likes, you have then earned his/her trust enough to recommend other related content.

You’ve seen one way I’m doing it in this article: when I refer to something I’ve talked about before, I link to it. I also make heavy use of Squidoo tags for cross-linking. And I create clusters/series of articles in the same area or niche, linking them together with fancy tables of contents, the “Featured Lenses” module, the “My Lenses” module (giving all the lenses in the cluster a unique tag), or the “Rollover Feature” trick I figured out for Squidoo.

All of These are Making the Most of One’s Assets

You’ll notice that I don’t focus on social promotion, backlink building, or external strategies more than I absolutely must. I tweet new material, yes, but I don’t submit to directories; I don’t look for places to advertise my articles other than online communities where I’m active anyway.

Instead, I concentrate on maximizing my content with on-page optimization, on-page graphics, on-page links, and pointing to my other work where and when it’s relevant and useful. Rather than taking time off to advertise, I spend as much time as I can making more content and enhancing existing content. This method takes time. It results a slow build-up of real, useful, interesting assets and content on a variety of subjects.

You can do this in different ways: blog posts, more articles on multiple publishing sites, even posting photos on Flickr or videos on YouTube and linking back to related lenses. (For example, see this YouTube video where I share a Magic Trick pointing to a lens that explains the trick).

The key for me is to spend my time discovering what content I have (I’ll actually dig through my hard drive looking for old school papers and photos that might be seeds for a new lens), creating unique and interesting content, and hooking it up to other nodes of my ever-growing network of content.

Whch is why I kick and scream when people tamper with my content through “site improvements” or by removing the channels through which I’ve been sharing tips and content. (See: Squidcasts. ;) ) I do not want to have to use social media separately to promote. As much as possible, I want my content to be its own promotion! (RSS feeds are lovely for this.)

Finally, notice that this method absolutely depends on creating original, unique, interesting and/or useful content — MY content, MY passions — rather than simply collecting and curating content. Curation can be powerful and helpful, and I’ve got a few lenses that are simply curation lists in fancy packaging. But the majority of my lenses hook visitors with interesting and/or useful content that they won’t find elsewhere.

SEO Tip: Save the Date

Sorry to post so much today, but I wanted to share this Squidoo tip before I forgot. Old hands know this already: where relevant, use the year in your page title (but NOT in your URL, since you’ll want to change the title each year.)

Users who search for product reviews, news or information often include the date (“best flatscreen TVs 2011″).  People sometimes do this to filter results which are eclipsed by another similar but different search (“2004 eruption Mt Saint Helens”  as opposed to the 1980 eruption). For certain topics, people may even include the day and month.

I noticed my new Volcanic Eruptions Update lens is getting a lot of date-based hits, so I added the month/year to the end of the title. The catch, of course, is that this only works for pages which you update substantially and often enough to justify the monthly (or at least yearly) title change.

Squidoo’s Beginnings: How It Started

On my sticky notes of Squidoo lens ideas, I’ve had one grandiose note sitting in the idea box forever: “Squidoo then and now  — how to realize Seth’s vision.” This week, I finally got around to tackling it.

I found more questions than answers. And then I realized that of course, we all have different ways to realize Seth’s vision, because if we all did the same thing, it wouldn’t match his vision.

Therefore, I made THIS lens:

Squidoo’s Beginnings: A Look Back

And what we can learn from them.


My goal with this lens is to look back at how Squidoo started, and learn what it was like then, what it was for, and what Seth Godin’s original vision for a lens actually was.

Then I trace some… just SOME! … of the way the site, the community, and our concept of a lens developed.

It’s shaped by my own experience of Squidoo’s growth and changes. Your experience will be different, and that’s good. Examine your own memories of how Squidoo’s changed and think about them. Consider the threads I’ve picked out. Especially, consider the questions: what is a lens? What is it for? What is Squidoo all about?

Over time, the answers to those questions have changed… but not entirely. Some things have remained constant. What are they?

Those answers may help guide you in finding your very own way to Squidoo.

My Top Ten Suggestions for Squidoo Lenses

Have I not mentioned this lens on Squidbits? A while back I created a lens with Ten Great Ideas for Squidoo Lenses.

I’m not talking “write a lens on [insert celebrity name, dog breed, or specific product].”

I’m talking ten general areas you can use to combine what YOU know and love to write about with what OTHER people are searching for.

I’m talking ten methods that will generate lenses with a good chance of getting search traffic.

I’m talking ten ideas that will tend to get clickouts and/or sales, both of which boost lensrank.

I’m talking ways to create unique Squidoo lenses on topics that haven’t been done to death, so you won’t have huge competition.

I just tossed in a few edits/tweaks based on winning strategies I’ve observed among Top 100 List lenses.

Go look, if you haven’t. This is a toolbox that should help you brainstorm.