Hey – how about that! I’ve actually managed to make new lenses on Squidoo along with everything else. In a lot of ways, I just can’t seem to justify spending the time to put things on other sites. Squidoo goes so much faster, no word requirements except the minimal for the intro. I can do a catalog lens in no time. The other sites just really take a vast amount of time more.
September 19, 2012 · No Comments
September 17, 2012 · No Comments
I’m participating in a challenge to build a new niche – 20 pages and an index page – by the end of October. I choose to do it over at Zujava to help build up that account more. (Although to date, not much in terms of paying out. And I totally messed up my tracking for Amazon, so I’m kind of at a loss to know how much I’m making in sales. Sigh.)
I dithered a ton trying to figure out a niche to start. Found topics that had good search numbers, but I couldn’t figure out a decent way to make 20 pages on it. Or I had things that could do 20 pages, but they’d be way too much the same and I would get bored. Heck, I’m already a wee bit bored and I’m just six pages in. Seriously, Susan!
So, I decided to do a “Cool Aunt Guide” deal for gifts for tween-aged girls. It’s time for me to be thinking about gifts for my nieces in that age range, so it’s a natural. (Plus, I have a good research subject to help me.) Two benefits to this as a general niche. First, the types of pages that I can do under it are wide ranging and only loosely connected. Makes it easier to get 20 pages without boring myself to death. Second, I can add in pages I already have to promote as well, especially in my kids bedroom stuff. Bonus!
Here’s where I am to date. I already did the index page, since I could promote already done pages as well as the new stuff I’ve done. Have 15 more to go, I think.
- Barbie I Can Be Dolls (Can’t for the life of me figure out where to put it in the index, though.)
- Fedora hats
- Jewelry organizers (This is going to have to have a split out version with the mannequins, I think.)
- Momiji book club dolls
- Custom wall decals (Needs work because I don’t actually have any links in it!)
June 26, 2012 · No Comments
Look at this! Not only did I actually make some new lenses (well, leaves mostly) but they’re the kind that involved actual writing. Go me!
One of the ideas that’s been on my list for a while was temporary hair color tied to sports teams. I use Jerome Russell colors (purple and green right now) in my hair and ran across their line of team colors. Since I must completely overdo anything, I have each color on the page with a few corresponding teams to use the color with. (Which gets team names on the page for Google to pick up. Clever, ain’t I? Time consuming the way I set it up, but pretty. Just wish the keyword numbers had been better. Still, I shouldn’t need to actually do anything to it now that it’s done.
I had already planned to do a leaf on this since I couldn’t find anything to help me when I was looking, but then there ended up being a contest about what you did over the weekend and it forced me to get it done. I installed a Lindby Multibar on my Vegas a couple of weeks ago and took pictures as I went along. So now I have a tutorial about how to do it. These things are pretty easy to do; the trick is to remember to take pictures and lots of them!
Added two more to my Brave/Merida collection. Both were on my original list, but just now have got enough products to merit doing. Although, maybe I should have done them before so they would have time to get some age on them. So hard to know sometimes. One more to go, I think. Finally have the products for it now as well. Anyway, I ended up doing quite a bit of writing on the leaf for Brave and Merida collectibles, but my standard product-only bit on stuff for a Brave bedroom.
June 16, 2012 · No Comments
Seems I haven’t been posting too well over here about what I’m up to. But part of that is because I’ve been spending so much time reading/researching and working on my niche blog that I haven’t spent the time making as many new pages as I’d like. Having a hard time finding the balance here because both my niche blogs have had their traffic cut in half, I’m assuming because of Penguin or Panda or some other animal Google has thrown at us. Which is weird since my blogs are exactly what they say they want. Boo. Struggling to justify spending time when I only get 1K hits a month.
On the upside, my leaf at Zujava on the Richard Castle books took third place in a pop culture contest. I really have got to spend a little more time making things there. They’re instituting a new word count limit, which is good as it forces me to actually write and not just curate. And I do enjoy writing. Once I get going.
Lots of new wall decal pages, mostly because RoomMates has come out with lots of new designs. (Thank you, Disney!) So now have them for The Muppets, Lion King, maps (a hot trend right now), penguins and hot air balloons. Also did a few more calendar lenses. Need to get serious on these right now because pre-orders will start shipping soon. Just want to make sure I haven’t miss a type that would apply to kids. But I did a lensography of sorts for Disney calendars, Barbie calendars and surfing calendars. Also finally turned a random list of alarm clocks I loved into a lens. Trying to stop having text files full of info and have a webpage full of info instead.
May 21, 2012 · No Comments
Been in research and expansion mode of late, although not all of it on my typical places. Added Facebook and Pinterest accounts for my kids bedroom niche (and fleshing them out makes me feel like I’m ridiculous for being in such a crowded space) as well as trying to get an email list ready to go. Huh. Should probably get back to that.
Still, I’ve managed to get a few new pages made, most of which are just additions to current page types. But I’m trying out a new thing with school supplies, so we’ll see how that goes. Probably spent way more time on the page than can be justified. Sigh.
Personalized coloring books – had planned to put this on Wizzley, ran afoul of an unwritten rule and so moved it to Squidoo. Had a good CPC, which is why I went to Wizzley first, but getting no traffic, so I suppose it’s a moot point.
Hunger Games calendars and Hunger Games wall decals – both part of current niches.
WWE calendars and Lego calendars – trying to get ahead of the 2013 curve by creating any new calendar lenses now. Few more on the list as well as updating everything else for 2013.
Lion King wall decals – starting to see more Lion King related bedroom stuff
Wits & Wagers – love playing this with my niece and nephew
Minnie Mouse backpacks and school supplies – We shall see how this goes. A lot of work, so I hope it pays off as we get through summer. Long list of others, but not sure I want to invest more time until I’m sure they’ll draw traffic and sell. Chicken and egg working here.
May 2, 2012 · No Comments
Well, most of it. The costume section, at least. I’ve put the adult costumes over on Zujava, with a pretty detailed look at how to make your own Merida costume or Queen Elinor costume. Then one that has a bunch of stuff for adults to do their own Brave costume. Disney has released its Merida costumes for girls and I’m adding to that page over at Wizzley as well. Adding to the costume pages is one for Brave clothing like pjs and shirts.
Two other pages going. Realized that Minnie Mouse is getting even more of her own stuff, so I’ve added a page for Minnie Mouse calendars to that niche on Squidoo. And finally finished a page on Richard Castle books over on Zujava. And in two hours, it’s had 70 hits. Seriously? It’s the kind of page I got online to write, then realized didn’t make any money. Maybe now that I have a stable of money-makers, I can spend more time doing pages like this. Because it takes me days to get done.
April 17, 2012 · No Comments
My head is spinning. One good thing about only doing lenses at Squidoo and the odd blog is it was much easier to get things done. Only one place to do them, so boom.
Now, I have many publishing avenues and many new things to consider when publishing. I have sites that are solely adsense sharing, so I need good CPC keywords to be writing about there, not just thinking about traffic and competition numbers. Then others operate like Squidoo and pool revenues. So my weak stuff can benefit from others’ stuff that does well, but I might not benefit as much if I have something that does well. And then … . Well, you get the picture.
So, I’m trying to branch out more. Trying to figure out my best plan of attack. Trying to not over-think things too much.
Locking gas caps – Idea came to me from an article I read and I just got it up quickly.
Brave costumes – Finally got to this piece of my Brave puzzle. Half-finished by my standards, but it’s up and running. Also have starts on ones for just Merida and Elinor.
Sticking with new additions to my kids bedroom niche.
Started to post something here, but then noticed we aren’t allowed to do affiliate links. I could have sworn I read something specifically opposite of that, but it’s in the content guidelines and the blog. Boo. Changes my thinking in terms of what to post here.
Testing waters here. I see a lot of spam, but great ad sharing and easy backlinks.
Smiley face clock – backlink for Wizzle above
One Direction website – Great keyword, but who knows what will happen given I do no promotion,.
Trying things out here although I’m not sure I see great things for the ad sharing. Guess that’s why we test, right?
Top portable air coolers under $200
April 7, 2012 · No Comments
Focus on the successes, right? Ignore all the things I didn’t get to as I brag about what I did get to. So, brag we will.
First – hooray because my lens finally got out of the penalty box. Whew. That was a pain and so hard to ignore as I went about writing more stuff in the series. Still, I have a nice collection of lenses related to the Disney Pixar movie Brave.
- Brave books – most of these are still just for pre-order and not even any pictures. Quite proud of how I worked around it. Going to be a bear if I decide to update with pictures of everything, though.
- Brave toys – Again, these aren’t even available for purchase yet, so happy with how I was able to work around that. Hoping this one proves to be a big one for me as products become available.
- Brave birthday party – Finally getting images at least. This one feels half-done really and the products aren’t even available so again, in a holding pattern.
- Brave soundtrack – This one is already getting good traffic even though it’s not available for pre-order and we don’t really know anything yet.
- Queen Elinor – All about the mom from the movie.
Looking at that list, I can see a lot of updating in my future. Need to make sure I stay on top of it so that I have things in the right rows as traffic comes in. I did a Xomba bookmark as well to the main page as part of a backlinking bit. Need a traffic strategy though, me thinks. Hmm.
Three other pages, one on Wizzley and two on Squidoo, around my kids bedroom stuff. Wizzley is killing me because of the content requirements. Just not used to that and I’m not sure about mixing them in over at Zujava. Thinking about using Zujava for more grown-up stuff. Sort of grown up, anyway. Still have about eight ideas left in this one as well as a related area that I think I’m going to put on Zujava.
April 2, 2012 · No Comments
I came up with a whole plan to use my three places for writing together to capture everything around this one topic. And have made it through four of the 16 on the list (so far) and dang it.
My thoughts are that a lot of times Squidoo gets overly crowded with popular topics. And backlinking is tough, so how about just building it into the list of topics is a good plan. So I brainstormed a huge list of ideas around the Disney Pixar movie Brave, which I am terribly excited about and had created a lens on ages ago. Broke them down into three general categories – things just for kids, things more interesting to adults and general movie stuff. Since Squidoo had the main movie page, it got the general movie stuff, Wizzley the kids, Zujava the adults. Good plan, huh?
So I started out with a couple on Wizzley and that 400 word requirement to even publish is way harder than you would expect. Especially for someone like me who can just pour words out at a rapid pace without a lot of thought. And it’s made a little harder by the fact that the movie merchandise isn’t even out yet. But I got up a couple there on Brave toys and a Brave birthday party. Both topics already overdone a bit at Squidoo (although, I have to admit I did the toys far, far better than any of them. So modest.)
Then I turned my attention back to Squidoo to do a character page on the main character, Merida. And got my butt bit.
I stuck in the generic description of Merida to start with just to get it published and have something there with every intention of going back and doing that over with my own description. And it bit me. But I’ve now rewritten that text three times and the lens is still sitting there with the yellow. Not very motivating if you make the fix and still are in the doghouse. It’s not an original topic, but I did it a damned site better than anyone else on Squidoo so far and wrote every bit of it myself now. Bah. I’m afraid to move on to the next in the series because it might happen again. (Not for the same reason. I won’t publish it quickly this time. But feeling gun shy.)
I have several problems with the whole filter thing right now.
- Even if dupe content is properly sourced, the filter can’t tell that. So you get dinged until someone comes and lets you out of the yellow box. Demotivating at best. If I had included a link to the Disney character page, it still would have caught it. (And frankly, that wouldn’t have made it acceptable in the long run. I still needed to write my own stuff there. So this gibberish they’re talking about crediting things is baloney.)
- No way to get out of jail automatically. Given that the filter is automatic, why can’t getting out be automatic? The filter should still be able to run you through every time, so why doesn’t it see that you’ve changed things?
- No way of knowing just what the problem is so you can fix it. If you’ve written a huge lens and did everything yourself, there is no reason to think anything you wrote is duplicate content. And if someone else took your content, it’s just punishing you to be threatened with deletion.
- Generic use of the word “hefty”. Even before I fixed it, my use of the Disney description accounted for a whopping 4% of the content. Hardly hefty. Or high quantities. Or large portions. And all the other FUD words they’re using.
- Misdirected energy. The only ones who care about being hit by this are legitimate lensmasters who create original content. We’re the ones going in circles trying to fix this, not the people who really need to be dinged. So rather than create new lenses, we’re spending our time jumping through hoops. Not good use of time.
Of course, the entire thing takes me back to the idea that I need to be spending more of my time on my own properties and not on others. Argh.
April 2, 2012 · No Comments
Made 7 lenses, but also 9 pages on Zujava and Wizzley. Deleted one that was always falling into WIP and never had anything going for it. I hate seeing all that pink on the bottom of my screen. So ended March with 700 lenses and like 11 in other places. Not too bad but definitely slow.
March wasn’t as good as February money-wise, but still strong. Looks like I’m easily going to meet my goals on that score this year, especially my overall one of just being able to support myself doing this. And given that I’m trying to get a few more income streams going and develop more options that take advantage of Adsense, this should keep going. (Playing with AdSense more does make me nervous. They’re so unforgiving if something goes wonky and it would be a painful stream to lose.)
Not sure I have anything else to add this month.