Saturday, November 16, 2013

Third Time's a Charm, Right?

I'm officially (for the third time) sanctioned as a Giant contributor at Squidoo. The first time I applied about 5 years ago, I was a nervous wreck. The qualifications were daunting - you had to have written and published at least 50 quality articles on the platform, and your entire account was scrutinized by a quality review team. If your work was good enough and met the standards of the publishing team, you were admited into the Giant Squid Club. I made it and felt honored.

The second time I was required to qualify it seemed a little insulting. I mean, really,  to have to requalify for something I had already done - prove I could write original content and not spam the system - was really  not an honor. The staff created levels of giantness for the second round of qualification. Again, I passed muster, but  from that point forward I was not willing to write dozens of new pages simply to "level up." I'd already created more than 150 pages by then, so I was able to continue writing and enjoying the perks of being in the Giant club,  in the 100 lenses subcategory.

Recently the rules for earning Giant status changed again at Squidoo. That's a good thing, because in the past year or so it became almost a joke to see how easy  it was for a newbie to wear the Giant title. It was just about as meaningless as the Angel program became before it was disbanded.

For consideration to remain in the club,  I had to promise to use the site on a regular basis and pledge (!) to write a minimum number of new articles. I also had to commit to creating 3 new format (some call them lenslets) pages before the end of this year.  These rules are easy for me; I am on the site every day, although I had stopped writing because of the rampant lens-locking and filtering that kept me busy just trying to edit existing pages. The new content creation turned out to be a no-brainer; all I really did was make three new mini-pages using the controlled format templates. Those lenslet articles offer little to no value to me for earning potential unless someone buys the product I've reviewed or finds one of the few related products on the mini-page appealing.  They're easy to read and if you can attract the right target you will probably make a sale.

So long as I can link to my other articles or my web sites and blogs I am willing to write in the new format. The layouts are limited by design, so all I really need to do is choose a topic: (recipe, Amazon product or how-to featurette) and start writing.  They're easy to create but I see some risk for rampant spammers to use these templates if/when they're opened up for general lensmaster use.

Unfortunately none of my new mini pages are getting real Google traction. All the traffic I've seen in the first few weeks is internal to Squidoo or referrals. Less than five hits to each one came from Google.

Singing to the choir isn't going to make any money, which is what it's all about no matter what gets published by staffers/owners as the site's overarching purpose.

1 comment:

Nathalie/fanfreluche said...

If it can make you feel better, none of my new format does well either. I got a lot of views because one was LotD this week, and another was pick and shown as a result of a quest, but otherwise outside traffic is close to zero (except some Pinterest visits on my recipe lens)

Obviously it's a bit early to tell, but usually my new lenses used to pick G traffic real fast (even if only a few visit a day).