Friday, September 9, 2011

Squidoo Tips and Tricks #4: Is Your Lens Indexed?

For the first couple of years that I made Squidoo lenses, I just made them and hoped that traffic would come. Some lenses did get traffic and some got ZILCH (ie, nothing). I was puzzled that many of them were simply ignored by Google. Google is king and if your lens is not getting traffic from Google, it is doomed.

To my surprise, I soon discovered that some of my lenses were not only ignored by Google, they were not even indexed! That means, that Google did not even know some of my lenses existed. How do you know if your lens is indexed by Google? The best way is to copy and paste a single line from your lens and put it into Google with quotations around it. For example, I recently wrote a lens called What To Do About Cold Feet? The first sentence is: There are many reasons why feet are always cold.. If you put that sentence into Google like this:

"There are many reasons why feet are always cold"

You should get TWO hits, first my lens and sencond this blog post. If you do that with your lens and nothing comes up...WHOOPS...your lens is not indexed and it will NEVER get Google traffic, not a good thing.

What is the best way to get your lenses indexed? In my experience, the best way to make sure your lens is indexed is to give it a quality link, the more links, the better. I find a link from a blog to be one of the best ways to get a link to a Squidoo lens and for that reason, I write a post from this blog for nearly every lens that I create. If you do not have a blog, that might be a good reason to start one. If you are a Squidoo Giant, you are invited to participate in this blog. Read more about that in this lens about Valley of The Giants.

This is my forth in the series of Squidoo Tips and Tricks. I am looking for your feedback. Are these tips and tricks helpful? Is there anything else you would like to see discussed in future tips and tricks?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Squidoo Tips And Tricks #3: Amazon Modules

I try to put an Amazon module on every lens I have. Why? Several reasons.

* Commissions: Obviously, Amazon modules sell stuff and you get a commision on every sale.

* Lens Rank: Amazon modules help your lensrank in two ways. First, everytime someone clicks on an Amazon module, you get a "clickout" the more clickouts, the better your lensrank. Read more about why clickouts are good. Second, if you earn a commission, that also improves your lensrank.

* Diversity. An Amazon module has pictures and adds interesting diversity to your page.

But which is the best Amazon module to use? These days I prefer the classic Amazon module. I no longer use Amazon Spotlight UNLESS I am listing a book. Why?

In most cases if you select the products, the product will change within 1 year and you will have a deadlink. If you select the products, you must check the links every few months to make sure that they are still active. This is not so difficult if you have 2 or 3 lenses. But if you have over 100, you will not be able to check all of the links.

In this case it is best to use a classic Amazon module and select "Let Amazon Choose". In this case you will seldom get deadlinks. The problem with letting Amazon choose is that sometimes Amazon chooses the wrong products. It can be difficult to find the right keywords to use and often takes some trial and error. For example, on this lens about Christmas 2011, I have Amazon module about Ride On Cars. I selected the catagory Toys and put Ride On Cars into the keyword space, however, instead of Ride On Cars, I got a variety of toy cars, most of them not the type I was interested. After I looked at the cars, I noticed that most of the Ride On Cars I was interested in had MP3 players. So, if I use the keywords Ride On Cars MP3, I got the type of cars I was interested in displaying.

Why will I use Amazon spotlight if I am listing a book? Because when you are listing a book, you use the ASIN number for a book. That number will not change. So long as the book is being sold, if you have used the ASIN number that book will always appear in your module. I actually prefer the spotlight modules for books because the image is large and it looks nice. So, unless you have alot of books you want to sell, use the spotlight module for books and the traditional Amazon module for everything else.

This is my third in the series of Squidoo Tips And Tricks. I wonder if these are helpful to anyone? Is there anything else you would like me to cover? If I get a good response, there will be more. If not, this idea will probably die out.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wheelchair Toys : Gift Idea for Both Able-Bodied and Disabled Children

Recently I posted about wheelchair armrest pets a fun gift idea for a wheelchair user. But that got me thinking about other toys for wheelchair users. I discovered that there were quite a few wheelchair toys especially designed for wheelchair users and able-bodied children alike.

What kind of toys are there? There is a Barbie Doll, named Becky "Share A Smile". Becky is a wheelchair using doll, who looks alot like Barbie, except of course she is in a wheelchair. Becky did not come without controversy. For example, Becky's wheelchair did not fit into the Barbie House, a situation which many wheelchair users are all too familiar with.

Other toys for wheelchair users include Playmobil Wheelchair with patient and a child in a wheelchair. There are also simple toy wheelchairs which a child can use to push around their doll.

These toys are not exclusively for children in wheelchairs. They can also be giving to able bodied children whose classmates or siblings are wheelchair users in order to make them more sensitive or understanding of the life of a wheelchair user.

Not everyone is in agreement with toys with disabilities. According to an article published in the NYTimes

It might be a harder sell than the toy company thinks. "The name makes me want to gag," said Leslie Heller, who has cerebral palsy. Nadina LaSpina, who had polio, said, "It shows they can make money off of us.