Home > 4 Habits of Successful Squids

4 Habits of Successful Squids

orange monsterHere are four ways to give yourself an edge when it comes to becoming a successful lensmaster on Squidoo.

1. Proofread! Proofread your lenses carefully. Reading EVERY word on your lens OUT LOUD is the very best way to find mistakes that are otherwise easily overlooked by you but that pop right out at your readers.

2. Cite your photos! Here’s a guide to using photos on Squidoo. Review this and pay special attention to the section on citing your photos. Even when you use your own pictures, it’s important to give yourself a line of credit so people will know they’re yours. And if they’re not yours, be sure that you have permission to use them. The lens at the link will explain more.

3. When you ask for a critique, follow through! The “critique me” portion of the Squidoo forum is active and we love that! It’s disappointing, though, to notice great feedback but no response from the lens author who asked for the critique in the first place. On the other hand, it’s very satisfying to see prompt replies by new lensmasters who truly appreciate – and apply – the advice they’ve been given by generous Squidoo veterans. Even better? Watching those same “newbies” paying it forward, helping others once they’ve gained their own lensmaking expertise.

4. Slow down and aim for excellence! Squidoo isn’t a race. It’s better to write a lens one day then re-read it the next day, fix the mistakes that you find, and then publish and announce it to the world. Even if you miss a quest deadline, you’ll be submitting an excellent lens right out of the gate which will give you a better chance of having a lens that qualifies for the official “best of Squidoo” list. Having as many lenses as possible designated as “best of” certainly will take you a long way down the road to success on Squidoo.

Do you consider yourself a successful Squid? What habits have you developed that are helping you reach that goal?


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Susan52 didn't know she wanted to be a Giant Squid when she grew up, but here she is and she couldn't be happier about it! When she isn't doing one thing or another here at Squidoo, you'll probably find her spending time with her family or otherwise appreciating life one precious moment at a time.

  • rms

    Excellent tips Susan!

    • Susan Deppner

      Thanks, Robin!

  • vallain

    Hmm, I only have 4 “Best Of” lenses. I guess my 51 purple stars don’t count for much anymore. :-)

    • darkprinceofjazz

      I can’t speak for HQ, but perhaps having a very small staff makes it tough for everyone to be noticed who deserves it? I think your lenses deserve more recognition for sure in the current day.

  • popheart

    Thank you Susan. I’m a new squid. Does anyone else think that sounds funny? (Insert a wink here.) Any way, thank you again for the helpful tips. I’m drafting my first lens. I hope it will be an inspiring and enjoyable read. Thank you again!

    • Susan Deppner

      ;) “New squid” still sounds funny (“happy” funny) to me after all these years. Welcome, popheart!

  • Coletta Teske

    Susan, thank you for putting proofreading at the top of the list. It’s at the top of my list, too! And, yes, I think I’m a successful Squid because quality is my priority and I tell my best stories.

  • OrganicGiftsByDiana

    Great reminders – thank you !

  • mountainmist

    So true! I would also suggest researching the topic very thoroughly. I’ve learned so much about each lens by making research the first step. It helps that I’m a trivia freak!

    • Susan Deppner

      Great habit to add to the list! Research is so important. Thank you, mountainmist!

  • CosmeticMom

    I am so grateful for Google Chrome (proofreads) as I can be in hurry make typos :) Thanks for the picture credit tip, so often I see lenses which don’t follow through on this tip.

  • Silver_Lotus

    Thanks for the tips!

  • Merrci

    All great tips Susan, and good reminders to us all. Even when I proofread I often find an error as soon as I hit publish! So post-proofread is on my list too!

  • favored1

    Good points to follow for all articles. Proofreading is an ongoing thing and should be second nature. I re-check my articles after publishing them to see how the overall layout looks as well.

  • DaveStone13

    Good stuff, Susan. Because I am a terrible proof reader (Ask my long suffering hard copy editor.) who works from inspiration, my practice is to get a lens out, even one that might be a little rough, without sharing it until it ranks on update. Then, I go back with a clear head the next day and clean it up. I also update frequently. Always can find a way to make a lens better.

    My point is, for some of us, it’s a psychological boost, a kind of release, to get the lens published. I’m willing to suffer one day with a error or two, well more likely three, for the benefit of going back for a more objective look and a rewrite. Rewriting is the key thing that makes lenses – and anything else I write – effective. My books are rewritten around a billion times before they ever hit print.

    Long story short, if you write from inspiration, it’s important to get it out of your system, so you can then see it objectively.

    • Susan Deppner

      Great point, Dave. Writing then editing/rewriting later is key to the best result, I agree. When I announce a lens immediately after a first publish I almost always regret it. Hard to develop the discipline to wait, though I’m still trying after all these years!

  • GypsyOwl

    Thank you, Susan! I have missed a few quest deadlines working on a lens. But I agree and I have learned it is more important to publish a page that reflects the best as I can do. I also go back to pages as much as I have time to do in order to check again. It seems as I learn and then go back to older pages there are always changes I see which can improve them.

  • poetvix

    The proof reading is my nemesis. I can’t do it enough. The only thing I would add is to frequently check video modules after publishing. I find they get pulled from Youtube sometimes. A broken video can make a good lens look bad quick.

  • Ilona1

    Great tips. I’m pretty slow at publishing, but still find lots of need to proofread. Never have tried the critique in the forum, but that sounds helpful. I think I might try that sometime to see how it works.

    • Susan Deppner

      If you truly want advice, there are many helpful lensmasters on the forum who would be glad to help you out.

  • bestwebfinds

    This is a good reminder. Its funny but even after proof reading many times, I find error AFTER publishing the lens :)

    • Susan Deppner

      It happens to all of us, I think. Sometimes I find errors months after publishing, no matter how many times I proofread!

  • kclowblog

    I learn my lesson. It is the quality of the lens that count. KC

  • tienvuong88

    This is not entirely unexpected, it has been mentioned in the past.

    San lap mat bang

  • temptor94

    Thank you for the wonderful tips! I am a newbie here and coming up with my first lens. These points are really helpful. You are right, #1 is the most important, self-review goes a long way in creating great articles. Thank you!!

  • DebMartin

    Good info. I didn’t realize I needed to cite my own photos, almost all of which are mine. I guess I have some lens editing to do.

    • Susan Deppner

      It’s good practice. Just a sentence at the top or bottom of the lens is all you need if all the pictures are yours. :)

  • swampnut

    Thanks…good advice… I fail at reading to myself out loud…I always tend to get caught up in the “let’s get this done and out there” mode, which just leads to mistakes. Thanks, for the reminder to slow down and do a better job at proofreading.

    • Susan Deppner

      You’re welcome, swampnut!

  • retired60

    Susan,thanks very much for sharing this information with us here on Squidoo,God Bless:))))

  • cindin

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing, Susan.

  • cofra

    Thanks for sharing.
    am a newbie am having some little problems but thanks to your lens now am getting some things right.

    • Susan Deppner

      Good to know, Cofra. Have fun with your lenses!

  • othellos

    I have 3 “Best of” and 1 purple out of total 10 lenses. Your tips are just basic stuff. If you cannot make it into the “Giants” clique nobody pays attention to you. That’s my experience here…

    • Susan Deppner

      I’m sorry you feel that way, othellos. Perhaps your definition of “successful squid” is different from what I intended here. “Success” to me is building visitors, traffic, and sales from the public, outside of Squidoo, and these tips are meant to help (especially new) lensmasters make that happen. Of course the more good lenses you have, the more you will be noticed. With your “best of” and purple star so far, it sounds like you’re headed in the right direction!

  • lizabethjcarter

    I would consider myself a successful squid if I could get my photo to upload. Is there a particular file type that I should use? I tried to upload it through the profile section of my dashboard. Has anyone else had an issue with their profile picture uploading?

    • Susan Deppner

      Sometimes people do have a problem loading their photos. Usually the advice is to clear the cache on your computer, do a restart and try again. Make sure the picture file size isn’t too big and that the picture itself is big enough. A 300×300 px square should be just right. I hope that helps!

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