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I've been tweaking the layout and content of my food blog a bit more, working off a little free advice I got on how to potentially improve its performance. So far I'd say it's working, which makes me happy. I've also been looking at what are the posts that are the big traffic drivers there, and not too surprisingly it's restaurant reviews in my local little area. Obviously this is a topic where there's not going to be a lot of blogging competition as compared to writing about Philly restaurants. That's going to push me to try to get out more in the year ahead and sample some different places, even if just for a lunch bite here and there.

I have started posting a few articles for Yahoo! again as I'm surprised how well some of my old pieces are still drawing in regular traffic - and some $'s every month. I'm not going to make it a big tome commitment but my objective is one short (350-600 word) submission there a week.

I might come to regret this, but I also signed up for Zujava's "28 Leaves in 28 Days" challenge for February. Whether I complete the challenge or not, I figured it would be a good way to push myself to get a real portfolio of Leaves started there and to see what topics may actually have potential to pay off or not. There's very little competition/other writers there yet in my main areas of writing interest, so I feel like I do have a good opportunity to get in "early" there (and grab good URLs) before the competition is so over-saturated like on Squidoo.

We shall see!
nicpel: (Default)
I've been terrible about keeping this blog regularly updated. Time to do something about that.

I'm going to try to use it more as a daily update page, to share my daily writing progress: new leaves on Zujava/lenses on Squidoo, updates in the food blog, etc. So with that in mind...

Published today:

* Peroni Beer Gifts and Accessories - a new gift guide on Squidoo

* An Interview with Emily Davies - a spotlight feature on Zujava

By the way, I'm still looking for artists, musicians, crafters and other creative people to spotlight in my new Zujava interview series. Interested in being showcased? Please drop me a note!
nicpel: (Default)
So, it's been about 18 months since I joined Squidoo and in that time I've managed to publish just over 150 lenses, which is no small achievement. I'm definitely a Squidoo junkie and fan, even while I am fully aware of some of the (many) ways manipulate rank, publish dubious content, get away with it and in effect "steal" profit from lensmasters who play by the rules. But, you know, I figure it happens just about everywhere and I'm not a Squidoo-naysayer like some on the forums are these days.

But I also know it's not a good idea to keep all of one's eggs in one basket. With that in mind I've finally put the time this week into starting to publish a bit at zujava, a similar platform which is going to look awfully familiar to anyone who's read or published on Squidoo before. Indeed, they almost look so similar I kind of wonder how they get away with it, but that's not for me to figure out. Zujava only launched earlier this year and is still working on developing a lot of coding features, more advanced modules, and key affiliate programs (right now while you can add eBay modules to your "leaves", you earn no affiliate commission on any sales. But you do for Amazon products.)

There are some things I definitely like about the set-up and ethics of zujava as compared to Squidoo. For one, they are EXTREMELY concerned about having quality contents. New members who sign up cannot publish live to the web until they've submitted three Leaves for review by the site admins. That way spammers, con artists and people just looking for cheap and quick backlists don't get past the front door. Certain topics which are woefully abused and full of copyright abuse at Squidoo, namely coloring pages and Wallpapers, are completely banned at zujava.

Also, right now ALL leaves earn a slice of the tier rank profits every month. Of course the top 10% get the highest cut, the next 20% a lower amount, but even "the other 70%" are still added in the revenue pile.

There are a lot of things I can do on Squidoo lenses that I can't do (yet) on zujava leaves, so it's not like I'm going to pack up and move completely - or even primarily - there anytime soon. But I think it's worth exploring and building upon, especially right now when someone can still get in the game very early on, and not have to fight so hard to get a top-ranking position on site. Here are the first three leaves I've experimented with creating (I'm sure I'll be tweaking and adding to them more in the future) - and if you're interested in trying out zujava for yourself, just click on the banner below and get started exploring for yourself!

* Being a Convention Dealer
* 5 Secrets to Authentic Italian Cuisine
* Infertility During Halloween: It's No Treat

Sign up for Zujava.com: Simple online publishing.

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Nicole ("sockii") Pellegrini

January 2013

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