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28 January 2013 @ 08:43 am
Recent projects and February plans  
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!
erikelo_sf on January 28th, 2013 02:54 pm (UTC)
Hmm, so what's up with Squidoo these days then?
Nicole Pellegrininicpel on January 28th, 2013 03:12 pm (UTC)
Nothing necessarily "up" with it - although they made some formatting changes in December to supposedly make the site more "mobile"-friendly that has done horrible things to page layout in full-screen view. It even introduced some annoying bugs that seem to be very low on their priority list, giving me at least a half-dozen pages I still need to go back and rework in order to deal with them.

Squidoo is definitely pulling in decent $'s for me these days ($300-500/month depending on affiliate sales), but, with 200+ pages there now I feel like it's time to put some eggs in other baskets - and maybe see if some kinds of content work better on other platforms. Every time Google has an update it can shake up content site rankings dramatically, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. (Squidoo took a bit of a hit in November that it's only recovering from a bit now, whereas YCN seems to be coming BACK in favor after they tightened up some submission requirements.)

Zujava isn't paying much yet, but, they have VERY strict anti-spam and quality restrictions and it has the potential to take off well if they can continue to add better writers. Plus linking content together from one site to the other can help with backlinks and such, so...I figure it's a good experiment. Their payout system is similar to Squidoo's as far as tier ranking, but with their tight anti-spam and TOS it feels like a much more level playing field for honest success. (That is, the top tier isn't going to be hogged up by pages of stolen celebrity photographs and wallpapers, spun content on get-rich or lose-weight fast scams, etc.)

Edited at 2013-01-28 03:13 pm (UTC)
erikelo_sf on January 28th, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
Interesting, mostly I was just surprised by the non-mention of Squidoo.
Nicole Pellegrininicpel on January 28th, 2013 03:18 pm (UTC)
With Squidoo I think I'm going to mostly be on "maintenance" for a little while: update already established pages, try to tweak underperformers for better success, keep new page creation down to ones specifically for quests and challenges.

Of course, come the summer I'll have my MasterChef recaps to get back to as my season three page did insanely well for me last year :)
erikelo_sf on January 28th, 2013 04:30 pm (UTC)
I can see that and also I can see how just diversifying across platforms will be helpful. Pretty impressive though that you've got earnings up into the noticeable level, e.g. $300-500/month. While that's not a living salary (yet) it is at least beyond hobby.
pisceanblue: ZOMG!pisceanblue on January 28th, 2013 04:32 pm (UTC)
Go get 'em, BB! :D
One positive side of what you're doing for the food blog is you and Dr. D will come to know all the really great places to eat where you are, and that's half the battle, I think - just finding them in the first place.