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When Squidoo transformed into a game last September, my participation zoomed, I interacted with other lensmasters logarithmically more, but my earnings improved only a bit. The slight increases appear to be caused indirectly by the new system, because I started opening more lenses faster and receiving "Thank-you!" traffic from other members amid interacting on quests and, later on, blessing lenses as a SquidAngel.
But the amusements have distracted me from off-site traffic-generating promotion -- still the key to earning significant amounts.
The tag-tweaking I started doing as I re-publish the oldest lenses every day has helped. But getting found within Squidoo seems to require short, general tags, while Net-wide, a few to several carefully researched keyword phrases work best.
Since 40 tags are allowed, I am doing what I can to fix my pages gradually, using between 20 and 35 oft lensed single words like "motivation" or "plant" (relevant to the content) for Squidoo-search, allowing the remaining several to be "orphans" (not associated with other lenses), such as "webcam photography" and "visualizing goals" to attract Net-wide search.
For backlinking on purpose, I am re-considering HubPages.
When it comes to link-building, I still drag and procrastinate.
My biggest mistakes in freelance writing, overall: Many topics I write about are unpopular search-wise, and I don't write enough (as me). This year I began focusing on turning around these tendencies.