Friday, August 19, 2011
Using Squidoo lenses to promote your products
What is Squidoo & how can it benefit me?
Think of a Squidoo lens like a blog post. But the main difference is not only will you promote your products... you can make money by getting traffic to your lens.
We will talk more about that later. Also, a blog changes subject matter as you post, Squidoo lenses should be a very specific subject. This creates backlinks to your sites & search engines LOVE these links.
The building blocks of a Lens are called modules. There are MANY different modules & as you make more lenses & participate on other lenses, you will earn points & as you hit new levels, the more modules & widgets will become available to you.
Links: Squidoo has a rule of no more than 10 links to the same site UNLESS they are "whitelisted". How do you know what sites are whitelisted?... When you go to publish your lens, it will tell you that you have too many links to the same site. No "biggie", just make several linked words all to 1 link. The links from specific modules don't count toward the number of links. So you can have several Amazon, Zazzle, Ebay or other modules with product links.
So first you need to Register... That’s all very straightforward and you just need to go to www.Squidoo.com and create an account and follow the links that you will then receive in your email.
Next question... what do I write about? Plagerism is NOT allowed & you will get banned if caught. Also with the new "rules" with Google, duplicate content can also get you shut down until you fix it. Duplicate content is more than the first few sentences coming from another site. Even if you are giving credit to the site you are quoting.... if it's more than a couple sentences, google will flag you & squidoo will "spank you".
Now... Just what do you want to write about? Everyone is an expert at something. Start with a very simple lens about something you do well. Are you the best fundraiser at your kid's school?... Do you grow the best Roses in the neighborhood?... Find your niche & go from there. Most of my lenses only have a small amount of actual info & more selling... but this one has a wide variety of some info & selling:
So just get started because you can always go back & add or change your lens. Actually, this will freshen up your lenses & the search engines will pick you up better. Add plenty of Tags. These are the keywords that people will search & you want them to find you. You add a few tags when you create your lens then down the side, you can add more. Only use relevent tags.
Next... about the presentation of your lens. Adding some pictures, graphics & color will keep your readers interested. NOW here is a trick to use some great photos.... you are not to use others' pictures or photos unless you have the rights to do so or give a link credit to the site with the photo, BUT if you set up an affiliate account at AllPosters.com... they have a photo or poster for just about everything. You can use their image & link it with your affiliate info. This is totally allowed as long as you have the affiliate link with it.
Limited HTML & some css coding is allowed in the text link so you can add more photos from your websites & a bit of color text, borders & boxes to add so "zing" to your lens.
This is a great lens for adding some CSS coding. http://www.squidoo.com/squidoo-css
Just follow the exact codes they give & experiment.
Other modules that are great to get your visitors involved are Polls... guestbooks.... link lists. Let others add to your lens. This will put your lens higher up in the Squidoo lens rankings... higher the rankings, more you get paid.
OK.... now the "Money Makers". Don't expect to get rich quick. This is NOT the place for you if you expect that. Right now, I get excited when I hit $10 in a month. I have read other lenses & the people who make high dollars have 100+ lenses. So think of these lenses as more promotional & keep making more & more. Then the money comes in.
You need a Paypal account, so make sure that is all set up. There are several ways that squidoo divies up the money. Google ads, Chitika ads, Amazon, itunes, ebay, zazzle, cafe press & others. The portion you get will depend on your ranking. There is an actual list on some lens but it is confusing, so I just work my rear off & get others to my lens so that my rankings go up. You only get pennies from the ads BUT you get much bigger chunks from any sales from the modules. You do not need to sign up for any Associate or Affiliate accounts with any of them if you don't want to. I can't even sign up for an Amazon affiliate because Colorado & Rhode island are the only 2 that have stupid tax laws, they won't let us. BUT I can get some money through my lenses since it is Squidoo getting the full amount & then giving all of us a little chunk.
Add Modules that match your lens. If you are writing about a Singer... add you tube, itunes, Amazon mp3s. Talking about Authors... amazon books, products on cafe press or zazzle. Party lenses... Amazon books, products, You tube videos, recipes. etc... etc. Add modules that get readers to interact on your lens. Guestbooks, Link Plexos (readers can add their links), polls, debates. The more reader interaction, the higher your ranking & the more your share of the income. "Hugging your lens".... go through & update your lenses. Even if it's a small thing, hit that publish button & share it. Get others to give it a thumbs up.... add to the guestbook... favorite it... lensroll it... All that, again, boosts your ranking. Then simple promotions of your lenses.... Tweet... Facebook... blog... whatever it takes. Add a link from your website to a specific lens. Add to forums... Facebook groups. Promote your lenses as much as you do your websites.
My list of lenses are at: http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/kjscreations and http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/blueskiesplusllc (you don't want 2 accounts.... I had 2 way back when I started... just keep them all on a single dashboard)
Notice that 1 of my lenses is http://www.squidoo.com/squidoo-lens-directory
I collect other helpful lenses & list them all here. I also have a Link plexo that allows readers to add links to other lenses as well. So see about lens ideas? I did a lens about lenses that show how to build lenses. Lens ideas are only limited by your imagination.
The last part is promoting your lenses. Once you publish your new lens... there is a Twitter and Facebook link. Remember that you can promote in forums too (if allowed). Update your lenses every couple weeks or month. Always remember to hit the publish button.
One last tip.... the more you go & "hug" others lenses (adding your links, taking polls, liking other lenses) you also get points for all of this activity. The higher those points... more modules & widgets open up to you.
So that is how you can promote & make some money at the same time. Now go set up an account & start your first lens. Once you get one done, you will want to do another & another.