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Promotion in Motion: Squidoo

May 18, 2011
by

Squidoo-You

We hear a lot about Squidoo around here, and I’m sure many of you have questions like, “What’s a lens?” or “What does calamari have to do with promoting myself?” 🙂 Well, fret not, I’m here to explain and give you a little tour of big, beautiful Squidoo.

Squidoo is a community site that allows users (called lensmasters) to build free individual websites (called lenses) using pre-set modules. No HTML knowledge is required, although in my experience, it pays to be at least a little savvy, like how to make links.

You can make money building lenses. Some folks have built entire careers out of Squidoo, and have thousands of lenses under their belts, earning enough royalties to live on. However, we’re not talking about those exalted (or should it be obsessed) people. We’re here to tell you how making Squidoo lenses can help drive traffic to whatever you’re promoting – such as a specific card collection at GCU.

First, think of your Squidoo lens like a blog post. It has to be interesting or informative or both – it can’t be just about “buy my cards, aren’t they cute, squee!” Pick a topic and build a lens around it. Then integrate your greeting cards into the lens, just like you would in a blog post. You can put up to 9 links back to GCU in a lens, which allows plenty of room for promotion without seeming spammy.

Let’s suppose you want to promote BBQ invitation greeting cards. You could write a lens with your own barbeque recipes in it. Include a couple of pictures of the BBQ fixin’s, or your family enjoying a barbeque in the backyard. Add an Amazon.com module and choose some BBQ cookbooks (you make commission on these sales, you know). Add a Zazzle module of BBQ aprons (again, you earn commission on sales). Add 9 links to your GCU invitation cards by using the Sell This Card tool (I explained how to do this in a previous post, How to Link Your GCU Cards in a Squidoo Lens). Publish and you’re done!

There are many modules you can add to enhance your lens and entice visitors including polls, etc. Some modules earn royalties. Some don’t, but are popular. Make your choice according to what fits your lens. And don’t forget, it’s very easy to edit an existing Squidoo lens.

The real trick here is to offer visitors fresh content that has value apart from your greeting cards. An excellent example is Doreen’s lens: Meet Ossa, a Dog with a Lot to Say.

My own lenses earn me a little pocket money each month – not enough to shout about, but it buys me a few books. My most popular lens drives visitors to GCU, and yes, I do make sales of those greeting cards I’m promoting. It does work, but it’ll take imagination, some elbow grease, and determination to make your lens project a success. People want to know how the top sellers at GCU got that way…well, this is how. Promotion is hard work, but the rewards can be great.

Of course, there are HTML tricks that you can use to spruce up your lens, but I’ll save that for another time. I also want to talk about promoting your Squidoo lens (and by extension, your greeting cards). So stay tuned, folks – there’s plenty more to come!

Lensmasters: how is Squidoo working for you? Share your success stories with us!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2011 11:18 am

    UGH…more baby steps…let’s hope it does not take me 10 years to write a success story?

    • May 18, 2011 11:33 am

      The sooner you start, the longer your stuff has to go out into the Internet and work for you. I didn’t achieve my Squidoo success overnight. My most visited lens is 3 years old. My second and third, 2 years old. It takes time, but it’s also very fun.

      Corrie

  2. Cathy Gangwer permalink
    May 18, 2011 1:50 pm

    Thank You!

  3. May 18, 2011 2:10 pm

    Corrie- you make it seem so simple and achievable. thanks for sharing all your wisdom. -Lynn

    • May 18, 2011 2:16 pm

      Simple… not exactly, but not that difficult, either. Achievable, yes. It’s just the truth…if you want to succeed and make money as an artist, you have to promote yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.

      Corrie

  4. May 18, 2011 2:14 pm

    I’m so happy you are doing this lens feature! I have built a couple but did not feel comfortable there yet. I will eagerly follow your postings. Thank you!

  5. May 18, 2011 2:26 pm

    Thanks for showing off The World According to Ossa Lens, she’s so proud…hahaha! As Corrie states, it takes time for this type of promotion to work for you. I created my first lens in the summer of 2009 and soon realized, again as Corrie mentioned, that I had to focus on one small subject of mine rather than a lens that promoted my work in general. That lens is the one referenced here. This year I’m finally getting some small payments from Squidoo, but that really wasn’t my goal. My goal was to drive traffic to my Zazzle and GCU stores. It takes time, all promotion is a building block process keep building and they will come.

  6. May 18, 2011 10:14 pm

    Hi Corrie – Great article (as usual)!

    I have a real basic … newbie … first-timer … DUH! type of question …

    How do I GET to Squidoo to start my first lens?

    Thanks!

    • May 18, 2011 10:32 pm

      Hi Peggy,

      I imagine Corrie sleeping on the other side of the world, so I’ll jump in here. Go to http://www.Squidoo.com and signup. Once you signup (its free), they will walk you through the steps of starting a lens.

      BEFORE you do that know what your lens is going to be about and remember that the name you give it is your URL. So, visit some lens that have been around a while. Corrie listed some of hers above and on the bottom of my lens Meet Ossa, A Dog with a lot to Say I think I’ve listed links to my other lens. Make some notes about the things you see there.

      Then think about the EXACT subject you are going to create this lens about so you can have good URL and get rolling immediately with a fun lens. Good Luck! Corrie & I are here to help if you get stuck…you know where to find us!

      • May 19, 2011 1:20 am

        Thanks for asking the newbie question Peggy. And thanks for the response Doreen. Now to get the creative juices flowing for a topic.

      • May 19, 2011 3:45 am

        Thank you, Doreen. I tried “squidoo.com” and was getting “invalid URL” – but now it works … definitely only a glitch on my end of the Internet. Lynn, I am glad that my question was useful for you – and hopefully others, as well!

        So, Doreen … if I have articles I’ve written for other blogs (or my own blog) about a certain subject (and I own the rights to the article) … can I create a lens with this article, and create related content around it? It sounds like a Squidoo Lens would stay “out there” in front of folks longer than an old newsletter article might … and continue creating backlinks (and possibly affiliate income) over time for me. Am I thinking about this correctly? Of course, the same thing with new articles, as well …

      • May 19, 2011 5:47 am

        The short answer, Peggy, is yes – Squidoo lenses can stay out there getting traffic for you and earning affiliate income. However, I caution you against creating a lens with copy taken from previously published blog articles. Re-write is key: you can use the same subject, just don’t copy and paste, even though it’s your own words. Neither Squidoo nor search engines reward duplicate content.

        One of the things I’ve done is to create a master lens – greeting cards for cancer patients – and make cancer-related lenses around it, all of them with links to my card collection at GCU, and all linked together (you can do that with the Featured Lens module).

        Have fun! And when you make a lens, let us know so other lensmasters can go “like” you.

        Corrie

      • May 19, 2011 8:13 am

        Thanks, Peggy, for jumping in while I was laying on one ear!

        Next week, I’m hoping to do a post on how to register at Squidoo (including screemshots). 🙂

        Corrie

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