Are you just looking to join Squidoo – sign up here – it’s FREE!
Recently, I was asked by my fellows in Birds of a Feather to discuss why I am so excited about Squidoo, a flexible content curation and publishing platform with built-in income opportunities (AND an awesome community attached to it). The usual questions ensued…
- What’s the ROI?
- How does it compare to XYZ?
- What are YOUR results?
I answered honestly and with great fervor (because there’s lots to be excited about if you ask this here geek). Keri Jaehnig of Idea Girl Media (and Birds of a Feather, amongst other groups on Triberr) is very intrigued. Others are asking about it as well, thanks to my #Squidoo hash tag on Twitter, chats via Triberr, and my constant efforts to keep dripping information about my latest lens efforts on other social platforms…
So here I am to share with you what squids can do for YOU!
Yes, you should create a Squidoo page today. That’s it. Don’t hesitate… do it now!
Need convincing? Okay, here we go…Squidoo Origins: It’s Something Of A Big Deal
Seth Godin and a team of really smart people got together and founded Squidoo a few years about, circa 2004ish, I believe. Specifics aside, I say this no to name-drop or impress you but, rather, to impress upon you the fact that Squidoo is not one of those fly-by-night social media operations that we’re seeing so many of these days. Rest assured: Squidoo is here to stay, folks.
As I touched upon earlier, Squidoo is platform that combines content curation, publishing, and social networking components. In simple terms, it allows you to build several pages on-the-fly using customizable modules and syndicated content from RSS feeds, YouTube videos, Amazon listings, and more. By now, you may ask saying…
It sounds like Paper.li, HubPages, and a whole slew of other sites.. So why should I care?
Well, I came across Squidoo when I was reading one of Seth Godin’s books but, truth be told, I only really got curious when I saw more and more Squidoo pages appear in search results. As an Inbound Marketer that loves SEO and SEM, this was the compelling proof I needed to make the move. I proceeded to create an account and publish my first lens (that’s Squid talk for “web page”).
It may be worth noting that I’ve seen more Squidoo lenses come up in Google searches than I have Facebook pages so, if you’re looking to bring customers to you (that’s the essence of Inbound Marketing, is it not?), then Squidoo seems like something worth investing more time into. It’s FREE (no stringes attached) to sign up so all you have to give up is a little time and effort. Like anything else, you have to be persistent and consistent.
Plotting Your Map Before Going Full Sail
Creating lenses on Squidoo is easy so just go ahead and give it a whirl! Really, the hard part is maintaining them and being persistent in your efforts. I’m still a baby Squid so I only have a handful of lenses. I notice that the most successful Squids, the Giant Squids, are those with several lenses that are actively maintained. They’re also the ones that engage their audience. Pretty standard stuff for the social web, no?
Publishing fifty or more lenses seems like a lot when all you have is four or five of them; thus, to make the process less intimidating, your first step is outlining the subject matter you wish to share. Take that list and break it down into more granular (or niche, if you prefer) topics. This is a great opportunity to repurpose existing content from your podcasts, blog(s), web sites, videos, books, or whatever other geeky stuff you may have.
Once you have that list, you should have a good idea of what lenses to roll with to start. Checking out other Squidoo lenses will help you get an idea of how unique and competitive your content will be. If you have already done keyword analysis, you’ll be ahead of the game when setting up tags, titles, related links, and all that good stuff.
Last but not least, be honest with yourself. What do you want from Squidoo?
- I want more referral traffic.
- I want to monetize my content further.
- I want to network with interesting (and interested) people.
- I want it all!
All these considerations together give you a road map for your Squidoo experience. Let’s proceed…
Realistic Results And Expectations On Squidoo
Before we even get into how you really get started, you need to know that this will not be an overnight thing. Squidoo takes a lot of work yet it is easy to do once you get into a rhythm, even if you’re not a web designer or developer. Realistically, you can make some nice supplemental income and, if you really commit to it the income can replace other revenue streams.
Confession: I am not the best example of a HUGE success on Squidoo so, if that’s what you’re looking for, just look at the high-level Squids (Level 100 and up) and what they’re doing to get the results.
Squidoo supports several social tools for promotional purposes, Facebook, Google +1, and Twitter inclusive. There are plenty of stats and social signals available to see just how well you and others are performing. There’s no faking it here. Personally, I’m looking to have somewhere between 40 to 50 high-quality lenses before the end of the year. From there, I will maintain my most popular ones, like my Unofficial Triberr Squidoo Lens.
At the very least, there will be some good traffic generated with this effort, as I have seen so far. The big publishers on Squidoo recommend the following if you’re looking to monetize:
- Create very focused, niche pages to have better results with your ad revenues (ads are enabled by default).
- Link to related lenses whether you own them or not to build more credibility.
- Participate on other lenses to build your following.
- Link to landing pages to convert and upsell your audience, as appropriate.
- Use in-line affiliate links to generate commissions.
- Provide free information products that can lead to additional upsell opportunities.
There are many other ways to make it big as a Squid. I recommend checking out the Lensmaster Spotlight on SquidooHQ to learn from folks that are much better at this than I am (for now – MUHAHA). In many ways, Squidoo provides the benefits of a great blog article AND landing page/conversion form (action-driven, conversion-focused), with the flexibility to create a unique experience that caters to your needs and the needs of your target audience. It’s also tons of fun and did I mention it’s NOT “rocket surgery”?
Currently, my top “off-page” traffic sources are as follows (not counting organic, search engine hits):
I’d say that’s good reason to give Squidoo a shot, considering many consider StumbleUpon and Facebook to be the biggest social media sites out there. Squidoo is not mentioned due to the size of the community but it’s worth noting that means there’s less competition and noise to contend with. You also have a better chance of engaging people, building relationships instead of mass marketing. To be fair, social platforms are what you make of them but, for me, Facebook is a lot more work than it’s worth. My choice is still Squidoo.. Though I may break down and create some fan pages on Facebook, mainly because Squidoo supports them… *wink*
To sum it all up, here’s what the official teaser copy for Squidoo says:
You’re here. We love that. Welcome to Squidoo. What’s Squidoo? Other than a magical undersea animal with wings (not really) it’s also a tool + community for building supercool pages about the topics you know and love. The better your pages do, the more money you earn from them.
Yup. That’s pretty much it. Create content about stuff you know lots about, meet cool people, and the money will eventually follow!
Get Started On Squidoo TODAY!
I’ve tried other comparable platforms and heard of alternative solutions. If you are already set with what you’re using, stick with it, but don’t count Squidoo out. I can’t reiterate just how much the search engines seem to love Squidoo and, if you cross-promote properly, you’ll get much more exposure. Look at Squidoo as a gateway to all your favorite content – it is truly AMAZING!
To recap, here are some benefits to joining Squidoo:
- Link to Google Analytics so you can learn more about your audience and their online habits.
- Invite via the social platforms you’re already on and earn referral bonuses – extra cash money!
- Earn residual income from contextual ads.
- Build quality, natural backlinks to your other content.
- Meet new, exciting people – YAY for social networking!
- Promote your work, intellectual property, and key content.
- Learn more about popular web trends and online habits.
- Increase your opt-in rates – get permission to share more content and convert your audience!
- Integrate other social content from Facebook, Twitter, RSS, YouTube, and other sources.
Of course, you won’t know until you give it a try. This is a great place to really start your Content Marketing and cross-promote what you’re already doing or have done!
Now for some Squidoo quick start tips…
- Sign up for Squidoo! (affiliate link)
- Send me a message so I can help you get situated.
- Visit SquidooHQ to help get your game face on.
- Draw up your Squidoo road map (see above).
- Create your first lens.
- Send me a message about your first lens and I’ll share, like, lensroll it, etc.
- See what other Squids are up to and promote your work.
- Rinse and repeat.
I’m excited about having you all join me on Squidoo. It’s still a bit of an underground community and I’m fine with that – we have our very own exclusive club! Squidoo requires you to level up to unlock more features and one of the best ways to do that is supporting other Squids. Again, this makes the community more engaging than most.
My hope is that, in a few months, we can share with our audience how we made some nice money and generated leads via Squidoo. Again, I still have much to do on Squidoo but I am loving what I have experience so far.
Do you have any questions about Squidoo? Ask away in the comment area.