Squidoo Success in Ten Minutes a Day
When someone goes online and searches for something, we’d all say that they are looking for information. But internet marketing guru Seth Godin would say that they are looking for meaning and context. He also believes that people value more than just cold hard facts; they value interaction and information that is combined with experience and opinion. In other words, if you go online and search for “Chihuahuas”, you’re not actually looking for information on Chihuahuas, you’re looking for information combined with experience and opinions. What is it like to own a Chihuahua? How much do they eat? Are they kid-friendly? Can they be trained to do tricks? Do they have an annoying bark? Will they protect your home from thieves? Etc. You won’t necessarily find this information under the “Chihuahua” heading in the “C” volume of your Encyclopedia Britannica. But Seth Godin believes you will find the information on a site he created called “Squidoo”.
Squidoo is a site in which users generate content on their pages – called “lenses” – using customizable modules that can be engaging and interactive. They are not quite blogs, which are like constantly updated online journals, and they are not quite like websites which tend to be static. Instead, they are sort of a cross between the two: Good lenses are constantly updated but tend not to have a journalistic format. Squidoo is informative but fresh and gives information from a specific point of view.
Why am I telling you all of this? Lots of people haven’t heard of Squidoo or they chalk Squidoo up as being “just another site”. However, Squidoo has a PageRank of 7 out of 10 (that’s pretty good) and according to Alexa they are one of the 500 most-visited sites in the world (and they are one of the 300 of most visited sites in the US).
So, you might be thinking, “creating a lens means just one more thing to think about in my marketing”. In a way that’s true but this is a project that you can easily outsource or you can do it yourself in just 10 minutes a day.
The first ten minute Squidoo project: Take a look around
So, here’s the first thing you should do. Go to http://squidoo.com and visit some of the lenses. Some will be garbage (just like lots of blogs or websites out there) and some will be great (just like lots of blogs or websites out there). Click through a bunch, search for topics that interest you, and see what people are saying in your industry.
The second ten minute Squidoo project: Brainstorm the possibilities
Next, think about what you want to do on Squidoo. If you want to improve your website’s search engine optimization with great anchor texts pointing to your site from a high PageRank site, this might be one good use for a Squidoo lens (or ten Squidoo lenses). Think about how you can create high quality Squidoo lenses on various topics. Brainstorm all of the topics you can do:
- Create a lens about you
- Create a lens about your business
- Create a lens about each of your products or services
- Create a lens about your industry
- Create a lens about your target market
There you go! I’ve started you off by giving you five types of lenses that should help you create ten or more lenses.
The third ten minute Squidoo project: Think about modules
When I first got into Squidoo, I would go from the brainstorming stage (the previous step) right to the building stage (the next step) and didn’t end up with lenses that I really liked or that really generated a lot of traffic.
Since then, I’ve added another step in between and that has made a world of difference for me. In this step, you should decide what you want to accomplish with your lens:
- Do you want high ad revenue?
- Do you want lots of click-throughs to your website?
- Do you want people to pick up the phone and call you?
- Do you want people to email you?
Be specific and this will help you to create a lens that drives your audience to do what you want them to do.
Then, go check out the modules you can create in Squidoo (there are lots – some will be relevant to you and some won”t be relevant to you) and decide what you want to do with your lens. If you don’t have an account in Squidoo just yet, don’t worry; you can see a big selection of modules here: http://www.squidoo.com/module.
So, take a look at the modules and think about which ones will contribute to your lens goals. Maybe you want to start with some information about your products and finish with a description of your business and somewhere in the middle have a link to your portfolio. If that’s the case, you know that you need 3 text modules. But maybe as you think about it, you realize that you want to position yourself as an expert so you want to reference books from Amazon that you’ve read. So you need an Amazon module as well.
Continue with this process for as long as it takes, but expect to spend about 10 minutes per lens. If you want, write notes to yourself on sticky notes (such as “Text module: Info about business” and “Amazon module: Links to top books”) and rearrange them into a way that makes sense. Squidoo makes it easy to drag and drop them wherever you want on the page but doing it ahead of time on paper helps you to create better lenses faster. You may find that you just don”t have enough content to create a compelling lens so you can drop that one or set it aside for later.
The fourth ten minute Squidoo project: Create a lens
So here’s what to do: You can sign up really fast. Less than ten minutes. More like 30 seconds. During that time you can decide whether you want collect money from ads or donate the ad revenue proceeds to charity. (I have no idea how much people generally make from these as it is not my purpose for using Squidoo. I’ve heard claims that people make hundreds or thousands of dollars but I’m into Squidoo for the marketing benefit.)
Once you’ve signed up, now it’s time to build your lens. Build it the way you’ve designed it, using the really simple drag-and-drop function to move each module where you want it. Add your text, etc. Okay, so this might take longer than ten minutes if you went really crazy with the modules. If you’re pressed for time, break it up over a couple of days.
The fifth ten minute Squidoo project: Stay active
Squidoo lenses are good if the content is relevant and fresh. Spend ten minutes a day (or at the very least, ten minutes a week) tweaking your lens and keeping the content current. If you have lots of lenses, consider rotating the effort so you touch each one at least once a week. At first, it might take you ten minutes to work on one lens but over time you’ll find that the time you spend on each lens will diminish and you might work on a few lenses in just ten minutes.
There are lots of marketing opportunities out there and Squidoo offers another opportunity for businesses to promote themselves. Use this ten minute program to create compelling and action-oriented lenses to promote your business and generate an audience.
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