How To Get Traffic To My Squidoo Lens

To ultimately be successful with Squidoo or any website you need to have a fair number of visitors, but how do you get that online traffic in the first place? Well, first you have to provide them with a reason for coming to your lens in the first place. You can have either one of two choices: an empty lens or one brimming with content. If you take the first option, you will fail. I've seen empty lenses and once you've seen one, there's not much to hold your attention. Any good website or Squidoo lens needs to hold your visitor's attention and spark their curiousity to explore more of your content.

Do You Want Some Examples Of Great Content?

You will hear about what great content means here at Squidoo Land or from anyone advising what makes a great lens. An empty lens is not great. It has great potential, but unused potential equals failure in my books. No one can create a truly fantastic and unique Squidoo lens (actually some can!) off the top of their heads. You need to plan out what you want to accomplish with this lens. You can make a lens about your pet dog with no real rhyme or reason. It may end up as a jumbled mess or a truly inspired portrait of Fido that anyone will enjoy. I've seen both types. Then there are those lenses that zero in on a moment in history and explain in a beautiful painstakingly detailed manner what happened. I want to point out a couple of examples I've found at Squidoo:

RMS Titanic, Ship of Dreams

Thirteen Days in October: The Cuban Missile Crisis

The one about the sinking of the Titannic is beautiful in design and contains an incredible amount of detail about the ship from it's beginning and construction to that fateful night in the Atlantic Ocean. The second lens concerns itself with an era that the majority of people may have heard of, but are not familiar with. A point in history where the world came so close to nuculear annihilation. The pictures help tell the story of confrontation, moment by moment, to it's conclusion.
Unfortunately neither one of these lenses are mine. They do certainly provide me with a ton of motivation to create lenses of a similar standard. I don't know if I have the ability to make such stunning lenses, but after looking at what these two different lensmasters have accomplished, I am chomping at the bit to try.

Great Content Alone Isn't The Success I'm Looking For

Don't get me wrong. I really like the two examples shown above. I would probably dislocate something trying to pat myself on the back if my work at Squidoo approached those two gems of lensmaking. What you want to do is create a lens that stops visitors in their collective tracks, but first, how do you get those visitors to your lens in the first place?

Ah, there's the rub. You can write and gather the most spellbinding content, laid out in intriguing fashion, but how do you get eyeballs on your work? Well, you can hope some shlep at Squidoo Land gives you a link, like I did above. What you need are links to your work. Links, links and then some more links. Otherwise you are just throwing a great party and forgetting to send out the invitations! People will find great websites and great lenses, but what you need to do is invite them to see what you've created.

Approach Lensmaking As A 2-Step Process

What you need to do is make that great lens. Update it from time to time. Tweak it, add to it or delete portions that don't add to it's overall appeal. That's all part of step one. Step Two? If you want longterm, continuous visitors to see your work of art, you need to let the other shoe drop. Market the heck out of it! Sure, you can expect visitors on Squidoo to find your lens, but what you want is hundreds beating a path to your lens or website. You can hope the the mighty Google will sniff out your content and reward you with such kudos as a page one rank. Rankings on Google have a tendency to fluctuate to an exasperating degree. I've seen some of my own feeble lensmaking efforts debut on the first page of Google, then sink away to page 10-20 or completely disappear altogether! Drat and double-drat!!

What you need to do is make sure that someone looking for the topic of your lens can find a link to you everywhere. Think of it like seeing a poster pasted on the wall. And under your windshield. And in your mail. And on the TV. You get the idea.

Basically you need to get the word out to everyone who is remotely interested in your terrific lens. Drive online looky-loos to look at what you have to offer. Some will take a quick look, but others will have the reaction you want: jaw-dropping appreciation. There is nothing you can say that takes the place of an enthusiastic response to what you've created. You want bloggers like Squidoo Land, websites, general online surfers, everyone to stop by and say hello. People will start to save it to their favorites lists, other Squidoo lensmasters will save your work to disect your lens because of the way you've formatted parts of it and they want to do something similar. You'll get links from bloggers who want to showcase what can be accomplished with Squidoo and use your lens to show how to get online traffic to visit your Squidoo lens.

A Followup Regarding RSS Feeds And Squidoo Lenses

I erred in my earlier post on Squidoo Land called Are You A Blogger? RSS Your Blog Onto Squidoo. Luckily a couple of more experienced Lensmasters spotted my mistake and alerted me to what I did wrong (thanks for the heads up guys). In the post I raved about one of the modules available to Squidoo lensmasters that allows you to put headlines from your blog on your lens which will lead people stopping by your lens to your blog when they click on the headline. I implied that the RSS feed was actually a "backlink" which it isn't.

A legit backlink will get spotted by Google and the other search engines and you have a direct link to your blog. The RSS module uses Javascript and therefore doesn't produce an actual backlink. The search engine won't see your headline as an actual link to your blog like your human visitor will.

In the post, I showed how to set up the RSS module to bring visitors from your lens to your blog. If you want an actual backlink from your lens to your blog, what you need to do is set up a manual link to your blog (either in the text portion of the module or elsewhere in your lens). Hope that clears it up!

My Latest Squidoo Creation: A List Of My Favorite Lenses

I've just published a nice lens about all the different lenses that just jumped out at me during my travelling around Squidoo. It's called simply My Favorite Lenses. It's really just a short list of some of the wonderful lenses I've come across during my short time as a lensmaster. There's probably hundreds more that for one reason or another I just haven't found yet. But as I stumble around, I keep finding more and more that should be highlighted and with this lens I'm going to keep adding and adjusting it so that it is something I can be proud of. Hopefully you'll like it as much as I do.

How to Make Money

That is the question of the day. How to make money? I'm working like crazy trying to establish a presence online with my Squidoo lenses, blogs and other ventures just waiting for the money to start flowing in. So far it's been pretty much a trickle, but I'm seeing movement. Slight increases in visits and clickthroughs, a spike in traffic here, a dollar earned there. Nobody said it would be easy. Well, actually a lot of people said it was easy, especially if just "buy my (insert SEO or affiliate marketing) product for the low, low price of..."

Set Your Goals

How much money do I want to make? I like everyone else I have visions of piles of loot, big boats and scantily clad women celebrating all that is me. I know that's not about to happen any time soon, so what I would like is to make enough money online to wave goodbye to my day job and concentrate on becoming a one-man show. That means having enough money in the bank to tide me over if my online business crashes and burns. That means, enough to cover my mortgage payments, loans, food, everything. Right now my online businesses don't do that. So I am required to hang on tightly to my current employment. For now.

One of my goals is to shake hands with the boss slap her on the back and thank her for keeping me on as long as she did. Don't burn bridges if you leave your job. Even if you hate it, don't turn over your desk and storm out, flipping off everyone on the way. One guy I worked with did that and the new job he thought he was going to didn't pan out. Needless to say, he's not welcome so much as a toe in the lobby. Your former boss may turn out to be your biggest customer. You just never know.

Now, What About Goals

What I would like is for each of my Squidoo pages (I currently have over 120 and I'm making more daily) to earn me a dollar a day. Sound's easy, doesn't it? Well, it's not. A dollar a day from one site, so just make a hundred similar sites and you'll be making $100 a day. That's $36,500 a year. Simple. Now here's my ebook on how I did it for the low, low price... I'm kidding. I don't have my book started yet. That's because this 100 site nonsense is just that, nonsense. Yes you can make a living off of the internet, but it is not like turning on a faucet. I'm still searching for that elusive plumbing outlet. Right now, I'm hauling my water in small jugs. Hopefully I can get a pipe connected this faucet soon, but in the meantime, I'll be doing a lot of hard work.

My goals are to make $5,000 a month total from online income a month within 2 years. Simple and (more importantly) achievable! It isn't happening right now and it won't happen next month, but in 2 years from today - I will be making that amount (maybe more) every month. Now, how do I do that? Ummm...

My Blueprint For Online Success

Okay, what are the steps I'm going to follow to make this goal happen? I don't expect this to happen overnight. It hasn't yet and it likely won't happen when I wake up tomorrow morning. The secret (well, it's no secret really) is expansion of my little network.

More blogs, more Squidoo lenses, maybe add a dash of hubpages, throw in some adsense, some social networking, maybe a swig from article marketing and an affiliate link here and there. So far, this has been an appetizer. I currently have some blogs (underperforming, but getting some traction), my Squidoo lenses, pretty much the same, but they are getting better all the time and are starting to throw off a small stream on money.

I haven't made my presence known on Hubpages yet, but as I've elbowed my way into Squidoo, I've picked up a few ideas. I expect I'll have about 500 lenses at Squidoo by this time next year the way I've been cranking them out. It's a lot of fun, hit and miss, but more opportunities avail themselves as Squidoo evolves. I'm currently putting together some Facebook groups that are starting to garner memberships. Those will expand and more are coming.

But others are already doing all this. What makes you think you can succeed? Well, they don't have my determination, skill, or patience. Like I said, I am going to succeed. I know it. If you don't believe me, fine. Come back later and check on my progress. In the meantime, I'll be writing, reading, testing, measuring, re-writing, reading some more, etc. If I'm not where I claimed I will be, call me on it. Call me a liar, a fraud. Whatever. November 2010. Mark it on your calendar. I know I will.

Cobie Smulders' Pregnancy News Draws Visitors To Squidoo

My lens about How I Met Your Mother's Cobie Smulders suddenly shot up in the rankings after I posted some information about the recent news that Cobie and her husband, Taran Killam are expecting a baby in the spring. First off, I'd like to offer my congratulations as this is the first child for the couple. I watch the show regularly (Cobie is hot, what can I say) and this on top of the news that fellow castmember Alyson Hannigan was pregnant is drawing some traffic to my lens.

I am usually on the lookout for bits of information that would fit into my lenses and although I expected a small bump, the traffic has been a record for this lens. I don't expect any longterm visitors, but it's nice to see my work getting put in front of eyeballs.

Are You A Blogger? RSS Your Blog Onto Squidoo

Are you a blogger? Do you want to find another way to get more eyeballs on your blog? One way is to have your blog show up on your lens at Squidoo. You actually don't have to even be a member of Squidoo to get a cool backlink to your blog! How do you do it? I'll show you...

First, what is Squidoo? It's a website where individuals can write about ANYTHING they want. I've got over 100 different pages, all about different subjects: people, places, what have you. You can write up one of these pages (we call them lenses, as in you focus one one basic topic and give that topic your own slant). But enough about what Squidoo is. You should visit and look around. Here's a link to one of my own lenses called Squidoo and Lens Making. there's about 750,000 different pages on Squidoo about just about every subject and thousands are added each day.

Okay, okay, tell me about the RSS Feed

Well you start by making a page of your own. There's a ton of easy to follow tutorials on Squidoo that lead you by the hand in how to make a lens. It's all free. No membership fees or hidden costs. Make a lens and at the top and bottom of the lens is a buttoin called "Add Modules." You click one and you are taken to a page where you have a choice of dozens of great modules you can add. Just look at the bottom of the current list the page opens with and it will say "RSS: Add Your Own Feed" with "Add" highlighted beside it. Click add. You'll be prompted to add another. No need to add more now (add some more later). On the right of the page you'll see 3 more button: "Preview Lens Layout", "Cancel" and "Save." Click Save. You will be taken back to your Work In Progress page.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and there's the RSS module, looking a little empty. Click "Edit" and it opens up. You'll want to change the title from the default to something little "Here's My Excellent Blog" or "Other Great Info About ..." In the box titled "What URL would you like to pull RSS from?" type in the URL for your blog. Include the FULL title, ie: or whatever your blog is listed as. Next put in how many headlines you want to feature: 1, 2, 3, 5, 50, well fifty might be a bit excessive. The "Would you like to include an excerpt from each link in the feed??" allows you to have a portion of your topic in each blog entry to show up. I usually choose "excerpt (100 characters) so visitors will get to see something that teases them into clicking the headline link.
Anyway, I then click save and presto! There it is!! You own backlink to your blog.

To see how it looks here's a link to one of my other lenses Squidoo Newbie Landing Page. Just click on one of the headlines if you want to come back to my blog, or take a look at my step by step method of building a lens at Squidoo.

Why Is My Halloween Lens My Best Ranked At Squidoo?

Okay. It's late November. Time to put away the Halloween stuff and start concentrating on Christmas and the holidays that follow. So How come my Halloween lenses is continuing to bubble up to the top of the rankings at Squidoo? I created the lens called Ghost Pictures the week before Halloween, regrettably late to get the full force of the spooky holiday traffic, but it continues to get traffic and lately became my number one ranked lens.

It's a pretty simple set up - a bunch of odd photos I've collected that show pictures of ghosts lurking in the background as pictures are taken of various groups, a vacant house or two with a eerie face peering out of a window. Some video showing "something" running through a frame (I have to admit that one's good). The best is the rocking chair. Watch it closely as it moves slowly.

All in all, it was fun to make and it's fun to look at and it's somewhat unique. It can be stumbled on at just about any time of year and visitors will likely be pleased. The lens is about to enter the top tier at Squidoo (only my second to have made it to that lofty rank) and I think that's great. It just goes to show that something you think is a one-off quick little lens can find it's feet (tentacles at Squidoo?) I don't know if it will continue getting traffic, but it's fun to watch it get visitors. Maybe by next Halloween I'll have some more Halloween lenses zipping up the ranks. I know now that I'll be making some. They're fun to make and can make you a little bit of money too.

My Squidoo Group Just Got An Award For Excellence!

Isn't that cool? I've been working on my group called the Hockey World Headquarters for a while now and I just got the nod for my efforts. I get to display the badge you see on my group for all to see. This is the second award I've been given for the work I have done (and continue doing) on Squidoo. I was previously named Lensmaster of the Day and blogged about it here. Now I want to make even more groups and of course, expand my hockey group. One of the benefits of always working to improve the quality of your lenses on a continuous basis is that eventually you are rewarded. Accolades first, followed by increased traffic, higher lensrank, more traffic, some sales, and increased motivation to succeed. Keep at this online marketing business and you will get better at it. Success breeds success.

Christmas Coming Early For Squidoo

Do you have your Christmas lenses up and running yet? It's not too late to get some great lenses made. There's a ga-zillion holiday-related lenses (and other websites) decked out in Christmas cheer and there's a good reason for this. The shoppers are coming! I have some lenses with a little bit of Christmas added in and they are starting to pick up traffic as we near ever closer to the big day in December. I knew that Christmas is the busy time of the year for retailers, but I've let sufficient time slip by that I could have used a little more productively.
A large proportion of companies make their year based on the Christmas season and then coast for the remainder of the year, waiting for next year.

If you check the Google stats for various keywords, since the beginning of October people are looking for that great gift, decorating idea, holiday songs and movies and everything Santa Claus themed you can think of. There are spikes for keywords you should be using. You'll have to find them yourself, because I'm not going to tell you all my secrets. By the end of January the madness will subside for yet another year as the crowds move on to Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and other stuff. Unfortunately I started at Squidoo in August and didn't plan ahead to take advantage of this increase in traffic that other lensmasters currently enjoy with their well established Christmas lenses, but I'll be ready for next year. I was concentrating on making lenses about topics non-holiday related, and just stumbling around Squidoo making a nuisance of myself with my questions.

I'll still be pestering others for answers, but I will be preparing for Christmas 2009. There are numerous topics that are not covered or that need my own slant. Plus there's the summer months which offer so much potential for great topics (and maybe a little coinage). But the months leading up to Christmas Day, as the crowds start getting larger, the chance to make sales dramatically increases. This coming year I'll be a little wiser, a little more prepared. Pretty much better able to tackle the opportunities as they present themselves. Sounds like I'm getting started a little early on my New Year's Resolutions doesn't it? Well, a little bit of preparation goes so much further than trying to patch up errors made earlier. Speaking of resolutions, I checked and there's lots of lenses regarding New Year's Resolutions (even some groups!). I guess the run up to Christmas has taught me to look beyond my immediate status on Squidoo to what I want to accomplish and where I want to be. (Cue the uplifting music...)

Wow! The Race For Giant Squid Status In On!

I was just at the forum over at Squidoo and there's a hot topic being discussed right now. It concerns the upcoming deadline for attaining Giant Squid status and the thread is already on it's 10th page! The discussion is called Potential Giant Challenge December 31 Deadline but remember, you have to log in as a Squidoo member to leave a post.

All the Squidoo lensmasters are trying to get 50 lenses created before the deadline so they can have the "Giant Squid" badge on each of their lenses. Just to let you know, I've also thrown my hat into the ring because I want to have the privileges (and bragging rights too) that come with this enhanced status. What special rights and powers come with this honor?

What Happens When I Become A Giant Squid?

Well, besides having 50 great lenses, you get access to the Giant Squid Blog (it's all hush, hush - trading squid recipes etc., teaching the secret Squidoo handshake), but really, they post really interesting articles that help them make better lenses, SEO, that kinda stuff (or so I'm told, but I still think they trade recipes).

They get access to Megan Casey through email. She's a Squidoo bigwig (no she doesn't wear a wig).

The Badge.

A Gold Star on all your published lenses. (Here's a secret: the gold star gives a little nudge in the lens rankings dept.)

You get a special template for making "custom lenses." It helps big time in creating lenses. I WANT THIS ONE!

You get the lowdown about new modules, lens features and stuff before the rest of us do.

And a special dashboard.

What does it take to get Giant Squid Status? Besides hard work?

50 really good lenses. Not just 50 lenses. 50 lenses that stand out. They are above the norm. Each one should be about something interesting and somewhat unique. If you have 1,000 okay lenses or 5-6 absolute masterpieces, but the rest are only so-so, you won't make it.

You can sell stuff on your lenses, but a lens chock full of ebay and Amazon modules makes your lens look a little spammy. Get some good content about the products you are selling. Put a little you into it. Jazz it up with some photos, maybe a little color. Don't go overboard with a zillion weird fonts. That will just drive people away. Try to use different squidoo modules. There are plenty available. Don't stick with the same ones on all your lenses. Avoid the cookie-cutter approach.

And make sure you change the defaults on the module headings. I hate seeing a lens with "New Amazon Plexo" or "New eBay" that just won't make the cut.

Even straight A students don't get into Princeton

Take a look at one of the better lenses about getting there called THE GIANT SQUIDS (and how you can become one) by MeganCasey (one of the head honchos at Squidoo). Lots of info you will need to know if you want to get into the club. She uses that great line I used in the title to this section "Even straight A students don't get into Princeton." There's a LOT of people working towards becoming a Giant Squid (more and more each time) so the competition is getting tougher and the standards higher. Remember, if you don't make it this time, you can try again in 3 months. Not everyone makes it their first time out of the shoot.

When The Next Deadline? How Do I Sign Up?

The current deadline is December 31st, and the next one ends March 31st. Obviously it runs every 90 days. How do you sign up? There's an email link on your dashboard down in the lower lefthand side.

Better get cracking! There's a whole school of Squids already working like crazy for this honor. Will you be one of the few who make it this time? I wish you luck. Now stop reading my blog for heaven's sake! You've got lenses to make! Well maybe save it as a favorite first so you can read more of my brilliant ramblings later.

Okay, now GO!

Oddly I'm Seeing A General Decline In My Overall Lensrank

Squidoo is a fun hobby, but it can be infuriating at times. I have so many lenses now, covering a wide variety of topics that it really keeps me hopping. One of my favorite lenses is the one I did on NHL Star Sidney Crosby that has consistently received some traffic and that I've updated almost daily. For some reason only one person has ever rated it (5/5 - thanks!) and it recently had a couple of days with 30-40 visitors which is great. Now all of a sudden, after being ranked in the top 10,000 for a month it dropped to about 25,000, then 47,000. Weird.

The same for my lens on AnnaLynne McCord. Oddly no one has bothered to rate it and it is loaded with video, pictures and articles of the lovely 90210 star. It too has dropped from the top 10,000 and continues to fall even with consistent traffic. It was on the 2nd or 3rd page of Google for some time and now it is in a freefall.

Neither of these two lenses have been flagged by Squidoo for any infraction, but no matter what I seem to do, they tumble. One thing to be happy about is that the lens I made for Halloween continues to rise in the lens ranks. It's called Ghost Pictures, and for some reason it is getting about 60 hits a day. I've checked to see where they are coming from and the lens was mentioned (and linked) from a couple of forums. Thanks to whomever did that!

All in all, I'm happy with my results with Squidoo so far and I feel I've barely scratched the surface of what I can accomplish with it. I'm going to continue working on refining my lenses and creating more. My traffic continues to increase and my clickthroughs are starting to happen. I'm only halfway through my 3rd full month with Squidoo and everyone says immediate success is not easy with Squidoo. You need to wait 6 months before you start to see much happening. Unfortunately, I don't have enough Christmas lenses up and running and it is only about a month away. Well, I guess I'll have to put together a dozen or so for NEXT christmas!

Some New Lenses I've Put Together

I've been busy doing other things, but I have found the time to put together a couple of new lenses.

One is for the Pittsburgh Penguins' star Evgeni Malkin. Malkin is having a great season and currently leads the NHL in the points scoring race.

Another lens I've done is for the city of Brantford Ontario. It still needs a LOT of work before I get it to where I want it, but I like it and plan on doing some more about other Canadian cities. I'd like to include much more info about Brantford, including real estate opportunities, sports in Brantford, etc. I think this will generate a fair bit of traffic.

Also, I created a lens about actress Jessica Alba, just for fun. She's just gorgeous and I want to increase the number of lenses I have about various movie and television stars. Eventually, I will likely create a group to hold them all.

My First Group At Squidoo Is Gaining Some Traction

I have been making lenses like crazy for the 2 and a half months I've been at Squidoo and I've finally started a group called Hockey World. It's mostly for my hockey lenses, but I'm also making sure to feature ALL hockey lenses that join the group. All together, the group has 47 lenses and several new members. If you have a lens with anything to do with hockey, hockey players, or sports cards, or anything hockey-related, join up. Even if you don't have any hockey lenses, take a look at the group and let me know what can be improved or added. I'll get right on it.

I've been joining several groups with my lenses and decided I'd set one up myself - it's easy! If you have any lenses over at Squidoo, you might want to try it yourself. It's yet another facet of the Squidoo experience. I'm considering doing up a couple more groups.

Payday At Squidoo: How Did You Do?

Well, the Big Blue Box appeared on my Squidoo dashboard heralding the latest payout from Squidoo. I didn't get what I thought I might, but I'm not really disappointed. If you are trying to get rich on Squidoo, you are going to have to do something besides relying on the monthly payout for your Squidoo rankings. A lot of the higher ranking lenses get support from Squid Angels (which helps prop them up) along with a lot more traffic than lower ranked lenses. Also, if you go to the Squidoo Top 100 List, alot of them ARE really well done lenses. There are a number of seasonal lenses, Halloween now being over, all the costume lenses will start sliding down the ranks (until next year), and be replaced by those with Thanksgiving themes and then the Christmas ones with elbow their way into the top ranks. Several are already there.

I was re-reading what I had written in the last paragraph and I was thinking some may think I had given the Squid Angels a bit of a rap, but definitely not intended. They "bless" lenses which gives them a boost and most of the top lenses definitely deserve their consideration because there are a LOT of really great lenses. I can't tell if I've had much Angel love because you don't know if they've visited your lens unless they leave a comment. I've had only 2 such comments on all my lenses (my first lens shortly after I started with Squidoo) and I'm greatful for their imput. Since then, I've had to work on better content etc to get further up the rankings, which is how it should be. Still I'd like to see some confirmation that I'm doing well.

As far as earnings from Squidoo, I had $3.32 for all of September, which was my first full month. A little disappointing, but I'm not doing this just for money. If you want to become a millionaire from your Squidoo earnings, you will need a TON of sales. There's a cap on what lensrank earnings will get you. The payout is based on your lens' average rank for the month and it's based on what "tier" your lens was in. There are 3 tiers with varying amounts each lens can earn. The 1st tier is the one you want to be in as you make the most by being in it. the 2nd and 3rd tiers earn you significantly less. Here's a breakdown of each tier:

The first rank is those lenses with an average monthly rank of between 1-2000. The second is from 2001 to approximately 8000. The third and final tier covers those lenses with a ranking of about 8001 to around 60000. The table below shows what each tier paid for each lens you had in it.


Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3













If you have one lens in the top tier for September, you would have made $11.75 (100 would be $1175.00, you get the idea). One in the 2nd tier, $1.96 (if you had 100 in this tier $196.00) and the 3rd tier, one lens would have given you $0.08 (100 lenses in the top 60,000 would have generated $8.00).

I'm working on getting as many of my lenses as possible in the top 100,000 (currently I have 38 in that range) and I am going to get them into the 3rd tier. Basically, I'll get maybe $8.00 a month for my efforts at lensranking, so I'm going to concentrate more on generating sales and let the lenses rise and fall as they may. Of course, I'll be updating them all and pinging them to the search engines etc. Each month has seen an increase in my earnings from Squidoo and I think they will eventually provide some fundage. But in the meantime, I'll continue writing what I like and continue trying to get more visitors.

President Barack Obama on Facebook & Squidoo

I've created a Facebook group (currently a group of one - yours truly) for all fans of Barack Obama. If you're on Facebook, join up and post an opinion about Obama's big win. He's still going to have to wait about 2 months before Dubya gives up the White House (Jan. 20), but he seems to have hit the ground running, which is what he promised to do during the run up to the election November 4th.

And I've also whipped up a lens for Obama called President Obama and I'll be adding to this lens as I go along and Obama takes over as president.

What About Amazon? How Do You Make It Work On Squidoo?

One of the reasons most people join Squidoo is that it can be a money-making opportunity. If you start experimenting with Amazon, you can open up an almost limitless area for generating your earnings from Squidoo. Or, you can rely on trying to keep all your lenses in the top tier (that would mean having a lensranking of over 2,000), but even if you write the most compelling content that keeps visitors coming back for more, you will find you have to keep updating your lenses all the time just to keep your top spot. Squidoo is growing at an exponential rate and with more great lensmasters joining up and each creating more and more compelling lenses, your work could start slipping down the lens ranks, meaning less earnings.

Use Amazon (and other methods) to increase what you can earn from your lenses. You can use Squidoo's Amazon module and you can also join's affiliate network and make even more. Just remember that just because you've plugged in Amazon products, you probably won't generate any sales. You need to work at it, cultivate it, and find what works for you and your visitors.

Here are some good tips on increasing what you can earn from Amazon:

1. Make lenses that will attract people in "buy-mode"

If you create a lens, try to think about how a visitor will react to it. If your lens was made so that you can point out something the visitor wants, show them the product they want. As an example, if you do a lens about "What Is Foot Fungus?" you should include products like foot powders, remedies and the like that are available from Amazon. You could review products that people need to cure foot fungus. People checking out a lens about a targeted topic like fungus are there for a reason: they want to know how to fix their problem. Provide an answer, and make a sale at the same time.

2. Link to products that are related to your topic

Just about the same as above, but what I mean here is that you would want to include other products that relate to your main topic. Using the same example above about foot fungus, you might have a link to specialized socks that alleviate their problems. You could use that to guide some of your traffic to your other lens about funky socks, which could lead to slippers, shoes, dresses, and just about anything else! Obviously not all of the traffic looking for foot fungus cures will go to your lens about socks, but some might - and a link from your socks lens might draw more traffic to your lens about foot fungus.

3. Sell more than just books

Amazon is a bookstore first and foremost. They are where people go when they are looking for great books. BUT. They also sell a multitude of other products! Avoid being too myopic and avoid just trying to sell books. Amazon is where people go first for books and you will hamstring yourself if you try to sell just books. There are millions of sites selling books on the Internet and you will be lost in the shuffle. Try selling some of the countless other products Amazon offers. Combine some sales modules with your great content and you will find yourself beginning to see more sales.

4. Link to products other customers like

Don't try to sell stuff that people don't want. Your visitors won't want to buy your Family Guy DVDs if they're looking for the latest New York Times bestseller (unless maybe there's a biography about Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane on the list). If you do sell books, try to link to Amazon's best rated products that relate to your topic. If your lens is about the latest best-selling detective novels, then sell them! Look for the ones that readers have judged as the best of the best and include your own reviews and offer your visitor a way to buy it now from Amazon.

5. Build more content!

Finally, BUILD MORE CONTENT! If you want to have just one or two lenses where you sell a few items, great. If you want to have money rolling in so you can retire, good luck, but you will need a lot more lenses on a variety of topics. You will need to make a sale her and a sale there on each lens. If you can generate $1 from one hundred sites each day, that's $100 a day or $36,500 a year. To do that is really hard and time consuming, but if you can do even a fraction of that (let's say 10 cents a day) you will be much better off today than you were yesterday.

Payday at Squidoo Tomorrow?

I think we might be getting the latest news about how much money we will be getting tomorrow from Squidoo. This would be based on the September rankings for our lenses and most think their will be less in the pay envelope because the August payment had that extra funds do to Squidoo giving more to make up for a miscalculation that the good folks at Squidoo made over the previous year. I wasn't a member of Squidoo at that time so I got paid for my 2 weeks with only 1-2 lenses low ranking I had at that time. All I got was $0.08, but I was still happy because I didn't think I would get anything.

This payment will be for the month of September and I had one lens in the top 2000 for just about the entire month and several in the second tier. So I think I might have earned $10 which would be the threshhold for actual payment into my bank account. Although I am hoping for $10 or more, I really don't know what to expect. I think that my payment for October will probably be less because my top lens fell out of the top tier. That payment will be coming in about another month, likely the first week of December.

Squidoo and Lens Making

This is my lens where I outline my goals and results. I show what I'm doing to be successful at Squidoo and what I'm doing wrong. And I will be shouting from the rooftops when I get my next Squidoo paycheck (maybe tomorrow?). There are links to several of my other successful lenses that you can look at to see what I am doing to generate money, get better rankings, that kind of thing. The lens is actually nicely laid out (in my humble opinion) and I think it would be beneficial for new members of Squidoo to take a look at what another newbie is doing.

Take a look at this lens called Squidoo and Lens Making. This will be my journey from newbie to Giant Squid. I have been on Squidoo for only a short time now but I've been able to put together 117 lenses and this lens will show my progress up the ranks. Becoming a Giant Squid won't happen overnight and I...

Cool. I'm Finally Getting Some Al Franken Traffic

I did up an lens about Democratic candidate Al Franken a while back when he decided to make a run for the U.S. Senate and I've had a little bit of traffic. Seeing that the race was so close (Franken and the incumbent Norm Coleman) were tied at 42% of the popular vote when I went to bed last night, and I figured both would be still waiting for the final results by morning. Franken run was a highlight on the major news networks because it was so closely fought and has ended with Franken falling short by only 571 votes in his attempt to unseat Coleman, you can bet that there will be a re-count. I'd better get updating the lens! Here's a link to my Who is... Al Franken? lens if you want to take a look.

Lens Ranking - How To Work Your Way Upwards

One of the ways you can increase what you earn from Squidoo is by having your lenses at or near the top of the lensrank pile. Getting there is not easy and staying there is even harder. By doing these things individually, you won't stick with the fast-running pack of the top Squidoo lenses, but by combining these ideas, you can give your lenses a competitive edge.

Basically what you want to do is 4 main things:

1. Update your highest rated lenses daily

2. Get sales from your lenses

3. Get traffic to your lenses

4. Get your lenses rated by more members of Squidoo

5. Get some love from the Squid Angels!

First, you need to try to have the best, most unique content on your lens you can possibly write. Some lensmasters create their lens to the best of their ability and then publish it and then never adjust their content. I'm not the most brilliant writer and although I do have some lenses doing fairly well, I can usually improve on what I've previously written. I can usually spot the odd phrase or sentence that can be fixed or tweaked. If you have a number of modules, usually there's something that can be done to improve the lens even slightly. Maybe you can add a keyword or two here and there throughout your text, or add a new tag to help searchers find your jewel. By publishing regularly, you will get a small boost in the rankings.

Secondly, if it works on the lens, you might want to try adding a sales module. Try to work any sales mod so it of course fits seamlessly with your content and avoids making your lens appear too spammy. I was guilty of this when I started creating lenses and some of my lenses still seem a little to cluttered with eBay or Amazon pitches. Let's say you get a sale (way to go!). That will give you a short-term bump in your ranking. Some of the shopping lenses get regular sales and that helps maintain their lofty ranking (plus they has great content to boot). But there's nothing worse than a lens that tries to bring visitors to it with just a fancy, intriguing title and then is just a couple of eBay mods hawking goods totally unrelated to the so-called topic of the lens.

Thirdly, if you get traffic to your lens, the Squidoo gods smile on you. Nothing makes your lens drop faster than being neglected by the lensmaker and getting no traffic. Even having one or 2 unique visitors will give your most forlorn lens a small bump. There are lenses that get 200-300 visitors a day and they stay at the top of the rankings even if they don't get updated. Of course they do have great content which draws them to the lens (think unique, targeted content). People will come if you write interesting stuff.

Fourthly, by getting more 5-star ratings from your fellow members of Squidoo, you will get a boost. But do not plea for ratings. Do not join any group that offers "If you rate mine, I'll rate yours." Do not send emails to other Squidoo members begging for them to rate your lens. By all means, visit other lenses and if you like the content, give it the rating you think it deserves. Leave good comments if there is a Guestbook. Avoid spammy messages like "Great lens. Visit my site ..." leaving a link to a totally unrelated lens topic. Most lensmasters will either delete that message, or will set up the guestbook to remove the ability to leave links. A fair number of Squidoo people won't even use a guestbook because of this and because of negative comments. Can you blame them?

Finally, make your lens worthy of having one or more Squid Angels bless the lens. That can give your work of art a nice boost and it is positive seeing that what you've worked so hard to create is that to be worthy in the eyes of the hardworking people at Squidoo.

By combining all these tips, your beautiful lens will make it's way up the rankings and eventually be in the top tier of Squidoo lenses. Then you will get a taste of the bucks the top tier lenses get each and every payday.

Obama Wins! The View From Squidoo Land

Okay, it's done. Barack Obama has been declared the new President of the United States. My congratulations to Obama and his family on his taking the big prize. Months ago, I really thought Hillary Clinton was going to take the Democratic nomination early on and figured Obama as Vice-President. A dream ticket as far as I was concerned, but the Mr Obama proved to be a tougher campaigner than I had thought.

McCain didn't have a chance in my eyes, but he did get a bump from choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate (Palin in 2012?) but then the Obama-Biden ticket pulled ahead again and from what I can see, is about 7% ahead of the McCain-Palin combo.

There will be a lot of talk about Barack Obama being the "first african-american president" and a bunch of people will be overjoyed with that, but to me that is entirely irrelevent. I believe the best man won. Period. I know it is important to show people of color succeeding and in positions of power, but it is more important to see competence in leaders and we should not be dwelling on what shade of the spectrum they are.

I remember once watching the old TV show "Homicide: Life on the Street" and they had one scene with 4 actors a detective, a police lieutenant, the chief of police, and a city politician, all having a meeting. All happened to be black. I watched the show and didn't think "Wow, four black guys in positions of power!" I thought great scene and great writing. It wasn't until later when I read something about 4 black actors portraying people in positions of power and "Wasn't that great?" I thought that wasn't the point. What I saw was 4 great characters in a great scene on a great show.

But getting back to Obama.

I am pleased that this guy is going to be the new president and wish him much success. We need change at this time and he heralds a new era. Hopefully when the realities of political life rears it's ugly head, he will be up for the job. I think he will be.

I'm Loving The New Squidoo Widgets!

My friend Loyalis (aka Captain Squid) has produced a treasure trove of new Squidoo widgets that you can add to your lenses. The one I'm enamoured with is called the "Ebay Flash Search Widget."

Thirteen widgets! You can find them at the Captain's WidgetSquid website. There's some fun games for Halloween and Super Mario Bros Game Widget that is kinda fun. But the Ebay one is the one I've been playing with. I've already added it to some of my Squidoo lenses.

It's called the Ebay Flash Search Widget and you can set it up to feature ANYTHING ON EBAY! You set it up to show "costumes" if you have a Halloween costume site or (like I did) promote Jellycat stuffed toys, or whatever you want to feature so it ties in with your lens. The box shows 45! different eBay auctions and includes a search box, so if you don't see what you want, you can search for anything on eBay!
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