Squidoo Is Actually User Friendly
Although Squidoo has been around for a number of years many marketers and authors may avoid it because at first glance it may all seem overwhelming. However with just a little knowledge you will see that it is actually a very user friendly program. My goal with this article is to demonstrate the few simple steps necessary to build your first Squidoo lens.
To get started sign up for a free account and log into the dashboard. You'll find an orange button in the right sidebar, Create a Lens.
Once that is clicked you will find a page with a box asking "My lens is about". What ever you put in here will be part of the Squidoo domain name so make this something containing a good high traffic keyword and also make it eye catching if possible. I suggest that you capitalize each word as this will show as the title of your lens once it is published. Feel free to use product names here also.
Choose A Topic To Began Your Lens
The next page will list your lens title and lens URL and ask you to choose a topic. After choosing a topic you will be asked to pick two sub topics from drop down menus. There is also a box to rate your lens as G for general or other choices if it is of an adult nature.
The next page will advise you whether your lens title has been approved or if it has already been taken. If it has already been taken you can back up and change the wording and try again.
Once your title has been approved you will find yourself at a page in the Dashboard with lots of serious looking stuff in the right sidebar. At first glance this looks like it could be trouble but actually this is very simple to navigate once you have done it the first time.
Lens are made up from individual modules. The default modules will include an Intro Module, New Text Module, New Amazon Module and a New Guestbook Comments Module.
You need to have at least 5 modules in your lens to keep the admin happy. To add more modules you will find a heading in the right sidebar, Add Modules (building blocks). There are three buttons under this heading. Click on Popular and you will find a list of all the available modules.
In front of each choice is a + and a - sign. To add more modules you simply click on the + sign. If you want to add two text modules for instance you would click the + sign twice and then click on the Add button.
Just below this section is the Sort Modules section. In this section you can drag your existing modules up or down to change their order in your lens. You can also remove any unwanted modules.
Once you have your chosen modules in the order you want them it is time to start adding content. As you began adding content to your modules it is a good idea to click the Save Draft button at the top of the Dashboard. In case you experience a computer crash or some other problem saving your work as you go along could keep you from losing all your hard work.
There is also a Publish button up above but you will not use this till your new born lens is ready to wow the public.
Now the fun begins. To build a simple lens you can start with an introduction and it should be about 200 words. Then add any other modules you would like and add content to them.
In the introduction module you can also add an image. As with articles, images can improve your lens a great deal. To add an image after you have clicked on the edit button for the introduction module, click on the Browse button under the Add An Image block. Browse your computer and find a suitable image. Highlight the image and click the upload photo button and you are finished.
You should see a notice just above this area that Squidoo prefers .jpgs for images and also square images of about 500 pixels work best. After you have added your image and thCredit: Squidooe introduction give your module a title and subtitle and click the save button.
A great benefit of using Squidoo is that you can earn income from Amazon and the eBay partner network even if you do not have accounts with these affiliate programs. Squidoo provides an Amazon and an eBay module which allows you to show products from these programs and share income with Squidoo. However if you are an affiliate of those programs you can simply add a text module and add your own affiliate links and keep the entire affiliate commissions.
You are allowed to add up to 9 outgoing links to any domain you wish within the modules. However you can actually add an unlimited amount of links to established sites such as Amazon. This allows a good potential for earning affiliate commissions.
If you choose to use the provided Amazon or eBay modules it is very easy to add products. Simply click on the Edit button for the module. Add a keyword and a category and the module will automatically add up to 5 products for you. You can add additional information in the way of text if you like.
There is also a video module which makes it a simple matter to add Youtube or other videos to your lens. Adding videos can really improve the looks and potential of your lens. With just an introduction module and 4 or 5 additional modules you can quickly build a Squidoo lens.
If you also build blogs or other sites you can use Squidoo to test a niche prior to purchasing a domain and going through all the effort of setting up a site before you know if it will be profitable. Set up a test lens and if it becomes popular than you know it would be worthwhile to buy a domain and build a site to promote those products.
Building Squidoo Lens May Be Too Much Fun
Building a Squidoo lens can be a simple or a complex task as a review of the existing sites will demonstrate. The best way to find out if this is a good venue for you to send traffic to your InfoBarrel articles or your own sites is to spend a few hours and build a lens. Be careful though because once you realize how simple it is it can become addictive.
Below is a video that demonstrates the techniques discussed in this article.
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