Have you ever looked at Squidoo and wondered what in the world is going on?  Have you ever wanted to write an article for the site but you thought that it was too confusing?  Have you ever wondered what is a lens or what is with those monsters?

Squidoo is an online publishing platform that offers online writers a way to earn money.  Like most online publishing platforms, they have their own culture, own lingo, and own pay structure.  Why should you consider joining Squidoo?  Because it is fun.  It really is.  I just published my first lens yesterday.

To be honest, the platform is a bit intimidating when you first join it.  It takes some time to understand what is going on.  If you learn some information before you go to the site it will be a lot easier.

Terminology

The terms are a bit odd.  Instead of saying that you are writing an article or a webpage they say you are writing a lens.

There is also this thing called leveling up.  Basically leveling up is getting to a new level or rank.  There are at least eighty levels and it gets harder to get to each level.  You level up based on points.

Culture

The culture  is much like the culture at other publishing platforms.  Basically you should research your questions before you ask others.  Overall, everyone has been pretty nice. 

If you have questions the best place to ask is the forum.  Make sure you read all of the guidelines before you post.  There are specific areas for each topic and you want to make sure that you post in the right area.

Things Particular to Squidoo

There are some things that are unique to this platform.  Before I signed up, I learned about the differences so that I could properly evaluate whether it was worth it to join.

Earning: A lot of people want to know how and when they will make money on a platform.  That is understandable.  Honestly, it took a little bit of hunting to figure out how payments are distributed. I hope this makes it easy to understand.  Here is how you get paid:

                By The Rank Of Your Lens: Each page (or lens) that you make is ranked against all of the other lenses.  Basically, if your lens is in the top 40,000 then you get paid a share of the ad revenue. Yes, it sounds like a popularity contest. BUT, it rewards those lenses that are the best.

                By A Percentage of a Few Programs: You can get a cut of the pool of money that is given by certain programs (like Ebay and Amazon).

                For Your Own Links: If you use your own links, you earn the commission that you would earn any other place.  This is even true if you have links to Amazon or Ebay.

Monsters: Monsters are just a way to help motivate you to be active.  They are like badges that you earn as a result of leveling up.

Special Clubs:  There are a ton of special clubs.  There are clubs that are for beginners.  There are clubs for those that have done exceptionally well.  There are even clubs for those that are selected to “bless” other people’s  lenses. 

A Plan For A Beginner

As a beginner it is easy to get overwhelmed.  One of the things that I decided to do was spend a lot of time getting familiar with Squidoo.  Before I tell you some of the things that I did, I just want to note that it is easy to get distracted.  Don’t do these activities to the exclusion of writing a lens.  I did them while writing and thinking about my lens.  The added bonus was that I was able to add some of these things to my first lens.

  • Go to Squidoo Headquarters and read what they are saying.  Of particular note is the Lens of the Day.  I studied the lens of the day to see why it was picked and the subject matter.
  • Do a search for setting up a lens.  I liked the ideas that were offered by other squids. 
  • Take polls and quizzes.  I spent a ton of time doing this mainly while I was brainstorming ideas or thinking about something that I wanted to add to my lens.  Needless to say I got a little carried away (I am currently a level 27 mainly from working on these things).
  • Like other lenses.  You really want to become familiar with successful lenses.  I spent a ton of time looking at other lenses.  While you are at it, you might as well like the ones that speak to you. 
  • Focus on your text.   On Squidoo you can get lost in all of the things that are available to make your lens better.  If you need to outline the different sections that you want to have in a lens.  I actually try to group my text into different sections and then make the lens.
  • Pick your theme.  Don’t stress over it.  Most of the themes are based on colors.  If you know that you like a color (and you have the ability to), you should pick the lens that matches the color that you like.  You can change this later so don’t stress over this.
  • Add pictures. In the text module this is pretty easy.  You just upload your picture in the box. If you want to add a picture where the quick option is not available, then you will have to learn some code.  Don’t worry there are plenty of people that have written things about codes that you can look into.
  • Add interactive pieces to your lens.  I added a few polls to my first lens and a guestbook (basically a comment section).  Your lens will do a lot better if people feel like they should comment or interact with your lens.  Of course, you don’t need to figure everything out at once, but try to add at least a few interactive things.