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Info Barrel Versus Squidoo

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 5 12

For a very long time, I was an absolute die-hard fan of a top article submission, revenue sharing, website platform entitled Squidoo. As one of the first websites to enter the revenue sharing scene, what Squidoo had offered was clearly innovative and unprecedented, and, as an avid writer, I was admittedly sucked in to it's platform. With a wealth of features, great search engine authority, and highly participative community that interacts quite well to this day, it was easy to see that Squidoo would eventually emerge as a top-ranked website in the world.

Unfortunately, for as much as I love Squidoo and greatly appreciate the marketing genius behind it's founder, Seth Godin, I truly believe that Info Barrel addresses many of their website platform's flaws and deficiencies in quite an awesome, innovative, way. Rather than come off as simply a disgruntled Squidoo user (I'm not), as I have done with many other website platforms, I have really tried to analyze and scrutinize everything from their respective Terms of Service (TOS), Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), to their general platform functionality, management, and offerings.

I generally have a very upbeat outlook on life, but, while much of what I researched is fact, other things are purely subjective, based upon feedback and concerns I have seen vocalized by Squidoo users. Whether you are a die-hard fan of the Squidoo website platform, or are completely unfamiliar with it, I do ask that you approach this article with an open mind.

The results of some things I found were very staggering.

1) Revenue Share Arrangement and Payment Scheme. Both Info Barrel and Squidoo have different revenue share arrangements that I will mention first because, clearly, this is the topic I believe most, who are attempting to earn online from one of these websites, will be most interested in. Unfortunately, I have found that many individuals who join websites, like Info Barrel or Squidoo (or others), do so with very little consideration or understanding how revenue share is distributed to writers.

No matter which way you cut it, Info Barrel's revenue share arrangement is just simply better, and more generous than Squidoos. Bear in mind, I AM sensitive to the fact that these websites are businesses, in themselves, and, thus, have a vested interest in maximizing profits. With emerging competition that simply offers more, I do predict that Squidoo will be forced to innovate, and offer writers even more, if they are to expect to remain competitive in the revenue sharing industry.
  • Squidoo -- Squidoo's revenue share and payment distribution scheme can really become rather complex for the new Squidoo user. Even though Squidoo management has gone to great lengths to explain this revenue share, it's complexity, I truly believe, is something that a large percentage of Squidoo users most likely don't even understand in it's entirety. Unlike some other websites, it is, at the very least, refreshing that Squidoo maintains a very transparent stance when it comes to how exactly their revenue is shared. On Squidoo, writer's earnings, from Squidoo's hosted advertisements (Adsense/affiliate modules/etc), are essentially pooled and distributed based on individual's performance on the site. This performance is directly measurable by an individual's 'lensrank'. Many factors determine whether or not a writer will have a higher lensrank for any particular one of their lenses.
    • On Squidoo, writers have many means of monetization, ranging from affiliations provided in Squidoo's own modules that writers can place in their own lenses, to the application of one's own affiliate links (some more advanced writers do this there). While emplacing your own affiliate links is allowed, there is great indication that purchases made through affiliations in Squidoo's own modules (Cafepress, Amazon, etc: that EARN them a commission, as well), actually have a direct impact on lensrank--which, ultimately, could affect your tiered payment.
    • With Squidoo, dependent on where each one of your lenses falls on an ever-fluctuating lensrank scale, that will determine how much you earn as an ever-fluctuating tiered payment. With many new members, and content, the tiered payment IS becoming increasingly higher for each tier, year after year, which is a very good thing, and it does show growth.
    • Unfortunately, maintaining a consistent lensrank can be very very difficult, on a platform with quite a bit of competition all vying for the narrow spread that would qualify a writer's lens for the top tiered payment. The theory behind this is that, the more writers contribute and update their lenses, with fresh content, the more of an incentive there is for them to stay and reamin in the top tier. Unfortunately, like I had said before, lensrank is notorious for fluctuating by thousands of places each day--which could inherently lend to motivational issues that keep writers from becoming entirely passionate, and create more content day-after-day. It can be VERY frustrating to work so hard, but only see your lensrank tank by 1,000+ places with each day that you don't update it
  • Info Barrel -- Compared to research that I did regarding up to 18 other current revenue sharing websites, Info Barrel's revenue share distribution framework, and payment scheme, were flat-out superior.
    • On Info Barrel, writers earn a flat 75% on all the advertisements (except Kontera), that Info Barrel hosts on all your articles. An element of "performance" is injected, similar to Squidoo, however, the 'performance' of a writer is directly related to earning an even greater advertisement revenue share (up to 90%), as opposed to maintaining an ever fluctuating lensrank that determines how much you actually make in a tiered payment distribution scheme.
    • On Info Barrel, you revenue share will go up to 90% dependent on how many 'points' you have, that are directly related to the length of your articles. You will earn 15% extra advertisement revenue share (taking your share up to 85%) based on strictly the points you receive, and you will receive an extra 1% revenue share for each article you write with a particular staff article suggestion theme (like an article about St. Patty's Day, or Christmas, around those particular holidays). Doing this would escalate your revenue share to 90%!
2) Complexity and Difficulty of Publishing Systems.
  • Squidoo -- After having used Squidoo's publishing system for a good 2+ years of my submitting fairly regular content to their platform, I do have to say that great strides were made in developing and making their publishing system alot more user friendly. Unfortunately, I have heard people consistently talk about how difficult it can be to understand and master. Personally, I do actually tend to like it, and can assemble a lens quite expeditiously, however, I'm not entirely sure that Squidoo has the most user-friendly publishing system. If my Grandmother had difficulty using it, I can't help but think that others may have difficulty using it.
  • Info Barrel -- Compared to many other websites, my personal opinion is that Info Barrel has a very straitforward and user-friendly publishing system interface. Users can select to publish their content in a variety of formatted templates which, essentially, only really requires one click to bring up. Whether you are interested in writing an article with a blank template (as I am doing now), or you would like to write a review or a how-to article, you can do those as well with ease.
3) Interactive and Engaging Communities. When it comes to the forum and interaction elements of both Squidoo and Info Barrel, I actually find them to be quite similar in nature.
  • Squidoo -- In this respect, I do believe that Squidoo's community is quite interesting with regards to how things are actually set up, and the freedom and control that they afford writers. It is quite revealing that they have really fostered a culture there that keeps people coming back, even in lieu of the deficiencies that I perceive in revenue share generosity and distribution.
  • Info Barrel -- Since Info Barrel is a fairly new revenue sharing site, and actually just released a user forum not to long ago (at the time of this writing), it is to be expected that, as they continually develop and nurture their community and culture, that they would have some flaws. Fortunately, it is refreshing that with Info Barrel, like Squidoo, that their management are so actively engaged in conversation and the want, needs, and desires of their community. When people make recommendations, or suggestions, I can tell that they are being taken seriously because of how the staff here respond. One thing I think may be a good idea here at Info Barrel, like Squidoo has, is to afford writers with the opportunity to post a 'signature' link under all their posts, as has become a commonplace allowance on most message board communities and forums.
What has YOUR experience been like with Info Barrel and/or Squidoo? What things do you like most about Info Barrel? How do Info Barrel and Squidoo compare, in your honest opinion? I'd LOVE to hear what you have to say in the comments section of this article!
Learn, based on what I reveal in my Info Barrel Experience (Squidoo Lens), why I love this website so much and strongly believe that it will be among one of the highest ranked websites in the world shortly.

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Comments

Jun 2, 2010 6:03pm
Carrie
Thanks for laying out these aspects of both sites. I've wondered about Squidoo.
Jun 2, 2010 7:36pm
mulberry
I've been on Squidoo for a few years and only just now joined InfoBarrel so I can't compare the two obviously. This was interesting and useful information though. So far I would agree that the format is quite user friendly.
Jun 2, 2010 11:01pm
godfather25
I thought about trying squidoo, just didn't seem to be my appeal. Although I've heard members are quite happy with their experience. I'm glad I've thrown my lot with IB. Great article Howie.
Jun 2, 2010 11:13pm
Glunn11
Excellent article Howie. Very interesting to see the differences between Squidoo and InfoBarrel. I've only been on here for 3 days, but it already seems like an excellent community.
Jun 4, 2010 8:31am
Lodewijk
Thanks Howie. This was very informative! Didn't know that the forum is a fairly recent addition to IB, but I feel it could use a little upgrading. It's a forum allright, but quite a minimalist one.
Jun 8, 2010 3:12am
askformore
Thank you Howie for a good article - I know you love InfoBarrel :) but even so, I find your article objective and unbiased.
Jul 15, 2010 10:53am
Sullysee
Very informative, I was curious...but not interested in Squidoo. IB has a nice community, The rev share info in your article is good. The $100 payout thresh-hold by check for google adsense is such a turn off to me and others I've heard from, but it's part of the deal here. I feel IB does listen and is progresssing. Areas like--categories for articles--is so embarrassingly lame, it would be so easy to upgrade it...just one of the annoyances here. I am happy to be a part of IB and the future possibilities.
Jul 21, 2010 11:09pm
Jaydoo
Excellent article. I have some lenses on Squidoo and have seen my ranking fluctuate as much as 5000 pts in a day. I do find it fun to put lenses together and adding to one is quite easy.
Nov 3, 2011 10:42am
oxfordian
I was so happy to find this article! I joined Squidoo and Inforbarrel at about the same time. I put about 10 to 12 articles on both. Squidoo is really fun to use because it has a lot of fun options, like inserting You Tube videos and pictures in a bunch of different ways. It's almost like playing a game (getting points and trophies and "leveling up" for doing certain things). I think that's what makes it so addicting. I didn't understand the revenue share when I first started. If I had, I probably wouldn't have joined. I've been there a month and I have 6 "lenses" that have made it to the bottom lens rank tier of up to 80,000 and 10 others that didn't make it to the bottom lens ranking. (and the earnings at this bottom lens rank tier that qualifies for reveune sharing is pitifully small -- just a few cents per article). The rest of my lenses that don't rank for revenue sharing (very discouraging) are getting clicks but the revenue they generate just goes into the big Squidoo pool that are divided between the top 3 tier lensmakers. If these lenses were on IB, I would be getting money for them. The tier system seems rather unfair to me in that lens ranking is not only based on traffic, but on things like your "level" (Giant Squid status, etc), how many "likes" you get from Giant Squids, or other "lensmasters" with some kind of status (like "Angel Squids") ----yadayadayada. You're right. It's complicated. So far, I've earned nothing from Squidoo (and even their forums suggest that no one should expect to earn anything for months) but I earned $16 from IB the first month. Not much, of course, but at least I get credit for the clicks I got. With Squidoo, the revenue for the clicks I get go into a giant pool and are divided up among the high-ranking lensmasters. This could be (and probably is) good for those who stick with it and do things to get points and trophies, but not so good for beginners. It's a little like a video game; you get to a certain level and they unlock some tool you get to use, or you get a (little) lens rank boost for one of your lenses; stuff like that. In 1 month, I reached level 42 (out of a possible 80) and have 16 trophies -- which seems pretty good to me, but, again, no revenue and, what is concerning me now, is that my top lens was rated around 36,000 last night and when I logged on today, it's at 56,000! Yikes! (Both figures, however, are in the bottom lens ranking revenue tier. The next level up isn't until 10,000). Revenue is based on AVERAGE lens ranking too, so, talk about complicated! It seems to me at this point, that Squidoo is something to do for fun, not income, or at least, not "professional" income. It's sort of a throw it out there and whatever comes back, great. It's really fun, but I think I'm going to concentrate on IB where I get to actually get the results of my work.
Nov 3, 2011 10:58am
Ddraig
I messed around on Squidoo when I first started messing around online in 2009. I would probably be embarrassed at the state of those articles now.
I prefer the fact that InfoBarrel is better structured in its revenue share.

I will start looking at Squidoo again, but probably only to get links for my Info Barrel or Hubpage articles.
Nov 3, 2011 6:09pm
oxfordian
Just so you know, it's not all that easy to link your other articles to Squidoo lenses. There isn't any nifty link button like on IB. Here is the code you can use :
www.yourdomain.com

You put the URL of your IB article between the quotes and the the phrase or word in your Squidoo article that you are linking between the > < marks where it says: www.yourdomain.com.

Good Luck.
Nov 3, 2011 6:12pm
oxfordian
Sorry. When I submitted my last comment, the code went away. If you want to know the code, do a search on the Squidoo Forum for my posts ("oxfordian") and I think the subject is on "backlinking."
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