Squidoo.com is a site that was designed to provide a convenient platform for people to share information about their interests or expertise in a wide variety of topics. I often think of it as a free blogging platform, an information portal, and an article directory all rolled into a single domain. It is usually categorized as falling under the Web 2.0 umbrella of social media sites, and for this reason among others, Squidoo has many benefits and useful applications for the budding Internet marketer. Here are some of the reasons you might want to take advantage of Squidoo’s potential if you are not doing so already:
1. Backlinks for SEO: Because of Squidoo’s generally open content creation system, it has become a very useful tool for bum marketing enthusiasts because you can easily link your Squidoo pages (lenses) to a relevant page on your website. In effect, it’s a way of making your own backlinks for free. Better yet, because Squidoo is treated as an authority site by Google, links from its pages often carry significant weight and will provide a boost to your search engine rankings. Moreover, once you have published a lens with your link on it, you can also point external links at the lens page (for example, from blog commenting) to give the link to your site additional juice.
2. Referral traffic to your site: Since Squidoo has become popular and usually does well in the search engines, much of this traffic can be enticed to click through from your lens to a page on your main website. Of course, you can increase your chance of picking up significant search engine traffic by optimizing for the right keywords. You should also make sure that your lens is well written with quality information and provides the visitor with a compelling reason to continue reading through to your site.
3. Promote affiliate programs: Unlike some of the article directories, Squidoo allows you to link directly to the sales pages of your favorite products that are currently offering you generous affiliate commissions. For better conversions, the linked products should be relevant to the topic and help to solve a visitor’s problem whenever possible. One should also be careful not to overload a single page with too many affiliate links; otherwise, you may be seen as spammy by both the search engines and Squidoo’s spam filter.
4. Direct revenue: In addition to the SEO and traffic benefits, you can earn a residual income directly from advertising revenue generated by the Squidoo site itself. There are two main sources for this. The first is AdSense revenue, which is pooled with all other members and apportioned to each user who has at least one active lens. The second source is affiliate commissions from Amazon, Ebay, and CafePress products that are displayed in the various modules on your lens along with the content. Affiliate revenues are paid directly to your account; there is no pooling or apportionment system involved. You also have an element of control over which products display in your modules, so these can be tailored to match with your content and target audience.
5. List building: As with any web page that you have control over, if you have an autoresponder system set up you can always place an opt-in form on the page and collect subscribers to your mailing list. Those who are experienced in Internet marketing already know the lucrative potential of this strategy — once you have a sizable mailing list, you can continually sell relevant products to your subscribers and make money with relative ease.
6. Selling or flipping lenses: This is a technique that I discovered only recently but has good potential. Because Squidoo allows members to transfer any lens to another member’s account, it is possible for people to build lenses with good earning potential and then sell them others for some quick cash. Alternatively, if you have some PayPal funds, you can buy lenses from others, improve their value by tweaking keywords or adding content, and then “flip” them by selling them for a profit. There is actually a whole marketplace section on Squidoo’s forums dedicated to buying, selling, and trading lenses. I’m definitely going to look into this one because it also has the potential for building up passive income streams.
7. Increase authority and credibility: People who are trying to build up a good Internet reputation over the long term can benefit from publishing high quality Squidoo lenses because it’s another way to establish oneself as a credible source of information on any given topic. Over time, this can increase the likelihood of successful conversions, clicks, subscriptions, or other desirable actions that increase your overall income.
8. No cost to get started: Finally, we should not ignore the most obvious benefit for beginners, namely that creating web pages on Squidoo is free; in fact, the FAQ page of the site is very emphatic about this point in several places, stating that no one will ever have to pay to join Squidoo or make new lenses. This avoids even the relatively minimal costs of acquiring a domain and server space, thus providing an opportunity for a true “bum” to start with nothing and eventually build up a profitable network of website properties.
Overall, Squidoo.com is an excellent resource for Internet marketing enthusiasts who are interested in making money by promoting their products and services. The barriers to entry in terms of both cost and technical knowledge are quite low. For maximum effect, it is best to establish multiple lenses (most people recommend at least 25-50) and update them as needed. Meanwhile, for some insight into more comprehensive and sophisticated methods for extracting the maximum income potential out of Squidoo, you can look at some of the information contained in Karl Pemberton’s guide called Squidoo Affiliate Destruction.