Best Lenses for Newbie Lensmasters to Visit
Thanks for visiting my lens. Being something of a newbie myself, I thought it might be worthwhile to consolidate a lot of the info that new lensmasters typically have questions about: building lenses, levelling up, getting paid, etc.
Please bear in mind that this lens is a work-in-progress; I will continue adding to it as I come across notable lenses that can help newbies. Moreover, if you are aware of a worthwhile lens that I may have overlooked, please feel free to point it out to me - even if it's your own. (I have no issues with anyone's self-promotion of a great lens.) Hopefully you'll find the information here useful and informative.
Lens Ideas and Lensbuilding
One of the first stumbling blocks that newbies - and even wily veterans - often encounter is what to write about. From my observations, people generally fall into two camps on this issue: the "Money" camp and the "Have Fun" camp.
The Money camp says that you do keyword research, find a niche and write about something in that category. The focus here, of course, is on making money, and there's nothing wrong with that. That's why most of us are here (at least in part): to earn a little moolah. On the flip side, the Have Fun camp says to simply write about things you enjoy. In other words, write about the things you want to write about. You should want your writing efforts to be fun; otherwise, you may not stick with it.
As for me, I kind of straddle the line; I believe it's a balancing act. I think if it's all about the money - all work and no play - you won't enjoy it very much (unless you start making mucho dinero from Day 1, which isn't likely). However, if it's all fun and games, you may become disillusioned with Squidoo and think it isn't a very good revenue source. A good analogy is that of a guy who has always wanted to own a restaurant. So, when he buys a place, does he offer the kind of cuisine he always dreamed of - say, Italian - or does offer what the stats say will sell, like American? One is his dream and the other isn't, but he may have to find that sweet spot in between to two in order to survive and be happy.
That said, I think you should start off writing about whatever you want to write about - just have fun. Let's face it, you're going to have a steep learning curve, so if you're going to make mistakes let it be with respect to lenses that you wrote just for fun, not those you're counting on to be your bread-and-butter. And don't worry about trying to make the first lens - or any of them - perfect before publishing. Here are some lenses to help you get started:
Great Stuff on Amazon
Squidoo Payday and Tiers
Of course, the possibility of earning money is a big motivator for the creation of lenses. However, you need tohave an understanding of how the Squidoo system works. In essence, payouts are based on the tier your lens is in. Put another way, it depends on how well your lenses rank on Squidoo. Fortunately, some other lensmasters have already done a fine job of discussing tiers and payouts:
Squidoo Points, Levels and Levelling Up
Simply put, you get points for doing good things on the site: squidliking others' lenses, leaving comments, participating in polls and so on. As you accumulate points you will level up, unlocking various features along the way such as quests, special themes, etc. With that in mind, here are some great lenses on the points system and levels on Squidoo:
Backlinking, Traffic and Rankings
After you've been writing online for a while - whether on Squidoo or elsewhere - the concenpt of backlinks will eventually rear its head. Basically, to make money from your lenses you need traffic;. To get traffic, you typically have to rank very highly with the search engines. To rank highly with the search engines, you usually have to have backlinks. Quite the vicious cycle, isn't it? Thankfully, as with most other educational matters regarding lenses, others have already done the heavy lifting:
Best of the Rest
Lastly, there were some highly informative lenses that I didn't thik fit neatly into any of the other categories, but which I felt truly deserved mention:
And that officially sums up (for now), what I feel are the best lenses for newbies on Squidoo. Hopfully this will keep freshly-minted lensmasters from having to search too far for any of the answers they're looking for.