- HubPages Tutorials and Community
An Introduction to Squidoo
What the Heck is Squidoo?
Squidoo is a place that lets you build mini sites for free. These mini sites are called "lenses," although I also like to think of them as web articles on steroids.
Many people use Squidoo to write about their hobbies and passions. It's also a way to get the word out about something, such as a website, a charity, or a business.
Another Squidoo perk is that it can make you money. For example, you could list Amazon products on your lens and earn a commission from sales.
Why are Squidoo Pages Called "Lenses?"
Aren't they just Websites?
Technically, any "lens" you see is just a website on the Squidoo network. The reason they're called lenses is because they're supposed to focus on niche topics.
You don't really want lenses that attempt to cover broad subjects. Instead of building an encyclopedic lens about travel, for instance, you might build a lens that's about traveling to Cancun on a budget. Or maybe you'd build a lens that focuses exclusively on the best hotels in Barbados.
Who Makes Squidoo Lenses?
Everyone's a Lensmaster
Everyone is making Squidoo lenses! Well, OK, not everyone. What I mean to say is that people of all ages and backgrounds are making Squidoo lenses.
Squidoo isn't a place that caters to teenagers or college students. Squidoo makes it easy for teachers, business professionals, stay-at-home mothers, entrepreneurs, grandparents, authors, retail workers, and bloggers--in other words, anyone--to have their say.
It doesn't matter what your background or experience is. You don't have to know HTML, CSS, or any other coding stuff to make a Squidoo lens. If you have Internet access, you can start right away.
If you can type and click a mouse button, you can make a lens.
Why Would You Want to Make a Squidoo Lens?
Squidoo is Fun!
Many people build lenses to share their hobbies and passions with the world. Maybe you love making paper airplanes and decide to build a lens that helps others learn how to do it too.
Or, you might be spreading the word about your blog or website. You could make multiple lenses full of related content that link to your site. If your lenses are informative and entertaining, they could drive a lot of traffic to your site.
A lot of people make Squidoo lenses because they're interested in making money. Many of them do it for personal profit, others do it for their favorite charities.
Some people build lenses as a tribute to something. They might have one dedicated to a celebrity, a favorite literary character, or even a special person in their lives.
Other folks build lenses because it's just plain fun!
Why I Use Squidoo
- It's free. It doesn't cost a cent to sign up and use Squidoo.
- It's easy. Squidoo has a user-friendly interface.
- It's fast. I don't have to build an entire website or blog just to get the word out about something I'm passionate about.
- It's fun. At least it is if you build lenses about subjects you love.
How to Build a Squidoo Lens - A Squidoo Tutorial Video on YouTube
It's not that hard to make a Squidoo lens. Here's a video by Tiffany Dow showing how to get started making a Squidoo lens.
NOTE! Squidoo has removed the menus for creating bold, italic, and underline effects. You can get around this by entering the HTML by hand. If you need help with that, refer to Basic HTML for Squidoo.
Can You Really Make Money with Squidoo?
All about Squidoo Earnings
Yup. There are lots of ways to make money with your lenses. You can promote products on Amazon, eBay, or other online stores and earn commissions from the sales. You also earn money whenever someone clicks on an ad displayed on your lens.
However, just tossing up a few Squidoo lenses isn't going to make you a lot of money. It's true that some people are making a few hundred dollars a month with their lenses, but they worked hard at it. Unless you take the time to build plenty of high quality lenses that are really useful (or at least entertaining), you'll be lucky to scrape together some pocket change each month.
But it's possible to make lucrative lenses.
If you want to make money with Squidoo, the best thing to do is to study other successful lenses, make a lot of high quality lenses, and promote them.
Squidoo is kind of like Starbucks in that it comes with its own lingo. As you browse Squidoo, you may run into some words that don't make much sense. Here's a list of some of the more common terms you'll see.
- Fan club: Every Squidoo member can have a fan club. When someone joins your fan club, they are giving you a show of support. You'll also have a quick way to reach them whenever you update one of your lenses. (Refer to squidcasting.)
- Giant Squid: Someone who has 50 or more quality lenses. You'll recognize them when you see the Giant Squid badge in the bio box.
- Group: A list of lenses about a particular topic. If you visited a popular Squidoo group about video games, you could find a batch of different lenses about different console games.
- Lens: A page or article within the Squidoo network.
- Lensmaster: A person who has built one or more Squidoo lenses.
- Lensography: A lens that lists lenses. Lensmasters often make lensographies to create an organized list of all their lenses, or to showcase their very best lenses. Prolific lensmasters sometimes have multiple lensographies.
- Lensrank: How high a lens ranks according to Squidoo. A lens in the top 100 is probably going to get more attention than a Squidoo lens ranked as 250,000. The lensrank is determined based on popularity, ratings, how often the lens is updated, and other factors.
- Modules: A module is a component of content in each lens. Each box of content you see on a lens is a module. This list you're reading right now is part of a module.
- Squidcast: Whenever you add something new to your lens, you can announce the fact to your fan club by sending out a "squidcast." This is just a basic messaging system within Squidoo for lenses.
- Undeveloped/unimproved lens: This is a lens that's not as good as Squidoo thinks it could be. This is usually because the lens has very little content. Undeveloped lenses have a low lensrank, don't show up in Squidoo search results, and cannot be added to Squidoo groups.
- WIP (Work In Progress): A WIP lens is basically an undeveloped lens. Usually a lens becomes WIP if it falls below a certain lensrank.
Squidoo Bonus: An Extra $5 Free
Are you tempted to give Squidoo a whirl? If you sign up through my affiliate link and start building lenses, we'll both get an extra $5 when you earn your first $15!
Regardless of how you get started with Squidoo, you get an affiliate link too. If you invite your friends to join Squidoo and they earn $15, you both get an extra $5 free.
About the Clipart
The cartoons you see on this lens were created by Jeff Bucchino, "The Wizard of Draws." If you'd like to see more of his work, be sure to visit his website: Free Cartoon Clipart by the Wizard of Draws!
Do you feel like you know more about Squidoo now? Know of anything else that should be covered? Leave your comments here.