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An Introduction to Squidoo

Updated on September 24, 2008

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 Terminology

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.

Get started with Squidoo today!

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.

Your Turn

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    • jethrosas profile image

      Jethro 4 years ago from Philippines

      I just want to clear that only you (not your referral) will get 5 dollars. Anyway, you can confirm it with the other lensmasters. Thanks for sharing this. :)

    • profile image

      veronicaschwarz 5 years ago

      Hi there. Thanks for the info. So much to take in. I'll be back to read it all again and probably again. Much appreciated.

    • BowWowBear profile image

      BowWowBear 5 years ago

      Still working on my first lens. Now I have a better understanding of some of the lingo around here. thanks!

    • profile image

      StoryBuilderToys 6 years ago

      I'm just getting started here so this lens was much appreciated.

    • Coreena Jolene profile image

      Coreena Jolene 6 years ago

      This newbie appreciates your lens.

    • bensen32 lm profile image

      bensen32 lm 6 years ago

      nice little intro to squidoo, now if I could just come up with some more ideas for lenses that are not already out there :)

    • profile image

      tt1998 6 years ago

      Good introduction to squidoo. I think you have covered most of the basics.

    • profile image

      SysEngJobs 6 years ago

      Great info for a complete squidoo beginner. I feel better prepared already. Thanks Victoria.

    • profile image

      BeltwayBoy7 6 years ago

      I'm new to Squidoo and really like your lens! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with all of us newbies!

    • Michelle1959 profile image

      Michelle1959 6 years ago

      Definitely - very helpful indeed thanks!

    • mini cheong profile image

      mini cheong 6 years ago

      Wow, I learned more again! This is going to take some time to get use to LOL

      Thanks for the formation (Thumbs Up!)

    • fbaum818 profile image

      fbaum818 7 years ago

      I liked reading this, since I'm still learning about squidoo. I noticed that you were able to drop links to lenses in your profile. Can you explain how to do that?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      thanks for the info squidoo it really helped a lot.

    • profile image

      karengodsaint 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing me this information and tips. I learned a lot in the video tutorial. I'm excited making new lenses. Thanks again!:)

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 7 years ago

      I am new and I thank you for your tips.

    • profile image

      TraceyFitzgerald 7 years ago

      I learned something new too! I didn't know there was such a thing as a squidoo affiliate link. I will need to do my homework. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sami4u LM profile image

      Sami4u LM 7 years ago

      Hi,

      I learned something I did not know. Thanks for the tips :)

    • bryce808 profile image

      bryce808 7 years ago

      Dude, this was extremely helpful. Thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      chattysmatias 7 years ago

      hi! im a newbie in squidoo and making my lens. message on red box keep on appearing try to add url. Help please!

    • profile image

      EzDigitalTV 7 years ago

      How do I find my affiliate link? Thanks!

    • VictoriaNeely1 profile image
      Author

      VictoriaNeely1 8 years ago

      @squiddyluv: If a Squidoo lens were a page in a book, modules would be paragraphs and illustrations. When you build a lens, Squidoo offers a menu of different modules you can add and arrange as you like. Some are for pure text, some are for images, some are polls, some are link lists, etc.

      You can link to any website you want. However, it's best to keep everything on your Squidoo page "on topic."

    • profile image

      nosweat 8 years ago

      cannot make lens and find no help. just keep getting error message on trying to add url

    • profile image

      squiddyluv 8 years ago

      I think there's a lot of exciting possibilities after reading the suggestions and tips. However I'm not clear about modules. Are they separate topics within a lens?

      Can I link back to my website if what I'm "squidding" about is different?

    • profile image

      Dreamzanstuff 8 years ago

      this is a lot of help Thank you very much!

    • profile image

      grim_naz 8 years ago

      i ain't got the info about module and other things??

      'cause i am a total new new newbies??

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      great info for newbies

    • profile image

      MsMindy 8 years ago

      I truly am not sure why I joined Squidoo...I just have a gut instinct this is what I should do. I am not in it for the money per say....but I think for the greater good of helping those that cannot help themselves- alone. We shall see. Thank you for the getting started lens...very helpful- even though I really dont know what I am doing!!

    • profile image

      supertish 8 years ago

      Thank you for the post. Good tips for those who are just starting like me! :)

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 8 years ago

      Great lens! Lensrolled to my Buddy-Up Challenge lens!

    • profile image

      rockluvr 8 years ago

      At 60 years young I am a newbie at everything computer. This is the best thing I have found since opening my own Ebay store 2 months ago. Thank you for this info and keep up the good work. Cannot wait to make my first lens...

    • profile image

      motiv8td 8 years ago

      Amazing lens! I'll be back with something to compete someday, until then I'll just enjoy yours

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • profile image

      supercharged 8 years ago

      Hi Victoria,i am fairly new dec 08.It seems i have more reading to do, there's plenty to learn here.Love your work.thanks Jason

    • profile image

      Gulia 8 years ago

      Viktoria more Thank, I have money learnen

    • profile image

      freddi 8 years ago

      Nice job. As a newbie, this lens is very informative to me. I liked the list of Squidoo terminology. 5 stars.

    • profile image

      dc2 8 years ago

      #*#**":#-* WHAT ?

    • profile image

      rayrapeepat 8 years ago

      What a great guide you have written, Victoria. Better than the one I bought (else where)! 5-Star for you. If you had told me before I joined the community, you would get the extra $5. Sorry about that.

    • sittonbull profile image

      sittonbull 8 years ago

      Obviously my html needs some work as I was attempting to let you know by linking that Ohme aka Nancy Hellams and Joan4 aka Joan Adams led me to your site.

    • sittonbull profile image

      sittonbull 8 years ago

      Victoria. Thank you for writing this lens as a concise, crash guide to explain Squidoo. It's just what I was looking for to try and communicate to my family what "all the fuss" is about. and have just hooked me on Squidoo and gave me your site. Reviewing your lensography, I'm sure I'll be back for more. Thanks again. 5* and favored.

    • profile image

      girlstuff_online 8 years ago

      A couple of years ago, I've made a couple of lenses just to see how easy it is to create them. Now after seeing how some people have done some amazing lenses, I'm ready to delve further and see how creative I can become.

    • profile image

      Victorious1 8 years ago

      Ok, you make it seem easy, I'll give it a try! :)

    • profile image

      HotDogGone2Play 9 years ago

      So how did you do? Have you looked into your health? We're new too, and still haven't figured out how to get a better rating for your title.

      Good luck to you.

    • profile image

      fountaindave 9 years ago

      Hi every body am new here, so whats new today

    • profile image

      fountaindave 9 years ago

      Hi every body am new here, so whats new today

    • profile image

      basetank 9 years ago

      tanks for the 20/20

      still wondering if squidoo is for me though

    • A RovingReporter profile image

      A RovingReporter 9 years ago

      Great five-star introductory lens.

    • profile image

      Sierra-Kim 9 years ago

      Great article. Very informative especially for squidoo newbies.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I am what you might call a "struggling" artist/designer. These days people aren't buying much art so I also work as a virtual agent/assistant. I match up people with resources they need for their business. Sometimes clients ask me to just compose a letter, or order gifts or send flowers for them. Every day is different.

      I have always been interested in fashion and beauty. The products and people who help keep us looking great have always fascinated me. I frequently try out new products, and review new books related to the subject.

      I have many interests,and haven't yet found my niche. (probably the downside of a Liberal Arts education) You might find me commenting on everything from pop culture, to politics, to the spiritual side of life. Everything's fair game. I'm still learning.

    • profile image

      Luzbob 9 years ago

      I cannot figure out how to add a picture to my home page profile! help please?

    • profile image

      mohhabat2008 9 years ago

      try to making

    • profile image

      AwakeningBusinessSolutions 9 years ago

      I have built my first page and when I go to publish it says I need more modules and they recommend I don't publish it until I add more of something. It asks to my RSS Feed and don't know what do put there. I tried to put in the url for my feed but it said- not found- The other choices are u tube, Flicr and GUestbook. I am really confused. MIne looks like everyone else's but it says not to publish it without adding more.

    • profile image

      damanxman 9 years ago

      ok i think i can get started now

    • profile image

      HuskerAdisa 9 years ago

      I have been trying to find a break down of the various modules and the exact purpose for them and how to best utilize them. This would be a great area to focus upo.

    • Stephenqshannon profile image

      Stephenqshannon 9 years ago

      Excellent overview. You are appreciated.

    • profile image

      momsherbs 9 years ago

      Excellent lens, wish I had read this one long time ago.

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      J_bargains 9 years ago

      I think I am going to enjoy working on squido. I've been doing this all along and didn't know it.

    • profile image

      keithaul 9 years ago

      Thanks for this intro. Maybe you can write up something regarding the difference between a squidoo lens and a blog page?

      Keith

    • Interactive Ini profile image

      Interactive Ini 9 years ago

      My Introduction, Contents, Discovery section of my lens is not publishing with the photo that is shown in the editing section. Can you tell me why the photo is not being published along with the text?

      Help please...Karashley1

    • profile image

      Emailmeplz 9 years ago

      Hey great advice. I posted my first lens and I tried to link to a webpage of mine and it didn't do that turn blue so you can just tap on it thing that I thought was automatic. I know in emails it just highlights it automatically. Help please I don't want people to have to cut and paste. I know they'll be less likely to go to the site if they have to cut and paste than if they can just click and be teleported.

      Thanks

      Mary

    • profile image

      kaneokekai 9 years ago

      Hi,

      I appreciate the information about building a lens, as well as the step by step video.

      Thanks for the help!

    • profile image

      JessyG 9 years ago

      Thank you for the info!!