- HubPages Tutorials and Community
Squidoo Hot Tips
Don't Wander in the Dark
Many people who want to succeed on Squidoo come here expecting to just write a blog and get great traffic for it. But Squidoo lenses are not blogs they are web pages with graphics, good writing, information, style, and content. They have modules for input by readers, arguments, and to feature other lenses, which might be yours if they are good enough.
Squidoo is a community of friends and helpful people who literally go out of their way to be this for all members. When you join Squidoo you become a member of a giant family of similar minded people. But, beware, if you abuse the laws, are rude and spamming other members you can be barred or suddenly find your lenses locked. You may even be out the door.
Read this lens and take from it what you need. It is just another way Squids help their new friends her
The Graphic is by Steve Thomson and is (c) Copyright.
Dress It Up
Presentation is Everything.
Building a lens is simple once you know the basics. That's why it is important to sniff out the right way of doing it. It is not heavy detective work, in fact, it's rather enjoyable exploring the many ways you can dress up a lens and then earn money from it.
One of the best ways of finding out what you can do is by visiting other people's lenses and keeping up with the latest graphics, styles, good ideas and by making friends of the lensmasters you visit. You do this by leaving a comment and a like for their work, and to let them know you came by. This is how I learned and many other Giant Squids as well. You see Squidoo is developing more features constantly as clever little geniuses discover new ways of doing things. Then it is up to you to find out how they did it or to ASK. That's always a good idea..
By visiting and rating lenses others will do the same for you. That's how you then get good ratings and well known.
Keep It Simple
The best lenses are easy to read and have some great content. Pictures and modules break up the text, add interest and often help focus attenion on the points at issue. Don't use images that have no relevance simply because they might be clever, look good, or serve your passion. Of course the best images are photographs you take yourself, such as in this lens on my cat . . . Open the link in another window so you can return to this lens,.
Notice that the wording is simple, something that people can relate to and it is focused on the subject. It does not waft around about other animals, problems associated with owning a cat, or take you to other web sites. If you are going to put a link to another web site invite the reader to open link in another window, so they can come back to the lens you have written, as I have done above.
Most important is to keep your story short, to the point and simple so that people who are not adept at reading complicated material can understand it. You will get something from the lenses below about writing. Open those links in other windows so you can come back to this lens.
You don't actually have to write like a monkey but some of your audience don't have much higher IQ's than some of our close relatives. So does that image fit the story here? Such an image lifts the mood and makes peope think a bit - after all if a monkey can do it so can I.
Are you a Reader
Can you get passionate about other people's lenses
Always Have Something Important to Say
If you are building lenses to sell products and earn money they will get more attention if they are not spammy, that is if they contain words from you about the products, your use of them, the benefits derived, and why you own them.
This gets back to good advertising. When you see or hear commercials there is usually someone saying how they use a product, what it does for them and so on. Take the Uncle Toby's add for wheat bix. You get a celebrity sports star promoting it with acknowledgement that they consume it, benefit from it and derive health and strength by eating it. Of course we all know that may not be the case and that they get hefty payments for their endorsements but that is besides the point. Adds without endorsement or reasons to use the product fall flat.
On the other hand start off with a story, perhaps your need for something special and then you found it in such and such a product that you just happened to come across. Some pics of you using it will be good. Also reference to other people you know who use it or who went down the same path as you is also good. testimonials are old hat so don't and use them on a lens.
Think about this: How would you sell a balloon birthday cake. That's a good challenge isn't it? Well, you might not be able to sell one but I bet you could convince some readers to make one. Maybe not! But a lens describing how you did it would be rather fascinating,
Many people write about such things and then place commercials throughout the lens for the materials used in making such a cake to which readers are drawn. It can and does result in sales and money in your pocket without it sounding like you are trying to sell something. Do you get the idea? This is how to build a sales lens.
Here are some of my marketing lenses to look at. Don't forget to open them in different windows. Bookmarking lenses is another way you can easily get back to them. That's why my lenses have the bookmark module added at the top where it is easily noticed.
Videos and Being Careful About Their input.
Videos work well on lenses. they enhance the experience, add to the flow, throw in a different diemsion, and perk up the reader's interest. There is nothing worse that falling asleep when you are trying to read a lot of text in a small space of time. Believe me people do drop off and I can yawn my head off as well when ploughing through slow moving and unexciting text..
There are video modules you can use to get clips from several sites. I favour Utube as probably the best source. You simply press the link, type in the subject in the search box, and the videos are displayed to select from. Make sure you watch the ones you select to the end as many have hidden commercials that show up at that point ready to take your reader off in a different direction.
Remember there are folk out there who will delight in stealing your readers away from you, and everything else they can get including your ID. So don't publish your real date of birth or say too much about yourself in lenses.
Get a Computer - So you can have fun on the Internet
When I first started with computers a book like this one was important to understand what the machine does, how to use it and how to solve problems I ran into, Highly recommended
What's a Good Subject for a Lens?
As you will quickly learn there are thousands, perhaps millions, of good topics for lenses. Write about your interests, hobbies, experiences, children, health, garden, the environment and so on.
If you are skilled in a specific area write about that. There are lenses on woodworking, craft of all descriptions and the many 'How to' lenses are extremely popular.
If you need to know if there are lenses on a subject you want to write about just put the keyword in the seacrch box on the 'Help section' of your Dashboard. If you want to know how to do something special then you can also search that out as well, either through the FAQ or in the Help forum. Just pose your question in a thread and someone wil soon come up with an answer.
How Much Help Did You Get from the Giants in Squidoo - When you started building lenses?
Or were you able to just hop in and do it without help?
The Best Lenses Stand Out
You will know when your lens is really good. You will get lots of praise from the senior Squids and many will rate it highly. But if it is not up to scratch no one will want to visit it.
Below is a list of lenses that are called lensographies (lenses that feature other lenses on the same theme). They are worth browsing through because you will certainly pick up a lot of ideas from them. The lens you are reading is a lenography and you will get a chance to build many of these as you develop a list of lenses.
Don't forget the basics, mentioned in How to Build a Lens, because that is your starting point. Enjoy the other lenses and get to know Squidoo from the inside out, who are its people, who are the ones to ask help from and who are the ones most likely to make you feel good in your work?
If you get adverse comments don't take them to heart but learn from the critique and the lensmaster who has taken the time to read and comment on your lens. I get lots of critiques that tell me about typos, for instance, and I am always quick to thank the authors and make them feel good that they have done this. I am the typo queen and should wear my glasses at all times (must learn to do that) when writing lenses.
Still images from Dreamstime - click here
All my animation images are from here - click banner. 500,000 Animations: Animated Clipart and Motion Designs for Video, PowerPoint, Flash, Websites, E-mail and more!
The Most Important Thing
Don't Spam, Choose the Right Theme, write from the heart, and be honest in everything. Treat everyone with respect, throw some love around and help others as you would want them to help you. Never be rude and unfriendly to anyone and certainly never bully anyone in the forums or elsewhere.
Click here to nominate this lens for LOTD