Monday, March 22, 2010

Sidebar Widgets

Have you added any sidebar widgets yet? I’ve had a lot of fun, but it does pose the question – what should I put in the sidebar?

If you’re reviewing one particular item should you put that in the sidebar too or should you include alternatives? Sometimes a lens may not be for selling so should you feature someone else’s blog that is on the same topic or a featured lens that isn’t your own?

I actually don’t have any answers yet as I’m happy experimenting myself, but one things for sure the sidebar widgets are a good thing.

Why are they a good thing? Because they give the lensmaster control over yet more of the page and you can decide if and how you want to use them.....and remember you don’t have to use them all up.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Break Up Your Text

Now when you’re looking at a lens you really don’t want to see a lot of text, even if you’re looking for information. Breaking text up is a key to making your lens look great, but still be full of information.

I admit that I’m still guilty of writing loooooonnnnnggg pieces of text that probably bore people to death, but I’m working on it.

One way to break things up is by using bullet points, these are really easy to add in to your lens and you can use them to illustrate all of your different points and then use the main keyword in each point as a heading to text modules underneath.
How do you add bullet points to your lens?

<ul><li>your first point</li>
<li>second point</li>
continue like that until
<li>final point</li></ul>

Another way to break up text is by adding pictures. Now if you’re writing a product review lens then you’ll obviously be using product photos and it can be good to show different views of the product as you work your way down the page.

If you’re writing more of an informational lens then you’ll probably have pictures showing how to do things or people you’re writing about.

Sometimes, however, it’s hard to think what pictures to add. I look at some people’s lenses and I think –‘Wow! I wish I knew where they got their images from..’ Well I’m about to tell you about a great resource here on Squidoo.

There is a lensmaster by the name of Steve or Tagsforkids who has produced a number of lens full of fun graphics which will help to break up your text for you.

These are some of his lenses –

Animated Squids
Squid Art
Squid Art Too

Obviously there are other ways to break up text such as adding dividers between sections and putting boxes around different pieces of information.

A great way is to use modules such as the Blackbox or the sticky note.

How do you break up your text?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Organizing Large Lenses

Do you have a lens that has a lot of headings and you don’t want to split it into two and the table of contents is just sooooo long? Sometimes that are occasions when we need a large lens, but we know that the audience are probably only going to be interested in part of it. When this happens you need to utilize a horizontal table of contents and luckily for all of us Greekgeek has written all about how to do this on her lens How to Make a Fancy Table of Contents.

I found this particularly useful on one of my Christmas lenses – Official American Football Christmas Ornaments. Obviously you couldn’t call it that title and miss out any teams, but that lens was B I G ! I simply used Greekgeek’s lens and made my own table of contents so that people could go straight to their favorite team and it worked really well. If you have a look at the lens you’ll see that it really doesn’t take up much room, but if I’d have used either of the Squidoo options it would have taken up quite a bit of my space.

There are a lot of other great things that you can do with your table of contents, but the horizontal one is the one that I have mainly utilized – have you tried any of her other ‘tricks’?

Now if you have a lens on Squidoo tips or how to make money using Squidoo please feel free to email me with it and you never know I might feature it on this blog.

Hot Off the Presses!

Well okay it’s not that hot as I published these lenses before going to bed last night, but they are still full of great information! I mentioned that I was thinking of writing some lenses on how to make money a while ago. I’ve been rather full on with other things, but I finally got around to making three last night

The master lens is How to Earn Money on Squidoo and features a few other helpful lenses as well. This is the lens I’ll be updating regularly.

The other two lenses I wrote were on Monetizing the Introduction Module, which I’ve blogged about previously and Interlinking Lenses which is really important to build up your niches and get traffic going backwards and forwards.

I will be releasing other lenses in the future about topics which I feel need to be expanded and I’ll make sure to post them here so that you don’t miss out on anything.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tier Payments Are A Small Way To Earn on Squidoo

The tier payments are nice to receive, but they’re only a fraction of what you should be making on Squidoo and this is where affiliates come into. One of my most successful affiliates that I use on Squidoo is Amazon.

Now if you live in the wrong state in the US then you won’t be able to earn as an Amazon Associate, but you can still use the Amazon modules on Squidoo. The best Amazon module to use is the Spotlight one (IMO). Now Amazon are shutting down Associates with no warning when legislation in their states change apparently – the states affected at the moment are Colorado, Rhode Island and North Carolina. This can mean a lot of work for people to change over their lenses taking out their associate links.

Is your state considering the same legislation? If it is then let me tell you about how I first earned money through Squidoo on my associate account. I had a lens on Penny Vincenzi books and I put the books into a spotlight module, but added my associate link in the text within the module as well. My first sale came through the text link for 4 of her books……none of my sales on this lens have come through Squidoo!

Why do I tell you this? Well this lens was accidental I used text links because I didn’t know how to add image links, but it does show that text links work really well on some types of lenses. The real reason I mention it though is because if you live in the States and are worried that your account could be shut down then setting your lenses up like this will be a lot easier to update should you suddenly have your associate account shut down.

I would not get rid of Amazon as an associate until you are forced to because it really is one of the best earning…..that does not mean that you shouldn’t look for alternatives however. I really like Shareasale. I’m also a member of Linkshare, but I haven’t earnt anything through this one yet as I’m still relatively new to it. I have found though that people trust Amazon and are more likely to buy through them then a different affiliate if you offer them both. I found this out through an experiment on one of my lenses so whatever you do ‘don’t cut your nose off to spite your face’ as my Nan used to say!