Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A List of Things to Do When Making Squidoo Lenses

I’m a member of the Rocketmoms group on Squidoo and they have recently started their new session. One of the things that Bonnie (our illustrious leader) is doing during this session is to add tips each day to help us. The first tip was a list of things we should do when we build our lenses.

Bonnie’s List

  • DO think outside the box
  • DO go with your gut instinct
  • DO your homework
  • DO proof read
  • DO keep sharing your work
  • DO focus on a niche
  • DO use the tools Squidoo offers

I thought this list was worth sharing because Bonnie has great insights into what makes a successful lens. I think we also need to add DO have fun because even though we’re trying to make money it is important to enjoy what we do.

Thinking outside of the box can help you to create some fantastic lenses. It’s all too easy to make your lenses using the same formula over and over again, this is one of the reasons that I don’t use the templates that giants are allowed to use, because I like my lenses to be different.

Thinking outside of the box is what led another lensmaster to discover that she could add a picture to the blackbox module and that led her to create this fantastic lens – Utilizing the Blackbox module.

Going with your gut instinct can be hard to do on Squidoo, I remember getting a Rocketmoms assignment that was right outside of my comfort zone and then as I was looking at a picture and an idea came to me, the lens was written so quickly after that and I was giggling to myself as I wrote it and having a fun time. I hit publish because in my gut I thought it was hilarious. Then I turned the computer off and went to bed, sleep was hard to come by as I started to doubt whether anyone would ‘get’ my humor. The next day my inbox was full from comments – other people did ‘get’ me.

It was also a lens that I felt I could send to my mum as I knew she’d get the funny side of it and from that lens I’ve given myself permission to add humor into my writing without worrying too much – I think this has really enriched some of my lenses.

Doing your homework is something that I don’t always do……I got in trouble at school for this too! It does help to do keyword research, but I don’t get quite as hung up on it on Squidoo as I do when I write elsewhere. Using the google keyword checker is a great idea to check if a lot of people are searching for something and what words they use. In some cases it’s good for spotting better alternatives to the word you usually use for example presents as opposed to gifts –using the keyword checker you can make sure that you use the ‘right’ one.

However if there is something that you’re interested in and it doesn’t get much search engine traffic does that mean you shouldn’t write about it? I don’t think so. If there’s not a lot of search traffic I would google it myself and see how much competition there is and the quality because if you’re interested in something then someone else probably is too.

I have several lenses that have low traffic, but convert to traffic because they are specific and do not have a lot of competition.

Do proof read is an absolute must and I think it’s a good idea to proof read again the next morning after publishing it. When you read your own words you know what you mean to say and so sometimes your brain ‘tricks’ you into reading what you thought you wrote as opposed to what you did.

By re-reading your lens fresh the next day you can often find some mistakes. What I often do if I come across them on someone’s lenses is shoot them an email alerting them to it. Yet another reason to enable your contact me button. I don’t know how others feel about this, but I’ve been lucky to have a couple of lensmasters alert me to mistakes via email and I appreciate it.

We’ll continue the list tomorrow.

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