Friday, July 30, 2010

Are You Ready for Halloween?

If you’re hoping to make lots of sales for Halloween you really should have your lenses set up by now so that you can work on more backlinks and promoting your lenses in the lead up. Halloween is a huge money maker for a number of people on Squidoo and I know I did quite well last year as well – I’m hoping to do even better this year, but only time will tell.

If you have a few Halloween lenses then grouping them together should help and if you’ve already read up on linking strategies I’m sure you’re already doing this. I actually have two Halloween lensographies this year. Last year I created my Boo!ography using the squidboo template which is a good idea if you haven’t been using the squidboo template because it’s like another front door to your lens and it has it’s own top 100 (I think).

This year I’ve created quite a few extra costume lenses so I created a costume-ography as well. I decided to create this separately (although it’s linked to my boo!ography) because Halloween’s not the only time people wear costumes. I made the mistake on one of my first costume lenses in using the words Halloween costumes in the url as well as the title. If you keep the word Halloween out of the url, you can still put it in the title and then take it out of the title after Halloween has passed.

When I lived in the UK we used to dress up in fancy dress for New Years Eve, I then moved to New Zealand where everyone in the town I lived seem to dress up for Christmas Eve. Over the years events such as 30th, 40th, 50th etc birthday parties have gone through stages of becoming fancy dress events. Basically I want to be able to promote all of my costume lenses throughout the year and not make them just about Halloween………..don’t get me wrong Halloween is still the biggest sales time for most of these lenses, although one of them makes sales every week of the year – I’ll let you try and guess which one and why.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shareasale, Linkshare & Clickbank on Squidoo

One of the great things about Squidoo is that it allows you to use different affiliates in order to make money. I use the text module to promote these products as a rule and it’s great in that I can just get the html from the affiliate and paste it straight into the module – how easy is that?

Out of these three Shareasale is definitely my favorite, it offers html for different sized products when you’re adding them to your lens. If what you want to link to doesn’t have an actual product link then you can build a custom link. I have done this on a number of lenses, my most recent one (I think) is one my Cows Christmas Ornament lens. I created the custom link for the cow in the wreath….the custom link is just a text link however so I uploaded the picture to my computer and put it in a text with big picture link. I used the custom link to link the picture as well as underneath the picture for a text link.

I haven’t used linkshare quite as much and consequently have had no sales what so ever from them. I originally joined linkshare specifically to sell one particular product as it wasn’t available through anyone else and the merchant turned me down! Not happy as I was getting thousands of hits a day, but it’s now on Amazon and I’ve sold some of the product so more fool the merchant!!! It does seem to have a few interesting products with merchants that have approved me, so I’m still trying it out.

Clickbank has got a bad reputation, but it does have a few products that are pretty good. I promote about 4 different products – 3 of them on Squidoo. I was going to stop using them, but I have quite a bit of money pending with them, unfortunately getting the first payment involves having so many sales through so many cards etc and too many people are using paypal!

I think if you’ve got time to sort through you can find some good products on clickbank, but it’s not one I generally recommend.

Which affiliate program is your favorite?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Allposters and Squidoo

Now when I first joined Allposters it was mainly as a way to legally use the picture! Then, somehow I made a sale, I was over the moon….it only took me about 2 years to get a sale so I was doing the happy dance. I’ve since discovered that if you use posters as a keyword and also include it in your url it seems to help. I have increased the number of clickouts to Allposters by doing this as well as increasing sales.

A number of people have left Allposters as they have changed the rules and now you have to make a min amount each year in order to be paid out. I’m not sure if you’d want to do this or just use Amazon and Zazzle instead. Personally I think it’s worth it now (the commissions are better for one), however a couple of years ago it wouldn’t have been worth it for me.

One of my fellow Antipodean Lensmasters has actually made a lens for people to help with formatting Allposters - Formatting AllPosters on Squidoo.

Do you use Allposters?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Squidoo and Amazon

Amazon has to be my best affiliate program bar none! I think a lot of it is because people trust the name so if you have a link to some affiliate company selling a product and you have another link to Amazon then I believe you’ll probably make more sales on the Amazon link. Unfortunately Amazon don’t pay as much as some of the other companies, but if you can make sales then that’s great.

Obviously Squidoo isn’t the only way I use my Amazon link because as I said yesterday I also hub and Hubpages is probably responsible for well over half of my Amazon income. The reason for that is that I use a lot of the Squidoo Amazon modules and I don’t always use my own link on my lenses. I still see plenty of sales coming through, but the mix between Squidoo and Amazon keeps me happy. A real drawback for me with Amazon is that I live overseas so they’ll only pay me by check and it costs a bit for me to bank that check and it also takes a fair while for it to clear. This is why getting a lot of my Amazon commissions paid via the Squidoo spotlight module makes my life a little easier because I can access my income quicker – it also increases my lensrank which equals more money again!

Amazon can also be used on blogs and you can Tweet products…..I’ve tried this twice and the first time I sold a Kindle that way, back when you got 10% for selling them :) I haven’t done this since as I’ve gotten out of the habit of Tweeting over the last few months with all of my traveling, but it’s good to know that it can work.

How do I incorporate my own associate link into my lenses? Well I do it in a couple of different ways and each of my lenses are different. I use text links throughout including in the Amazon Spotlight module. It’s amazing how some people will click on the text link instead of the picture or the buy now button that’s in the module.

Sometimes I’ll upload the picture to a text or text with big picture module. When using the text with big picture module I’ll also include the text link underneath the picture inside p tags to centralize the text and b tags to bold the link. This is a lot easier than it used to be before they made the pictures clickable and is an absolute godsend.

Altogether I believe that Squidoo and Amazon work really well together – what do you think?

Oh I did write a lens on using Amazon and Squidoo together, must admit I haven't looked at in a while, but the info is still pretty good - Make Money with Amazon and Squidoo.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hubpages and Squidoo

I joined Hubpages around the same time as Squidoo, but didn’t know what to do and at that time the forum was pretty non-existent whereas Squidoo had lots of forum activity where I could learn a lot as a quiet ‘stalker’!!! As you can gather I left hubpages alone and focused all of my attention onto Squidoo. I went back to hubpages last year, but it has really been since the beginning of this year that most of my hubs have started to come together.

I started off by trying out a couple of topics that were very different to the ones I do on Squidoo, but I’ve since started to supplement them with lenses. I found an unexpected niche that has been doing really well for me and I had a couple of lenses on that niche already so I have built links between the two and I’m seeing some great results.

My amazon payments are snowballing as I use both Squidoo and Hubpages to promote products and my Google payments are increasing every day (this is how you earn on Hubpages) and I’ve made a few notes as to what you should write about on which site. Because Squidoo pay you tier payments you should write lenses that are likely to receive a lot of hits, but pay nothing on Squidoo. If you have a niche that pays well, but doesn’t necessary have a lot of hits then you should write it on Hubpages.

This is just my theory at the moment and it doesn’t always work as I’ve received a high payout for clicks that should have paid next to nothing and a miniscule amount paid for a click that should have paid well………I think I’ll throw my hands up in the air and say I don’t understand how Google calculates anything!!

If you belong to hubpages leave a link here and I’ll pop by and read some of your hubs.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Other Places to Earn Online

This blog is about how to earn money with squidoo, but there are other places to earn money online and some of them fit really well with squidoo. Diversity is also a good idea, as my Nan always said ‘don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.’ So where else do you earn money and are you using squidoo to maximize these earnings? I use Zazzle, Hubpages, Bukisa, Amazon, Shareasale, Linkshare, Allposters and Clickbank.

I’m going to go through each of these and explain how I incorporate them with Squidoo in order to increase my online income.

I Zazzle and I really enjoy it having recently sold 100 copies of one of my postcards I’m rapt with the response, but the most money I have made has been with referrals. As you know one of my niches on Squidoo is t-shirts and I often use Zazzle to find some really great designs. As people clickout on the Zazzle link it counts as a clickout to my lens which is part of the secret algorithm for lensrank. Hopefully they also buy the product which means that I can get a payment from Zazzle as well as Squidoo – win/win!

On one particular lens that I created on February 27th 2010 I have had 222 visits since the lens was published and I have had 16 sales on Zazzle (totaling $43.65) directly from that lens. To me this is a great indication that the partnership is working really well. As a side note I’ve also had 4 sales from Amazon totaling $1.16 on my dashboard. I should also add that this lens has not had any promotion at all as it kind of slipped through the cracks……it’s now on my to do list however.

You should always make sure that both entities can stand on their own however and I have to say that every sale of my own product that I’ve made have not come through me promoting them as I haven’t received the referral. This means that I will still make sales from Zazzle if Squidoo wasn’t around. However it also means that I need to promote Zazzle a bit more in other places and it is something that I’ve been a little ‘slack’ about, but we’re talking about Squidoo here so I won’t carry on about my Zazzle plans!

Let me know if you use Zazzle and leave a link, I’ll be sure to check if you have any products I can use on any of my lenses.

Did You Miss Me?

Well my blog hasn’t been updated for quite a while as I’ve been traveling backwards and forwards between Australia (my home) and New Zealand (where my parents live). We got some bad news about my dad’s health a couple of months ago and I’ve been popping over to help out. He’s not out of the woods yet, but the prognosis is good.

The great thing about this is that I’m still getting paid by Squidoo and affiliates – woo hoo! I don’t know of a job that would continue to pay you when you weren’t working (not counting sick and holiday leave), so setting up lenses on Squidoo is definitely a great idea – I would like to think of it as a retirement fund as well, but one that I pay into with time instead of money!

I haven’t made huge amounts, but I’ve stayed in 3 figures with hardly any work and to me that is awesome because it shows that I’ve set some of my lenses up correctly and they don’t need me to coax them along.

Now I’m back at home for a couple of months so I’ll be posting regularly again and hopefully I can get back on track for my target of 4 figures a month from Squidoo before the end of the year ...... some people have already achieved this so it’s not impossible.