Thursday, 14 May 2009

Spread your tentacles round the web -

Advantages: A fantastic self promotion tool

Disadvantages: You are not going to get rich

What is Squidoo? 

It is yet another website where you can make money by writing, not just reviews, but anything you like. 

Now I use the term "making money" guardedly - it all depends on what your idea of making money is. 

Let's be clear right from the off, you are not going to make any money using Squidoo, unless you are writing 'lenses' on subjects that are likely to attract a very high amount of traffic which then must result in click throughs. Even then it is unlikely to be any more than a token, and you might be lucky if it approaches a treat after a year. 

The revenue generated from these click throughs is shared between you and Squidoo IF you are one of the top 'lensmasters', that is someone who writes lenses. Alternatively you can channel your earnings to charity. 

So what is a lens? 

Think of a lens as a webpage on a particular subject, which, you can keep simple, or using Squidoo's tools, you can make it quite complicated and a bit more intreresting. This is done by including modules which may link to photos, other websites, RSS feeds, Amazon, Cafepress or ebay recommendations (which you can supposedly make more money from), votes, guestbooks and more. 

I want to move away from the money making side of things, and concentrate on what I feel is a mnost useful side of Squidoo. 

Self promotion! 

Squidoo really comes into its own here, when you want to promote whatever your interests are. Squidoo is a big open book with lots and lots of tools at your disposal. It is ideal for those who want to say something about themselves, but don't have the knowledge, inclination or cash to go for a full blown website. Apparently Google loves Squidoo, and your lenses should get good exposure. I am not entirely convinced of this and am a firm believer that anything on the web needs a little cross promotion, and lots of friends. Fortunately with squidoo, you can make friends or 'fans' simply by voting on other people's lenses and becoming thier fan - generally people with similar interests will reciprocate, which helps to get your lens more recognised by the search engines. 

Now it is likely that you are going to make a little money, and I do mean in the order of a few pennies, or maybe pounds a month. You may as well give this to charity. Right? 

Well not really. It would seem the charities that you can channel your money to are all based in the U.S.A. As a Brit, it is not so much of a case that I want my money to go to British charities, it is more a case that the charities I do support happen to be British based. 

Also, I have seen the term 'VIP' charities, used in reference to the charities you can channel your earnings to. I haven't explored this fully yet, but would assume it refers to big name charities, such as Oxfam or Help the Aged that we have here in the UK. 

It would be more noble I feel if Squidoo could allow for non-U.S.A. charities to be included, as many of their lensmasters are non-US, and also if some smaller charities, who probably need the money more, could be included. 

Another problem I have is that, if you do amount any money, they will only pay by paypal. Many online shoppers are moving away from using paypal towards other payment methods such as Moneybookers and Google Checkout. It would be nice if Squidoo could also include an alternative to paypal.

Summary: A really fun way to promote your self or your interests

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