2 Feb 2009

Initial Thoughts on Writing at Squidoo

I only recently signed up to Squidoo. It is, after all, one of the top sites for online writers in terms of traffic, but then again, one can't do everything simultaneously - multi-tasking can well turn into over-extension. But with articles to re-cycle I thought it time to sign up.

What at Xomba are called Xombytes, and Hubpages are Hubs, at Squidoo they are called Lenses. A Lens is just a webpage. Like Hubpages, apart from your text there is a wide range of other modules such as polls and advertising units. Earnings at Squidoo are calculated by their admin so there is no immediate earnings such as having your Adsense code on Xomba. They do, however, update our earnings on a daily basis. For many people the upside of this is that they don't personally have to sign up to affiliate schemes such as Amazon and eBay, or even Commission Junction. You can just focus all your attention on creating the best possible Lens.

Because of the huge flexibility in Lenses I see that many of the most popular ones are regularly updated with new links, images or extra notes. Rather than creating 10 articles on "Make Money Writing Online" it seems that writing just one Lens and putting everything into it appears to be more popular. Perhaps there is a good reason why this style of presentation works on Squidoo, and this is also one feature I find baffling.

How does anybody find your Lens? The Squidoo homepage has nothing of interest on it and is an eyesore. There appears to be nowhere to go apart from clicking the least pointless article title or looking down at their informational links. The only other option is to do a search. This indeed seems to be the only way of navigating Squidoo; either by searching or by clicking tags. All the category or tag pages rank the articles with the most popular one at the top. There is an option to list the most recently updated but on first impression that isn't the same as being just published. There is nowhere a page showing the most recent articles! Nowhere! Strange.

But now it makes sense as to why people create these mega-pages. The only way to get readers is to search for a bunch of "friends" or groups who might be interested in your article and build repeat business by updating it. Unless you pick a category with few articles you're going to be seeing yours stuck down in the nether region of #100,000. If you like the idea of creating a few mega-articles then go ahead but, in contrast to other sites like Xomba or suite101 I don't see too much search engine traffic as yet.

One thing that may explain its high visitor traffic is that they do allow articles on adult topics - always a winner! As they are not wholly dependent on Adsense they can adjust their advertisers to fit the categories. So the second reason to join Squidoo is if you're into writing adult material - or reading it!

I will see how things develop with Squidoo but the one lesson is that there are no quick bucks to be made there.

1 comment:

  1. I wrote a few articles there and then placed them on Hubpages because I couldn't figure out either how to get them to ever show up. Some people love Squidoo though.


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