Recently, I have been involved in a hot, and emotionally wrought discussion about earning money on Squidoo, the lens competition as Squidoo continues to grow, as well as lensrank payouts. For those of you who have followed me for a while, you know that I am not all that inclined to spend my time trying to get lenses in Tier 1, or even in Tier 2 for that matter, when I can earn money from lenses through sales. While I myself am finding lenses dropping out of Tier 1 that used to be there, I am working very hard on compensating for that loss, and to continue gaining income from Squidoo through sales. This post is not to continue the discussion on lensrank, which I am already decided on, but to talk about things to look for in sales on lenses, and how to maximize trends.
One of the very important things that I have learned by continuing to be a lensmaster on Squidoo for more than one year, is that lenses often increase in value over time. Here is a very good example of what I mean:
Four Years of Lens Growth
This lens, (no I am not going to tell you which one), is one that I have had since 2008, and you can easily see the trend. When it was first written, it grew rapidly, then lost ground. However, over time, this has steadily grown, and continues to do so. This particular lens is on an evergreen topic, which earns some money all year. It never gets higher than Tier 2, but it has made me a lot of incremental money over the last 4 years.
In the last couple of months, I have been watching sales trends on my lenses in all categories to see if I could get a feel for the potential of sales for this fall. It is no surprise that lenses sell the most items in the last quarter of the year, primarily October, November, December, and sometimes January. This is because people are shopping for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and after Christmas sales. Some people also shop with money received at Christmas. While other religious holidays come into play, (I am Jewish myself), I am ignoring them because they have a much smaller effect on shopping trends, especially in the United States.
What my indicators have told me so far, is that this year holiday sales will be better than they have been the last few years. I can’t tell yet how much better, but at least in the categories that I am watching, I am pleased with what I am seeing so far. All of my lenses are doing better this year than last year, and much earlier in the year. The oldest lenses are doing the best, but newer lenses are showing some action too. What pleases me most is that lenses that did do well last year are already showing traffic and sales this year, and lenses that were made late last year for the holiday are showing more traffic and sales than they got last holiday.
Maximizing sales on an individual lens:
There are several ways to maximize sales on an individual lens. Here are just a few that anyone can implement over the next few weeks to get your lenses in shape for the prime sales season.
- Add an affiliate link in your introduction paragraph
- Make sure your lens has enough text for Google to see it
- Check to make sure the products you are offering are still available
- Remove any extra links to items that you do not make money from or put them at the bottom of your lens.
- Put one sales module either your own, or a Squidoo one directly under the intro module.
Those simple changes can really make your lenses pay off much more consistently, and they don’t take too much time to check.
Watching Sales Trends
In addition to watching items that people buy on your lens, you can also watch trends of what people click on and don’t buy. This can help you figure out what people are interested in. If you have an Amazon Associates account, you can see what they buy, and what they click on but don’t buy. If you cannot establish a buying history, this is the next best thing, to establish a looking history. If you do not have an Associates account, you can still check the stats on your lens to see what people click on to exit your lens. Then you can take that information to adjust the layout of the lens, and move those items closer to the top of the lens.
People start to look at what to buy for Christmas as soon as kids go back to school, which in the U.S. is usually by September 1, at the latest. My college age daughter is already back, and my high school daughter goes back on August 30. People start to shop and buy Christmas presents more seriously in October, and thereafter. They are spreading out spending more than they did a few years ago, and you do not want to miss those earlier shoppers.