A few weeks ago, I posted that I was looking for Squidoo questions to answer on this blog, and readers have been generous in asking them. Over the next several weeks, I will answer the questions that I can in posts, but please feel free to keep asking them. You will also find answers from other authors on this site, like Bev and AJ, or guest authors. Today I wanted to begin to answer a very complex question asked by lensmaster paperfacets.
After 5 years I am still feeling frustrated about sales. I have seen growth each year, but it amounts to about $50 dollars a year. Last year I axed the type of lenses that would not earn any money for me. I started adding for sales by focusing on sales lenses only, and I have gone with any product that suits my interests no matter if competition is high in all keywords or if they only generate a few thousand visits.
Is that a big mistake and wasting time? Well, I will narrow my question down. Is a Visit rate indicated on adwords of less than 5,500 a month something that you add to your portfolio? What visit rate do you like to see to proceed with an idea belonging to a niche you are working around?
Oh, and about ebay. I have seen my sales for ebay going up this last year. I think it is seeing a comeback, finally. I always include an ebay module to all may lenses.
I had already decided to answer this question today, and low and behold, the Squidoo HQ blog had a post about clickouts and sales. Because of this post, I will start with what susan52 said there. First of all, let me say that I highly respect susan52. She has been a lensmaster for quite some time, and if you look at her lenses, you will find some very high quality work, with obvious expertise in specific niches. She was one of the first lensmasters who promoted the Kindle, and is very knowledgeable about Squidoo. Besides that, she is just a nice person and I like her.
Here are the points in susan52′s post that I completely agree should be included in every sales page on Squidoo or elsewhere.
- Make your lens search engine friendly.
- Use keywords naturally throughout your lens.
- Write original descriptive content.
- Write as if you were talking to a friend.
Now to comment on this list, these aspects should be part of every lens you write, not just sales lenses. If you want people to find your work, you need to include all four of the above elements on each and every page you write. So what I am saying here is that this is not enough to make a sales lens sell.
My guess is that most of you reading this blog are already doing at least some of these four things. If you are not, you should go back and examine all of your lenses. This may be why or at least part of the reason why you are not getting the traffic you need to make your lenses more successful. However, you can have all of the above points going for you on your lenses and still not be selling a thing.
So what is missing? Or better yet, what do you need on a sales lens that you may not need on other types of lenses?
Let’s look at the nitty-gritty of selling. I know that many people are uncomfortable with selling, but if you want to make money on Squidoo, the best way is by selling stuff. You can say you are referring people if you don’t like the word selling, but don’t kid yourself too much, it is selling.
- To sell stuff, you need the right traffic.
This is a very important point. Sales is a numbers game. You will never be able to sell to everyone who comes to your lens. Therefore, you need to generate enough traffic to sell to the number of people who will bring in the income you need. This number is different for everyone, and you will have to figure that out yourself. However, if 50 people visiting result in two sales, and you need 6 sales to make enough money, then you need to get 3 x the amount of people you are currently getting.
Just any traffic is not good enough. You need the right traffic. This is where keywords come into play. If you are selling blue pillows on your lens, then you need to look for the keywords that people use to search for blue pillows, and put them in your lens. Let me be clear, not the same exact keyword over and over, but a variety of keywords that describe what you are selling. Use them in your titles, subtitles, and text.
- To sell stuff, you need to tell people that you are selling it.
When people are ready to buy, they will go online and search for the thing that they want to buy using keywords. Then they will find the site they want to buy from, and buy it. It is that simple. These are the people that you want to get to your page, the folks who are ready to buy. However, your page needs to be clear. You need to tell people that this stuff is for sale. Don’t hint around about it, come out and tell them. Make sure your page is clearly showing stuff for sale. In addition, don’t make the page fancy. You want to make the stuff you are selling stand out. That is what people need to be focused on. I recommend a theme like New York. Plain and simple.
- You will sell more if your items for sale are at the top of the page.
It has been proven through many surveys that when people read stuff online, they do not read it, but instead scan it. Many times they scan the top of a page, then go to another page. Use that knowledge and put at least one link to a sales item in your introduction. I usually link to the item that is in the introduction image.
- A sales page does not need lots of extraneous information.
If you want to sell stuff, then leave off the extra modules like polls, countdowns, and other cute additions from your lenses. Or at the very least move them to the bottom. A sales page should totally focus on what you are selling.
- Link a picture and text link for each item.
People are used to clicking on both pictures and text links online. Give them both for each item you sell. You can do this with Amazon or Ebay modules, or by adding your own links with html. Be aware that you cannot add your own Ebay links per Ebay’s TOS. But you can add Amazon’s, or many other affiliate companies’ links.
- Instead of making one long sales page, make several shorter ones.
Don’t make one long sales page. Make several shorter ones that link together. This goes back to how people read online. It will also give you that many more chances to grab people’s attention in the search engines.
- Use the table of contents module near the top of the page.
Give people a chance to click down the page more quickly with the TOS module (not the one in the introduction). You can place this module anywhere. I usually put it one or two modules below the introduction.
- Use Ebay to sell the unusual, one of a kind items that only Ebay carries.
If you are not using Ebay on your lenses, you are missing out. At least 1/3 to 1/2 of my sales come from Ebay. Ebay is the perfect place to buy parts, components, old, obsolete, and unusual items. If you do not know how to search for items on Ebay, this guide that I wrote for Wizzley will work on Squidoo.
- Trust your instincts.
Okay, this is the tough one. When I choose something to sell, I do not look at competition on Google. I know this goes against what you have heard before, but instead I look at what is trending on Amazon, or how much traffic there are to the keywords for items that I want to sell. Then I research the keywords to find every related version of the keyword for the items that I want to sell. If I find enough items to match, then I go ahead and make some lenses about them. My goal is to get an average of $10 per year for every lens that I have. Now, it doesn’t actually work out that each lens makes $10 per year. Some make far more, and some make far less. Some pay out in the spring, others in the summer, and others in the fall.
I highly recommend that you write lenses about topics that you are already familiar with. That will make your writing more natural. It will be easier to find keywords for your topic. And you will know how to search for it, and comparable items. One of my topics is working with PMC. I have several lenses on this topic which you can find here. These were some of my first successful sales lenses, although there are also some tutorial points on them. These are very niche, very focused lenses on a single topic that will only interest a small percentage of people. However, those people are very interested in the topic and often ready to buy. In other words, they are the right traffic.
- Just one won’t do it.
Last but not least. If you want to make a lot of money, you need to write a lot of lenses. That is a fact. While I might make a lot of money from one lens, I don’t know which lens that will be until I make a lot of lenses. Some will do well one year, and not another. Others will never do well for no apparent reason. Some will boom unexpectedly. This is the nature of the beast.
Incoming search terms:
- info valuelog net
- cant find lens when i search it on squidoo
- how to label intro picture on squidoo lens
- squidoo sales module?
- why create squidoo lenses?
- why does squidoo say i need more content