An awful lot of my Squidoo lenses get queries from students.
How to Make a Pyramid Kite gets kids trying to build pyramids for a school project.
Ancient Greece Odyssey, my travel diary, gets kids needing maps of Greece or information about Greek history and art.
My California Sea Hare page gets medical students trying to track down neurological research using sea slugs!
How do I know? I watch the Traffic Stats tab on my lenses and monitor for phrases like “Roman names for Greek gods” or “How to make a pyramid school project”.
This suggests a powerful untapped strategy for web traffic.
First, monitor your lens traffic stats. If you’ve got queries asking student-type questions, TARGET them. I do this in a few ways.
1) I create a new lens answering the question and targeting the search phrase. I’ve done a few spin-off lenses like my Greece Odyssey FAQ answering “Ten questions students have about ancient Greece.”
2) I create a quiz targeting the questions/area that students are asking about.
3) Adjust/tweak the content of a lens to target unexpected search queries. Traffic stats showed my kitemaking lens drew a lot of students trying to build an Egyptian pyramid for school. So I put a note in the introduction saying, “Kids! Need to build a pyramid for school? Here’s how to adapt these instructions to make a pyramid! And here’s a stone wall pattern you can print out to wrap the pyramid!” with a link. The link is important– clickthroughs boost lensrank!
4) If you’re a parent, you have a secret weapon that I don’t — your kids’ homework! Don’t just help them with their homework. Make a lens about it. Even better, get THEM to make a lens, or help you make it! Today’s homework could be tomorrow’s second tier lens earning $2 a month!
Students don’t have big pocketbooks, so they’re not going to help you make gobs of money in affiliate marketing. But they ARE search engine savvy. They’re lazy. They want answers, and they want ‘em now!
Make sure the intro to your lens shows that you’ve got the exact answers they’re looking for, as I did with the “make a pyramid” query I kept seeing. Otherwise they’re liable to hit the back button and look elsewhere.
Don’t do their homework for them. I give hints, help, and links to good websites on Greece, etc where they can find more info. I try NOT to write a big block that a student could lift wholesale and plug into an essay.
I also teach about plagiarism. I tell visitors that since I’ve done some work for them, the honest way to say “thank you” and not steal my work is to give credit. I tell them how to cite my webpage in a bibliography for a student paper. It’s good to teach students about copyright when they’re young! I’ve had a few students thanking me and promising to give me credit.
As I said, most students aren’t going to purchase much on your lenses except, perhaps, books that may help them in class or may help them write a paper. So targeting student traffic won’t earn you gobs of money. But if you can target student queries using good SEO, you’ll be aiming for an audience that big online businesses tend to ignore. It doesn’t take that much traffic to get a lens into the second tier, as long as you’re encouraging clickthroughs. So use students to build $2-a-month lenses, second tier lenses, and you could start raking an untapped resource of web traffic!