Okay, I admit it. I like my lenses to be in the best payout tier they can be, and I like traffic, two related but separate goals.
So at the beginning of the month, I find myself reviewing my dashboard. In particular, I look for lenses that are starting out near a tier cutoff. I look for lenses with over a hundred visitors per week, yet they’re tier 3. And I look for lenses whose fortunes have recently improved, like, say, my Squidquizzes which you all suddenly discovered last month even though I made them over a year ago.
How can I help them begin the month on good footing, or, much more importantly, help them stay where they are now and not drop?
- Squidoo promotion time! But I’m not just gonna say, “Hey guys, come visit this lens!” I look for some sort of value I can add to a lens which will have a lasting impact beyond a temporary traffic spike. Lately I’ve been doing this in two key ways. (a) Create a printable cheat sheet, guide, or something that earns a click-through (see the new link at the bottom of the introduction of my Graphics Layout lens). (b) Find some fascinating, useful information or an online resource that would be of interest to people who favorited that lens, and Squidcast about it. The Squidcast page can be seen by search engines, so it’s more link juice as well as more people bait!
- Browse comments and/or traffic stats for that lens. What have people been searching for that brings them to that lens? Can I match their needs better? Can I find better links that fit their queries? Can I give better answers? Visitors often have guestbook suggestions, saying they liked the lens, and they also were looking for X and Y. If you actually covered X and Y on the lens, then that’s a sign you need to trim the lens and make X and Y more obvious. Once you’ve answered everyone’s burning questions, then Squidcast or Tweet or share the news in your social media of choice.
- Widgets time! Does the lens have sidebar widgets? Are they useful widgets? How about an Amazon Spotlight tying the topic to a season? (For example, I’ve been adding Greek myths Hallowe’en costumes to some of my Greek myths lenses in a sidebar widget.)
- Squidoo tags and cross-linking! Have I got the lens listed on my lensography? Have I featured the lens on other related lenses? Check the tags. Do they make sense? Could I add more, or are there ones that need to be pruned? If I have a lot of lenses in a niche, do they all share a few key tags, so they pass traffic back ad forth via the Discovery tool? If I have a bunch of lenses on a niche, it may be time to create a lensography FOR that niche, which all of them link to (“My Christmas Recipe lenses”, for example).
- If you’ve got any Amazon shopping to do, do it now rather than at the end of the month when it’s too late to make a difference. A sales boost won’t save a dud lens, but it can help a lens cling to the spot where it is now instead of sliding down.