In a SquidU post, Timewarp asks if Tier Three lenses, with their piddling 20 cents a month income, are really worth it. My short answer is that (a) yes, they’re worth it, because if ten Squidoo lenses are earning you $2 a month, you’re $12 wealthier at years’ end, and (b) yes, it would be better if tier one was capped at $25 (or $20) and the excess distributed to lensrank tiers two and three.
However, that got me to thinking. If tier three lenses really are worth something — and they are to me, since my 100 tier three lenses are earning me over $200 a year — then I should kick those lenses below tier three into tier 3!
To my dismay, I discovered that out of 159 lenses in my main account, I now have OVER FORTY LENSES below Tier Three. Inconceivable! Intolerable!
Some lenses are duds. They just aren’t going to earn payouts. Our time is better spent improving our GOOD lenses, the ones that are successful, rather than wasting time on duds. But still. I look at my dashboard and see many lenses with less than 10 visitors a week, no sales, and few clickouts in tier 3. Surely I can get half of those 40 dud lenses up to tier 3 with one day of improvements. At least, I’m going to try. So here’s what I’m doing to improve each lens.
Lensrank 224,041, no visits: Squidbits: Greekgeek’s Squidoo Blog
Oh, blah. Why so timid, Greekgeek? I say that I’m starting a blog on Squidoo tips and techniques, only I’m just an SEO journeyman and don’t know everything… YAWN! Rewrite: I’m making hundreds of dollars a month (because I am, dammit), I’m going to be making $2000 a year, and here’s my blog about how I’m doing it!
Also: I changed the main content to a BULLETED LIST OF TOPICS, because bulleted lists appeal to websurfers who skim. Every item on that list is a clickout possibility, a lensrank boost. And those are the most essential and vital items that someone who visits that lens might want to know.
Also: I tightened up the prose on a “Squidoo tips” module further down the lens, and added more graphics to attempt to draw in image search traffic. I tweaked Squidoo tags, and added something to the sidebar Widgets. Rewrote title to, “Squidbits Blog: Greekgeek’s Squidoo Secrets and Tips” because that sounds far more exciting than “Greekgeek’s Squidoo blog.”
Pinged, Tweeted. Time: 20 minutes.
LR 223,022 – The Matt Holliday Song – 0 visits.
Oh, here’s a real dud. In ’09, a baseball player I actually like made such a spectacularly bad play in the playoffs it spawned a bunch of silly YouTube videos. I made a lens about them. But this is stale news, YEARS old, and it’s the baseball offseason. Lost cause? Maybe, but let me try…
Adding content: this lens is all YouTube videos apart from the intro, which isn’t going to give it much of a spot in search results. It’s got lots of clickout opportunities, but I’m not sure they’re juicy enough. So I added a new paragraph and a good clickout I NEED VISITORS to this lens or it’s not going to go anywhere. So I also added a Google Blog Search — this content gets indexed by Google, unlike RSS feeds — using search terms that would pick up news and blog posts on the player made by fantasy baseball bloggers, since fantasy sports fans often search for individual players. Finally, I added some juicy sidebar widgets: a book that people who visit the lens might want to read, and a blog feed from a good baseball blog.
Improved title to attract more clicks: check. Pinged.
Time: 20 minutes.
Lensrank 223,021 Henry the Hexapus – 0 visits
Awww, poor Henry the Hexapus. He was another trending news topic several years ago, a natural mutant, a six-legged octopus who made a fun science news story. I’m sure he’s passed away now. I had pictures, I even got in contact with the aquarium which was housing him and got some good content, but it’s stale now. Is this lens dead? Let’s see…
— Added more content. Just a bit, but I peppered it with the words “unique” and “cephalopod.” Unique tends to attract search traffic (good SEO trick). Cephalopod is a broad but not too broad search term that might help.
— Added more images which could draw traffic from image search. A little tricky to find legal images, but thankfully Zazzle Artists came to my rescue. Zazzle Designs on Squidoo lenses are a great way to get image traffic and referral $$.
— Added some information/pictures about other unique cephalopods, including an internet hoax, always good for a laugh (and traffic).
— Added a Google News search. Content is crawled by search engines, and links may draw clickouts.
— Added a dramatic and interesting video on a giant squid. A little off-topic, but fun, informative, and may keep people on the page a big longer. Got a little distracted looking for videos, oops.
Pinged. Lens title changed to “Henry the Hexapus: A Unique Cephalopod” in an attempt to get more traffic (note — I’m lazy, I haven’t even checked to see if Cephalopod is a good search term).
Time: 21 minutes.
Lensrank 223,020: Director Alex De Campi, Video Showcase 0 visits.
Uh oh. This one really needs me to revamp its content by researching the independent film director it’s about, but I’m in a hurry right now. Alex is a childhood friend of mine, an immensely talented person, and I wanted to make a page helping her to promote her stuff (because I think it’s good). Alas, she’s obscure, a lens that’s nothing but videos isn’t going to get much traffic, and it’s out of date. What can I do in 20 minutes to help this lens and maybe send a few more fans to Alex’s work?
- Searched the web for some news…WOO, she’s gone into graphic novels, and I need to buy that one… added quick news update to lens on her current work. Text = crunchy content for SEs.
- Added Amazon Widget in sidebar for her new book that’s out in Kindle edition. Personal blurb /review.
- Added another link or two.
- Added Google News Search on her name and a Twitter Follow module to follow what she’s doing (I had an RSS feed there from BEFORE the Twitter module was released, and the feed was broken.)
- Rewrote lens title and subtitle with more keywords. Again, I’m being lazy in not doing true keyword research on search trends vs. competition, which I should do for a really robust lens update, but I’m trying to be quick! That’s for another time. I know that specific language is better. See my Tao of SEO post for general tips when you DON’T have time to research keywords.
Posted, pinged, tweeted. Time: 19 minutes.
Lensrank #210,838: Travel Blog, a Trip Around the World
Uh oh. I slapped out this lens a month or so ago, when I knew about as much as I do now. Then again, it was a quick lens, not an in-depth lens. My cousins, aunt and uncle are taking a trip around the world, and I thought of making a charity lens about their trip. It’s basically an RSS feed and that’s it, which is useless, since the RSS module isn’t indexed. To REALLY improve this lens, I need to make a fun “itinerary” with something on each stop on their trip. That would take a while. What can I do in 20 minutes?
- More catchy title: “My Cousins’ Amazing Trip Around the World in 1 Year!”
- I bit the bullet. I added more textual content and images. I didn’t entirely optimize them — didn’t bother to change alt-tags — but I used a Creative Commons search on Flickr to find images that are licensed for commercial use. The key here is that as soon as you visit the image, it’s got a “share” button which lets you grab the HTML to display the image on your lens. All you need to do then is add a “Photo Credit: [photographers name] ” and link back to the page you got it from, which is really QUICK work. This took a while, but it was about the fastest way I could think of to add substantial content to the page (I added a quick place about each place they visited, choosing somewhat less-common, specific names like particular Greek islands or a place in France instead of just “Athens” and “Paris” which would be too swamped in search competition to net me any visits)
Pinged. Tweeted. I’d better stop tweeting before I drive my followers nuts. I tried to Tweet only lenses they might find interesting though.
Time: 34 minutes. LUNCH BREAK (at 2PM, typical.)
And now I think I’ll break up this post into multiple entries. Here’s part two.