With the biggest payout yet for many people — including me! — and the end of the year, Squidoo members are pondering Squidoo success stories…and failures.
MikeEssex created a Squidoo Success Stories lens reporting on the real-life successes of several members, plus links to stats and earnings lenses by many members who maintain lenses or blogs to track their Squidoo progress. (Here’s mine.)
In response, three-year Squidoo member SisterCaren wrote a tongue-in-cheek lens which I think is just as important: her Squidoo Failure Story. She shares tips and insights on what doesn’t work.
We need to know about both Squidoo successes and Squidoo failures. I included both when I created my “Is Squidoo a Scam?” lens several years ago. I also demonstrated (I hope) that success on Squidoo can be defined in many different ways: traffic, successful promotion of a blog, business, or cause, moneymaking, gaining an online following.
However, there is one way that most Squidoo members and the rest of the world define success: earnings. And Kimberly’s announcement on 12/16 that ONE member earned $2000K for the month through Squidoo earnings alone is a story of both success and failure at the same time.
Many experienced Squidoo members are earning triple-digit monthly incomes through Squidoo (I am). A few are earning $1000+.
Many more are not.
This isn’t a reflection on Squidoo. Even in the online world, something does not come from nothing. Money must come from something that attracts customers, users, attention, and/or sales.
None of those things happen by accident. You must earn them. Not only must you earn them, but you must compete with the whole web for visitors, readers, and buyers. You’re like a single soup can in a supermarket that occupies 3 city blocks. Will anyone buy you or even notice you before you expire?
That’s why I taught myself SEO.
For myself, that $2000K a month is a sober reminder. Most of the people who make good money on Squidoo are doing it by supplementing Squidoo lenses with third party affiliate marketing. I don’t. Not yet, and I probably never will switch from content to money-earning as my primary focus. I use Amazon Associate links and Zazzle images to supplement and complement my pages, but apart from the odd product or book review of something I like, I am not selling things.
There is the very real possibility that I won’t crack $2000 a month in the next year. And that is my goal. It’s probably yours, too.
Looking at my earnings right now, I’m reliably seeing approximately:
- ~ 6 (this will soon be 8+) tier 1 lenses: ~ $30 per month
- ~ 25 tier 2 lenses: ~ $5 per month
- ~ 150 tier 3 lenses: ~ 25 cents a month
$500/mo was my goal by the end of 2010. I think I will fall short, but not by much.
That means I have to do three times as well as I am doing now to make that $2000K. And so do YOU.
Squidoo will help a little: each tier’s earnings have gone up significantly over time. But that’s not nearly enough to boost an income stream from hobby-level to living wage.
Either we have to go the affiliate marketing route, or we have to make a LOT more lenses while maintaining their quality, or we have to diversify and use non-Squidoo sources like Zazzle and Amazon Associates more effectively.
I’ll be doing B and C. I’m not sure it will be enough. It also is going to take a lot more work and time to make $2000K via Squidoo than via traditional jobs.
Will it be worth it?
That depends how you define success.
[UPDATE April 21, 2012: Still plugging away. See my revamped tutorial: The Secrets of My Squidoo Success.]
My plan is all three options that you have mentioned. More affiliate marketing, more lenses, and better use of Amazon/Zazzle, etc. This year my earnings stepped up quite a bit from writing about more product oriented topics.
Like you, I was pretty hesitant to do so at first, but there’s bills to pay! Some of my older “non-salesy” lenses are starting to pick up in traffic over time and make the occasional sale from an Amazon module, too.
Good luck with your $2000 goal from Squidoo next year. Is this goal JUST Squidoo and not including any outside sources, or just Squidoo?
I intend to use my Zazzle store and Amazon Associates links, and possibly get a bit more of the latter onto my mythology blog. I don’t think I can do it with Squidoo alone, since I’ve chosen not to go for serious, systematic affiliate marketing.
Do you have original photos of Greece that you could perhaps use in a Zazzle store? I don’t think that would be a terrible thing. Just a suggestion. I know you are strongly in favor of keeping your Greek-themed lenses ‘clean’ of sales modules/products, but sharing beautiful photos in a tasteful way would not be in poor taste, imo.
Thank you for the suggestion!
I do and I don’t. In fact this is what sent me to Squidoo in the first place: (a) I wanted a better platform to post my travel story, Ancient Greece Odyssey, but (b) I had taken some of my better photos and set up a Cafepress shop with them. When Cafepress started undercutting shopkeepers too much, I closed down my premium shop and transferred a few of my designs/photos across to Zazzle. I’ve got a Zazzle store! But I need to reorganize it and get many more images/designs. Also, I need to go back to Greece, because the digital camera I took with me in ’05 was really struggling to get good high-quality, high-resolution images in museums where flash is forbidden!
first of all i would like to tell you that you are one of favorite lensmasters because i ve learned so much from your lenses and i still do…
i joined squidoo to earn some moeny ( although it is more like a passion as the days go by )…..now i am not delusional i do not want to get rich with squidoo and i do not expect it to be easy ( earn at least enough money to pay internet bills )…………
what makes a success or failure …i say….it depends on what you want…….
I’ve been blogging for years, and finally became disillusioned about the earning potential of content that’s not sale oriented. It just doesn’t make enough money.
Affiliate sales are just so much easier! I’m just starting, have almost zero traffic to my sites, and still made a few Amazon sales already.
I’ve signed to Squidoo to get more links, traffic and referrals. It’s a pretty sweet deal even without the added bonus of a few extra pennies.
“Either we have to go the affiliate marketing route, or we have to make a LOT more lenses while maintaining their quality, or we have to diversify and use non-Squidoo sources like Zazzle and Amazon Associates more effectively.”
You’ve hit the nails squarely on their heads. Bam, bam and bam.
I’d just like to say “Don’t miss out on Ebay!” like I did for the first year I was on Squidoo. I am completely amazed at the sales I’ve made with Ebay modules. It’s always interesting to see what visitors end up buying. I think they get over there then remember to look for something else. Kinda like they do at Amazon but better.