When it comes to sales lenses, I’m a newbie. I’ve been writing on whatever the heck I feel competent and compelled to write about, going with content first and the odd Amazon Spotlight as a complement to my lens.
It should be possible to modify that approach to include reviews of things I genuinely use, know, and recommend. I’ve done it on a few lenses. I’ve got one that has made sales almost every month for years. Not in huge volume compared to our more seasoned affiliate marketers, but consistently enough to call a success.
So why does this lens work, and how can I apply its lessons to other lenses?
Phew! It’s so easy to get caught up in your own lenses; I really admire all the generous squids who manages to make lens reviews on a weekly basis!
Before I forget: SquidooHQ recently invited us to nominate three LOTDs, and I’m delighted that my picks got featured! One lens you all know, and two you probably didn’t. (one, two, three).
But now let’s get back to the Tier One Challenge. To recap, these are lenses people have never gotten above tier 3 that they’re trying to get to tier one. I’m trying to review all of them. So far I’ve done just five. Eek!
Great Stuff: Alex always uses crisp CSS to make effective-looking lenses, and I love his left-side border images. His active, engaging, eloquent language pulls you into the story, which is important on a lens that has something to say instead of just something to sell or info to offer. He frames it as a debate, which helps convert casual web surfer into someone more mentally involved in the lens. And the content is just plain fascinating, varied, well-presented with a variety of ways to intereact with the lens. (It’s also one of the few Amazon Plexos I’ve felt like submitting to.)
Possible Tweak: I might move the video farther down on the page. It was in danger of distracting me from the meat and main topic of the lens. Then again, it did wake me up!
RANDOM CSS TIP: Have you ever tried putting a border around the Introduction Module or a Text module, only to have the lens logo or module graphic overlap the border? I’ve got two techniques for dealing with the problem, which I’ve seen on several Challenge lenses.
Here is an unsolicited recommendation: Read the SquidUtils Blog!
The Fluffanutta is a tech-savvy Squidoo member who has created add-ons for the Squidoo Workshop, maintains the SquidUtils site chock-full of free goodies for Squidoo lensmasters, and is responsible for some of the tools that eventually became incorporated into Squidoo itself. I use his Workshop Add-ons tools as part of my lensbuilding/promoting routine. He knows more about how Squidoo works than just about anybody who isn’t an actual employee of Squidoo.
The SquidUtils Blog has tons of tips and suggestions for how to get the most out of Squidoo. I’ve learned an awful lot of what I know from that blog and Fluff’s post in the SquidU forums, and when I ask a question, Fluffanutta is usually the one who tells me what I need to know.
So. SquidUtils Blog. Great source of Squidoo secrets and practical knowledge.
This post is a thank-you to Fluff for straightening me out and helping me understand two different Squidoo topics in the last couple of days!
I wasn’t planning to do lens reviews on this blog, but spouting about my own stuff all the time could get dreary. So why not use someone else’s lens as an example of a good use of Squidoo?
When you find a lens you like, ask yourself: WHY do you like it? You can get insights about building good lenses, articles, and blog posts by jotting down what on that lens worked for you, what didn’t. Don’t copy their content (please!), but learn approaches to presenting your own content in more effective ways.
Here is EditorDave’s Guam: Where America’s Day Begins lens.