It's come to this: an article about Web 2.0 site Squidoo. We suppose we broke ground on this sort of thing when we wrote a piece about Twitter. So why not Squidoo?
We can hear the groans now: "Oh no, now I need to set up yet another one of these Web 2.0 pages? What's the payoff for my time?"
Wait, hear us out.
Yes, Squidoo is another Web 2.0 site. Like other such sites, on Squidoo you can share information about yourself and your business for free. Of course, for our purposes we're interested in how you can use to it to promote your e-commerce, specifically your eBay business. It turns out there's a lot to recommend it for doing just that.
One of the most-connected eBay sellers we know is Stephanie Inge, founder of the eBabes and eMales eBay sellers groups in Texas. She's a big Squidoo fan. Here's why:
"One of the most important things Squidoo can do for you is drive traffic to your eBay listings and put more money in your wallet," Inge tells us. "Ever since eBay rolled out its new 'Best Match' search algorithm in 2008, eBay listings aren't appearing in Google's organic search results. Therefore, eBay sellers must rely on their own technical know-how and third-party solution providers, such as Squidoo, to maximize the chances that a buyer will find their product."
Squidoo is fun
You may have heard of Squidoo already, since the company has been around since 2005—which makes it a veteran in the Web 2.0 world. Like all of these sites, including Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, Squidoo has its own vocabulary. The place (think a blog with lots of links) that you create for yourself is called a Lens, not a Web page. "Lens" is a nod to the big eyes squids have. The idea is to create a Lens about something you have a background or interest in, and share it with the world. The site's tagline is "everyone is an expert (on something)."
Right now there are more than 900,000 unique Squidoo Lenses. These were the most popular Lenses when we checked:
- Twitter Applications List You'll Ever Need
- Are you a Stay at Home Mom (or Dad) Interested in Earning a Monthly Income?
- The Best HDTVs for 2009
- Woodstock Music Festival 1969
- Left Brain Right Brain Test
- Frog Unit Study: Hopping to Learn
- Celebrating Pi Day 3.14
- Best Panini Sandwich Recipes
- March Madness 2009
- Twilight Movie Themed Bedding & Bedroom Decor
Squidoo claims to be one of the 300 most popular Web sites in the United States. Last year it grew 91 percent and 400,000 people visit the site every day.
We like the fun and inspiration behind Squidoo, as well as the site's execution. Maybe it helps that the man behind the squid is Seth Godin, whose marketing books have made a big impact in the Internet world. Brad's known Godin for more than a decade now, and he's always been out in front of the crowd.
What's unique about Squidoo is how easily you can incorporate information about your eBay business or your e-commerce Web site
Squidoo for business
OK, back to work. As an eBay seller, you're probably more interested in creating a Lens and using it to promote your eBay business.
You start a new Lens by entering information one block at a time via modules. Squidoo encourages you every step of the way with "that-a-boy" enthusiasm if you fill out the modules entirely. If you're short a few words, the site will say something like, "that's pretty good," to keep you aiming for that gold star. It sounds cheesy, but it's strangely motivating.
Again, there are lots of sites like this where users contribute content to plug themselves and their businesses. What's unique about Squidoo is how easily you can incorporate information about your eBay business, as well as links to your eBay auctions, eBay store, or your own e-commerce Web site. This company really "gets" eBay. It actually has a separate eBay tool called SquidBid that makes creating eBay-focused Lenses simple.
When you've created your own such Lens, the end result is a very attractive site for the amount of work you put into it. You get to build as much eBay buzz about your items as you could on any place besides on eBay itself. Not only that, you can create lots of lenses—and undoubtedly, you'll be inspired to keep creating after you finish that first one.
We're not PowerSellers right now, but we do have books to market. So we created a Lens about how to get a job through Web 2.0 sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn, which is the subject of a new book we have coming out. Within that Lens we were able to incorporate links to all of our books on Amazon, as well as links to current eBay auctions that feature our books.
Now that we have created that shameless, self-promotional Lens, the idea is to drive traffic to it. Of course, Squidoo has lots of advice about how to do that. For motivation, its LensRankings show which Lenses are the most popular. Some Lenses are quite amazing and pack a wallop of a marketing punch. For example, from the list we presented above, the Lens for parents who want to earn income working from home looked really well done. Create more than one Lens and each one becomes a separate fishing pole just waiting for a bite. The more poles you have in the lake, the more fish you'll potentially catch.
Money from your Squidoo Lens itself
Of course your main motivation will be to use the site to promote yourself and your products, and then drive people to where they can actually buy your things. But there's more: When you have completed a Lens, you not only have a great marketing tool, you have something that can also earn you money all by itself.
When people check out your Lens, they have the chance to click on ads from Google and other sources (naturally). Squidoo pays you 50 percent of any revenue generated from those ads. Plus, you can feel good about being a part of Squidoo as 5 percent of the revenue the site generates overall goes to charity.
For more on creating Squidoo lenses, visit Squid U. Also be sure to check out the eBay User's Forum, one of the site's many discussion groups. For us, we're on to our next article, this time about Ning, or Ryze, or…