Squidoo Lens Master: Proven Strategies for Making Serious Money with Squidoo by Ben Harris - HTML preview

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Although Google did display results for the keyword “lizards,” there are also other keywords listed. This is what we’re looking for.

Quick Note: This keyword tool is designed for advertisers, not those of us using it to determine search engine friendly keywords. For this reason, you can basically ignore the “competition” bars. If you are creating websites with Google Adsense as your monetization method, then the more competition the better, as it means more people are paying to use those specific keywords in an advertisement.

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So let’s dissect these results, shall we? First off, “lizards” is the obvious choice if you’re looking at the “Global Monthly Searches” window.

It gets a whopping 368,000 searches each and every month (estimated). Not bad!

Here’s another tool you need to use: SEO Quake. This is a free plugin designed to help you gauge competition on Google searches. This plugin works on Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera browsers. After you install it, you can do a simple Google search for the keyword you’re looking for. When you do a search, there will be a lot of information displayed underneath the results.

When I searched the keyword “lizards” on Google, the first result was from Wikipedia. Here’s what SEO Quake told me about Wikipedia.

Now, there’s a lot of information going on here. However, the most important information is in the first box labeled “PR.” PR stands for page rank. The more authority and links a website gets, the higher the page rank is. It works on an exponential scale of 0-10. In general, we only want to target keywords where the top result is a PR 0 or 1. Any higher than this and the competition will be too hard for us to deal with. For this example, a PR 6 is WAY higher than what we want to be targeting. Obviously, “lizards” isn’t going to work for our lens.

Let’s go down the list and see if we can find any other keywords that might work. Since there’s already a “lizards.com,” there’s no point in choosing that as a keyword.

Now, take a look at “lizard cages.” This keyword has a lot of potential right off the bat. The main reason? Well, “lizard cages” is an actual product name. This means that when people search this keyword, they’re looking for a product, meaning they want to BUY!

At first glance, it would seem like this keyword is exactly what we’re looking for. Besides the fact that it’s a product name, the keyword is searched approximately 18,100 times each month. That’s extremely good.

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Lastly, the “competition” bar is mostly full, meaning if we want to use Adsense, we will get paid a decent amount of money each time someone clicks on our ads. However we are not allowed to add our own Adsense into our lenses so this is not our concern. Squidoo provides each lens with Adsense automatically, but it splits the revenue with it's users proportionally to the ranking of your lens. The higher your lens ranking, the more you will make in Adsense monthly from Squidoo.

Looks good so far, but let’s see if there’s any competition…

A quick Google search for “lizard cages”, SEO Quake reveals that the top ranking website is a PR 3. That’s within reach, but it’s a little more competitive than I would like. However, looking further down the list, it appears that the competition is non-existent. On top of this, the PR 3 website is a page from an authority website. This means that the page isn’t specifically targeting lizard cages, they just have enough authority to rank high with almost any keyword in the lizard/reptile niche.

Remember when I said Squidoo was an authority website? This is exactly what I’m talking about. Even though the top website for “lizard cages” is a PR 3, it’s mainly because the website has additional authority coming from the main domain. Since we’re also coming from a domain with built in authority AND we’re planning on targeting the keyword “lizard cages” exclusively, we have a good chance of ranking over the PR 3.

At the very least, we’ll rank in spot #2 fairly easily, as the website which is currently rank #2 has a PR of 0 (easy to rank above with Squidoo’s built in authority).

So let’s go over the process one more time. First, we brainstormed a very broad niche or market. For this example, I used “lizards,”

although you could also use “cooking” or “finance” or any other broad keyword.

Once we had our broad keyword, we plugged it into the Google keyword tool. This tool gave us back some great information on alternative keywords and traffic stats. Using a combination of SEO Quake and Google’s traffic data, we determined which keywords were too competitive. As we narrowed it down further, we found that “lizard cages” offered a unique opportunity. It’s already the name of a product and it had a decent amount of monthly visitors.

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So far, “lizard cages” seems to be the keyword we will be targeting for this specific lens.

Let’s dig deeper, though, shall we?

The WordTracker Keyword Tool

I’d like to introduce you to another keyword tool. It’s a bit different from the Google Keywords tool and I really like this tool a lot. It’s called the Free Keyword Tool by WordTracker.

This tool is 100% free, although you will need to sign up for a free account after your initial search. This WordTracker tool is perfect for narrowing down our keyword even further. We already have our main keyword (in this case, “lizard cages”), now we want to see if there are any other keywords directly related to our main keyword. After typing “lizard cages” into WordTracker, I got the following results:

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Note: The blurred out sections are for paying subscribers to WordTracker. For Squidoo, these ARE NOT NECESSARY. They can be helpful, but if you simply want to use WordTracker for some basic keyword research, you do not need to subscribe!

As you can see, we got some interesting results back from WordTracker. I’d like to quickly direct your eyes to the Searches part of the tool. Here we see something very interesting. Under the Searches column, we see the number (35). This represents the total searches for

“lizard cages” + variations each day.

Wait a minute. 35 unique searches each day? That’s only 1,085 unique visitors each month! Didn’t Google tell us that there were 18,100

unique visitors each month for “lizard cages?”

Yes, they did. Now you’re beginning to see why we don’t fully trust these tools. They both use different methods to determine traffic levels.

By using multiple keyword tools, we ensure that we’re not misled by inaccurate traffic estimations. Generally, the true level of traffic falls somewhere between both estimates.

I’ve targeted keywords that WordTracker says get searched 10 times a day and find out they actually get searched 50 times per day. I’ve targeted keywords Google said got 50,000 unique views a month and it only received some 8,000.

This is why it’s so important to use multiple traffic estimating tools!

Let’s go back to our example, though. Even if WordTracker is 100% accurate, 1,085 unique visitors per month is FINE for what we’re doing here. Even though the more traffic the better, 35 unique visitors each day is okay for this keyword – especially because the keyword is a product name already.

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This means that the vast majority of those 1,085 people will be looking to buy. Again, I can’t stress this enough. If you see a keyword that is already a product name and has no competition, TAKE IT!

Alright. Back to WordTracker!

Here you can see we already have the basics. It lists “lizard cage” and “lizard cages” as the keywords with the most searches per day.

This is expected. You can also see we have a few odd keywords thrown in there as well.

Even though a lot of these keywords are odd, we want to throw as many into our content as possible. The more keywords we hit, the more traffic our website will naturally get. If we’re ranking #1 for these more obscure keywords, which will give us even more authority for our primary terms of “lizard cage” and “lizard cages.”

So when you’re writing your content, remember to use the WordTracker tool. If you like the tool, you can definitely use it when you’re looking for your main keywords as well. I personally prefer the Google keyword as it also gives data on advertiser competition and monthly searches.

Once you use the WordTracker tool to find the extra keywords, put those keywords into the content of your lens! I realize you won’t be able to hit all of them. That’s okay. Just put in all the ones you can fit.

Lastly, remember that we’re writing our lens for PEOPLE, not search engines. Although it can be tempting to write content that is stuffed with keywords, it’s bad news. People won’t read your content and won’t buy your products. On top of this, search engines hate it when people are keyword stuffing, so if they catch you, your website will be penalized and drop down the ranks.

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Money Keyword Finder

While both the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and the WordTracker Keyword Tool are great, I actually use Money Keyword Finder for all of my keyword research. This tool is great because all you do is type in a main niche and it grabs all of the related keywords from Google, WordTracker, and Yahoo. It then categorizes all of those keywords into the following categories:





It uses a very complicated algorithm to determine these rankings, but we don't need to worry about that. All we need to do is to focus on keywords in the "Excellent" category. These will be highly valuable words which we can most easily rank for. This kind of keyword research is priceless because it will automatically weed out the keywords which we would otherwise waste our time and energy on.

One of the best features of Money Keyword Finder is the fact that from right within the program, you can also find all related affiliate products you can promote for that particular keyword. This is where the real earning power from Squidoo comes into play. Fear not, we will learn all about promoting affiliate products later on.

Using Money Keyword Finder is ridiculously easy. There are only 4 steps which need to be completed. Here are the screenshots of the entire process using Money Keyword Finder and it's resulting keywords:

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As you can see from the results, Money Keyword Finder categorized the term “Lizard Cages” as “Good”. Now looking at these results, I would actually be more apt to go after “Reptile Racks” or “Buy Reptiles Online”, as those are in the “Excellent” category. As I said, this tool is dead simple to use and the results are amazing. I highly recommend it.

If you are just starting out and you do not have any sort of budget, then you can start out with the free keyword tools, but if you have a budget then you should definitely use Money Keyword Finder.

I know this is a lot of stuff, but it’s extremely important. If all you get out of this book is knowledge on how to do keyword research, your chances of making money online will skyrocket. Hopefully you’ll also learn the other stuff as well!

Well… what are you waiting for? Let’s move onto lens creation!

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8. Lens Creation and Monetization

Before I get into this section, I’d like to stress one thing. Lens creation is IMPORTANT.

Yes, yes, I know. That should probably be a given. However, a lot of people take the numbers game approach a little too far. They spend all their time doing keyword research and then throw up a partially completed lens. Although this is definitely the quickest and most efficient way of making Squidoo lenses, the odds of you making money are extremely low.

Even if you do rank at the top of Google, you’ll still need to convince your customers to buy from you (i.e. click on your affiliate links). Your content needs to be written in such a way that encourages customers to buy your product. This is the difference between Squidoo users who are making money and Squidoo users who aren’t.

Keyword research is important, but if you can’t back it up with content, you’re not going to make money. Remember, each part of this system is crucial. Don’t skip out on anything!

Now, this section has two parts. I decided to combine both parts into one section because they have a lot of synergy together. In other words, your content is going to be the basis for choosing a monetization method. If you’re promoting affiliate products, for example, your content is going to be structured in such a way to encourage people to buy your products.

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Picking your Monetization Method

So we have our keyword. Now we need to figure out how we can make money using it! Monetization should always come BEFORE

written content on your lens. Like I mentioned in the above paragraphs, your monetization method will dictate the structure your content has.

We have three main types of monetization for our lenses. Google Adsense , promoting our own products, and affiliate programs.

Assuming most of you do not yet have your own products, I will just focus on Adsense and affiliate program links.

As was already stated, Squidoo already includes Adsense in our lenses, so we need not worry about that. Keep in mind that your lenses Adsense revenue will rarely make more money than your lenses affiliate revenues. So that just leaves us with promoting affiliate programs.

Types of Affiliate Programs

If you’re completely new to affiliate programs, I’ll give you a quick rundown. An affiliate program is simply an agreement. There are (basically) two forms of people in the internet marketing world. There are merchants (product creators) and affiliates (internet marketers).

Although product creators are responsible for their own advertising, it’s always good to have help. For this reason, product creators often visit websites in their market and propose a deal.

If you run a high traffic website, you can find a product to advertise on that website. Whenever someone buys a product through your affiliate link, you’ll gain a percentage of the profits.

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If you run a website on vacuums, for example, someone who recently created a new type of vacuum could benefit substantially by advertising on your website. If the vacuum costs $2,000, you would get anywhere from $500-$1,500 in affiliate commissions each sale.

Not bad, right?

But what do you do if you don’t already have a high traffic website? What if you’re like us and creating lenses from scratch? Well, luckily for us, there are many websites which specialize in connecting affiliates with product creators.

There are three methods I use for affiliate programs with Squidoo. They are as follows:

ClickBank Marketplace

Amazon Affiliates

Other Affiliate Networks

Clickbank Marketplace

One of the best places to find affiliate programs is ClickBank. This is one of the world’s largest affiliate program marketplaces. Whenever you create a new Squidoo lens, head over to ClickBank and do a search in the marketplace. Search for your exact keyword or a keyword which is very similar. I did a quick search for “lizard cages” and got the following:

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Here are the top two results for “lizard cages.” Doesn’t look very good, does it? We have a pet lizard care guide, which would be a decent affiliate program to promote, but it doesn’t seem to be working, as the average $/sale is “N/A.”

Our second result has absolutely nothing to do with lizards.

You might be wondering why there are no options for lizards. If this is truly one of the largest online affiliate marketplaces, why don’t they have anything for our keywords? Here’s the answer:

ClickBank focuses on information products. This means e-books, DVD courses, etc. They don’t generally offer physical products. For a keyword like “lizard cages” we want to be offering physical products. For this reason, ClickBank isn’t our best bet.

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Although ClickBank isn’t good for this particular keyword, I had to mention it in this book. There are a lot of keywords which are PERFECT

for information based products, so it’s important that you know where to look if you find these keywords.

*Note: I always check Clickbank first for products to promote because their commission percentage is extremely high in comparison with other affiliate networks.

So where do we go if our product is physical and not informational? Well, we head on over to Amazon.com!

Amazon’s Affiliate Program

Amazon.com is the world’s largest online retailer. One of their main sources of traffic and business comes from affiliates. Amazon owns one of the largest and most profitable affiliate systems in existence.

What does this mean for us? It means that if we need to promote a physical product, Amazon.com will almost always have something for us.

Here’s the best part about the Amazon affiliate program:

Any product offered on Amazon.com can also be offered on YOUR website as an affiliate product!

The payment system is a little different, though. For most affiliate products, you’ll be promoting one product. If the creator of that product gets additional sales thanks to your website, you will be paid a set percentage of that product. In some cases it’s 25%. For informational products, it’s usually 50%+ (one of the reasons why information products are so great).

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Amazon, on the other hand, pays very low percentages for each item sold. To make up for this, they pay you a percentage of ANY items a customer buys after being referred from your link. This means that if you’re selling coloring books and the customer decided to buy 10 flat screen T.V.’s while they were at it, you would get a percentage of ALL those orders.

Now, a lot of people have mixed views on this payment system. On one hand, if you only promote one physical product, the product’s price needs to be high to compensate for the smaller payouts. However, if you sell a product which can be accessorized, or if it’s during the Christmas holiday, you’ll have a very high chance of making a lot more money by using Amazon.

Since Amazon boasts such a massive inventory of physical items, I always like using them because of how easy it is. If you’re unsatisfied with the payouts, though, or if you’re only promoting one product, stay tuned for the next affiliate source we’re going to go over.

Alright! Back to lizard cages.

The first step is to head on over to Amazon.com and do a quick search for our keyword. Here’s what a search for “lizard cages” brings up:

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Here are the top three results. Not bad!

Here’s why these results are good. First, there are a few different options to choose from. There’s a medium lizard cage and an extra large. Although I didn’t display them on this screenshot, there are also multiple sizes in-between. This is perfect, as it means we can target more than one specific audience.

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If we could only find extra large cages, we would only be able to cater to customers who need extra large cages. Since we have all sizes, we can cater to everyone!

The next reason why these results are so great is that the price is high. Although you don’t get a massive percentage with Amazon, if the prices are high enough, you’ll still end up with a decent commission. Lizard cages are fairly pricey, meaning that whenever someone buys one, you’ll get a nice chunk of change.

Lastly, lizard cages can be accessorized. You need a lizard cage, but you also need lizard food, cage accessories, the works! Amazon does a great job of doing the selling for us, by recommending related products when our customer checks out. This means that we can earn some pretty big commissions just for referring people to Amazon.com for lizard cages!

In this case, I would definitely go with Amazon. It has some great results, a large selection of items and the keyword itself can easily be accessorized.

What if this wasn’t the case, though? What if ClickBank didn’t offer any products and neither did Amazon? What if Amazon offered a few products, but they only sold for a few bucks each?

Well, in this case, we move onto method three!

*Note: Squidoo has an Amazon affiliate module you can us