What is a Squidoo Lens? And, Can You Make Money From Them?


What is a squidoo lens

You may have heard people talking in your communities about Squidoo. Or rather, Squidoo Lenses. But, what is a Squidoo Lens?

Squidoo is a community website that allows people to make one page websites about virtually any subject matter or interest. These one page websites are called lenses. People who create them are known as lensmasters! Oh and by the way – you can make some great money from them, but more on that later.

It was launched way back in 2005 with the help of its founder Seth Godin. Since its birth back then it has gone global and grown a mass audience – rather bizarrely though some people still do not really know what it is. I had not used it until recently and I can say I am very impressed with it. I have spent the last few days checking it out and I have just built three little lenses.

What is a Squidoo Lens?

The purpose of this blog post is to show you what a Squidoo lens is, and explain a bit more about the concept.

Squidoo is a free to join platform and you could in theory have your first lens built within an hour or so of joining. If you know what you are doing. Remember, you only get one page per lens. Each Squidoo lens must have a unique name as the title is what follows the domain. For example one of my lenses I recently built is about vertigo – something I am familiar with. It is titled “How To Stop Vertigo” – so the URL is www.squidoo.com/how-to-stop-vertigo. You get the picture.

So, already those of you familiar with keywords will know that choosing a great title is key to its ranking. And – good news, Google loves Squidoo! Providing you do not target competitive keywords I am convinced you can rank these lenses on the top of Google. In fact, I know you can because people are doing it now, big time.

For example, check out this Google search:

Squidoo Search

On Page one…….

Squidoo search results

Ahead of the Guardian and Best Buy….!

Now, this keyword may not get many searches per month, but it ranks and this is actually a “buy” keyword which will be high competition! Just goes to show how Google values the Squidoo platform.

A user can make as many Squidoo lenses as they want to – and you do not have to stick to one subject. You can write about anything. I tried a mixed bag for my trial and wrote about Bird Watching, Vertigo and a Quooker tap!

Can You Make Money From Them?

In short, yes. Squidoo does not like spam of any kind – this pretty much rules out writing about any Clickbank product.

However remember what I said before about Google, well they seem to get on great. In fact one of the ways you can make money is through Adsense ads. You can choose on each lens you make whether you want to keep the revenue your lens makes though Adsense or you can donate it to charity. There is nothing to worry about with code etc, you don’t even need an Adsense account, they put all the ads in place for you.

Check my lenses to see the layout:

If you have checked out one of those lenses you will see that the other major platform Squidoo loves is Amazon.

You get half the royalties (between 4.5% and 8.5%) of any sale on Amazon made through your site. But, if you have an Amazon Affiliate account then you can add the links in yourself and you can keep all the commissions! Not to mention all the other affiliate schemes there are out there you could promote for.

This possibilities with this are endless.

How Do You Build a Lens?

When you start a new lens, you will be asked to choose a title, a subject (may even two or three), some tags then you can jump straight in.

The dashboard is fairly straightforward to get to grips with, however the modules and widgets can be a little tricky. Basically each lens you make is made up of modules. There are many different modules types, such as text modules, video modules, Amazon modules, link modules – the list goes on really.

squidoo modulesThis list of modules is just the from the “popular” section. You will be spoilt for choice, its bit like having a ton of WordPress plugins already at your disposal.

You can adjust the layout by shifting the modules around. You also get to choose the overall colour design of you lens.

There are loads of quirky little things with it too – as you get further into it you get rewards and badges that unlock further goodies such as new themes etc. It really can be quite a bit of fun.

When making your lenses it is important to follow a system. I did get a bit lost in the platform the first few times I signed in. However I have found a couple of guides that I found have helped a great deal.

The first product I bought was Trevor Dumbleton’s “Build a Squidoo Lens in An Hour”

This is a video course for newbie’s of Squidoo where he shows exactly how to build a lens within an hour. You can follow him as he does it, it really is very simple. There are also some great keyword research tips included. I found this a really useful product and would recommend it to anyone thinking of adding Squidoo to their online income.

The next product I purchased was Erica Stone’s Squidoo Niche Blaster  

This is a series of PDF material which again covers the basics but also goes into way more advanced detail. She is considered a bit of a ‘Guru’ among Squidoo quarters and her course covers some excellent techniques. She makes a great living through her Squidoo lenses and in fact she even has her 15-year-old kids building lenses now and earning their own money! Again, if you are thinking of adding a few lenses to your online income then you really should check out this product first.

Recapping then, why should you build a Squidoo lens?

  • You can earn revenue from Google Ads
  • You can earn revenue from Amazon
  • You can earn revenue from MANY other affiliate outlets
  • You could donate all your revenue to charities (optional)
  • You can make GREAT backlinks for all your other content you have online

I just want to add a bit to that last point. Squidoo has a very high page rank so even if you do not make lenses for the revenue purposes – making them to link to your blog posts or other websites is a great idea too.

If you follow Trevor’s “Build a Lens In An Hour” method just imagine how many lenses you could build in a week or even a month?

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  1. Excellent post John, you now have me thinking about our Lens again. I knew it could generate some money but I didn’t realise people were focusing a lot of time doing it and creating a business from it.

    With no running costs this could be a great way for people to make some extra money and for children to make pocket money.

    I am putting revisit our Squidoo lens on my to do list now…
    Andi Leeman recently posted..I Need To Do What? Work? Can’t You See I am Watching The Telly?My Profile

    • Hi Matt,

      Yes I had heard of it but like you not really looked into it. I can see some real benefits with it, and I happen to know a few people making some nice extra money with it too.

      It can be particularly hot in the build up the festive holidays.


    • Yes Siegfried – I am seeing more and more people uses lenses as their number one source of income online nowadays.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  2. Cool. I am looking for this type of post and I want make money online. I hope this would help me a lot and gonna follow your blog. I am really impressed with your blog.

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