Almost every email I have at the moment asks the same thing – can you still build a sales lens on Squidoo anymore? – quite literally, every single one of them!
With all the changes going on, lenses getting flagged and nofollow links being introduced and the main warnings being about thin content and overly promotional lenses, it seems that Squidoo might be trying to stop the affiliate sales lens.
Whilst there are a lot of changes going on and a new ‘lens standard filter’ to please, I don’t think that this is the end of the sales lens – in fact, I think this will encourage Squidoo users to build far more targeted, highly focused lenses (just like we do over at Squidoo Evolution).
Even though these changes are going on Squidoo are still encouraging the use of the Amazon modules – one of their biggest income generators. By stopping sales lenses they would actually be cutting off part of their own income so it’s unlikely that will happen. What they are doing is clamping down and pushing out the ‘thin on the ground’ lenses with the new filters – it’s all about your lens being totally focused and helping the reader from a more personalised ‘review’ process.
It’s My Sales Lens Getting Warned/Locked!
If you’ve found that your sales lenses have been the ones taking the hits from the new filters then you’re certainly not alone. It’s been one of my sales lenses that got caught twice and yesterday I had two lenses locked for violating Squidoo’s terms of service – both of those were sales lenses.
With the two locked lenses I can clearly see that both of them have two modules with just a call to action image and no text – clearly not going to work well with the new filters. Remember the part where they mention thin content, overly promotional lenses etc? These two lenses could have been picked up on any (or all) of those reasons.
So why didn’t they get caught in the ‘heads up’ filter?
They were so low down in lens rank that they had fallen into the ‘Work In Progress’ area – those lenses that have the red minus sign next to them. Whilst they were there I didn’t bother to go in and check them as they were no longer of interest to me – never waste your time on anything that doesn’t interest you or make you money.
It seems that four or so of my WIP lenses went up in rank and in doing so, these two lenses got caught this time around. So if you have ANY lenses that you’ve published before, even if they are sitting as WIP – go in and check that they won’t get caught by the filters.
The Basics Of A Good Sales Lens
When creating a sales lens it’s important to remember that it must be of use, come good on any promises it makes and NOT get flagged by the Squidoo filters!
The basics for sales lenses should include …..
- Try to write your lens as if you were sending an email to one of your friends. In other words, don’t try and sound like a sales letter. Think about how you sound when you read your content out loud and go for a more personal/friendly feel.
- Think about the buying process as a whole and how your lens/content can help the reader through each step – think shopping guide rather than just a copy of Amazon.
- A personal recommendation is always going to convert much better than someone who’s selling something – think about what questions you’d want to know before you buy and use those as content/modules.
- Make sure that your content is your own and that you don’t just copy and paste from Amazon (or anywhere else for that matter)! Once you’ve published your lens don’t be tempted to use the same content anywhere else – even on your own sites.
- Don’t be tempted to add more links to other products that you think the reader will like – too much choice distracts them for a start and you want to keep tightly focused on your product/review.
- When you write your content be mindful not to stuff your keywords at every available point as this is likely to get you flagged by the filters.
There is still room at Squidoo for sales lenses but you need to be careful that you tick all the boxes and go for quality over quantity. If you find that when you’re writing you think ‘hmmmm, that SHOULD be okay’ then the chances are – it’s not!
So yes, you can still build them – just make sure that yours are focused on helping the buyer rather than selling a product. You’ll find that your conversions are much better as an added bonus too.