What Is Squidoo and How Do I Use It?
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Don’t worry if you are new to the internet and do not know what Squidoo is; when I first saw the name I thought they were talking about some kind of seafood! In short, Squidoo, or a Squidoo Lens as it is also referred to, is a free website which is built by using an online “wizard” which is really just a step-by-step instruction manual. The wizard is very easy to use, even for first-time internet users; think of it being kind of like the old paint-by-numbers you used to do as a kid, only now you are painting on the World Wide Web.
There are various categories from which to choose, and the look of your webpage or lens, is determined by the category that you choose. You can either create a domain, which means registering and paying for a website name of your choice such as www.enteryourname here.com, or you can use the address that Squidoo will provide you with for free. Obviously there is one slight drawback from using a free site, and that is that there will be some advertisements displayed on your page, but they will pertain to what your page is about, so may even draw more visitors.
How to set up your Squidoo Lens
Now that you know what Squidoo is all about it is time for you to make your first online lens, after which you will be referred to as a “lensmaster” – exciting isn’t it?
Firstly go to Squidoo.com and look for a big green button which says “Make a travel lens” or “Make your own page like this”; there will also be a similar button on any Squidoo lens on which you can click. Once you click on the button you will be taken to the sign-up page and then on to the “Magic Builder” which will take you through creating your page step-by-step.
This page will contain spaces for you to fill in your first name, last name, your e-mail address, the user name that you want to use and a password. You need a password so that only you can get into your page to change the content, so make sure that the password you use is a strong password and not one that you use anywhere else.
Once you have completed all the blocks on this page you are the proud owner of a Squidoo lens. Now press “continue” and you will get taken to the “Magic Builder” which will take you through all the steps required to make your page look fantastic!
The Magic Builder
Step 1: Creating your Page
My Page is about:
- This is the first box on the first page of the magic builder and you need to complete it by filling in just one or two words.
- What you type in this box will determine the web address of your page. All free Squidoo pages start with the web-address www.squidoo.com/ and what you enter in this section makes up the rest of the address.
- If, for instance you want your page to be about making fantastic handmade books from material, fill in “making books” in this block; your web address (url) will then be www.squidoo.com/making books.
- If the address is already in use, the magic builder will let you know and you will just have to change it a bit until you find one that is accepted. You could try something like “making great books” for instance.
- Once your wording is accepted and you have a url it is set and you cannot change it!
- Your title is very important, as it is what the world sees at the top of your page and how people will find your page on the internet.
- Your title is what will attract visitors to your site, so it needs to be something which describes what your site is about, and a short, catchy title that can be remembered easily.
- Keeping to the book-making example used above, you could use something like “Jane’s Handmade Books” as your title.
- Your title can be changed at any stage, unlike your url.
Pick a Category
- Next you will see a lot of category titles displayed, and you need to choose one and tick the little block or circle next to it to choose the category for your page.
- The general look of your page will be determined by the category that you choose, and will include a particular Squidoo header such as a SquidVids header if you choose movies as your category.
- You can change the category later if it does not really suit what you are writing about.
- Some categories will allow you to choose from a few different templates; this is the layout and colours of your page.
Step 2: Adding Basics to your page
Tell the World about My lens:
- This section will go on your introduction section and tells visitors why they should read more.
- Be passionate when you describe what it is you that you are writing about.
- Tell them what type of information they are likely to find on your page.
A little About Me
- This section is about you personally and goes on your bio page, and will serve to let your visitors get to know you a bit better.
- Do not include any personal contact details, but tell your visitor basically who you are and why you are so passionate about the subject that you have chosen to write about.
A blog worth Reading
- This section is where you can write a bit about your blog and why you think people should read it, or you can put a link to another blog which you think is the best on the subject.
- This is a good think to fill in as you get credits for people who click on that link and also build credibility with your visitors.
My lens in the News
- This section allows you to put keywords about your page into Google feed, which will allow visitors to find the latest news on the subject on which you are writing, or blogging, as it is called when you write online.
- This keeps your lens fresh and easier to find in the search engine, which means you will get more visitors
Allow people to comment on my page<
- By ticking this button it means that you allow your visitors to make comments on your page, which is recommended.
- Visitors like a page which is interactive as it means that they can make comments or ask questions on your page, and this will keep them coming back.
Step 3: Seeing your Page
- The magic builder will have installed the appropriate modules for your lens according to the category that you have chosen.
- You can now click on the button which says “Turbo It” which will take you to the edit mode so that you can add more content.
- You can add videos, pictures and text to your page.
- You can also edit various settings, and once you have done everything you can press “Publish” and your page can then be seen by anyone.
- You can always go back and edit a page.
So, congratulations are in order; you have just created your very first webpage! There are many other things that you can do with a Squidoo lens, and you need not worry that it will be difficult, because there are tutorials all over the Squidoo site, and there are also many other sites on the internet where you can get help about. You can also join a forum or e-mail Squidoo if you are stuck about anything.