Generally speaking there are two ways to do squidoo well:
- Finding key words that are popular, but haven’t been covered by other websites and lenses yet
- Making excellent lenses on a subject you are really into – even though there may already be a lot of information out there on the topic
The first is what I’d like the call the low hanging fruits approach. It works by
- thinking up a theme
- checking keywords related to that theme in keyword tools
- checking how those keywords are doing in the search results. Are there many sites out there already talking about this? Using the words you are going to be targeting? If so – forget about it. Go back to step 1
- If the keyword or key phrase is not actually been targeted by others yet – make a lens. Make a blog or write on an existing blog about your topic. Promote. Etc.
- Since we are talking low hanging fruit here: you will get results quickly. But it may well be that in a few years serious websites start covering the subject as well.
- To be ahead of the game start your own self hosted blog on the topic. That way – your competition will need to buy you out…
The going for your passion approach is slightly different.
- You pick a topic you know a lot about or really love.
- You start writing about it.
- Promote it online
- Get a bit of traffic
- Find out which keywords and phrases are attracting most traffic
- Adapt your lens or blog (or both) to target the most popular phrases particularly. Perhaps make a new lens based on that.
- Continue on – whether you are making money or not. You are in this for the long haul (but may need to get a day job).
It may be clear in advance: I’m generally of the second type – and seriously considering trying to find a day job…
But it has one advantage: since it is my passion to write and read and think about anything to do with religion and spirituality – I may not be making much, but I will be working on the subject for the rest of my life. And that means that even if my visitor numbers drop (they were doing so this summer), I’m not likely to give up and abandon my website. After all – it was my passion first and a way to make money second.
It also means that promoting one page or one blogpost or one lens – helps all of my projects get traffic. I don’t have to promote 100 different lenses on 100 different topics. Instead when I promote one, I’m promoting all. Because they are all interlinked. I have only one newsletter (in English) because my main activities are involved in precisely one subject – with an almost infinite number of niches in there.
In closing: In my niche there are low hanging fruit & I do go for them. But because they are within my niche, they strengthen my online profile. And I don’t have to spread myself too thin.