Squidoo rolled out major changes today and a lot of lensmasters and authors feel they will lose income this month.
Sure places like Squidoo are free to use and great to add extra income to your month and extra traffic to your sites. But, they’re also owned by other people who can do whatever they want whenever they want, including roll out untested changes right in the middle of the busiest online shopping time for the year.
I’m not going to go into details here… you can read about a lot of it at the Squidoo HQ blog in these posts …
==> Introducing the New Responsive Layout
==> Responsive is What Every Smart Site That’s Growing is Going to Do < == > to which I responded with my two cents comment about why I think the community is so angry.
A quick overview is that Squidoo changed their layout for the entire site to be more mobile responsive, but it changed *everything* and many felt that it looks awful on desktop and laptop computers now. When the community complained that the changes were sudden and had bad timing and did not look so great on their own computers at home Squidoo’s response was to say that mobile is important and that they are one of the top 10 sites visited by mobile users according to Quantcast. To that response the community seemed to be more outraged, some Squidoo lens creators are talking about selling off or deleting all their pages after the holidays, it’s just mass chaos over there right now.
My own thoughts on the changes… I’m not really sure yet. I think I’ll just leave my lenses alone and see what happens. Though, I don’t think I’ll be making new lenses in December until it becomes clear to me what Squidoo’s plans and changes are going to be in the end. I get the impression this isn’t the end of the change waterfall… and it’s certainly not the first change to upset Squidoo lens makers this year.
You Need Your Own Web Properties
If you can write for Squidoo and make money, you can write for yourself and make money too! Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to get out there and create something fantastic. If you have your own site things like drastic layout changes in December won’t happen unless you implement them. If you have your own websites the only one who decides what you can and can’t do on the pages within it is you. You can write as you please, promote as you please, and make changes as you please.
Yes, getting a chunk of Squidoo’s revenue share program is nice while it lasts. But how long will it last? They could suddenly decide tomorrow to turn off that revenue share and stop giving you half of the Amazon earnings that pages earn. They could stop offering you a share of the advertising revenue at any time. I don’t think those changes are likely, but they could happen.
- Go buy yourself a domain name.
- Hosting too, if you don’t already have it.
- Install WordPress, which is free
if you need help installing and setting up the technical pieces, I highly recommend Reliable Webs for your hosting, they’ll get you going in the right direction (It’s who I use currently, read why I chose them in my review here)
- Write content for yourself!!!!
If you have questions about starting your own website, my inbox and comments section are open… I’ll help you as much as I can or point you in the direction of resources to answer your questions.
Transcriptionist, passionate cross stitcher, writer at heart, wife, mom, and finder of lost shoes… Loretta Oliver, married to the comic book geek of her dreams and mother of four amazing young men, has been working from home full time since 2001. With a busy transcription service business, a few niche sites, and a handful of other internet marketing projects on the go, the computer is always fired up and the ideas are always flowing.
5 thoughts on “A Perfect Example of Why You Shouldn’t Put All Your Income Eggs in ONE Basket”
Honestly… the changes aren’t too bad. I like the way the Amazon modules look. The bigger pictures are nice! The thumbnail version finally works for them too. The problem is that static HTML looks horrible so any lens that used static HTML needs to be changed. Ugh!
If they had waited it would have been in the middle of another shopping holiday but I would have preferred it like… second week of January. You know, when we aren’t so busy and have time to go back and fix lenses.
They are listening to some of the feedback and fixing some glitches but changing all of the static HTML is going to be so annoying.
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I agree they’re not all bad… they just didn’t test anything first and it came out wonky and full of bugs. They were also stressing the looking good on “every device” thing and obviously they didn’t test every device or even every browser type because when I pulled it up on my Android device every page I looked at was a mess (even those without custom HTML added)
I did see they were changing some things today, but I haven’t been watching too closely. I saw some of the Amazon buttons were back to orange but others were still black (with all their research tools and resources you’d think their design team would have a little better sense than to create such a small black button, but maybe they were just trying to be different…)
I think the Amazon modules was the biggest complaint I saw from everyone, and they seem to be working on that. I figure if I don’t look at it for awhile and just come back to it next week it will be all better. Or I can hope anyway. I think I’ll avoid making lenses this month though until the final layout is nailed down and they are done making changes. Things at Squidoo HQ seem sloppy and careless this year 🙁
These are all good points but the fact is, some of us can’t do our own websites. My two big reasons are money (the lack thereof, actually) and SEO. Even if I could afford my own site, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon (like, in the next few *years*), the SEO is overwhelming. To try and compete with all the professional SEOers out there – honestly, I don’t even want to try. I could probably hire someone but that takes us right back to money… I like Squidoo because it takes care of both those issues; it’s free and I trust Seth and his crew to get the SEO right (and my lenses are getting seen as a result). I do think that in the long run it’s not the best way to go, especially because of stuff like this redesign – and all the little bugs that hang around for months that they never seem to get around to fixing – but right now I don’t see any other alternatives. (Well, except getting a regular job – which is probably what I’m going to have to do soon…)
I like Squidoo too, but diversity in your income is important if you want to avoid going out and getting that regular job.
Having a website is far more affordable than many people think it is and can often pay for itself within the first 30 to 60 days of having it up.
There are three costs associated with having your own website(s):
1. The domain name – about $10 per year.
2. The hosting account – available as low as $4 per month depending on what host and size package you choose. The package I use is around $12 per month and I have a package large enough to host multiple websites with plenty of space to add more if I decided to. If you only want one website you might choose a smaller package that fits your current budget and you could upgrade it later when you’re ready to add more websites.
3. Your time. Technically free, but it will take an investment of time to get the site going and keep it updated and work on making it profitable.
In regards to the SEO, don’t sweat it too much. SEO is often made out to be this big scary thing that requires tons of work and that’s just not the case. If you use a platform like WordPress most of the hard parts are taken care of for you and you just need to add content to the page, make a few little tweaks here and there. Write for people, not search engines.
If you’re making lenses and pages on Squidoo you’re probably already familiar with doing keyword research, take that skill and do some writing for yourself on a topic you’re passionate about on a site you own, start pointing your Squidoo lenses to that site then you’re still leveraging the power of Squidoo but you’re also building your own property and profile as well – best of both worlds.
In regards to SEO and trusting the Squidoo team to do the best job possible, I think you’re giving them too much credit. There have been SEO issues with the magazines, which is why a lot of Squidoo’ers opt out of them. And now the responsive layout issues and releasing things without full testing, it’s just getting a little sloppy all around.
Even if you decide not to get your own website right now, it’s a good idea to look into other ways of diversifying your income. Maybe try out some Fiverr gigs, or start doing some freelance work on sites like Freelancer and Odesk just to get a few other income sources so you’re not reliant on Squidoo entirely.
I still like Squidoo and I’m sure all the bugs will get worked out eventually, I just don’t want anyone to feel that panic and pain of suddenly having nothing coming in.
Some really interesting points. I also didnt understand squidoos timing re changes. And if your going to release changes at a critical time ie peak shopping season, you have to at least ensure that the changes are tested thoroughly.
I agree on having your own websites too. Although its unlikely that Squidoo would turn off the revenue share, if they did they would soon disappear.