Making a living on Squidoo


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Could you run an Offline Squidoo Business?

Posted on Jun 03 2009

Here’s an interesting idea. Do a google search right now for driving lessons + your city 

For example, for me it’s Driving Lessons Cardiff.

Stick yours into Google and see what comes up. Knowing what you know about how Squidoo lenses rank in google, do you think you could rank in the top 5?

Try something else. Maybe Personal Trainer CITY, or Car Cleaning CITY, or Plumber CITY. Try anything!

Can you use your skills to outrank what is top right now for these local searches? I bet you could.

You can create a whole new income stream from even the simplest of lenses. 

Let’s say you had a lens ranking at or near the top for Driving Lessons CITY. To you that lens may just be worth a few pennies a month, but to an actual driving instructor those extra clients could mean the difference between profit and loss! Offline businesses are looking for new ways to get more customers, and they are increasingly turning to the internet. But none of them know as much about ranking in google as you do.

You could put a nice little package together, and have a chat with some local businesses. 

You could:

  • Build them a couple of lenses, for their most-desired key phrases
  • Register them a free blog (or build them something more fancy like what I build at yournicheblog.com)
  • Bookmark their lenses and blog posts on social bookmarking websites
  • Write a couple of articles and submit them to EzineArticles
  • Add their business address and site links and pics to Google Local [THIS IS BIG!]
  • Make a video promoting their business using Animoto.com and put it on youtube, and on the lenses with a YouTube module (I’ve done this for some, and they turn out really great)
And you will blow their minds! To us this is simple stuff. The stuff you do just for fun even. But to them, well, they will think you are an Internet God. When they see their business name showing on page 1 of google they will want to kiss you! 

Seriously. I have had many friends and family members who run offline businesses think I have magical internet powers when I get them up into google.

You could charge a one off fee, or even a monthly ‘maintenance fee’ to keep things ticking over nicely. Maybe you could write one article a month, or make a lens or blog post every now and again to maintain things. And show them how to blog with their business news, too.

And once you’ve helped out 1 person, even if they are a relative, you can get a written testimonial from them and show other business owners the results you got for them. 

You could even do a check on Google before you speak to someone to see if it would be an easy job for you or not.

Your Offline Squidoo Business Awaits!

TELL ME: have you helped out any offline businesses for people you know, using Squidoo? Share in the comments!

Lewis 🙂

P.S. you look nice today

Lewis Smile

Lewis Smile is a Writer, Blogger, Web Geek, and very much a daydreamer. He helps people for a living, and works online. See the Contact Info page to say hi. Find out more about him here.

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24 Comments

  1. JaguarJulie says:

    Lewis, you are always presenting great ideas and food for thought. You know, I do think that Captain Squid did something like this with his technical university lenses by city! Wow, the possibilities are endless. Hmmm, Jacksonville land-wise is one of the largest cities in the United States. 😉

  2. Susan52 says:

    Great idea, all thought out and packaged for us. How generous of you, Lewis, to share this! You might have helped me solve a question I’ve had in my mind about what I could do for local businesses in my town. Thank you!

    Susan
    P.S. I got my hair cut yesterday. Thanks for noticing.

  3. maria says:

    Lewis,

    You always have such “smashing” ideas.
    You must thinking about this stuff 24/7.
    Glad that you do!

    Poutine

  4. Evelyn Saenz says:

    I was thinking of offering just such a service to my hometown in Vermont where they have had little to no access to the Internet but things are quickly changing and it looks like a wonderful opportunity.

  5. John Dilbeck says:

    Good afternoon, Lewis.

    I think you’ve been reading my mind.

    This is exactly what I’ve been planning to do to promote locally-owned businesses in Murphy, NC.

    In fact, I just reached an agreement with an outside sales lady who will sell my services, and she starts tomorrow.

    I’m building a social networking site for Murphy at MurphyConnections.com, a new promotional site that will be unveiled in a week or two, and I’ll be building at least one Squidoo lens for each business owner who signs up for the service.

    I’ve been testing this by promoting Images by Courtnie, a new portrait photographer in town.

    Two months ago, you could not find her on Google, now she’s competing with someone who has been a photographer here for years.

    When I just checked, her Squidoo lens was ranked #2 on page one for “photographer murphy nc” on Google (without the quotes).

    This does work, and it works relatively quickly.

    Each business that signs up with us this year will receive a photo session and Courtnie will go to their business and take good photos of them and their customers. If they want, she’ll take a two or three minute video which will be uploaded to YouTube and added to some of the sites I’ve been experimenting with for promoting Murphy businesses.

    I’m building a whole new revenue stream from providing these services locally. I think it’s going to be successful.

    Act on your dream!

    JD

  6. Mike Stokes says:

    Wow! Lewis you are a genius.

    I’ve been thinking about this for some time now, but really had no idea where to begin.

    This is an excellent blueprint.

    Thank you for all of the help and guidance you offer beginners.

    Mike Stokes
    Baton Rouge, LA

  7. CherylK says:

    You won’t believe this but I actually thought about doing this for my sister-in-law who owns a very small natural foods company. She does shipping which would work really well.

    I think I’ll talk to her about that! Thanks for the nudge. You are a genius.

  8. charlino says:

    Hello Mr. Smile –

    In answer to your question, “Have you helped out any offline businesses for people you know, using Squidoo?” YES. My squidoo adventure began two years with one thing in mind: To help others, starting with my first lens.

    In fact, at this time more than fifty percent of the lenses I’ve built over the past two years were designed primarily to help promote the work or offline businesses of others. IT DOES WORK, and I’ve seen it work.

    Sometimes I think that it would be nice to get paid for what I do. Who knows, maybe some day that will happen. Until such time, my ‘pay’ is the confidence in knowing how much my online presence really does make a difference to others.

    One example: The Getaway Pub (http://www.squidoo.com/TheGetawayPub).

  9. Dawn says:

    Wonderful idea, Lewis. Thanks a lot for sharing it. I do believe I could do something like this locally even here in New Zealand.

  10. LaraineRose says:

    Thanks for this timely article. I have been promoting the art work of many artists on Squidoo lenses. I never thought outside that box. I’ll have to think about this. Thanks again.

  11. AJ says:

    Lewis, this is a brilliant concept and it’s great to have it spelt out step by step. Thankyou for sharing.

  12. Elcorin says:

    Hi,
    Amazing! Not clear for me, how offen you updating your http://www.squidoocool.com.
    Elcorin

  13. Save On Utility Bills says:

    This is really good advice, as always! I love this blog. I have been thinking about starting something offline and like some of the other post here, I didn’t really know where to start. You have given me some ideas.

  14. Paula Atwell says:

    Two things:
    I just posted about this on Squidlog.

    How do you price your services for creating and/or maintaining the lens. I wouldn’t even know where to begin on pricing this kind of service.

  15. Chef Keem says:

    Great ideas, Lewis! Thanks.

    I’ve done a couple of local biz lenses – Dr. Kracker and Maria’s Taco Xpress. Both have been ranking great in Google. I charged Maria $125 to make the lens, and she was thrilled by the initial results. All this happened several months ago, before I knew what I know now about SEO friendly lens design.

    I think this could be a viable biz idea for me. Let’s say, charge $150 up front (including one month free maintenance), and if they like the results and want to continue using my services – a monthly maintenance fee of $25.

    Or, $50 for setting up the lens (low upfront cost for creating a tangible result), and then signing it over to the client and offering $50/hr. consultation as needed for their own maintenance work.

    It’s true – we probably know more about ranking in Google than most people. I’m always surprised at how quickly my posts get indexed and show up high in the rankings, even with my brand-new site chefkeem.com

    We all should be a bit more self-confident about our abilities. Thanks for pointing us in the right direction, Lewis!

  16. Susan52 says:

    ChefKeem, Thank you for posting those dollar amounts. I think many of us underestimate the value of our time, not to mention our experience and expertise on top of that. Both of your models sound very reasonable. I know my time is worth $50 an hour, easily, but it’s hard to have enough confidence to charge that much. I guess for me I’d be more comfortable with the upfront fee with an hourly to follow.

    This is a great discussion with great comments. Thanks again, Lewis, for getting it started with your great post.

  17. MrLewisSmile says:

    There are some really great ideas posted here in the comments! More than my original post really.

    You guys rock!

    Lewis 😉

  18. Katherine says:

    This is a great idea! A lot of offline business owners want to go online but they don’t know where to start.

  19. Wow! This page IS Cool! Thanks for all the ideas Lewis. ~Jeannie-aka-Tiddledeewinks

  20. Momma L says:

    You are so informative with all your ideas. I always enjoy reading your lens. I just need to get going and put all your work into action on my part.. I know your advice is helping people make money with Squidoo. Thanks Lewis

  21. Momma L says:

    You are so informative with all your ideas. I always enjoy reading your lens. I just need to get going and put all your work into action on my part.. I know your advice is helping people make money with Squidoo. Thanks Theresa

  22. Lewis, Great Idea. We all seem to concentrate on making money online but forget theres the real world out there to also make money from!

  23. Carol Kelly says:

    This idea jibes SO perfectly for a plan I’ve been rolling around in my head. This is great stuff. I need to get back to work…not at all keen on being an employee. Have been GM for other people’s businesses for many years. This time I want to try my hand at building my OWN business. I will incorporate your idea, with my own, and promote myself! Wish me luck, I’m hoping to get things rolling by March ’10, just in time for my 50th birthday! Thanks, Lewis!
    P.S. Contemplate peacefully!

  24. MrLewisSmile says:

    @Jeannie – Thanks! Cool is what I’m aiming for!

    @Momma – Thanks! More money is the all important thing when it comes to internet marketing 😉

    @Carol – Good Luck! You’re a very welcome polterguest at SquidooCool.. Tell your story about how you’re doing!

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