EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 167 - May 21, 2006 - ISSN 1528-6703     3 of 9

Squidoo as a Marketing Tool for eBay Sellers

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Everyone is an expert about something. That is the premise of a new website called Squidoo.com (http://www.squidoo.com). Founded by Internet marketing guru and best-selling author Seth Godin, the site helps individuals create pages (called lenses) to give visitors a good understanding of a particular topic.

eBay and online sellers can use Squidoo to build credibility with buyers and increase their exposure. Many eBay sellers have built "About Me" pages on eBay to tell shoppers more about themselves, which can be important when your business is not a nationally known brand. A Squidoo lens serves a similar purpose.

Anyone can build a Squidoo lens on any topic. The lens is made up of modules, which can include links to other sites; an RSS feed from a blog or news feed; a list of related books available from Amazon; your own content; and a live updated eBay feed of your auctions or the auctions you select. The modules containing eBay auctions, Amazon listings and RSS feeds all update automatically.

You can link to your Squidoo lens in your eBay About Me page and in your email signature line. Shoppers who want to learn more about you can then visit your Squidoo lens and get a sense of who you are and what you know about what you are selling.

There is no charge for building a Squidoo lens, and Squidoo actually shares the revenue it receives from affiliate links built into some of the modules. (For example, Squidoo is an Amazon affiliate.) Squidoo recognizes that lensmasters, as it calls its members, are not likely to earn a sizable income from their lens pages, so it gives lensmasters the option to donate their income to charity.

It doesn't take long to register and set up a page on Squidoo. However, it does require an investment of time to fill out a lens with good content. I built a lens and went back several times to it fill out. Frankly, it's a work in progress, and I could continually add to my Squidoo lens.

Online sellers often have existing content from having answered questions from buyers and from writing their auction descriptions. Clothing sellers may have written guides on figuring out sizes when buying clothes online, or spotting fake designer items in listings. This content can be pasted into Squidoo modules. You might add links to your favorite websites about clothing, and links to blogs that are of interest to fashionistas.

According to Squidoo, many of the lenses show up in Google searches. So, for example, if you sell antique silver spoons and you build a great lens on spoons with links to authoritative books, to your auctions, to websites and to discussions, it's quite possible that a search on "antique silver spoons" might turn up your lens. If it does, it is sending traffic straight to your auctions (if you include an eBay auction module on your lens).

I put in a few topics in Google to see if the corresponding Squidoo lenses would show up on the first page of search results. At this point, it seems the searcher would have to use more than one word. For example, entering "Chevelle" into Google does not bring back the Chevelle Squidoo lens on the first page of results, but entering "Chevelle junkie" brings back the Chevelle Squidoo lens as the very first result on the first page. Obviously the more popular the topic, the more websites you will be competing with in search engine results pages.

I enjoyed building my Squidoo lens, it seemed similar to one of the blogging tools I had used to create a blog 5 years ago. Once you've created your lens, you can feel like a true expert on the topic.

The more places you call home on the Internet, the more likely people are to find you and your website or auction listings. You should be using every opportunity available to you to show potential shoppers that you are a knowledgeable and trustworthy seller. Investing some time in marketing your business can pay off in sales.

If you want to learn more about Squidoo, you can watch an interview with founder Seth Godin on the Features channel of AuctionBytes.TV (http://www.auctionbytes.tv/features).

Related Articles

"Blogs as eBay Marketing Tools" by Kelvin Cook
Shows how a blog can help you market your online business.
http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abu/y206/m01/abu0158/s04

"Knowing the Value of a Good eBay "About Me" Page," by Mark O'Neill
Describes the benefits of creating an eBay "About Me" page.
http://auctionbytes.com/cab/abu/y204/m04/abu0117/s02

"eBay Marketing Strategy: Become an Expert, Part 1," by Joel Elad & Michael Bellomo
Discusses how to become an expert using Amazon and eBay resources.
http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abu/y206/m05/abu0167/s02

"eBay Rolls Out Product Reviews a la Amazon," by Ina Steiner
Announces the introduction of eBay Reviews & Guides.
http://auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y05/m09/i27/s02

My Squidoo Lens about Online Auctions
http://www.squidoo.com/online-auctions


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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