Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Sunday, November 22, 2009
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I'd totally missed how big a deal Twilight is.  I bought a couple of Squidoo lenses.  One was Beautiful Gingerbread houses.  I paid about 3 months income for that one.  It's a seasons lens so that could be a problem, but I know about gingerbread so I knew what to do with that.  Promotion has pushed it into the top 100 lenses on Squidoo.  Out of more than a million lenses, that's a decent performance.  I won't manage to keep it that high, but it's doing pretty well.  I wrote lenses about black cake icing and making royal icing to help support it.  Writing about cookery isn't my usual thing, but as a regular author these days I ought to be able to write about just about anything.

The second lens I picked up was about Twilight birthday cakes.  Squidoo pays royalties each month depending on traffic.   The 2,000 most popular lenses are in the top tier and paying most, perhaps $15 - $20 per month (plus and sales commissions).  The next tier may pay as little as $3 per month. The Twilight lens was just clinging to the top tier but I was worried it was going to drop out so I paid about less - something like 2 months' earnings - because I felt it was risky.  I knew nothing about Twilight.

Well, it seems that Stephanie Meyer's Twilightl is one of the hot teenage franchises at present and a new movie, New Moon is out this week in the USA.  I'm learning a lot.  I might even read the Twilight Saga books - or maybe just watch the movies.    So traffic has been hot.

What's more with a bit of promotion, suddenly my lens wasn't just ranking in Twilight Birthday Cakes, it is ranking right at the top of Google on Twilight Birthday.  Now that was an unexpected.  So I have been brave and just re-focused the lens so that it covers Twilight birthday parties as well as cakes.  That's a risk because Google may take a mood and I might loose all the traffic.  But if the immediate change works, then I am home and dry.

It matters.  Google Adwords reports that "twilight birthday cakes" which the len was optimised for when I bought it is getting about 720 searches a month.  "Twilight birthday" is getting 12,000.  It's sat at #8 on Twilight birthday at present so that isn't too bad.  If it can cling to that then traffic should go up now I've changed the title.  Most people who saw it weren't looking for Twilight birthday cakes so a title of that wasn't going to get clicked through.  So I've made the title more general - I just hope that those who want Twilight cakes don't shy away from it now.

So it could be a disaster.  A lens which was going to make me $20 a month might not.  Even if it works, there isn't a higher tier so there is no immediate upside.  The plan if I can get general birthdat traffic is to add other lenses on those topics and try to move some traffic across to them so they rise up the tiers.  They will need to be written of course.

So why have I taken this precarious route to getting traffic to those lenses, rather than just promote them directly?  Simply because I don't think they will rank well quickly.  There are lots of other Twilight lenses on Squidoo and they need to outperform them if they are to stand alone.  Realistically, one really strong "portal" lens pulling in as much trafic as possible is the best bet.  Then I can add lenses about Bells Swan, New Moon, Stephanie Meyer, Twilight Birthday Parties, Tiwlight Jewelry, Vanpire Novely food or anything else I can think of!  I've started a New Moon Birthday Cake lens but decided to spend the time re-profiling the Twilight Birthday lens instead.  Not sure when I will get back to it.  Tuesday I'd guess.  It should be a decent lens as the Bella Swan birthday scene is one of the big ones in New Moon and is on YouTube - I've watched it.

Which is course is part of this article.  I need to promote that Twilight Birthday Cake, Parties and More lens, as it is now!, as much as I can to try to keep it ranking in Google.

All good fun.  Well all good practice anyway.  And maybe in a couple of weeks I'll know enougth about the Twilight Saga to write a Twilight quiz!