Skeffling’s September 2012 Earnings Report – A chaotic month

by Skeffling on October 4, 2012 · 61 comments

If you are curious if we beat last months earnings, this is the place to find out!   Sorry I’m a bit late with it.

September was not too bad of a month for income.  For getting work done, it was frustrating and erratic due to constant random farm and house-selling interruptions.

I have had people asking me about the recent Google algorithm update and some Squidoo articles have an extreme spike up, others are slowly drifting down as they are seasonal summer articles.  There has been an overall increase in traffic in the past 5 days though.  I am not sure it is 100% due to the updates though, as I will discuss after the earnings numbers.

We did manage 40 new Squidoo lenses, and 26 other articles on Infobarrel and Seekyt as it was Nathan’s first month off.  I also purchased just under 100 Infobarrel articles on a variety of topics.  None have images, so I am planning to add media pages to help increase Adsense impressions and earnings.

The e-book progressed a little and really just needs editing and publishing, but it seems I need to find a way to work on it effectively in shorter pockets of time as it seems the interruptions are making it almost impossible to sit down for any length of time at the moment.  Thanks for all the well wishes on it, I am trying to get it done as fast as I can!

So here are the numbers you have been waiting for…

September 2012 Online Earnings

Adsense $89.07  We broke the old record by $19 as we are entering the season for my top earners on Infobarrel

Chitika $1.18

Kindle Books $23.37  Sold about 12 $3 books, 10 on, and 2 with no promotion at all (yet)

Zazzle $29.40  Looks like Belted Galloway bumper stickers are hot! Haha!

Hubpages $25.88

My own and Nathan’s IB/Seekyt/Wizzley/Squidoo Affiliate $3320.90 (32 cents from Nathan’s Amazon affiliate) 8% commission £28.97  so $43.46US

Clickbank and Shareasale Affiliate $35.30

Squidoo Amazon commissions including Adshare $3079.35

Grand Total is $6647.72

(confirmed at payout on Nov 15th)

Sales stats

Highlights were, one sale of a $5500 item less than 2 weeks after a lens was published.  Next biggest was our second highest-ever sale at $2600 sale on a 6 month old lens!

This month I kept track of daily sales and added them up on a spreadsheet so I know average sales per day were $4556.67 over the 30 days for a total sales of products of $136,700.  New record for daily sales was $10,045 in one day!

Average Earnings

Average earnings per article is $10.33 over all my 643 articles (not including the purchased ones, negligible income there right now-per tracking)

Average earnings per Squidoo article is $16.73 per article over 359 lenses (about 40 of them brand new this month).  I counted $2931.25 in from Squidoo from my own Amazon affiliate results for Squidoo pay total of $6007.60


Challenges in September

We have been battling the newer over-exuberant Squidoo duplicate content filters and resulting “low quality content” labels on a portion of our newer lenses on Squidoo, though the recent articles are well written, longer and better than some of the older articles.

We have have seen some articles published on Giant squid accounts and transferred to non Giant accounts were unable to be re-published and there had definitely been a sink in ranking even with likes and sales.  We think a label was being applied by Squidoo and affecting Google SERPs too.  If trying to publish for the first time on those non-giant accounts, articles just do not go live at all.  We think it is long item names/labels (triggering the copyscape), but when copyscape flags “queen size mattress” you have to shake your head.

So we have spent hours checking many (60+) articles with copyscape then we requested green-lighting on them over 3 weeks ago.  There has been no email notification they were cleared or denied, but yesterday, we realized we were able to republish after all (and others too, previously un-publishable but with no green-light request), so if you have any low content flagged lenses that you have checked in copyscape and are sure are OK quality-wise, it may be time to try republishing.  Anyone doing top X list product reviews may have the odd one pop up even when well-written.  We think there are trigger-words too, as well as multiple word-strings.

I think this is why our income increase may not have been as high this time, as the fall seasonal articles haven’t been getting the same level of traffic we were getting from the summer items or that articles usually give us a month or 2 after publishing.   I also think last month’s jump up from Augusts’ $4k was fluky, so I wasn’t expecting a $1000 jump this month based on how many fall articles we have, which isn’t many.

It could just be a buying lull too as we have had many small sundry items sales too, and we did have so many summer articles that are winding down now.  We also have no Halloween articles, except 2 I bought on Infobarrel that get more traffic than all the others put together.  I just have a mental sigh, when I think about writing about tacky Halloween, sorry!  I guess I should outsource them as I know it is a missed opportunity.

Much better now?

So I am speculating our recent rise in traffic may have been due to the google algorithm changes and/or may have been due to some invisible label/penalty being lifted by Squidoo.   Whatever it is, I’ll take it.

The on page keyword density is super low, often the whole string is only seen 2 to 3 times in a 600-1000 word lens and one is usually the title.  It is well under 1% anyway.  Of course there is no back-linking but the Ping and Submitstart to get them indexed, so if there was a Penguin-Panda update as well as the EMD update that would explain a relative rise, like we have had on other updates.


Hiring a VA

We have decided what work we want our VA to do, a bit of everything, so an “IM associate”.  We want to be able to add to, edit, optimize, improve LSI and update content and links, and post new content (mostly outsourced) and have them write as well if needed.  Virtual staff finders is interviewing them now to get to a short-list for us.  Nathan, has been working on that and we went over the interview package today as we should be interviewing next week.

Squidoo has taken a lot of time this month to try to sort out the low quality labels.  My stomach lurches when I see something like that even if it is a mechanical filter, so we have spent a lot of time trying to fix it, so it will be nice to hand that type of work off.  I hope it will free up our time so I can get the book finished and available quickly.


Upcoming diversification

This morning I heard Hubpages was either hit by the algo update or has some reorganization penalty they are figuring out.  I actually posted two hubs in a brand new account last night.  I thought it would be a good way to use up the 20 one-thousand-word articles I got outsourced in the summer for tiny EMD niche sites, and never got done.  That style is not going to work now for the niche sites, so I figured I could use the content up and thought I’d experiment there.  HP are amazingly fast to post on (after Squidoo) so I may proceed with that anyway, as Squidoo is not necessarily immune to updates like this and diversity is the key.

I have content already written for Seekyt too, so hope to get more up there this month.  The VA will likely start on that and we plan to have them using the tips from JCMayer777’s LSI and SEO reports to edit outsourced content and optimize On-page SEO.

I still plan to spend time publishing and promoting more Kindle books, there are 5 or 6 written now, from Zerys, waiting for covers and formatting and publishing!  2 more are currently being written too, I have a great writer and I want to keep her busy!  But I am not touching them, til I have my own book done.  Most of the other work can be outsourced, but not that.

One Google-free revenue stream I have is Zazzle and I still plan to increase that over time too, likely in the New Year!

I’d love to make Adsense payout monthly too, but I know building it up has it’s own risks too.  Getting the new Infobarrel articles optimized better is on the cards too.  As well as likely some outsourced IB Adsense-style content though I don’t want to spend much until I have a better handle on Infobarrel’s earnings potential as it seems to be a much lower per article amount than Amazon based content.

Nathan is starting an authority Amazon site for a niche that I have had success with the past few months, and it is not keyword reliant at all, so we may be able to share how we did that when it is up and running.


So lots of plans!  What are yours? How was September?  Did the recent algo change affect anyone?  I hope not or they were temporary!  What are your plans?

Eric October 4, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Great Work Claire! Another awesome month…Sounds like some things are goin up and others down…but your income still went up :-D I’m glad the penguin/panda updates haven’t hurt ya…its scary to think when you get such a portfolio of work online that they can just change something and possibly drastically decrease income…which I know is why you are working on some diversification.

I plan to write my first lens or two this weekend. I do have a question to do with the keywords…it seems like finding keywords for buyer specific reviews may be a little different than traditional SEO…I’ve looked at several of your lenses..and the title may say “best game camera for the money in 2012″…while the url is something like “” So if I do an adwords search on “best trail camera for the money” it will show me high competition which i understand as something that i want to stay away from so its easier to rank…so if I do and allintitle search of “best game camera for the money” I may get like 120 results…but if I do “best game camera for the money 2012″ I may get one or 2 results…so my question is two fold:

1.) If I am reviewing a product how mindful do I need to be of the competition of a phrase if it is a part of my phrase..that is if I want a lens that is “the best riding mountain bike in 2012″..and the “best riding mountain bike” has very high competition, should I drop it…or should I go ahead with it because the allintitle of “best riding mountain bike in 2012″ gave only a few results?

2.) If the “2012” was not in the url of the lens but is in the title…is the lens likely to show up when someone types the exact title? And do you specifically target traffic that types your exact title for a new lens and a new squidoo account that needs time to mature?

Sorry for the long question, but I thought it was worth asking b/c I’m sure its beneficial to everyone thats starting out like me. Thanks so much!

Skeffling October 4, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Hi Eric, thanks for reading and your comments.

I don’t put the year in the url so the article doesn’t look dated. Maybe I am overly critical but I know I notice when it says 2009 in there!

I make sure the phrases are still acceptable ratios without the year, that traffic is just a bonus! Also if every other writer starts to add the year, my articles will still be able to compete. So in answer to your first question, I’d do the mountain bike one if you think you can compete on the main whole phrase (minus year) as over time you will pick up bonus (higher competition) traffic anyway and the other long tails and shorter parts of the title, things like best riding bike, riding mountain bike. I have an article now that was originally chosen for a 100 search a month 6+ word long phrase with hardly any competition, and now gets 500+ views a day as it has been picked up for a 12,000 a month 3-word phrase with no year on it, but it took time and they don’t all get picked up that way, but by going with low competition and adding the year, you should get some traffic to get you going (and hopefully earning) while you wait for bigger traffic! So I would do it!

Part 2) If the kw is long enough (and comp low), your lens has a great chance of being picked up for the whole long title with year, better than any other article, but it the odds are it will not be that often, you will get more traffic from other phrases in the end. I honestly think the title is more important than the url, though I have no actual proof!

It is so hard to explain, but try it on a lens and see what search traffic phrases comes in. You will learn a little of how google works from what you see and you can extend your title (based on what you see) if it warrants it to claim even more traffic! You will be amazed all the phrases people find your lens by. You can also write another lens on another big traffic phrase you are accidentally ranking for that is obviously easy to rank for. Sound like you are on the right track though. Go for it! ;-)

Meggie October 5, 2012 at 12:16 am

Wow Claire, your total product sales are crazy levels of amazing. Are you anywhere near moving up on the referral rate tiers? Can’t image what level you are going to be at when holiday-level Amazon sales start kicking in. Great job.

Skeffling October 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Thanks Meggie. It is amazing really. It must be a huge market! Imagine if you were getting 30% of that not 4%-8%! Being an Amazon seller looks better and better!

I am way off the next referral tier, I hit the 8% (so 631 items) on 27th Sept, I think, and it took 31 days last month. My own affiliate sales were 684 items, with 5 returns so net 679 items sold. The next tier (8.25% commission ) is 1571 items! I think I may just have been shy of that was included with the actual Squidoo Amazon sales too, but I’d rather have the diversification and the paypal payment is so convenient to pay for outsourcing and software etc.

I was thinking about the holiday stuff the other day, and wondering how it will go. I remember what last Dec was like, many shopping sprees even on non-sales type lenses! I am looking forward to it!

Tiffany October 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I predict you’ll hit $12,000 in the month of Dec.

Skeffling October 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

That would be crazy but nice! I have a feeling everyone who has had a handful of sales on Squidoo already will have a fun December!

Tiffany October 5, 2012 at 8:43 am

Claire this is great. I think this is an excellent testament to being diversified. I love IB, but you also inspired me to make the leap to Squidoo. I made two lenses and have 5 sales already (its a coffee maker and battery booster lens). Also a bumbed that IB is down this morning (as of 8:42 am) 10/5/12 and to me it underscores the need to be diversified more than ever.

Skeffling October 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Hi Tiffany, Thanks so much. I am so glad you have taken action and are getting some sales. That is great. The best thing about those sales is not the money but the addictive effect they have to spur you on! ;-)

Oloo October 5, 2012 at 11:01 am

Looks like you had another amazing month! Well done!
I have just started this week with Squidoo being inspired by your blog. Have already 2 lenses and another 7 in progress (waiting for ordered content). Initially I’m going to do is exactly the same way as you do (thanx again for informative posts and answering my question) and hopefully with similar success.

Wise move with further diversification. My little herd of niche EMSs in English were wiped out a few days ago. This just remains me keep diversifying as well.

I’m going back to reading about squidlikes, squidgiants, squidblessing and other squid things and can’t wait for the amazon authority site update (seems like authority sites are the way to go now).

@Eric – from the SEO point of view the shorter URL the better.

PS2. Comment answer notification would be useful.

Skeffling October 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Thanks Oloo. I am so glad you are trying Squidoo! It is good to have an idea of how to start, but the more testing and attention you pay to the analytics, the more efficient your sales will be! Good Luck.

Sorry to hear about the EMDs, sounds like you are not alone.

Thanks for the info on the url too. Is the comment answer a plugin? I know it would be helpful as we get so many comments and return visitors!

Oloo October 6, 2012 at 11:49 am

I’m definitely going to do a lot of tests and already have a lot of questions regarding for example amazon modules.
Comments notification can be done via “Subscribe to Comments” plugin (probably the most popular plugin for this). Bearing in mind the amount of information that you share in the comments this would be very beneficial for your readers.

Skeffling October 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I’m looking forward to hearing your results Oloo! Thanks for the comments info.

Darryl October 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

Love your site, glad the Adsense Flippers turned me onto it. Have read every post on here and was anxiously waiting for this income report.

A question I have is what is the value in having multiple accounts in Squidoo? If you are having issues with lens/content approval with accounts that are not giant squid, why have them? I could understand it for a site like Hubpages where your username is the sub-domain. There a person probably should gather similar content under one username so search engines will see the sub-domain as being about a single topic, rather than multiple unrelated topics under one sub-domain. But with Squidoo I do not know how much the same username will impact SERPs just because it is on every lens and the lens on the profile page. Because what is to be gained with one account is ease of approval for a giant squid and also people visiting lens under a likable, reputable, known, squid.

Thank you for taking the time to do this site, I learn a lot and it has inspired me a lot.

Skeffling October 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Hi Darryl, Thanks for your kind comments (and reading too!). There are a few reasons for the multiple accounts. They have been a pain though!

1) I recently read on the Squidoo forum of a giant Squid in good standing having all 200 lenses locked / deindexed etc. It was a glitch and took 3 weeks to rectify. So diversity. We have 2 Paypal accounts too, one for hubby, one for me
2) We are spanning a fair few niches, some articles just don’t go together that well and look really wierd together
3) But if I have 2 really similar keywords and titles, I may put one on one profile and one in another
4) We thought an existing account had been tainted/flagged and thought we would try a fresh profile but had the same problems there
5) When visiting other lensmasters (to Squidlike) with tons of lenses, it takes an age to navigate all the pages of articles, we have 350 odd, so it makes that easier for readers with more profiles, and you have more even distribution of likes over all your lenses in all your accounts, instead of everyone liking the very top lens or two on one profile. We never use these accounts to like other or our own lenses. I don’t even go and like hubby’s lenses even though all the contact information is different and his lenses are a good read.

Diane October 5, 2012 at 8:56 pm

way to go Claire, you are doing very well. You should really pat yourself on the back, and hubby Nathan too! I now have 65 lens, and just started to make some sales. I am the other way around. I do alright on the adsense side with IB, but now want to grow the Amazon side. I do make Amazon commission from the IB articles, but like the idea of the modules you can use on Squidoo, they are so user friendly and very addictive. Keep up the great work, you really are an inspiration!

Skeffling October 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Thanks Diane! Wow you are a fast writer! I am glad you are getting some sales too. You will definitely see some Christmas shopping sprees coming up! ;-)

ash October 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm

How about halloween lenses have you do any?

Skeffling October 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I didn’t, but I thought why not?! So I just outsourced 15 and am working on them now! ;-) Thanks for stopping in, I hope you got plenty of sales in Sept!

Frederik October 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

What is your kindle book called? Is it the one based on Squidoo strategies?


Skeffling October 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Hi Frederik, Thanks for asking, my Kindle books are in another Niche with a pen name. I haven’t got the Squidoo one done yet.

AJ @ Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites October 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Bravo Claire (and Nathan)! I’m impressed by the consistency as well… You’re so smart to diversify since you’re already pretty FOCUSED. But I think I made the mistake of OVER-diversifying earlier and now I need to just focus. I have SO MANY “irons in the fire”, I really expected a bigger return by now. The things that are working well DO inspire me, but I’m also surprised when a revenue stream just “wakes up.” My growing lens stockpile is primed and ready for the holidays…. If you make a fortune, buy yourself something really nice… through one of MY LINKS! HA!

Skeffling October 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Hey AJ, Thanks for stopping in and commenting. Yes he is working hard, he want from saying, “I don’t know how you spend all day on the computer” to “Yeah, in a minute when I get this lens published!” ha ha he is hooked. He likes doing the lenses and the liking and quests on Squidoo. Has your OH paid up yet? I hope you had a good Sept and your niche sites are OK.

One thing with “over” diversifying is you can choose to do more of what gives the best return, so I think everyone should do that first! Even though they say not too, how do you know what you are spending 100% of your time on will be a success. Better to hedge your bets IMO, then concentrate when one pulls ahead! I think you get a better overall picture and can compare/weigh up options better. That is really what I was doing a year ago, getting started with four different Web 2.0 sites, and Zazzle, and a handful of Blogspot blogs too. Keeps it from being boring too!

I promise to go through your lens if we treat ourselves! ;-)

Dr. Niche October 7, 2012 at 1:34 am

Hi Claire,

I’m really happy to watch you progress and congratulations on all the success. Can you comment a little on whether Google’s latest EMD update has had any affect on your Squidoo lenses ranking or elsewhere like IB, Seekyt, Hubpages, etc.

I have a few niche sites that were not affected at all, but know of others who were decimated, in particular. So I think the take away lesson is broad diversification. I am considering Squidoo as part of that diversification strategy. I hope you were not affected in the least in any of your efforts, but any advise would be appreciated…


Skeffling October 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Hey there Dr. Niche.
Thanks for your kind comments. I am sorry to hear Adsense Flippers and others have seen a traffic hit. I hope they recover quickly. The only of mine down is my 22 homesteading articles on Hubpages. Hubpages is cruising at maybe 20% of the traffic level from mid Sept, but this is about the 5th or 6th Google cutoff in nearly 18 months of being on there, so it doesn’t bother me. My 4 new post-Sept 28th hubs on a new sub-domain are getting more traffic than my old ones, but they are keyword targeted.

Infobarrel and Seekyt google traffic is up a bit maybe 10-20%. Squidoo traffic is up too, some lenses more than others, and I think that may also be to do with a change in their duplicate content/quality filters (and possibly ranking labels) and release of certain lenses from that, as traffic and sales has picked up significantly on those.

Eric October 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Hey Claire! So I thought I was going to get my first lens up this weekend, but little did I know I would have to build a fairly legit blog to get my adsense account approved. I just finished and resubmitted, so hopefully there is enough content to get approved. Anyway, I’m one of your biggest fans and will definitely continue to follow you. Since I finally have a “website” with a profile filled out I just wanted to drop it by as a way to kind of formally introduce myself to you and what I do. My url is: I dont plan to use the blog really at the moment…just needed something to get adsense approved so I can do what you’re doing :)

Skeffling October 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Hi Eric, you don’t need an Adsense account to write or get paid on Squidoo, though you will for other revenue sharing sites, so you can publish any time!

The blog looks interesting, congratulations on publishing your first website and internet content! Thanks for your kind words too, Claire

Eric October 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Woops – I was excited about finishing my site and forgot to say thank you so much for your advice on the last post! And thanks Oloo for your comment as well!

Shivon October 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Hi Skeffling!

I look forward to reading your report every month, it’s so encouraging. Thanks for all the resources and information you share. I look forward to reading your book and the coming earning reports.

Skeffling October 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Thanks Shivon for reading and commenting. It is just hard work and paying attention to your results and changing things a little here and there to make them better while adding more new things too. I hope the info helps, I know it has helped others already which is awesome. Hope to get the book done soon. ;-)

pogospring October 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm

This has really pushed me to start building out Squidoo lenses en masse. Can I ask who you use for content and what the type of lens you create is (eg are they top 10 lists, how to articles, info pages etc).

Thanks in advance and congratulations.

Skeffling October 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Hi there Pogospring, I am glad I have inspired you!

I outsource 3 to 5 to 10 item mostly, the top list type are easiest to outsource. I think they will be too short long-term as some of the lenses on Squidoo are super long and detailed, (some are pretty scary looking ;-) ), and I will likely get our VA to rewrite some of the top traffic lenses with multiple categories with 3 to 5 general sub types of product, categories, each sub category with 3 to 5 products on them so an article will have 10-20 products usually. Ctr is way higher with these, but I think it is a lot of research for a writer to do for the pay, so any I have like that I have written myself.

More on the article types here, and it does depend on what type of phrase your kw is IMO 60% ctr post

Maximilian October 9, 2012 at 3:05 am

Fantastic month for you. Congrats! And thank you for sharing.

With that many lenses how many of them are actually making money?

Skeffling October 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Thanks Maximilian.
Good question. Kind of hard to say but here are some stats….Since I started using my own links in July I have lost the ability to track entire sales on each lens, so for just official Squidoo tracking, in the past month, 145 of the Squidoo lenses (I have just under 360) made an Amazon sale via Squidoo’s links, then likely another 100 will have advertizing revenue too if not more.

I have 150 that have made over $10 each in Amazon commissions since Jan (highest 2 have $1200 each). Looks like there is approx 250 lenses that have made any Amazon sale through Squidoo in any month since Jan so another 100 with commissions under $10.

We have been posting about 40 lenses a month, so 120 of the lenses are 0-3 months old, so about 240 are older than that. Then in addition, the overall affiliate Amazon sales for my link posted on the Squidoo site since July are $88,715 sales so about $6270 commission, but I don’t know the distribution of the articles that sold them.

So for Amazon sales it is a good proportion definitely 2/3, likely 3/4 ever, and right now 40% likely 50% is selling Amazon. Add maybe another 20 % on top of those for adshare to each if you want to include all earnings in the count. Some of them are seasonal so I don’t expect sales from my summer ones over the winter etc.

Eric October 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Thanks Claire! I figured that was the case – I looked at some lenses and saw that most affiliate lenses had adsense…I just wanted to get the problem out of the way b/c I tried wordpress first and couldnt even get adsense on there so it was a big roadblock from the start…glad I got it cleared up! I downloaded the SKCA and SKD suite last night (found the suite for $37 bc someone mentioned it on your blog :)

Ddraig October 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Hi Claire.
Wow, You and Nathan are zooming along!
I am slowly becoming more organized and during September I made a decision to reinvest every penny I earn back in to buying lenses, along with a bit extra.
The reason I have done this is because that is where I have found my motivation. If I start a lens, it sits there unfinished, if I buy a cheap lens ( Got 6 for $20), I refuse to not earn that money back and tweak them until they improve vastly.

I have also felt less guilty about not being every where at once, so Squidoo has been my main focus for the last 2 weeks.

I have also found out of Hubpages, Squidoo, InfoBarrel etc, Hubpages is the only one that has bombed, badly, like 20 views a day over 43 hubs badly. Even a health article that was page one, result one has dive bombed.

So happy that you have achieved this Claire, I have checked in every so many days to hear from you, so this post has made me so happy.x

Skeffling October 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Hey Emma, Great to hear from you! Thanks for stopping in! I figured you had your head down working now the kids are back at School.

It is great to find something that keeps you going. I find it is way easier to be productive when I have outsourced stuff and I don’t have to have every single idea on the page from scratch! I think you are very smart reinvesting, because the more decent web property or lenses you own on there in Nov/Dec, the better you will do, and believe me that will be all the motivation you need. I think Squidoo is the best place for a web 2.0 writer to spend their time now for the best returns by Christmas. I haven’t felt guilty about not making the IB 31 points for about 10 months now! I’ll be on Seekyt and IB a bit more myself, as I can afford to slow my income rate a bit and am better to diversify now.

I am glad you are earning, once you start to earn, you know you are doing something right and all you have to do is more. Sorry to hear about you HP traffic (at least you are not paying for hosting!), my 22 Homesteading lenses have been doing that all year, up and down, all or nothing. They are down now too.

Guess what? I’m coming to the UK on the 26th Nov to Dec 3rd for 6 days to see Granny. I am a wimp and not driving though ;-0 My sis has just decided to join me and probably rent a car, so I’m not sure if she’d drive me over from Skeffling for a Hot Chocolate somewhere (not a coffee lover). I may be able to swing a bus into Hull otherwise. I know you are busy, but it would be cool to meet sometime. There’ll be other visits I’m sure anyway! Claire

Ddraig October 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

If I can, I most definitely will Claire.x
My jallopy of a car is on a month to month basis, which is my determination to break the back on this thing comes from.
If you have Skype, email me your Skype ( I only have 3 people on there, it is only a personal account), just tell me straight if it isn’t a good time.x

Skeffling October 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Just setting up Skype now as we are trying to test Nathan’s new Skype for the VA interviews eraly next week…all this high tech stuff, it’s a bit scary! haha. We’ll figure something out ;-).

Maximilian1 October 11, 2012 at 5:18 am

Hi Emma, where did you buy the lenses?

Ddraig October 15, 2012 at 4:04 am

Sorry for the delay in reply, I bought them from various Squidmasters on Squidoo. If you search “Lenses for sale” you will find the writers who either sell premade lenses or make custom lenses.
Hope that helps.

Paul October 10, 2012 at 8:43 am

Claire, (may I call you that?)
first off, congratulations. And second, thank you for sharing your success; it is very inspiring to see persistence and smarts pay off!
I joined both IB and Squidoo last month, and wrote 9 articles and 5 lenses. I’ve noticed the Squidoo lenses take a lot more time to create, so I’m interested in outsourcing those- great idea. Or maybe I’ll purchase a few once I’ve made some money here…
My first month (not a full month, more like 1/2) I earned 10 whole cents! At the end of September I had a featured article on IB that earned me a couple dollars, so that’s exciting. I wrote my earnings report here.
I’ve been struggling with getting my analytics account to track each lens and article, though, and was wondering if you could help me with that. I’ve got the tracking code, but can’t find the source for each lens/article to place the tracking code in the tag. How did you set this for each article?
Again, congrats and thanks for your advice. I look forward to watching your success continue to grow.

Skeffling October 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Hi Paul, Thanks for reading and saying Hi. The income report looks great! Just sitting down and writing one will focus you. I am very erratic and easily bored and distracted and it has helped me no end doing one! If you are curious, you can look here there is a summary of how my earnings have gone up since Aug 2011 (and links to each earnings report) and you are doing better than I was in that first month!

I know I would not be at this earnings level without outsourcing. Definitely not. I think the trick with outsourcing is to have a handle on if/how much something will earn you, then go ahead and spend on it. You get a feel for that, the more you experiment and learn over time, and you can commit more funds to it when you know they are going to be returned within a couple of months in income.

As far as tracking each lens, no need, having that tracking number in your profile means you can go to Google analytics and if you go to >Content on the left menu, and then down again to >Pages or >Drill-down or something you will see all the lenses. Hope that works. Claire

Darren October 13, 2012 at 5:56 am

Some great work there Claire and Nathan. I am glad it is really pushing forward for you and I am going to have to take a new look at your Squidoo lenses I think!

Maximilian1 October 16, 2012 at 2:25 am

Hi Claire

Thank you so much for taking your time to reply all.

About your lenses – are they all “featured” and if so – how do you keep them alive?
I have 9 featured lenses now. Yesterday I had 10. It seems that they quickly lose rank but should I really care I wonder.


Skeffling October 17, 2012 at 9:38 am

Hi Maximilian,
Yes they are all featured. Part of keeping them alive is choosing low competition buyer keywords to keep the Google traffic coming in and them ranking well on Squidoo. Depending on the product type, you don’t have to constantly update them weekly or anything.

Soory to hear about your one lens. Sometimes there is a glitch on the dashboard and one or two will seem inaccessible for a couple of days, or they go “red” overnight before the lens rank updates (8am EST) too if they were published that day for the first time.

We have found shortening product names to just the make and model# helps with duplicate content triggers that can get them flagged when you go to republish. Flagging means you have to edit before republishing then submit for Greenlighting approval, we have never had a reply to a request, but have been able to republish later. The rankings do slide after a failed republish, but we have never had one go under 250k rank. We still get sales sometimes on these ones too, so the readers are fine with them!

Dave October 21, 2012 at 8:54 am

Thank you so much for everything. I have earned my 1st pay from amazon this month (40 bucks yay!). And it’s all because of you.

God bless you. Good karma will always shower you because you constantly help lost souls like me :)

Skeffling October 21, 2012 at 10:34 am

Hey That is awesome Dave! Well done to you for taking action, you wouldn’t have earned it if you hadn’t posted those lenses! $40 is a very nice start! Claire

Joe @ How I Got Rich October 22, 2012 at 3:28 am

Great earnings! I’m just starting out with Squidoo as all my affiliate sites got bombed by Google so I’ve not got much else going on or much to lose at the moment.

Will give it a try in the run to Christmas and then see what happens after that.

Skeffling November 4, 2012 at 8:42 am

Yep, give it a go, it is well worth a try. It seems as long as you are writing product review of gift list lenses, you will earn some money on Squidoo. I do not think I will ever master just writing a regular article and earning money from it on squidoo, AdSense type articles are better written for Infobarrel or Seekyt. So hopefully this Christmas will give you a little bit of a sales boost, as it is nice to get those US checks from Amazon, or PayPal money from Squidoo.

Steve October 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

This is a great website! Thanks for sharing, I am considering starting a similiar type of site to track my progress and share income reports. I am very young in the game so it should be interesting to share my frustrations and learning experiences!

Skeffling November 4, 2012 at 8:39 am

Hi Steve,

I am glad you are enjoying the site. It certainly does keep you focused and do the monthly reports as you can compare what work you have done and what results you got from that. You can certainly start to see patterns over the year, with people’s buying patterns becoming apparent.

I have never planned to have a website or even write articles about Internet marketing or SEO, but from my earnings reports on Info barrel I start to have regular readers who were interested in what I was doing and how I was doing it, so was just easier to have all my thoughts, posts and comments in one place. and I certainly could not help sharing what I had learned from trial and error, as this is a hard enough way to make money so we have to help each other along. Good luck if you get the site going and let me know where it is.

Dean October 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Hi Claire,
I have been follwing your blog for the past 3 months. Needless to say,
that I am very impressed with your spectacular progress. But I am always disappointed at the end of every month, that your e-book is still not available. I am employed in a Signs and Printing business for a few years but the business has not been good for past 3 years and other kind of work is hard to find. As a newbie, I was hoping to read a blue print of starting an online income from a experienced mentor like you rather than learn by struggling with a trials and errors. My goal is modest, like $400-600 a month after 90 days. Can you tell when do you expect to publish the e-book or if you have decided not do it? Thank you.

Skeffling November 4, 2012 at 8:57 am

Hi Dean, thanks for your kind words. I am just as disappointed not to get it done too. We have a lot of turmoil here at the moment at home as our hundred acre farm is up for sale and the winter is on the way. So we have lots of daytime work to get the farm and livestock ready for the months of deep snow we are going to be experiencing in the coming months.

Sorry to hear your business has not been doing quite as well as it could be. That goal of yours is totally doable if you can follow the keyword ratio I have mentioned in the keyword tools post comments, and if you could write and write and write (outsourcing definitely increased my earnings rate once I knew what I was doing), even if you read the 60% click-through post, that may help also. I have two articles written on Infobarrel that really will give you the basics and tell you what modules to include in a page and where. I know people who are making money that either printed out these two articles or had them open side-by-side while they were working on their first lenses, so there is plenty of good information there.

So do not wait for my book, it is still in the works, but start taking action today and take advantage of the Christmas sales rush. Also e-mail me if you want me to come and check out the lenses and I can give you some feedback on what you have done, hope you get started soon. Claire

Dean November 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Hi Claire,
Thank you very much for informative and detailed answer to my questions. I realize how busy you and your husband are. For you to take time out of your hectic schedule to reply to my post is greatly appreciated. I will follow your advice and read your Infobarrel articles and start taking the actions as soon as I can. I will keep you posted and seek your advice in the future as necessary. Once again, I thank you for your courtesy and genorosity. Dean

Ian Wilcox November 8, 2012 at 10:40 am

I recently gave up all hope of making money online.

It made me alot of money back in 2006 making google sniper style websites which ranked really well back then but i was also only 21/22 so didnt reinvest or build any more sites.

ever since i have been trying different things i had some luck with amazon in the UK until the recent google updates.

Your blog is a very exciting read and extremely inspiring and this evening i will attempt to create my first squidoo lens!, once i get writing and i cannot stop so going to set a goal to have at least 10 up by the end of november.

Skeffling November 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Hi Ian, it seems like things are always changing online. I started selling on eBay in 2000 and the market slowly changed in Ebay’s fees climbed and it just stopped being worthwhile. I knew when I came back to the Internet, after a few years off, that it would take something new to succeed, and it seems like as soon as a lot of people start to do something to earn money (with some rule breaking??) , the rules change and the large companies involved that the IMers depend on, tighten up any loopholes and what have you.

Because of our experience with eBay and the evolution of things on the Internet, we know you have to keep investing in what you are doing, and constantly diversifying and try finding something that is stable that will allow you to build up earnings to live off.

I hope you reach your goal of 10 lenses by the end of November, I am sure you will earn some Amazon sales with the upcoming holiday season. Thanks for reading, let me know how it goes. Claire

Jedith December 21, 2012 at 1:27 am

Hi Claire, you’re such a wonderful and honest person to share all this information with us, some people would charge hundreds/thousands of dollars just to even let others know the basics on making money online. You are very gracious and straight to the point with all the useful information your provide here, and for that I thank you.

I have over 10 Squidoo lenses earning some money each month, but reading your blog here inspires me to go and do some repairs on the already published lenses I’m also going to be outsourcing my top 10 lists phew!

Thanks again!

Skeffling January 7, 2013 at 11:50 am

Hi Jedith, thanks for reading and your kind comment. There are many ways of improving squidoo lenses, using my 2 “top 10 ways to improve your squidoo lens” articles on Infobarrel under my Skeffling profile might be helpful to use as a checklist. I do plan on producing a troubleshooting guide for the e-mail list, for fixing up low performing lenses, but it is not finished yet and could be some time, knowing me. I hope the outsourcing goes well, I would not be where I am now without outsourcing.;-)

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