Social media is much more than Facebook and Twitter, as surprising as that may be. And this week's Tech Tool will expand your social media and content marketing boundaries just a little bit. Let me introduce you to Squidoo. I call Squidoo a cross between a blog and a website. It's like a blog where you compose a series of articles on various topics, whether their about you, your business, your specialties, your dog, whatever. However, Squidoo treats each article, or "lens", as more of webpage, where each article stands on its own and isn't necessarily kept in one place like a blog. Even if you have a blog, or a website, or both, I think that Squidoo can offer additional benefits to your content marketing strategy for several reasons.
First, Squidoo has you categorize each article, or lens. This is great since you often can't categorize your blog or your website with some directory, or with your web host. So, for example, if you're a freelancer who specializes in education topics, you can file your lenses under "Education", or even "Parenting and Kids", depending on the topic of your lens. Each category also comes with sub-categories, your niche lens is labeled according to what it's about, making it easier to find for others interested in education, parenting, or even the specific topic you wrote about.
Second, Squidoo is friendlier towards longer posts and actually encourages it. Although longer posts aren't unheard of in blogs, normally blogs posts are fewer than 800 words. If you want to do something longer, you can do so on Squidoo. Squidoo makes this easier by enabling a table of contents at the beginning of the article, after the section meant for your introduction. This table of contents is great for readers who may only be interested in certain parts of of your article. It's also great for search engine optimization, where each section could be titled with an appropriate keyword. Running with the education example, if you wrote an article called, "Most Popular College Majors," you could then have each title as keyword, like biology major, or communications major.
Third, Squidoo actually encourages you to write about yourself, or your blog, or your website. In blogging, particularly business blogging, it's highly discouraged to promote yourself or your newest product. Blogging experts say that readers are more interested in the valuable information you can provide them. However, in Squidoo, you can write about yourself or your newest product without being seen as someone who's just tooting your horn. Such lenses provide additional publicity for what you have to offer, and diversify your search engine results by adding Squidoo lenses.
Best of all, Squidoo is completely free to use and really easy to learn. There are even opportunities to earn money from your lenses, which is always nice. So, give this week's Tech Tool of the Week a shot.