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The website has been transformed, with the Squidoo+ release, into a cross between a game (with monsters, levels and prizes, called "items"), the scouts (with badges to earn, called trophies) and a social network (with an interactive profile page and activity stream). A Squidmonster FAQ lens explains.
Aside: The system is complex and I have rewritten the previous paragraph, because I was using different terms from Squidoo's. The trophies are round and remind me of badges. The rewards for earning points are called items, which seems bland next to the rest of the monstrous commotion.
I logged on after the release of the new Squidoo, to find myself at Level 20 already (where Giant Squids start) with four trophies. Today I am at Level 40, with five, although I think a glitch is shortchanging me on two new ones (but maybe not; more likely, I'm confused).
Squids earn points for building, "liking" and commenting on lenses, and when others "like" or leave comments on their lenses. Adding certain modules earns points and completing "quests" and quizzes boosts points, too. Point milestones "unlock" features, powers and prizes.
Ridiculous squiddy monsters pop up to announce points and encourage more action.
Squids can change settings to hide or deactivate most of the new features invisible to reinstate the "old" Squidoo for themselves.
Earlier I praised the much simpler Hubpages platform that others have reviewed favorably, also. But I have found myself stalled there at only two hubs, so far.
I can build a basic Squidoo lens in five to ten minutes and keep embellishing and adding to it gradually. And I like the monsters social networking features.
I have been using the platfrom as an online filing system for my freelance writing research, taking advantage of the modules that update automatically to pull in new news and blogging, adding links easily through the AddToAny Chrome extension as I browse and logging in to Squidoo as my schedule permits to write more. Now, I am resolutely expanding what I hope will become an engaging, didactic lens-library, featuring the best of Squidoo lenses by others on diverse topics.
With a large percentage of my lenses ranked below Tier 3 (lower than 85,000), I make very little money on Squidoo. Affiliate sales are the best way to make the most money on Squidoo , rather than ad revenue shares. Unless a lens is in Tier 1, ranked in the top 2000, ad revenue is a several pennies to a couple dollars per month per lens.
But higher lens rank can help bring more traffic, because Squidoo's search results show up by rank.
My lenses are not among the fanciest on Squidoo, but they are good to excellent in quality and have been tagged with the best, thoroughly researched keyword phrases. Even at Tier 3 or below, several pages are getting Google pagerank 1 or 2 now.
But I have been building lenses on oddball or specialist topics that are not searched for often. To make money on Squidoo, I will have to open lenses about some of these subjects.