Greekgeek's Squidoo Lensblography

A Behind-The-Scenes Look at My Squidoo Lenses

Photoshop 3D Frame Tutorial


After a couple grandiose lenses, I took a break and did something simple. My fifth lens, Photoshop Tutorial: 3D Photo Frame, was created on May 7, 2007.

What This Lens is About

It’s a Photoshop tutorial on how to give a photo a jazzy 3D frame somewhat like a polaroid. Note that this was before the Polaroid Module was released for Squidoo!


Why I Made This Lens

I’ve loved making tutorials since the early years of the web, when commerce was not allowed and the web was simply a place to share free resources.

Related Lenses

How to Upload Images on Squidoo | Graphics Layout and HTML for Images

Glossy 3D Buttons Photoshop Tutorial | Where to Get Free Web Graphics

What I Learned Making This Lens

“How to” tutorials are a great topic for a lens: they are  just the right length for one page.

Tutorials need to be clear, brief, and have good step-by-step screencaps  (PrtScrn on a PC, Command-shift-3 on a Mac)!

The most important thing I learned is that Squidoo lenses work well when narrow and focused. People search the web for one to three things: to solve a problem (get information), to buy something, or to be entertained. If a page doesn’t seem to be fulfilling one of those needs within the first screen, visitors hit back and try another search result.

Here’s part of this week’s traffic stats:

Photoshop Photo Frame Tutorials

I may add “photoshop frame tutorials” to Squidoo’s tags. But more importantly, for a tiny update, I’m going to see if I can work one or more of those phrases into the text of the lens, possibly into image alt-tags.

What I Did Not Learn on This Lens

SEO for Squidoo. I was just guessing what people might search for instead of researching it. Also, I didn’t yet fully understand what Squidoo Tags are for.

Clickthroughs are important. This lens gets 170-200 visitors a week, but is stuck in third tier since it makes no sales, earns few clickthroughs, and doesn’t get many ratings or favorites.

Lens Stats/Milestones

As of today: Lensrank #18209, 14 ratings, 9 favorites, 7856 lifetime visitors
Best lensrank achieved: #2340  Earnings May ’07-Oct ’09: $8.49

Link: Photoshop 3d Photo Frame Tutorial

Fourth Lens: Photos of Athens


I originally created my Photos of Ancient Athens as an index to my Ancient Greece Odyssey travel diary on May 7, 2007.

What This Lens is About

It’s an index to all my photos of ancient Athens — monuments and Greek art — plus recommended books and links on ancient Greece.


Temple of Hephaistos in Athenian Agora. 1st May.

Why I Made This Lens

Originally, I was thinking of Ancient Greece Odyssey as if it were an online e-book. Books should have indexes! So I made this lens as an index to help people find every single photo, recommended link and bit of info across all my Ancient Greece Odyssey series of lenses.

Things I Learned Making This Lens

It is too hard to make an index of an online e-book as a Squidoo lens. It’s too much material on one webpage. Lenses need FOCUS. So I stopped keeping this lens updated.

Today I finally tackled this problem lens. I had three choices:

  • I could delete it as a failure.
  • I could turn this lens into a table of contents to all of Ancient Greece Odyssey, so that it became a lensography for my Greece lenses.
  • I could reorganize the content I wrote on this lens to make it more focused.

Deleting a lens is almost never useful. There’s always the possibility it could get some traffic and earn a few pennies. In fact, according to the stats tab on the dashboard, this lens draws a lot of traffic — through image searches! People come to this lens for its photos.

I realized that if I deleted the long list of photos and turned this lens into a lensography, I’d lose all that image traffic. Instead, I reworked the lens to focus on the content that’s bringing traffic.

I added alt names to each image to help boost traffic/SEO. I put them in a more logical order. And I made them into clickable links — if someone clicks on them, they get full-sized versions of each photo. Why? Clicks boost lensrank! Plus the links include the filenames of the images, which means more SEO-boosting content.

I also made the decision to license my photos through Creative Commons for non-commercial purposes, on the condition that people link to the front page of Ancient Greece Odyssey if they use any photo. Why? Backlinks boost search engine standings. Offering images for Creative Commons is one way to get people to make backlinks to your site.

So what did I learn? Image-heavy lenses draw a HUGE amount of image traffic. If you have photos, exploit them. They’re original content, just as much as text!  NAME your photos with keywords, give them alt-tags, and you will get image search traffic! Need help? See my How to Upload Images on Squidoo tutorial for more info.

Related Lenses (Ancient Greece Odyssey)

Lens Stats and Milestones

As of today: Lensrank #28,695 2 ratings, 1 favorites, 4430 lifetime visitors.
Best lensrank achieved: #3063. Lifetime earnings: $7.81+ some sales of designs.

Link: Photos of Ancient Athens