I hear it just about every day now… “How did you do this so fast??”. The first answer of course is practice practice practice. After you do 2, 3 or 400 lenses you’ll be doing them quite fast too. Especially if you are doing lenses that follow the same template. (meaning they have the same or similar modules and outline)
The second part of that answer is getting organized. My little organizational system (which YES! I’m going to share with you today) cuts tons of time off creating a lens. I’m not very organized around the house, but when it comes to work, I love to build little cheat sheets, and templates that help keep me together. I only have a few quiet hours a day to get this all done!!
1. Identify all the html code you’re going to need for your lenses.
For the lenses I do I usually need 3 pieces of code.
1. my affiliate product link.
2. the code to make the boxes for the reviews
3. the code to make the visual call to action.
Hunting down code doesn’t take very long ~ but when you have to keep doing it over and over again, it really adds time to any project. Especially if you have to go hunting down the website to find the code each time. I don’t do that anymore.
I have now created a text document. (I just go to my screen with the icons (desktop) and right click my mouse and choose “new” then text document and it opens a new one ~ then I save it right on my desktop to get to it quickly and easily.
Now I just use this one doc for all my product based lenses. I have the html for the reviews and CTA at the top and I just add in each new product affiliate link as I go. I now only have to open one document ~ it just stays open but minimized at the bottom of my screen and I have all the code I need ~ no more hunting around.
To help you out ~ I’ve put together the code I use in my text doc here. It has the review box code and the CTA code in it. You will have to copy/paste it into your own text document, but it’s all there in one place.
2. Determine which modules you’re going to use in your lens.
I figured out which modules I’m going to use, and I made a list in alphabetical order, that way I can go to the all modules area of the “add modules” section and just grab what I need very quickly from the right letter area.
Here’s my list:
1 big arrow module
1 Guestbook module
1 Poll module
1 RSS share your blog module
2 text modules
1 The most important thing module
1 Youtube module
Once I have added them all in I go to the sidebar and rearrange them in the order I want them in.
Intro ~ but it’s already there and you don’t see it in the sidebar.
the most important thing
guest book (sometimes I switch those last two around)
Now listen ~ just because this is the order I do my lenses in, and the modules I use doesn’t mean you have to do it just as I do, the point here is to create a system. Once you have a system you can begin moving through the steps quite quickly without always having to think “umm… what do I do now.” You have a system, you know exactly what to do next.
(also ~ not ALL of my lenses follow this template ~ but it is my affiliate product based template)
3. Start at the top ~ don’t make it complicated.
Intro module: I just want to let people know the product I’m going to be talking about. The fact it will make a great Christmas gift, and the fact people will be really happy to get it as a gift.
This does not take research, this does not take a lot of time and effort. Really ~ it’s 3 or 4 sentences. Just make it up. You can certainly imagine why someone might be happy to get whatever it is you are promoting as a gift right?? You can think about what kind of person on your gift list might like the product you’re promoting. Right? Don’t make this complicated ~ it’s a few sentences, made up by you.
Click the discovery tool tab and turn it off. I do not want other lenses very related to mine coming up on these product pages. I leave the discovery tool on if I have more than one lens on a related topic, then I can put my own lenses in as well and that makes it worth it to me ~ especially now that they have moved it over to the sidebar.
First text module: This is where I usually talk about different features of the product. DON’T just copy the bullet point list of features off amazon ~ seriously. I do this a couple ways ~ sometimes I ask a question and then answer it. Sometimes I just point out features of the product. Again ~ this is NOT complicated. The best place to get this information is in the PRODUCT REVIEWS. They will tell you exactly what ROCKS about this product. Read them ~ but don’t spend all day.
When I do the question type feature area I like to bold the questions. You can do this by adding <b>before your question and </b> after ~ that will make just that sentence bold. (it’s not working here because I’m in text editor to be able to show you the actual code) So for the Ironman lens I might have done something like this:
How much weight can it hold? The Ironman Gravity 4000 is made of a tubular steel frame. It can hold up to 350 pounds, so it’s great for even larger people.
This information was in the product info area ~ but I’ve made it unique content by making it conversational and in my own words. If I am a big person with a back issue I will probably be asking that questions so it speaks directly to the reader/purchaser.
I do 3 or 4 of these type questions and then link back to the product telling them they can find more features there.
The most important thing: This is where I put my visual call to action. I like to have it near the top of the lens because it really gets people’s attention and calls them to action. You’ll find this can be a great way to get people to click. If you put this all the way at the bottom of your lens you’ll risk it not having the power it has up near the top. But make sure you have some content before it, you dont’ want to yell take action at the VERY beginning.
Poll module: I like to have a poll module in my lens because it takes off some of the “sales edge” and it also helps people get involved with you and the lens. The more involved they get the more likely they are to click through. You can do a poll about the “must have feature” people look for when buying your product, who this product would be best for on their list, etc etc ~ again ~ you’re just making this up. Use your imagination. I used to make clickable links in the poll module ~ I don’t do that much anymore, but you still can if you want. If there’s one feature that really stands out for the product in the poll I may link that one answer to the product page, but no more than 1 anymore.
2nd Text module: This is where I do reviews. I will grab the code for 3 boxes out of my text document. I will paste it into my lens after a paragraph talking about why reviews are great to read when you making a buying decision. Then I go to amazon and find 3 reviews that I like. I usually try to go to a later page of the reviews so people don’t see the same ones when they come to amazon from my site. This is why it’s great to choose a product with many many reviews.
I then highlight the “your text goes here” in the code and then paste in the review. You can get fancy and add a little something at the beginning of the review ~ like the title of the review at amazon or the person’s name. You can use the <b></b> inside the area you’re putting the text to make the beginning sentence bold if you want.
Youtube: Here I like to add a video ~ a video that reviews my product, or is directly relevant to helping my reader make a decision about buying the product. If there is a website in the description I usually go to the edit area and take it out. For some reason it doesn’t always “stick” so I have to do it a couple times for it to work. Just one of those things. I don’t worry about addresses in the video themselves, or them saying a website address ~ it’s much easier to click a link on the page you’re on than it is to open a new window and put in a whole new address that you have to remember.Key here is relevancy. It MUST be relevant.
Big arrow: This is my last call to action. If they’ve made it this far I want to have something seriously encouraging them to click out to my sales page. Big arrow does a nice job of that.
RSS module: This is a last ditch effort to get them to click through to one of MY pages instead of on a google ad or another ad on Squidoo that doesn’t make me any money.
Guestbook: This is one more place to get your keywords in the title, get some conversation going on your lens, and one last place to put a link to your product page. If you don’t have a guestbook you can’t get an angel blessing. I’m not sure how big a deal that is, but I’ve gotten a few and my rank goes up a bit. It’s worth it to just add the guestbook.
Don’t leave the default text in your guestbook. Talk to them about their decision ~ did they decide to buy the product? Are they giving it as a gift? If so, come back and tell us how much the person liked it, or what their response was or something ~ you want to create a relationship with your reader ~ engage them.
4. Final touches.
Fill in your bio area ~ make it specific to each product, and have a link to the product in your bio area. It doesn’t have to be complicated. My favorite thing about the holidays is finding just the right gift for everyone on my list. the yada yada would make a perfect gift for the “whomever” on my list this year.
Make sure you have an image of your choosing in your bio area and not the default squid.
Add tags to your lenses ~ you dont’ have to research these, but if you noticed when you were doing kw research some related keywords that are relevant to your lens write them down and throw them in as tags. Otherwise just look through your lens and write down related words. Use smaller versions of your product name ~ so I used these for the Ironman lens:
Don’t spend a bunch of time on this ~ use commons sense. You shop, what might you look for if you were looking for this product?
If you save your payout settings in your main profile area you don’t have to worry about that on each lens and it saves time there as well.
That’s pretty much it. Click publish and then “view lens” and check it out. Go through all your links, hover over them and make sure your Amazon url shows up at the bottom of the page ~ if it doesn’t the link’s not working and you need to go back in and fix it so it does.
The keys to getting faster at this is pretty simple.
1. Have a system.
2. Stop making it so complicated. There’s no need for tons of research or anything. If you’ve chosen a product with some reviews and good product description you’ve got everything you need right there. Just use it to get your ideas flowing.
3. Loosen up and have a little fun ~ you’re really just making this up and you can’t do it wrong. You CAN do this!! Believe it and you will be surprised how quickly you prove yourself right.
As always if you have questions feel free to ask them in the comment section. I’ll do my best to answer them.
Have an awesome day and keep taking ACTION!!!