How to Add a FanClub Counter

Squidoo Fan Club CounterBack in June 2008, I introduced the ‘FanClub Counter’ – an orange box that shows how many fans you have in your FanClub, linking back to your profile on Squidoo. An example is shown here ยป

You may have already seen this on other peoples lenses and profiles.
If you want to know how to add this to your own lenses, here’s how:

  1. Go to the Lensmaster Feeds page.
  2. Type in your Lensmaster name, and login.
    (this is your username, not your real name or email)
  3. Copy the HTML Code shown near the bottom.
  4. Go to your member profile, and edit your Default Bio.
  5. Paste the code where ever you like, and save it.
  6. The counter will now appear on your profile,
    and every lens that uses the default bio.

On lenses, only the first ~225 characters will be shown (not counting HTML tags), and everything after that those will be hidden behind a ‘More…’ button. So, bear this in mind when pasting in your FanClub Counter code…

(This is the first of many Quick Tips that I’ll be posting, with step-by-step instructions of how to use all the tools here at SquidUtils).


SquidUtils: The Story So far

Once upon a time, probably during April of 2007, I started making a few tools for Squidoo Lensmasters. I don’t know the exact date, but I figure that “2 years ago” is close enough.

The very first tool was the Lensmaster RSS Feed. I remember requesting this on the forum, but a month later I had given up waiting and built my own solution instead. Shortly afterwards, I shared this with other Lensmasters so that they too could get a feed of all their lenses – perfect for syndicating on a blog or directory.

Since then, the RSS Feed has been improved and made more widely available, and is now served directly from Squidoo HQ. Find out how you can make use of yours by reading How to Use Your Lensmaster Feed.

That was just the beginning…

Continue reading “SquidUtils: The Story So far”


Give Your Squidcasts More Legs

SquidCastSquidcasts. These are short messages that you can send out from your lens, and they will be seen by anyone who has favorited your lens, or joined your fan club. To see the squidcasts from the lenses and Lensmasters you have subscribed to, you have to visit the Favorites tab on your dashboard.

On their own, this is about as exciting as they get.

But here at SquidUtils, the messages that you cast can do so much more, and reach out many more people (and search engines)…

Continue reading “Give Your Squidcasts More Legs”


New Tools for Squidoo Lensmasters

If you don’t already know, the prime purpose of SquidUtils is to provide tools and utilities for Lensmasters. You can get a summary of what’s on offer here by reading the post Welcome to SquidUtils, and then come back here to catch up with what’s new.

In recent weeks, I have been building some new tools, and they range from the useful, through kinda nifty, to simply awesome. It wasn’t until today I realised how many I had ‘sitting on the shelf’, so I thought I should get them out for Lensmasters to try.

Health-Check: This was mentioned at the end of my previous post, where I talked about large percentage of lenses that were not optimised for their keywords. The Lens Health-Check Tool will automatically assess your lens, and give advice on where you could improve it. It is still technically in Beta, and there is some functionality yet to be programmed into to it, but I wanted people to be able to benefit from it.

Amazon RSS Feeds: This is actually an old tool, which is was a little tricky to use unless you’re already an expert with Amazon’s affiliate program. It basically allows you to dynamically embed Amazon products directly into your lens, selected by Category, Listmania or ASIN. Finding the ‘browse node’ ids for a particular category was never easy, but the Amazon Feed Generator now has an integral node browser, that lets you drill down to the one you need.

But that’s not all of them – there’s more…
Continue reading “New Tools for Squidoo Lensmasters”


4 Out Of 5 Lenses Have Poor Health!

I have analysed almost 70 thousand lenses at Squidoo by 2,250 Lensmasters, and I’ve identified a number of issues that common to a staggering 80% of these lenses. Some of these issues are preventing the lenses from ranking well in the Search Engines, and many Lensmasters have posted to the forums complaining about a lack of traffic.

Here is an overview of the issues I have found, and how Lensmasters can fix them.

Issues with 80% of Squidoo Lenses

Continue reading “4 Out Of 5 Lenses Have Poor Health!”


How to Use Your Lensmaster Feed

One of the oldest tools here at SquidUtils is the Lensmaster Feeds. These are RSS Feeds that contain links to all of your lenses (or groups). These are perfect for syndicating – which will result in many websites linking directly to your lenses. And the great thing is, as you build new lenses, they will automatically appear on all the sites that are publishing your feed.

If you are a frequent user of these feeds, you may notice that your primary Lensmaster feed is now provided directly by Squidoo, and not from SquidUtils any more. But don’t worry, all of your links to the old feeds will be redirected, and all previous syndications will continue to work.

Continue reading “How to Use Your Lensmaster Feed”