Stream Podcasts (MP3’s) with the Yahoo Media Player on Squidoo

listening to a podcast

listening to a podcast

One of the multimedia features of Squidoo is the option to include podcasts as part of your small business marketing on this social network platform.  Squidoo provides a setting for a Yahoo Media Player that enables you to incorporate and stream MP3’s (your own or other’s) on your Squidoo lenses.  I have found that this is one of the most underutilised features of Squidoo.

In an earlier post, I highlighted the benefits of podcasting and stressed the need to incorporate this aspect in your small business marketing.  I think that the lack of use of the Yahoo Media Player relates to the fact that the settings are not obvious and are easy to overlook.

How to Enable the Yahoo Media Player on Squidoo

To enable the Yahoo Media Player on your Squidoo lens, you need to make adjustments to ‘Other Settings’ when in the edit mode.  The ‘Other Settings’ link is currently in the right-hand column of your Squidoo lens.  There is an option  for you to tick ‘Play mp3 files with the Yahoo Media Player’ (as illustrated in the image below).  When you tick this option, you automatically enable the Yahoo Media Player, so that any link that is an MP3 file will generate the ‘play’ symbol on your lens. 

Squidoo - Yahoo Media Player settings

I have demonstrated the use of the Yahoo Media Player in the introduction to a Squidoo lens on Improving Productivity to Overcome Procrastination and Information Overload:


squidoo - yahoo media player

If you want to include a description or call to action (as I have done above), you use a hyperlink with anchor text such as the following:

<a href=”http://www.yourpodcastaddress.mp3″><b>LISTEN TO HOW I HAVE USED A PRODUCTIVITY FOCUS TO BEAT PROCRASTINATION</b></a>

Another illustration of the Yahoo Media Player from the same Productivity Squidoo lens is the following screenshot which shows how I am marketing my Social Media Training Program by including an introductory podcast in a text module: 

Yahoo Media Player - squidooroo mp3

 The Yahoo Media Player on Squidoo enables you to incorporate podcasts (MP3’s) on your Squidoo lenses to enhance your small business marketing.

Video Marketing on Squidoo

squidoo - youtube video rainforest


squidoo - youtube video rainforest

Squidoo offers a number of ways to use video marketing for the marketing a small business.  Essentially, Squidoo provides two modules that enable you to stream videos within Squidoo lenses.

These modules enable you to identify a video from a video hosting site and embed it in your Squidoo lens.  You can use a video of your own from one of these sites or use someone else’s video to illustrate an idea on your lens.

The two main modules for video marketing on Squidoo are (1) the YouTube Module and (2) the Video Module.  There is also a video voting module but this serves another purpose.

The YouTube Module on Squidoo

The YouTube Module gives you a lot of flexibility in displaying and streaming YouTube Videos. You can display a single video or multiple videos (up to 10). The way you choose the YouTube videos is up to you. You can use an automated process where you specify a keyword (tag) and YouTube will display the specified number of videos associated with that keyword.  The advantage of this approach is that the displayed videos are automatically updated by YouTube.

Another choice is to use the “Let me pick option’ in combination with the “Help me find a video’ link (at the bottom of the module in edit mode).   In this option, you again specify a keyword (tag) but you can make a choice from the list of videos displayed by YouTube.  You have more control this way but you have to update the list manually.

Alternatively, you can choose to display the videos of a particular person (yourself or someone else) by specifying the desired YouTube ‘Username’. 

The YouTube Module in edit mode is displayed below (“Let me pick’ option):


Squidoo - YouTube Module

Your video will be shown as a full image for streaming as shown in the screenshot below (notice the hyperlinks at the bottom of the image):

squidoo - youtube video

Where you choose multiple YouTube videos to display, one video will be shown in full display and the others are shown as thumbnail images as below:

squidoo - YouTube videos thumbnail images

The Video Module on Squidoo

The Video Module enables you to stream a single video from anyone of a number of video hosting sites, including YouTube.  You need to give your module a title and sub-title and a description (optional, but useful to increase your chances of being found on the search engines).  Then you post the video link from the relevant video site and click ‘Save”.   If you don’t know the URL of the video, you can click on one of the buttons for the video sites listed in the menu across the top of the edit box.   The video hosting sites supported by Squidoo, in addition to YouTube, are:

  • Vimeo
  • Revver
  • Howcast
  • Anboom
  • Godtube
  • Metacafe
  • MySpace
  • Veoh
  • Yahoo Movies
  • 5min
  • Amazon

You can see the Video Module in edit mode displayed below:

video module on Squidoo

The resultant video (from Vimeo in this example) is displayed as a streaming video for playing directly within the Squidoo lens as shown in the screenshot below (taken from a video module in a lens):

squidoo - vimeo video

Squidoo makes it easy to use video marketing for the marketing of a small business and gives you a range of video hosting sites to draw on for your own videos or those of other contributors.

Small Business Marketing: Image Marketing on Squidoo

Montville Restaurants and Shopping

Montville Restaurants and Shopping

Squidoo offers the opportunity to use image marketing for the marketing of a small business.  In my previous post I discussed how to use Squidoo modules to create a lens design.   In this post, I will concentrate on the modules related to image marketing.

If you click the ‘category’ link on the listing of all modules, you can then choose the category option titled “Pictures & Videos Modules’.   The  image shown below gives you the resultant menu that you can use to choose modules for displaying your images.  

squidoo - image modules

 While this display covers most of the image module options, I will mention two others not included in the category list(these can be accessed via the alphabetical listing).   So let’s get started and get a sense of the image marketing options that are available to you for small business marketing on Squidoo.

Image modules on Squidoo

Squidoo is a highly visual platform and it is important to recognise this at the outset.  While you are expected to create original written content for your Squidoo lenses, you are strongly advised to use the power of images in your lenses.  Squidoo makes this exceptionally easy through a number of module options.

1. Text Module

Each text module has the option for you to add an image (JPG, GIF or PNG).  This is automatically downsized to fit into the text module and text is automatically wrapped around the image (which is right justified).  Squidoo recommends you use large images that approach a square shape and that you use JPGs for photos, GIFs and PNGs for graphic.   Don’t forget to give your image a title (preferably related to your primary keyword) and to include the URL of the website you want to link to the image.  Here’s an example of an image inserted in a text module:

squidoo - image in text module


 2.  Polaroid Module

 The Polaroid Module enables you to highlight a photo by showing a large image with framing.  It really makes your photos stand out.  You need to give your photo a ‘caption’, add a URL for linking purposes and add a label for the photo (optional).   Here’s an example: 

 squidoo - polaroid module

3. Photo Gallery Module

With the Squidoo Photo Gallery Module you can upload a series of photos and  have them play as a slideshow with a pre-set display interval (e.g. change every 5 seconds).  The image being displayed is shown in full while the other images in the photo gallery are displayed as thumbnail images as shown here:

squidoo - photo gallery module

4.  Flickr Module

I have previously written a blog post about using Flickr for small business marketing.   Squidoo provides a module for you to display Flickr images.  You have to restrict yourself to photos that are licensed under the ‘Creative Commons – Commercial Use License’.   You have the option of displaying single photos or a series of images.  You can draw photos from different Flickr members or use the photoset of an individual Flickr contributor.  Where you are using multiple images, the Flickr images can be displayed as a still collage or as a slideshow (see below):

squidoo - Flickr module


5. Text with BIG PICTURE Module

This Squidoo module enables you to display a full-sized image (no greater than 1.045 MB).   You will need to add a Module Title relevant to your keyword and ideally a sub-title as well.  You can include text (like a normal Text Module) but the emphasis should be on the photo itself.

6. Flickr Voting Module

This is a fun module designed to generate some interaction with readers.  Squidoo is big on polls and voting.  You could use this module if it fits your overall marketing purpose for your small business.  Basically, as with the Flickr Module, you identify the number for individual Flickr photos you want to display and add them to the module.  Squidoo then displays them as a numbered list and viewers can vote them up or down the list.

7. Slideshare

Slideshare is the world’s largest site for sharing slideshows.  Squidoo provides the ability to select up to 5 slideshows from the Slideshare site to display on your Squidoo lens.  These can be selected by ‘username’ or keyword.    Slideshare is growing in importance for Internet marketing and will be the focus of another post in the future.

Squidoo offers a number of modules for image marketing , a critical element for small business marketing in this highly visual era.

How to Build a Squidoo Lens

Cafe overlooking Mooloolaba Beach


Cafe overlooking Mooloolaba Beach

Squidoo provides so many options for small business marketing that it is important to have a design plan in place before you start building Squidoo lenses.  When designing your Squidoo lenses you also need to keep in mind the benefits provided by the Squidoo platform.

Setting up Your Squidoo Lens

When you first create a Squidoo lens you need to specify:

  • lens description (what the lens is about)
  • the lens name (which will form part of the URL: e.g.
  • the topic area for your lens (choose from the drop-down list)
  • the content rating (choose from drop-down list, e.g. ‘G-rated’)
  • the tags (keywords) for your lens (list with comma separating each tag)
  • some ‘quickpick’ modules (these can be deleted or added to with ease once your lens is set up).

Your lens description can be changed at any time.  However, your Squidoo lens name (URL) is fixed.  It is important to do some keyword research before creating a lens so that you can incorporate your target keyword in the lens title and name (URL) and also include other related keywords in your list of tags.

Principles for Squidoo lens design

As mentioned in my discussion of the benefits of Squidoo, one of the key appeals of the Squidoo platform is the easy-to-use lens/webpage builder.  Squidoo provides numerous modules for you to draw on so it is important to be clear about your design principles from the outset.

I have previously identified 7 key principles for lens design which I will summarize here:

  1. Determine the purpose for your Squidoo lens (What are you trying to achieve?)
  2. Create a concept plan (How can you best present your information to achieve your purpose?)
  3. Create a lens design to implement your concept (Which modules will you need to best present your concept?)
  4. Expand your keyword research to include search terms that are related to the primary keyword for your Squidoo lens
  5. Produce original content to add to your lens (What information [in what format] will you add to your Squidoo lens?)
  6. Locate images or photos (Will you use a paid service or a free source such as Pixabay)
  7. Review, refine, link & promote (How will you improve and promote your Squidoo lens?).

Adding modules for your Squidoo lens design

When you are in edit mode for your Squidoo lens, you will be able to see the ‘Add Module” option in the top area of the right-hand column of your lens.  You will see an image like the one below that gives you the option of choosing from the  modules that are ‘popular’, ‘profitable’ or ‘favourites’ ;


add modules to Squidoo lens

The ones displayed above are ‘favorites’ as I have clicked on that menu option.  To have access to the full set of modules, you can click on the “Browse all modules’ link at the bottom of the “Add Module” area.  This will give you an alphabetical listing of all modules as displayed below:


squidoo listing of all modules

In the image above, you can see displayed all the modules that begin with the letter ‘S”, as I clicked on that letter in the alphabetical listing at the top.

If you click on “categories’ in the left-hand menu, you will see groupings of modules under headings such as ‘writing’, ‘selling stuff’, ‘news and feeds’ and ‘widgets’.  Click around and find out what modules are listed under these categories.  You can then use the + button to add one or more of the modules to your lens design.

Some key Squidoo design tips

The “text’ module is a core Squidoo module as you can use it to add text, images and any html (such as hyperlinks or bulleted lists).  Some key resources if you want to add HTML are:

You should add a guestbook module if you want to encourage visitors to leave comments and thus build up web traffic to your site.  This module includes settings to control who can comment and whether or not you want to moderate comments before Squidoo publishes them.

Squidoo, through its modular design of lenses (websites), gives you a very wide range of options for your small business marketing but you need to keep the design principles in mind when developing your lenses.

7 Great Reasons to Use Squidoo for Small Business Marketing

Squidoo is a unique free hosting platform that gives a real boost to small business marketing.  Its uniqueness flows from its easy-to-use features, strong social network, inherent marketing design, search capacity and flexibility.   There is so much a small business owner can do on this social networking platform that it is difficult to encapsulate it all in one post.  So I have decided to use the “sevens’ blogging approach that I introduced in my previous blog post.

It is difficult nowadays to get anything of quality that is free.  Squidoo is a clear exception to this statement.  Its features are state-of-the-art as it is subject to continuous improvement and refinement.  The benefits for small business marketing are immense and can easily be undervalued if you have not experienced Squidoo.

In this introductory blog post, I want to outline seven (7) great reasons to use Squidoo for small business marketing and, in the process, cover the benefits and features of this marketing platform:

1. Squidoo offers free web hosting and easy-to-use webpage builder

Squidoo enables you to design web pages (called lenses) that it hosts on its own social network platform.  The lenses can be on any topic (apart from some explicit exclusions put in place to prevent spam and poor quality web pages). 

The easy-to-use webpage builder involves a series of modules which you can piece together to create a professional looking website.  Squidoo has a wide range of modules that you can pick from to suit your focus or purpose. 

The other key advantage of Squidoo is that you can make as many Squidoo lenses (websites) as you want.  I have developed over 100 Squidoo lenses on a wide range of topics.

2.  Squidoo provides a multimedia platform for small business marketing

Squidoo enables you to embed your YouTube videos (or those of other people) in your Squidoo lenses.   You can display images from Flickr or use a special module (‘photo gallery’) to create a slideshow of your own images.

You can also add podcasts which are streamed on your Squidoo lens via Yahoo Audio Player.  The way you mix and match the modules is limited only by your imagination.   The key is to design lenses to match your purpose in undertaking small business marketing.

3. Squidoo offers many ways to market your small business

Squidoo provides a very easy way to present multiple aspects of your small business thus helping you to leverage your small business marketing. Here are some possible types of Squidoo lenses you could develop:

  • tell the story of your business origins and development with illustrations in the form of photos, diagrams and/or videos
  • create Squidoo lenses about the area your business is located in – attractions in the area, signifcant history, natural features or community activities
  • feature some of your products or services
  • provide educational information relevant to your niche
  • highlight your staff, their interests and their qualifications/skills (the personal touch)

4. Squidoo is a search engine in its own right

Squidoo has more than 2.5 Million lenses and generates its own traffic through its internal search results.  Your Squidoo lenses can be featured in these results and accordingly be indexed by Google, Yahoo and Bing.  

There are a range of minimum requirements to meet for your lenses to be featured, otherwise they are considered ‘Work-in-Progess’ lenses.   So the advantage of building Squidoo lenses for small business marketing is not only to gain external web traffic through other search engines but also internal traffic through Squidoo’s own search engine capability.

Squidoo has algoriths like Google to rank lenses for the purpose of displaying them in their search engine results and for creating lists that highlight exceptional lenses.

5. Squidoo is a very strong social network

Squidoo places a very high value on its social network and continuously explores new ways to engage community members.

Squidoo has developed a range of community roles designed to build community and encourage member interaction.  Squidoo has roles related to tutoring new members, running contests and quality control.  Community organisers work within Squidoo and in the broader Internet community to communicate the benefits, features and values of Squidoo.  One of Squidoo’s core values is creating the opportunity for its members to contribute to charity through the advertising revenue generated from their own lenses.

Squidoo also has a way of rewarding people who create quality lenses and manifest the values of the site.  One of the ways Squidoo does this is by identifying ‘Giant Squids’ who have created 50 or more excellent lenses.  For example, so far I have achieved the award of Giant Squid100 – created 100 excellent lenses as judged by Squidoo.   This award gives you greater visibility on Squidoo and in other search engine results.

6. Squidoo was designed by, and for, Internet marketers

One of the key creators and owners of Squidoo is Seth Godin who is considered the world’s leading business blogger.  He has also published in excess of 10 New York Bestsellers on Internet Marketing and related topics.

Squidoo embodies Seth’s Internet marketing principles and is continuously adapted and refined to meet new trends in online marketing, search engine algoriths and social media.

7. Squidoo has a special relationship with Google

Quality lenses appear high on Google’s search engine results.  Google values Squidoo’s emphasis on original content, frequent updating and quality control.

Seth Godin was, at one stage, a strategic adviser to Google in relation to its development options.  Google, however, still expects Squidoo to control spam and maintain quality which it does through a range of mechanisms.

Squidoo provides multiple avenues for small business marketing and enables small business owners to develop their brand, their personal profiles and to build their customer base while enhancing their personal creativity.