Squidoo Land "Worth $328.50US" According To Websiteoutlook.com

I was just checking on how Squidoo Land was fairing on the search engines (I guess I wanted to see if anything I had written on this blog was actually being found by the notoriously fickle Google) and a stumbled across a website that says my little blog is worth $328.50! LOL! Anyone want to buy a blog cheap :)

The website allows you to check various statistics, such as ad revenue (inaccurately), as well as daily page views, the all-important PageRank, number of backlinks etc. The website, called Websiteoutlook, unfortunately doesn't work on Squidoo lenses (unless I'm doing it wrong), because when I input the URL of my Squidoo webpage it returns the information and numbers for Squidoo itself, which are to say the least, quite impressive, rather than my individual Squidoo page numbers. So it doesn't work on subdomains. You should try it on your own blogs and other websites to see what they say about your stuff.

Still, it is funny to think that Squidoo Land might actually carry some value on it's own. I've used this website to see if any of my other blogs and webpages have any value, but they don't show anything at all. They are not listed and all I get is the message "No data Available for this site" so any plans of becoming a blogging millionare have just blown up in my face. Not that I really care. This is just a blog for scribbling my thoughts and hopefully helping others in the same boat as myself.

One Week Later: New Squidoo Lenses ~ How Are They Doing?

About a week ago I wrote that I was publishing some new lenses on Squidoo. This is the link to that article called A Couple Of New Webpages At Squidoo.... As far as traffic, they have been found by the search engines, Google, Yahoo, etc., because I alert them to the existance of these webpages.

There's been a small trickle of traffic both from these search engines and from other Squidoo lenses. All told, they have generated a whopping 24-25 visits. That's between all three lenses. Not much traffic of course, but I'm happy with them even though they have yet to generate any sales. They've ranked in the 3rd tier and one looks like it might enter the 2nd tier. They just need a little bit more work to get them in front of the eyes of my target audiences. So, if I'm lucky, in a couple of months, each one will add $0.08 each to my total money earned from Squidoo. Not really worth all the work right? Wrong.

Let's say I earn that same $0.08 from each webpage each month for a year. That's still only $0.96 per lens ($0.08 x 12 months = $0.96). Just a little less than $3.00 for my effort and there is of course no guarantee they will even rank as high as the 3rd tier. I need to continually improve on my work, change modules, and work to increase a greater share of the audience that is out there.

There is the good vibes I get from the positive comments visitors leave and maybe an angel blessing here or there, and that adds value to my work in my own eyes. What I would like is more sales, which come with increasing traffic to my webpages, so I should always be endeavoring to use SEO techniques on my lenses, and just re-do and improve on the content so visitors will be more willing to make a purchase. All I need to do is get a sale here or there and combined with what Squidoo bestows on me for those few webpages that work their way up the slippery slope and rank fairly well and I'm one happy Squid!

Basically, the plan of action would be to make more and more Squidoo lenses, with each taking a small chunk of the available money for ranking well, with ever increasing sales. The way I look at it, if you want to make more money at Squidoo is to first make content that brings people to your webpage, offer products and services that those visitors would enjoy purchasing, and then MAKE MORE LENSES!

Basically, each time you publish something new or improve what you have out there ~ you are giving yourself a raise.

Sure, it's only $0.08 a month if you're lucky enough to get and hold a ranking, but you are getting better at creating good content, and more importantly, having fun! This can be a little hobby that generates some pocket money (maybe stowing it away til Christmas next year) but how many hobbies offer you a chance at making money each and every month?

There are lenses that stay in the top 2,000 month in and month out, so if you're one of the lucky ones who create something unique that stays up there in the rankings, one lens generating about $11.00 a month would mean $132/year for just a little work keeping the lens up to date. If you are like me (once again I apologise if that's the case) and you do have some success, you want more. I know I do. I look forward to seeing that blue box on my Squidoo dashboard each month.

I'm happy some months, disappointed in others, but then I realize I'm getting paid for something I like doing and isn't that what is important?

A Couple Of New Webpages At Squidoo...

I've put together some new lenses at Squidoo over the last few days, bringing my total of published webpages to 153 (impressed?). As I continue making more and more of these lenses, I'm finding it easier to get them to rank somewhat nicely, but still find it difficult to get them to rank in the top tier where the money is, but as I have stated in the past, having a ranking of 2,000 and under is all well and good, and if you can have one in this top tier you definitely deserve kudos, but striving solely to be at the top of the Squidoo heap is not a smart plan of action if you are looking to have longterm success (ie: money), then scouring your dashboard at Squidoo and worrying about every little up-tic or downward spiral will just lead to frustration.

If the reason you joined our little Squidoo party is to make some extra money each month, you can earn a certain amount each month by polishing and honing each webpage to a bright sheen, but you will not get rich doing only this.

Squidoo recently announced that there are over one million Squidoo lenses on their website. That means that your lens is in competition with mine and those of thousands of other lensmasters for that elusive top rung in Squidoo's ranking system. I want to have all my webpages in the top tier so I can have as much sent to me each month, but so does every one else.

I'm proud of most of my work making lenses, but I know that there are excellent lenses that far outstrip mine in terms of quality and content, and with more and more new people generating new content on the site and older more experienced hands adding to the tremendous work they've already completed, it will continue to become harder and harder to hold onto their higher positions in the upper tiers. Unless you create your content strictly for fun - and that's a cool motivation and one of the reasons I came here in the first place - you will need to look elsewhere than the tiers if you are looking for streams of money.

You need to keep generating traffic to your lenses and creating and improving your content so that people will want to come back or bookmark your work, to get them to link to it and reference your fine work so others will be able to discover what you have done.

Oh yeah, here are some links to my latest work, so if you want to take a quick look you can. Any comments obviously would be appreciated. I don't expect them to immediately leap to the highest heights as far as ranking goes, but I think they will generate a fair bit of traffic and maybe a sale or three.

Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus
Liam Hemsworth
Justin Bieber

Obviously by listing these new lenses here on Squidoo Land I'm hoping to generate some traffic, but mostly for an honest opinion of the respective lenses.

The first is about the letter sent by Virginia O'Hanlon to The New York Sun back in 1897 that generated the famous "Yes, Virginia" editorial. The second and third lenses are for two relative newcomers to the entertainment world. I have many more ideas for webpages that are in various stages of publication on Squidoo, and I hope that they will gain some acceptance and success as they are sent out into the Squidosphere.

What Are The Top 10 Squidoo Christmas 2009 Lenses?

Because it is now so close to Christmas, I thought I would take a look at the Top Ten Squidoo search results for the search term "Christmas" to find which lenses would come up and the following webpages with a holiday theme came up on the list:

Top 10 Best Green Gift Ideas 2009 by flowski
Top 10 Best Christmas Gift Ideas 2009 by flowski
Christmas Crafts - Decorations, Gifts, Giftwrap and More by Pastiche
Fuzzy Slippers by GroovyFinds
Beautiful Gingerbread Houses by Kate-Phizackerley
Crazy Cute Christmas Cupcakes by rms
Free Christmas Card Templates by lisadh
Christmas Clip Art by Pastiche
Countdown to Christmas by Christene
Christmas Printables - Coloring Sheets and Activities by WebSpinstress

Taking a quick look, obviously flowski, aka Brandon, is the man this Christmas season as not only does he have the number one overall lens on Squidoo, which is no mean feat in itself, but he holds down the first two spots on this list of Christmas-themed webpages! His Top 10 Best Green Gift Ideas 2009 lens offers visitors a nice assortment of products and ideas for a greener Christmas. His Top 10 Best Christmas Gift Ideas 2009 is visually awesome, with a very Christmasy feel that is nicely laid out.

Pastiche is the only other lensmaster with 2 lenses in the top 10. Most of her lenses have a fun, crafty theme, and her webpage, Christmas Crafts - Decorations, Gifts, Giftwrap and More really catches the eye. Tons of ideas and intriguing projects to make at home - (love the gingerbread men). Her Christmas Clip Art webpage also deservedly makes the list and gives lots of different graphics ideas I want to try. And, these two lenses aren't even her top-rated lens, she has another clip art themed page that's in the top 10 overall at Squidoo.

Fuzzy Slippers by GroovyFinds just has to be included because of the funny slippers that are highlighted. Christmas morning just wouldn't be the same without receiving a pair of comfy slippers under the tree. Really, check out the lens.

Kate-Phizackerley has an very nice webpage showcasing Beautiful Gingerbread Houses. That's a project my grandmother used to involve all her grandkids in doing every year.

One of my favorite lensmasters is on the Top 10 list too, as Robin, also known as rms, has a tasty lens, Crazy Cute Christmas Cupcakes, to help with your baking requirements. She can only be called a PROLIFIC member of Squidoo as her output dwarfs many other lensmasters with the 304 lenses she's made, and taking the time to rate almost 6,000 lenses!

Free Christmas Card Templates is from another longtime Squidoo member, lisadh. She has over 200 webpages on Squidoo too with a number also being Christmas related. Her Christmas Card page will help you make your own cool holiday cards.

Another of my personal favorite Squidoo peeps is Christine, who is ALWAYS on the Squidoo Discussion Forum (how does she get her own work done? She's always leaving helpful comments and suggestions). Christine's Countdown to Christmas is about the use of Advent Calendars at Christmastime.

The final entry on this list is from WebSpinstress with her Christmas Printables - Coloring Sheets and Activities lens - all about coloring and printable pages that will keep the kids busy.

All of these webpages are really well done and deserve kudos. Squidoo Land salutes all of the members of Squidoo who have done such excellent work producing so many great lenses with such holiday flair. If I could, I would list all the Christmas webpages that have grabbed my attention, but I can't, so these are the ones I wanted to highlight. Next year at this time hopefully I will be saluting yours!

Christina Hendricks Now Appearing At Squidoo

One of my lenses at Squidoo that I particularly like is the one I did about Christina Hendricks from the television series Mad Men. Obviously Ms Hendricks is very easy on the eyes, so it was no problem for me to spend time pouring over pictures and articles of the actress trying to put a tribute page together for her. Truth be told, I probably would have spent a lot of time Googling her anyway, because I really like her as Joan Holloway on Mad Men, a show I never seem to find the time to watch as regularly as I would like.

Mad Men, if you don't know, is set in the 1960s at an advertising agency called Stirling Cooper, and Hendricks' role is of the office manager. I'm not someone who really pays much attention to costumes or clothing, but the look and style of the show is something else. Joan seems to have been poured into some of her outfits and usually is just stunningly beautiful. What my lens needs is more pictures of Hendricks decked out in the 1960s-era dresses she wears so well, so I will definitely be trying to add more of those.

One thing I'm happy with about the page is that although I haven't really added too much to it after initially publishing the lens, it has continually had a respectable amount of traffic and ranked somewhere in the 30-40,000 level in the Squidoo rankings. That's obviously not going to make me rich anytime soon as it means an extra $0.08 a month in my PayPal account from our good friends at Squidoo, but I'm happy with that. I've just recently added several pictures and clips to the webpage, and updated a fair portion of the written content, so I'm hoping for a little bump in the ranking of the lens. The traffic it receives is as I said, not bad, receiving about 20-30 visits in a seven-day period, and gets the odd spike in visits every once in a while.

I just checked where it sits in Google and the page is buried way back on the ninth page of results - still not bad, because it does show up - but I think I will try to move it up. Obviously a page one ranking on Google would be great because that would probably drive much more traffic of those looking for Hendricks to my webpage.

Checking the traffic sources stats shows that referrals and directs account for the bulk of my traffic, but the Google and Yahoo search engines provide a nice lift in my numbers along with a smattering of traffic coming from Bing, Discovery, AltaVista and AOL. I've found that many find the webpage through some odd combinations of search terms - that would be the "long tail" marketing kicking in I guess, but still it combines into a fairly respectable level of visitors.

I'm thinking that with a little more attention to detail and timely updates, this simple lens could jump up into the 2nd tier in the Squidoo rankings. My motto should be "Put in the work and you'll see better results."

Squidoo Land ~ Xmas Holiday Sales Are Up

I don't know about you, but Christmas has been pretty good so far for my Squidoo lenses. I'm getting a nice little bump in sales at Amazon on items sold through my webpages as people search for stuff to buy to fill little Billy and little Amber's Xmas stockings. Something that always amazes me is when items are purchased that have absolutely nothing to do with the content on my page. I put something that's appealing to someone reading my content and they click and go to Amazon and the visitor ends up buying something TOTALLY unrelated to my page.

People seem to get to Amazon and then just bounce from page to page on that site and end up buying books and other items that are light years away from what I recommend. One visitor actually bought some childrens' books that I have been contemplating doing a lens about. The titles turn up in the royalties section of the stats section of my lenses and I am amazed at the coincidences.

As always, I don't get any Christmas holiday themed pages completed in time to really do well when the big rush begins, but I do okay (thank you very much) but just like last year I'm kicking myself for not having completed a webpage (or three!) what will help people making their holiday purchases. What I plan on doing is creating 3-4 webpages at Squidoo after the new year so that they will be open for business NEXT year and will be ranked nicely both on Squidoo and Google. What I'll need to do is to try to do a little more optimization on those lenses than I usually do my Squidoo lenses (and my non-Squidoo webpages) that will draw a greater share of traffic in a holiday spending mood.

I've seen that there are many first-rate holiday pages on Squidoo that have a LOT of work done on them and they have a corresponding healthy pagerank both with Google and Squidoo. Of course, simply have a high rank a Squidoo gives each high-ranking lens a nice little bump in revenue each month (and that does add up at the end of the year), but if you are doing this to make some extra money, it's the sales that you need to be concentrating on. Now, not everyone makes pages at Squidoo and elsewhere just to generate some money, but it is very nice to have a few extra coins to jingle in your pocket - especially during the holiday season.

Having pages up and drawing traffic (and sales!) long before Christmas is what I plan on doing in 2010. What I should be doing is making new lenses with a holiday theme each month and even if they do not rank very highly in May or June is nothing to be worried about. My plan is to increase the sales off my pages at Christmas 2010 and rather slipping into panic mode because I am underwhelming visitors to Squidoo who want to buy presents this year, what I need to do is look down the line. Creating excellent content that will draw visitors looking for Halloween, Christmas, and New Years' is what we all should be striving to do.

What I plan on doing is to start making several webpages about Valentines Day and Easter (amongst others) so that went them - and they will visit, you have the content they are searching for.

Updating Squidoo Lenses After Time Off

I have been allowing my Squidoo lenses to sit forlone and unloved for several months now, collecting my $15-$20 a month through PayPal each month and have finally decided to kick my own butt and get back to work on them.

Several of my Squidoo pages have fallen down the ranks (due to my neglect) and I have to give them a once-over and get them back up to near the top of the pile. The first thing I did was go to thefluffanutta's excellent site called SQUIDUtils which helps wayward Squids get their various pages into fighting shape. If you haven't been to thefluffanutta's website, go there and check it out. You won't be disappointed as Fluff is a wizard and gives free tools to make your Squidoo pages so much better.

I decided to check on the health of my Amazon links and SQUIDUtils showed that most of my pages had broken Amazon links - Oh No! So I've begun the arduous task of going through the broken links, replacing and fixing what I can. Many of the links are for products that are no longer available or that have changed their link to the products I have been showing on my pages. This is just one part of my maintenance that is required to get the pages back into good standing and I have so much more that I need to do. I plan on taking all of December to get them back to the levels I had before and improve on them as best I can.

Also, I have a big backlog of ideas for sites that I want to make NEW Squidoo pages about and that is just one part of my "master plan" to do better at Squidoo than I have in the last several months.

I'm Back Baby!

Just thought I'd drop in a little note to let folks know that I am still alive and kicking. I have been so busy with other things that I've allowed Squidoo Land to stagnant. I am in the process of putting together more posts and I am still making Squidoo lenses. I should be able to post at least once a day now and look forward to your comments and suggestions.

My Squidoo Goal: 20 New Lenses By Monday Morning

Okay, 20 new Squidoo lenses in 3 days?! -- "they'll be all crap!" I hear you say. No, they won't. I must confess that the newest Squidoo lenses I am going to release into the pond have already been started. I have even more ideas that I haven't even begun to work on. I currently have 148 webpages on Squidoo already, so I can crack out lenses that's for sure, but of course not all of them are top tier or money makers. I have lots of lenses that haven't produced a dime from lensrank let alone secondary sales. Those need work too and I am working on overhauling and fixing whatever ails my less productive lenses.

What I want to do is get a bunch of them that I have been working on (some for a couple of months or longer!) published. What I want is to have 200 Squidoo lenses on line and earning their keep by the time my one year anniversary roles around. That gives me until 14 August 2009 to get 52 more webpages up. I have a ton of material stockpiled and I am whittling my yet to be published lenses down to a more manageable number. Keep an eye on my lensmaster page for new titles because they're coming fast.

Only $1 A Day At Squidoo?

I just realized that when I got paid by Squidoo this last time that I had made more than $1 a day for each day of the month of April 2009. My total was only $34.22 from what all my lenses had earned for the month of April. I know what you're thinking... "$34 lousy bucks? Talk to me when you earn a thousand... or ten thousand!"

Yes, a "lousy" thirty-four dollars have found their way into my Pay Pal account courtesy of the good folks at Squidoo. But, that is $34 of online income I earned. It is not much and won't pay my mortgage or car insurance, but it is more than I would have had if I had been sitting in from of the TV like a Canucklehead and not worked on Squidoo. You have to look at success on Squidoo as a series of steps. Each success leads to a higher level of success. $34 this month, maybe $50 next month, a few months down the line and I could be looking at $100 each month. Still not enticing enough for you?

There are a fair number of people with Squidoo lenses who make much more than $100 a month. Take a look at the Squidu forum each month when the Squids mention what they made that particular month. There are a lot who cryptically say they "got a little less than last time" or "a little more." Many post at the Squidoo forum exactly what they made that month. I post each month what I make (I even have a lenspage where I show what you can expect each month) but as I start making a higher amount I can see how others are a little reticent about stating exactly what my earnings are.

I made slightly more than one dollar a day at Squidoo. What did you earn last month? What will we earn next month? I want to earn $2 a day, then I want to earn $5 a day. Do you see where I'm going with this? Do the work - you will be rewarded.

Squidoo Extends To Twitter? Yes You Can

Okay, I know I've been away from writing on my blog for quite a while now. I've been soaking up the Twitter experience. You can follow me at Hey_Bradshaw if you are a twittering fanatic like I've recently become. Just a warning: it is HIGHLY addictive. I've been on Twitter for a relatively short period and I have already passed the 1,000 tweets mark and I'm going to keep on tweeting like the twittering fool I am. Myself, I don't just talk about the wonders that are Squidoo. I tweet about whatever strikes my fancy. Others are always throwing out links to their great lenses. I've done that myself and even with my small following have had visitors to my lenses showing up as having come from Twitter. So quite obviously, Twitter can be yet another source for traffic to your work.

Although I don't have quite as large a following as Ashton Kutcher has (about 2 million), my following continues to grow. Today I have almost 750 hardy souls hanging on my every word. Well, maybe they're not blindly following me, but slowly my group of followers are increasing. There are lots of fellow Squidoo aficianados with much larger followings than myself and it is cool to have a quick link to these folks too. Link to them and you'll get plug into a great network of hardcharging Squids. Most of the top Squidoo folks are tweeting, Seth Godin is linking to his blog, Megan Casey chimes in from time to time, JaguarJulie, one of the best lensmasters, is there and (surprise, surprise) has a large following. There are lots of good people connected to Squidoo who are tweetering about their work. a_willow, MiMi, aka GrowWear, SusanVLewis, Susan52, thefluffanutta, and many more great Squidoo people. Too many to list in this short article. Link and learn.

Rachel McAdams Lens Visited Over 2,000 Times!

I thought I was happy about my Rachel McAdams page hitting 1,000 visits, now it just hit over 2,000! What am I doing right? Well, I can't take all the credit, Ms McAdams is a hot topic due to her new movie called State Of Play (2 more this year I've heard). Hopefully I can get some of my others to perform like this!

Update, Improve, Create New Squidoo Lenses

While waiting (im)patiently for Squidoo to get it's collective tentacles untangled, now is the perfect time to be putting together some new Squidoo lenses and fixing up those that have fallen by the wayside. Update, update, improve, improve.

Always keep an eye on some of your poorly operating Squidoo lenses and try to find out why they aren't performing up to the level you want them to. Are you not getting any sales? Poor choices in products or is it the type of modules you've chosen. Check over at SquidUtils, that wonderful website created by lensmaster extraordinaire, The Fluffanutta. Fluff is always putting together great aids to help you track and upgrade how well your lenses perform. You will increase your opportunity to make money through Squidoo (and other platforms) by becoming a regular user of his excellent website. I have.

Although I (and thousands of others) are patiently waiting for Squidoo to fix whatever problem is causing the frozen lensrank problem (now Day 5!), don't sit on your hands waiting for it to resolve itself. Many other Squidoo folk are working on new projects, researching and updating older webpages, and generally continuing to try to do better at Squidoo. This month is almost over and even if your Squidoo lens is not rising or declining in the rankings, your still (hopefully) getting traffic. Work on that. I created a lens a few months ago that just had over 1,600 visitors pass through and check out my work. I want more of that! Don't you?

What I would like is to have ten, no twenty, no, fifty Squidoo lenses all getting incredible traffic like that! Now I have to find the right topic, and I know it can happen again. You can too. DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED! It takes time for some lenses to be discovered and some will, others won't, but keep at it. Keep on creating new Squidoo lenses and work on bringing more people to your own little slice of the Squidoo pie (eew, that doesn't sound appetizing, does it?)

I'm getting traffic to some of my webpages and some are getting a colossal, collective yawn from the Internet. Learn what works for you, and build from there. Read everything you can, and then read some more. Take something I say and spin it your way and keep working to improve. No success that comes easily or quickly will taste as sweet as that success you've pushed for. I've had a small taste of some success and I'm becoming positively gluttonous for more. But in a good way. ;)

No Updates At Squidoo For 3 Days! What's Up?

What the heck is up with Squidoo? There's been NO UPDATE since Thursday, April 23rd and no word from the powers that be as to what is causing the problem. I've been with Squidoo for a fair stretch now and I have seen a day go by without the Squidoo lensranks getting updated, but usually they do tell you what is going on to some degree. This is getting ridiculous. No update Friday, okay. No update Saturday hmmm... Now no update on Sunday ??

Basically I would like to hear something from Squidoo HQ - even a "please stand by" or technical difficulties, or something. It almost feels like when they left work Thursday night, every one called in sick the next day and forgot to turn on the auto-updating machine. Or, the weekend crew didn't have the keys to get into Squidoo Headquarters. "I thought you had Seth's phone number." "No, I thought you had it." Can't you just picture a group of techno-geeks with worried faces tugging at a locked door trying to get into work?

Actually, I don't think it was anything like this, but there is a little frustration with the disturbing lack of any feedback to questions being raised about the problem over at the Squidu Forums. Meticulously tracking the lensranks of all my lenses is not something I do on a daily basis, but I do check in to see where they are from time to time. If you are at Squidoo and just looking at the site from a money angle, obsessing over your lensrank is just not the way to go. If you want to reach a higher level on money there, you need to look beyond lensrank. Work on promoting some sales from your lenses.

One thing about this lengthy period of time without an update, if you work on your higher ranked lenses, there's a chance that when the update finally happens, that a couple of your lenses might get booted down in the lens ranks. Several Squids have complained about this in the past and I think it may have happened to some of mine in the past. It does seem that at least once a month there is one day in the month when the lens ranking update gets skipped. Sometimes that period stretches to a couple of days. I haven't seen it happen for 3 straight days and will be very interested in checking in Monday afternoon and seeing not just that there has been an update, but some sort of an explanation is provided. And at least some lip service that HQ is trying to prevent it from recurring.

Meanwhile I've been outside, away from my computer, trying to catch a bit of sunlight and working on replacing my pasty white complexion with a slightly less pasty countenance by digging up my garden. Need to get the veggies in soon and getting away from Squidoo for a day or two may not be such a bad thing. But while I was shovelling you can bet that I've been turning over a few lens ideas about gardening. "How To Grow A Bigger Tomato" or "What's A Good Fertilizer For Small Back Yard Gardeners?" That sort of thing. I'll add them to my Squidoo notebook.

Scarlett Johansson: My Latest Squidoo Lens

Scarlett Johansson is at times a very striking woman and a much-acclaimed actress. I've completed a new lens about "The Other Boleyn Girl" (well, completed is a strong word) called, of course Scarlett Johansson. I have included clips from most of her movies (did you know Johansson's appeared, or provided her voice, in 28 movies?). She's done everything from "Spongebob Squarepants" to a couple of Woody Allen movies, to goofy comedies to a movie about a Dutch painter in the 1600s. A varied body of work. In between all those movies, she's had time to appear on countless fashion magazines, cut an album where she sings cover tunes, and get married to Ryan Reynolds, one of Hollywood's (formerly) most sought-after bachelors.

And she's only 24. She has a number of movie roles lined up, and she's appearing over at Squidoo as we speak...

Traffic Breaks 1,000 Visitor Mark At My Squidoo Lens

Say what?! I thought I was seeing things. I made up a Squidoo lens about Rachel McAdams a while back and I've been adding to it and trying to make it a better lens overall (I have to admit to a wee crush on the pretty Canadian actress), so it has been easy to research and write about McAdams and her many movies. I've been watching it go up into the top tier (yea!), and slowly build traffic. But I don't know if it will continue getting the massive traffic the lens has been experiencing, because of the type of traffic it has been receiving.

As of today, the lens shows 1,042 visits over the last 7 days, which is an alltime high for any of my lenses at Squidoo. So I had to say something here at Squidoo Land, because I'm just shocked at the numbers. Believe me, I am not complaining about the traffic - any traffic to your lenses is good traffic. The weird thing is that it is not coming from Google, or Yahoo or other search engines... it's almost all coming from Squidoo!

Over 600 visitors seem to have found my lens about Rachel McAdams were "referred" from other Squidoo lenses (wish I knew which ones!) and over 300 visitors came to the lens as directs. Gotta love those ones because that means they were looking for my lens and possibly had saved it to their favorites. The rest of my visitors were from Google, Yahoo, and several other search engines. About a month ago, Google had been the path that people discovered the wonders of Rachel McAdams, but that traffic looks like it has dried up. Hopefully it will come back eventually.

I believe a lot of this traffic is due to McAdams' latest movie, State Of Play, which just opened. The ads are all over the TV these days, Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck and Helen Mirren also star in the thriller and I've mentioned the movie on my lens. Still I had to tell somebody about my recent run of luck, so I thought I'd mention it on this blog. Now, if I could only get some sales from this traffic, I would really have something to go on about!

Squidoo Groups: On Lockdown

It looks like Squidoo is going to be weeding out the bad groups from the good. Word has come down that changes are happening in the number and more importantly, the quality, of the groups on Squidoo.

This is a good thing. Anyone who has been on Squidoo has had the ability to create a group that they could invite others to join and submit their lenses which could be highlighted on the group's page. The problem is that too many lensmasters were trying to create the ultimate group - with the most lenses, and not caring which lenses joined, as long as their total number of lenses was the most on Squidoo. Then there were other groups that languished with little or no attention being paid by an absent lensmaster. Basically, a lot of chaff, and some felt enough was enough. Time to take out the spam. No new Squidoo groups can be created for the near future.

Now, more stringent quality controls are being put into effect, owners of groups that don't make the cut could find their ignored and forgotten groups deleted. The quality of the groups at Squidoo in general should take a step forward. I have to mention that I have one group only, and it's about something I've worked on and off for some time.

Called the Hockey World Headquarters, it features about 70-odd lenses about hockey players and the teams that make up the NHL. There are 12 members and I have a lot of lenses in the group: old time legendary players, to current players and rookies. One member have a lens that I feature about his hockey art that he produces. There's some good lenses about several NHL teams and more are scheduled to appear. And the group itself is one of the higher rated groups in the sports category (and the highest group on Squidoo about hockey). So, a little pat on the back for me. It can still improve and that's always been my plan for the group, as I can see all sorts of areas where improvements to the group can be made. So far it hasn't been deleted and I really hope it remains open.

To read more about what is going on with the Squidoo groups, you need to look at SquidU - here's a great article about what problems have been experienced with the groups feature and what we be doing to make the groups at Squidoo something good. In the article in the link above also shows is several examples of really good, well-cared for groups worthy of your visiting them. Take a little time to check them out.

Some Of The New Giants Over At Squidoo

Hey people! Congrats! Some of the new Giants Squids have been announcing themselves over at the Squidoo Forum.

Here's those newly hatched Giants I've found so far:


I don't know if this all of them and I would love to add more names to the list. Let me know who I missed and I'll provide a link. If you are considering applying to become a Giant Squid in the next round (deadline is end of June 2009) you should take a look at the sub-forum called So You Want To Be A Giant Squid? which will give you some great tips to help you reach that goal.

Twitter And Facebook Assist Student Protests In Moldova

Twitter is quickly becoming one of the most intriguing new platforms on the web these days. Started only a few years back, it's also like being able to text-message the world and your buddies. The news about large-scale student protests in the former Soviet republic of Moldova and the part Twitter (and Facebook) played in the communications chain raised a few eyebrows. Now there's word spreading around that Google, the mighty Google, has cast their collective eyes on Twitter as a possible acquisition.

Now if Twitter gets absorbed by Google, what are their plans for the company? And who will profit? Shades of Youtube and their founders giggling hysterically about their new riches, right? News like this makes me hunger for more knowledge about these emerging platforms and how to get in on the potential. I know that Squidoo has a ton of really informative lenses about what Twitter is and how to use it, so I think that may be a place to start snooping around. I just wish I had cobbled together a lens (or three) all about Twitter and its many applications and uses.

Another possible topic that deems some exploratory work is voip. Voice Over Internet Protocol. You know, "The Magic Jack", that infomercial about cheap, cheap telephone calls. We had a VOIP store sprout up in our neighborhood a few months ago. There are so many of these topics out there, so little time to properly follow up on them.

I Just Got Paid At Squidoo. Did You?

Today was payday at Squidoo and I received my email that Squidoo had deposited money in my account with Pay Pal. Did you get that email? Why not? All it takes is a little work, making some lenses at Squidoo, and you could be in the same boat: a little bonus each and every month. I've only been a Squidoo lensmaster since August of last year, but I'm getting paid! Sure it's not a fortune, but it is some money each and every month - and something to build on.

My first payment was only $0.08. Eight pennies. Then it was more. Then a little more. Each month I would work hard and I would get something in reward. I make a new Squidoo lens, and update my older ones. I get some traffic and maybe there's a sale here or there. It all adds up. And you can make extra by adding some Amazon and other affiliate links. But be discrete and don't try to flood Squidoo with affiliate spam. That will not work and your lens could get penalized. Try to create good, original content and you will begin to see some benefits. If you can get your len into the top 2,000 (I have three today!) and get them to stay there so that their average lens rank is 2,000 or less for an entire more, each lens will get you $11-$12 on the next payout. Today's payout was for February, so if (and that's a big if!) I can keep my 3 lenses in the top tier for April, I could expect about $33-$34 in June (Squidoo always pays a month behind: January was paid in March; December in February).

But there's more ways to make money at Squidoo... read on to find out.

Payday Comin' Up At Squidoo: My New Best Earnings

Squidoo is about to all the lensmasters and this month I caculate I will have a new personal best. I'm projecting about $30 or there abouts. That isn't going to allow me to retire, but it is a new high for me. I know some are easily beating me in their earnings and I applaud them wholeheartedly. It's just I am starting to see some money, more than just a couple of bucks here and there. So I'm just giving myself a little pat on the back and a little push forward. The hard work is just starting - how to increase what I'm earning?

Well, more of the same. Keep trying to update all my Squidoo lenses, keep trying to draw more visitors, and keep trumpeting what a great place Squidoo is! So, once again, here's a link to ALL my published Squidoo lenses at my lensmaster page. You can take a look at my best lenses and my worst lenses. I know the worst ones need to be overhauled so they can start earning their keep.

New Squidoo Book Club? Pros And Cons

Squidoo just announced a new project that might prove to be very lucrative (or maybe a bust) called Squidoo Book Club and that link takes you to the details. The Squidoo Book Picks program is a test run at creating a book recommendation and sponsorship platform on Squidoo.

Trying to harness the power of all the Squids, giant and otherwise can be a good thing (but a daunting task). Apparently there are 23,000,000 page views a month at Squidoo (and climbing) and SquidooBookClub poses an intriguing thought. What if Squidoo sold 1,000 copies of a book every single day? Basically, publishers would be clamouring to pay to get their newest books recommended by Squidoo. This I like. Obviously, this is still in it's embryonic stages, but is an interesting concept. I'm wondering who will be on the "Squidoo Board" that decides which books to recommend. I know we have a lot of good (and literate!) people at Squidoo who can offer a wide variety of excellent book choices, (me, I like One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss, among others).

Amazon sales through Squidoo can provide a big chunk of money, and this could be another venue or portal which might deliver even more to the Squids and once again, provide yet more dollars that Squidoo can donate to the various charities supported by Squidoo. That's always a plus.

Take a look at the link to the Book Club. Provide your 2 cents. This might be something very interesting. Or a bust. Either way, it gives you something to think about and might provide a few shekels.

100th Post On Squidoo Land!

I can't believe I am already writing my 100th post on Squidoo Land. It feels like yesterday that I started this blog about my attempts to succeed at Squidoo and here I am, a little more successful each month and still looking forward to getting on Squidoo and working on my various Squidoo lenses. If you're interested, here's my Squidoo lensmaster page where all my lenses are listed. I now have over 200 fans (thanks!) who approve of my work. I look forward to updating and creating new lenses. I have 140 published lenses now and I think I should be close to 200 by the time I hit my one year anniversary in August.

Looking Forward

I am going to try to join the Top 100 Club at Squidoo in the next round and also work at getting even more traffic to my various lenses. Some are getting lit up with visitors every day while some are languishing at the bottom of my Squidoo dashboard waiting for major updates. When I look at some of my early failures, I see potential for improvement in the various lenses I've allowed to sit without increasing the amount and quality of my content. The only way to get people to visit them is by working on them more often and continuously improve them. They will start increasing their lensrank and contribute some coinage to my Squidoo bottom line.

Money From Squidoo

I'm getting money from Squidoo just about every month and although it is not sackfulls of cash, it is a little bit of money each month that I wouldn't be receiving if I wasn't there. Getting and keeping lensrank is difficult but I'm getting better, and my lenses are getting better too. My goal is to eventually get about $1,000 a month from my various Squidoo endeavours and I'm slowing building to that point. I'm no where near 1K a month yet, but it is coming. Stay tuned and I'll tell you how I do it.

New Squidoo Lens: the Big Bang Theory

My latest lens is on the air! It is about the TV show called The Big Bang Theory which stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco. Galecki and Parsons are the leads in the series, as CalTech physicists Leonard and Sheldon who are also roommates. Cuoco plays Penny, a blond waitress who moves across the hall from the two mega-nerds and disrupts their lives. The show has been on since 2007 and recently was renewed for 2 more seasons.

Galecki is best remembered for playing the boyfriend of Darlene on the Roseann show and the actress who played Roseann's daughter, Sara Gilbert has a recurring roll in this show as Dr. Leslie Winkle. Even Laurie Metcalf has appeared on the show as Sheldon's mother. Parsons was recently a member of the cast of Judging Amy and plays the character of alpha nerd, Sheldon Cooper, a supremely self-confident (and self-obsorbed) physicist. Lovely Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny in the series and the love interest for Galecki's Leonard character was seen as the eldest daughter in 8 Simple Rules.

The Big Bang Theory: Episode Guides

On the lens, I've included guides to all the episodes that have aired to date (about 38 so far). I started watching the series last year and recently had a chance to watch it again. The Sheldon Cooper character is hilarious and the supporting cast provides a lot of yucks. Sara Rue, who was the lead in the series Less Than Perfect (she played Claude Casey from 2002-2006) plays Leonard's sometime girlfriend, Dr. Stephanie Barnett is also good. If you are a fan of the series, stop by and say hi.

Wow! Squidoo Traffic Is Up!

I've been at Squidoo for about 6 months now and the traffic to my various lenses has been hot and cold (very cold for some lenses), but smokin' hot on others. I just hit a new high for traffic to my lenses again! I've read that it can take 6 or more months to really get your lenses established and that seems to be playing itself out as far as I can see.

How To Get More Traffic To Your Squidoo Lens?

Well, create a first-rate lens for starters. Get the word out that there's a great new lens for those who are interested in that topic. Keep letting people know about the lens. Tell'm at Facebook, HubPages, blog about your lens, tell your friends and family and buddies at Squidoo about your great lens. Talk about it til you are blue in the face.

Update your lens! Some lensmasters can create imaginative, creative lenses easily - (I'm sooo jealous!) while others, myself included create some good lenses, some well, not so good. Keep trying to improve your lens if you are the latter group like I am. Sometimes, taking a break from working on one lens and working on another one helps you when you return to that first lens. Look at the fine work of other lensmasters. Here's a link to My Favorite Lenses at Squidoo. There's a bunch of lenses listed that can help you make better looking lenses and help you if you need some assistance with HTML or images or content.

Where To Go From Here?

More of the same. Keep working at improving the lenses you have, make some new ones, update, change, test. Keep at it and you will start getting some traffic. It may be only a trickle, but that is people stopping by to see what you are up to and some might buy some something from one of your lenses, or leave a comment that will make you feel good about what you are doing. Keep working at making your lenses better and after you have been at it for awhile, you'll get the itch to create enough to become a Giant Squid, then you'll want to join the Top 100 Club at Squidoo. You will start seeing some lenses moving up in the lensranks and your traffic increasing. Then you will want to do even more. This Squidoo thing is so addicting (but in a fun way!)

R. L. Stine's Mostly Ghostly Books

I just did up a Squidoo lens about R.L. Stine's Mostly Ghostly book series. The series of 8 books is about an 11 year old kid named Max who discovers his house is haunted by brother and sister ghosts named Nicky and Tara Roland. Over the course of the book series, Max, Nicky and Tara battle scary ghosts and become friends as they try to locate Tara and Nick's missing parents.

R. L. Stine is the bestselling author of the Goosebumps books that are really popular with young readers. Stine has sold over 300 million copies of his various book series including the Mostly Ghostly books.

Fallen Canadian Soldiers Lens Updated

My lens called Fallen Canadian Soldiers In Afghanistan has now been updated to reflect the latest losses suffered by the Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

In March 2009, 8 more soldiers have fallen and a higher number have been injured. There have been 116 casualties so far in the Canadian mission to Afghanistan. There are currently about 2,000 canadians serving there.

Time To Become A Writing Maniac On Squidoo

Okay, time to begin writing like a fanatic. I have a bunch of Squidoo lenses that need to be completed as well as new lens ideas that need to be fleshed out with content. And I have a number of blogs (Squidoo Land included) that need to be updated and EXPANDED! I've set a short term plan into action to hunker down and get very busy with my Squidoo lenses and get them up to a certain level of quality. I have decided that on the next round, I'm going to submit for The Top 100 Club at Squidoo.

My writing has curtailed in the last few months and I am feeling the urge to write, write, write. I have about 4-5 lenses that I am on the verge of publishing for all the world to see and approve or dismiss. I can't provide a link to them just yet, but I will shortly. As I mentioned in my last post, my Squidoo traffic has been going up and up, so what I would like is to increase it even further. I hit the 1,000 visitor mark in a 7-day period which even 2 months ago I didn't think I could possibly approach. Now it's time to solidify my visitor base by adding new compelling content and create interesting lenses and get the word out.

As far as money at Squidoo, I am getting some every month and my next payment should be a new record as I've had one lens in the top tier for an entire month straight as well as several in the 2nd tier to go along with the two dozen in the 3rd tier. As I've said before, you can't rely on simply having a great lensrank to make a lot of money at Squidoo. Several other lensmasters have 3-4 or more lenses firmly lodged in the top 2,000 lensrank and I know I won't be making oodles of dollars with my lensrank, so what I have to do is to try to entice some more sales from my lenses. No, I'm not abandoning the fun aspect of Squidoo for a more mercenary path. I have always tried to make some money from my lenses, but I also just enjoy creating fun lenses about topics that I enjoy and hope that others will take pleasure in reading. If I make a buck or three, fine. I am still going to create more lenses about anything and everything that I like and that I think I can speak about. Hopefully you will join up at Squidoo and start making some lenses too. It is a fun and enjoyable hobby and you can make a little bit of money doing it, so why not give it a shot?

Great Traffic At Squidoo!

My traffic continues to increase every time I check it at Squidoo. I just checked and it shows that I have had 970 visitors over the last several days. Obviously I want that counter to click over the 1,000 visit level (for the first time!), so if you haven't visited any of my lenses, now's the time. I have 137 different Squidoo lenses so there is a wide choice for just about any visitor to find something of interest.

You can stop by my Lensmaster Page and pick and choose which lenses you would like to visit. Okay, enough with the blatant begging for visitors. For those who have already somehow found my little corner of the Squidoo universe, I thank you for visiting. Now, I have get those other lenses I have waiting patiently in the wings published and drawing even more traffic. My goal is to get to 1,000 visitors soon, then move it up to 2,500 visitors and so on. I can't believe I'm almost at 1,000. It seems just yesterday when I got my first visitors to my lenses and hit my first goal of 50 visitors.

Payday At Squidoo Land!

Well, today's the day we get paid for all our work at Squidoo. Here's the breakdown:

Tier One $11.43
Tier Two $1.81
Tier Three $0.08

If you are unsure what these "tiers" mean, take a look at my post called Ka Ching! Payday At Squidoo!. There's a lot of effort to getting and keeping a top ranking for Squidoo lenses, but when you get one or two lenses in the top tier for any extended period, you feel like a worldbeater. Just remember that high lens rank shouldn't be your only concern. Make sure you sprinkle in some affiliate links, eBay and Amazon links and other assorted doo-dads which visitors to your lenses click on that make you some added coin in addition to what your lens rank provides. Just make sure you start off with good original content. The money won't pour in immediately, but a slow, steady trickle gives you something to work on.

Hone Your Craft

Are you honing? You need to keep adjusting, adding, removing content to your lens. Keep working to find out what drives people to your lenses and find out what brings people back. There are a lot of great, helpful people over at Squidoo that you can ask for help if you need assistance with a particularly vexing dilemma. Don't send personal emails to other lensmasters pleading for help or for them to rate your lenses - that's a big no-no. Ask for Squidoo lensmasters to visit your lenses in the forum. Let me correct that, ask them in the Critique Me... sub-forum. Don't try to post a request in the Help, or Chatter Box areas because your post will just get moved to the correct sub-forum by one of the already overworked forum moderators. Just try to keep improving your lenses, and try to get the word out that you have a great lens worthy of a look see. It takes time for some lenses to find their feet (or tentacles in the case of Squidoo).

At Squidoo Content Is King (And Queen)

Keep working on improving your content. Fresh, intriguing words that will bring visitors from miles around. Try making Squidoo lenses about topics you are interested in and have a passion for and the writing part will usually take care of itself. Even a ragged article is only a first draft. You can improve on it. Change it around until it is a polished gem. When you know it is well done, publish it at Squidoo and ask for a critique of your work. You won't be clobbered by other lensmasters unless you've copied your content from someone else's work (another no-no). Watch for spelling mistakes.

Visit Other People's Lenses!

The whole purpose of being a Squidoo lensmaster is that you create lenses for others to visit. I want you to visit my lenses. Some you'll like, others you'll like not so much. I don't think I have many fugly lenses, but maybe you will disagree. That's why there's usually an area to leave comments from visitors. Search Squidoo for topics that interest you, read them, enjoy them, leave positive comments. Get ideas, develop them, and write, write, WRITE! I love finding fantastic lenses and so do most other lensmasters.

Get Paid

I started out writing about how much you can make from Squidoo. Being a lensmaster is not just about the monetary aspect (Yes, that's important), but you'll become richer by following this simple advice. Sure, you will have some coins to jingle when you start, but you'll be richer in web skills, friends (have you hugged a Squidoo lensmaster today?), and generally richer overall. What price can you put on that?

And the advice? Stop reading Squidoo Land and get yourself over to Squidoo and start writing!

How Many Squidoo Lenses Do You Have On The Back Burner?

I've been reading a great thread over at the Squidoo Forum called WIP Anonymous about lensmasters saying how many Squidoo lenses they have started but that are currently in a "Work-In-Progress" stage. The thread is already up to 77 posts with several sheepish admitting to having lots of lenses on the back burner. Me, I've got lots of lenses that I am sloowwly working on trying to get them into a publishable state. I usually can publish 2 or 3 a week, so it will be a couple of months before all the lenses I have in my back pocket see the light of day.

What I think I need to do is update my notebooks of lens ideas and try to get them a little more fleshed out prior to starting them on Squidoo. The problem is I just can't help myself. I have one of those moments of "Hey! What a great idea for a Squidoo lens!" and the start writting away furiously and leave it incomplete. Then I move on to one of my other WIP lenses polishing it a bit more, trying to get it a little bit more presentable. I have published some that are not in the state I'd like and I have to fix them and write some more content on those ones.

I think I will take a little vow. No new WIP lenses until all the ones I have waiting to get published - actually get published. Or deleted (shudder). If I do get those lenses all published I will be closing in on my goal of having 200 lenses published by the end of the year. I currently have 133 published lenses, so you'll just have to guesstimate the number of unpublished lenses I am working on. And what about you? Do you also have a stash of "not ready for prime time" lenses waiting patiently for their moment in the sun?

My Latest Squidoo Masterpiece

Well, I don't know if it could be considered a masterpiece, but I like it. It's called James William Goring. He was my great-great-grandfather and I thought I would do a little tribute to him. Hopefully all his descendants (my cousins) will stop by so that means lots of traffic because he had 17 children and hundreds of grandkids. Basically, I guess I'm related to just about one in ten people in Canada's western provinces and most of the western states of the USA through my 2x-great grandpop.

The lens isn't just about my family, because I've tried to include a bunch of good links to various relevant genealogy websites. If you have even a passing interest in family history, this lens will hopefully give you some ideas of where to look for records about your family. Especially if you're ancestors lived in Canada or England. I hope to add even more to it as I go along and if you have any suggestions, as always I'd like to hear them.

Eating The Elephant

I was over at Tiffany Dow's blog trying to pick up some pointers and she mentioned that she was trying to raise about $14,000 for her son. She was talking about how she faced such a daunting task. How would you do it? How would I? She compared it to just about any large job you have to accomplish. Let's say you had to eat an elephant. How do you eat an elephant? "One bite at a time," according to Tiffany.

It's like that with any goal, making money at Squidoo, succeeding with internet marketing. Just about any large goal can be completed but you have to first 1. start and 2. continue.

How do you make money at Squidoo? Beginning is always a good start. Become a member, make some nice lenses and the money will just roll in. Ah, not likely.

Make some nice lenses, yes. Market them, market them and then do some marketing. What? You don't know how to market them? Talk about them to your friends, go to various forums and post a link to you lenses. Don't spam. Link your lenses together. Start a blog. Make some more lenses. Keep marketing your work. Some people don't feel it is even work because they are writing about what they love.

Some of the best advice I've ever received was on the back of my shampoo bottle. Lather, rinse, repeat. Keep working at it. It won't happen overnight, but eventually you will begin to see some returns for your work.

Most Importantly: Don't Quit!

It is always easy to throw in the towel on something that takes some effort. Keep taking bites out of that elephant! Sure, it is tough and the tusks are a little crunchy, but bite by bite, step by step you are getting there. Eventually - no more elephant. Okay maybe $14,000 is a lofty goal for you or me, but not for Tiffany. She is getting to her goal one bite at a time. All I can say is: What do you eat with broiled elephant? Tartar sauce or Grey Poupon?

Told Ya! Ghost Pictures Is In Tier One Again!

Well, I knew it was going to happen. Just like I wrote a few days ago, my pictures of ghosts lens made the leap into the top tier with the latest update in Squidoo rankings. Here's the Squidoo Land post. It is sitting at number 1,749 overall.

Weird. It's kind funny how the lenses you just do for fun sometimes end up as your best performing lenses. Just a simple little lens for Halloween and just before Valentine's Day it lands in the money. It's doubtful the lens will stay in the top tier long enough to give it an over all ranking of between 1-2000 which is what would be needed to generate tier one money, but enjoy it while it is there I say.

I was checking and as of today I don't have any lenses in the 2nd tier, but I've got 14-15 lenses in the 3rd tier where they may generate $0.08 cents each when I get paid for February at Squidoo. Almost a whole dollar. I guess I should look at the bright side: that's a dollar more than what I would have if I didn't have those Squidoo lenses.

Still, I'm going to enjoy my little day in the sun, whoop whoop, I have a tier one Squidoo lens! Okay now back to making new lenses and updating old ones. Maybe someday I will have 10 lenses in the top tier... Now that would be sweet.

What Should I Make My Next Squidoo Lens About?

Ah, the perennial question for Squidoo aficionados both new and old. What should I make my next lens about? I wrestle with this every day. I have a bunch of WIP (work in progress) lenses that I am constantly working on, but I'm always getting so many ideas for new lenses bubbling up that I constantly have a roster of new lenses being published every week. I've slowed my publishing recently (my father passed away just after New Years, so I've been in a bit of a funk and I'm just starting to get back into internet marketing). But I'm coming back. I'm throwing myself into making this internet business of mine and making it hum. I just received my first actual PayPal moola from Squidoo and I want to make the $10-plus threshold EVERY month.

There are so many possibilities opened up with Squidoo that I can easily see myself churning out lens after lens about all the various ideas and topics that tickle my fancy. Haven't you had your fancy tickled? You are probably just like me. Sitting at a blank screen thinking "I just can't think of anything to write about". That is totally not the case. You have a lifetime of experiences that can be developed into a multitude of lenses. Where were you born? Where did you go to school? How did you meet your spouse? Who were your grandparents, friends, relatives, neighbors? What job do you do? Have you every been to another country? What are your hobbies?

Me, I was born just outside of Toronto, Canada in the 1960s. I went to school in Toronto and attending several different schools. I went to school with sooo many different people. One guy won an academy award. A couple played professional football in Canada. One was on the Canadian Olympic team. I have kept in touch with some who have moved all over the world and who are doing interesting jobs and leading interesting lives. Most of my relatives were born in this country, but I have cousins in just about every province of Canada, scattered all over the USA and a bunch more who live in Ireland, Scotland and England. Genealogy helped me discover the joys of discovering the history of numerous regions around the world. As a side note, I am preparing for a business trip to Montreal I will be going on soon. I am scrambling to get ready for this trip. I have to brush up on my french language skills: (deux biere, si vous plait!) I get to enjoy the nightlife of Montreal for 3 whole weeks and I'm REALLY looking forward to this. This trip will be work-related, but it will almost be like a vacation too. There are so many ideas swirling around in my tiny brain that would make good lens topics.

Voulez-vous monter pour voir mes gravure à l'eau-forte?

That means: Do you want to come up to see my etchings? Honestly, I do have better lines.

Hey, maybe I should do a lens about my trip. Sort of like a travelogue. Where to go in Montreal. Where not to go. Can you recommend any good restaurants in Montreal? How about a "Top 10 Restaurants In Montreal" lens? That's a topic that can be transported to any major city in Canada, the U.S. and all over Europe.

Do You Speak Any Other Languages?

Do you speak Portuguese? Russian? Dutch? Can you do a Squidoo lens about what to say to find your way around the major cities of the countries that speak those languages? What about a lens on what not to say? What about a lens about what are absolute necessities to pack for travelling to other countries? What about health issues you should be aware of when travelling internationally? The topics are endless.

Trumpet The Area That You Live!

What about writing a lens about the area that YOU live? What draws people to your corner of the world. Obviously if you live in Las Vegas, New York or Los Angeles you have an incredible amount of local places of interest that you could write about. Even if you live in the middle of nowhere, write about that too! Why has your family lived for 3-4 generations in the same small house in smalltown America? Why not tell the world about how your great-granddaddy cleared the land in the middle of the ocean of the prairies and now you live on a farm? What's that like? What changes have you seen in your county during your lifetime?

I just wrote a little post on my blog about how much I love sushi. Why don't you start a blog and write up a Squidoo lens highlighting how you are doing. You can link to your blog with a Squidoo module that will draw people from your lens to your own little personal blog. I've done this with some of my lenses and I'm getting some people dropping by all the time. What do you write about on your blog? Well, that's for another post.

Hobbies, hobbies and more hobbies

Like just about everyone, I have a number of hobbies. Family history is my true love which I've been working at for over 30 years. I have built up a certain expertise in this area and I've created some lenses with a genealogy theme. I think I could easily create another 20-30 lenses just about the various aspects of family history and I would be just scratching the surface of the topic. Take a look at my Lensmaster Page over at Squidoo and you will see the odd genealogy lens sprinkled in with all my lenses. More are coming on this topic which is dear to my heart.

I'm a good Canadian boy, so of course the great game of hockey plays a big part in my life. I am always adding new lenses about the game and individual players, but what sport do you follow? Are you an absolute die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan? Why not make a lens about the top ten Cowboys players of all time? Or make a lens in tribute to the Superbowls the Cowboys have won. What about the sports of cricket? Badminton? Are there any Squidoo lenses about the javelin? (I checked and there are 27 that use the term javelin). What about darts? The luge? Roller Derby? Stock car racing? What about the multitude of people who make up the galaxy of people who play and excel in these sports? Do you compete personally in any sports? What training methods do you think help you to compete at a higher level?

Okay, I'm stopping now before I pass out. I didn't plan on writing a book (hey, there's another idea!) This is such an exciting opportunity if you will just reach out and grab it! The topics available for you to write about are out there just waiting for you. Take that first step. Get Squidoo. You can join Squidoo here if you aren't a member already. But don't limit yourself to just Squidoo. There HubPages and other areas that you can join for free! The ideas for lenses are endless and limited only by your own imagination.

Man, Do I Love Sushi!

Is there anything quite as tasty as sushi? I just love the stuff. Even bad sushi is good as far as I'm concerned. Why am I going on and on about sushi? Well, I've had a hankering for some sushi for a while now and there's a tiny sushi bar near where I work so I went in after work and got myself some. A tiny bit of ginger, a little wasabi and soy sauce, some chopsticks and a tasty little meal for me.

Of course right afterwards I thought "Hey! Why not make a Squidoo lens about sushi!" So I checked to see if there was any sushi lenses on Squidoo and the search term pulled up 172 lenses! Holy smokes! But not all were about sushi. Sure there's some like Beginners guide to making sushi and Sushi Recipe Favorites, so maybe I won't make a sushi lens after all. I hate treading on the toes of other lensmasters. Still, for the love of sushi I thought I'd give a little Squidoo Land love and toss out some links to these tasty lenses.

Meanwhile, I've got a new restaurant to visit every week or so. Okay, I think I can stop raving about sushi now. But if you haven't tried it - do it. You won't be disappointed. 'Nuff said.

Okay, My Ghost Pictures Lens Is Rising Again

The Halloween lens that just won't quit! I wrote about this lens awhile back because it started to rise (from the dead, mwa, ha, ha - do you like my evil laugh?) and is showing some life yet again. I wrote it up back in October as some Halloween fun and it did okay and started sliding in the rankings. Then in late November and early December when I (like everyone else) was obsessing over Christmas, it leapt into the top tier for a day or two and was my top ranked lens for a while. Okay, cool. Odd, but cool nonetheless. It started sliding back down on my dashboard and I figured it would disappear until I dusted it off for next Halloween.

But there it is again. The dang thing is haunting me. It's now back up there ranking around 5,000 overall and is experiencing yet another spike in traffic. I'm getting visitors from Google (ah, my beloved Google. Have I said I loved Google today?) and Yahoo and Directs (yes, people actually typing in my Ghost pictures lens address!), and Squidoo referrals (have I expressed my thanks to my fellow lensmasters today?) and a dash of AOL and MSN. The lens is number 3 on my dashboard and looking like it might hurtle it's way back into the top tier (dare to dream!)

C'mon folks! It's February! Think Cupid! Flowers for that lovely lady waiting for you to stop looking at spooky pictures and get off the computer. Go throw your arms around her and tell her you love her.

But save my Ghost Pictures lens to your favorites first. Yeesh, the way this lens keeps popping up around the holidays it will likely have another traffic spike around that ghostly time of year, the 4th of July!

Ka-Ching! Payday At Squidoo!

Hey, I just got paid! I finally made enough to have received notification that I have received a little somethin'-somethin' in my PayPal account from the good folks at Squidoo. Always remember that it takes 2 months before you receive the money that you make at Squidoo to arrive. The earnings for December get paid out in February, the November earnings are received in January. Here's the latest breakdown of what your lenses would have received:

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3




What's all this "Tier 1" and "Tier 2" stuff?

You get paid at Squidoo by how well your lenses rank amongst all Squidoo lenses. The top tier (Tier 1) are all those ranked from 1-2000, the next is those ranked from 2,001-to about 8,000. The last is those ranked about 8,001-to about 60,000. Each one of your lenses that had an average monthly ranking of between 1 and 2,000 for the entire month of December would have garnered you $11.52. Just because you had the fortune to have a lens rank in the top 2k for a day or two in the month of December does not mean you would get $11.52 for that lens. Your lens needs to have been ranked between 1-2000 long enough to ensure an average rank of 1-2000 for the entire month of December. Easier said than done. I have personally had several lenses zip in and out of the top tier a few times, but I finally have one that's been in the top tier all through February (so far) and a few more in the 2nd tier, so I'm thinking maybe when I when I get paid for February (which won't be until around the tenth of April) I'll have something to boast about.

If it's so hard to get ALL my lenses into the top tier, why bother?

Good point. Obviously if I could get all my lenses into the top tier for an entire month (I currently have 128 lenses), that would mean I would get ... drum roll $1,474.56! Not a bad little sum if you can swing it. But that's where it starts getting difficult. There are thousands (hundreds of thousands actually) of lenses. Some really, really good and some really bad ones. All are trying to get their mitts on a ranking in the top tier. I know that I'm lucky to have one or two in the top spots given the ongoing competition and it gets harder and harder to keep your ranking. All my lenses fluctuate (some wildly!) so you need to augment how you can get money out of your lenses.

Okay, if I can't rely on money from rankings, what do I do to make money on Squidoo?

You can make money on Squidoo in a number of ways. There are numerous modules you can add to your lenses that could generate a sale here and there that will add to your total come payday. You can add some affiliate links. But make sure you do it in a tasteful way. Don't be the guy or girl with their lenses plastered with Viagra ads or have lenses made up entirely of links to Amazon. The whole point of Squidoo is to provide useful content. Take a look at the top 100 List of Squidoo Lenses and you will see that there are LOADS of cool lenses that are chock full of great, useful content. They will have lots of backlinks and any ads are relatively discreet. They are well ranked because they are just great sources of information. Do like the successful people do and create original, useful content and you will get better rankings (with Squidoo and the search engines like Google).

"Hey Bradshaw! Put a sock in it!"

Well, I didn't plan on launching into a rant about making quality lenses, but once I get started it is hard for me to shut the heck up. I could've sworn I heard one of my readers yelling at me, so back to the topic...

I got paid! You can too! Just keep reading Squidoo Land and I'll try to help you get at least to where I'm at today and let you know about my plans for getting even better tomorrow.

SquidLit: Good Books On Squidoo

I'm putting together a few new Squidoo lenses about various books I like using the SquidLit platform at Squidoo. There are a number of really nice lenses at Squidoo that were put together using SquidLit which is basically a book review page. I'll let you know how they are received once I have them published.

Currently I have about 7-8 lenses in the "work in progress" stage, but I think I can get them published in fairly short order. Do you, fathful reader, have any lenses using SquidLit? What do you think of them and are they being discovered by the almightly Google or the other search engines?

The Squidoo Lens and Blogger Combo

I've got this combo. I have this Blog (Squidoo Land) and over 100 Squidoo lenses. What do I do to make some money from this endeavor? To find a list of my lenses check out my Squidoo lensmaster page. Hey! I have 177 Squidoo fans! That a listing of all those Squids who joined my fan club. You can join at my lensmaster page, (but you have to be a member of Squidoo).

What I have is a mixture of all sorts of different Squidoo lenses. Lens about movies, celebrities, some sports lenses, quite a few hockey lenses. If you are unfamiliar with Squidoo, I have made some lenses about how to begin at Squidoo. Check my two lenses Squidoo Newbie Landing Page and Squidoo and Lens Making.

Squidoo Newbie Landing Page

This is a page where new people to Squidoo can go to figure out how to put a lens together. It is really very easy, just a few minutes to put some information into a few models. Maybe add some pictures. Publish. And you're done. But what do you make that lens about? Maybe a celebrity, or movie. I have one called AnnaLynne McCord that's doing pretty good. Drawing some traffic and getting some Google love. Another I like is a new lens called Fallen Canadian Soldiers In Afghanistan. This lens is a tribute to the 109 Canadian soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan.

But the Newbie lens is doing okay, with some traffic. I think it is a good introductory site for those inexperienced with Squidoo. I would like to write more on doing better with Squidoo. There is money to be made with Squidoo lenses as I've found out personally. Can you make money online with Squidoo?

Squidoo and Lens Making

This lens is about how I've done with Squidoo. Not much in the way of money yet, but I'm getting paid once a month from Squidoo. Why aren't you? There are some lensmasters making a lot more money than I am right now, but what I'm getting is increasing each month. For the lowest ranking lens in the overall number of Squidoo lenses out there you will get eight cents. If all my published lenses were in the third tier, I would have eight cents times my 127 lenses. I would have $10.16. If they were all in the 2nd tier (I wish!) I would have $231.14 - 127 lenses times $1.82 for each lens in the 2nd tier. But what about having ALL lenses in the top tier? The top 2,000 lenses each received $11.63 for having an average Squidoo ranking of 2,000 or less over the whole month of November. My 127 published lenses would have earned me $1,477.01 if the all were ranked in the top tier.

Just remember that it is HARD to get a lens or two in the top tier and get it to stay there! I've had lenses in the top tier for only a day a week, but never for an entire month (I might have one for February). I want to get more of my lenses into the top tier, but it is difficult. Just keep putting good unique information into lenses and update it fairly often and you will have a lens that is ranked in the money. It could be only eight cents or it could be $11.82. That's only one lens. You can see how hard it would be to make a lot of money at Squidoo if you relied only on lensrank. So you might want to try some affiliate sales. There's lots of opportunity to make money on Squidoo with affiliate marketing. Or maybe you just want to create lenses for the fun of it, or maybe you can donate money made on your Squidoo lenses. Many lensmasters have excellent lenses that generate money for charities. But if you are motivated by money, there is money to be made.

So how to I go about including these lenses with my blog? I actually do that already. Most of my lenses have a section where I provide excerpts from my blog. Take a look at some of my lenses and you will see that Squidoo provides a module that allows you to link your posts directly onto your lenses.

Cobie Smulders And Taran Killam Announce Forthcoming Marriage

I just noticed that my lens on Cobie Smulders has spiked again. It shot up a while back because of the announcement that she and Taran Killam were expecting their first child, but why the renewed rush today?

Well, it looks like Smulders was spotted wearing an engagement ring. Smulders and Killam have confirmed that they plan to get married. For more info check my lens. Ah well, another one of my dream girls is now officially off the shelf. I guess I'll just have to pine over Rachel McAdams.

Still, Squidoo Land extends congrats to Cobie Smulders and Taran Killam on their upcoming nuptuals and the birth of their child (likely late spring 2009).

Fallen Canadian Soldiers: A Tribute

It's with a heavy heart that I published my latest lens. Entitled Fallen Canadian Soldiers In Afghanistan, it is a tribute to the 108 men and women who have died in Afghanistan.

It is, unfortunately, likely to need regular updating. Difficult though it may be, I would recommend taking a look at the faces and information of these people who have left behind many, many grieving loved ones. I think it is very important to put faces and names to the numbers: 108 and counting.

This is a personal lens as well. Although I don't believe I knew any of the soldiers listed myself (one at least from my hometown has fallen), the faces do have a ring of familiarity. They are from all across Canada.

As well, I'd like to dedicate the lens to the 4,551 who have died in Iraq. And the countless others who have been horribly injured, maimed or worse. And their families.

Facebook: My President Obama Fan Club Is Drawing Members!

Cool! My group on Facebook dedicated to newly minted President Obama is about to get it's one hundredth member. I know that there are many, many other Obama groups out there on Facebook, but this one I started. You can take a look at the group by going to President Obama Fan Club. Join up if you support Barack Obama.

It's kinda cool when something you do on Facebook or elsewhere on the internet starts working and drawing interest. I have several other groups on Facebook, but they are still in the embryonic stage. I don't know if this group will ever rival some of Obama's other fan groups (one has over 4 million members!) but if you make the right group at the right time... There are a LOT of really, really big groups on Facebook and MySpace that can generate a fair bit of traffic to your lenses (or blogs). Maybe you will get a sale here or there because of it. Maybe you won't. All I know is that if you give people a place to voice their opinions/hopes/complaints etc and let them know it is there for them, some will start showing up. Hmmm... I wonder who the Republicans will have as their candidate for the next election. Or maybe which team will contest the Superbowl next year (the Cardinals surprised everyone this year, except Cards fans of course!)

A little work here and there on Facebook could mean a trickle of traffic or a flood. Just keep the info fresh and interesting and people do start showing up. It may not be the tightly focused traffic with their credit cards in their hot little hands, but it is traffic nontheless. I'm just happy that people are enjoying the little group I started! Now... on to the next one.

Well Looky Looky... AnnaLynne McCord Is On Page One!

Okay, somebody pinch me. One of my Squidoo lenses is on page one of Google! My lens AnnaLynne McCord is at number seven (and rising!) for the search term "AnnaLynne McCord"! What's up with that? I thought I would check it's Google rank because my lens has been getting some good traffic from Google. Usually it is buried way back about 6-7 pages, but there it was on page one! Sweet! And it is well into the top tier at Squidoo (probably due to the traffic), so doubly blessed.

I made this lens in mid-September and it has risen and dropped, but it has moved up recently just about every day on my Squidoo lensmaster dashboard, so I knew something was up. I keep updating it once, twice or three times a week. It's nice to see one lens make it so high. Maybe I need to talk about ALL my other lenses here on Squidoo Land so they'll have a similar increase.

My New Rachel McAdams Lens

I have to admit that I have something of a crush on Rachel McAdams. I saw her in Mean Girls, but it wasn't until I saw her flash her dazzling smile in The Wedding Crashers that I became smitten. I've always been a little more partial to brunettes rather than blonds, and McAdams really struck me as beautiful in the wedding Crashers opposite Owen Wilson. So, being the geeky fan I am, I thought I would announce my everlasting love for my fellow Canadian here at Squidoo Land by creating a Squidoo lens highlighting Rachel McAdams. Let me know what you think. It is a bit of a work in progress. I'm always trying to make the lens better.

Working Towards Top 100 Giant Squid Status

Okay, now that I breezed my way into getting Giant Squid Status (breezed? I don't think so!), I'm going to try to work my way further up the Squidoo ladder by trying for Top 100 Squid Status. To get there, I need to have at least 100 great lenses. I do have well over one hundred lenses already. Anyone who has been to my lensmaster page can see all my published lenses (I am currently at 127 lenses!), but I also have another 46 in-progress lenses. That means that when I get them published, I'll have 173 lenses floating around the web. Yikes!

I started on Squidoo back in mid-August 2008 with one little lens called Family Tree Climber to highlight my genealogy research. Yes, I'm a family tree geek. That lens made it all the way up to 737 overall in the Squidoo lens ranking, which is pretty good. So I thought "Hey, this is easy!" and started cranking out lenses like crazy and also participating at the Squidoo forum. If you are a member of Squidoo, and you are not taking advantage of the forum, start checking it out. There are lots of successful lensmasters helping out new members and providing some guidance there. It is really one of the most positive forums in which I have ever participated. It's almost like an idea factory. You can get help with your own lenses and get ideas for new ones too as well as getting feedback from other members of Squidoo about how to do even better.

If you haven't joined Squidoo yet (and why not? You can make some money doing this and make some great friends) join now. Here's a referral link to so you can join Squidoo.

Now back to me getting Top 100 Status. I have the same dilemma I had when I was considering applying for Giant Squid status. I have enough lenses to apply, but I am unsure if the quality is there. Maybe what I should do is get those lenses I have waiting patiently in the wings published first before I apply. I have until March 31st before the next deadline, but maybe I'll just lay low (like a squid in the weeds if there is such a thing) get more lenses published, polish up the ones I have and then STRIKE!

I have a mental image of a squid leaping out at someone (looking like the sea monster at right: That's Sigmund from the 1970s show Sigmund and the Sea Monsters). Not exactly terrifying. I think I'll wait until the next deadline which would be June 30th to put in my application. That will give me time to get my 40-odd lenses published and improve the quality of the ones I already have. And make some more new ones. Who knows. I may have 200 lenses at that time. Now that is quite the goal to look forward to.

I Made It! I'm A Giant Squid! Now What?

I did it! Yea me! I just got the email confirmation from the powers that be over at Squidoo that I have been bestowed with Giant Squid status. I get a nifty badge and everything!

I am actually surprised about this because although I had enough lenses, you need 50 great lenses to be given Giant Squid status, I of course was a little nervous because I didn't think that the quality was there. I am currently working on my 127th lens (I have about 40 waiting in the wings to be published).

When I started at Squidoo, I set 3 goals for myself:

1. Have 100 lenses. Done.
2. Attain Giant Squid status. Done.
3. Generate $1,000 a month from Squidoo after a year. Not yet done, but some progress.

I got to 100 lenses really quickly. I started at Squidoo in mid-August 2008 and had 100 lenses by the end of September (a lot of work!). Now I'm a Giant Squid. If you are wondering what being a Giant Squid means, see this Squidoo Land post about Giant Squid status. Now for the hard part. Actually the last two goals were the hard parts. Making money from Squidoo is possible, but not easy. I'll be reporting here at Squidoo Land about my progress. Come back and I'll try to show you how I'm doing and hopefully provide some useful advise.

Meanwhile, I'm doing a "Happy Me" dance on my getting Giant Squid status.
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