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.
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