The Glass is Always Full: 2008

Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What is Squidoo?


My friends and family are asking: So what exactly is Squidoo, and why would you want to be a Giant Squid (trying not to laugh)?


Squidoo is one of the top 300 most popular websites in the U.S. It is a collection of over 700,000 web pages at this writing, created by people with interests in anything and everything. Each page is called a lens and can be about almost anything. There are some ground rules, and some subjects aren't allowed. Spam of any kind is definitely not allowed. What is encouraged is really good content.


Lenses can be used to earn money for the author or for a charity. Squidoo has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and for its users (lensmasters). Creating a page is free. Squidoo automatically sends 5% of all proceeds to charity, then they keep 45% to run the company, and finally let the lensmaster decide what to do with the other 50%. So, it's a cooperative. Lensmasters provide the content, Squidoo provides the advertising and then splits the proceeds. In addition, you can also promote your own product or affiliate products on your sites. At the beginning of each month is payday. You can easily see what your lenses have earned from your dashboard. Then in addition you may receive income from your other products and promotions from outside of Squidoo.


Lenses, which I think of as mini niche sites, are easy to create, and there is a friendly, supportive community of Squidooers ready to answer questions and give any help that's needed. So, if you'd like to give it a try, go to one of my pages and click on "Make a Page" at the bottom of the right-hand column. And please let me know you're there so I can help.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm a Giant Squid


My Squidoo lenses were accepted by Squidoo, and I'm now a Giant Squid, which means I have created at least 50 lenses (web pages) with quality content in the Squidoo article directory. Here is my page where all the others can be found in one place - The Squidoo Lensography of Nancy Oram.


I actually have 70 lenses and I'm taking a break from creating new ones. I need to polish up the existing ones and promote them, etc., before I add to them.


My new goal is to make the 100 club by the new deadline, which is December 31. It's quite obvious that people are making money at this, some $2,000 to $3,000 and up per month developing Squidoo property. And those are the ones telling about it. There are many more not sharing their secrets. Basically it takes three things: Quality content, promoting and marketing really well, and creating lots of lenses (rinse and repeat). I can do all that, but it is a job. I really love the elements of writing and creating these little mini niche sites. I'm not that happy about the promoting part, but I'm working on ways to automate that a little bit. Making more lenses just means to keep working steadily at it and repeating the process.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I'm Overbooked


It's time to update this blog. I've been so busy trying to increase my online income, I haven't had time to blog about anything. This was meant to be a family blog, but I've kept a personal journal (the kind you write in and keep in your nightstand) for years, and I really don't want to stop, or repeat myself here. If this site shuts down, I'll still have my journal.


I might change the tone of this to chronical more of my business, since that's what I'm involved in at the computer most of the day. We'll see how that goes. I actually started another blog about that, but I can only keep up with so many blogs, and this one is established now.


So here is my business update. The past month my main business goal was to reach 50 Squidoo lenses to make the Giant Squid status. I accomplished that around the 15th of September. Deadline was September 30, and Giant Squids will be announced Monday, October 6. As of today I have 70 Squidoo lenses. They're listed at the bottom of this blog.


While working on that goal, I let my eBay listings just lay there in the store inventory and haven't done any active listings. Sales are way down, even for store inventory. I'm waiting while eBay makes some adjustments and sorts out some things they're working on.


I really have all the infrastructure and elements of several good online businesses in place now. I just need more of me or more hours in the day to get it all working. Each month my income increases, though, and I'll just have to keep building.


Goals for the month of October include: Making more Squidoo lenses and linking everything together; adjusting to eBay changes; updating my websites.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I've Been Tagged - Seven Things About Myself

I've been tagged by my daughter Lisa for seven things about myself. Back in March when I started this blog I listed six things about myself, so I'll relist them here and add a seventh one:

  1. As a senior in high school I planned on going to art school to learn fashion design. I sewed most of my own clothes, although I never did get to designing any.
  2. My mother said she knew I was the entrepreneurial type when at about six years old I set up a card table in the front yard and started selling my toys for five and ten cents so I could buy a new toy.
  3. The first day I was allowed to drive to school I cut with a friend, we drove all over Oakland and then got into a fender bender two miles from home. (Yes, Nate, me too, but unlike you I didn't wrap the car around a light pole!)
  4. I love chocolate and hate licorice. That was lame, everyone probably knows that and should really agree with me.
  5. I've met Tom Selleck. (He said hi to me when I had decided not to bother him.)
  6. I had a close encounter with Ted Bundy in 1974. (Didn't realize who it was until 20 years later. It's amazing how we're protected and don't even realize it!)
  7. My Internet businesses are gradually building to become my sole income.

Now, for a few things that Lisa might not know about me, which might be impossible because we've always been so close. It will be interesting to try.

  1. I have over 20 active websites up and running, three or four blogs, and belong to at least ten social websites and about 40 other networking, bookmarking, and writing sites, all in the interest of networking for my Internet business. This is my only personal blog, and Facebook is my only personal social site.
  2. Ah, I have one. Hot off the press. I was called into the Bishop's office yesterday. (That ought to get me a phone call!)
  3. I think your husband's cute.
  4. Lisa won't be surprised by this, but my favorite books are: Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, The Secret Garden; favorite movies are Some Like It Hot, Cassablanca, Pillow Talk. And there are sooooo many more.
  5. Your kids and I have secrets. (What are grammys for?)
  6. You used to have the cutest little dimple right on your. . . well, nevermind.
  7. Some of my best recipes are Lisa's creations.

Well, I really don't have anyone to tag because my friends online are not personal friends who would be reading this, and my friends offline don't blog!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Little Lulu



I just wrote a new Squidoo lens about Little Lulu Comic Books. I loved them when I was a girl, especially the ones about picking beeble berries in the forest! But the inspiration for building a website with Little Lulu as a topic is my granddaughter, Lacey. Sometimes I call her Little Lulu. She has some of Little Lulu's look, with her brown hair and brown eyes, but the real similarity is her spunk and resoursefulness. She is a very smart little girl with creativity and imagination. She does most things on her own initiative and nothing holds her back!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I've been busy. . .


I'm not sure I'm going to be a good blogger, but I intend to keep trying. Actually I'm on my computer writing every day, but it's usually directed at making a living -- writing descriptions and listing my vintage pattern products and adding content to my websites.


Also, I recently discovered Squidoo! It's a place where you can make little mini websites about anything you want and earn money from the traffic and business they attract. Anyone can start doing it instantly, and once you start, you can't stop.


I already have seven or eight "lenses" on Squidoo. One is on making old fashioned candy, one is how Carlos got me to become a Notary Signing Agent, and of course there's one for my vintage patterns. If you're interested in seeing my other lenses, you can find them listed once you're on the site. What I love about it is:


  1. I can add more to my passive income. Passive, meaning once the page is built, it can earn money with little or no maintenance.

  2. It spreads my earning potential over other venues -- all my eggs aren't in one basket -- a lesson I recently learned when eBay made a major change in policy that greatly decreased my sales. But that's another story.

  3. I love the creative process of researching and writing about a topic, or just sharing knowledge I already have.

  4. Other Squidoo-ers are helpful and supportive. You belong to a friendly community when you start writing lenses.

  5. This was a big one for me -- They only want good quality content that adds integrity and useful information to the Web.

  6. It's really fun.

Here's another lens I recently put together: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. And have you seen Tom Dickson on TV and YouTube putting crazy things in his blender? "Will it Blend? That is the Question. . ." He's actually a good friend who I haven't seen in years and it was fun to catch up. Up above is a picture of our kids playing together about 1973.

Well, back to work.

Monday, March 10, 2008

When Did Life Get So Complicated?

I often get overwhelmed thinking about all the stuff we're supposed to be doing on a regular basis. I said "thinking about" because I certainly don't do it all--not even close. But there's some unwritten rule out there that says we're supposed to. I'm not talking about the common Mormon woman syndrome about baking all our bread. I mean the stuff you're really supposed to do. Growing up we were supposed to take a bath, brush our teeth and say our prayers before we went to bed. Somewhere into adulthood flossing was added to the list, not to mention exercising, conditioning, moisturizing and watching what you eat (not a complete list). You can skip something if you want, but you have to pay the consequences.

Besides maintaining ourselves, we're supposed to recycle, conserve, rotate, update, clean, refill and renew the things around us. Add our families and pets to the mix and things can really spiral out of control.

So I often find myself wondering if I'm just making too much work out of things we're supposed to be doing routinely, or if other people can't manage it all either. Sometimes I fantasize about living a really simplified life. But I think it's too late. If I was really as organized in reality as I am in theory, I'd put moisturizer on my dry parts and listen to scriptures while walking on the treadmill and flossing.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jenny


My fourth child, Jenny Leigh Larsen, was born on February 28, 1975. In 1992, at the age of 17, she died in an accident. April 4 will be the anniversary of her death. Last year I almost got through the whole day of April 4 without remembering the significance of that day or feeling the stab of pain. I was surprised, but it felt good. The first few years after her death her birthday was the hardest day, not the day she died. But even though it was a hard day, it was bitter sweet and a day of celebration. She loved birthdays and most especially chocolate cake. For several years after she died, on her birthday we'd make chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and go up to the cemetery and put a piece on her grave. She had to have some, too. The deer got it, which probably wasn't good for them. But it was good for us. At some point we stopped doing that. But a funny thing happened this year. Yesterday I craved chocolate cake and I made one, not really making the connection until later when I realized what date it was. So maybe Jenny was letting me know that she missed her cake. We sure enjoyed it! I miss you, Jenny, every day. You're a part of me, but you're not lost. It's just that it's such a long journey before we're reunited again. I have some funny stories about Jenny, and all my kids. I'll share them in here from time to time. That's where her stories belong, tucked right in with the rest of the family. She's still very much a part of us. I won't take the time to tell all about her here, I've done that numerous times in other journals. But I think the family would agree that she could be delightful and a pain all in the same instant. Sort of like how tickling can be torture but you're giggling all the way. She was silly and intense all rolled into one. Happy Birthday, Jenny!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Question. . . .

How do I make my picture smaller and the family picture bigger!?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Six Things

I recently visited my nephew's blog that started out with "Six Things You May Not Know About Me." It was quite interesting and seems a good way to start. I consider myself a very private person, which makes any kind of blog difficult in the first place. But I'm also a pretty open book to my family and close friends. It will be interesting to see if I can come up with six things.

  1. As a senior in high school I planned on going to art school to learn fashion design. I sewed most of my own clothes, although I never did get to designing any.
  2. My mother said she knew I was the entrepreneurial type when at about six years old I set up a card table in the front yard and started selling my toys for five and ten cents so I could buy a new toy.
  3. The first day I was allowed to drive to school I cut with a friend, we drove all over Oakland and then got into a fender bender two miles from home. (Yes, Nate, me too, but unlike you I didn't wrap the car around a light pole!)
  4. I love chocolate and hate licorice. That was lame, everyone probably knows that and should really agree with me.
  5. I've met Tom Selleck.
  6. I had a close encounter with Ted Bundy in 1974.

Wow, I surprised myself. If I thought really hard I could probably come up with at least six more.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Open Invitation

To get this started, I invite my children and grandchildren to ask me a question. Once I have a reason to start, I have no problem talking!