Hey everyone, welcome to my second income report! As I told you in my last and very first income report, I thought it would be fun to do a monthly post in which I explain all about how I’m trying to make money from my little baby food blog. Because yes! I’m monetizing! In February, I actually made $8.99! I was sooooo proud!
I’ve decided to write these income reports, because I think that someday, when some poor but passionate food blogger stumbles upon my site, the tips, tricks and words of caution you can find in these posts might actually be useful!
So let’s talk money!
HOW MUCH MONEY DID I MAKE LAST MONTH?
Well, despite my best efforts… nothing. Nada. Not a single dollar. See those big red numbers up there in the image? I made zero dollars…
In fact, I even lost the $8.99 I earned last month!
I didn’t make any money from my blog this month, because Google Adsense – the ad service I signed up to in February and with which I made my first $8.99 – shut down my account. Apparently, I pose a threat to Google Adsense advertisers. There’s probably a picture of my face with ‘extremely dangerous’ printed across it in red ink in a Google Adsense office somewhere.
It all started when I received an e-mail from Google. After a quick – isn’t this ironic? – Google search, I learned that this particular e-mail strikes fear in the hearts of many website owners. Here’s what it said:
“With our advertising programs, we strive to create an online ecosystem that benefits publishers, advertisers and users. For this reason, we sometimes have to take action against accounts that demonstrate behavior toward users or advertisers that may negatively impact how the ecosystem is perceived. In your case, we have detected invalid activity in your Adsense account and it has been disabled.”
Before signing up to Google Adsense, I made sure I knew about their policies. If you sign up to Google Adsense, you agree to never click on your own ads (which I never did), to not encourage others to click on your ads (I believe I discouraged it!) and to not place the ads somewhere on your page where people may click on them by mistake (mine were in the sidebar). Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting Google to shut down my account… And when Google shuts down an account, they don’t take half measures! When an account is shut down, the owner can never again open another Google Adsense account ever again! Oh, and the money you made with from Google Adsense ads last month? Forgetaboutit! Google returns it to the ‘wronged’ (?) advertisers…
That’s right, my hard earned $8.99 is gone! It’s like stepping into that cheesecake all over again!
BUT LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE…
I made a very humble $8.99 last month. There are also companies and website owners out there who were making tens of thousands of dollars every month from Google Adsense ads before their accounts were disabled without a warning. Did Google pay them? No. They didn’t.
Not very classy…
BUT WHY WAS MY ACCOUNT DISABLED?
After I first read Google’s message, I panicked. And because Google allows all account holders who find their accounts shut down to appeal, I appealed. I pleaded. I begged. I told them I had no idea what could have possibly happened. Of course, it was only later that I read that you don’t stand a chance with an appeal like that. I should have showed them statistics (which, by the way, I can no longer access because my account is disabled. You’d think Google would think of that!!??) and prove to Google that I understand their policies and know what went wrong. But the truth is, I still don’t know for sure what went wrong.
I have an inkling, though…
SO NOW WHAT?
Well, I could try a second appeal (I’ve read about a few successful second appeals online) or form a legal entity and open a Google Adsense business account, but right now, I’m not so sure I want to work with a company that shuts people out whenever they feel like they might suddenly pose a threat or whenever an invalid click is detected. I mean, I even read about people being shut down because they were click-bombed! How can you prevent click-bombing as a website owner?
I also don’t like the fact that Google cannot be contacted. You can’t send them an email about your account. They don’t tell you why they don’t trust you anymore. They don’t explain to you why you are suddenly a threat to the Google ecosystem. There’s no one to talk to. Google makes the rules.
Having said that, I still believe that Google Adsense is a great service. The ads are great. The money is good. It’s easy to implement the ads on your site. I just don’t like the way they treat the people they work with…
Luckily for me, Google Adsense isn’t the only CPC-based ad service out there. It’s probably the best, yes, but it certainly isn’t the only one. There are dozens of other services I could work with. So I guess April will be all about focusing on finding a great Adsense alternative!
Wish me luck!
I’M NOT GIVING UP!
Hellooo-ooo, this blog is called The Tough Cookie! How could I ever give up! I’m too excited about the blog’s first birthday! Thanks to all my trusty readers (aka: you!) for supporting me and entering the giveaway! I just love reading your comments and hearing about your baking endeavors! You really inspire me to keep experimenting with different – sometimes crazy – techniques, such as pouring over a pan of simmering milk for seven hours to make dulce de leche, and coming up with great recipes, baking 17 batches of muffins just to make sure you get the best of the best!
Besides, a few days ago, the Rocking Rebel gave me the most inspiring gift ever! For once, I wasn’t even expecting anything! I guess he’s learning not to act too suspicious around me, because I had no idea he was planning on surprising me with these!
Aren’t these the coolest aprons ever!
The Rocking Rebel had them designed and printed for me and I absolutely love them! Just look at them! Those tough cookies look just like me! And one apron even has the Rocking Rebel and Lucy on it!
That one is definitely my favorite…
Okay, so the stylish fashionista on the apron doesn’t look exactly like me… As you can see, I usually don’t bake – or do the dishes – in high heels.
But the smile and the hair are spot on! And just look at the Rocking Rebel! I’ve always known he looks a little like Johnny Bravo! And Lucy has those cute, little spots on her front paws! Too cute!
This is what the image on the other apron looks like.
I look good jumping out of a cake!
SO WHAT DID I LEARN FROM THIS WHOLE GOOGLE ADSENSE THING?
- Don’t rush into things. Read things over. Think things over. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into! This means reading the Terms of Agreement. And not panicking when you do receive that dreaded email!
- Don’t forget things like privacy policies. Forget to buy groceries. Forget to charge the battery of your phone for all I care. Just don’t forget to fully comply with Google’s policies.
- Make regular backups of your Google Adsense statistics. Should your account be disabled, you can use those statistics in your appeal and actually stand a chance of being accepted again.
- When you, despite your best efforts, find yourself banned from Google Adsense: keep your head up, keep your heart strong! Remind yourself that it’s just a little setback. There’s always another way to get where you want to to go!
I’m having myself another cookie to finding a Google Adsense alternative that’s even better than Google Adsense!