Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Stages of AdSense Approval (Blogger)

My story behind blogging began years ago when, sat in a job interview and asked what I like to do in my spare time, I answered, "I like to write."

To which they asked, "Do you have a blog?"

So I set one up. Luckily, my friend had set up a very entertaining, yet slightly oversharing, blog on Blogger so I decided to follow suit since I liked how simple the platform was.

I would update the blog as and when I felt like it, with no real schedule. It turned out to be very therapeutic. And surprisingly, people were reading it.

Not just friends (although even this had a surprisingly wide reach - a post I shared on a mutual friend's Facebook wall led to a guy asking my friend if I would be interested in working for him as a copywriter), but people all-over the world who, judging by my stats, found the content engaging enough to stay on the page long enough to actually read the articles.  

It made me think, I may not have many talents but I guess writing descriptive and engaging content is one of them.

Anyway, that blog lasted four years. I closed it down when it seemed to have lost its way and when I had too many bad memories associated with some of the personal stuff I blogged about. But it was a good practice run.

Fast-forward to a move back to my hometown, which gave me time to figure out my life options. I looked at making money through writing, and blogging online was still a top option so I started researching ways to do it professionally rather than just as a pastime.

The first bit of advice I came across was this:

"Buy your own domain name!"

I read a lot of blogs and happened to have come across several blogs that also used the Blogger platform, but had a unique domain name. So I purchased a domain name and did some techy research on how to repoint a URL to it.

Doing it this way meant I had my own website but I didn’t have to worry about the extra cost of hosting, nor did I have to get to grips with a new content management system.

Sure, you don’t have as many creative options in terms of designing your site, but I like clean and simple sites anyway which you can get with Blogger templates.

So for £3.49, I had bought a custom domain name and repointed my blog to it.

Literally, within a few weeks I noticed the "Set up an AdSense Account" button on my Blogger dashboard was suddenly clickable.

You see, you can’t even apply for AdSense unless your blog gets invited to. My old blog was four years old but every time you clicked on the "Earnings" tab, it would say that the blog was not eligible to apply for AdSense.

Once you apply, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get AdSense approval either. Even though the button was now clickable, I didn’t want Google to reject my application. So I decided to wait until I was getting consistent traffic before I applied.

That happened when my blog was around 3 months old: I submitted a link to social bookmarking site StumbleUpon which proved VERY popular and for around two weeks was giving my site 700 daily hits.

As of today, it has been "thumbed up" nearly 3000 times. That post now ranks fourth in Google Search for that specific topic area, out of 83,500,000 search results.

Not to brag, but that’s pretty impressive and I point this out because it’s good to reflect on your progress and on milestones.

Anyway, when I was getting 700 daily hits, I thought strike while the iron's hot - I applied for AdSense and my application was approved! :D

After that, it was just a case of creating the adverts in the AdSense Dashboard, grabbing the HTML code and pasting it into my website template to display the adverts…which isn’t too difficult, depending on which blogging platform you’re using.

Now unfortunately, AdSense doesn’t pay on a cost-per-impression basis, it pays on a cost-per-click basis. I’m realistic in the sense that I know most people don’t pay that much attention to annoying ads, let alone click on them.

However, I have started to make some money off AdSense and it makes me think that there’s real potential there. Heck, I’ve even been tempted by some of the adverts on my site. But whatever you do, DO NOT click on ads repeatedly yourself, especially not after all the time consuming work you’ve put into getting AdSense approval for your site. Google can spot that a mile-off and is likely to ban you.

I still make peanuts from AdSense (it's a good job I don't solely rely on it as an income) and my traffic tends to spike and then dies. I think if you’re going to make serious money off AdSense, you need traffic in the hundreds of thousands/millions.

I also would appreciate more reader interaction too (comments, shares etc.). So it’s still a work in progress. But I'm proud I've made it this far, and that I've used my time in between temp jobs being productive and setting up something that, if anything else, is a passion project.

Getting AdSense approval for your blog isn’t an easy task. Even if you do all the steps correctly, there are still no guarantees that Google will let you display clickable ads. I’m not even 100% sure how I managed to so quickly, but I do think the following helped:

1) Writing original, descriptive content
2) Buying a custom domain name
3) Using copyright-free images
4) Updating my blog with posts consistently
5) Submitting posts to social bookmarking sites to gain more readers

And so, here I am: eight months after buying my domain name, and four months after displaying my first set of ads, I received this from Google:


Which definitely seems promising :)

No comments:

Post a Comment