I write this blog with mixed emotions; a little pride, a degree of fury and frustration but ultimately, with resignation.
Long term and regular readers of this blog are to blame but not at fault. It is popular you see, this blog of mine, now almost a decade old. Frequently, I meet people who read it and it always surprises me and cheers me in equal measure. When I post a new blog, I can see my readership numbers increase. My analytics provides a useful graphic of the world map which shows me where my readers are and each bleeping dot is most welcome, like a beacon on a cliff top.
With this popularity, a bright spark suggested that I should monetise my blog. And being a red blooded capitalist with mouths to feed and bills to pay, my ears pricked up. Make money from my blog. Tell me more!
A blog that is popular – is of value to brands with companies willing to place adverts on the site and naturally, they pay for this exposure.
Blimey. What’s not to like?
My blog is essential to me. In lieu of ever getting back on television – my blog is my platform and my stage from which I can sell my wares; my books and my stand-up.
And as well as this, if my blog can also chip in with a contribution to Team Holland, then bring it on.
So I readily signed up to google ad-sense. Or more accurately, I paid a clever young man to do this for me. No doubt, you will have noticed the ads on the site and some of you might have even clicked on them. This is highly exciting for me and a further incentive to write even more appealing and compelling blog posts – and wait for the money to roll in!
My site more normally generates an ad-revenue of between £0.50p and £2.00 per day. A paltry amount in isolation but it is odd how quickly we adjust and rationalise our circumstances. Glass half full guy that I am, quickly I start to extrapolate forward… taking an average of £1/day, is £365/year. Not bad. Better than nothing. The car insurance perhaps? Or driving lessons for Sam. Almost two gigs at The Comedy Store, the biggest comedy club in the UK…
Not to mention that this is just a start.
What if my writing improves and I generate more readers? What if I blog more regularly? Every day even? What if the £1/day could become £3/day which is almost £1000 year – which of us wouldn’t fancy a pay rise of £1000/year?
And then last week, I wrote a blog called – Why Me? A story of being tormented by foxes and why as I write this post now, I am sitting at home and wearing only one slipper.
This post was popular. It has 61 comments ( a record for me, thank you all) and generated a large readership – and ad revenue being commensurate with readership, my revenue for a single day spiked and reached…
Now. Given that I had adjusted my expectations to enjoy even £1/day – you can only imagine my glee at this breakthrough. I began to extrapolate again and this time with more dreamily… maybe we could move house! To a home with land. As I write my highly lucrative blog, I seek inspiration from my views of the lake…
But then it all ended.
Google have frozen my account.
They wrote to me explaining that they are unhappy with my site and its traffic. That something is untoward. That I might have been clicking on adverts myself. Or asking my readers to do the same. Or promising my readers gifts if they come to my site. It has been two days since their decision and since then, I have earned £0.01p/day and not even me can see the sense of looking ahead with this kind of multiple.
Actually, I did. Old habits and all that. Per annum, my blog is now not even worth a pint of beer in my local pub.
Frustrating, since I have done none of these things and doubly frustrating because of course I cannot speak to Mr or Mrs Google or whatever pronoun they prefer. Nor can I reply to their email to protest my innocence and point out their mistake.
My instincts are to throw the towel in. Give up my blog and give up trying to confound the publishing industry by selling books on-line. But I won’t do this. I will carry on doing the same thing and hoping for a different outcome – which I am aware is itself, a definition of madness – but so what, better to try than to give up, surely.
And even with my account frozen, I will still follow my read numbers – but as a personal win if not a monetary one anymore.
And if any real life people – actual human beings who work for Google should read this post – and correct this injustice – and in the meantime, I will keep tapping away and hoping as before.