When your dreams seemingly drift out of reach
This is my income report for December 2019. The month started uneventful and I saw quite some good traction with the ads from my app business. That was until I received an email from Google AdfSense. In it I was told that they are terminating my account because of “Incentivised Traffic”.
I spent a whole episode of AskMeAnything Sunday talking about this and I try not to get into too much detail here, but the short of it is that
- I am 100% certain I did nothing which was against their terms of Services
- There is no way to contact the AdSense team at all, to work as a partner
- I have put in a appeal request 3 weeks ago and have not even received a confirmation that AdSense received the appeal ( takes up to a month or longer )
- They terminated the account and confiscated payment of the $720 which I earned in November, as well as the $480 or so I had earned in December before the kill.
- Termination is for the rest of my life or eternity, whichever comes first
Let me tell you something you already know …
This is not the path I chose but it is what I was given and I will make the best out of it. Google will beat us to our knees and keep us there permanently if we let them. You, me, and nobody is going to hit as hard as Google. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how much we can get hit and keep moving forward. How much we can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. We can’t go through life and say we ain’t what we wanna be because of Google or Amazon or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t us.
On a personal level, I was insulted that after using AdSense for over 13years, they would simply block me for life without a means to let me know why. I was/am also devastated that my passive income source was removed for no apparent reason.
Why the hassle
One of the main reasons I started this blog about 3 months ago was to diversify my passive income streams. The app business was a good way to support me for the initial startup phase. These plans now have changed and I have spent a lot of time moving from AdMob ( AdSense for apps ) to MoPub. Unfortunately it takes about two days to convert a single app. Unfortunately, the income up to now is only about 10% or less of what I had received through AdMob.
Aside from updating my apps I had to also fix some things for google’s play store in order to get my app published. While I am not complaining that google is trying to make their app store better and more secure, I feel like I have a big target on my back from google now for some reasons.
The lifelong termination also means that I can’t sell my app business to E.g. my wife. Google knows everything about me and would immediately terminate her account as well. I fear that my whole family may be affected by this ban for the rest of my physical life. No further collusion could possibly happen after that ( I think ).
Though the hard truth remains that I, as a small business owner have absolutely zero means to figure out what went wrong. The email was generic and could have applied to any of my six web sites or to my 20 apps. So I presume that I was an expendable resource, which would add $1000 to their bottom line. They do this to 1000 small entrepreneurs and they bumped their EBITA by a cool million.
Show me the money
Who would not remember that line from Jerry Maguire. And just like that, boom you have it. Congratulation, I am still your agent. After all, the pain I am going through to build up some additional passive income will allow you to skip through the traps I stepped in and grow your online presence that much faster.
Now if you are anything like me, you have studied the subject of making passive income online for weeks, months and likely years or even decades. I can’t promise that you will hit it. From my research I found that it is all about the up-front effort you spend on a project like this which will eventually pay out.
I do not expect Lambo-money at all but an extra $1k a month would help me and my family tremendously. Obviously the income report for December 2019 will be quite depressing.
With that said, When I signed up with Media.net last month I was certainly not expecting serious cash but I was hoping for a tad bit more than $0.00. Well how did I do you ask.
I achieved to gain 1,124 Impressions from my ads in December and have earned a total of $0.00 thus far. If you are just starting out you should know that it will not be easy to earn a few bucks through Media.net. If you are able to sign up with AdSense you may be getting a better deal however as I have learned in October, AdSense will deny about 96% of all new applicants. So there is that.
Can you believe it, even after three months I am still installing certain plugins. Let me take you through the list.
- SyntaxHighlighter Evolved
- ARVE Advanced Responsive Video Embedder
- Shortcake (Shortcode UI)
- TinyMCE Advanced
- a3 Lazy Load
- WP Statistics
This is a great plugin whenever you want to show off some code, any code. I had the need to display code for one of my blog posts and this plugin does a great job.
ARVE Advanced Responsive Video Embedder
This is a great plugin if you need to have just a tiny bit more control over the videos you display on your WordPress blog. In my case I needed a way to scale, and place a Pinterest video in my blog post.
Shortcake (Shortcode UI)
This plugin allows you to create a custom link you your WordPress blog. The link will then re-direct to the actual site. I needed this to create a permanent link to a YouTube video which was not yet available ( live-stream ). But if you go to http://mmofl.com/live_001 you will be able to see the effect.
Now this is another plugin which enables some more functionality for me when I type a new blog post in WordPress.
a3 Lazy Load
This simple plugin which will help improve your website speed. It achieves this by delaying the loading of image, and video media of your blog-posts until after all the text has been loaded.
I installed this plugin after the AdSense fiasco I am currently still using Google Analytics, but I think I will remove it soon from my site. Google already knows too much about all there is on the internet.
You can and should give WP Statistics a try. I provides a great range of information about your traffic. Best of all, all the data remains on your servers instead of any third party provider. It offers a wide variety of options to drill down into your readership and has so far not disappointed.
To improve the income report for December 2019 I had to act fast. As I mentioned above I had to spend a lot of time finding a AdSense replacement, signing up, and making a lot of code changes to integrate the new ads API into a few of my apps. I still have a whole bunch of work left to be done. I wanted to spend this time on creating contents and become more active on Pinterest, and plan for 2020.
As a direct result of this change I spent not enough time on growing my Pinterest audience, and missed my goal of writing additional blog posts. So lets compare what I planned in doing from what I actually achieved.
I wanted to grow my Pinterest subscriber to 70 and follow at least 500 Pinteresters myself. I achieved to gain 126 followers, and I am following 411 Pinterest accounts. This would be one case of overachieving, and one of under-performing.
The other goals were to get at least 25k Impressions and 10 clicks through to my website. I was able to actually get 51.6k Impressions and 371 link clicks total. However this was for all the PINs I pinned. For my PINs the stats were 21.6k Impressions, and 16 clicks through to my web site.
Now looking at this, getting 16 clicks for all the work and effort I put in may not seem like a lot but I certainly hope to be able to grow this exponentially. Also I do realize that I could be doing much better with more contents.
Adding to this that I have fallen ill for the past 5 days does also not help me here. But you know what they say. When it rains it pours.
Moving ahead requires to know where you are going, and by when you want to arrive. So you have to set some goals, take those goals and divide them into smaller, and smaller goals until you end up with actionable items you can work off. That’s how simple it is to become a success.
Well or at least that is what we have been told. Goals are a definitive must have for any serious business venture. Chopping them up and getting to work is another important piece of the puzzle.
Too many people get hung up on achieving the goals when the world around them has moved on. You will have to be open-minded about your goals though when one of your strategies no longer works, as it was the case for me with AdMob income. Adjust your trajectory and move on as fast as you can.
I will set my goals for January a tad bit lower as I expect a decline in the new year. So I will target to grow my Pinterest followers to 200 accounts, and I will see if I can follow 750 Pinterest accounts myself by the end of January.
Also, I am going to shoot for 35k Impressions on my PINs. Let’s see if I can grow the number of clicks to 30 clicks through to my website.
As you can see these are not overly ambitious goals for January. I do expect to still spend some unplanned time on my app business. I also must focus more attention on creating kick-ass contents for all of you to devour.
Blog income report December 2019
|Blog Financials||App Financials|
|In Store Purchases||N/A||$13.51|
|TOTAL INCOME>||- $121.88||-$147.75|
Total income is -$269.63. You will still see ad spent next month as I have to pay for my ads for the beginning of December. However I can no longer afford any ads and this amount will go down to zero in February. Well played google, well played.
The expenses on the https://MakeMoneyOnlineForLife.com were the one year subscription for Tailwind, and the $17 for the second Fiverr article I ordered.
As you can see, the income report for December 2019 took a nose dive as compared to my income for November. I actually spent way more on my blog than my combined passive income. This is of course due to the confiscation of my AdSense earnings for the month of November and December by Google. The expected revenue for November and December was well in excess of $1400.-. That income would have easily paid for the expenses.
The business that was
Google had no issue charging me for the Google Ads I placed to promote my apps. Obviously I had to completely stop all ad spending. Where there is no income, there can be no advertising. Its the business that was. Come to think of it, Google may consider this as “Incentivised Traffic”.
I was earning good money though AdMob while Google took a 40% cut of the total plus the amount of money I spent on Google Ads. This termination has cost google revenue on two fronts. Plus a bad reputation as unreliable business-partner. I could never in good conscience recommend their offering as a reliable basis for a small business income stream.
You can try and see how long it will take google to ban YOU for life. While doing so you can enjoy a good return from your AdSense account. However please be wary. AdSense can terminate you without any real reason at any time. Although the timing of my termination lined up very well with the end of Q4 for Google AdSense ( coincident ? ).