This week marks the two year anniversary of my blog.
I know! I can’t believe it either!
How many people lost that bet, I wonder?
I have nothing spectacular going on with which to celebrate this milestone so I thought I’d simply do what I’ve always done on this blog … tell you a story about how I created a reasonable facsimile of Mt. Kilimanjaro out of a tiny little mole hill. Because really, why screw with success? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! That’s what I always say!
Not really. I use better grammar.
On we go …
After I had been blogging for a few months, I toyed around with the idea of monetizing my blog because I needed some sort of justification for sitting on my bum all day and writing my guts out. Blogging as a “creative outlet” does nothing to help with expenses when your kids need braces. So I flagged down the Google Adsense bandwagon and jumped right on it because I was a newbie who had no idea what I was doing and, more importantly, everyone else was doing it!
Reason #183 why I am the poster child for DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO.
So I opened up a Google Adsense account and managed to slap up a few advertisements on my blog without hurting myself and soon I was staring at a men’s jock strap ad in my sidebar. After about twenty minutes seconds of scrutiny, I decided it had to go because exposing my readers to the occasional R rated reference about the male package via the written word is one thing, but thrusting 600 pixels worth of visual aids down their collective throat to test their gag reflex is quite another.
As I re-read that paragraph, it occurs to me that I may have missed my true calling as a contributing editor for Porn ‘R Us.
I blocked that particular advertisement even though the twelve pack of abs hovering atop the jock strap in question gave me pause.
Soon thereafter a women’s lingerie ad popped up in my sidebar, depicting boobage so enormous it looked like a swollen fanny was hanging from the model’s face. I called Nate up to fix my ad filter settings but he couldn’t figure out the problem and he claimed it was because of the beach towel duct taped over his eyes. So I hollered FINE, I’LL TAKE IT OFF BUT JUST REMEMBER, IT’S NOT NORMAL TO HAVE A FANNY HANGING FROM YOUR FACE and then he patiently explained that he couldn’t possibly fix my settings if he wasn’t allowed to actually look at them and I yelled HOW COME YOU DIDN’T JUST MARRY A WOMAN WITH A FANNY HANGING FROM HER FACE IN THE FIRST PLACE? Whereupon he ran in search of our wedding vows to examine them for any loopholes.
Somehow I managed to block that ad and others like it and soon, I was busy earning a whopping $0.10 per day when Google suspended me from their Adsense program for suspicious click activity. Suspended. I felt like I was fifteen again and had gotten caught skipping gym class and my parents were once again booking me a one way ticket to Siberia. Except back then, I knew what I had done wrong. Here? No such luck. Just an email from Google flipping me the bird.
Apparently, unbeknownst to myself, I was clicking on my own ads. And here’s the point where I felt exactly like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally during the scene where Sally claims to have many friendships with men where there is no sex involved and Harry says No, you don’t and Sally says Yes, I do and Harry says No, you don’t and Sally says Yes, I do and Harry says You only think you do and Sally says You say I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge? Except that Sally said it while sporting much cooler hair that I will ever have. The scene took place in the seventies, if that gives you any indication of how much my hair sucks the big wazoo.
I was pretty sure I wasn’t clicking on my own ads since I’m fairy certain of where my fingers are 93.9% of the time so I googled “Google suspends adsense account for suspicious click activity” and can I just say how awesome it is that the only means by which to investigate Google is to google them? Only to find out you have to file an appeal with … Google? That’s like paying to have a new muffler installed on your car the same day all the other auto mechanics in existence close up shop and open up alpaca farms, leaving you no choice but to return to the same mechanic the next day and ask him to pretty please examine your muffler again because you think there might be something wrong with it, seeing as how it fell off your car onto I490 and is now located in your trunk. You request this of the mechanic by dropping trow, grabbing your ankles and shouting THANK YOU, SIR! MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?
To make a long story short … too late! I appealed under the defense that I did not click on my own ads and any click activity must have been on behalf of people whose fingers I had no control over and furthermore, wasn’t that the whole point of Adsense? For people to click on the ads? Apparently not as Google denied my appeal, thanked me for my understanding and then yanked back the whole $32 I had earned with them. NO SOUP FOR YOU.
I went running downstairs to Nate, crying hysterically and blubbering that Google was being mean to me and kicked me out of the sandbox and how could I possibly go on blogging if Google Adsense didn’t want to play with me anymore and oh my God, the humiliation was almost too much to bear and hello? Nate? Are you even listening to me? And Nate glanced up from his blackberry for a second, shrugged and said something about pulling myself up by my bootstraps and moving on and I yelled something like HOW CAN I TOUCH MY BOOTSTRAPS WHEN GOOGLE PEED ALL OVER THEM?
But it turned out that the sandbox was a lot bigger than I had given it credit for and that I was the only one who cared about the whole debacle and what’s more, Google Adsense wasn’t the only game in town. SO THERE.
I traded in the urine soaked laces for some brand new shiny ones and here I am, two years later, humiliation free! Provided you don’t count my wardrobe.
Happy anniversary to me!
I don’t even want to know how many of you are placing brand new bets right now.