Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Too Much a Potty Mouth for Advertising — Corrected!

Cash would be nice.
Correction: I usually append updates to the bottom of my blog posts, but this is a correction, where I'm going to gainsay some of the things below. You get this up front. Two days after I wrote this, the AdSense button became active. Clearly one of two things is true:

1. Due to my question, my blog was reviewed and found to be eligible for Adsense.
2. These things take time, and I was whiny and impatient.

I'm going with the second one.

“I’ve heard that you can make money by blogging,” said an acquaintance to me at a party after I said that I had been blogging. Well, some people can make money by blogging, I’m not just one of them. But I will admit that was one consideration (though not the only one) that came to mind when I started this blog.

Six months in and I haven’t made a penny. One of the reasons I chose Blogger is that Google (which owns Blogger) has its own advertising program, AdSense, which could make it easy. So I started writing and I would check from time to time to see if I had crossed that magic line that made my blog eligible for AdSense. After a while, I concluded that maybe Google had expanded its rule of “blog must be six months old in some countries” to all countries, and so I waited until six months was up.

The help forum for AdSense is filled with questions that are more-or-less the same. “Why doesn’t my blog qualify for AdSense?” That question is almost a guarantee that someone will helpfully point out that a blog that you put up yesterday with only a couple short posts does not qualify for AdSense. (One of the other frequent answers is that content taken from elsewhere isn’t going to get you there either.) Yesterday, I decided to see if anyone had insight about my blog. It’s six months old. I have hundreds of posts, every last one something I wrote myself (although many of them quote other things). What possibly could be wrong?

The person who answered suggested that I may have tripped the excessive profanity rule. Which is funny, because there’s really nothing dirty about my blog (my sincere apologies). Despite Google’s terminology, none of these are actually profanity, which refers to religious-based cuss words, while words referring to sex and bodily functions are obscenities. My blog is, apart from an occasional obscene word, is neither profane nor obscene.

He did some searches and found that the word shit had been used three times on my blog, porn five times, fuck 10 times (though when I checked, two of those where in post of titles from another blog, also hosted on Blogger, but probably not getting its ads from Adsense). He also found that the word sex brought up 716 hits, though honestly most of those seem to be in the construction “same-sex marriage.” It’s a good thing he didn’t look up sodomy, though I suspect he ran though a list of common banned words (that’s another 124 results). With the posting of this blog entry, we can increment all of those up by one.

If someone is actually coming to my blog because they are hoping to titillating content, well, they’re just going to be disappointed. I’m not sorry. I do seek to entertain, but that’s not what I’m aiming for either, even though given that AdSense won’t be approving my blog means I could get salacious if I wanted to. I just don’t.

Obviously, if I can’t blog about same-sex marriage or turn-of-the-century sodomy convictions, I just don’t want to blog. So while my blog is quite clean (I think you could let grandma read it), the Google robots that read the pages have somewhat dirtier minds. As a result, this blog is going to remain free of advertising (for now, at least). It would be nice to get some money for my writing, but I think I need to focus on some of the other benefits of writing this blog. The writing is good for me. Seeing the page views gives me some validation (someone is actually reading what I wrote).

I will keep blogging. I will not stop using the words sex and sodomy. There might even be the occasional obscenity. Because if none of those things were true, I think the blog would get boring. I don’t want that to happen. Yes, I would sell advertising on this blog, but not if it took giving up the blog’s very identity. No thanks.
You can follow my blog on Twitter (@impofthediverse) or on Facebook. If you like this post, share it with your friends. If you have a comment just for me, e-mail me at impofthediverse@gmail.com.
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