I am a freelance author, writer, critic, artist, and entrepreneur living in the Heart of the Texas Hill Country.
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When starting an online ecommerce store, such as my bookstore, or a blog eventually, once you’ve put a good amount of time, and effort into the site, the finished product, it is inevitable to want to monetize that, to generate passive income through your site by selling Ads.
I have been dreaming about the day that Google Adsense approves my status so that communiteabooks.com will begin generating that passive income. You see, Communitea Books is my job. I have put everything else aside in order to pursue this dream. The dream began when I started selling books on abebooks.com and Amazon.com many years ago, and developed when I moved back to Boerne, Texas. I found space available in a multi-vendor shop on Main Street and opened the beta version of Communitea Books, I called it Wardrobe Books. I wanted that manifestation to eventually take form as it’s on brick-and-mortar but the building that I was in sold before I was able to make that happen. So, instead, I put all my books in storage and, defeated, lost myself for a few months. Eventually I decided to create my own website and blog.
The process has been a lot of work, but it’s been a lot of fun as well. I built a good site, for selling books, and wrote several blog entries, and then excitedly submitted my application for Google Adsense! Only, I was rejected. I didn’t expect that. I then fixed a few things, wrote another blog entry or two, and reapplied. Again, I was rejected. This time I didn’t know what to do. I was concerned about the volume of content, how many blogs were available, and I didn’t even consider anything else. I didn’t think about the quality of my content, because, geezus, it’s me, I mean, I can write! You know, like, pssh, that couldn’t be it. I didn’t think about Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policies, contact info—even though, yes, I did have a contact page, it would be stupid not to. There was just more that I could have done—Again, defeated, I was hoping for my book sales to generate all the income I needed, only I don’t know how to market an independently built online bookstore! How do I create traffic? I build a Facebook page, of course, a Twitter, an Instagram, then a Google+ page, followed by Pinterest. I had all these great pages, however, with the exception of Facebook, and maybe Twitter, I don’t understand the content, I mean How, Why, and What do people post on these different sites? It has got to be slightly different for each site, yes? And how do I get to the point where I both Know, and Understand my Market? That alone is a considerable amount of work, and I wanted to do, so I began actively learning these pages, and the people that frequent them. I developed an idea of my bookstore analytics using both Google and Facebook Analytics, and went from there. For those of you that do not know, it’s a beneficial process, but it is exceptionally slow going. And I really needed to start generating income!
So, I took a look at what I was doing wrong when it came to Google Adsense. First I reassessed the quality of my blogs content. I went back and read a few, and they sucked. I mean my punctuation, grammar, the idea I was attempting to portray, I was noticing now that I had rushed through it. I was more focused on pounding out enough individual blog entries that I didn’t stop to revise, or rewrite, or even reread my blogs! And, I’m a writer! My profession. My time became my commodity and I had decided that I didn’t have enough of it to spend the right amount of time making sure I was writing something that my readers, could read. Strike One. So, I went back, did some revising, a little bit of rewriting, and some editing for my blogs. I felt accomplished, but I knew I wasn’t done, there was something I was missing, and I could feel it, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
I reread the policy guidelines for Google Adsense. If you don’t take anything else from this entry, heed this, because the purpose entirely of this entry is to illustrate the importance of building a solid website and/or blog, is not about writing an entry a day. Adsense wants only for you to build a complete site that people will visit, that they enjoy visiting, that they can navigate, and that they will be enriched by the content. That does not mean you have to have a vast, gorgeous, over complicated website, with dozens, and dozens, or hundreds of blog entries. In short, what Google Adsense asks only, is that you read their guidelines. And, let me tell you, visiting the Google Adsense guidelines page opens you up to the potential of creating a better website, and a simple website.
My next focus would be consistency. Maintaining an online store and blog requires constant attention. It is imperative that you remain up to date, that you provide new products, that you offer new concepts, and that you update your blog regularly. Update your blog regularly. This is kind of a big one. A more important concept than some might consider, and obvious to others. The internet world can be a confusing one, and it changes faster than anyone can possibly be ready for, however realizing that you have to change and develop with it creates the opportunity for you to at least know how to be aware of those changes.
I’m learning every day, in life and how to create the best, and most trafficked online bookstore I can. It’s time consuming, and it requires patience, and maintaining a level of discipline, but Google Adsense doesn’t have to be a headache. They are strict, but fair. Read their guidelines and they’ll help you build a better site.