Photo of me and my third Google Adsense check
My third Google Adsense cheque arrived in the post today!
(and I've already been to the bank to deposit it as it takes about two weeks for the cheque to clear.)
I wanted my boyfriend Tony to take a photo of me holding my Adsense cheque the first two times too, but clean forgot. Even today, we were about to leave home to go deposit the Adsense cheque at my bank, when I remembered to ask him to take a photo.
Me and my third Google Adsense check, received in South Africa in July 2010
Check or Cheque?
When a part of getting Adsense checks (or cheques?) includes using some SEO techniques to draw traffic to blogs and websites, or articles on the pages of other sites, I have to now wonder if I am to refer to that piece of paper from Google Adsense as a check, or cheque.
I'm going to be using cheque hereafter, as I'm South African, and have lived in South Africa all my life. I have never travelled outside of South Africa, and, even though I'm already 41, have also never travelled anywhere in an aeroplane. I believe UK and SA residents spell the word "cheque."
South Africans need to earn R1 000 before an Adsense cheque is mailed to them
South Africans and Google Adsense payments
In South Africa, we have to earn R1000 with Adsense before being posted a cheque. This is about $166. After bank charges, I get out about R800 on a R1000 Adsense cheque, which is about $133.
My Adsense earnings so far has not included HubPages, as I joined HubPages less than a week ago. I'm enjoying HubPages and it's community, am pleased I joined, enjoy writing, and thought why not add my Adsense publisher ID on HubPages too, and see what happens?
Once a South African's Google Adsense account reaches R1000 in any given month, they must wait until the end of that month, plus another month, before the cheque is posted by Google Adsense. Then, it can take up to a further three weeks to arrive in your postbox - as my first one did. In the meantime, though, one can continue earning, and start building up to the next R1000.
My second and third cheques arrived within the first ten days of a month, instead of taking as long as 21 days like the first one did.
How long did it take me to get my 3 Google Adsense cheques?
It took me a year to get my first R1000 cheque from Google Adsense.
Then it was three months before I received the second one, and a further three months before I received the third one today! (9 July 2010.)
The most Adsense earnings in any one month so far, was R500 (about $83.)
How did I earn my Adsense cheques?
I had just one website, at first, but then added a WordPress blog to that website, on the same server. This seemed to make a huge difference. That website and blog still seem to bring in the most money from Adsense, but another Wordpress blog I added to the same website is catching up fairly quickly too. I have since added two more Wordpress blogs to the same server, and also have another website, another 3 Wordpress blogs on their own servers, and two Blogger blogs. My boyfriend Tony also has his own Blogger blog, and I allow him to use my Adsense code on his blog.
The Blogger blogs bring in very little compared to the other sites, and it is also hard work constantly trying to find the time to add new content to all my sites. I sometimes wonder if I should have stuck with just one website and one blog, but as they were on a variety of topics, I wanted to create a few niche sites too.
I spent a lot of time reading about Adsense, and learning more, but, even so, I know I still have so much more to learn. Just off the top of my head, I do remember that a video by Lisa Irby inspired me quite a bit, and more recenly, reading and learning about how John Chow makes money from blogging about making money blogging :)
Lisa Irby's video about how to make money with Google Adsense
Video about how John Chow makes money blogging
John Chow's book
Why am I so proud of my Adsense cheques?
R1000 for each of my 3 Google Adsense cheques and that it took one and a half years before I had all 3, may not seem like a great achievement to some people, so why am I so proud that I managed to earn a little bit of extra income online?
I left my now ex husband three years ago, and, along with my two sons, moved in with my parents, where Tony, myself and my boys are still living.
I had not worked for an employer for about ten years, and wanted to stay home for my boys, even though I needed to earn an income somewhere!
Tony joined the household about two months later, and was also looking for work, having moved to East London (in South Africa) from Bloemfontein, also in South Africa. Work was scarce and it was frustrating not finding any.
We decided to try doing something ourselves, from home.
We started a little freelance work from home web designing business, as Tony knew how to handcode html. We started this little business about two and a half years ago now, in February 2008.
The first year was absolutely awful, but we stuck to it, even though we owed my parents some money for helping to look after us.
The last three months have also been awful, but February 2010 was great! Leading up to February 2010, we saw much improvement in our little business, had paid off my debt to my parents, and were learning so much on the Internet, for free!
About 4 years ago, I did not even know what a blog was. I could not distinguish between a file and a folder on a computer, and could not send an email.
I've come a long way, and am proud I never gave up learning. I still learn something new every day. Tony has taught me to do some web designing too, but what we're really proud of, is the fact that we never gave up, and that we are keen to learn all the time.
The amazing thing about the Internet is that there is so much one can do, to earn a little extra income, or even a fulltime income, if one just READS. The information is there, and it's free.
We get a little upset, or sad is a better word, perhaps, when we tell other people who are struggling to make ends meet, that they should just read the free information on the Internet about how to do it - and sometimes even give them links to follow to where that information is, but then they don't, and are still struggling.
We ourselves are once again struggling, but we continue to try, learn, and improve, and we know that somehow we will soon be okay again.
Update (early March 2011)
I was really pleased to write about receiving my third Adsense cheque, and am now even more pleased to announce that I've now received 5 Adsense cheques, the 6th one is due to arrive this month, and I just just missed making payout (by just under $3/Aaargh!) for my 7th Adsense cheque at the end of February 2011 - I would have received that 7th cheque next month (but it will now only be received in May) and it would have been the first time I would have gotten a cheque the very next month after receiving the previous one. Adsense earnings continue to grow, though, the more effort I put in, and I suspect/hope that after I receive my 7th one in May, that I'll be receiving them every month thereafter.
I encourage everyone who is trying to make some extra income from Adsense to be patient, not give up, and to keep working at it.
Further Update (13 months later, April 2012)
I'm still hanging in there, working at increasing my passive income from Adsense whenever I get a chance to, and I'm proud to say that the work is paying off. I've taken a photo of my 18th Google Adsense cheque received in South Africa!
Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket!
Another Update - 13 months later, May 2013
After having experienced that my Adsense earnings seemed to slightly increase each month, I'm sad to say that I now have to report otherwise:
After various Panda or Penguin Google algorithm updates, my Adsense earnings took a severe knock, and instead of getting an Adsense cheque in the mail every month, as I was getting, and instead of my earnings often increasing each month, I now make the payout amount only every 3 months, if I'm lucky.
My older sites are getting less traffic through their natural search results than they used to, and I need to go through them all looking for broken links and reducing the number of external links on them. This will take ages. I will get to it all in time, inbetween having started a few new sites, that I don't link out much on, and am more wary of which places I link to - but this, too, has its own issues - for the new sites to do well, I need to write and add a lot more SEO content to them too.
I have also started to think of, and sometimes use, other forms of monetizing my sites, so that I do not have all my eggs in one basket, as I used to when mostly using only Adsense, so that I don't get into this situation again in the future.
I do believe that with hard work I'll get my Adsense earnings up again, but I cannot work on only that if I wish to continue making a living working from home and from working and writing online.