Fixing Up – Bush Mackel (Part 4) Direct Adveristing Solutions

In the last part of this series I revealed that I was FINALLY going to get away from this site’s main money maker, sponsored posts, and instead start down a new path of revenue freedom.

And if you hadn’t already guessed, that new path is…
Direct Advertisements!

(Shocker I know).

But how will I start down this road and how can you do the same?

Continue reading to find out!

Why Direct Advertising
In the last part of this series, I explained (and pretty well I thought) my feelings towards sponsored reviews. The recap : Too much work for too little pay… But besides the whole time thing, the fact remains that by having to go through companies to handle the “middle work”, I’m losing money. If you’re able to contact an advertiser directly, you get to keep all the money.

More money makes more sense right?

Direct Advertising Solutions
So I’ve taken a good while to think about it, but I think I’ve finally managed to figure out what advertising solutions I’m going to offer – Not that it’s brain surgery or anything, but I wanted to make sure that I personally was OK with what I was offering and wasn’t just whoring my site out for a few extra bucks that would end up turning away people in the end. So here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • 300×250 Inline Post Ads – $100
  • 125×125 Sidebar Icons – $20
  • Reviews – $50

If you’re wondering where I came up with those prices, I first tried to think about what a “fair” price would be. To do that, I thought about what I’D be willing to pay for similar services on similar sites, what others were charging, threw it in a pot and came up with this! Now I BELIEVE the rule in all of this is to start with a really cheap rate and then see how it performs, but I’m hoping my special offer will be enough to woo potential advertisers over! What special offer you ask?..

The Special Offer
It’s December 18th. The a little more than half over and it’s the holiday season. So IN THE SPIRIT OF GIVING I’m offering the following deal for my advertising slots!

If you purchase a 125×125 sidebar icon spot for $20 by the 25th of December 2007 you get all of the following:

  • Of course, a 125×125 icon for December
  • BONUS : a 125×125 icon for the ENTIRE month of January
  • BONUS : a FREE review of your site in January

I know. Wowee wow wow! Of course the next step with this is putting up an advertising page (which I assure you is coming) but if you would like to sign up, just shoot me an e-mail (bush@bushmackel.com) right now and we can put it all together!

Fixing Up – Bush Mackel (Part 3)

Hi there true believers! If you’re just joining us…

In Part 1 we looked at the spirit of this site – Where it has come from, and how it evolved into what it is today.

And in Part 2 we looked at what I defined as “success” for this site since I’m a firm believer of aspiring towards very specific goals.

Today in Part 3 of Fixing Up – Bush Mackel, we’ll start to figure out how this site will achieve success by looking at its sources of revenue.

Bush Mackel’s Current Revenue Sources
My November 2007’s Study of Blog Earnings was pretty representative of how this site makes its bucks. And primarily, that’s through sponsored posts, (sponsored review, pay per post, etc) and to a MUCH lesser extent, AdSense. At the beginning of all of this stuff, I said I would work through all of this in the most intelligent way I could, and I think part of that is really analyzing what I’m currently doing… So let’s.

Sponsored Posts
It’s really easy to talk about the same old stuff with sponsored posts so I’m going to try and avoid the normal conversations here about the “true nature of blogging” and the like, and approach this from more of an entrepreneurial/business standpoint.

Even with 0 PR, I could conceivably write a sponsored post every day for $5 to $10 for a total net of say $150 to $300 a month. The problem with that is as many of you know, I treat my sponsored posts like my regular ones which means I work very hard on them. PLUS, even though I’m a bit rusty on my PPP rules, I’m pretty sure every sponsored post has be surrounded by a regular post. So – just looking at this from primarily a PPP view – I currently would have to write 3 posts every single day to make that $5 to $10 a day. To say it another way…



The juice ain’t worth the squeeze!

If you look at it from a hourly rate position – 3 quality posts take me well over an hour. And if I’m to be paid $5-10 for that work, that’s like 10 bucks an hour! Now back in my first job, I’d’ve been thrilled with that rate! But then again, I was thrilled to be driving a 1986 Volvo that was missing a door too.

…And then there’s Google
You have probably noticed that my site has a PR of 0. And while I stand by the notion of not resting on Page Rank, I do think that this latest slap by Google may be a warning of even worse things to come like being ousted from search engine results. And while I don’t do too much on this site at the moment that is influenced by search engines, I DO get SOME search engine traffic and I really don’t want that to dry up. Refraining from using sites like Pay Per Post and Sponsored Reviews (oh, and Text Link Ads) on here may be enough to get back in the good graces of Google and that’s something I really want to do.

So how will I make my income when I’m essentially going to cut off my primary revenue stream? You probably have a good guess already. But that and other thrilling questions will be answered next time. So stay tuned – Same Bush Time! Same Bush Channel!

Video Game Weekly Roundup

Well since I ONCE AGAIN botched my attempt to contribute to the monthly 12 of 12, I decided to take a moment (while I have it) and let you kids in on what I’m playing in the land of video games.
Even though most of these you know already, I did manage to get a second yesterday and rip open the cover to a brand newbie! (much to my wife’s displeasure)

So before I have to clean out my kid’s nose again, (his first cold), here’s what’s real’ good on the streets…

Super Mario Galaxy

Sometimes, a game comes along that you just have to take your time with… Super Mario Galaxy is such a game. Breaking my streak of not playing Wii games, this was still AWESOME. If you missed my brief review on it, check it out here and better yet – If you don’t have it, buy it today!

Guitar Hero III

My love for this game never dies… Especially when you haven’t beaten it yet. It’s funny looking back now that I didn’t have that much interest in it until my boy showed me some You Tube videos of just how hard the songs in this game are. I mean, I loved the previous games but they just weren’t difficult enough for me. Well, I have 2 songs left on Expert. The very last one, Devil Went Down to Georgia and *sigh* Raining Blood. That song is just SOOOO hard.

I took a bit of a sabbatical from Expert and went back to beat the game on easier levels to knock down all those Achievements which is awesome, but certainly amping up the potential for carpel tunnel. I didn’t know how bad it was until I had to hold a regular controller to try and play…

Call of Duty 4
I’ll probably do a review of this sometime in the near future, but so far I’m definitely finding it to be a solid game. Now even though I’m not the biggest FPSer out there, I had to buy it because my friends were telling me it was the best shooter ever made. … I’ll say this (to tease my review) …

I love Halo…
Never fell in love with Counter Strike…

Call of Duty is a Solid Game.

Fixing Up – Bush Mackel (Part 2)

Yesterday, I clued you in on where this site came from and what it has looked like at different points along the way.

Today we return to looking at bushmackel.com and try and figure out where the site is now and where it is going. In regards to both we’ll look at specific stats because I’m a firm believer of outlining goals using exact amounts.

And in doing so, we’ll also figure out a definition of “success” as it pertains to this site.

A Cash Money Millionaire, I Am Not
If you’ve been reading this site for any period of time, you have a fair idea of how much I make per month. If you’ve forgotten, feel free to check out my last 3 months earnings statement from previous posts but let’s say that on average I make anywhere between $50-$100 a month from this site. To some that may be satisfactory, but to me it simply is not. Add to that how much work I’ve been doing to earn that revenue (posting twice a day, and scores of sponsored reviews) and the figure is even more depressing. But more on that later.

People Stats
For someone who would always love to look good to an advertiser’s eye, I hope you guys can appreciate me disclosing this stuff (#);D … If we’re looking at averages, here’s how it all turns out…

  • 45 uniques per day
  • 94 pageviews/impressions per day
  • 70 subscribers per day

For some of you reading this, you may think I’m sounding like a big ol’ spoiled brat at this time. You’re probably saying, “You know Bush, I would KILL for those stats right about now”. And depending on where you are with your blog, that’s fine. But for me, it’s not ok ’cause I know I can do better.

Success
Ok, enough with the stats, let’s cut to the chase. What do I want to accomplish with this site? Well, the last thing I want to do is turn this passion of mine into a job, so above all else, I want to keep the things going that I’ve come to love… Talking to people, meeting new friends, all that good stuff! And of course I want all of this to increase too! And I did say we’d pin down some exact numbers right? Well with this being a blog and such why don’t I just shoot for 500 rss subscribers? That sounds good right? I figure if I can do that, all the other people stats will increase too.

And on the money front, let’s keep this “factor 5” thing going too… I’m making $100/mo now, so let’s bump that up to $500/mo too! How does that sound? How many of you would like to be making $500 with that little blog of yours? Well with any luck we’ll find out how we can all pull off this “miracle feat” in the last part of this little series tomorrow.

Study of Blog Earnings Report November 2007 (MyBlogEarnings)

Even though I’m a week late to the party, here’s the roundup for my monthly study of blog earnings!

It was a pretty good month for me both on content, comments and revenue so I’m really looking forward to the next couple of months…

Especially in regards to the “relaunch” of my blog as it were which will almost certainly see some changes to the sources of revenue that I target.

Ok, enough blabbing…

Revenue Name Alexa Rank Page Rank Revenue Source
$27,240.83 John Chow 2,783 4 Private Ad Sales
$9,705.00 Everton 18,567 3 AdSense
$440.00 Kyle Eslick 54,149 0 Sponsored Reviews/AdSense/TLAs
$193.00 Madhur Kapoor 130,433 3 AdSense
$155.56 Forest Parks 455,153 4 Pay Per Post
$119.54 Bush Mackel 170,549 0 Sponsored Revie
$117.13 Apexad 275,115 3 Pay Per Post


If anyone is interested, here’s how my earnings shook out:

  1. $65.00 – Sponsored Reviews
  2. $46.00 – Pay Per Post
  3. $6.09 – AdSense
  4. $2.45 – Text Link Ads

No doubt that the ONE sponsored review I managed to snag last month bumped up my earnings considerably… Certainly a far cry from my $10 Pay Per Posts (not to knock them). Even though I don’t have my mind made up on the subject yet… I think there’s a fair chance that this will be the height of my revenue for a while but we’ll see when I figure out what I’m doing on that front…

Anyone else care to share? If you are so nice to post your earnings and the rest, I’ll go ahead and update this post w/ your information (including a shiny new link for your site/post)!

Saturday Speedlinkin IX

Well I feel better after this week blogging than I have in quite sometime.

If you’ve been keeping up this week, I’ve called myself out and am finally getting my butt in gear in regards to all the online projects I’ve had stewing over the past, oh… FOREVER.

I’m really hoping that as this “series” of sorts continues, it’ll serve as an example to everyone on how to get your projects from Point A to Point B. If you missed the posts, don’t forget to check them out … State of the Union Part I and II.

I managed to actually get around to my fellow bloggers’ sites this week and of course you guys didn’t disappoint! Well done, and you’ve all been stumbled!

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune by Pete – You know I love the video games, and since I don’t have a PS3, I gotta rely on Pete to keep me up to date on the latest and greatest games that come out for the system. (Yes, all three of them). (#);D

Yahoo Messenger for Vista Preview Release by Brown Baron – Even though I’m a user of AIM most of the time, I’m certainly not married to it. Check out this good look at the new Messenger by Brown… You know I just dig those colors!

The Verdict Is In by Black Belt Mama – BBM has been going back and forth with thoughts of therapy and surgery, but now it finally seems as if she has resigned to have the procedure on her ACL. So if you’re an athlete or know one, make sure you stop by and give her some support. (#):)

I Hate Being Called a Liar by Everton – Even though some would ask why Everton felt the need to defend himself against pretty outrageous claims that the earnings he discloses aren’t factual, I see the whole thing as Everton getting attacked over something he has tremendous pride in. Rock On.

Don’t Let Finances Pin You to a Miserable Job by Chuck – A very well written post whose title basically says it all. Make sure you read the comments too as a lot of people had some very interesting things to say.

Fixing Up – Bush Mackel (Part 1)

If you’re just joining us, welcome to my personal crusade to get my act together and get serious about a bunch of my projects that have yet to see what I’ll call “success”.

That said, I haven’t actually defined what “success” is for these projects but today, as we start looking at each of them in depth and one by one, I’ll tell you what I’ll define their “success” to be.

Because I’m a big believer that if you don’t know where you want to, you don’t have a good chance in making it there.

So what is this Bush Mackel.com?
The short answer is, this site. The longer answer is my technology and blogging blog where I cater the content to my techy side, and to all you crazy cats out there who share similar interests.

Originally, this site was my personal site. I published poems, art work, applications that I made and a gaggle of other things. But after a while, it became a pain trying to archive my previous updates to the site so on a whim I installed WordPress… A couple hours later I found out that I was a blogger.

The Early Days
When I first started blogging, I really didn’t “know what I was doing” but I was instantly enamored with how easily and quickly I could update the site. At that time, I was still blogging Bush Mackel as my own personal site, which means I was writing stuff that was really all over the place…

My trip to San Diego and Mexico, my Man Crush on Steve Nash.. you get the gist. But around that time I “met” Pete Cullen who would come to be my first real friend in the blogosphere and that really changed everything for me in terms of how I viewed my website…

Where I had once seen this site as a way to just “get things off my chest”, it had suddenly become an avenue to meet new people with similar interests, who could have intelligent conversations and wouldn’t try to get me to their XXX sites *ahem myspace*. In previous lives, I have flocked to jobs of customer service… Blockbuster manager, Best Buy employee, Ledo’s server… All because I LOVE engaging people. Now please understand me, I’m not one of those odd people who you wish would disappear after a minute of me opening their mouths… I just love meeting new people and having a good time! This is probably why I quickly became smitten with blogging.

The Business of Blogging
After a little time learning the ins and outs of blogging, I started to realize that this was something that you could get paid to do! And if you take a step back from that, at the very least make a few extra side dollars. It was after this realization that I started getting into the more technical sides of blogging… Increasing revenue, attracting subscribers and all the like… And apart from so many other things I currently do, I truly enjoy blogging. So if I can, why not make some money at the same time? Which brings us to where I am now.

“Tomorrow” we’ll continue breaking down this site by analyzing the current state of bushmackel.com, looking at where I would like this site to go, and also defining what “success” for this site will be.

Wii Super Mario Galaxy Review

A little while ago somebody was asking me about Super Mario Galaxy, the newest game starring Nintendo’s biggest and greatest character, Mario.

Since then, I have spent the better part of a week or so playing the game and loving absolutely every minute of it.

If you currently have a Wii or are looking to purchase one this holiday season, Super Mario Galaxy should definitely be at the TOP of your list on hot games to get!

Super Mario Galaxy
The story here isn’t really anything new – Princess Peach is kidnapped by Bowser and Mario has to rescue her. Shocker, I know. But what IS NEW is the fantastic gameplay Galaxy and the Wii brings to the table! In Super Mario Galaxy, levels (or galaxies as SMG refers to them) consist of different planets that Mario has to navigate in order to reach Power Stars that bring him closer to saving the princess.

Planets and Galaxies
What’s so cool about the game is that some planets are really like little balls that you’re running on top of… And what’s more, as you run or jump to the bottom of a planet, it’s not not like the camera adjusts your viewpoint. Which means that one second things will be right side up, and the next they’ll be upside down! 5 minutes into the game, you’ll not only be running in all kinds of freakish directions, but you’ll also be jumping from planet to planet, being pulled to their surfaces through some really fun gravitational physics. Something else that’s definitely worthy of mention is the variety in worlds. Developers really did a great job coming up with levels that feel fresh and new.

Wiimote + Super Mario = FUN FUN FUN!
One of the things that has worried me since I got a Wii was how long the luster of the controls would last. You know what I mean? Is the Wiimote and Nunchuck really the way of the future, are just another gimmick to get consumers to spend more money? Thankfully, Super Mario Galaxy answers that question by incorporating great control, great gestures and super cool wiimote minigames SEAMLESSLY into the action keeping every moment as fresh as the last.

Mario 64 vs Mario Galaxy
When you first get your hands on the game and start playing through, you will immediately think of Super Mario 64. You can’t help but to! But since THAT game was a gem that still holds out today, those comparisons are A OK. In fact, if you read other reviews of the game, many seem to be going into GREAT DETAIL comparing the two games. Here’s the short of it on that tip…

Mario 64 was revolutionary. It was Mario’s first foray into 3D and it basically got it right on the first time out. Since Mario has been in 3D before, Galaxy won’t give you that same “NEW KIND OF GAME” kind of feel, but it definitely takes the 3D platform genre to the next level.

Conclusion
Just like Mario 64, you grab stars at the end of every level and after so many (60) you’re allowed to beat the game. Currently, I’m up to 80ish – And I’m going to try for 120/1. I say that because you know I love games and seriously, I can’t get enough of this one! So no matter what age you are, you will love Super Mario Galaxy!

State of the Union II – My Projects

A week ago today, I told you about a relaunch of sorts for me and my projects…

The short of it is, they’re not where I need them to be and so today will be the first day of the rest of their lives.

And because you guys are coming along for the journey, you’ll first need to become aware of all the projects I currently have on the slate so we’re all on the same page Some projects I’ve told you about, and some may be quite new to you.

Bush Mackel

This is of course, this site. I’ve given a LOT of thought lately about the direction I want it to go in… Both revenue wise and more importantly content wise. Later on, we’ll look at this site more in depth and see where it’s both succeeding and failing.

Learn Stuff Online

As far as my online endeavors go, this was my first and remains the one nearest and dearest to my heart. It was originally slated to be a replacement to about.com, which I felt (and still believe) is a horrible site with bad content. In any event, while I learned a lot with my first go at it – Up ’till now it has been a big disappointment in a variety of places and I hope to turn it around.

Bethesda Web Design

Amongst all my projects, this one (imo) has the greatest potential to generate the most money in the shortest period of time. Unfortunately, around the time I started this, I also fell in love with blogging. And I’m sure you know how that ended.

Conclusion
So there you have it. Those are the big projects that I “currently have in the works” and the ones that I need to revamp and get rolling. I undoubtedly have more projects that I want to get going, but these are the big ones I want to focus on now. In the next week or so I’ll go into more detail with these projects so we can really start the fun. (#):)