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Find New Readers for Your Blog – BlogRush First Impression Review

Logo-2Every time I survey bloggers to find out what they’d like help with most the answer always comes back as ‘finding traffic’.

Bloggers like to know that people are reading their blog and so any method that they can find to promote their blog is worth exploring.

In the last 12 hours a new service has been launched to help bloggers find readers. It’s called Blog Rush. If you read many blogs about blogging you’ve probably seen it talked about (they’ve done well at launching with a real buzz). I’ve held off on writing about it because I wanted to check it out for myself before writing).

My initial impressions of the system is that it’s worth exploring.

While I’m not a fan of traffic exchange programs – this one is a little different because it attempts to promote your blog on relevant blogs.

What is BlogRush

There’s a great little video on the front page of Blog Rush that explains the system better than I could on a post – however in short this is a little widget that you put on your sidebar which displays posts that others have written on their blogs (related to your blog’s content).

Here’s how the widget looks (RSS readers might need to click through to see it):


Each time the widget displays you earn a ‘credit’ which means that a recent headline from your own blog will be displayed on someone else’s blog. If your blog gets 100 page views a day your headline will be displayed 100 times on other people’s blogs.

Not only that – they have a referral system so that if another blogger signs up to Blog Rush after clicking through to it from your widget you’ll get credits each time that the referral blog shows the widget. The referral system goes 10 tiers deep – so you can potentially get ALOT of credits.

OK – so this sounds like a bit of a pyramid scheme in some ways and I guess it has elements of that in it – however there’s no money changing hands (it’s free to participate in and you can opt out at any point) and there are a few features in the system that I quite like the look of including:

  • Attempt at Relevancy - they show headlines on your blog that are relevant to your content (I suspect this will get better as more join up – but at present I’ve seen some somewhat irrelevant links showing up)
  • Filters – you can filter out any keyword that you want and any URL that you don’t want to display on your blog
  • Multiple Blogs – you can split the spread of your credits among multiple blogs (ie if you have two blogs you can enroll with both)

Will it bring a lot of traffic to your blog?

The jury is still out on this (despite the hype that many bloggers are using to promote it). The theory is good – although it will depend a lot on where people place the widget on their blog (and there’s not rules on this in BlogRush’s conditions as far as I can see).

I’ve not found that people click through on widgets like this in great numbers in my own previous testing of other things – however even at a small click through rate you could see some nice traffic if you refer a lot of people (and they refer a lot etc).

One key to how well this will work will be how relevant they can make links to content. In a similar way to AdSense increasing CTR when the ads relate strongly to the content – we’ll see the same thing come into play here.

I’m going to give it a go and see what the results are. I’m not sure I’ll put the widget on this actual blog simply because I have space issues in my sidebar – however I’ll be adding it to a few of my others to see how it converts for them.

Sign up for Blog Rush.

PS: one thing I’d like to see added is the ability to customize the design of the widget. While it isn’t ugly – it won’t ‘fit’ with the color scheme of every blog.

Another problem for many ProBlogger readers is that it’s available only to blogs written in English.

Note: links in this post are referral links

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Clement says:

    I like the blogrush idea.But I am of the view that it is the big guns that will stand to benefit from it. I mean guys with more referrals. People who already have lots of traffic will get more referrals and this lead to more exposure for their sites while on the other hand, small sites will have less exposure.Even the little traffic that they have received will be rerouted to the big boys. These are just my views.What do you think? I will follow this one closely.I have checked the “Notify me of future comments via e-mail”

  2. Clement says:

    I like the blogrush idea.But I am of the view that it is the big guns like Daren Rowse that will stand to benefit from it. I mean guys with more referrals. People who already have lots of traffic will get more referrals and this will lead to more exposure for their sites while on the other hand, smaller sites will have less exposure.Even the little traffic that they will receive will be rerouted to the big boys. These are just my views.What do you think? I will follow this thread closely.I have checked the “Notify me of future comments via e-mail”

  3. mark says:

    Dunia Fana: Only english blogs are allowed at the moment, according to the site. I suppose if it’s equally mixed, or mostly English it will be accepted. You can try though.

  4. Sime says:

    Added, I guess time will tell!…

  5. Hans Chee says:

    Replying to WarriorBlog’s comments, I read so much on similar question so I’ve just added a table of illustration for blogrush credit system in my lens:

    http://www.squidoo.com/blogrush

    It’s my own understanding so far scouting around and from the horse’s mouth, so if there’s a mistake in it I’ll appreciate some feedback on it.

    Thanks
    Hans

  6. Kevin says:

    It’s nice to see all the large bloggers jump on this, I mean with the referral credits you will get what does it really harm you? People are pimping this thing like crazy and in all honesty look at other traffic exchanges like this or widgets that host headlines. (ie: blog explosion’s widget) Does anyone click on them? Is it really that good of a traffic source?

    They usually get passed over like a lot of things on sidebars.

    However no large blogger says anything negative about this or looks at it critically because if you even give it a lukewarm review you should have a ton of people using your referal link. (Which may or may not supply you with a large traffic source, if it doesn’t so be it, what do you have to lose)

    And just like every other pyramid type setup it rewards you from getting in early. So people are justifying using it before we can get hard numbers. I would never question your credibility Dareen because I have the up most respect for you and your knowledge but be honest, aren’t people jumping the gun on this out of greed?

    Why aren’t people looking at this critically other than the fact that they don’t want to miss out on a potential traffic source? If it flops everyone can bash it after the fact, why question the logic and the mismanagement of it now…

  7. David says:

    In regards to you not being able to customize the widget, John mentioned in his blog that eventually (although not sure exactly when) there will be additional features to BlogRush including the ability to customize the widget to your liking as well as having widgets in various languages.

  8. John Hood says:

    This could be a compelling way to drive and share top-driven traffic! Hopefully this will be more successful than Rojo’s offering, which I removed from my blog when it developed technical problems that weren’t resolved!

  9. Urbanist says:

    I have watched BlogRush take over the blogosphere and all I can think is: it is way overhyped and overvalued.

    1) Many of the links it displays on sites are scammy or spammy. I’ve read numerous complaints from bloggers who wish they could filter out links – and that would be only a stop-gap measure, since there is always more spam where that came from!

    2) On some widgets, I have clicked all five links to find NO widgets on ANY of the sites being linked to. I’m not sure how, but clearly people have figured out how to game the system and get links to pages without the BlogRush widget on them.

    I will stick to MyBlogLog Recent Visitors and Romlet Recent Referrers. Between those two widgets, I get a great deal of information about who is visiting that I can use as both general feedback and to boost my traffic!

  10. Marc says:

    It seems like a good theory. It is just beginning so maybe a month would make a difference. And free is not a bad price at all.

  11. I don’t see this mentioned anywhere but WordPress.com blogs are not supported by BlogRush widget, or to say they don’t support the BlogRush widget.
    Those javascript code cannot be added to a WordPress.com blog because WP.com do not allow javascript. If the widget were a link to a server side script hosted at Blogrush site (like what sitemeter does) things might have been different.

    I wonder if the founder is aware of this. Millions of user at WordPress.com are out of luck on this…

  12. DavidYin says:

    Just signed up.

  13. Vishal Lamba says:

    Guys! This wont work! Here is a simple calculation why……….

    For every one display of the widget (which ultimately results in 5 links being displayed) you get one exposure of your blog post on the network – on other blogger member website widgets. This sounds fair, but if you look deep into things you will realize theirs a defect. I will come to that later. But irst another important trick thats going to work like viral marketing on steroids for BlogRush…

    For every blogger you refer – when they sign up by clicking on the BlogRush logo at the bottom of the widget, you benefit. For every direct referral you also will get one free link exposure everytime your referral displays the widget. If this referral refers another member – you get the same benefit again… gaining one more exposure for a two level deep referral. And so on … 10 levels deep.

    This trick is absolutely fantastic, because it will cause bloggers to start promoting this new exchange service to fellow bloggers immediately in hope of getting referral bloggers before others snap them. Bloggers can see the potential of the 10 level deep credit system. It can really balloon to a large amount of free link exposure. Which *could* result in traffic.

    This is where I tend to differ. Blogrush is claiming that – bloggers should sign up right away to get a huge rush and volume of traffic to their sites in a short span of time. There is however 2 issues here.

    The first one is that – if this is a 1:1 exchange network, and BlogRush is displaying only 5 ads inside the widget – then they are creating an excess of 4 ads per display – which they can then distribute to the referring members. So, the excess credit of 4 ads can help them – BUT only 4 levels deep. As the system grows and referral lelvels start to get deep and aproach 10 levels of depth – how will BlogRush maintain the 1:1 ratio? The answer is – that well, now all members will have referrals of 10 levels deep. So there will always be member whose widgets display 5 expousres, and get one credit exposure in return and therefore create an excess of 4 credits for the system. This will help BlogRush.

    And if it doesnt, and the excess exposures being created are geting close to zero – they can always simply increase the widget size or make it scrolling and display 10 links!! This will immediately create a larger excess for BlogRush on every widet exposure. Super!

    Super for BlogRush, but bad for members.
    I can already see a very very very low CTR on this network. Although the links displayed are in your category and may match your sites content – the CTR is going to be extremely low. A standard ad on yor blog post probably has a CTR of half to one-and-half percentage. This widget firstly may not be placed by bloggers on the top of their sidebar / page – and will probably be tucked away at the side bottom – is my guess. My guess is that the CTR for this widget will probably be around 0.1% ( or one-tenth of one percent. ). Now, if your blog post title appears with 5 others – your CTR will be further reduced by a factor of 5 or 20% of 0.1% which is 0.02% which is 2 clicks out of 10,000 page views or 1 click every 5000 page views!! Now, what kind of rush of traffic is that?

    And, if BlogRush decides to increase the number of Blog Links inside their widget tomorrow (to compensate for excess credits being given to members for referrals) – then you can be assured that the paltry traffic and CTR will get even worse.

    Nice try BlogRush. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. This is just a passing fad.

  14. Saim Baig says:

    I have tried it.It works ok in the start then i don’t know what happened it just lost its actuality.Strange sort of pages were being displayed.So i removed it.

  15. Fanatic says:

    Never helped me.My traffic remained the same.Just getting it from the search engines.