Blogrush – Free Blog Traffic – In depth Review

Blogrush LogoBlogrush has just launched and is promising to help bloggers generate more targeted traffic to their blogs.

Blog bling, blog community and blog traffic widgets are becoming quite a conjested marketplace, so what makes Blogrush, the newest contender something to take note of?

John Reese

I have a lot of respect for John Reese. People talk about The Digg effect, John Reese can send Digg like traffic to a site just by sending an email, and what is more important is that he sends qualified traffic, buying traffic.

Funding

I am fairly sure Blogrush won’t have any need for immediate funding. They have launched on a cluster of 8 servers for scalability, there is no intention of starting this off small.
John has a team of programmers working for him, and established support personnel. Blogrush is apparently just one small piece in the puzzle which is Income.com, which he has been building up to for over a year.

Viral Concept

Blogrush is designed to encourage people to promote it with a 10 tier referral program. It hasn’t been specified how the breakdown works on each tier, but the benefit of viral referrals will be substantial for early adopters.

That will be one of the keys as with any program of this type. To get maximum benefit from Blogrush, you are going to have to sign up early and promote it… hence why this is going to explode.

The Blogrush Widget

Blogrush WidgetThe Blogrush widget looks par for the course, as they have lots of competitors. It is lacking a lot of the technology of similar widgets. Many widgets for instance have built in browsers for RSS feeds or to stumble through content that is being displayed.

What John claims is that Blogrush has advanced technology to match what is displayed on the widget with your blog content… that it is in some way contextual rather than just category based.

This hopefully will make a significant difference with click-through rate, though as far as I know traffic ratios are based upon impressions rather than clicks.

Hopefully we will see improvements in the future.

Free Traffic Potential?

If you look on your screen real estate as a way to generate more traffic by various means, Blogrush is going to be of interest. I believe it has more potential than many similar widgets, simply because it will gain so much attention over this launch period.

Get people signed up early to benefit from the viral effect.

If you have a lot of traffic already, then that will be leveraged into more traffic on the network.

If your screen real-estate carries high value advertising, you might have to think differently, either about including the widget at all, or positioning both now, and when it is more mature (harder to get new users)

I wouldn’t expect to get a 1% CTR from other sites displaying your content, it is going to be far less based upon what I have seen from competing widgets of this type.

There isn’t a community feature which might encourage repeat visits when someone bookmarks your content, thus you have to value the widget based upon its one click traffic potential.

You are going to have to test and track to see if the amount of traffic you receive is enough to justify the space the widget takes up. Initially you will benefit from viral referrals, but long-term you might be better using the space to generate revenue, and then investing that revenue in other traffic.

Lets Get Viral

Despite my long-term reservations, as it has just launched just hours ago, now is the opportune moment to sign up and promote it. It will grow exponentially for a few weeks.

Test and track, if you are gaining possibly 10 new visitors for every 1000 times the widget is displayed, that might be looked on as a reasonable return on screen real estate unless you have very effective monetization, or cheap methods to generate traffic.

Think about traffic arbitrage – I believe there is going to be a way to specify which sites benefit from your traffic credits. Get cheap traffic on one site, use the traffic credits to promote a better monetized site. You might be able to turn Digg and Stumbleupon traffic into higher quality traffic from another site – well, unless it turns out traffic credits are based upon clicks, but even then some headlines are going to generate more clicks than others ;)

Bugs

There were a few problems in the first hour of launch, but they are working around them quickly. Email delivery for registration was the biggest problem.
I had a problem registering with a .eu TLD (top level domain) so I had to use another URL which redirects here with a 301 redirect. That resulted in me not winning a free copy of Traffic Secrets 2 on launch – I would have won it.. honest.

John is promising some more launch competitions over the next few days, and I am sure they will be well worth entering.

My suggestion is to sign up, add the widget to your blog, and give it a little promotion. test and track and see if it works for you. That is what I am going to be doing.

Update – Full List of Categories

To avoid confusion, this is not just a widget particular to one niche such as blogging or internet marketing, it is hopefully suitable for all niches giving relevant content, and delivering your content to relevant blogs – I suppose if you have the only blog in existence on a particular subject, it is only going to be traffic based upon the categories.

Anyway, here are the available catagories

  • Automotive
  • Business Career & Jobs
  • Celebrity
  • Computers & Internet
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Environment
  • Finance & Investing
  • Food & Drink
  • Health & Medicine
  • History
  • Hobbies
  • Home & Garden
  • Humor
  • Law & Legal
  • Lifestyle
  • Marketing
  • Music
  • News & Media
  • Parenting & Family
  • Personal
  • Diary
  • Pets
  • Philosophy
  • Photography
  • Politics
  • Real
  • Estate
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Travel
  • Writing & Literature
  • Video Games

Update 2 – Power Tip – Filtering

If people are reading a review you have just written about a product, you might not want them to click through to read someone else’s review, no matter which niche you are in.

Now in the case of this review, I want people to click through to read the site and sign up, not click to someone else’s site writing about Blogrush.

Blogrush provides a useful filtering mechanism based on either keywords or URLs, or both if you are that way inclined.

Blogrush Keyword Filtering

Yes, I am blocking the keyword Blogrush at least for now – it seem to be case insensitive.

This might seem a litle mean, but if you are writing good content, and then someone clicks away to a very poor review, but then buys a product using their affiliate link, that isn’t rewarding you for creating good content.

I would advise blocking keywords if they present a leak, though if you are running a golf blog, you might not want to block a keyword as broad as “golf” as then the widget wouldn’t offer any useful content for your readers.

Disclosure: I do some minor consulting with one of the blog community widget sites, Blogcatalog, for which I might receive some monetary compensation if they ever manage to flip the site. I try hard not to let that involvement affect my judgement of other similar sites

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the quick response Andy! Now how can I get other “golf bloggers” to understand this widget and want to put it on their blogs?

    • says

      Well you might have to rely on referrals from other sports blogs initially – lots of marketers have golf related niche sites, and maybe blogs – I doubt most of them will be as high quality as your site.

      In your situation it really is a case of test and track for a week to see if it helps, and remember your readers might have blogs in other niches and be curious.

      Traffic does cross over, so a referral of a popular celebrity site for instance could get you lots of sports traffic.

  2. says

    I think my predictions on traffic levels are about right

    So far I have had 8 visitors from around 400 page views. I am going to compile a list of the sites it actually displays on which are looked on as being relevant – it will be interesting.

  3. says

    Andy,

    You are a reviewing madman! Your USP is definitely attention to detail and insightful, critical thought.

    Glad to see I wasn’t the only one up late last night.

    • says

      Jack I cheat by living in Europe ;) – I actually went to bed at a reasonable time last night and was up at 6am….

      I could have actually stayed in bed at least another 30 minutes

      You could call it a USP, I prefer to look on it as a niche that wasn’t being exploited, though Maki does something similar, we started doing it around the same time.

      One problem I have noticed is some people promoted this a little early. Maybe that is a good idea (heh you grabbed a SERP just above me in early trading) but many have lost referrals from doing so.
      John is actually going to end up with an awful lot of spare inventory that needs to be filled early on because of all the signups without an upline, unless that gets redistributed.

  4. says

    Oh yeah – I was bending the web a bit before launch and had to go back and make sure my links had referral link in them once I got signed up.

    I watched “blogrush” in Google like a hawk yesterday – I was above everyone except another ASC member the whole day and then BAM! Google found hosted blogs, satellite pages and all kinds of hackery from people looking to get top billing.

    I should have had staff watching instead – I just can’t fill out social site forms as fast as I used to. :)

  5. says

    Hey, Andy:

    I just got an invite for Blog Rush, had not heard of it before and did not know it was new, like TODAY new. Wow! I now feel like an early adopter. lol. Wrote a post on it at my blog, added the widget, and invited others to join, let us see how it goes.

    Have a great weekend.

  6. says

    With you and guys like Shoemoney promoting this widget will explode with traffic. They have to have all those servers…

    I am signing up for sure… Wish I had more blogs… I wonder if they will also accept new blogs too… I want to start some new ones on different niches…

  7. says

    I guess the key takeaway is this is about traffic and not links. People get caught up in looking at this as an opportunity for backlinks and immediately discounting the traffic potential.
    This is something to watch over the next few weeks

    • says

      The folks at blogrush apparently are making an effort to even the playing field a bit by giving bonus credits to low traffic sites, obviously it will never be an even field but the effort on their part is nice.

  8. says

    I agree with what eco Boris said about the widget going to explode with traffic part. The only problem with this is that, the blogs with high numbers of viewers are going to remain in the the top 5 links on most blogs. Everywhere I see are links to big name bloggers like Yaro Starak and Shoemoney etc although there are still those that may not be so popular.

    And with regards to what Jason said, do the links in the widgets qualify as backlinks?

  9. says

    The problem with blogrush is that if your blog does not get enough traffic then blogrush wont help you much. I think the tool needs some work yet.

  10. says

    Thanks for the heads-up, Andy! From the video introduction I saw on the official site I can say I’m very impressed. I’ve implemented this onto two of my sites (Devil May Cry and Fable) to check this out and see if they actually deliver on what they say but so far I’m pretty optimistic.

    I’ve submitted your review to digg, too. ;)

    Steve

  11. says

    Zuggu, that’s not necessarily the case.

    (a) Even if your blog gets ZERO traffic, if you can successfully get other people to sign up under you, then you can leverage THEIR traffic.

    (b) John will soon be releasing a “sister” site called TrafficJam.com, where I think you’ll be able to buy credits and hence exposure for your blog. I have no idea how much, or how effective yet, since it’s not available yet.

    There’s plenty of ways a blog with zero traffic can still benefit, you just gotta be creative :)

    Andy, I’m in the UK… I stayed up until about 3am waiting for the launch of this thing. In the end, I had to go to bed. Nuts! 6am doesn’t exist in my book :)

  12. says

    The only thing I don’t like about it is that it doesn’t look like you can resize the widget. My sidebars can only fit widgets less than 160px wide for the time being, and this widget is just a few pixels too big. Darnit all! :-(

  13. says

    Just signed out yesterday but unfortunately I still can not see the dashboard working. Hope that John Reese’s team will resolve on the bugs soon.

  14. says

    It’s definitely generating quite a buzz, but It seems like it would only be really valuable to those (like you ;)) who can get allot of referrals. I think, as you said, the widget is going to have an extremely low CTR and in the long run, the real traffic is going to come from the referrals.

  15. says

    Checking my analytics stats this morning revealed that I had 2 visits to my site via the BlogRush widget. Considering I’m only getting 50 visits a day, that represents 4% of my traffic. Not bad for my first day with BlogRush!

  16. says

    Hey, I heared a lot about Blogrush but did not find that much usefull information at one place. I definately will check out Blogrush for my Blogs soon. I’m going on vacation tomorrow but when I’m back I will sign up right away.

  17. says

    I’ve seen their widget a lot of times all over the web already but it’s just through reading this article that I really see the great things about that! keep it up!

  18. says

    Was just getting ready to add this to my blogs and thought I better see if there are any reviews or better widgets that are similar. Glad to see you were all over it.

    Now that it has been a couple months, do you still recommend it? I see it is still on your site.

    Knowing Reese, I take it his goal is to build a huge subcriber list and an ad platform?

    • says

      I believe using the various plugins that have sprung up it is possible to achieve a 1% CTR, which wouldn’t necessarily mean that a widget as a whole achieves 5%

      A lot depends on placement

      The biggest problem is public perception. If people think the sites they click on will be junk, they won’t click, so detractors are creating a self reinforcing circle of destruction.

      It doesn’t bring in huge amounts of traffic, but then I predicted the CTR would be less than 1%.

      I suppose currently I get between 0.2 and 0.5% CTR on appropriate stories without using plugins.

      Currently referral credits are not being used and there are lots of bonus credits in the system from above the referral network, as all slots have to be filled.

      I still believe John will make it work.

  19. says

    Andy, a lot of blogs have already taken them out. Do you still believe the whole program works?

    It didn’t for me.

  20. says

    Talking of public perception, how does effecitvely closing down the income.com blog (the nearest you’ll get to a BlogRush blog) for almost 2 months now help matters?

    Receiving criticism, even if there is a lot of it, shouldn’t mean you just cut off the public feedback.

    How does not having any kind of member forum or blog help, in fact? From the outside at least, it seems that it isn’t only the bloggers / potential clickers who are re-enforcing the public perception downward spiral…

  21. says

    Hey, I heared a lot about Blogrush but did not find that much usefull information at one place. I definately will check out Blogrush for my Blogs soon. I’m going on vacation tomorrow but when I’m back I will sign up right away.

  22. says

    Wow I didn’t realize that this was for other niches besides internet marketing. But now I see that you’ve got a whole list of categories! That broadens things up a bit, thanks!

  23. says

    I have a real estate blog and am truly amazed with the number of real estate related blogs that use this widget.

    To the commenter above, I have seen this on many wordpress blogs so I now it works. Not sure why you are having a problem.

  24. says

    I used to had it when this service get started only.It still on my blog lolz.But i dnt experience that i get big traffic by it .

Trackbacks

  1. Cleaned up my widgets…

    First, I want to apologize to anyone who’s come to my page recently and sat too long waiting for it to load. I’ve noticed it getting worse recently, but hadn’t really taken the time to fix it.
    Bumpzee and MyBlogLog are two fine servi…

  2. […] I hope you get the picture of my reaction to upcoming Shocking Changes at BlogRush. So here is my question, where are these shocking changes? “Flavors”???!!! Are you kidding me? The only reason I stayed because the of the raving reviews on all those big blogs. In fact until recently I did not know who John Resee was so he reputation or lack of it did not matter. What mattered was positive reviews by bloggers who’s blog I read daily and who’s opinion I respect. […]