Blogrush – 7 Critical Mistakes

 

Blogrush LogoBy now you might have heard of Blogrush. Whilst you might think the Blogosphere is buzzing, you should see the emails flooding in from some of the most successful marketers on the planet.
My conservative estimate is that more than 2,000,000 emails (not blog posts) have been sent out by people with very large email lists.

However so many people are making critical mistakes with Blogrush, I thought it would be a good time to give them a few tips and clear up some misconceptions.

  1. Don’t Scare Your Readers

    I have seen a number of negative reviews of Blogrush by people worrying about privacy, data collection, what happens to data collected etc.
    Let’s face it, your ISP sells your user data
    Advertising companies are collecting data all the time
    Whatever widget or image you place on your website, quite often some smart person is collecting data

    It is worth evaluating the ownership of a widget, for instance if they are a direct competitor, possibly they are a blog network, but as far as I know, John Reese is moving away from the massive number of niche sites model and has been for the last year.

    My evaluation of the Blogrush privacy policy? I am not a lawyer, but it seems the intent of the data collection is for internal use, plus they may issue reports or use the data to highlight hot stories currently in the network.
    Lots of widgets and social network sites for bloggers collect the same data, and use it in the same way, where is the problem?

  2. Blogrush Won’t Bring Much Traffic

    How useless is social media traffic? You get 10,000 to 100,000 visitors to your site, and very few leave interesting comments or subscribe to your blog.

    Blogrush promises targeted traffic – not just category based – how good the contextual algorithms work is yet to be proven, but the hope is that the traffic will be more focused.

    If you can convert 100,000 untargeted visitors into 1000 targeted, that is actually quite valuable and worthy of consideration.
    If you gain a few referrals, things get really interesting – I now have an incentive to Stumble and Digg the people who signed up under me, because that will give me traffic even if they didn’t link to me directly.
    This introduces a totally new level of cooperative traffic arbitrage.

  3. Not Including Blogrush On Every Page

    Are you scared of leaking readers? Maybe your blog isn’t set up to retain interest and encourage people to read more content.
    Blogrush gives you circulation credits for each time the widget is displayed.

  4. Prominent Positioning

    There are huge long-term benefits in referring people to Blogrush and having the widget prominently displayed on your blog will help referrals.
    If you don’t use it yourself, how can you recommend it?

    Don’t be worried about sharing a little traffic

  5. Ultimate Incentive

    John Reese is counting on these widgets to remain on blogs, so he is going to do everything he can to ensure that the smaller bloggers get some traffic from it.
    There is a whole load of excess inventory “above the pyramid/matrix” that needs to be disposed of – 10% is sectioned off for Blogrush to sell. It is my hope that this inventory is distrubuted “flat rate” or at least “flatter rate” to all publishers, not pro rata their existing credits in the system. This could prove to be the great leveller.
    Based upon 1% CTR on Blogrush currently (it is really hard to pin down), $1 CPM for the advertising adds up to an awful lot of money, though I would hope it will be as low as $0.20 because CTR will drop.

    The critical mistake – people are thinking that for some reason only the big bloggers are going to benefit

  6. Titles Maketh Traffic

    Short, possibly controversial titles are going to perform better than titles that aren’t topical within your niche but you certainly need to test and track

  7. Traffic Analysis

    Use your normal tracking software and see where the traffic is coming from, and how it is interacting with your site.

    Blogrush is already referring more traffic to me than MyBlogLog, Bumpzee or Blogcatalog, and I have a fairly broad network in each of those communities.

    You might think that my best performing story on Blogrush was my slightly controversial story on John Chow Reviews, but my analytics prove otherwise, with more people landing on my Gmail story from Blogrush.

    Content is being very widely distributed on Blogrush already, in fact half of the sites that have sent me traffic I have never even heard of.

    Blogrush allows you to reach new sites you may never of heard of, and have never heard of you, that are highly relevant to your topics, it has nothing to do with who referred you

    Whilst you might think that the “blogging A list” are going to benefit the most, lets face it, a high percentage of people interested in content on Problogger within the blogging niche already read it. The big bloggers might get more credits, but they will likely have a much lower CTR.

    The biggest benefit for the more prominent bloggers will be if/when they will be able to use credits towards other sites they wish to promote, such as in Darren’s case using credits to promote his photography blog or other B5 properties.

Click On It

If you see something interesting from an unknown blog shown on your site, click on it. Not only might you find the story interesting, but if the blogger also uses some tracking, they will see where the click came from, and possibly come and pay you a visit.
Many widgets clicks don’t really mean very much, because they can’t be seen as coming from your related site. Hopefully the stats Blogrush create will also help to highlight this, as not every blogger uses tracking effectively.

Blogrush is not just an advertising tool, it is a discovery tool

Bonus Tip – don’t add Blogrush to a blog that doesn’t have any content – lots of people are adding it to new blogs that just have the first “Hello World” default post. They end up on my permanent block list.

p.s. I have been going around stumbling the people who wrote about Blogrush and who mentioned they signed up with me and linked through to my initial review. Even if you haven’t linked through (with a trackback/pingback), let me know – I will be setting up some ways to help promote your widgets and content in various ways in the future and I would like to help you gain more referrals.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Hey Andy

    I’ve been having a little look at the widget around the blogosphere and have certainly noticed links to some (seemingly) small bloggers – even a couple of “hello world” posts!

    I just have a couple of concerns. 1) Some of the blogs I visited did not seem to have the widget in place (but I’m thinking it might be part of the “redistribution” option?) and 2) I have found at least 10 non English blogs in the small amount of widgets I have viewed (I’ve kept a list).

    This leads me to wonder how BlogRush plan to maintain the quality of the blogs that are sumbitted (i.e. only English blogs, no spam, pornographic sites etc).

    BTW, I signed up under you (just in case you wanted to verify that when the reports/stats become available).

    • says

      I think the problem is coming from the redistribution of the surplus traffic, and also some default feeds that were added at the start, but I am not sure how those were selected.

      I would love for there to be a control that if you are not generating impressions on your own, you don’t get any credits at all, thus if you referred people but don’t use it, you don’t get any traffic :)

      I am putting some of it down to teething problems, and am also hoping that the team is monitoring what gets blocked. I know I just blocked what looked like a Chineese or Korean site, and I am fairly sure things are meant to be English language sites only.

      In my initial review I noted they blocked .eu extensions, maybe they are blocking other extensions as well.

      I have just added hello world to my keyword blocking

      Have you seen above 1% ratio of traffic compared to your pageviews?

      Just stumbled your BR post, – whilst Blogrush might reveal the IDs of referrals, I am not sure they will reveal blogs, that would have some niche marketers a little worried about their tin-foil hats

  2. says

    “Have you seen above 1% ratio of traffic compared to your pageviews?”

    Hmmm – let’s see 14,600+ page views in the last two days and 2 visits from widget.blogrush.com – just a little under 1% ;) Maybe my titles suck :(

    Thanks for the stumble, though :)

    • says

      Currently I am over 70 visits from the widget, but I can’t say how many impressions my article titles have had because

      1. I have had around 5000 page views containing the widget
      2. I don’t know how many referrals I have and how many page views they have had
      3. I don’t know how many bonus credits I have received for the upline in the matrix that doesn’t exist for everyone

      This suggests that the CTR is below 1% currently

      To balance that out however, I am sure that my site has been shown on unrelated sites currently, though I have only seen clicks from related sites.
      I have seen unrelated adverts on my site such as the hello world, foreign language etc.

      How things balance out eventually will be interesting, but any site is capable of producing some good linkbait that will work with one of the social media sites to boost their normal impressions, and if it is exceptional content, it isn’t too hard to get it in front of an appreciative audience.

      • says

        Andy, you should have had at least one referral- me. I have installed it on two blogs so I guess you can ad another 1,000 pageviews.

  3. says

    When you are checking your stats are you logging into their system or are you using your own analytics program?

    I installed the widget a few days ago and I’m really interested in seeing what kind of traffic it could bring.

  4. says

    I did a test with my blog; I wrote a post called “How to game BlogRush”. I just want to see how good it will rank in technorati and other sites.

  5. says

    Andy Beard or Dave Attell? Just kidding, but your pic is similar.

    Anyway, this is the first negative or, not positive I should say, post I’ve seen about blog rush. Apart from not liking the idea of having some ridiculous widget on my websites, I didn’t put much thought into it as it’s simply not for me. But you did a great job pointing out some very obvious points. Great post.

    • says

      Alfred there are plenty of positive and negative review, but I would say that this one is overwhelmingly positive. It is only negative in that people are doing things which will lead to them having less traffic both from their own impressions and referrals.

  6. says

    Hey Andy, what do you mean by ‘They end up on my permanent block list’. I cannot find that list in blogrush dashboard.
    Also, did you block my blog (seolutions.net)? I just started it few days ago. If yes, than I will re-activate BlogRush, and give referral to someone else.

  7. says

    Another question:

    what category is your blog in. I was uncertain whether to put it in ‘Marketing’, or ‘Computers & Internet’ (I choose later).

    • says

      Lazar, if you go to settings, then there are some small text links

      You want the ones that says filters

      Under URL keywords I entered

      helloworldonlyblog.com

      I really only blocked sites which were

      1. Just hello world showing
      2. Totally off topic – they shouldn’t have been showing anyway – there was one celebrity blog with pictures which were not child friendly
      3. Foreign language

      Your blog was certainly not among them

  8. says

    Hi Andy,

    I was reluctant to sign up for BlogRush, but your post convinced me!

    I’m still worried abut how relevant the links displayed will be, and I always have a difficult time categorising my blog! I eventually put myself under “Business”. Hopefully that can be edited later, or the categories expanded, or multiple categories selected, or tagging added.

    • says

      Ken whilst I have a lot of faith in John Reese, I too was a little sceptical in my first post, and evaluating the value is important. If you have good monetisation, it might be a bad choice.

      Your blog is quite varied, which might even give it an edge. I couldn’t believe my gmail story which was only first in my feed performed so well compared to the John Chow post.

      I selected the marketing category currently, we will see how it goes. Some of the technology isn’t performing too well for targeting, hopefully it will improve over time.

      The thing I can’t understand is how a site can promote a widgetbox of their feeds, and expect readers to use it, yet criticise a widget which allows everyone to get a little traffic.
      There might be some pyramid aspects to this, but it seems the traffic above the pyramid is being shared out fairly evenly, which is great for the smaller blogs.

      CTR seems to be around 0.5% – as far as I can tell I am up to 72 visitors now, and from what I can see no referral credits have been used, just the ones I earned plus the free ones distributed.

      • says

        Here’s an interesting thought – widget positioning is one of these prisoner’s dilemma options. If I hide it at the bottom of the page, then I’ll “lose” less viewers, but if I do it then everyone else does that too, and it becomes pretty useless. If instead I promote it prominently, I am doing so hoping that everyone else will play along and put their’s high-up too.

        (BTW, I haven’t a clue who John Reese is…)

        • says

          Ken I have it placed fairly highly currently, because I want people to read my review of it and sign up, though referral credits can’t be used yet.

          I will also most likely place it in a lower position in the future, as will many people.

          Small Potato over at WPDesigner suggests that this will fail because everyone will place the widget in a low position.
          That is possible, it is one of those vicious circles.

          The big question is how much traffic have people’s sites gained from adding a Google Widget, Widgetbox from another site, or even “How Much Is Your Blog Worth” on their sidebar.

          The trick may come from the stats. If people see referring sites in their stats within Blogrush, clean links, they might go and take a look.

          John Reese is interesting because he is quite often ahead of the curve. At one time he used to have a very successful service for Ebay users, though in those days it was very hard to monetize and bandwidth was prohibitive, so I think he was forced to close.
          He was the first to coin “Virtual Real Estate” and has sites in many markets.
          In 2005 he sold over $1,000,000 worth of his Traffic Secrets course in a single day. It had something like a 40 page sales letter written by Michel Fortin, and was among the first promotions run or at least advised by Jeff Walker who later became famous for his Product Launch Formula.
          John also ran a very successful marketing forum, and a number of private membership sites.
          John has always provided a lot of free information, as shown on his recently launched blog on Income.com

          There is a lot of abuse of this widget, but we can hope there will be a crackdown, it is very early days.

  9. says

    You’re right about the discovery part.

    I see traffic from totally blogs in my traffic stats and this gives me a chance to check them out and find potential link partners or just useful content.

    We’ll have to wait a little longer to see how Blogrush performs in the long run.

  10. says

    Hey Andy,

    What program are you using to track your clicks to your site.

    The program I use just gives a super long url.

    By the way, I use the wordpress API stats as well as google analytics.

    • says

      Jonathan, in Google Analytics you can filter referrals using a keyword such as widget.blogrush.com and it will give you the number of referrals from the widget.

      I also use MyBlogLog for some live stats to compare.

      GA is always delayed a little

    • says

      Does that mean you block Yahoo and MSN from indexing your site? They eat up a lot of bandwidth for very little traffic.

      Stumbleupon certainly can get you traffic, I am a very active user.

      Darren’s conclusions are very misleading, because so many people already subscribe to his blog. Who is going to click on the widget to a story they have already read?

      Unlike Darren you were looking at Google Analytics – most people comparing are not.

      There are lots of free credits from above the matrix being dished out. My wpplugins.info site has had 60 visitors since Blogrush launched, and 4 were from the widget.

      You honestly can’t expect any widget to compare to Stumbleupon traffic, it is just not possible.

  11. says

    Hi Andy,

    I did install the BlogRush widget on Monday afternoon. I am trying to reserve judgment until the full 48 hours has passed (as it states on the BlogRush page). I did notice one hit from BlogRush with some Aministrative tag on it. I’m assuming that’s BlogRush checking my site out.

    However, I haven’t gotten any hits from it yet. I use sitemeter and that’s a great tracking device as it shows the referrers, which will show BlogRush if, and when, it is up and producing at my pad.

    I’m curious, do you have any solid numbers you can provide? Meaning, can you concretely say you had 68 referrals on Tuesday solely from BlogRush? I did see someone say she received 40 hits from BlogRush three hours after she installed it. I find that difficult to believe.

    I will sing from the rooftops, if and when they provide increased traffic for me. But as of today, I cannot say they have.

    Also, must I write a blog article about BlogRush on my site for this to kick in? If so, that seems a bit underhanded to me.

    • says

      I have a post with some stats coming but I am up to 78 visitors to this site now, and a site that received around 20 visitors per day has now has 5 visits from the widgets.

      There is a lot broken in a lot of the stats posts that have so far been published

  12. says

    Hi Andy,

    You seem to be quite sold (vocal) on BlogRush, though I don’t know if it’s on merit or whether you’re involved somehow. No matter — you’re a believer and spreading the love.

    I hadn’t heard of BlogRush until just recently (like most folks), but my company has been working on some fun software that is already beating BlogRush on click-through stats (by a lot). I’d like to take advantage of this meme, put some money on the table, earn some valuable feedback from the blogosphere, and have some fun.

    Here’s a fun little challenge: If we don’t provide you with a better click-through rate than BlogRush, we’ll paypal you $10. The details are on our blog.

    Let the games begin?

  13. says

    I think it’s an Awesome Idea + were still in the Early Dawn of Widgets so whass coming down the Pipes is gonna be really interesting*

    My new Fave is http://www.Feedjit.com which shows U people streaming in from all over the World + how they got here*

    Amazing*

    ;))

  14. says

    Thanks for a very insightful post about BR. The “critical mistakes” are obvious, and these blogs should be able to adept to the new situation unless they are already locked in by their own mindset.

  15. says

    Just to add….BlogRush had stated that they would not entertain “poor quality” blogs but for now judging by the posts on the widget, a lot of them are still there. Hopefully, BR will eventually filter them out, clean up the act, expand on their topic list, and maybe then we’ll see whether better selections.

  16. says

    Well, I signed up through your link on day one. For now I’m reserving any judgment. I came in not expecting much of anything really. But I’m willing to give it a fair run.

  17. says

    Andy -

    First off – you’ve got a wonderful blog here! I’m glad I found it.

    What’s that you ask? HOW did I find you? Thru BlogRush, of course =)

    I have a small blog that is still pretty young in “blog years”. While I have developed a pretty loyal reader base, I still know that the key to a truly successful blog is exposure.

    I am very impressed with BlogRush so far. For the smaller blogs (like mine) this is a huge opportunity to have your blog reach far and wide. It’s also a really cool tool that allows me to find blogs that I wouldn’t otherwise come across – such as yours.

    I haven’t seen a ton of traffic from BlogRush as of yet, but I have seen visits from blogs and I have no doubt those readers would NOT have found me without that little widget.

    I don’t quite understand the “wait and see” attitude on this, but I am sure others have their reasons. I opted to jump on an early opportunity as opposed to jump to conclusions.

    Thanks for the great post – AND the great blog!

  18. says

    I was just doing some looking today. I clicked on some of the links in my BlogRush widget and almost 90% of the blogs that were listed on my site DID NOT have the BlogRush widget installed on their sites, ANYWHERE. How can that be? I know – this is probably beating a dead horse to death. I just found it weird.

  19. says

    Hi Andy,

    I haven’t got confidence to use Blog Rush (I signed up but removed the widget from my blog) but now after reading your review, I’ll give Blog Rush a try.

  20. says

    H Andy,

    After registering with Blogrush I received a very quick reply (less than 10 minutes) saying that my blog was not approved.

    Two of my posts have featured unedited at Reuters.com and in the past, I have received countless feedback about its (my blogs) quality (written and presentation) from the likes of academics and journalists, so I was somewhat aghast when it was not approved.

    I did not take it personally but sought additional information about exactly what aspect does not meet the strict criteria.

    The blog url is: http://americasinterests.blogspot.com/

    The blogfeed url is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/AmericanInterestsblog?format=xml

    Can anyone shed any light on why I may not have been approved?

  21. says

    Hi Andy,
    I got here via Google search.

    I have only my niche business blog on BlogRush, because it is being developed for my financial success.

    BlogRush is innovative and I am watching the progress.

    Cheers and God bless.

  22. says

    I think you should add the 8th point – 1 month upgrade is ridiculous!

    I’ve posted on their blog quite a few times, 1 month to upgrade something is ridiculous because the development could’ve been done behind the scene and once everything’s ready just have a 1 – 48 hour down time for upgrade purpose.

    It’s WAY better than having users not being able to access their dashboard / stats.

  23. says

    Blogrush – 8th Critical Mistake:

    USING BLOGRUSH

    It has long enough polluted my blog and it had to go.
    Unrelevant posts, “Hello World” and “Test Posts” posts.
    I do not have the time to start micro managing blogrush.
    Blogrush tends to become another toy that demands so much time
    to set up filter in order to filter out all the junk that is still in their system, that it makes it super expensive to deal with, even it is “free”.

    If you have nothing better to do, use Blogrush!

  24. says

    Great idea really. I was about when Reese launched it but didn’t jump in as my blogs weren’t ready.

    I’m a bit with Andy on this one and losing visitors. If you’re content is good they will come back. If you’re contnet is bad, they won’t be coming back so you might as well get a credit when they leave rather than nothing.

    Webmasters and marketers tend to want to hold onto their best ideas of which serves no purpose. Someone then or not long after will be spreading the idea around the internet any how.

    Give your idea freely in content, even the great ones and it will pay nice dividends at the end of the day.

    Any free “warm” visitors is absolutely worth it! 100 visitors, x% become subscribers and then some may even purchase goods/services.

    Plus the side benefits on increased inbound links if webmasters like your site especially considering that getting quality themed links is very time consuming. All that for adding one piece of code! Be mad not to.

    Cheers, Chris.

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