By 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.
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.
Lots of widgets and social network sites for bloggers collect the same data, and use it in the same way, where is the problem?
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.
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.
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
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
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
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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