Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Rush Is On For BlogRush

Right about this time hundreds of thousands of people are writing about a new application called BlogRush. Why are they doing this? Well, for one it appears to be an incredibly useful tool for getting traffic to your blogs and therefore they, as bloggers, want to tell the world about it. On the other hand they also want you to click on their affiliate link so that they get your referral. Neither reason is bad, of course. I am blogging this for both the reasons above.

How Does BlogRush Work?

BlogRush is the idea of John Reese, and on the outset looks to be a fantastic tool for building traffic to your blog. The way it works is that you sign up for an account over at BlogRush, fill in your blog details and are presented with a piece of code that you insert in your blog. Then when you view your blog you will see a box similar to the one at right, with a list of other blogs in it that relate to your subject matter. Elsewhere, on other blogs that are in the same subject matter as yours, your blog will appear in the list. For each person that visits your blog in a day, BlogRush will place your blog in their little interface once a day. So if 100 people visit your blog, your blog will appear 100 times throughout the day on other people's blogs. Theoretically, this will increase your blogs traffic which in turn will increase the number of times you appear on other BlogRush interfaces, increasing your traffic - and so on and so on.

The real meat in the sandwich happens when you get referrals. As you can see also on the interface there is an "add your blog posts - FREE" button. If a blogger clicks on this button on your blog and signs up then you get the referral, which means that for each person that visits their blog you get an appearance on BlogRush. So if someone with 1000 visits a day signs up through your blog (that already gets 100 visits a day), then you will appear 1100 times a day (100 for your blog = 1000 for your referral's blog). Then if someone visits your referral's blog and signs up to BlogRush, not only does your referral get the referral, but you do too! In fact, you get referrals 10 deep, which can equal a huge amount of increased traffic. You also get a special referral link that you can simply email to other people to become referrals for you. Sounds fantastic, but there are problems associated with it for some people.

BlogRush Problems?

For one, Internet Marketers like myself don't want people clicking off their page, so sticking an interface that asks people to do just that may not work out to be the best idea. If someone does click on a link in the BlogRush interface the new blog opens in a fresh window, which is supposed to reduce the amount of "click away" that your site will get. IM'ers are worried that this will reduce sales and it's a fair concern indeed. People love to click on links, so giving them something else to click on (other than their affiliate links) that looks nice and possibly has blog titles that are more appealing, might not be such a good idea.

Another concern that I read in Caroline Middlebrook's blog, was that once everyone gets on board the BlogRush train, that referrals will drop off. As she writes:

Most bloggers will optimise their blogs to encourage readers to either read more of their content, or to click an ad, subscribe to the RSS feed, join a newsletter etc. Generally speaking a blogger does not want the user to click out of their blog so I don’t imagine this widget to be prominently displayed on many blogs. You’ll notice that I put it right at the bottom of my sidebar. I may be wrong here as it looks like quite a lot of bloggers are pushing it in order to get the referral links but once every blog in the world is signed up, the referrals will drop off and then it all falls on the shoulders of the readers.


It's a good point, and one that a lot of people who are rushing for a piece of this 'ere BlogRush might have failed to take in to account. Like Caroline, I am a follower of Ed Dale's internet marketing techniques. I've only been on to him since the start of this year when I accidentally came across him on Google, but in a very short space of time I have grown to trust the man and his word. The thirty day challenge is testiment alone to the massive amount this man is willing to give back and when he vouches for a product or service I have no doubts that it is the top of it's game and worth my hard-earned bucks. Anyway, Ed put out a blog post a couple of days ago saying that he would be giving BlogRush a try very soon and will document his results. I know a lot of people will be waiting to see what he has to say on the matter, and I think at this point a large portion of BlogRush traffic is dependant on his opinion.

As it is BlogRush has been so overwhelmed with traffic that they are having troubles keeping up. Originally the stats from using BlogRush were supposed to be up within 24-48 hours, but yesterday a notice was published on the BlogRush site, by John Reese, that said (in part):

The first 60 hours since we launched the BlogRush public beta has been nothing short of EXPLOSIVE. We knew that we were developing an exciting tool that many bloggers could benefit from, but we had no idea how fast the 'word' would spread across the Web.

With this explosive growth has come some challenges, and our entire team is working very hard to solve any potential bug and issue that we've been alerted to. We're improving things at a very rapid pace and we hope to have the entire network completely stabilized very soon.

I would like to ask that you are patient with us during this time and know that we are doing our best to help YOU drive more traffic to your blog and we will soon have things running smoothly.

You can view the rest of this notice if you login to your BlogRush account. If you don't have a BlogRush account you can get one here.

So if the experts end up saying this might not be such a good thing then I will most likely drop BlogRush from my IM sites, depending on their reasons. I do think I'll probably leave it on this site and any other blogs I have that don't produce sales for me, as my initial instinct is that it's a good tool for generating traffic and let's face it, this blog ain't exactly swimming in readers hehe. Time will tell, and you can bet when it does I'll be posting my thoughts about it - and with BlogRush's help I may even get some people to read it :o)

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