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Find New Readers for Your Blog – BlogRush First Impression Review

Posted By Darren Rowse 16th of September 2007 Blog Promotion 0 Comments

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. Your ref link isn’t working.

  2. This sounds like a great new system. I will have to check it out.

  3. I’m not a fan of blog widgets but John Reese and his team has certainly build up a great deal of hype for BlogRush.

    An good example of how internet marketers launch free products, compared to the traditional tech startups. :)

    I reckon BlogRush is a worth a try for a week or two just to see the results. The good thing about free widgets is that you can always dump it if it under performs.

  4. Agreed Maki – I think the first few weeks will tell a lot about a system like this.

  5. I just wrote a review about this too on my blog, Slyvisions.com. It’s really cool how something like this can spread in minutes.

  6. I’m not a big fan of blog widgets and I hold a special chamber of hate in my heart for MyBlogLog, but this isn’t too tacky.

    A customizable design would make it better, but it’s vaguely acceptable as-is.

    I’m thinking of trying this out as well, see how it performs. Are you going to be doing a follow-up in a few weeks to let us know how it’s been performing for you?

  7. Andrew – yes I’ll do a followup in a couple of weeks.

  8. What about compatibility with Adsense terms? Some traffic exchanges violate Google Adsense terms. Is this one of those?

  9. Sounds alot like The Good Blogs Network, only better. BlogRush seems to strive more for relevancy. I will probably switch from The Good Blogs to BlogRush.

    Thomas Flight
    Anything Computers at GeekMore

  10. I wasn’t happy with the widget system at all when I first saw BlogRush. My review was similar.

  11. Question: In your opinion is this a DO NOW or WATCH and WAIT?

  12. I just added BlogRush to my blog to see how it works out.. Sorry though, Shoemoney had it up first so he got my referral :)

  13. Hey Problogger guy, your RSS feed link is broken:

    XML Parsing Error: xml declaration not at start of external entity
    Location: http://feeds.feedburner.com/ProbloggerHelpingBloggersEarnMoney
    Line Number 2, Column 1:

  14. Wow!
    I shall have to look into that.

    It looks like it has a lot of potential, but needs a little refinement.

    Thanks Darren!

  15. Apart from the sorry-looking widget, perhaps what we “small bloggers” need to know is that it might bring us traffic but if our content doesn’t appeal to our new visitors, they aren’t going to come back for more.

    While I do agree that blog directories or what-nots (such as BlogRush) are able to generate tonnes of traffic to one’s site, I still believe that content is king :) Old-fashioned, I know..

  16. wow … this is everywhere!

  17. Laura – I don’t know for sure but I don’t think this would be incompatible with AdSense as it’s not actually a traffic exchange and there’s no incentive for people to click the links etc.

    Lindsay – I’d say it is a Do Now simply because if you can refer some people with the widget yourself it’ll pay off quite well – however there will quickly be a saturation point on it.

    Hannibal – yep, we’re in touch with Feedburner on this – not sure why it’s broken

    pelf – I think another key to making this work for you is to come up with great titles for your blog posts as apart from the position of the widget on people’s blogs the title itself will be the main thing that makes people click through.

  18. trying this out myself, first heard about it on johnchow, then yaro’s blog.. .then more and more…

    Hey Darren your RSS feed is broken for me

  19. Hi Everyone, John Reese here the creator of BlogRush.

    What everyone is seeing is only the very beginning. We have A LOT planned with the sole focus to bring our users more targeted traffic. Period. So this is only just the beginning.

    Laura – it shouldn’t violate the AdSense TOS because as Darren pointed out, it’s not a traffic exchange as in loading windows, etc. which inflates (i.e. makes inaccurate) the AdSense analytics. And we aren’t click-based so there’s no incentive to click.

    We’re hard at work already improving this initial release. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!


  20. Wait wait…There is something I don’t understand…Why are there links in the widget to sites that doesn’t even have the widget on their site?

    So if someone display this widget on their site, does that mean anybody links relevant to that site niche can appear on there? even if that other person didn’t signed up to BlogRUSH and used the widget them self?

    I hope you understand what I mean =)

    How would you get your link to appear more on many of these widget? By getting lot of traffic (you said every 100 visitors, you get one credit).

    I already signed up to them, but I’ am just a little confused how the system work.

  21. Looks interesting. I don’t like widgets too much though, so I’ll wait and see.

    BTW Darren, your feed doesn’t seem to be working.

  22. This seems a like a great service. I sure hope they can add methods to add multiple categories and keywords.

    Check out my post on the subject.


  23. I am too not fan of a widget – I had the mybloglog on then took it off – I just added this blogrush – and luckily it matched my site pretty well – I am still Neh for widgets – but lets see where this goes – good job to mr reese

  24. Neat idea. I’m setting it up right now on http://www.findingroy.com. We’ll see how it does. I’ve got a new blog and I’m trying to build traffic for it, so this could be an interesting test.

  25. Thanks Darren. You answered my question. My biggest concern was if you could block out Url.

  26. @Maki. I think it is too early to call this a hype. We can come to any conclusion only after trying it out for a week or two. I would wait for Darren’s follow up post to find this out.

  27. Darren, I’m just wondering, what category is the current widget on?

  28. I suppose I will give it a try to see how it pans out.

    Thanks for the tip Darren.

  29. I’ve tried several of these different kinds of services. None of them bring me as much traffic as promoting the blog directly myself.

    Also, just as is the case for Blogrush, you can’t style the panel enough. The colours are dreadful and don’t match my design. Plus it is too wide for the column I want to place it in.

    So even if Blogrush is better than all the rest, I can’t use it.

    Furthermore, I can’t even ask for the changes I want as there are no contact details or support system for the service.

  30. A lot of bloggers publishing articles about BlogRush today, saying they aren’t sure it will work, but using their referral links anyway. That’s the brilliance of referral programs: people will be inclined to write encouraging articles so that others will sign up using their referral links. You won’t find any strong criticisms today. I’m no A-list blogger, so I won’t bother expressing my skepticism. But my eyes are rolling at the blogosphere today.

  31. So far I have found 3 super bloggers commenting on BlogRush. I have planted this on my site(http://adawn.squarespace.com) today. Hopefully it will bring some traffic. Thanks.

  32. Indeed great idea.. they only should get some more widget styles. This one is BIG..

  33. First impressions being the mother of all evil I’m not impressed, yet. I just got finished writing a blog post about how unimpressed I am with this thing.

  34. You re right.. but i like the referral structure.. as long other people like it..

  35. I found there is enough potential to try the widget out on my home page. As others commented before, the site is lacking in support or documentation – it seems very ‘alpha.’

    A problem I encountered: during the setup, it gives you the widget code, then prompts you to alert their service once the code is live on your site. It never gave me confirmation, it just kept going back to that same page. Did anybody else have this challenge?

  36. yeah I was interested in this widget. I actually installed it to try it out… by the way just to clarify darren.. you are interested to be filmed if you do win?? You live in Australia, right? haha. Sounds like a good place to visit.. haha..

  37. Blogrush looks extremely similar in look, feel and function to TheGoodBlogs (thegoodblogs.com) – a service that has been around for a couple of years.

  38. So, I have to ask… is this going to tick off Google’s Adsense team?

    There’s a post here:


    where the author seem to think so. The commenters on that blog post don’t think Google will be upset by this, but I have to say I’m wary of trying anything that’s going to cut my Google revenue off at the knees, never to return.

  39. Wow, it sounds too good to be true. I’ll have to try it out for myself I guess.

  40. I’ve given it a go on one of my blogs, to see how it goes. The system fell over during sign-up, but fortunately a page refresh continued the process. Will be interesting to see what it does. For tracking, it’s going to be difficult to tell if people have visited via the widget, as presumably the referring site will be shown.

  41. Actually take that tracking comment back – it seems to go via the BlogRush web site.

  42. Thanks for this. I just signed up. Here’s hoping it works! :)

  43. should be interesting to see what type of response this gets in the coming weeks I am goign to keep an eye on it

  44. I am giving the widget a test run on a couple of website now; posted about it at EllipsisAeon.com despite not having the customization.
    I’m also keeping a very close eye on the change it makes in the load time. So far, it’s been minimal. Relevancy seems to be ok as well.
    Darren (anyone) have you noticed any issues with the load time and relevancy?

  45. Seems like a copy of TheGoodBlogs — http://www.thegoodblogs.com — although TheGoodBlogs doesn’t have quite the same pyramid scheme structure.

    But the concept is the same. I’ve used it for awhile and generally don’t get a lot of traffic, although I find the links helpful for myself to discover new content.

  46. I hope this is just the beginning of the blogrush. If not It seems that it might be forgotten sooner than expected.

  47. Ok. So it sounded good in theory… and I blogged about it on my site, but some of my readers later pointed out to me that none of the links were going to pages that actually contained the BlogRush widget.

    After this, I started checking the links and found that the quality was severly lacking. I ended up removing the widget because frankly it would have made my site look pretty low class.

    With regards to what could be causing the links to go to sites that don’t have the widget installed…

    If you refer someone to sign up, you get credit for all of the pageviews they generate on their site, and this goes 10 deep right? Ok. Let’s say that you referred me. Today I’ve had 23,286 page views so far. That means even if you don’t have the widget installed you are going to get 23,286 appearances!

    This means that like Darren here you could recommend that others install the widget, have them sign up and generate a ton of views for you, but never actually install the widget on your own site. To me this just doesn’t seem right. I believe in practing what you preach.

    By the way, I’m not insinuating that Darren did anything wrong by sharing the information. It did sound very good at first. But now that we’ve had a little experience with the service it would be another matter to continue to refer people without full disclosure.

    For this reason, I recommend that others pass on this “opportunity”.

    John P.

  48. Hi Darren,

    I’m not a specialist in AdSense T&C, but knows enough to be careful. Can this widget be assimilated to a concurent advertisment program, and then breaking the T&C ?

    Thanks for your answer.

  49. My blog is bilingual ( most Indonesia, English). Can I sign up ?

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