My Biggest Traffic Boost

Kevin over at BloggingTips.com has asked the audience the following question, what gave you your biggest traffic burst? To start things off, I’d like to say that this blog has had a number of pages submitted to StumbleUpon as well as Digg.com. I know of one instance where a link to this blog was featured on Techememe as I had posted a conflicting post to something that was published on Techcrunch. While each one of these circumstances provided a big boost in traffic, nothing compares to the traffic I received inadvertently via reformatting my blog.

February Stats

The graphic up above is from February of 2008. The numbers within the first column are the days of the month. After importing the content of my blog back into a fresh install of WordPress, this gave each post a new ID number. It also gave RSS feed readers a fit as the new post ID numbers made it seem like I had just published 400 new posts. I don’t know if the resurgence in traffic was due to everyone visiting the site from their feed reader or not. I do know that I witnessed a large amount of traffic from stumbleupon for articles that had already been stumbled some time ago. It was as if someone had resubmitted them. Out of everything that has happened to the blog within almost a year of it’s existence, this reimporting of content is what has generated the most traffic for the blog.

I really don’t recommend this method of getting traffic. I really didn’t think this was going to happen and I ended up posting an apology to all of those who had subscribed to my feed. In fact, if you were to reformat and then re import your content, generating new post id numbers to get traffic numerous times a year, you are definitely gaming the system and in my opinion, doing a dis service to yourself and your RSS subscribers.

BlogRush Upsets 10,000 Bloggers

BlogRush.com Logo

I received an email this morning from BlogRush letting me know that my blog had passed their strict guidelines. However, 10,000 blogs apparently didn’t get approved and among those that weren’t approved were valid blogs that were following the guidelines without any problems. Some of those blog authors that owned a valid blog that was removed from the BlogRush service have published rants against the service and John Reese himself.

After reading quite a few of these rants on various blogs and reading the responses of John Reese, it would appear as though that most of what was complained about is not true. First of all, if your blog fails to pass the strict guidelines by BlogRush, your account is moved into an InActive state which is considerably different than being banned.

Secondly, it has to said that the blogs were reviewed by humans. There are going to be mistakes made and each human being may interpret something differently than the next. This is apparent because John Reese himself has commented on various blogs that were deemed InActive when in reality, that particular blog was following the guidelines.

It is really easy to jump on a THIS COMPANY SUCKS bandwagon but come on, put a little sense into your post and stop jumping to conclusions before the real story unveils itself. I believe the best example of how this situation was handled correctly was by LocalSEOGuide. Although the post content is questionable, the way Andrew handled it in his comments section with John Reese is a good example of how to solve the situation. Believe it or not, Andrew mistyped his BlogURL which came up as “locaseoguide.com” which when reviewed, the site wouldn’t load causing the reviewer to mark his site as inactive.

Just remember something people, nothing is usually as it seems.

As for myself, my blog passed the guidelines but I have since removed the widget from this site. I am now a fond supporter of CLIQ which I reviewed here ( Share Blog Traffic Via CLIQ ) and I go into detail as to why it may one day kill BlogRush here ( Why CLIQ May Kill BlogRush ) Calm down bloggers, being InActive on BlogRush is not the end of the world.

Why CLIQ May Kill BlogRush

When BlogRush was released to the masses, it became the next best thing for bloggers since Akismet. BlogRush claimed it would provide it’s users with a RUSH of traffic from relevant blogs through the use of a widget. This widget would display your blog posts via credits earned by displaying posts from other blogs through the widget on your own site. The truth is, neither I or many others witnessed the RUSH in traffic that was almost guaranteed to those who used the service. If you’d like to see my results that came along with BlogRush, please read an earlier post I made called Is The BlogRush Over With?

After reviewing CLIQ and what that service had to offer, it dawned on me that this service could potentially wipe BlogRush off the map. Here are the reasons why.

Full Control:

With BlogRush, you have no control over which posts are displayed on the widget. You can only control what DOESN’T show up. You also have no control over who displays your blog posts.

With CLIQ, you have full control over what will be displayed in the widget. You also have the ability to make your group private so that members can only join if you accept their request, or if you manually invite them.

Relevancy:

BlogRush does provide a FILTER list that allows you to create WORD or PHRASE based filters so that you can sort of control which posts are displayed or not but when you think of all the posts your going up against within a widget that only has 5 spaces, the filters become less of a factor. BlogRush maintains a category based organizational system. Without knowing how many blogs are actually within this category, it’s hard to judge how much competition you’re actually up against. BlogRush also uses an algorithm to detect relevancy between the blog, category and blog post title.

Because CLIQ provides you with an option to make your CLIQ invite only, you can essentially control how relevant the content will be within the widget. That is, if you only invite members that post similar or close to similar content, your going to have a relevant widget that contains blog postings that your visitors and the visitors of your member blogs will have a higher probability of clicking.

Creating Your Own Niche Network:

Users have no way of creating networks within BlogRush. Your essentially at the mercy of the BlogRush algorithm to determine when your blog post fits the right criteria to be displayed next to 4 other entries.

By creating your own CLIQ, you have the ability to invite high traffic blogs into your group. Each blog that joins your CLIQ is a referral. CLIQ administrators can set unofficial TRAFFIC requirements for CLIQ memberships meaning, you can determine what amount of traffic a blog has to gain and refer in order to maintain membership. This produces competition amongst the members to drive up their own traffic which in turn, benefits the group as a whole.

Conclusion:

If you haven’t picked up on the theme yet, as a user of BlogRush, your essentially at their mercy versus CLIQ which gives you total control. Why rely on BlogRush to provide you with a lackluster rush of relevant traffic based on algorithms when you can do it yourself and reap the benefits? Sure, the CLIQ method revolves a little more in the way of work, but hey, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Bloggers won’t be benefiting from BlogRush anytime soon unless your JohnChow. So do yourself a favor, ditch it and go for something you can control and manage yourself.

CLIQ is what BlogRush should of been and I’ll leave it at that.

Do you agree or disagree? Let me know by leaving a comment and contribute to this conversation.

Share Blog Traffic Via CLIQ

CLIQin.com Logo

Background Info:

Just the other day, I noticed this service come across my FeedReader. It’s called CLIQ but the domain is actually CLIQin.com CLIQ is a service that allows bloggers to work together in order to share their collective readership as well as audience engagement. Members who are part of the same CLIQ share links to featured, popular and related posts on their own site through the CLIQ Widget. Users can manage which posts are featured on the widget as well as see reports about which blogs and posts are getting the most views and driving the most referrals around the CLIQ. By the end of this review, your going to be sick and tired of seeing the word CLIQ.

First Things First:

When you register an account with CLIQ, you’ll be presented with two options. Starting your own CLIQ or joining a pre-existing CLIQ. For the purpose of this review, I have created my own called Jeffro2pt0 A CLIQ Covering SEO, Blogging and Web 2.0. When creating your own, you’ll be presented with a number of options. These include the name of your CLIQ, Description, username, email, password, BLOG URL, and CLIQ Enrollment where you can choose whether to make your CLIQ private (invite only) or public. I have chosen to make my CLIQ private because I want to have complete control over who joins my group. Since I’ll have complete control over who joins my CLIQ, I can ensure that only relevant blog postings and URLs are displayed within my widget.

Your CLIQ Widget:

After you register your CLIQ, your given the chance to invite others via email. Unlike Quechup, your friends won’t be bombarded with invite spam since this is a manual process. Once your done with the invites, you can then give your CLIQ a public avatar image. This image will represent your CLIQ and will be seen within the CLIQ directory.

ShinySilver Bold Black GoofyGreen

At the time of this writing, CLIQ only supports three different color schemes for their widget. Those are: Shiny Silver, Bold Black, and Goofy Green. I would imagine that there will be additional color schemes available sometime in the future but I wonder, why don’t services that offer a widget give users the chance to colorize the widget themselves via CSS or HEX codes? It can’t be that hard to implement. The minimum width of the widget is 160px but will scale to fit the width of your blogs sidebar.

Once you choose your theme and move on to the next step, CLIQin will automatically try to recognize the blogging software attached to your domain and provide you with the appropriate code to copy and paste into your blogs sidebar. Here is some detailed information from the CLIQ support forums in regards to which blogging platforms are currently supported.

In order to fully support a blog platform, two things have to “work” :

1. CLIQ has to be able to ‘read in’ information about the posts (Title, Tags, etc.)

2. The CLIQ widget (which is JavaScript) has to display on the page correctly.

Currently, we fully support blogs with standard templates on TypePad, WordPress and Blogger.

Blog templates with customized fields and names for data elements require some manual set-up from our team, which we can do on a case-by-case basis.

Due to their JavaScript limitations, the CLIQ Widget does not currently work on Hosted WordPress blogs. If you’d like to see JavaScript on Hosted WordPress, contact your Senator…

We are looking into ‘slimmed down’ versions of the CLIQ Widget that would offer (likely limited) functionality on the platforms we don’t yet support…so stayed tuned!

Configuring The Widget:

There are a few options in which you can use to configure what is displayed within the widget on other blogs. You can choose to feature your most RECENT post which is updated daily. You can choose to feature your LONG TAIL which shows one of the five posts with the least total views, this also rotates daily. Or you can choose the manual option and select an article from the list of articles that are presented to you. This is a good feature if you want to pump some Google Juice into a specific page.

Configure The Widget

There are a few things that I don’t like about this widget. The first is that, it doesn’t look good if you have a skinny sidebar for widgets. The text appears cramped and at times, the content within the widget looks like a mess. The second, there is no link displayed that allows visitors to JOIN the CLIQ or at least REQUEST TO JOIN if private.

CLIQ Reports:

Since I created an account yesterday, the reports section of CLIQ is pretty bare. The reports section displays a dynamically generated graph that highlights views that were contributed through CLIQ. You can choose to view stats from your own blog, member blogs or, all blogs. The stats timetable is broken up into three sections: The Last 1 Day, Last 7 Days and Last 30 Days. Alternatively, you can select ALL VIEWS or how many times your CLIQ Page was viewed within the CLIQ Directory.

One Of The CLIQ Report Views

Conclusion:

Overall, this service reminds me of old fashioned web rings from way back when. Web rings were essentially a group of websites that were all related towards a specific topic. Maybe I’ll coin a new term here and say that CLIQ is WebRings 2.0. Unlike MyBlogLog, BlogRush, or any other community based widget I have come across, this one gives site owners full control over who is part of the group which means, you can really create a targeted CLIQ and share each other’s traffic. Because most if not all of the posts within your CLIQ will be related, there is a higher probability of someone clicking on your blog post, thereby gaining you a new visitor.

I would compare this service to BlogRush but that is for another post. If your a blogger currently using BlogRush, I strongly advise you to check this service out and create your own CLIQ. Work on inviting high traffic blogs that are related to your content and build a small niche network where everyone within your CLIQ benefits. As it stands, I currently have my own CLIQ. If your blog covers the topics of SEO, Web 2.0, Blogging or WordPress related material, your welcome to request an invite to join the group.

As always, I look forward to hearing your feedback whether it be about this review, grammatical corrections or questions.

The Truth Behind The Digg Effect

The Digg EffectChris Brogan, a social media maven, has published an article on his blog that goes into detail about his experience with the so called “Digg Effect“. Chris provides a visualization which shows the surge in traffic he received when he reached the Digg front page. What happened as a result? According to Chris, NOTHING. His RSS subscriber base didn’t increase, nor did the initial traffic to his site which is the basis for this post. Bloggers and site owners alike believe that getting on the front page of Digg is like striking gold, unfortunately this is not the case.

I’m not saying that being on the front page of Digg is a bad thing, but there is something you have to realize. The type of traffic that Digg sends is the “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” type of traffic. And while were talking about this sort of traffic, the same thing can be said for Stumbleupon, Sphinn, and Propeller. I’ve read so many blog entries that covered their own surge of traffic and the similarities between all of them are the same. No one sticks around, no one subscribes to the RSS feed, and the site that was once popular ends up returning to the shadows of the web.

A blogger or site owner should be looking to grow their reader base and that won’t happen by getting on the front page of Digg or any other major social bookmarking site. There is the argument where if you appear on these sites multiple times, there is a more likely chance of gaining quality traffic. I wouldn’t consider the digg effect to be called quality traffic, but I do think that by receiving this fly by night traffic, your building brand awareness. Your brand being your site and it’s a golden rule that REPITITIVENESS works.

The gist of what I am trying to say is to not rely on Digg, Stumbleupon or any other website to provide you with traffic. Instead, write good quality content. Good quality content does the job of so many other facets of blogging. Good quality content creates links, conversations, interactivity, spawns relationships, builds your brand and does so many other positive things for you, that if I were to write a book on SEO, it would contain one page. That one page would simply say, WRITE QUALITY CONTENT.

Tell me what you think in regards to this issue. I’d be very interested in your opinion.

BTW. Hello to all of you STUMBLING across this post. Are you here to prove me wrong?

Is The BlogRush Over With?

My BlogRush Stats

When I initially became aware of BlogRush and it’s associated claims of rushing traffic to blogs, I became extremely interested. As a blogger myself, I’m always looking into new ways to generate traffic. As we now know, BlogRush has itself experienced a rush, a rush that I believe is bigger than any smalltime blogger currently using their widget, has experienced. Their system is simple and at face value looks like it would work for everyone, but after reviewing my stats, it looks like it won’t work for me.

My BlogRush Impressions

Out of 2,401 impressions or appearances on various sites, only 4 people have clicked a headline attributed to my site. If you ask me, that’s not exactly a rush of traffic. Now I know it could be possible that the headlines to my articles suck, but is that really the case? My blog is currently competing within the Computers and Internet category and I myself have clicked on a few of the links within the widget on and have found some really cool sites. However, till this day, I have yet to see any of my posts appearing on anyone else’s widget. I even spent half an hour, clicking on various posts from one widget to the next, and I never saw one post from my site.

It’s also worth mentioning that I have checked both my Entry pages, and my Exit pages for the widget url. As we’ve seen earlier, at least 4 people have used the article headline on the widget as an entrance page to my site. However, there are 25 hits for the widget url being used as an exit page. Although I don’t know how many of those exits are attributed to myself, I really feel as if I’m doing everyone else a favor, by having this widget published on my site versus helping myself out.

The only people that seem to be benefiting from this service are the big blogs who most likely have quite a few referrals. BlogRush has stated in their latest email that:

We’ll soon be adding a bonus credit system that gives certain bonuses only to our low traffic members since they need the help the most!

That may be enough to help us small timers out, but only time will tell. So far, I’m experiencing lack luster results with BlogRush and apparently, these people are too although I’m not sure why Darren is using Blogrush as his blog gets enough traffic as it is.

ProBlogger.Net

Nusuni

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BlogRush What Is This New BuzzWord

BlogRush.com LogoTheres a new buzzword in town that is sweeping across the blogosphere like wildfire, but what is it? That word is, BlogRush. A new way of generating traffic to your site or blog.

As I was monitoring my RSS feeds on a very early Saturday morning, I read a post that discussed BlogRush and what it was suppose to do. I saved it in my news bin as I was interested and wanted to give it a try. Here we are, two days later and this BlogRush widget is appearing on just about every site that can be considered a blog.

Background Info:

BlogRush in it’s simplest form is a content syndication network. If you add the widget to your blog, your own site will appear on other blogs with the widget installed. I know it may sound like one of those other blog advertising deals but this service dives into the equation a bit deeper.

BlogRush.com Widget

BlogRush works like this. Users signup and install the widget and display it somewhere on their site. If your site receives 100pageviews a day, your blog links will appear 100 times on other BlogRush widgets across the network. That’s great and all, but here comes the juicy part. If a user who is browsing your site clicks on the tab underneath the widget that reads ADD YOUR BLOG POSTS FOR FREE and they signup for an account, that user is added to your own BlogRush account as a referal. Now, when that user installs the widget to their site, your blog content will appear on that users widget 100 times in addition to the 100 times your site would appear across the network. As you add more referrals to your account and gain more traffic to your site, your traffic grows exponentially.

What I’ve Noticed:

Throughout the day on Saturday, I noticed that the same links would appear on my BlogRush widget, no matter how many times I refreshed the page. I think this was due to the lack of websites that were added to the same category as mine. However, the links have changed each time I have loaded my front page today, so that problem appears to be fixed. I also want to let you know that I myself, have clicked on a few of the links that appear on the widget that is published on this blog because they have been relevant and interesting. So in a sense, I have demonstrated to myself how this syndication network works.

Since displaying the widget, I can attest to seeing at least 5 people who were visiting this site who were referred by a BlogRush widget. The reason for this varies. Either the headlines to my articles suck or, it was early in the adoption phase. Considering this widget is gaining in popularity extremely fast, I expect to see the referral links increasing as time goes by.

Improvements Needed:

I’d like the ability to edit the width of the widget. The one on this site is just a pixel or 2 too big and it’s crunching the left sidebar. Right now, there is no way to edit the size of the widget. There are also no reports or stats as of yet. Apparently, that part of the service is still under construction. At first, I wanted to suggest a way for us to customize which sites appear on the widgets based on tags, but I have to admit, the BlogRush algorithm seems to be doing a pretty good job displaying related content.

At times, there are blog headlines that appear in my widget which seem screwed up. The headlines appear as all question marks as if I don’t have the language pack the headline was written in. It could also be the case that the blog entry was spam. Speaking of blog spam, it will be interesting to see if BlogRush actually syndicates blogspam which in my opinion would send this service back to where it came from.

Conclusion:

This service has come out of no where and is really taking the blogging world by storm. John Reese hit the nail on the head with this service although, I’m not sure what the revenue model is just yet. If you own a blog or a website and you need traffic, definitely give this service a try. It’s free, it’s easy to install, and so far, it seems to be working. If you would like to take part in this blogging phenomenon, be sure to visit BlogRush.com and sign up for your own free account.

If you are currently using BlogRush, I’d be very interested in hearing your experience with it thus far.