Alister Cameron // Blogologist

Changing the world. One blog(ger) at a time.

BlogRush: the Amway of the Blogosphere

John Reese is the consummate scientific marketer. He’s brilliant.

He, of all people, understands the power of good numbers. In his time he’s made millions off very smart online marketing and self-promotion. He has seen first hand that creative and effective marketing to a huge list of qualified leads can yield massive returns.

Now, with BlogRush, John has turned his understanding of numbers into the Amway of the Blogosphere.

Follow me as I explain how BlogRush is structured like an MLM, and how only very few will see the big traffic numbers…

Referrals Are Everything

BlogRush talks about referrals like Amway talks about downlines.

In BlogRush’s case, your total “credits” are calculated based on widget clicks going down 10 levels into your referral network. So immediately something is pretty obvious: whoever signs up the most bloggers wins.

Says John:

When someone joins BlogRush, our system knows exactly WHERE they came from. The originating blog gets permanently marked in our system as the “referrer” for that new blog. And as you may have already guessed, the original blog now earns additional “syndication credit” on all the traffic that the referring blog produces — every single day. But it doesn’t stop there. If that new blog refers another user, that original blog then earns credits based on THAT new user as well. It continues through 10 “generations” of referrals with no limit to the number of blogs and/or traffic that can be produced by any level.

Now, if all those referrals (and referrals of referrals, etc) you’d seen sign up to BlogRush all had lame-duck websites with no organic traffic, you’d be unlikely to see any great volume of credits accrue to your account.

So it’s both about how many blogs you have in your 10-levels-deep referral network, as well as how popular those blogs are in their own right. In other words, the dream scenario for a BlogRush aspirant is to sign up as many A-list high-traffic blogs, as high up in their referral network as possible…

This ‘process’ provides incredible LEVERAGE. You can have a blog that gets just 1 visitor a week, but if that next visitor happens to be someone with a blog that gets 25,000 visits a day, and they click your widget and sign up, you’ll start having your blog posts promoted over 25,000 TIMES A DAY. And that doesn’t even count all the potential “viral growth” that can then occur from that blog referring other blogs. It’s very, very powerful.

Get In Quick! It’s a Land Grab!

In this sense, BlogRush is a land-grab. If Robert Scoble, say, can be convinced to put the BlogRush widget on his blog, he will only be one person’s 1st-level referral. For all the click-traffic Scoble’s widget will receive, only nine “upline” referrers will receive distributed credits.

Now, how many high-traffic blogs are out there? And how many of those bloggers do you know well enough that they will sign up to BlogRush using your referral link? And how many A-list bloggers do you know who would even put the BlogRush widget on their blog at all?

(I’m only testing it, and it doesn’t have long to live on my blog, that I can tell you for sure!)

So here’s the rub: if you want to make it big with BlogRush, stop everything you’re doing and RIGHT NOW go and email every blogging man, woman, child and dog, in the desperate hope that they’ve not yet signed up via someone else’s referral link. Because once they’ve signed up, game over for you.

This “land grab” explains why the person who emailed me with an “invitation” is someone I don’t know, who maintains a fairly obscure SEO blog, somewhere in the nether regions of the blogosphere. I am guessing she understood what I’m explaining here and went nuts compiling a massive invite list. Because this is what you have to do to make it on BlogRush!

And The Winner Is… BlogRush (Not You!)

John Reese is smart enough to have seen this “land grab”, this “mad flurry” of invites, this “blog-rush”, from the very start. He designed it to be this way!

I have seen John use the “scarcity” strategy in his marketing superbly, over and over again. And BlogRush is all about the “scarcity pitch”… the old “you’d better hurry before we run out” line.

Here’s a concluding remark John left on his Income.com blog a few days back, in introducing BlogRush:

If you have a blog, you’ll definitely want to join the public beta as soon as it goes live. There’s a definite advantage to being an “early adopter” of this service as far as referrals are concerned.

Never afraid of going completely over the top on superlatives and hyperbole, John wrote this in an email on “launch night”:

On a serious note, I really think we’re about to make Internet history tonight, and if you happen to still be awake whereever in the world you are, please come to the blog and enjoy this historic night WITH US.

Yeah, right up there with the Berlin Wall and New Year’s Eve 2000! But before we all get too snide and critical, remember that the people on John’s newsletter list love this stuff and lap it all up like salivating kittens.

Still unsure whether he had done enough to “bait” his email readers into clicking through, he added two more cheap sales “hooks” to that same email:

Check out my latest post (I’ve been updating the blog non-stop) that has a photo of me in total ZOMBIE-mode. 😉

You’ll also see a mystery guest in the background… an incredible marketer, actually.

There we have the funny photo hook and the Pandora’s Box hook, thrown in for good measure. Man, he’s a copywriting MACHINE!!

Everyone is on BlogRush… Already!

BlogRush, no more than a few days old, ranked 342 in Alexa yesterday. Now, not withstanding the fact that most of John’s “tribe” have the Alexa toolbar installed, that’s phenomenal uptake in anyone’s language. John is truly a brilliant marketer.

And of course, I’m exaggerating… not everyone is on BlogRush already. But what I see happening here is that all the valuable high-traffic bloggers are in one of two camps: they’re either already registered via invitations that went out immediately after the BlogRush launch, or they’ve not registered yet because they don’t need the widget (i.e. the traffic) and/or don’t have that kind of “real estate” to give it on their blogs.

That leaves everyone else: the 99.9% of bloggers receiving a few dozen visits a day. And you’re never going to get a “rush” on your blog from all them.

What You Need to Do Right Now… the Amway Thing

If you would like to earn yourself enough credits from BlogRush to warrant decent levels of exposure for your blog, there is one thing and one thing only you need to do: invite every blogging man, woman, child and dog to sign up (making sure to include your referral link in there properly). Because unless you’re an A-list blogger yourself, don’t be so naive to think you’ll get the sign-ups from just sticking the widget on your blog and hoping people will click the link at the bottom of it.

That won’t happen. Every blogger of any worth will have already been invited by someone else, see!

If BlogRush Really Is Like Amway…

If BlogRush really does prove to be like Amway in the long run then we will see a relatively few blogs do really well out of it, traffic-wise. The referral network (that massive tree-like hierarchy that credits travel up) will grow rapidly at the start, as everyone signs up and sticks the widget on their blogs. Then soon enough people will for one of a number of reasons start removing the widget.

Maybe it looks ugly, maybe the traffic isn’t coming. Whatever. But as the widgets drop off people’s blogs, the hierarchy will compress (dead “nodes” will drop out of the referral networks, I assume). In time the usage of the widget will “steady out” and we’ll see that, like Amway, that vast majority of people don’t get much out of it at all, while a select few who got in early are doing really really well.

It’s possible that if BlogRush can stabilize in this way, then there may be some monetary value to blogs with very very strong and steady BlogRush referral networks under them. Think about it… it’s one thing to buy a domain name that has a PR5 and a bunch of good on-topic back-links. It’s another thing entirely to buy all that along with a BlogRush account and a widget dumping hundreds, maybe thousands of visitors per day to your site!

But that’s all speculation.

Anyway… you’re not supposed to be here. You have no time to waste… go send off some more invites!

john reese, income.com, blogrush, internet marketing, widgets, widget, blogging, website traffic, traffic generation, amway, mlm, multi-level marketing, alister cameron, marketing, blog promotion

16 Comments

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  1. Posted 10 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    On OneMansBlog you can see an initially positive response to BlogRush followed up by an update explaining why he removed it a day later.

    I have been clicking on BlugRush widgets on a variety of sites only to find that the sites were either (1) spammy/scammy and not things I’d choose to link to or (2) in many many cases the target site had no BlogRush widget – so they have clearly gamed the system in some way to get traffic

    I expect that, once the public reaslizes all of this, BlogRush will disappear as fast as it appeared. But maybe I’m wrong. Time will tell.

  2. Posted 10 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    Good to read a clear critique of this latest “thing”. I hate stuff like this. People do everything to generate traffic, including grabbing the latest widget to clutter up their sidebars and forget that all you have to do is create great content. Well, that’s not ALL, but it’s the main thing anyway. 😉

  3. Posted 10 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    Or just wait until the A-Listers and everyone else has worked out the kinks for the rest of us.

    It does seem like a popularity contest which most of us couldn’t even begin to compete with. Darren (from Pro Blogger) has already mentioned the extremely low referral rate. I can imagine the referral rate growing even worse as the service grows in popularity, competition, and monetization.

    The worst thing this service could be associated with is as advertisements.

  4. Posted 10 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    Once again it is amazing the marketing power a few of those at the top of the food chain have. Certainly there have been other widgets released on the past six months which provide the same functionality as BlogRush, but without the “name” behind them had nowhere near the uptake.

    I believe the CTR will be dismal especially since there is no incentive for bloggers to put the widget in a prominent location on their site. Unless there is a phase 2 which ups the ante BlogRush will be little more than a distant memory in six months. Agloco anyone?

  5. Posted 10 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    There is only one thing that matters. And that is does it send me quality traffic. It will live and die by that simple fact.

    My view is it’s a gimmick with a life span of weeks for people in the know. Schlubs will carry on using it allowing those of us who have discovered exploits to take advantage of them.

    Good write up Alistair.

  6. Posted 10 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    The BlogRush is really new AmWay in the Internet, but WHY all of this could happened?

  7. Posted 10 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    Ah Alister, your maths are inaccurate, and so is your model mate 😉

    John’s launch was extremely wide on the first tier, especially with some of the blogging heavyweights.

    That means that there is a massive amount of excess inventory above the matrix, and possibly an inverted pyramid or diamond

    What is currently happening is that that excess inventory is being distributed throughout the network, though I am not sure what formula is being used.

    I have gained approximately 3 times as much traffic as is being reported within Blogrush for my own credits earned.

    I have earned approximately 5,385 credits from my own impressions, and that those have earned me 26 clicks

    0.5% CTR

    Ah, but I have actually received 83 clicks from my stats showing in MBL and Google Analytics.

    Also note that I have another low traffic site on the same Blogrush account, which accounts for some of the views and possibly clicks shown.

    This extra credits / traffic isn’t from referrals, as currently referral credits are not being used. Referral credits you get to allocate to whichever site you like – traffic arbitrage is going to be very useful – there isn’t an interface yet to use those credits.

    The bonus credits won’t be noticeable by the large bloggers, but for a small blog to get lots of free credits every day, that is a pretty good bonus.

    I didn’t just put the code on Andybeard.eu, I also put it on wpplugins.info, which currently gets some, but minimal traffic.
    Since Saturday, wpplugins.info has had 60 visits in total. I am sure that relates to many small bloggers.

    4 of those visits were from Blogrush widgets

    Based on CTR on andybeard.eu, wpplugins.info couldn’t possibly have earned enough credits to have got those clicks.
    The site hasn’t even been updated for more than a year.

    The dispersal of the free credits will thin out, but will still be much more than many bloggers could earn for themselves.

    Is 4 visits worth something? I suppose that depends on whether you manage to convert them into something, such as a link, subscriber, income etc

    Wpplugins.info might have received 1000 free credits, or quite possibly a lot more because the title of the post was totally unchanged to improve CTR.

    There are quality problems, and I hope they work on that, but it is wrong to liken this to a pyramid, because at the end of the day, they have to fill up all the advertising slots.

  8. Posted 10 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    Here’s a fun challenge for you all. If we don’t provide you with a better click-through rate than BlogRush, we’ll paypal you $10.

    We’ve 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, and have some fun.

    Details on our blog at http://blog.othersonline.com/2007/09/the-others-onli.html. Let the games begin?

  9. Posted 10 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    “It’s another thing entirely to buy all that along with a BlogRush account and a widget dumping hundreds, maybe thousands of visitors per day to your site!”

    I don’t think that would be the case, considering traffic reports like that posted on Problogger. I mean, if a famous blog whose owner is notoriously skilled in headline writing can’t get much traffic from BlogRush, who else could?

    When I first read about that widget I believed it could indeed generate some decent traffic. Being a John Resse creation would only help, I thought. Nonetheless, some thought-provoking blog posts — and the even better comments they got — have made me change my mind. Now I’m much more skeptical. So I don’t think it is really worth one’s time and effort to try to get anyone and everyone to sign up under her as fast as possible. But I may be totally wrong, of course. Perhaps in the long run BlogRush will prove to be an effective way to get new readers, subscribers etc. Perhaps.

  10. Posted 10 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Alister, you sir just described Blogrush better than anyone i have seen so far. Thank you for putting it into perspective and for seeing a black and white formula.

    On a seperate note, I have heard nothing but complaints from the majority of people that have tried to put Blogrush into effect on their blogs. I havent touched the thing and until bugs get worked out I dont intend to. Oh well, guess I missed out on the lucky few who get in early.

    Great post by the way!

  11. Posted 10 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    I’m sure Andy Beard meant the vaunted “Blue Diamond” that ALL us MLM Quixtar NSA NuSkin Goji Xoni Juicy A-List Bloggers Aspire too!!

    ;PPP

    I just know 1 thing fer sure that John Chow DotCom Mogul + Marketing Pond Valerie are going to be able to Retire Nicely when their Agloco Yachts come Sailing in*

    ;))

  12. Posted 10 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    I’ve signed up for the experiment too. Not for much longer, I suspect. One thing I find fascinating is that it seems two out of three times I try to check in to see how I’m going with Blogrush I get this:
    Your Dashboard is currently unavailable as we are in the process of rolling out all the new changes to BlogRush. Please read our
    recent announcement for all the details.

  13. Posted 10 years ago // Permalink

    Another multi leve marketing scam. Its still going on full throttle.
    People have already lost so much money.
    http://goldquesttragedy.blogspot.com/

  14. Posted 9 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    I am amazed at how the mind of a common hustler works. That's all this is…a plain old street hustle dressed up in wall street suits and ties. Ridiculous if you ask me… there's no way.

  15. ooopinionsss
    Posted 9 years ago // Permalink

    How you think when the economic crisis will end? I wish to make statistics of independent opinions!

  16. Posted 8 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    A very interesting marketing concept, with a good use of networking concepts.
    However the CTR statistics witnessed by others do not appear to make it worth while.
    I’ve also heard 4 of 5 of the links are now paid ads? Don’t know if there is any truth to that.

9 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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