By now we all know how important it is to have cross-links for relevancy in regard to search engine placement, but search engines aren’t the only audience that we – as bloggers – are writing for. What ever happened to our readers?
I’ve got news, people, the blogosphere has a lot of overlap. A LOT! That’s not to say it’s a bad thing to have overlap; one event can have dozens of good, relevant articles written about it, each to their own audience. That’s where a related link comes in handy: a reader can see the articles that are written by other bloggers that are somewhat related to your article and/or topic. The hard part has always been hooking those together.
In the past, a blogger would find a story to write about, a reader/blogger would then write his/her take on that article and supply a pingback/trackback to that post, which would loosely tie the stories together. The downside (other than pingback/trackback spam is on the rise) is that readers usually don’t know what to do with a pingback/trackback comment… that and it can be a slow process — and it has to be on the same specific topic to be valid.
Ideally, a blogger would write a post, an un-related blogger would write a post on the same subject (or in the same general category) and both would “automagically” have a link to the other’s post in their blog template.
That has been possible with some fancy-schmancy coding of XML feed readers and parsers and other stuff that doesn’t work well. Today, we can add a snippet of code to our blog template that will automatically generate 5 dynamic links to bloggers (just like you) that have written stories on topic to the article they’re presented in. Some of these solutions cost you money to be listed, others charge a monthly fee, while still others (ala Google AdSense and Yahoo! Publisher Network) charge per click.
What if there were a free solution, just for us bloggers?
Enter ‘Blog Rush. ‘Blog Rush is a syndication networking tool that allows you to place a widget on your page with just a couple lines of code. Once there the widget does a couple things: first, it records an impression of itself with the mother ship, this earns you one “syndication credit”; second, it displays 5 on-topic stories within itself which, when clicked, open the link in a new browser window/tab.
One of the nice things about ‘Blog Rush is that it’s free. You supply your RSS feed in the sign up process and your articles are then displayed in the widget on other people’s pages. That’s where the “syndication credits” come in to play: for every syndication credit that you earn (for each showing of the ‘Blog Rush widget on your pages) you get one view in the widget on someone else’s pages.
You can also earn credits from referral’s (hence why I’m linking to ‘Blog Rush all over the place — it’s an affiliate link).
Now it’s your turn
Do you have any experiences with ‘Blog Rush? If so what are your thoughts/experiences? Have you seen any related services? Please comment!