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September 27, 2006

Getting Off the BlogMad Crack

By Li Evans

Lessons Learned in Blog Promotion

After doing the series of articles on Blog Promotion(Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), I started experimenting with a blog promotion service called BlogMad.  The basic principal behind the service is "you surf our blogs, we'll send other surfers to yours."  All fine and dandy - and I found myself hooked as I was stumbling across some really funny blogs.

I also found myself becoming more competitive, with their system, they have different levels - the more you surf, the higher your level.  At one point I'd even amassed some 1,200+ credits in my account.  Traffic was coming into this blog at a nice steady rate.  Then BlogMad got bought by Kinetiq (I tried to located the blog post that announced it but it's been removed).

Within a week of the transition and launch of "new features" I found my amassed chunk of credits gone - pilfered down to less than 100.  The system allowed you to purchase credits now, and in my "worry" of not getting enough blogs surfed.  The credits were disappearing now faster than I was surfing - even though I hadn't changed any of my habit, and I just remembered thinking how odd this was and was it happening to anyone else.  I looked into their "shout box" on my user control panel, and sure enough two other surfers were discussing the same thing.

After a bit of thought, I contacted BlogMad through their form, told my two fellow surfers and went merrily of to the gym.  I came back an hour later and to my surprise there was an email from a BlogMad rep.  Fast and quick response - basically "hold on for a few more weeks" and things will improve.

Later on in the evening I got another email from BlogMad - this time it was to me and the others surfers in the shoutbox who had our conversation.  Although I credit the staff for reaching out to its users and recognizing complaints - I took offense to the tone of the email.  It was rather scolding - basically telling us that "we're not getting it".  I don't know how the others took it, but I was rather taken aback and thinking about the goodwill the person had made in the prior email was gone (not the way to gain customer evangelists).

That's when I really started to dig down into what BlogMad was bringing me traffic wise.  This service is great for those everyday humor, advice or controversy stirring blogs.  But for blogs like Search Marketing Gurus who's aim is to serve a niche market - the service brings in so much unqualified traffic and in my opinion just not the right fit.  Everyone just surfs on for their next credit, no one sticks around to read about search industry news.

I wrote a rather long email back to the gentleman who emailed me from BlogMad and explained, that if myself and the other two had this type of experience, there surely had to be others who weren't so vocal and would just stop using the service.  The next day there was "double credits" assigned for surfing the system - but in reality that hadn't changed what ever is wrong with the system.

So now - I'm off the BlogMad crack - traffic might be down, but I'm finding its not down as much as I thought it would be, and the average visitor stay is way up.  Lessoned learned - some Web 2.0 services, widgets, etc. do not always work for all things - especially if you are serving a niche.

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