There seems to be a new widget thingie popping up every week and you see a bunch of sites writing on them. Now most of these sites are “news” sites like Techcrunch or Mashable and they pretty much echo what is in the press releases but most of the time they never actually USE them or report later how they worked. I thought I would share my thoughts on the latest/greatest widgets, how much traffic they bring in, what was required to get that traffic and what value of that traffic cost me. All screen shots are from the last 7 days of traffic from Google Analytics.

BlogRushblogrush
blogrush.com

Stats:

Visits: 674
Pages per visit: 3.19
Average Time On Site 4 min 21 seconds
New Users To Shoemoney.com : 44.36%
Bounce Rate: 50.30%

General: BlogRush’s creator, John Reese, is one of the key people you pray wright about your new product when you launch it. He has a VERY loyal following and one of the best converting email lists of any I have ever seen. When John told me about BlogRush I knew it was going to be big. The guy does not know how to fail and will adapt and adjust to make a successful product. Now you can hardly find a blog anywhere without doing it. I talked to John recently and he was talking about how they have so many new things coming and how excited he is with the growth.

How does it work: You display the BlogRush widget on your blog and in turn earn credits to have your headlines displayed on other peoples widgets throughout the network. The more you have the more often your headlines are displayed.

Cost: No cost is involved. You just need to display the widget on your page.

Wish list: I wish blogrush would take into account CTR and not just overall traffic for people displaying blogs. This way people cant hide them in divs or bury them on the page. I wish blogrush had some sort of ranking system on what articles are getting the most clicks (like a whats hot). I love blogrush’s statistics but I wish there was a way to see your history of titles and which ones got the most traffic/clicks.


BumpZeebumpzee
bumpzee.com

Stats:

Visits: 299
Pages per visit: 2.18
Average Time On Site 1 min 32 seconds
New Users To Shoemoney.com : 14.38%
Bounce Rate: 70.57%

General: BumpZee was the first niche digg like network for affiliate marketing. It has since expanded to many other niches.

How does it work: You can submit your site urls manually or the site can automatically include each of your posts if you become an authority for your niche.

Cost: No cost is involved.

Wish list: Scott Jangro has done a great job with BumpZee. I wish people could bump your site without having to leave your site. Also the interface seems hard to navigate for new users. When it first launched it was really simple. I just would like to see it go back to being simple.

EDIT: I removed the bumpzee widget months ago when my blog would hang while waiting for it to load. I re added it this morning and the blog still hangs really bad trying to load it… sometimes as bad as 15-20 seconds =( So I have removed it again. Unfortunatly this is the risk you run with widgets that they can hang your blog (maybe i will put it in a iframe)

MyBlogLogmybloglog

mybloglog.com

Stats:

Visits: 412
Pages per visit: 2.59
Average Time On Site 4 min 34 seconds
New Users To Shoemoney.com : 37.14%
Bounce Rate: 52.91%

General: Mybloglog first started to make a impact in the blogosphere about a year ago. It picked up steam pretty fast and was purchased by Yahoo! earlier this year for 10 Million dollars.

How does it work: You display the widget on your site and it displays the avatars of people who visit your site. In return when you visit a site it shows your avatar.

Cost: No cost is involved.

Wish list: Mybloglog continues to have serious spam issues. I would like to be able to moderate the comments on my community site or have them atleast implement some spam prevention features.

Scratch BackScratchback

Stats:

scratchback.com

Visits: 8
Pages per visit: 1.25
Average Time On Site: 21 seconds
New Users To Shoemoney.com : 0.0%
Bounce Rate: 87.50%

General: This is Jim Krukral’s latest project. Its still in its very early stages. It was hard to find sites that actually are running the widget (even though a lot of people talked about it).

How does it work: Scratchback is similar to Blogrush except you have to pay to site owner to get your link on there widget. These are treated like a tip and the site owner can keep the money and has no obligation to put your link on there widget (ya i know confusing). I inquired more about it with Jim and he said this is more of a fun widget and not a real way for users to monetize there site(s). From the site:

ScratchBack is an online “tipping” system. It allows you, the publisher, to accept tips and “give back” links* or images* in return.

Cost: I paid $25 for 5 sites but only 1 site actually displayed my link and that site took down the widget after 7 days. So I paid 25$ for a nofollow link for 7 days which brought 8 hits.

Wish list: I think its a good looking widget that has a lot of potential. While its low risk to make something that is “fun” not many people are going to take it seriously. I saw many people write about scratchback but they did not run it themself. This is always raises a red flag for me. (maybe paid reviews? ). Anyway I would like to see it more as a paid link (screw the tipping aspect).

SphinnSphinn

sphinn.com

Stats:

Visits: 343
Pages per visit: 1.82
Average Time On Site: 1 min 41 seconds
New Users To Shoemoney.com : 46.06%
Bounce Rate: 87.50%

General: The GodFather of Search, Danny Sullivan came up with Sphinn. Sphinn is a SEO/SEM niche like digg system that has become very popular.

How does it work: You submit your url and people sphinn it or not 😉

Cost: No cost involved.

Wish list: I think Sphinn rocks. I kind of have the same wish as bumpzee. I would like for people to be able to sphinn without leaving my site.


Shoemoney Final Thoughts

So depending on your goal(s) some of these might be better then others. For this blog the goal of getting new users that stay around obviously blogrush is by far the best. But it does come at a price. Displaying the widget where I could otherwise put advertising has its costs. The free traffic from Sphinn, Mybloglog, and Bumpzee is just awesome anyway you slice it. I have re-enabled Bumpzee and Sphinn on a post level and it will be interesting to see if it increases visitors. Scratchback is in a different class. While its return on investment might seem poor its important to keep in mind that its a tipping “giving back” to to authors of the sites. I have communicated to its founder my thoughts about it… and I think out of the 25 sites that wrote about it only 2 are still running it. I think it could work but there has to be some big changes for scratchback otherwise it will end up like many other of Jims projects which are “fun” but not really practical.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

116 thoughts on “BlogRush, MyBlogLog, BumpZee, Sphinn & Scratchback – Widget Showdown”
  1. A great review of all these widgets, but I think that they arent quite worthwhile since you could get that kind of traffic from adwords, paying 5 cents/visitor. And instead of spending hours and hours to concentrate on the widgets, it will be better to focus on the content.

  2. I actually think that Entrecard is the best widget of all. I’ve gotten over 200 clicks from it this week, and its fun and addictive.

    I think at least 25% of the clicks I got was from my ad that ran here, on shoemoney.com. Too bad that spot costs 42 credits now… its getting expensive!

  3. Thanks for the roundup. So many seem to have popped up recently this was definitely useful.

    Are you able to provide any additional context? It would be interesting to know how many impressions BlogRush served up, whether you had any hot posts in Sphinn etc.

    I don’t remember you having any hot posts on Sphinn recently but I try and filter out the posts from blogs I already subscribe to (I really need to find an automated method for that) so may just not have noticed.

  4. […] Internet Accounts put an intriguing blog post on BlogRush, MyBlogLog, BumpZee, Sphinn & Scratchback – Widget Showdown […]

  5. hello shoemoney, i only use mybloglog and blogcatalog widget, your review inspire me, agree with you about the spam prevention features in mybloglog, 😀

  6. Excellent post and probably something that was well needed given all the widgets out there (as you say).

  7. […] ShoeMoney® – Skills To Pay The Bills wrote an interesting post today on BlogRush, MyBlogLog, BumpZee, Sphinn & Scratchback – Widget ShowdownHere’s a quick excerpt There seems to be a new widget thingie popping up every week and you see a bunch of sites writing on them. Now most of these sites are “news” sites like Techcrunch or Mashable and they pretty much echo what is in the press releases but most of the time they never actually USE them or report later how they worked. I thought I would share my thoughts on the latest/greatest widgets, how much traffic they bring in, what was required to get that traffic and what value of that traffic cost me. All sc […]

  8. […] My Affiliate Journey wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptGeneral: BumpZee was the first niche digg like network for affiliate marketing…. […]

  9. why are you and john chow still pumping blogrush like it’s worth putting on your site. it’s a complete failure.

  10. Hey Shoe, thanks for the mention, although a couple of clarifications.

    You “tipped” 5 site owners, not “paid” them. Scratchback is not a “get a flood of traffic tool” like Blogrush either.

    Nowhere on my marketing materials do I talk about getting traffic. I fully understand that because of that many people may not use it. However, I would argue that for low-traffic site owners and bloggers, you know people who are lucky to get 100 visitors a week or less, that they can’t sell cpm’s or sponsorships or Adsense. There are what, like 60 million blogs like this?

    Scratchback is proving to be a very, very good solution for them. Why? Because they have loyal readers who love being able to tip the site owner and get back something in return.

    Remember as well that Scratchback is all javascript and nofollow. No paid reviews, no selling page rank. None of that stuff. We’re clean 🙂

    You’re right about one thing though… it’s all about fun. I think fun is practical, in my world at least.

    When are you going to test the widget on your blog to see if it actually works for you? I can make you a custom designed widget today so you can test it out, let me know.

    Let your readers decide if they like it and try it? I’m going to bet that 99% of your readers can’t afford to buy an ad on your site, but would be happy to tip you a few bucks for a chance at a link or image in return, not to mention that I bet all of your readers would love to be able to give something back to you for the great information you provide day in and day out. Makes sense to me. I say give it a go?

    Jim Kukral

  11. […] David Gaffen wrote an interesting post today!.Here’s a quick excerptThere seems to be a new widget thingie popping up every week and you see a bunch of sites writing on them. Now most of these sites are “news” sites like Techcrunch or Mashable and they pretty much echo what is in the press releases but … […]

  12. Great reviews. I’ve never really used anything besides blogrush (@ jonathanvolk.com). It’s proven to work pretty well. 🙂

  13. I am dumb enough to sign up for BlogRush bt didn’t use their widget. Now, my account is frozen and I am thinking of using their widget to get some extra traffic.

    MyBlogLog is a huge referral of my blog as well because U bloghop very often.

    I guess the key of evaluating such traffic is the time that they stay on your blog as this will show which medium brings you the most targeted traffic so that you can launch an optimization strategy on that method.

  14. ya you really missed out. My stats show the same. I do not get a TON of new visitors but those I do get are very good quality from blogrush. Blogrush is the best widget I have seen in a long time

  15. yea its really slow right now… making my blog lag 10 seconds until the widget shows. I might not keep it for long .. again 😉

  16. I only use mybloglog…i don’t have the space for widgets or attract the type of traffic that uses them

  17. For the blogs that have loyal readers who would love to hand over money to the writer, why wouldnt they just use paypal or a free text link sales widget? I really dont see why any blog with a loyal readership would hand over 10%+ of “tips” and deal with a payout min./schedule just so they can use your product. Id much rather prefer to get my “tips” instantly only paying the paypal fee.

  18. I took the bumpzee widget off of the single posts… same reason I took it off before just because it hung my blog =(

  19. Jim didnt you say scratchback was going to be the killer of all other widgets like mybloglog and auctionads (both which sold for 10’s of millions)

  20. […] why and how big publishers like Shoemoney and John Chow should be using ScratchBack.com. Or any big-time blogger or publisher as […]

  21. You should check out swypefile. It’s like Sphinn, but better because it’s not just for SEO folks but for all online marketers. And they have a referral system and revenue sharing. I think it could be huge. I like Sphinn but let’s be honest, 90% of the content is only of interest to SEOs.

  22. @King, with paypal you get nothing in return, the reader I mean. Absolutely blog owners could just use a text link ads tool plugin if they want. Ours is just easier to setup, and does all the tips for you, etc…

    You have to remember… out of 70 million bloggers, about .999999% of them actually know, or care, about plugins and “making money online”. They don’t know how to use all that stuff we do, nor do they care, they just want to blog.

    I think you miss the point though, with ScratchBack, the reader gets something in return, which could lead to affiliate sales, more traffic, or more exposure. Heck, you could tip someone to get the attention of them. Many possibilities. It’s not for everyone, we realize that.

  23. Um, when did I say that? lol. Never. I maybe said it was going to be cool, which I think it is, but never said anything like that or referred to other widgets in that manner.

  24. I really like this post, but i dont really seem to get many people at all from Mybloglog. Shoemoney do you have any tips on getting more people from MyBlogLog?

  25. i find that using the same avatar on mbl that i do on other sites helps people find me because they recognize the picture

  26. This is a great post. I’ve played around with most of these, but have not seen a lot in terms of traffic except from the Social type sites. I installed Blogrush a while back and its not working very well at all for me. I have a lot of impressions, but the CTR is dismal at best. Guess I need to start working on those post titles as that is what really seems to make the difference with Blogrush

  27. Shoe, you should update your post. Your Topspot you got from someone wasn’t “taken down”, it just lasted the 7-days it was supposed to run for, and removed itself. That’s how the widget owner set it up.

  28. Shoemoney.com is my widget! seriously, leaving a few comments here over the past two weeks ranks shoemoney as a top 3 for me in analytics. Visitors here click on everything!

  29. ScratchBack seems like a good widget. But we can’t use it because it breaks up on our site. the DIV tag being the culprit.

  30. Lol Vibe, you think that will work for me too? I want everyone to read about tanning elk hides and lusting after woman…..heh =)

  31. I like Sphinn but I just don’t have the time to visit the site. There are too many sites to visit. This is one of the few I hit every day. One stop shopping.

  32. I am the same way about sphinn myself. Unfortunately I dont have a blog with enough traffic to warrant putting up any of these widgets. Nice write up shoe..

  33. Useful post. I would like a similar post but focusing on money earned by using different alternatives: Adsense, AzAds, Azoogle, etc. 🙂

  34. That’s the last time you’ll ever get a link from me! 🙂 … just kidding. Seriously though we don’t repeat press releases, indeed I automatically delete press releases sent to me (if they cant personalize a pitch, I don’t want to know about it). We usually have some sort of conversation with the people behind a product, for example when I reviewed Jim’s product we swapped a couple of emails back and forward before I wrote it up; generally though you are correct: we cant run and test everything extensively, if I did I’d be running 40-50 new products a day and would never write a post, put I do try to test the products I can before a review (where practical). Some stuff is soo good you end up using it long term (for example I’ve become a big fan of Plaxo and Snitch). Good review none the less…your undeserved jibe aside 🙂

  35. I agree. I’ve actually made more money with AdSense since putting on EntreCard than before. I think some people do the same thing I do, and “surf” the avatars to see where they take me, dropping cards along the way.

    As far as BlogRush goes, I’ve ended up taking the widget off my site. It just doesn’t fit the new layout, and I wasn’t seeing much traffic through it. But then again, a small politics blog doesn’t always interest people.

  36. I was thinking the same thing. I get traffic from My Blog Log but not BlogRush. I wonder how it compares to EntreCard.

  37. Agreed. I tried it as well and there was always slow loading. The only ones that I like is mybloglog and Sphinn is ok I guess.

  38. good idea, just don’t mention any of the magic words. blog rush doesn’t pick up any of my posts that have google in the title, for example.

  39. It will be interesting to know how many impressions of shoe’s titles were displayed in other sites to bring 674 visitors from BlogRush widget.

  40. Bumpzee was crashin my website… it was more then slow .. it was blocking the whole page.

    This review is interesting but you miss one information.. we have no idea about the context , we don’t how hard you work on one more then another.. for example with blogrush how many referrals do you have etc etc … What I can see blogrush is the perfect system for you because it is on auto pilot….but maybe if you were a sphinn maniac it will give you a better CTR anyway have a nice day

  41. Glad someone decided to review them all. I just started my case study with Sphinn and going to see how that ends up. Someone with a voice as powerful as you can experiemnt with it better then I can. Great post very informative!

  42. It seems to be a failure to me also, but I accept the fact that there might be people who get some traffic from it

  43. “Scratchback is proving to be a very, very good solution for them. Why? Because they have loyal readers who love being able to tip the site owner and get back something in return.”

    But you said this is for blogs that usually get 100 visitors or less, a week that’s about 14 visitors a day and less.

    So they don’t really have “loyal readers” they have a drop in the bucket as far as traffic. Probably better off with Adsense. And not sure about tips, it’s paid advertising. People could sell ads themselves and keep 100% of the proceeds.

    I also noticed on your own site, JimKukral.com that you only managed to sell 4 out the 10 spots and one is your own company, the other friends of yours. So at this point, doesn’t look like many people are taking it up.

  44. Revue de liens : TTZ Media, Widget, Adsense, MyNetworkValue & NetInfluence, « Content web et bien plus … says:

    […] ShoeMoney nous parle de widget. […]

  45. I stopped using Blog Rush after a couple blogs I subscribe to were removed as “spam”. Then on the other hand, real spam sites pass through..

  46. I write Widgetslab.com and have been reviewing and actually using a majority of the widgets that you see out their. I have been doing this for over a year.
    Sometimes a widget doesn’t last the week because of one issue or another.
    I have seen an increase in the widget reporting on sites like Mashable and I have commented about it. Wondering with some widgets, where the social aspect is (I say some are off topic)
    I lose traffic to these big blogs when they write about these widgets. Especially Mashable…that damn Cashmore!

  47. The problem with all these ad/content/etc. sites and our work to generate traffic from them, is that it takes a lot more time vs. the return you get from it. Then consider just an article that can generate 10x the visitors.

  48. I think mybloglog and sphinn really rock.. i have yet to try out scratchback but i dun think it’s a really good widget.. i dun get any visits from bumpzee though..

  49. I wonder if adsense approves of blogrush. So far I have not heard anyone getting their accounts suspended over using it, but then again you never know.

  50. I think those numbers show how poor Blogrush performs. For the size and reach of this blog, and the huge number of Blogrush impressions it generates, to only get a few hundred readers from it is very poor. Like other posters said, you could get much more with that valuable space. Confirms my experience sending them a healthy number of impressions and getting nothing back.

  51. […] BlogRush, MyBlogLog, BumpZee, Sphinn & Scratchback – Widget Showdown […]

  52. BlogRush is nothing like Adsesne. Bloggers are not getting paid when readers click on BlogRush links.

  53. Indeed, this thing with voting without leaving the site is the best thing. Unfortunately, they need also to pay them a visit.

  54. they are all on autopiolet. TBH i was stunned the amount of traffic I get from mybloglog and sphinn without every submitting anything

  55. That seems to be a pretty ignorant assumption. Its by far the most successful widget ever. You see it on every site you goto

  56. I couldn’t understand some parts of this article nnial 2007 – salvatore iaconesi – del.icio.us poetry, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  57. I don’t like blogrush’s design to be honest, so I’m glad you’ve reviewed the other ones for me!

  58. […] Vergleich von Blog-Widgets – netter Vergleich […]

  59. I price those tips at $25/each Michael, making $100 in tips over 2 weeks. Tell me that Adsense can deliver that much on a low-traffic blog like mine in two weeks? No way.

  60. Hey Shoe here is an idea for you to start your own widget… blueribbonblog.com, its a widget in the shape of ribbon often given as a prize. You put it on your blog and it says “best in show” with the name/avatar of the blog on it. Just checked godaddy and the domain is still there, now go buy it and you can have the next big wiget and I can say I had the idea..and I let is slip through my fingers on purpose. (BTW, this is just one of many unused ideas I have, so I can spare it.)
    good luck domainers and websters.

  61. […] wrote up a short review of my system ScratchBack.com where he said… I think its a good looking widget that has a lot of potential. While its low […]

  62. […] BlogRush, MyBlogLog, BumpZee, Sphinn & Scratchback – Widget Showdown, ShoeMoney […]

  63. Well… most widgets have ONE SERIOUS problem – they often involve you in a lost of time consuming worthless micromanagement tasks.

  64. some of the widgets are nice for community building / identity such as mybloglog, blogrush. it shows who are the other blogger having the same interest as you will you will visit each other sites to check out.

  65. not that it is expensive at shoemoney… it is always full. you can say it is fun.. most sites i drop at, they will return a drop too.

  66. i learn about scratchback some time ago. the reason why i dont ‘tip’ other through this is because of the nofollow. i dont care about PR however, i will like SE to be able to crawl to my site. There could still be a niche here … as publisher like the nofollow stuff… but advertiser dont like. if there is little advertiser tipping… publisher feels that no point putting that widget… replace with others. thats just my opinion.

  67. I’ve plug in scratchback widget on my blog. Links will stay for 30 days, hope someone give me some tips 🙂

    –blog for dream–

  68. “I price those tips at $25/each Michael, making $100 in tips over 2 weeks. Tell me that Adsense can deliver that much on a low-traffic blog like mine in two weeks? No way.”

    Those numbers are a bit deceptive since one is someone you work with and the others friends just trying to help you out.

    And if a blog is getting that little traffic, they’re probably better off just selling advertising on their own. And it is about traffic and making money.

  69. nice list and detailed stats shoe. i would say blogrush and mybloglog is the best. Blogrush for its simplicity and mybloglog for its networking. yeah the spam issue but its a great way for younger websites to start networking.

  70. […] You can go to Shoemoney’s blog and see his comparisons between all the widgets for traffic referral. […]

  71. Mostly I big waste of time, energy, and blog space. I would rather someone leave a comment then have my post sent to other sources. But then I blog for fresh content!

  72. Thank you! I just used this post to demonstrate how business owners use widgets for a project I submitted.

  73. I took Blogrush off my blog. The past month I only got 3 visitors from it. Blogrush seems to work better for guys with huge amounts of visitors that can rack up the impressions.

    I’m actually getting 100 times more traffic from Stumble Upon. Each time I post to my blog I stumble it. I’ve been some insane traffic this way.

  74. […] BlogRush, MyBlogLog, BumpZee, Sphinn & Scratchback – Widget Showdown […]

  75. Another site like this is entrecard.com, i use this and have gotten good returns. It is free and is set up like blogrush.

  76. Wow, I am really disapointed with your Scratchback results. I have bought a few links for like $1.50 on a couple sites and it worked out. But unless its bringing in a couple hundred a month I am not sure its worth the realestate on my blog.

  77. I recently took BlogRush off my site because I thought it wasn’t helping…big mistake. My traffic went down to HALF the usual!

  78. […] I did a post comparing traffic from mybloglog, bumpzee sphinn and scratchback […]

  79. Tim, I feel your pain. I have a new blog that was denied Blogrush because of not enough posts. 3 days old with 3 daily posts and not a spam blog! Sigh. So My Tip of the Day: Don’t submit new blogs to Blogrush until you have ?X# posts. How many? Who knows. Another of my blogs was accepted that I have been remiss on updating. Host is down, so I can’t check post count, but only had maybe 12 posts.

  80. All of this chatter and not one mention of blogcatalog? I don’t have high traffic like most folks here, but I get next to nothing from mybloglog and BumpZee. 7% of the folks who do visit come through blogcatalog.

    Then again, I’m fairly involved in the community over there. ShoeMoney doesn’t mention how much networking was done, whether joining other neighborhoods or other social components. This blog also has name recognition already, which likely makes a big difference in widget traffic results.

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