Today i stumbled over a blogging community called blogengage.com – and before you ask, no i am not just writing about it to get a free membership on the site – though i do find it tempting to try buying an account to check out the site.
I can't comment on their services, since i haven't used them. But i find it rather interesting that you are either forced to join their affiliate program and write about them, or pay money just to join the site. The benefits you get for a paid membership also seems rather worthless.
Who will be reading your content?
The question also is, who will be reading your content? Mainly other bloggers? Bloggers whom will be hoping that you'll be reading their content in turn i suppose.
Admittedly i did find it tempting to buy the basic membership to try the site out – and maybe i will someday. The thing is, there's just so many websites promising you traffic if you start submitting your content, and i personally just don't see where this traffic would come from.
I usually only submit my content to Dzone and pixel2life, and that's only if i can find the time in my busy schedule. The thing is that traffic just isn't worth that much of an effort. In the time you would spend submitting content, its far easier to just write another article, and wait for it to start ranking in Google – which typically gives Brugbart between 10-100 extra visitors per month, (according to webmaster tools). And that's not counting the authority effect it has on your domain, which could potentially lead to a global ranking boost.
Blog engage for traffic and backlinks?
For once i don't think its fake – it does actually seem like this site can deliver much of what it claims – but the question is:
will it be worth it?
As with most things you do online, i bet it also depends on the quality of your own site – if your content quality and site design is interesting enough, you will almost be guaranteed to attract visitors.
I just personally think it will be a better investment, to spend your money on growing your own community directly. Promoting posts on Facebook is one way to build your own community, and i personally think its better than using e-mail lists – the potential in sites like facebook and twitter is just much greater than traditional mailing lists.
The source of backlinks
One thing to note however, is that the source of backlinks is unclear – and i also think its bad to pay for links. If the source is other bloggers linking to your content, by their own free will, Great! But if its just automated backlinks from low quality pages, then I'd rather be without them.
If the source of the backlinks is automatically syndicated content from your website, then it will likely be of even less value.
I've checked out the JustRetweet site, and i am not impressed with their services. Posting a re-tweet on the site just doesn't seem worth it. If you sign up normally, you get 100 credits to promote your tweets, and it doesn't seam like they disclose using hashtags like #ad or #sponsored – which is required by Twitter when posting sponsored tweets.
The standard membership on blog engage will get you 3000 credits for the site, and each retweet will likely cost you around 10-50 credits.
The follow feature was broken when i tried the site, and even a couple of days after posting a tweet, i still haven't seen any re-tweets.
If you are really interested in Twitter marketing, then i recommend checking out Brugbarts Review of Twiends.com – currently one of the only sites worth using to get more followers. They don't offer retweets however!
There are tons of free information available online on marketing and SEO, so i can't really say that this will be the thing motivating me to buy a membership.
It takes time to write quality content, so it would take a lot of convincing for me to start guest blogging. If everyone has access to blogging, it will likely mean that the content will be very mixed, and of questionable quality. Why not release your content directly on your own website, and focus on building your own authority site? A couple of backlinks and exposure could be useful, but I'm not sure i would go for it on a site where everyone have access to the blog.
I have no idea what this is, but it seems its some kind of basic-functionality on the site offered to all members, and it doesn't seem like its worth the money if you look at the following quoted description:
You will have the ability to create or join groups for your blog. During the submission process you will have the ability to submit targeted articles into these groups. This is a great way to get your content in front of an audience that wants to read it.
The bad experiances
The main reason why someone will want to sign up with blog engage, is to increase the traffic for their own website – I'm sorry, but i don't think there's any easy way to do that – but yet its the main motivation for people to sign up with a site like blog engage.
Some people have had a less-than-good experience with blog engage, apparently a Jane from probloggingsuccess.com didn't get the traffic she had hoped for. I can really understand both views, and while i don't agree entirely with Jane, i also don't agree with the policy of blog engage.
Emory Rowland from clickfire.com had an account deleted, tough he didn't give a reason as to why. But apparently blog engage also deleted the accounts of some of their top contributes, which should be picked up as a strong warning signal.
- Blog Engage: Why I Cancelled My Premium RSS Syndication Subscription – probloggingsuccess.com
- Blog Engage Bans Number 3 Contributor – clickfire.com
Conclusion: A network of bloggers
It seems like Blog engage is mainly a network of other bloggers, and while I'm not saying its bad in itself, I'm personally careful about taking part in such networks. The quality of the traffic and engagement this can bring to your site will likely be of little value, since the main motivation for someone to comment on your site, is likely just to have you check out their own sites, rather then real interest in whatever you are writing about.
What happens if suddenly the blog engage community declines in popularity – will you have gained some long-term benefit from your membership on the site, or will you just lose everything? And don't give me the networking argument – networking is something you can do for free on Facebook and Twitter!
If someone on your site is a top contributor, and suddenly they start doing something you don't like, then i think its in the interest of the rest of the community to know why you deleted their account. Besides, if someone has been a long-time member, and have a good record, surely you would talk with them before banning their account.