Your RSS Needs a Hug
rssHugger is a new website developed to help bloggers promote their blogs, and to help visitors discover new blogs that write about subjects that the readers are interested in. Through the power of the internet, viral marketing and this ReviewMe review, rssHugger looks to bring blog writers and blog readers closer together. If you own a blog, you can get your own page on rssHugger for 10 years for only $20. If you make a blog post about rssHugger, you can get the page for $10. The website is been dubbed “the Technorati without the spam.” rssHugger says the $10-20 allows manually reviewing to ensure that all blogs are quality listings.
The Main Hugger of the RSS
The site is the brainchild of Collin LaHay, an experienced entrepreneur, search engine optimizer, and internet marketer looking to expand his portfolio. Collin hopes to get 50,000 blogs signed up to rssHugger. If he reaches that goal, he will have all of college paid for, be able to invest in new business ventures, sponsor other like-minded people and continue his support of Kiva, a non profit that support entrepreneurs in developing countries.
Inspired by John Chow and Shoemoney
rssHugger was inspired by my RSS competition with Shoemoney.
I came up with this unique idea while reading about Shoemoney.com’s $13,000 RSS contest for October, in which he was competing with JohnChow.com on who of the two had more new rss subscribers for their blog in a month.
The competition between myself and shoe did a great job increasing our RSS counts. rssHugger hopes to increase the count of every hugger members.
How Does This Really Work?
From what I can tell, rssHugger is nothing more than a web directory of RSS feeds. For your $20 ($10 if you blog about it) you get to have your blog RSS feed show up on its own rssHugger page. This is my rssHugger page.
The most viewed feeds show up in the Top 100 RSS Feed. There are only 16 feeds at the time of this review and my feed is in last place. However, I expect that to change real soon. Another way for rssHugger to give your feed more exposure is the Random Blog tab. Clicking on it brings up a random feed. New feeds are featured on the home page and a New RSS Feeds page.
Is This The Right Business Model?
The question many would have at this point is why would you pay to list your RSS feed on rssHugger when you can get listed it for free at a site like Technorati or Facebook and get a ton more exposure? The Facebook Blogfriends app is one of the best RSS promotion tools around. Competitors offering free listing may explain why Collin priced rssHugger as low as he did. The price spread over 10 years works out to only $1 to $2 per year. Chances are most of the users will opt for the $10 option. However, I can’t help but feel that rssHugger is using the wrong business model.
Instead of charging $10 plus a blog post, rssHugger should consider giving the listing for a blog post only. The site would get a ton more sign ups and become viral very quickly because of all the bloggers blogging about it. The site can then be monetized with advertising. Charging any amount of money for a listing creates a huge barrier of resistance that will make it very hard for the site to get viral.
$10 was low enough for me to pay for the listing but the main reason I bought it was research for this review. Were it not for that, I doubt I would have paid for it. The site doesn’t have enough members or traffic to justify the price no matter how low it is. If the site gets very big, then I can see people paying for it. However, when you’re new and you have to compete against much bigger players that will list your RSS for free, you’re fighting an uphill battle.