rssHugger Wants to Share a Little Love

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

rsshugger.jpg

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.


94 thoughts on “rssHugger Wants to Share a Little Love”

  1. Mike says:

    hugs are better than drugs! or at least that’s what the Jesus t-shirt told me…

    1. mahdi yusuf says:

      tobbaco is wacko! 😈

      1. Mike says:

        wacky tobaccy!!!

    2. Collin LaHay says:

      (I just replied to this so it is near the top):

      Due to the overwhelming comments and contributions, I am going to be revamping the business model (much like john recommended), as well as adding a few things I had planned so that everyone with a quality blog has a shot and listing their blog.

      *IF YOU WANT TO BE LISTED IN RSSHUGGER, PLEASE REGISTER ON THE SITE AND MAKE A BLOG POST* – After that, email me [See the mixedmarketarts.com contact page for my email], and I will add your blog for free manually. Otherwise, you can wait a few days until I have the website reprogrammed to support the new business model and changes*

      For those who have already purchased the $10 package, email me your blog post review about rssHugger, and your paypal payment ID, and I will refund you right away.

      Thanks everyone for your opinions, and I hope with the new changes we can make a quality central server for promoting and finding quality blogs. If you have any more recommendations, I would love to hear them.

      1. Will says:

        yay.. lol. I’m glad you changed your mind and decided to make changes john + others had suggested. It was a good move.

      2. It’s great that you’re not thick headed.

        You took good advice and are using it to your full advantage. 🙂 Keep it up!

      3. Collin LaHay says:

        IN RESPONSE TO THE COMMENT ABOVE, IT WAS OLD.

        The site is now 100% automated. Please sign up to add your blog!

        Thanks

  2. Collin LaHay says:

    Thanks for the review John! To debate a few questions/arguments asked, I just want to followup saying that if it were free, less benefit would be shared with those that visit it, as all of the spam/trackback plogs would sign up. rssHugger aims to be a quality resource for bloggers who write and care about their blog, while leaving the spam/free/ugly ones out. I know I am leaving out a portion of the bloggers out there by charging $1-2 per year, but I feel that this will ensure the site is of the highest quality.

    Also, the “top 100” page resets on the 1st of every month giving everyone an equal opportunity to gain additional promotion.

    1. But it seems to be old wine in new bottle…the same concept…nothing innovative…

      @John, Probably the 10 dollars wouldn’t matter to you, as it is a small amout to adjust against this review, isn’t it? 😉

    2. Israel says:

      it should be free. you dont make a good argument for it not being free. in johns review he says that the fee helps with filtering out the bad blog feeds. why dont you just make it a manual review process, therefore keeping out all the crappy feeds.

      then once you get huge, with more traffic you can charge for “special” listings. this wont get too popular, the only chance for that is if you make it free.

      or do something like the first or next X amount of feeds are free.

  3. dicky says:

    Yeah! It is a good service for new blogger like me! I am searching way to increase the traffic to my site. Hopi it can help me.

  4. Israel says:

    dunno, gonna check it out.

  5. rob says:

    Yeah you said it first, and Ill say it again…..it’s basically like a technorati page, but not free and not on an authority domain.
    Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

    1. Collin LaHay says:

      I know you are entitled to your opinion, which I will respect, but Technorati has over 110,000,000 blogs listed, and they certainly do not benefit the majority (~99.5% if not more) of the blogs. The top 5% receive 95% of the publicity. My ‘end game goal’ is entirely the opposite of Technorati, by allowing readers to find the quality blogs (in that other 99.5%).

      Most bloggers who have quality sites can afford to spend $1 per year to help promote their brand… but I suppose only time will tell. I for one, am in no hurry.

      1. Hi-Tech-it says:

        Never heard of this, but his model is ok, he gets differentiation imo.

  6. I dont know if I see the benefit of it. well not yet. I think if there were more blogs on their I would consider it.

    1. Wayne Liew says:

      If you join now, you will be surrounded by some great blogs but if you join when more blogs are already in it, you might not get that much traffic as now.

      I guess John Chow’s review sent that much many traffic. 😎

  7. Etienne Teo says:

    I think it takes time to grow, let me just wish you luck on this collin. :mrgreen:

    1. Collin LaHay says:

      I think everything needs time to grow. =)

      Thanks for the good luck.

  8. Where’s the categories?

    Similar to a site of mine I started and sold a while back http://www.rssmad.com

    1. Collin LaHay says:

      John I think your WPAffiliatePro has a few bugs to work out. It is overriding full words rather than just “RSS”. (see above post). Just a heads up.

  9. Hank says:

    Just signed up! Thanks for the tip!

  10. Hmmm… so like a blogging yellow pages? Hmmmm….

  11. Michael Kwan says:

    I would just like to note that while I didn’t write this ReviewMe (gasp, John writing his own reviews!), I can take credit for the title because John asked me for one before this post went live. 😆

  12. Collin LaHay says:

    Update!

    I just made it into the final 8 this month competing for $10,000 for the best business idea of the month with IdeaBlob. I need the most votes to win. The $10k will go towards marketing, contests, and other promotion.

    http://ideablob.com/
    Sign up (If you haven’t before) and vote for my idea.
    (Bottom right on homepage) – “Find and Promote Great Blogs.”

  13. DotComNote says:

    I like rssHugger. Colin’s projects are very good web applications. For example his wordhugger.com is 100 times better than installaing a mediawiki software and selling pages.

    rssHugger should provide a tagging feature so that blogs can be tagged and searched.

    I can see the site providing values to the site visitors (not advertisers) which the paid wikis never did.

    1. I like the tag feature. Great idea.

    2. mariam says:

      Yeah, good luck Collin.

      I first heard about you with Wordhugger but I’m kind of paid wiki’ed out.

      I hope you get your college money as you’re really working hard for it.

  14. James Wilcox says:

    I don’t really agree with you about his pricing for this service John. Just because your product is new doesn’t mean it isn’t worth something. Sure you want to get as many people as possible using it as fast as possible…but I think giving something away for free and then later charging for it is only going to piss off the people that get penalized for not being in it early enough. Can you imagine if Apple decided they would give away a few thousand iPods for free and then start charging more once they became popular? Customers would have revolted.

    What will make this successful is the efforts in place for marketing and exposure. I’m sure the ReviewMe review is helping make some people aware and in time we will probably see rss hugger succeed through sheer tenacity in the market. but that’s just my .02

    1. I quite agree with your views. For ten or twenty dollars, we get to see how this project develops and what tools he will use to sprint after start.

  15. Nice way to make some quick cash. First it was milliondollarwiki, then millioneurowiki, onebuckwiki, now rsshugger. The domains just keep coming…nice idea though 😀

    1. Wayne Liew says:

      This makes me guessing what will be next? RSS Feed has already been attacked. First, pay $ to increase the number of your subscribers and now this RSSHugger pops up.

      What will be the next? :mrgreen:

  16. Mike Huang says:

    Too many of these sites popping up to make a quick buck, but it seems like rssHugger is something new. I would give it a try if it didn’t actually cost money.

    -Mike

  17. Shams says:

    There are too many huggers on the planet of www 😆

  18. Neil Duckett says:

    As hard as i try to register my feed i keep getting asked to create an account … although i have one. 😐

  19. yomi akinola says:

    i have read how to make money on line i have tried to subscribe to some leads and affiliates but i have not been able to succeed i am from nigeria i have develop my site since june 2007 but i have not been able to optimize fully all benefits as an internet publisher, any way john chow you are a mentor i appreciate and like to be like and even surpass in achievement.

  20. Rich Sage says:

    Looks like the system is a bit ‘buggy’ at best. I’ll try again another time. 😕

  21. rssHugger looks pretty interesting… Not entirely sure if it’s for me. It might be worth keeping an eye on for the future, though.

    Regards,
    Steve

  22. Another blog directory is one thing but charging $20 is a different story. The site is a carbon copy of his other site wordhugger and thats just a wiki type site where you pay for a page eg. one million wiki.
    He claims he wants 50,000 listings

    50,000 x $20 = $1,000,000

    oh look, it is a one million wiki type site!

    In all serious, i think the site has a nice design but I wouldnt recommend anyone to pay $20 for a listing as there are hundreds of other blog directories out there with more traffic and their listings are free

    🙂

  23. Another way of looking at it is why not? At $10, I have little to loose and a lot to gain. Particularly with all the background information that you have given, it is worth spending this small sum and I shall do so and see what happens.

    1. MoneyNing says:

      It makes me think I should put up another site of this kind because some people will always pay even if my site have no traffic!!!

  24. Pachecus says:

    I agree with Kevin Muldoon I would pay $1 for this service. Anyway is a great design and promoted by big bloggers.

  25. Domtan says:

    Interesting concept. The RSS business is in full flow. Nice Logo too. Very snazzy.

  26. I’m not fond of the idea of paying a fee to list my RSS feed, when there are hundreds of sites that will do it for free.

    1. Israel says:

      agreed, has anyone told you that your avatar looks like the miller lite beer leagues commissioner? (the doc from scrubs)

      1. Hmm, can’t quite put a picture to that name. Find one and show me. lol

  27. MoneyNing says:

    Ha I’m sure enough people will pay eventually. It might not be huge but any income is good!

    1. Israel says:

      yh, but it’s a matter of a few hundred dollars or a few thousand. one simple change can do that.

      1. MoneyNing says:

        I can understand why everyone makes these sites now since it’s almost easy money 🙂 Just a couple reviewme posts and some HTML programming, then it’s a $1 million potential website 🙂

        1. Teejay says:

          Isn’t what we’re all trying to do? 😀

  28. 2008-china says:

    I’m not fond of the idea of paying a fee to list my RSS feed, when there are hundreds of sites that will do it for free.

    1. Kabatology says:

      I Second 😐

    2. Me Either. Thankfully he changed the business model though.

  29. I think you would get a better return advertising on a blog for $20. How many hits do people expect to get when there are thousands of blogs listed?

  30. The whole premise of “what do I have to lose its only $10” is a bit sickening. Considering the number of directories out there, you’d go broke. Its a novel idea when it came out, not now.

    Million Dollar Wiki and One buck wiki, and ________ are beneficial for people promoting it like John Chow, but I don’t think it does much good for most people once the buzz is gone.

  31. Wayne Liew says:

    By the time I am typing this, you are already in the 1st place. Congratulations.

    This is my first time ever hearing that we can actually have something like Squidoo or Million Dollar Wiki but this is with our RSS feeds. I think this is really not a good idea.

    It might be worth it since not many are joining it now but what if there are more and more joining rssHugger?

  32. Karol Krizka says:

    I agree with you, that is definitly not a good business model. I also think that bloggers that blog about them should get free listing, because it brings them more traffic. Then they can use that traffic to make up for the “lost” revenue through advertising, no?

    1. Agreed with you guys; not original, not really beneficial, and certainly not one of a kind. I think I’ll pass thank you.

  33. Happy Thanksgiving! Do you guys in the northern frozen tundra celebrate Thanksgiving? 😉
    -Raymond

    1. Karol Krizka says:

      We do, just in October. 😉

  34. John Dee says:

    err…. anyone else getting an “Internal Server Error”?
    NEhoo, im in agreement with everyone else. Be interesting to see how many bloggers would fork over the 10-20 to advertise their RSS.
    Happy thanksgiving to those South of the border.
    For those North of the border, GO BOMBERS!!

    1. Collin LaHay says:

      Sorry about the 5 minutes of downtime. We were fixing a programming bug, all has been fixed now.

  35. Binh Nguyen says:

    😈 I agree with John Chow about the “wrong model”. I suggest the site to start with first blog post for free and additional blog post pay. Everyone love free stuff, especially bloggers.

    😯 I’m a blogger too and I hesitate to pay the money knowing it’s just $1/year. The problem of uncertainty always refrain us from taking action.

    👿 A lot of blog directory list for free, and they have PR 7+, then why we pay for a lower PR directory some amount of money and then wait for it to grow?

    💡 Recently 1CoolFile.com also got a JohnCow review about the same thing. The different is that he got a PR6 site, but lack of series marketing and web-design.

    😛 Thanks John for pointing out that Blog Friends. I was looking for something like that.

    🙄 rssHugger should consider about the stronger competitors and lower its hat to new comers.

  36. Joeychgo says:

    You know – I cant really see what makes this site special. Its more or less a directory. First, yes, I think charging for the first hundred entries doesnt make much sense to me. Second, why would I blog about it to save $10?

    1. Etienne Teo says:

      There are tons of bloggers who will blog for that cut.

  37. Lincoln says:

    Ironically enough it was the mention of Facebook’s Blogfriends that caught my attention. Do you have to be a member of Facebook in order for your blog to get indexed in this BlogFriends database though? Anyone know? 😯

    1. Lincoln says:

      Never mind, I reactivated my Facebook account and learned you can only use Blogfriends as a Facebook member. And I tried so hard to avoid ever going back to Facebook. 😛

  38. Worth to give them a try, costs cheap and it is something new. We’ll see 😉 i am definitively giving them a shot.

  39. Kabatology says:

    I give it up…. 😯

  40. Hi-Tech-it says:

    Might give it a pop

  41. Dandruff says:

    I think it’s a good way for new blogs to get recognition.

  42. Derek Baker says:

    Collin seems to be doing a nice job promoting it. It seems like a fair price, let us know how it does John.

  43. James Pong says:

    hey john, rss hugger is now free (if you blog about it), otherwise, it still charges $20 for 10 years if you choose not to blog about it. :mrgreen:

  44. Thats can be a really god way to increase traffic imo.

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