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Small Potato vs John Chow



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Backstory: I wanted to get into Technorati Top 100 after reading John Chow’s post of the same goal. Technorati basically ranks you by how many blogs are linking to you within 180 days.

The race: Several days ago, John agreed to race me. By then, JohnChow.com was ranking in the 400s, WPDesigner was in the 200s. Before the race, and even before both of us aimed for Top 100, I was 800 when John cracked the top 1000, so I had a head start and always maintained, at least, a 200 lead.

In the end

small-potato-pwned-john-chowI didn’t win, but I made it there before him. If you click on the image to the left, you’ll see that WPDesigner.com made it to number 75. If John had more time, I’m sure I would have lost.

The purpose of this post is to give you examples of what WordPress themes (Me) and a certain link-bait strategy (John) can do for your blog.

Strategies and Advantages:

Let’s start with John, he has Review My Blog & Get A Free Linkback. Follow the requirements to review his blog, tell him you did, then he’ll link back to you. Very simple.

This link-bait strategy works for John because he has the traffic and the high rank. If I started my blog yesterday, would you link to it just for a link back from me? Exactly. John’s strategy is sort of like the rich is gets richer. But in this analogy, the poor (reviewers) get a lot back. John’s readers do read the reviews about his blog and do visit the reviewers’ blogs. (JohnChow.com listed about 210 reviews already. That’s how effective his strategy is.)

I could’ve applied the same linkbait strategy to WPD, but I already had a head start and didn’t want to rub it in by using John’s own strategy to work against him.

Now for me, I had the one theme per day challenge, in which I released one free WordPress theme per day for thirty-two consecutive days, and boy did it work! Each of my 32 themes has a linkback to this site; that’s how I’m getting links. I’ve stopped releasing themes for four days now and I’m still getting more links than John on the daily.

Strategy vs Strategy:
(For the following, I assume that is how Technorati works.)

In terms of Technorati, I have the upper hand. Remember Technorati’s 180 days limit of counting links?

When a blogger review John’s blog and link to him, Technorati records it, but discards it after 180 days. After 180, that link no longer contributes to John’s Technorati rank because Technorati records it only once. Sure, he’s getting more and more links, but is also losing more and more links.

If you use one of my themes, each time you publish a new entry, Technorati scans your blog, sees my link, and will assume you’re linking to me again. My one link in the footer of your site’s design is worth many times over.

In terms of exposure and credibility, he has the upper hand. His links are actually review links where the reviewer dedicate the entire entry to his website. The reader get to know who he is and what his blog is about before arriving there.

What WordPress themes have done for me in numbers:
In December, WPDesigner received 6992 unique visitors. January 2007, it received 14142. So far in February, it has 23525 uniques. I have no doubt that I’ll reach 30000 uniques before this month ends.

I’m getting traffic without the help of social bookmark sites like Digg and Delicious. Natural exponential traffic growth, can you believe it? Here’s proof:

WPDesigner Stats

Who is John Chow?

Before the recent rise of his personal blog, he was known for starting TheTechZone.com, which is one of the most successful tech sites online. (I keep reading that from reviewers, but I never heard of TheTechZone until I found John through TylerCruz. Tyler has a link to John in the sidebar.)

Right now, John Chow is popular for helping people improve their blogs and make money. Although self-proclaimed the root of all evil, John is a nice guy who often rewards his readers with many contests and linkbacks. I guaranteed that you will learn a lot from his Top Posts.

If you want to learn how to create WordPress themes, learn it from me. If you want to improve your blogging skills, learn how to generate traffic and buzz, how to make money with your blog, and how to create a community from your blog, learn it from John Chow.


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