Well that was 4 years ago and the landscape for bloggers who are looking around to find a community to join & get exposure to, has changed quite dramatically. There are new services popping up all the time. A couple of the players are still in the game, however even they have now changed to what they once were all those many (4) years ago.
What I have done below is looked at the five major Blog Traffic exchanges and rated them based on my own personal experiences in the categories of: Description, Pros, Cons and Other. After that, I have listed and overall grade of each one.
Arguably there may be more (or even less) blog services out there to rate however, since I have only had first-hand experiences with these, they are the ones I deemed as 'major' and chose to include. These are: Blog Explosion, Adgitize, Expose Your Blog, Entrecard and Tribal Blogs.
At the bottom I have then put a quick poll for all of my readers so you can rate these services based on your own personal experiences.
Your opinions are also welcome as this may help new users get a better idea of these exchanges and if they want to be a part of them based on all our feedback. If I have missed any great service that you may use or know about, please feel free to share it here as well.
Time based system where the user is given credits to view a blog for 30 seconds. The credits are then used to buy advertising, banners, etc. This service is one of the "old timers" in the blogoshere and has been around at leat 5 years.
Blog Explosion has one of the most user friendly layouts and additional services being offered by any of the Blog Exchanges.
In addition to the usual blog rotations, they offer services such as Battle of the Blogs, Blog Rocket and other ways to increase your traffic and win credits.
At one time considered to be the 'cadillac' of all the blog exchanges, this service has now essentially been abandoned by ownership. As a result it is cluttered with with old & deserted blogs, broken services and now has very few active members.
Forum is overrun by spam however there are still some volunteers courageously keeping vigilant and answering users questions whenever possible. This is the only support offered.
Traffic Generated: Very Minimal (and dropping)
Rating: F (NOT Recommended)
A service which began in 2008 and has publishers and bloggers interact on the Adgitize Ad Network. It is advertised as providing an alternative advertising platform for bloggers. Essentially you purchase advertising and can also place (optional) code on your blog to earn points which is later converted into cash.
A very simple concept where you can have your ad appear on others blogs and vice versa. The more points you have the larger the payout to you is.
There are a couple of different ad sizes to work with as well as excellent reporting and tracking.
The service isn't free and will cost you money (currently $14/monthly plus optional extras for more ads). This isn't necessarily a con as if you participate, you should get your monthly fee back and more. Previously had a good user forum however it seems to have disappeared a few months back.
Ken, the owner of Adgetize, appears to be very involved and hands on. Questions, etc are answered and resolved extremely quickly. There is also a blog maintained with updates and news.
Traffic Generated: Good (possibly only to click on the widget code)
Rating: C+ (Recommended)
Expose Your Blog
The new kid on the block which just started up in mid-2010. This is another time based system where the user is given credits to view a blog for 25-30 seconds. These credits are then used to buy advertising, banners, etc.
A very nice service which also offers some good extra ways to advertise such as buying banner and text ads. They currently also have their own radio station you can promote your blog on and they also use Twitter to advertise their members.
The surfing screen still seems rather 'cluttered' to me as there is advertising on both the top and bottom of the pages as you surf. Documentation is lacking however if you rummage around the forums you can find answers to most things.
Both Don, the owner of Expose your Blog, as well as the administrators are very active and very hands on. Questions are responded to and resolved immediately and the forum is quite active.
My personal opinion is that I hope this service does well as it has a great deal of potential.
Traffic Generated: Minimal (probably due to being new and few members)
Rating: B (Recommended +)
A service which started a couple of years ago, this requires you to place code on your blog/site and click on others in order to get points (300 max/daily). With these points you can buy advertising on others blogs/sites and others can buy on yours, using their points.
This service will definitely increase visits to your blog or website and there appears to be quite a few active members using this. The documentation is good and the site is very well laid out for navigation.
Lots of cons for this service. You do get lots of traffic from this service, it is mainly people just clicking on your widget in order to get their 'point' and then they move on.
Although you can decide who to "rent" to, these ads are rotated with paid advertisers to EntreCard which means essentially you cannot control whose ad is being displayed on your blog.
Forum at one time was very active however ownership has now closed this with no plans to re-open. Support is poor. I opened a ticket to test this a couple months ago and still the issue is neither corrected nor responded to. This service gives me the feel of being completely motivated by money and members take a back seat.
Traffic Generated: Very Good (see comment above)
Rating: D (NOT Recommended)
This is another new service which began this year that describes itself as a professional blog network for writers who want to take their blogs to the next level. This is a network where you can choose to surf for free or pay to have your blog included in their surf bar.
Of all the blog services, I found this one to have for me, the best collection of blogs. The community, albeit still quite small, is very active within the forums. There is no code to put on your blog and no time limitations to view other blogs which allows readers to enjoy visiting and reading at their own pace.
As with Adgitize, the service is not free. If you choose to put your blog in rotation, it will cost you $6/month, which is the advertising fee for the service. Unlike Adgitize, you do
not get any money back.
The biggest con with this service is that in order to surf, you must download and install a 3rd party toolbar from Conduit. The reason I say this is a con is that in the world of blogging (or even web surfing) people hate downloading and using any additional toolbars, gadgets, plugins or whatever. As a result of this, many potential members will avoid this service like the plague. And if that fact is not bad enough in itself, the rotator is quite bad and displays the same sites numerous times over & over, while ignoring other sites.
Jennifer, the owner of this site is obviously very dedicated and hands-on. Questions/issues to her were responded to within minutes. So the support is excellent as is the forums. I did test out the support on the Conduit toolbar and sent them a question approx. 4 weeks ago...I still await a response at time of writing.
I do strongly recommend they ditch this third party toolbar for either a button or something that actually works and they control.
Despite this one issue (I dropped their overall rating by one letter grade as a result), I still recommend this service as it has some great blogs, great ownership & good potential.
Traffic Generated: Minimal ((probably due to being new and few members)
Rating: C (Recommended)
Now its your turn. Let me know what your favorite blog service is and leave a comment with your views and opinions.