Creating Powerful Friends: Samurai’s Alexa Ranking Challenge

There's a fun hypothesis saying that you are the average of the closest five people around you. I believe this to be true, do you? In my efforts to grow this blog, I've launched the Samurai's Alexa ranking challenge. Get all the details below.

What's interesting about the blogosphere community is that anybody with enough intention can start a website. 

The link gives you a step-by-step guide as to how you can get up and running in under 30 minutes. Some blogs are interesting, some are not, but regardless we can all compete with the Business Insiders, Huffington Posts, and BuzzFeeds of the web in our own niche way!

Samurai's Alexa Ranking Challenge

Financial Samurai - Samurai Alexa Ranking Challenge

Alexa is a dynamic website ranking and information company owned by Amazon, which has over 40 million users world wide. The tool bar is free, and easy to download.

The Yakezie Alexa Ranking Challenge is straight forward. If you're outside of the top 200,000, get in the top 200,000 within 6 months. I can't even name 100 sites, let alone 199,999 sites. Can you? If you're already in the top 200,000, get in the top 100,000. And if you're already in the top 100,000, get in the top 50,000.

There are some who poo poo the Alexa ranking system, and I recognize their two main arguments:  1) The system only tracks visitors who have the Alexa Toolbar installed, and 2) There are cases where some websites with bazillions of users have a worse ranking than sites with less users. 

The Alexa Ranking System Continues To Grow

We don't know why, because we don't fully know what goes into the calculations. It may be because readers don't visit and just read off their RSS. That said, the Alexa ranking system continues to grow, and is the best system we got.

At least 40 million webmasters around the world think so, and there has to be something to it if Google, Facebook, Yahoo and YouTube are ranked #1, #2, #3, and #4, respectively.

Since starting this site, I've been rejected as a guest poster, didn't even get responded to, let alone make it as one of the 7 finalists for one site's staff writer tryouts, denied admission to a personal finance blog network, and even got my first carnival submission rejected.

But, through all the rejections, I took comfort in my friend, Alexa, who is always by my side motivating me to keep going. I'm sure many of you have been rejected as well. Here's your chance to create our own network of powerful friends by joining the challenge!


* You'll get to compete for a spot on the top personal finance blogs list (Yakezie Network). I've heard some publishers in the Top 100 don't even bother to associate with others outside page 1. Oh, the snobbery!

But seriously, if you're on page one of any top blogging list, opportunities start coming to you, because this list has become the default ranking in the community, and the default ranking in the community uses Alexa.

* Motivation. Unless you've got an established blog already, writing gets very lonely and discouraging sometimes when not many people come to visit. You might say you are writing for yourself and don't care, but if that's the case, why make your writing public? Witnessing progress is fun!

* If you love free swag, you'll get approached by authors and publicists looking to send you tons of free books to review and giveaway. You may even get a catalog of a publisher's entire library of books from which you can choose from. I even got an $800 product to stand on for my standing desk!

You know how movie stars get all those goodie bags of stuff to sample at the Oscars even though they're already rich and don't need more free stuff? It's kinda like that, a virtuous cycle of people who provide mutual benefits. If you someday wish to write a book, you now have direct access to the very people who reject hundreds of authors everyday!

* Advertisers will flock to you, and ask you to pimp things you've never heard of. Some of them, could be gems, but many will be junk traps. On occasion, you'll find some amazing products that just fit so well with your content. If you have an established site, going to advertisers with affiliate programs becomes much easier as well.

Blogging For A Living Income Example: $300,000+
Here's how much you could make with 300,000 pageviews a month

More Benefits Of A Strong Alexa Ranking

* Other big sites who never bother responding to you, suddenly take notice and give you the time of day. Those comments you leave asking for feedback or help actually get addressed. Cut them some slack though, because I'm sure they get inundated. You can also join plenty of “exclusive” networks if you wish.

* You can earn corporate consulting income or freelance writing income. You can also leverage your site to be your resume for new consulting gigs. I've received multiple six figure consulting gig opportunities with financial tech startups since I left Corporate America in 2012.

Once was with Personal Capital for two years, and another is with Motif Investing. Both are innovative fintech companies, which I'm proud to promote on my site because they are helping people make and save money. Personal Capital is great for tracking your net worth for free.

* You cultivate a competitive edge, get inspired and appreciate those who are way up the rankings.  I used to think watching golf on TV was extremely boring. After I began hacking it up on my own, I now find watching golf extremely fascinating! Same thing with a website. You truly start to appreciate the marketing geniuses of some bloggers out there, and therefore strive to better yourself.

* Girls or guys, depending on your sex and preference, will love you when you say you have a “top” website at the bars. For a brief moment, you can escape your mundane day job and pretend you are someone really important. 

You could try saying, “Hi there good looking, I am the the CEO & Editor of X, America's #1 personal finance site” for example, and you'll immediately be whisked away into la la land. After all, bloggers are the some of the sexiest people on Earth who also happen to live a life of freedom!


* Badge & Toolbar. Download and install the Alexa toolbar and put the badge on your site. The Alexa toolbar is fascinating because it shows you so much detail about other sites you visit.The badge will naturally peak interest as well. The ranking is dynamic, and motivating.

* Content. Nothing else really matters, and that includes doing all that SEO stuff. I had no idea what a site-map was, or what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) even stood for the first 4 months.

If you write something you feel strongly about, you'll do great. Try and write with a thesis. Whether you are right or wrong is besides the point.  What's more important is to get readers thinking about the topic at hand.  Write what you know, too, because if you try to fake it, people can tell.

* Content Length. Did you know that the average person spends just 7 seconds on a resume? The point is that people have short attention spans, and if you write in huge paragraphs, with no breaks in the post for categories, you'll likely lose readers.

After the 1,500th word, people's eyes start glazing over, unless it's superbly written. This post violates this rule with 2,100 words, so I need to practice!

* Personality. Realize that you can't please everybody all the time. If you write with no thesis, no conclusion, no personal spin, then what's really the point? The great thing about the internet is that the market place is so huge, if our friends in America aren't stopping by, maybe our friends from Australia will!

* Frequency. If you can post 2-4 times a week, that's good enough! You can try posting everyday, but you increase your chances of burn out, and you're not getting maximum exposure for the articles you've written.

Notice how comments fade from your post after a new one comes, even though the older article is only a day or two old Instead, use the days off to visit other sites, comment, build relationships and let your articles percolate.

More Tips To Improve Your Alexa Ranking

* Branding. Get an image that one can easily recognize as you. Go to, and use that image in many things you do.  There are a lot of Davids, Johns, and Jims in the community. Instead, sign off as a variation of your site, or your site itself because nobody has a monopoly on your common name, and you may confuse others.

* Read & Comment. Actually read an entire post and get the concept.  If the post is too boring, skip it, but if it's interesting enough, share your thoughts.  Comments inspire writers, because it shows that someone is listening. There will be reciprocity.

* Twitter. Twitter is probably the best micro-blogging tool out there, which I don't do enough because it's off during the day.  I'm amazed how some have thousands of followers, and can also follow hundreds of people as well.  Make sure you have a widget that will allow others to retweet your content easily.

* Guest Post. Tap other bloggers' audiences by writing your best stuff for other people. You'll inevitably gain some fans from their RSS or e-mail distribution list. Guest posting is one of the fastest and best ways to develop linkbacks and reach people you want to reach.

* Promote Others. If you're scraping the bottom of the barrel in the rankings, be selfless and promote others relentlessly. Even if you are doing OK for yourself, promote others freely. That includes re-tweeting and highlighting other articles on your own site. The higher ranked sites will be appreciative and eventually return the favor.

* Don't Think About Making Money. Because it will likely take a year or so if you're lucky to earn over $1,000/month from your blog, the money you receive may demotivate you.  As soon as you start writing for money, you start losing your soul and it's not as fun. Write what you want to write, and the money will come.

Related: How Much Can You Make Blogging For A Living

Build Great Relationships

If you just focus on two things, focus on content and promoting others.

Feel free to link back to a Financial Samurai article of your choosing. Live a comment and I'll show you love back in the Katana. You want to develop relationships with larger sites that will help put you on the map.

If you've enjoyed this post, here's some further reading on Financial Samurai you may enjoy.

Start An Awesome Blog Today

I never thought I'd be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 16 years to build.

If you enjoy writing, creating, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom in your life, see how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes with Bluehost. Hosting costs less than $3.5 a month.

Everybody should at least have their own website to establish and own their brand online. Corporates have benefitted greatly from the internet, so should you. Here's my step-by-step tutorial on how to build your own site.

The actions you take today help shape a better future. You never know where the journey will take you!

Updated for 2021 and beyond. 10+ years of blogging is in the bag. We live 100% off our passive income and save all of our online income to build more passive income.

About The Author

776 thoughts on “Creating Powerful Friends: Samurai’s Alexa Ranking Challenge”

  1. I really love how evergreen this post is! It’s great to come on here and see others join the challenge. Just for some encouragement, I am nowhere near where I want to be but I started blogging in February (2019) and my rank has gone from 11,000,00+ to 2.3 Million and U.S. ranking from “unranked” to 500,000+ to now 170,338 – all within 3 months. And I know there is so much more I could be doing to promote my posts, so I can already see a pathway to continued improvement.

    1. This is so fantastic! I am on the same journey as well! I just broke 500K yesterday, from the 4.6 million that I started with over a month ago. Of course, there’s still a lot to be done, but I am motivated be successful in the 6-month challenge!

  2. I’m curious other people’s opinion. Do you think having a blog with multiple topics hinders ranking and SEO? Just begin contributing wealth ideas to a food blog that we took a break from. Not sure if it would be smarter to start a separate blog for the wealth info or have all the content in one blog with different categories to gather traffic from both kinds of readers. It’s so new that I’d prefer to make an adjustment now before getting too far along and realizing we should have made a change in the beginning. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jerry. So, it’s a year later now, and I think it’s been MOSTLY a hindrance. We recently switched our blog over to one subject (something we care about a lot) and abandoned our “mixed bag” blog.

      Even our forum that gets TONS of organic traffic as the unofficial fan forum for an NFL Team that I won’t mention lol, even it took a hit because of (I think) our Off Topic forums.

      Good news is… hey, we were just looking at rando posts for our ‘blogger burnout’ and came across your post a year later, so that counts for something, right? LOL

      Keep up the good fight and send that newsletter our way :)

  3. Thanks, Sam. This one was inspiring. I’m still in the very early stages of blogging. You mentioned in this post that you paid little attention to SEO in the early stages. I have done the exact same. I wonder, however, if that changed with time for you and you did start to optimize headlines, etc. After all, you did say later in this same post that 3/4 or your visitors are coming from organic traffic. So Google is finding you somehow….

  4. Hey guys,

    Sign me up!

    Have worked on promoting the blog, but due to the lack of time, I focused on other things, such as creating high value content. I will progressively promote the blog and I hope to get higher in the ranks. I started my blog in March 2016.

    As of January 10th: 

    320,039 Alexa Traffic Rank
    78,287 Traffic Rank in US

  5. Hi Guys, Here’s our update: Global 1,517,852 Alexa Traffic Rank
    United States 258,846 Traffic Rank in US.

    Is anyone able to offer feedback or insights on how to countinue to grow our traffic and better promote our content? Thanks!!

    1. Matt @ Distilled Dollar

      Nice work!

      My only feedback is to,
      A) Post consistently, and
      B) Connect with other bloggers by commenting on their articles and/or doing guest posts

      I find this two step approach worked well for me. It kept me diligent in creating new material and it made the whole process much more fun.

  6. I just accepted the Yakezie Challenge. My goal is to reach 250,000 internationally and 50,000 in the United States. I’ve been working on improving my Alexa ranking for the past six months, and I’ve seen great results. This challenge should help me increase my ranking even more.

    My ranks today are as follows: International 497,600 and U.S. 86,050.

    I’m really excited to network with all of you. Reach out to me through the contact me section of my site if your looking to write a blog post or network in some other way.

    Best of luck to all of you with this challenge

    Investment Hunting

  7. Stefan - The Millennial Budget

    Evening everybody,

    I have just officially accepted the Yakezie Challenge. I have been blogging for four months and hope to reach top 200k within two months. More importantly I hope to meet many new bloggers.

    I am currently ranked in the top 250k globally and hope to continue growing!

  8. Posting on update on my progress in just under two months since joining on 6/3/2016 (2,200,00 global at the time):

    As of 7/28/16 –
    Global ranking: 602,552
    US ranking: 74,708

    I’ll be shooting for 500,000 and 50,000, respectively, by mid-August.

  9. One year old finance and stock market blog. The blog is about an year old. Present Global Alexa rank is 36,00,000. Lets see how good I pool in by joining the contest. Decided to join and lets see the good results.

  10. OK, I’m 6 months into blogging and I’m ready to join the challenge today (30th June 2016)

    Post announcement will be going out today.

    Current Global ranking 2,059,547

    UK Ranking 55,717

    US Ranking 999,287

    Look forward to chatting with all you guys!

    1. PatientWealthBuilder

      welcome! I like your site and you look like you are already well on your way to becoming successful! Or wait, you are already successful and are on your way to greater success! I think your Alexa ranking is very good compared to the length of existence of your blog. You’ve done a great job jumping out in front. May your success continue and grow as you consistently write over the long-term! Have a good one.

    2. Welcome! I love your blog, so I’m excited to see how low your Alexa ranking goes from the Challenge. We started unranked so it was less exciting to just get ranked, but your score could really drop into the Challenge goal! Good luck!

  11. I really love how evergreen this post is! It’s great to come on here and see others join the challenge. Just for some encouragement, I am nowhere near where I want to be but I started blogging in February (2016) and my rank has gone from 15,000,000+ to 1.3 Million and U.S. ranking from “unranked” to 500,000+ to now 170,338 – all within 3 months. And I know there is so much more I could be doing to promote my posts, so I can already see a pathway to continued improvement. Thanks so much for the challenge! It’s what I needed to really get moving and have a tangible way to track results.

    1. Yeah, we were the same way! Started the challenge about 2 weeks ago with no Alexa ranking & now we’re in the 5,000,000 range. It’s exciting to see the progress & learn from everyone else. Welcome to the challenge!

      1. Dr. J @ Medschool financial

        Welcome to challenge, embrace the process and give it time. Slowly but surely the ranking will improve. Good luck!

  12. Financial Slacker

    I have decided to take the plunge and join the Alexa Challenge.

    As of today, my Alexa Rank is 6,827,959.

    Looking forward to connecting with others over the next 6 months.

      1. Financial Slacker

        Thank you.

        Technically, Financial Slacker launched last November with a few pages and posts, but it wasn’t until late January, that I started showing the site to a few friends. I began more actively promoting the site in March. And even more recently, I have started writing more regularly and more often.

        It’s been a great experience so far. I have starting meeting and engaging with the members of the community and I’m really enjoying it. I learn something new every day.

        I appreciate the complement and look forward to interacting more in the future.

        1. PatientWealthBuilder

          great progress. I think the real take-away for me has been to not give up. The fact that many authors take years for their blogs to become in the top 10 or 20 is interesting. One of the motivations for me is to learn from others and to have fun conversations about topics I’m interested in. When I think about it that way the discipline of writing is less difficult.

        2. Matt @ Distilled Dollar

          Nice work so far! We share a similar timeline in that we both started off with our sites months before ‘launch’. I’ve also started to post 3x/week which would have been unthinkable in the past.

          Look forward to seeing your rank rise up!

    1. patientwealthbuilder

      congrats on your progress and consider writing a guest post and reading the top blogs and commenting there as well. there are a lot of good tips on the other blogs and interesting conversations to be part of.

      1. Financial Slacker

        Thanks. Good advice. I’m definitely open to getting some tips (and giving back when I can).

        Still much to learn.

    1. PatientWealthBuilder

      I had no ranking for a while until I validated the Alexa badge on my site and made sure everything was working properly. Once it shows up your Alexa score will be over 15M and drop very quickly. So your early days will show very big improvements which is encouraging.

      1. So I read your comment, and thought “Hmm…I should check that I did everything properly.” Checked things, and boom: we’re at 24,673,413. Already making progress!

        Thanks for the tip!

        1. PatientWealthBuilder

          thats great. I suggest searching this site for more tips and also considering a guest post on another blog. this can drive traffic to your site and if you put links to your blog in your guest post (which you should do) these will show up as sites linking in which helps your ranking as well. check out for a list of good blogs that you may want to guest post with.

          1. patientwealthbuilder

            That’s great – seeing progress is very motivating. I just re-read the post above and am realizing how helpful all of these tips are. Also the post that was just added about working for yourself notes that the financial samurai author worked on his blog for 3 years before monetizing it. I’m glad to have realistic info to guide my goal making. I would think you can break 3,000,000 by the end of the challenge! If you are posting 2-4 times per week and do a guest post or two. Very doable. Congrats on your progress.

          2. Dames in Debt

            New update: 5,585,005. Y’all were right about the ranking dropping quickly. Our goal is still to get under 5,000,000 – hopefully this week! – and then under 1,000,000 for the whole challenge. Seeing what great blogs are still in the 1,000,000 range shows how hard that’s going to be. We’re excited!

            1. Financial Slacker

              Congratulations! That’s great progress in such a short period of time.

              And I agree. There are so many wonderful blogs that have been around for a while in the 1 million range. That looks like a challenging benchmark to beat.

              Look forward to following your progress.

              Thanks for the update.

          3. Matt @ Distilled Dollar

            Looks like you’ll need to set a new goal since you’re already past the 2.5M mark! You’re making excellent progress so far.

            1. It’s so fun to check out these Alexa rankings now that I know what they are…goal is now to get under 1,000,000, which I think will be pretty difficult, but hey, we’ve got like 5 more months!

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