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’ll join too – my current ranks is just shy of 6 million – got plenty of work to do! Might bring the fun back into SEO!

  2. I joined the Yakezie challenge today and introduced myself on the forum. My question is where do I find the articles of the other Yakezie members/challengers to be able to promote them. I see creditcardchasers has a spot on their site with a list, but is there anything else?

  3. Seldom am I IMPRESSED. To tweet this is not doing it justice. Though I think the greater focus should be on your sales conversions regardless of your alexa rankings. I do respect the detail you provided to bloggers around the world. I am going to email you.

    1. Darren, did you ever e-mail me mate? Are you impressed?

      The Alexa Ranking is just a barometer. What’s more important are the relationships we will build and have built within the Yakezie Network.


  4. I love the Yakezie mission. I’m in. Myself and Power Spending co-authors are joining the challenge. Creating a blog section of our site today.

    Current alexa: 655,630.

    200,000… here we come!

  5. Eventually, I am not working with Alexa because the competitions are high there. I have my own blog, which is ranking good in Google but I have seen it’s also in good positions in Alexa. I have never thought so much about it. But, I obliged to tell you that after reading this article, I would like to start optimizations via Amazon. Thanks for the inspirations.

  6. Andrea @

    Hey I’d like to join! Current rank 7,307,986. Been blogging since July ’10 but made a clean start with a new domain at the end of December. I’ve been checking out tons of other blogs, so cool! I had no idea there was this whole community of PF bloggers out there!

  7. I’m late to the party and far behind! Anyway I’m at #4,593,526.
    Let’s just say there’s room for improvement :)

    Just wondering, should I move from Blogger to my own domain?

      1. Thanks for the advice Sam. I did the first (easiest) step and got a URL.

        Just shopping around for a host. Have been recommended Fat Cow, Blue Host, Hostgator, Stablehost and Dreamhost. But then when I google for complaints there seem to be loads of complaints for all. So confusing! Your thoughts?

  8. Barbara Bryn Klare

    Yikes. I have a ways to go, but ever optimistic. I joined a while ago, but got pulled away. Committing NOW to 6 months of blogging, helping others. Can’t list my rank here until it gets better. ;-)

    Come visit me at or on Twitter (@upsideofmoney) and let me get to know you as well (leave a comment, tweet, what have you).

  9. Well, I just ran across this site and post and felt like it would be a good idea to join the challenge since I am wanting to increase my Alexa rank. I was hoping that I could get in the top 500,000 by the end of 2010 but that didn’t happen. Now as part of the Yakezie challenge, I am striving to move from a rank of 648,006 to be in the top 200,000 by the 1st of July 2011. Wish me luck and thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Hi Kidgas,

      Welcome to the Challenge! The most important part is getting to know your fellow Challengers and future Members. Introduce yourself in the forums is a great first step. Cheers, Sam

  10. Yay, I’m so excited to join the Challenge! I just started my blog last month. I didn’t know what my focus would be until I found this place. Current rank is 14,093,680.

  11. twentysomethingmoney

    Great post! I wish I had started my personal finance blog sooner so that I could have participated! Oh well, I guess its better late than never — will get there on my own eventually, but this post has given a lot of inspiration.

  12. I finally got around to joining — should have done this long ago. Current rank is 1,772,811. As you say, nothing but upside potential!

      1. Sam, I haven’t quite cracked the top 200,000 yet. I started at 1.7 million in December and am now at 400,000, so I’m moving up quickly, but I’m not there yet. So, I assume that means I should wait before signing up for the Beta Class. Is that right? One of the application questions asks when you broke through the 200,000 barrier. Please advise. Thanks!

        1. Hmmm, tough one. If you have been actively interacting with the other Members, linking back to them with wrap posts, commenting on their blogs and such, you should be able to crack 200,000.

          Give it a final 1-2 month push! Should help with your book too.

  13. Here we go! We just launched our blog over the weekend with 7 articles. I have now gotten my (woeful) Alexa rank – over 23 million! Time to pull those socks up. I have the Yakezie icon on the site now and i’ll write a post tonight. Glad to be on board! (just need to figure out why I can’t create an account – the verification keeps failing for me)

  14. Okay, so I’ve tried to register for the forums 9 different times now. Every time I do it says that I’m entering the Image Validation in correctly. There is no way that I am – 9 times. So I don’t know what to do. =(

  15. I’m in. I’m making my announcement on my blog tomorrow afternoon. It’ll be a challenge to grow from 13,268,504 to under 600,000 in six months, but I’ll see what happens.


      1. Thanks, I’m doing my best by writing for fun. You have made blogging more interesting, though, Sam. I really appreciate the extra motivation by which this challenge produces. I wish I were more involved with Yakezie; I will after the book and grad school is complete in May, trust me.

  16. I write mostly bank reviews about CD Rates. I occasionally will impart some “wisdom” on the economy. Does the site in my sigline qualify? Let me know. I’ve visited some of your blogs over the years and commented.

    cd :O)

  17. Chris Gagner @ SmartPF

    I’m joining the challenge today. Gotta get to at least 200,000 in 6 months. I’m starting at 1,790,984.

  18. Guarantor Loans

    This takes me back. When we first started out 6 years ago we installed the Alexa Tool Bar and very quickly it almost took over our lives. Desperate to get into the top 100,000 we threw everthing at it we finally manage to get to about 98,000 but then as nothing really changed when we got there, we kinda just lost interest and gave up worrying about it.

    However, I might start watching it again as a bit of fun.

    Thanks for injecting a bit of fun back into this sometimes tedious occupation!

  19. Todd | Todd'sWanderings

    Hi Everyone (and Sam),

    I love the idea of the challenge and accept, if you’ll have me. I’m more on the travel lifestyle side of blogging but have started talking about the money side of my site/lifestyle more

    My current alexa ranking is 134,020 and this is perfect motivation I need to help me make the push below the 100,000 mark.

    Looking forward to meeting the community here.


      1. Todd | Todd's Wanderings

        Hey Sam, great! I remember you telling me about this earlier when I was just getting started earlier this year. Great to be a part of this group and I’ll introduce myself and the challenge this week.


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