Just over a month ago, I recorded my disappointment with Blogrush. Lots of people shared my view, and some of them recommended a new traffic building site, Entrecard. I didnt wait and signed up the same day, posting a review on another site after only three days of use. Now that I’ve been using it for longer and the honeymoon is over, it’s time for a possibly more balanced review.
An Internet Business Card
Entrecard says it’s an internet business card. When you sign up, you create a 125×125 ad for your site or blog. (Whatever you do, don’t use the default ones, because they are NOT pretty!) Just as you do when you visit an office, you can leave your card at other sites thanks to a handy Entrecard widget. There are several versions of this widget depending on how much sidebar space you want to give up.
Racking Up Credits
Dropping the card on other sites gains you Entrecard credits, which you can use to buy display space on their widgets for 24 hours. You also gain Entrecard credits when people drop cards on your site, or when they buy ads from you. The cost of the ad space reflects the number of cards dropped on your site in the last five days, multiplied by two. Entrecard credits can also be used to buy other blog related products and services through the shop.
The dashboard is the hub of your Entrecard operation. The main page shows recent card droppers on your site, ads you have bought and sold, and statistics about ad views, card drops and more. You can see more detail on these on the statistics tab.
There’s also a campaign tab, which is where you can find blogs listed by category, blogs with low wait times for advertising, popular blogs for advertising and more. To advertise, just click on the advertise tab and then click again to confirm the sale. Ad money is debited from your account immediately. When an ad is bought on your widget, you get the money after the ad has been displayed.
Entrecard is simple to use and seems to do exactly what it promises. The time consuming part is dropping cards, because if you go through the dashboard it’s a two step process. First you find the Entrecard entry, then you click on the URL of the blog. Then there’s a third click for the card drop.
However, you can speed up this process. One method I have used is to create a bookmark group labelled Entrecard which includes most of the Entrecard enabled sites I visit. That takes one click away. There’s also a site called Sitehoppin, which loads Entrecard enabled sites within a frame, once you select the right tag. This site attracted a lot of negative comments from Entrecard forum posters, but you may find it useful.
The only problem I have had with Entrecard is that sometimes its automatic widget scanner thinks my widget is gone. That means that people can’t advertise on my blog. Usually, that problem is solved quickly, but sometimes it takes a couple of hours.
The Big Question: Traffic Building
What everyone wants to know is whether Entrecard really delivers site traffic. In my experience, it does. In the last 10 days of December, I got 490 new visitors. I’ve had even more so far this month. Some of those surfed by and never came back, but at least a few of them became new readers and subscribers, which is good news for me.
Entrecard is also good for indirect traffic building. I have discovered a lot of new blogs in my niche, and my comments on those blogs have brought new visitors and readers to my blog.
Entrecard is visual, so if you have a good card, people will stop and look. It’s worth spending a moment to get the right design for your card. Also, the higher you place your widget, the more drops and ads you are likely to receive.
Drop and you will be dropped on. The more you drop, the more drops you receive. The more drops you receive, the more you get for ads on your widget. The more credits you have, the more ads you can buy on popular blogs and the more visibility you can gain for your own.
Participate in the forums, leave recommendations for blogs you like and take a moment to send messages to some of the bloggers you’ve met. A small networking effort will make your Entrecard experience even richer.
So that’s my story and those are my tips. I know there are a lot of Entrecard users here, so what tips can you share and how have you found Entrecard?
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