Feb 09 2008
I have been purposely avoiding this whole Entrecard thing. Another network to explore, understanding the do’s and don’ts, protocol, etiquette… but the more I travelled around the web, the more these little cards kept popping up. And there is an extremely active discussion on the Aussie Bloggers Forum – and no one likes to be left out, right?
And let’s not forget the whole Blogrush fiasco – or maybe we should. Another reason for my reluctance to invest any energy jumping on “the next big thing”.
What is Entrecard?
The idea is that you create a “business card” for your blog which you use to advertise on other blogs. It’s free and uses Entrecard credits as a currency, which you earn through a variety of activities.
What I gathered from these little 125×125 squares is that they should be attention grabbing, or at least meaningful, to entice people to click on them. Being creatively challenged as I am, I went through my clip art files and eventually settled on something I thought was cute, and kind of relevant to my blog. I added a little Aussie flag and the faithful Avatar and this is what I came up with.
Next I headed over the Sephy’s great How to get Started on Entrecard and then signed myself up.
Sephy’s not wrong, within minutes the
vultures enthusiastic networkers pounced to sign up for cheap advertising. The cost to advertise on someone’s site is equivalent to twice the daily average number of “drops” on your site over the last five days. Obviously when you sign up you don’t have an average so I think the minimum is 2 credits (some of the top blogs cost over 400). To understand how the Entrecard Credits (ECs) work – see Ben Barden’s Entrecard Overview.
This is what happened over the first few hours:
The maximum number of ads that can be queued for approval is 5, so as you approve or reject, another one fills its place. The maximum number of ads that can be scheduled is nine (technically, but if you also have ads waiting to be approved they can also be added to the queue), after that you won’t get any more requests until one of the ads finishes running (ads run for 24 hours).
I wanted to be selective with the ads that I displayed. Surely the more relevant, the better – right? There are a few different reasons you can give for rejecting ads such as “not accepting new adverts at this time” or “too many requests”. I think rejection is par for the course, but I did get one message from someone who wasn’t real happy about it.
This advertiser was a blog writing about something that is just not relevant to Australians. Given some 76% of my traffic is from Australia, I felt it would be a waste of the advertisers credits (all two of them!) and of little interest to anyone reading here. I wrote back explaining this and saying that I hadn’t meant to offend. This was the reply I received:
I’m not offended as most new EC’ers do the same thing. Obtaining ads on here that are relevant to your site will be a task and the more you don’t approve the more networking potential on here you’ll lose. Most sites you reject won’t be back to drop a card on you for whatever reason.
I have the same issue on getting a relevant ad on my blog as well… The fact is, if you’re going to succeed on here you have to open that gate. The majority of successful EC’ers on here won’t be relevant to your blog. They will however bring you more EC traffic which is what you want.
You’ll want to advertise on the big EC’ers as well, whether they’re relevant or not… This will bring you more drops and popularity.
Entrecard isn’t necessarily a traditional site where ad relevance is the most important thing. Here it’s more about community and succeeding within the community to better your blog… Without the following of the community, it’s almost impossible to succeed.
After you’ve gained popularity on here and are seeing tons of traffic daily, then you can be more selective I suppose depending on your own campaign for success…
There are only 30 sites on the popular page. There are thousands and thousands of other sites that hardly anyone sees off that page.
You’ll want to at least make good with some of those popular blogs.
Just a tip for success on here but your own personal campaign is entirely up to you. Thanks for the reply and again, best of luck on Entrecard!
So there’s a bit of insight behind the way successful Entrecarders work. 😮 I did mention “understanding the do’s and don’ts, protocol, etiquette…”, seems I’m off to a shaky start.
It seems logical to me not to tie up 9 days of “bargain basement” advertising until you’ve had the opportunity to increase your going rate. For every ad that runs 24 hours on your site, you get a percentage of the credits (currently 50%). So if you book too much, too soon, then you are losing out on potential credits.
But I guess waiting too long to approve or reject an ad is also bad etiquette, because it ties up someone else’s credits meaning they can’t use them for advertising somewhere else.
My suggestion is to wait until you have five ads to pick from, approve the one you like best, then set about “playing the game”. This requires a bit of time, as you need to visit other sites using Entrecard and “drop” your card on their site. You have to look for the widget (like mine to the left) and the section that says “drop yours”.
There’s discussion about where to place the widget too. Obviously the optimal spot to get most exposure is “above the fold“, but I guess this positioning is hard to give up for many folks who are monetising their blogs. Personally, if I have to scroll all the way to the bottom of a page to find the widget, then I would question whether the ad would be worth the credits.
Then, of course, there are those who have trouble coming up with a logo of their own, so decide to “adapt” someone else’s (n.b. I note this has pretty promptly been changed). No prizes for guessing the ripped off logo.
I have early reservations about the quality of the traffic.
That’s pretty woeful! Hopefully some ads placed on relevant sites might result in more meaningful visits.
For any Aussies contemplating or using Entrecard, Andrew has a fantastic list of Aussie Bloggers on Entrecard.
Have you signed up yet? Do you think you will, or is it not for you?
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