Feb 09 2008

So What is Entrecard?

Published by at 11:50 pm under blogging,Entrecard

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.

The Card

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.


The Signup

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:

Entrecard Requests

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).

Being Snobby Selective

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”.

Widget Placement

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.

The Unoriginal

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.

Site Hoppin

Traffic Quality

I have early reservations about the quality of the traffic.

Entrecard 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?

21 responses so far

21 Responses to “So What is Entrecard?”

  1. Neeravon 10 Feb 2008 at 12:15 am

    I have a widget free policy – I tried a few in the past but found that even the good ones that aren’t setup like pyramid schemes (IMHO these are in the minority) slow down site loading too much when they work or stop pages loading altogether when they have server overload problems

    Neerav’s last blog post..Students Buy Cheap Microsoft Office for $75 Dollars

  2. Gregon 10 Feb 2008 at 12:31 am

    Having been trying out the Entrecard i must say for all the publicity and people talking about it i find myself rather underwhelmed for a number of reasons:

    I have seen an increase in traffic but its not been quality traffic. Like you have found they are there for the ec credit of dropping their own card and don’t stick around for long.

    I’ve also noticed that there seems to be a fair bit of accepting advertising only to dump it if their rate goes up so they make more. I am a believer in once you agree with something, you stick with something myself.

    So i use it. But probably not for long.

  3. Leighon 10 Feb 2008 at 12:51 am

    I had been putting it off for awhile too, didn’t really think it would be something of much use to me.. but thought I would check it out so signed up today.

    I’m with Greg, bit under excited about the whole thing. But will see how it goes.

    Had a bit of a giggle at your avatar, it looks good..I was just a little surprised by it’s cuteness *hehe*

    Leigh’s last blog post..All Women Carnival

  4. cellobellaon 10 Feb 2008 at 1:18 am

    I quite like the idea of dropping a calling card. But then, I’ve recently been reading Jane Austen and that’s what they did back then…

    I was all gung ho for the first few days – now it is becoming a bit of a chore.


    Making the little piccy is fun though.

    cellobella’s last blog post..Review – LABJACD with DJ Dexter

  5. Kelleyon 10 Feb 2008 at 10:18 am

    I jumped on the bandwagon. Played around for a while. Rejected lots of people because they were just not relevant. Placed some ads.

    Now I am all Meh about the idea.

    Seems to me you need to set aside time to just visit random blogs to just drop a card. That is not fun.

    I have found a couple of interesting blogs. Even subscribed to one. But there is a LOT out there of absolutely no interest to me. And for the payback, a paltry 81 drops in 2 days, I would rather spend my time reading quality blogs, commenting and hoping that they will come and visit and enjoy what I have to say.

    I am rather disappointed.

    Kelley’s last blog post..Rule 34 and Clinkers

  6. Ben Bardenon 10 Feb 2008 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for the link! :)

    Ben Barden’s last blog post..Do you write at the weekend?

  7. Thiruon 10 Feb 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I tried it too.. but most visitors come to ‘drop their cards’ and they don’t around what’s your blog content..so, i switched it off.

    There is another little utility called ‘Entrecard Browser’ (ec.createlf.com) which allows you to ‘stumble through’ participating blogs and to drop your card easily.

    Thiru’s last blog post..How to capture full-sized screenshots of websites

  8. Lighteningon 10 Feb 2008 at 4:35 pm

    I’m sure it has something to do with my hitting the top 100 Australian Blog Index. Interesting that most of the newbies to the list this month are users. Coincidence? Maybe.

    It’s like anything. You get out of it what you put into it (to an extent). I have definitely gained some new regular readers from it and found some great blogs through it.

    I’m unsure at this stage whether it is something I will use long-term. Time will tell.

    I’ve not yet had any unfavourable messages and certainly no essays on how to use entrecard in my message box. You must have hit the jackpot there Meg. 😉

    I didn’t get to see that card either so thanks for showing it. :)

    How do you find out your “bounce rate”? I’ve heard it talked about in terms of entrecard but have no idea what mine is.

    Lightening’s last blog post..Ten Pin Bowling Party

  9. jenon 10 Feb 2008 at 8:14 pm

    I haven’t signed up to Entrecard as I just haven’t really got the time to invest in it and still don’t really see the value in it and with the state of my webhost at the moment I sure don’t need a widget slowing things down and potentially getting my site suspended yet again.

    jen’s last blog post..I went, I spoke, I conquered

  10. Snoskredon 10 Feb 2008 at 8:37 pm

    I don’t know. I think it depends on how you do it.

    I’ve done a lot of dropping and during the process of that I’ve found some fantastic new sites as well as some of the ugliest sites ever seen on the interweb, I’ve found a few blogs writing on topics I am interested in which I would not have found otherwise as well as a few blogs with topics I am not interested in at all.

    I’m doing it a little differently – I want to explore all the categories. I printed out a list and am crossing each category off as I go. But I also added all the Aussies to bookmarks so I can regularly drop.

    The more you drop, the more people return your drops, too.

    I like it. It’s kinda fun. It got me out and looking at blogs again rather than my RSS reader, so that is a huge bonus. 😉

    Snoskred’s last blog post..Thought For Today – Sunday 10th February

  11. Katieon 10 Feb 2008 at 9:03 pm

    It’s not exactly my cup of tea. But there are so many bloggers talking about it right now, it’s hard to avoid it! I don’t think it will last – I think it’s another “craze” that the bloggers hit hard and then, with time, get over.

    Katie’s last blog post..The One Where Katie Proposes Marriage to a Toll Booth Operator

  12. katefon 11 Feb 2008 at 10:54 am

    I’ve been playing around a bit with entrecard and I reject a fair bit of advertisers…. I dunno, I don’t really understand the ins and outs of blogging and the internet much but to me, the reply to your rejection misses the mark.

    If all you want is people, anyone, to drop a card on your site then I can see how rejecting advertisers might curtail that. But surely what we really want, well ok, what I really want is to gain some new long term ‘readers’, not just people who drop and run to get another credit? In that case I think it makes sense to be more selective on who you let advertise. Sure you might annoy some people who’s blogs are totally irrelevant, but tell me someone who blogs about how to make money from stocks in the US is ever going to read my Mummy blog? Or that the majority of their readers would be interested either?

    If it is just simply about popularity then I don’t need it.. I am not 16 any more, I don’t care if I am not the most popular girl in school. For me entrecard has been about networking with other bloggers in my niche or who are compatible to my niche… though maybe I am missing a big chance… or something…

  13. swollenpickleson 11 Feb 2008 at 4:16 pm

    I like entrecard, but things seem to be getting out of hand. The number of credits it costs to advertise on some blogs is just getting out of hand. Judging how much a site is worth based on the number of card drops that site owner has made just seems a bit stupid. I mean why would you waste 300+ entrecards on a blogspot blog with an alexa rank in the millions?

    swollenpickles’s last blog post..How often do you change your theme?

  14. Willon 11 Feb 2008 at 11:52 pm

    So, let me get this straight.

    You sign up, get some widget code to add to your blog. Then you wade through the dozen or so emails you get flooded with to select relevant ads (lets not mince words here) to place on your blog. Shortly thereafter you will get abus^H^H^H^H chastised for blocking non-relevant ad requests. All so you and place your *own* ads, to get largely irrelivant non-sticky blog traffic?

    Or am I just being a little too cynical here?

  15. Stephan Milleron 12 Feb 2008 at 7:10 am

    I was sort of standoffish about Entrecard also. I’m not really a “true believer” when it comes to anything. Now it’s hard for me to not be a true believer with Entrecard.

    Stephan Miller’s last blog post..Getting Yourself Unhacked by Mr. Exe, Destoyer, or Dark Master

  16. Pearlon 12 Feb 2008 at 9:36 am

    yes I am signed up but haven’t had too much time to ‘go shopping’ or ‘drop my card’ but the good thing is that I’ve been approving ads quickly without much thought – except when it is porn or course or anything offensive!

    BUT the good news is that today You are on my widget which reminded me to come here :) so I see a lot of benefit but I agree with swollenpickles – too many entrecards to advertise on some blogs and then the queue is filled up and I’ll never get there even if I have enough number of credits

    Pearl’s last blog post..Interesting Posts Around the Web – Feb 11

  17. Gregon 12 Feb 2008 at 5:08 pm

    I just noticed it also doesn’t seem to support multiple blogs so i would effectively have to have multiple accounts with multiple lots of card dropping etc to make use of it

  18. Sandraon 12 Feb 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Welcome to the EntreCard clan. It’s a great way to discover new blogs (like I discovered yours, always good to find more Aussie blogs) and get some extra traffic.

    Sandra’s last blog post..Shutterfly coupons

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  20. Ericon 28 Mar 2008 at 7:29 am

    This entrecard thing is getting more awareness now. New bloggers gets the more interest in this great network exchange. This popular for the beginners.

    Other visitors come to your blog to just click and drop, but not all are doing this. If your site is within their niche, they will take a time to view your page. I do this sometime.

    Eric’s last blog post..The Meta Tag and Its Use

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