Entrecard – The Good and Bad
Some time ago, I joined Entrecard, which allows you to advertise your blog’s business card (a 125×125 pixel image) on other blogs. You do this by earning Entrecard credits, and then spending those credits advertising on other blogs.
Recently, there has been talk about whether Entrecard is good to join, and whether traffic generated from it is good or bad traffic. Just as with other new ventures, Entrecard has both good and bad points that I will outline in this post.
Entrecard exploded on the blogging scene a few months ago and has since been growing very quickly. In the past, there have been many companies and Web sites that have promised to increase traffic to your blog, and most have failed. Entrecard, in my opinion, has succeeded, to some degree.
Entrecard is free to join for anyone with a blog. All you need is to design a 125×125 pixel image, called a business card, for your blog and upload it to Entrecard. You then place the Entrecard widget on your blog.
You then visit other blogs that have the Entrecard widget installed, and then drop your business card on the widget. Each time you drop you card, you earn one Entrecard credit, and the owner of the blog with the widget earns one credit. You can then use the credits to purchase ads on other blogs, and other blogs can purchase ads on yours. The ads are simply your business card image displayed on the Entrecard widget on other blogs.
The advertising cost for each blog is determine by the average number of cards dropped on your Entrecard widget over the past 5 days multiplied by 2.
This is a simplified overview of Entrecard and how it works. As with all new systems, there are both good and bad points that I will discuss next.
There are many good points about Entrecard that many bloggers can take advantage of to help increase the traffic of their blog:
- Free to join. This is always a big plus as it doesn’t cost you anything (except time). Even if you don’t see the results you expect, you have nothing to lose since it doesn’t cost anything.
- Generates traffic to your blog. This is one of the points up for debate among bloggers. Entrecard certainly does drive traffic to your blog, and very quickly too. For the flipside to this, see the bad points below.
- Increase your blog’s subscriber count. This is a bonus when you receive more traffic from Entrecard. There may be a few visitors from Entrecard that enjoyed your blog and subscribe to your RSS feed.
- Easy to earn Entrecard credits. You need Entrecard credits to purchase ads on other blogs, You can easily earn them by simply dropping your card on the Entrecard widget on other blogs. I find that the more you drop, the more you receive. You can also try your luck at the many Entrecard contests that allow you to win credits.
- Advertise on larger more popular blogs. Many a-list bloggers have joined Entrecard. These blogs usually charge several hundred dollars for an ad, but you may be able to display your card on their blog using your Entrecard credits.
- The Entrecard shop. The shop was opened in the last month and allows you to spend your credits on something else other than advertising. Such things as reviews, links, and business card designs are available to be purchased.
- Visit good, unknown blogs. There are many blogs online that are great but receive very little traffic because they are new or small. You can easily find some of these blogs by simply dropping your card. I have found many that I enjoyed reading and wouldn’t have found them without Entrecard.
- Networking with other bloggers. Just as with the social sites, you start networking with other bloggers using the forums, writing comments or other means. Although, the networking aspect is not up to the BlogCatalog standards, but still you can network with Entrecard.
With all it’s good points, Entrecard does have some bad points. I’m sure in the future many of these will be solved/fixed to provide a better experience for Entrecard users.
- Less pages per visit. This is one of the most popular negatives about the system. Many of the Entrecard users will visit a blog, drop their card, and then leave. This causes the number of pages/visit for Entrecard users to be barely above one. I admit that I have done this, however, if a post catches my eye I will stay and read it, and also leave a comment.
- Blog advertising prices. This is another negative that many bloggers complain about. Many of the blogs that receive little traffic cost more than A-list blogs in terms of advertisement. This is simply because they receive more dropped cards than the other blogs. A new system for rating blogs needs to be in place. A solution such as the this page strength calculator is one possible solution.
- The forums. Many people have talked about how bad the forums are designed. I have heard that Entrecard will be redesigning the forums in the future, but right now they are concentrating on make the Entrecard system better. I’d rather have a good system in place than good forums.
I have listed some of the good and bad points of using Entrecard. For A-list bloggers, it may not get the results they want. For small to medium blogs, it will definitely increase your traffic, and possibly your subscriber count. For me, I’ll stay with Entrecard because it is a system that does increase your traffic and costs nothing to use.
If you have tried Entrecard, or are currently using it, I would be curious to hear your opinion.