I joined Entrecard (EC) in January 2009. I was hoping to find some way to seriously increase traffic to my blog, and this particular networking tool is different from most of the others.
If you have noticed on any blogs a box with a 125x125 pixel banner with a black and orange box beside it, or a band below it with a single, capital E, that is an Entrecard Drop Box. I have added one to this blog today.
The idea is that you can earn credits by clicking on those boxes in other people’s blogs. You also get credit when other EC bloggers click on your box. With these EC credits you can buy advertising space on other blogs in the system. That’s how your blog’s banner gets on other blogs.
My traffic immediately increased. I began to make several friends in the blog world, including a few blogs that I make an effort to read and comment on every day. Pretty soon, people were stopping off at My Quality Day and leaving interesting comments. And my two news blogs were getting a lot more traffic even if no one was leaving comments. For the North Country Trail News blog this was great exposure. The news is mostly pertinent to those who care specifically about the trail.
One of the general complaints about Entrecard is that people just drop and run and don’t read the blogs, and thus it makes your bounce rate go up. This is true enough, but it’s obvious that if you have things worth looking at that people eventually slow down and look. Before EC I had one regular reader of My Quality Day. Now I have double digit followers and every post has multiple comments. This is what blogging is supposed to be!
A couple of days ago EC announced a major shift in its emphasis. They will be attracting outside advertisers whose ads will be running with blog ads up to 50% of the time. The up side of this is that finally those with extra EC credits can cash them out for real money. There was great hue and cry about the down sides. First of all, all EC widgets will need to be either above the fold or within one scroll down from there. This has not yet been tightly defined since this will vary on different monitors. (After initially saying that the widget had to be above the fold, this standard has been relaxed.) This is a design issue for some people, while others are upset because many advertisement brokers insist that their ads be above the fold. There is only so much real estate at the top on any blog.
The next biggest complaint is that bloggers would have to pay via EC credits to decline to run ads of which they did not approve. EC has since decided that they will not require people to pay in order to refuse certain ads. Bloggers on Today.com (and others?) will be given an option to run no ads except the traditional blog ads. Today.com does not allow any commercial ads other than their own, so the new EC plan would have eliminated anyone using the Today platform from their network.
Some bloggers have already left Entrecard. I know of one who left in protest and is back already since EC actually listened to some of the complaints.
Me, I’m going to stick around and see how it works out. Two of my widgets were already high enough on their respective blogs, and I moved the third one up a bit. The one on this blog I just added today after it was approved. Perhaps there will soon be another small tally of cents per day listed below.
|web ad income today (4 blogs, 2 web sites): |
Project Wonderful $.05
Total to date in March: $4.88