Poker Face

A couple of weeks back I wrote a brief article on what the best Blog Exchange Service was and gave each of the top 5 services a letter grade based on various categories. (you can read that post HERE )

The article also had a user poll where my readers could vote on their favourite Blog Service was and quite surprisingly, EntreCard finished second (at time of writing this).

I say surprisingly because it definitely is not my favourite (I even gave it a "D" grade with a NOT recommended) but it seems that for a lot of my readers, it is their #1 choice.

So keeping that fact in mind & against my better judgement, today's post is dedicated completely to those readers, as I will share with you some tips and tricks I have picked up over the years for using EntreCard.

Now these are not the standard tips that you would usually read about, you can find all of those boring and repetitive ones by doing a simple Google search. No, these ones are much better then that (well most of them are in my opinion, anyway) and hopefully a couple of them may even work for you.




SURFING ENTRECARD
  • You only get 300 drops per day so make them count. Although that sounds like a lot of drops, it really isn't so only drop on sites you enjoy or prospective sites that may advertise with you or be a regular visitor
  • The dropping process does get extremely monotonous, so to speed things up either download the EntreCard toolbar or download (for Firefox) Snap Links Plus, which allows you to open multiple links at the same time. (I personally prefer Snap Links Plus as you can use this addon for any sites outside of Entrecard as well. It is far more a 'multipurpose tool' and does come in handy.)
  • Always try & drop on the people that dropped on you the day before (they can only drop 1 card per day on your site so there is no point in dropping on ones who visit you today). These people have already shown an interest in your site, so they may be your best audience to get repeat traffic from going forward.
  • Enter contests and giveaways for Entrecard credits wherever possible. As you can only earn a maximum of 300 credits each day, if you ever want to advertise regularly on any expensive site, you will need a much larger balance. Try and pick them up (for free) wherever you can. Sure you can buy these things but if you want to start paying for advertising, Entrecard is definitely not the place to be doing that.
  • If you drop regularly the traffic to your site will easily build up and you will find more then 300 drops in your inbox. As I mentioned above that you should always drop on the people who dropped on you the day before, here is a caveat to that. As you cannot exceed the 300 drops/daily, you need to 'weed out the crappy sites' and not bother to drop on them. My definition of crappy (yours may be different, of course) are sites with the 'no design' or generic widget, sites I have no interest in reading, sites which have not been updated in over a month and sites that I will never advertise on. If you stop dropping on these 'deadbeats', you should be able to easily have enough drops to visit all the sites you enjoy.


RENTING SPACE TO ADVERTISERS
  • Don't hide the widget on your site. This isn't a "Where's Waldo" game. The harder it is to find the less likely people will either visit or advertise on your site. It does not need(nor should be) at the top taking up prime real estate (that should be for either paid ads or something of a higher value) but in a clear & easy to find location to most visitors
  • Don't put the widget at the very bottom of your page thinking the visitor will then read everything above it. This will probably only serve to annoy them & never visit or read anything on your site.
  • If you have other widgets from other services, try and keep them all close together. The logic here is that your visitors who are also members of these services can click on all of the widgets at the same time. If it is convenient for them, they will definitely return.
  • Reciprocate rentals is also a really good practise to get into and usually results in repeat advertisers and repeat traffic. Keep in mind that you will need to carry a balance of EC credits to do this regularly.
  • Always click on your advertiser as both a courtesy to the buyer and to make sure everything is working correctly.
  • Be selective. Don't just rent to anyone who wants to advertise on your site. Remember you only get 25% of the selling price anyway as EC keeps the rest. You are responsible for what your visitors see on your blog. If they see crap or even a link to crap; well it is unlikely you will be seeing much of them in the future.

ADVERTISING ON OTHERS SITES
  • EntreCard keeps the history of all the blogs you have advertised on, so you can view the dates, price and hits for any ad you have placed. Just go to Dashboard and click on Your Ads. When the Your Adverts page is displayed, click on Turbocharge please (bottom right corner). This will then display the advertising statistics when you hover your mouse over them. This is valuable information when it comes to deciding on where best to spend your hard-earned credits.
  • The blog ads on the widgets tend to change at the same time every 24 hours (for each specific site). If you cannot afford a higher priced blog but really want to advertise, watch and see the specific time it changes so when you do have enough credits to afford it you can usually purchase it a little cheaper. Timing is everything!
  • As a general rule, usually the higher priced sites are priced that way for a reason. I have found that they tend to have more visitors and as a result send more clicks to your site. Of course this does not always work, but after awhile you should be able to find the better ones to advertise with. It's trial and error for advertising.
  • Try & mix both the cheaper and the higher priced sites to advertise on (you never know, the cheaper ones may give you a better return on your credits and also you may find a good blog that you enjoy visiting)
  • The advertising prices to buy space tends to be higher priced on weekends and lower priced on weekdays - keep that in mind when making your advertising decisions.
  • For the higher priced sites, watch the trends of when they are priced lower and take advantage of this
  • Buy ads in advance and time the specific days that they will appear. Try and coincide this with you own posts or special events to maximize your advertising credits.
  • If you advertise on a site and you get absolutely no traffic off of it, dump them. If the owner of that site doesn't even click on their own widget once, just to make sure it is working, they are pathetic & you don't need them
  • Another general rule for me anyway is that I will not advertise on sites who have the 'no design' or generic widget. It only takes like a couple minutes to create one. No effort on the widget is a damn good indicator of what the blog is undoubtedly like.
  • A large number of sites, which are displaying the 'no design' or generic widget, are just selling something and not interested in your blog or your writing. I would not recommend advertising on these as their traffic is undoubtedly minimal.
  • If you buy advertising on a site and the seller never visits you in general toss them. It is a courtesy thing that clearly they are lacking
  • If you buy advertising repeatedly on a site and the seller never reciprocates by buying advertising on your site - dump them. Once again this is a courtesy thing.

OTHER
  • Take a few minutes to design a card, it makes a huge difference then using the bland generic ones out there & also gives you a unique web presence. You want to stand out from the others in order to build traffic and repeat visitors
  • Another reason for a unique widget. The more clicks on your widget the higher your Entrecard ranking is which means your widget will appear higher on the campaign page under each category. If you get into the top 3 of your category, you widget will be displayed on the main category page and result in more rentals and increased traffic to your site.
  • Sites that show their previous weekly/monthly advertisers tend to do well and get some repeat traffic. You can even combine it into a post saying "Thank you" to my sponsors.
  • This may be a personal grudge thing (as I am a petty man) but if any site ever rejects my ad request, I will never drop on or rent to them in the future. There are enough sites out there for you to find a good one if you are rejected so tell them to get lost and don't waste your valuable time or a drops on these sites. I like this policy.
  • The best overall tip I can give you is find out what specifically works best for your site & EntreCard (or any blogging service) & stick with that. Remember any of these services are only 'vehicles' to bring readers & traffic to your site, so put in your time & effort accordingly. Just because some tips or services work for some folks does not mean it will work for all.

So that's about it. These tips are all Entrecard Gold, I say! So now it's your turn. If you have a few tips (or some suggestions) that have helped you in the world of EntreCard, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

8 comments:

Jean said...

Thanks for the informative post.
I have a question. What is a "no design/genetic widget???

RE - Pod313 Tech Tips said...

Great Tips. you really broke it down. guess that's why I'm always visiting and reading here. cheers!

Kloggers/Polly said...

The one point that I think you may have missed is the 'try and accept as many adverts as possible.'
Bloggers are paid Entrecard credits for these ads - the more ads you accept the higher the price (within reason) your blog becomes and the more credits you receive when the ad is displayed.
There are so many bloggers who reject ads with excuses such as 'not relevant.' They may wonder why their blog doesn't climb in the ratings despite probably dropping 300 cards per day. Well it is difficult to climb up the ratings for blogs that only accept a few adverts.

I always visit and drop on a site that I advertise on and do my best to visit and drop on sites that advertise on me.

This was a lovely post - and as daft as it may be, I think that it is probably the only post that I have seen explaining all about Entrecard, dropping and the values of advertising within the community!

One little extra point - remember also that it is often easy to drop through the Blogcatalog widget ... I often wish that Entrecard would create one that holds 50 blogs or more ... ;)

Riches Corner said...

Good tips. I find myself following most of your tips. I'm about to read your post on other traffic exchanges, but in case the answer isn't there, which traffic exchange is your favorite?

momsrus said...

i don't know why i am always drawn to your blog...hmmm, hang on just had a sip of my wine...lookin for one of those wine drinkin smileys...

Annie said...

I think I am one of the few that uses EntreCard to actually build relationships. I never get an entire 300 cards dropped in a day because silly me is always stopping to actually read and comment! I like that although there are a ton of blogs on EC, it still feels like a tight knit community between the more serious participants. I trust the advice I get and I enjoy the blogger friends I make. A lot of folks say that EC traffic is useless traffic but I don't think they are appreciating the many resources available to them by associating with some of the best bloggers ever! Of course it is great for a traffic spike when you need it, but it is also great for many other things too if used properly.

William K Wallace said...

There sure are a lot of deadbeats on Entrecard. I personally never drop back on any of them, I wish there was some way to ban them from continuing to drop on me.

I personally get bored after dropping about 50 cards or so, but it is worth it because I have found some good blogs that I may have not found otherwise...

Prisqua said...

The thing is with Entrecard, if you are dropping for the sake of dropping 300 cards a day, what is the point? Is it good traffic? People don't even drop back most of the time. Same as William, I get bored after a while especially if I don't come across an interesting enough blog for me to read.

I accept all ads because at the end of the day even if the reader go to blogs that is related to their interest it does not mean the reader won't like something else that is not related.

Post a Comment