Entrecard has changed quite a bit since I first signed up. There are probably a couple dozen more categories, and a thousand of more blogs signed up. One of the better new features is the one where you can add multiple blogs to your account. I have quite a few blogs, and keeping separate accounts at Entrecard was nothing short of a pain. Also dropping Entrecards can be a big pain too, but now you get 25 credits for every blog post you make up to 3 per week. So you can get advertising credits without dropping a thing.

Today was a day like any other, I dropped some Entrecards and did some advertising. I don’t spend a lot of time doing it, but once or twice per week I like to stay a bit active in the community. When people ask me what Entrecard does (beyond waste time), I tell them that it’s good for branding, getting your name out there, you can get new readers and RSS subs from it, and over time the exposure is pretty positive.

For quite a while I’ve only had 2 blogs listed in my Entrecard account, and today I felt a need to add a third. It was good to go through this process, because it led me to think about the benefits of blogging beyond the advertising aspect. These are the things that most bloggers see, but don’t talk about. It’s not like the benefits are hidden – you just might not think about them.

Add a new blog to Entrecard (or start a new account for the first time) and then…

Drop 30 Entrecards in your category

Immediately after you add your new account and place the Entrecard code in your template to display ads, the first thing you want to do is drop about 30 Entrecards on blogs in the category you signed up in. I use Firefox, and open all the blogs in new tabs so I can look at them one by one. Drop your card on each one as you view them.

Look for Advertising Widgets

As you’re looking at the blogs and dropping cards, the first thing you’ll probably see are different types of advertising widgets. Take note of who’s using what, which ones are more popular, and which ones you haven’t heard of yet and might be interested in signing up for. I did this today and I found some things I’d never seen before.

125 Exchange is a service like Entrecard, the only difference is it works a bit like blogrush – since they give you 2 free ad views every time 3 people click and ad from your site. I signed up because when you signup for the first time, you get 5,000 free impressions – who can’t use that?

I also found Link Referral, which seems to be like a free “ReviewMe”. I haven’t dug into the details yet, but it seems like it could be a good one to signup for.

Look for New Online Communities

It’s true that there are more online and social communities than you can shake a stick at – but sometimes just when you think you know them all, new niche communities crop up that could be very beneficial. For example, my first two blogs added in Entrecard were in the Make Money Online and Technology categories. The third blog was in the Cooking and Dining category. When I surfed 30 blogs and dropped my card I found blogging networks that niche I never even knew existed.

I found FoodBuzz to be a really cool niche community. BlogCatalog and MyBlogLog are great, but there are soooo many blogs, and most of them don’t have anything to do with your niche. In FoodBuzz, I know for sure that every site is about cooking, recipes, and food. Is there something like this for your niche?

The Foodie Blog Roll was another site I found for my niche, but they specialize in a BlogRoll widget of other food-related sites. That’s really cool, and this is another site I need to sign up for right away.

Look for Niche Content Directories and Tools

I already use Ezine Articles to submit food articles and recipes, so it never crossed my mind to look for food specific directories or tools. I found one site right off the bat called Tastebook that let’s you build your own online cookbook for free. They say it’s like an “iTunes for Recipes”, because you can build and sell your own cookbook. How can you beat that?

I also found Associated Content, which isn’t niche specific, but I saw that a lot of food blogs were using it. This is a service I’ll probably have to check out too.

My Free Copyright is also another site that surprised me, because I thought that Creative Commons was the only type of site for things like this.

How it Benefits You

Look at all the new sites and tools I found today for my food blog that I never knew existed. If I sign up for and use the best ones I found, I’ll get 10-fold the exposure I would have through Entrecard alone, but if I hadn’t signed up for Entrecard with the new blog and dropped 30 card, I never would have known these services (or blogs) even existed. Entrecard can benefit you beyond advertising – register a new blog of yours today!