screenshot of my Entrecard dashboard

Oops….what I meant to say was “widgets like entrecard ‘suck my time'”. There I go with my fat fingers again! Hopefully the title will make for some good linkbait anyway. Check out Entrecard, which is what I call YAW or “Yet Another Widget”. You will see my Entrecard widget in my sidebar right now! Why is it there? Why is the blogrush widget back after I said goodbye to it over a month ago?

All good questions! The blogrush widget came back after I read ShoeMoney and others were doing alright with it. After all the initial “growing pains” it seems to be actually bringing traffic after all. I also first heard about Entrecard when Shoemoney wrote about it a few months back after he had seen their booth at a convention. I hadn’t thought much about it, and sometimes I am one of the last to jump on these “me too” widget bandwagons. I’ve always been a fan of “keeping it simple” on my site as much as possible. If you add a bunch of widgets and external calls to other web sites you can dramatically increase the load time of all your pages site wide. Then again, sometimes I forget that every little bit of promotion helps.

What is Entrecard? It sounds like one of those bad “Entertainment Books” full of restaurant coupons for $50 doesn’t it? I can explain it pretty simply – in a nutshell it’s just a rehashed modern day banner exchange system. Period. Create an account, upload a pic, add your code, show your pic on other people’s sites (with the code installed) based on the number of times they are served on your site. I guess the name makes sense, “Entrecard” sounds like “Introduce me Card” – like another site introducing yours with a little business card.

You’re probably wondering – what’s the twist, there has to be something that makes it different? Well there is. Entercard is just a bit “social” if you know what I mean. I told you earlier in very basic terms how it works, but neglected to give you the full low-down.

How Entrecard Works

  • Signup for an account
  • Upload your graphic (make a good linkbait style one)
  • Click “Campaigns” and find other Entrecard sites. For every one you click “drop yours” you get one EC or EntreCredit
  • Other sites will now find you in Campaigns, and when they “drop” their card at your site you get one EC
  • When you “drop” a card your pic is displayed in the Inbox portion of that site’s Dashboard
  • Once you get some EC’s you can ‘spend’ them to advertise for an entire day on another site in their widget

So the social aspect is the fact that you have to surf the Campaign directory a little bit to earn some credits. As soon as my account was created people were dropping their cards on me and I had some credits. I surfed about a dozen other sites in the directory and in about 5-8 minutes I had 20 credits. This widget was a no-brainer because I had an account created, added the widget to my blog, surfed the directory and was done in about 15 minutes. Now I can just go in there a few times per week and I should be able to advertise for a day on a few blogs using my credits in no time! I could spend some right now if I wanted to!

Now I’ll tell you what made me look at Entrecard today in the first place. I read a post on 45n5 about Why you should care about Entercard and it reminded me of a very basic principle: the idea is spreading. That’s right – you want in on this because the idea is ‘spreading’. It’s VIRAL! It’s hot. People are actively using it, and you can get the word out about your site by using it. Actually one of the reasons I’ve thought about getting rid of the myBlogLog widget is because it doesn’t seem to be hot anymore. Out of 3 dozen visitors a half dozen seem to be myBlogLog users. It’s completely ok to add and remove widgets, links, services, or basically anything based on current trends – if it benefits your blog or web site.

What was my blogging mistake this time? Not recognizing this early on as something that would virally catch on – I should have added the widget sooner! I would have started receiving traffic long ago! If you get an Entrecard widget, be sure to “drop yours” on my site! If you have a comment about Entrecard or widgets in general – comment now!

**UPDATE**
I wanted to talk a bit about the ‘social’ aspect of Entrecard. The cool thing about it is after you get your account people immediately start “dropping their card” on you. You’ll see their pics listed in your Dashboard. I figured out why people do this right away when you are basically “fresh meat”. It’s because you are new that they want to drop their card and signup for advertising with you, because your rates (the amount of credits they have to spend) for advertising are just 2 or 3 EC’s when you first signup until you have some activity. So you get a flurry of people wanting to get in on this action (cheap advertisement!). The more cards YOU drop, the ads you accept, and the amount of activity on your site drives the cost to advert on your site way up!

So people are dropping cards on you like mad! Every time this happens you are going to get an email and it’s going to have a URL to their site in it. Click the link, open their site, and “drop yours” on their entre widget. Every time you do you get 1 more EC. If you get a bunch of emails, this is a quick way to get more EC’s. You can do it once per day for every site as well! When I was looking at other sites under “Campaigns”, one of the things I was confused by at first was the “approved requests rejected” stat. I get it now, because if you approve a bunch of site adverts, and then the EC cost of your site goes way up, you can choose to “reject” sites waiting in line you already approved (who were approved at a lower EC cost), to get higher paying ones in their more quickly. So you can honor those committments, or piss off a bunch of people – the choice is yours.

You can also go to someone’s profile page and add a “recommendation” for their site. I’ve no idea what purpose this serves other than driving up the EC cost to advert on their site. I have to say though, beyond the advertising part of entrecard – the social part has been nice too. What I mean is, in order to get EC’s I was forced to visit a lot of blogs that I didn’t know existed. I actually did find some nice content and great articles that led me to other cool services and gave me future ideas as well. I found a few sites I’ve contacted as a result of this and have made some good blogging contacts. In addition, I have been getting some great traffic from it, and the CTR from the advert (for me) seems to be pretty good as well!