I don’t know how long I’ve been a member, but searching my blog using Entrecard as a keyword takes me to this post from August 2008 about Entrecard hopping.
What is Entrecard?
Entrecard is a blogging network that has so far helped me build traffic and network with other bloggers. I have found some interesting blogs that I would have probably not have found without their widget. The service also brings you readers and some would actually come out and participate. By this I mean that they would actually stop to read your posts, and if they find it interesting, would even leave you comments.
Why would you stick with Entrecard?
Unlike other traffic exchange systems, Entrecard is exclusively for blogs. Okay, maybe not strictly exclusive, because I’ve landed on some pages that are not blogs, but those are the exception. You pretty much control the sites you visit too.
The Widget and how it works
You would know that a blogger is part of the Entrecard community, if you see her sporting the widget. Here’s an example:
When you sign up for Entrecard, the first thing that you should do, is to design your Ad or Business Card. This 125×125 (pixels) logo* works the way real-life business cards do. When you meet somebody and you would like to do business with them again, or you simply want to stay in touch, you exchange cards. Correct? In Entrecard, it works this way: on a member site you look for the Widget which is normally found above the fold (we’ll talk more about that later), then to let the member know that you’ve been by AND to earn credits, you “drop” your card on his widget. All you do is click on the Drop button. Of course, to see the Drop button, you must be logged on to the system. If not, you’ll see “Get one” instead.
Within the Entrecard site, users have an Inbox where they can see all the cards that have been dropped on them:
To return the visits, all you need to is click on their ECs, and drop on their widgets.
How can you have your EC on someone else’s widget?
You have to purchase a spot on the widget, just like purchasing ad space. Here though, you don’t need money to pay for the spot because transactions are done via credits. You earn one EC credit per drop you make. There was a time that you also earned one credit for each drop made on your widget but I think this was already discontinued.
Now, it doesn’t cost the same amount of credits to advertise across all sites in the network. This actually depends on how many ads are on queue for that blog (they call it 2 to the power of queue). When you start out, you have no ads displayed (except for EC ads that is) so it would only cost 2 ECs to purchase a 24 hour spot. The more spots reserved, the more expensive your spot goes. I think mine is currently at 128 ECs/day, others go for 2000!
The value of the ad spot is determined by how many click throughs you get. I feel that I don’t get as much ad requests because when someone places an ad on my widget, they don’t get much clicks to their sites. The EC Dashboard gives you statistics on that.
You can have control of the ads you want displayed on your widget, you could also set it to auto-approve if that’s what you want.
Can you make money on Entrecard?
Well, there was a time that you could make money directly on Entrecard. There was a shortlived cashout system in exchange for credits that you accumulate. I was waiting for a ten dollar cashout, but sadly, there wasn’t enough to go around and the program was cancelled without me receiving a single dollar. BUT, the traffic and the readers that EC brings to your blog could help you in your other money-making channels. 🙂
EC has gone through a lot of controversies and changes in the past six months. Some of these has caused the departure of some users. But I have chosen to stay. Other members have wrote extensively on the topic, so I won’t be talking about that.
In the end, Entrecard serves its main purpose of providing a system by which bloggers could connect and build traffic. It’s also quite easy to figure out 🙂
So there you go Joanne, I hope I finally explained Entrecard for you 🙂
*If you don’t know how to make one, there are text cards that are already available within the site that you just add your name to. If you ask nicely, I can make one for you 🙂