Post EntreCard Blog Promotion
Monday, the latest changes to EntreCard are scheduled to take affect and various people are saying their goodbyes. I think I’ll weather this latest storm out as well and stick around. However, I have thought more seriously about leaving and offer up recommendations for people leaving as well as for those of us being left behind.
EntreCard is different things to different people, so depending on your own reasons for using and/or leaving EntreCard, different parts of the recommendation may mean more or less to you.
Promoting your blog
One of the most important reasons I use EntreCard is to promote my blog. There are people that have visited my blog in the past through EntreCard that will no long be coming to my blog because they are leaving EntreCard. Many of them have moved over to CMF Ads and I’ve placed ads on their site through CMF Ads. Some of them are also on Adgitize, so I show up on their blogs from time to time as well. A few of them that filled out my survey include Turnip of Power, Top Ten Blog Tips, A Postcard a Day, Healthy Lifestyle Blogzine, Mom's Cafe Home Cooking, Internet Marketing with Steven Wilson, libdrone, That Grrl, and sixmats.com.
So far, I’ve found Adgitize ads to drive more traffic to my site than EntreCard or CMF Ads.
Monetizing your blog
Another aspect of advertising is monetizing your blog. I’ve used several different sites, including Google Adsense, Chitika, Amazon, and other large ad networks to serve ads. I don’t do a lot with this advertising and don’t give it prominent positions. Each of them provide a small amount of income from time to time, and every once in a while, provides a nice payoff. I did finally get around to linking my Google Analytics to my Google Adsense.
In terms of the bloggers advertising networks, Adgitize has consistently been the best performer. It usually only brings in a couple dollars after expenses, but essentially, I get paid by Adgitize for generating traffic to my site. A very stark contrast to EntreCard.
For Adgitize, I pay $14/month for my advertisement. As an advertisers, I earn about $4 worth of credits each month, so my real cost is more like $10. I earn another $4 by writing a post every day. It is good practice to write a post every day, so the added discipline helps. Then, I get about $4/day for visiting other sites through Adgitize. If these are EntreCard sites as well, which they usually are, it fits in with the EntreCard dropping. That leaves me with $2/month to cover through advertising revenue. My calculations are that most sites get up to about $8/month for advertisements on Adgitize.
Adgitize calculates the earnings based on the number of page views and the number of ad views. Traditionally, I had three Adgitize ads showing at a time. I like the idea of showing multiple Adgitize ads. People surfing my site through Adgitize have three exit points. Others add Adgitize at the bottom of their page, thus increasing the number of ad views, the number of exit points, and providing good above the fold and below the fold locations. I’ve now added three more ads at the bottom of my page.
My guess is that I make about $5/month on CMF Ads which I re-invest by advertising on other CMF sites. It doesn’t bring me a lot of traffic and I could perhaps optimize my advertising there as well as the rate that I charge for CMF Ads. Sometimes, you may get better total revenue by lowering your ad rates or adding more ads to view. On my survey, a lot of people said they used CMF Ads, which I do as well. However, I just don’t use it as extensively as other sites.
Another thing that EntreCard does is that it provides information about people who have recently dropped cards on you. This is a nice improvement over the recent reader sites like MyBlogLog and Blog Catalog. With those sites, someone might have read your site and not liked it. In theory, a person visiting with EntreCard would only drop cards on sites that they like. However, in practice, that does not seem to be the case.
In my survey, I found that many more respondents use BlogCatalog than use MyBlogLog. This fits data that I get from Google Analytics that I get four times the traffic from BlogCatalog as I do from MyBlogLog. Because of this, I’ve moved BlogCatalog up on my screen and MyBlogLog down. These sites don’t generate a lot of traffic and 40% of people leaving EntreCard do not use them. However, if I were leaving, I would use BlogCatalog or MyBlogLog the way I use the EntreCard inbox now.
The one thing that EntreCard has that I haven’t found a good replacement for in other sites is a working system of micropayments. The EntreCard micropayment model is broken in that there isn’t a good way to cash out credits. Personally, I think a micropayment system, tying into some of the big players in micropayments from the gaming space, like Offerpal would be great. If I could easily drop credits on friends that would be great. Anyone who wants to collaborate on a viable blogging micropayment system should drop me a note.
For many people, it seems like EntreCard was an informal traffic exchange. Drop a card on me, and I’ll drop one on you. The only traffic exchange that I pay any attention to is BlogExplosion. I sometimes use this to find new sites to visit and get surprisingly good traffic from them. Interestingly, nearly half of the EntreCard diaspora that filled out my survey does not use BlogExplosion.
Of course, the best way to increase readership is to write good content, and I enjoy visiting the blogs that have well written articles. With that, I’m giving a shout out today to Ask the Blogster for EntreCard: Great Concept, No Business Plan and Advertising Is Not Free—It’s Too Expensive & Other Paradox In Entrecard Town. Writing great content and linking to other articles that you like is always a great way to promote your own blog.
So, have I hit the way you promote your blog? Are there things I should have suggested and missed?
As I continue visiting various sites, I just came across EntreWas, which is an effort for people who connected via EntreCard to stay connected. It seems like a great idea.