When I first learned about Entrecard, I didn’t understand the concept and thought it would be a huge waste of my time. In fact, I knew about it for weeks before I signed up and only finally did so expecting nothing in return.
I was completely wrong, and want to take this time to introduce you to Entrecard “Your Business Card 2.0” and explain why I think it is an absolute amazing service for fellow bloggers.
Entrecard is a business card for your blog. It is an image widget that you place on your site, and other people come by and click the yellow button underneath it that says “Drop.” If you are not signed in, or not yet a member, instead of “Drop,” you will see, “Get one.” Let’s pretend you already have an account, and you’re facing that Drop button. When you click it, it will change to say Thank You, or some other similar message letting you know, you have successfully Dropped your card. What you have done, is handed the owner of that website, your blog’s business card. Then next time they login to Entrecard, they will see in their inbox, an image that you provided of YOUR website. Tada! You’ve just exchanged blog business cards!
When you Drop your card by clicking the Drop button, you earn yourself 1EC (1 Entrecard point), and, you also earn that person’s site 1EC. As you gain more and more EC currency, you can then spend it on advertising your site. There is a great eBook that Entrecard provides to new members, so I’ll keep this brief and let them explain the details. But basically, you search for a blog that you think would be a great place to advertise your blog. You may want to aim for readers of a similar or corresponding niche, or, simply one where you can afford the advertising. When you first join, your blog will be very inexpensive to advertise on, so you may get pitches right away. The rates are set by popularity, so your EC cost will go up as others advertise on your site. In case I haven’t been clear, there is no money changing hands here, and everything is 100% free in real world dollars. You can choose to buy EC currency with dollars if you like, but it’s not required, and really not needed. You can set how you will approve advertising (i.e. manually, or automatic) and you can be as picky or free as you like with what appears on your site. When you approve an ad, it will display automatically for a set amount of time and you do not have to do any actual work to make this happen.
An amazingly fun and interesting thing to do, is Drop surf. You can start in the Entrecard dashboard and go to “Campaign” (a button at the top). You choose a category, click an image, and then you will be looking at someone’s profile. From there, you go to their site (be sure to click the Drop button), and then, click the image inside the drop button. You will then be taken on an Entrecard journey and can continue to Drop/Surf your way through some very interesting finds. It’s like StumbleUpon, only better! As you go, you are notifying people of your blog (by leaving them your card), and finding more and more cool blogs to read. If you’d rather stick to your niche, you can do that by way of searching within your Dashboard, but this is a fun way to go blog surfing.
Now, why did I think this was a waste of time? When I first read about Entrecard, I heard about the 300EC daily limit and all the ways people go about to gain as many drops in a day as possible (to increase their “advertising funds”). I didn’t realize this was a Social Networking for Blogs, and just like any other Social Networking club, there are different ways for people to use the service, depending on what they want to accomplish. At a real life social networking event, you will hand your business card to people who will glace at the card, shake your hand, and never look back. You will also find after shaking the hands of twenty people, that you meet some wonderful people you would never have met otherwise! It makes the whole hand shaking, food nibbling event worth every moment. THAT is what Entrecard is about.
As a word of caution, your blog traffic will soar! And your bounce rate will too. My traffic doubled on Dealafina, and the time spent on my site more than cut in half. That’s okay, I understand that most droppers will come to my site to Drop and run. Just keep this in mind – you aren’t doing anything wrong, your content doesn’t suck, you’re just handing out more business cards than you did previously.
If you would like to see my Entrecard in action, you can see it working on my Deal site.
If you use Entrecard, I’d love to hear what you think. If you don’t, do think this sounds interesting to you?