Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Harsh Criticism from Previous Entrecard User

Kevin Muldoon of Blogging Tips published a post today (re)introducing several topics that have been discussed among Entrecard members, both new and dedicated.  The post was intended to stir debate among users and build some link backs (as I have done so).

The main sources of concern include too many spammerscredit system is seriously flawedtraffic is not always targetedadds clutter to your blog's design, and poor return.

I want to bring some of the topics forward and present my views of them, although I may be semi-biased, having results that have far exceeded all of my expectations.  These are my personal views and not those of others, so I want to open this post up for discussion of the state of Entrecard, and some of your results to date.

My general view of Entrecard is that it has proven that it can deliver traffic, whether not in the same level that everyone wants it to be, but has brought together bloggers who share similar interests, and has a unique "community" feel to it that MyBlogLog, Blog Catalog, and others have tried to create, but have failed to do so.  Rarely do I see visitors from these sources, despite traffic levels that ate similar (although Entrecard's has been much more rapid).

These services are simply tools in an arsenal that bloggers are given, many free of charge, to use either to their advantage or to pass along to someone else that is willing to take the "risk" of using it - these are the people who are able to benefit the most.
  1. Yes, there are a lot of [spammers] in the network.  Perhaps a review of what was enabled when the multiple emails were received should be clarified in the post.  After all, settings are available in the Dashboard that take less than ten seconds to disable - "Send an email when:" an advert is waiting for your approvalan advert you purchased is deniedsomeone posts a recommendation for you, and when someone sends you a message.  Beyond these settings, messages will only be displayed within the Entrecard Messagebox, either to be read, deleted, or marked as spam.
    What needs to be seriously addressed and now are sites that have been created and neglected.  In other words, if a site only has one post (and isn't a quick drop page), then the account should be notified as a possible spam/non-blog site, and proceed on with deleting the account if the owner doesn't confirm that it is still active.  If you take a look at a majority of blogs (with lower-cost ads, this is even more true).
  2. The credit system is flawed, but not seriously.  If you have a semi-popular blog, the price of your advertisement will reflect this, as more people in the system will already be subscribed to your blog.  It does have loopholes, and does involve being more actively participating in the system than other services, but generally reflects the number of visitors that the service will drive to your site in the cost of each ad.
  3. Traffic will not be targeted, because there are bloggers advertising on your site and vise versa, often from different niches. It may appear as "random," but it is similar to clicking on stories on a news site, and only be interested in a few, quickly leaving those that you do not want to continue reading.  A similar principle applies to the blogs on Entrecard - if the content doesn't interest you/others, then the reader won't stay - your main post/blog is what gets people to stay and continue reading/subscribing to your blog.  Should your blog not have this, the system obviously won't work for you.
  4. Clutter.  Taking a look at most of the blogs on the Internet, most are filled with links to sites that have no direct relation to the blog in mention.  Many sites have more than 40% of their content space filled with advertisements - banners, text links, pop-ups, etc. — a personal choice that people make when building their blog.  While many of the bloggers using Entrecard haven't positioned or removed clutter from their blogs, a ~125x125 widget is small in relative to the ~1024x768 page.
  5. Poor return will only occur if you don't use Entrecard for what is was originally meant for - giving back to the community and helping bloggers create a successful blog.  Despite the fact that I joined Entrecard rather late, to date I have had positive returns, helping build the branding of my sites, no matter how small or large.  It does take some work - more work than I feel is beneficial to a large blogger, but little enough that smaller blogs can get a huge boost in traffic.
Overall, the Entrecard system, despite criticism that has been occurring recently, has benefited bloggers that know how to use the system, use the features that it has, and build a community around the site and other blogs on the network.  Although some look at it more as a banner exchange, it does bring traffic to your blog, even in small amounts, it is better than other services that may drive a single daily visitor.

There is much more to Entrecard than simply browsing other blogs and "dropping your card."


Bombchell said...

gosh I think ive tried them all linkreferral , blogcatalog, bloglog (hardly ever used it) and today entre card.

they're all interesting. it generates some traffic from many trying to fill quotas, but relationships seem more likely from comments. then again

gosh and omg yes, so many blogs are filled with ads, u can hardly see or read the content.

Kathy said...

I love EC. My traffic doubles when I drop consistently, but more importantly, I'm seeing more comments on my posts coming from EC visitors. When a comment is left, it generally means I'll be seeing that blogger again. The system works for me. No complaints here.

hitsu said...

Well from my experience, EC drives more traffic than BlogCatalog or MyBloglog. And I love EC :)

Kim said...

I'm brand new here - this is my second day - and just three days old in blog years. I'm trying to sift my way through widgets and blogrolls and drops and links and.. and... whew!
So far, Entrecard is the most user friendly tool I've come across. I don't want my blog to look like a bulletin board in a college dorm, so I'm trying to be selective while still driving traffic to my blog.
Thanks for your article. It helped.

Natural said...

there's a few flaws in it, but it's only supposed to bring you traffic. bloggers have to do the rest to get repeat visitors. i like it.

Anonymous said...

I started EC for one reason ~ to find blogs I could enjoy reading and sharing comments.

EC excells at that for me because that's how I use it. The blogs I enjoy I enter into a reader and I have found SO many awesome blogs I would have never found most of them on my own.


bonoriau said...

Recently I also discuss about pro and contra of Entrecard at http://bonotravel.blogspot.com/2008/08/entrecard-touch-go-traffic-and-leave-no.html. Basically most of the readers happy with EC. EC is really help to improve traffic and build social network.

TK said...

I think your comment is right on. We have been very happy with our brief experience with EntreCard.

HomeDiva said...

I'm a newbie at using EC and so far I am satisfied with it. It does bring in traffic and not every visitor stay very long but I now have regular commenters from my EC droppers. Without EC they wouldn't have found me and vice-versa.

honey said...

Thank you for posting my site here..

I do love easy dropping and lately I admit that I am adicte to it.. :)

More power...

Rogue said...

I think it depends upon the blogger how they would utilize their entrecards. There are so many who are addicted with droppings..and droppngs alone and seem to forget about their blog... which, they have EC because they blog and not the other way around.

I know there are a lot of flaws in EC but if the members unite and solve those issues for the better, it is still a great way to start generating traffic.

For one, bump rate is so high at ECs.. but bump rate is normal to bloggers. Even the highly acclaimed blogs have little page view rates.. SO I also utilize my ECs to solicit comments, interactions, opinions, suggestions and many more plus more page views... Dropping the entrecards and gaining entrecard credits are only the first base.. getting to the homebase takes so more efforts and imaginations.

Cath Lawson said...

Hi - I only just joined. I was wrongly banned from SU and I'm finding EC to be a great way to find new blogs.

I am Jamie Sue! said...

I'm enjoying EC. I've noticed a small increase in traffic, but more importantly a large increase in comments. I'm in a niche so I don't expect everyone to be interested in what I have to say, just as I'm not always interested in the content of other blogs. I've also found some really great blogs that I wouldn't have encountered otherwise. I will say, though that the number of blogs that are riddled with Paid postings is excessive. I don't mind the occasional sponsored post, but some blogs are so full of paid posting that there is almost no genuine content. I think the EC toolbar helps users gain the most from EC. I would like to be able to import my EC favs to Mozilla or at the very least be able to look at a list of them.

Anonymous said...

Entrecard has been great for me as well. I've found a lot of interesting blogs I wouldn't have otherwise ever found, and in the process have made a few friends and my traffic has increased by leaps and bounds.

Most of the people I see complaining don't understand it. They either want a return with zero effort, or they want it to be more than what it is. As you stated, its simply one tool in a wide variety of promos you can use.