Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Contests this Week

On this Entrecard post, a number of new contests have been announced.  There is a great chance that you'll win at least one of them if you enter, so check them out.  A few of them need sponsors and all of them need participants.

Entrecard is the prime source for launching your blog contest as you will be able to promote your contest through their blog and main page, with thousands of targeted blog readers viewing your blog/contest.

Major SezWho Upgrade

A major upgrade of SezWho, the tool Entrecard uses to help bloggers earn additional credits by commenting and rating on other blogs, has been released.

There were dozens of new additions and performance upgrades in Version 2.2, so I'll be outlining them below.
  1. Support for Local CSS and JavaScript (for WordPress).  These files will now be served from your local server, not from SezWho.
  2. JavaScript has become more compact, meaning faster loading blogs for WordPress and Blogger users.  Take a look at the comparison: Uncompressed - 90K (Old), 35K (New); Compressed - 19K (Old), 14.3K (New), meaning your page will load 25%+ faster.
  3. Support for both new and classic blog templates.  This will also improve the performance of Blogger by preloading the SezWho user interface.
  4. Support for templates for comments, so you can have threaded comments and using four different looks and feels (provided) for the comment templates.
  5. Thumbs up and down for ratings - this will be the new default setting.
  6. Support for configurable popups (popup on hover or not).
  7. Support for WP-MU and multiple installs in the same WP database.
  8. Easy upgrade - just update your SezWho folder with the latest code and configure the new settings from the plugins > SezWho configuration page.
  9. Improved support for filtering.
On the Entrecard side, the algorithm has changed.  A credit will be given to people who leave comments that get rated 2.5 or better, once per day per blog.

You can read the announcement post at Entrecard.

My Opinion: It looks like these changes are for the better, as the previous system didn't contain a whole lot of flexibility when it came to how your comments are threaded/displayed.  Plus, the performance is another key issue addressed - making the plugin even more valuable for the people who have it installed.

In addition, SezWho is holding a performance upgrade giveaway, in which you can win a "SezWho" polo t-shirt, by telling them the improvements in load times (leave a comment on their blog post).

Let's Win this Contest Together, Part II

A new contest is being held by Shanker Bakshi, and he needs sponsors for his contest.  The new contest runs from November 1st and ends on December 1st, with participants selected by randomizing the entries.

He is looking for the following prizes:
  • Entrecard Credits
  • Theme/Logo Design/Header Design
  • Blogging Tool/Your Product
  • Site Review
  • Advertising on Your Site in the form of a Banner, Text Link, Membership Subscription
  • eBook
  • Hard Cash
You can contact Rose (the contest coordinator) from the Entrecard blog post.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Save $17 on OIO Publisher

Entrecard has once again partnered with OIO Publisher to get you a coupon for more than 1/3 off the plugin.  If you are already a member of Entrecard, you'll know that the plugin can serve as an important link between you and advertisers (both cash and Entrecard payments accepted), eliminating the middleman.

In addition, you can browse through Entrecard sites on the marketplace at the OIO Publisher website.  [Link]

For those of you who held off on the purchase the first time around, you can now purchase the plugin for just $30, which is $17 off its original price of $47.  You can purchase the plugin by visiting the post using the discount code entrecard2.  New features and upgrades have been added since the initial release.

2 New Entrecard Contests

If you head on over to the Entrecard blog, two new contests have been announced, held by fellow Entrecard bloggers.

The first contest is titled BadEvan's Halloween Costume Contest, in which you have to send a picture of you posing (preferably in a costume) by November 3rd.  You can read the full details at Entrecard or his blog .

The second one is from Mr. Javo, who is planning to launch his first eBook with a bang.  Thousands of dollars of prizes are up for grabs.  Full details are listed below, as well as prizes and how to enter (this post counts as an entry, for example).  You can read the post at Entrecard here.

What is this all about?

Mr Javo had improve his blog, adding new features including a Newsletter. This contest will help him to promote his enhanced Blog, as well as his eBook The Affiliate's Start Guide.

The Prizes

Until now I have over $1800 $2000 in prizes, which I will distribute among 10 lucky winners!

1st Place

2nd Place

3th Place

4th Place

5th Place

6th Place

7th Place

8th Place

9th Place

10th Place

As you can see, if you are among the top 5 winners you will have everything to start a blog and make money online!

How To Participate

The winners will be chosen of a drawing using the service provided by To take part in this drawing you need to sign up for Mr Javo's newsletter.

By signing up and confirming your email , you will get 3 tickets!

You can also get TWO additional entries by writing about this contest in your blog, using the script provided here. Notice that you won't get this 2 additional entries if you don't sign up for the newsletter!

And if you don't have a blog but you want to get additional entries, there is a solution for you. You can get ONE additional entry for subscribing to Mr Javo's RSS feed by email. Notice that you won't get this additional entry if you don't sign up for my newsletter!

To claim the 1st prize you need to have an Advertiser's account on Bidvertiser. Get your account now!


This contest ends on Nov 16th at 22:00 GMT -4. Mr Javo will make a screencast of the drawing to guarantee the transparency of the process! So go back to his blog in a month and check if you are a winner!

PS: I recommend you to periodically check the contest's page because could be more sponsored prizes for you!

Good Luck!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Turnip of Power's Thoughts on Improving Entrecard

Recently, "Turnip of Power" shared his thoughts on how to improve the Entrecard system, citing that Entrecard needs to switch to a monthly/yearly subscription service, like many other services.

I disagree with some of the points that have been addressed, but I, too, do not have a clear solution to improving Entrecard.
  1. If Entrecard switches to a "pay for subscription" model, I likely won't pay, unless a set of powerful new tools to add value to my blog and build a further community around my blog are released.
  2. The whole point of Entrecard is to help your blog grow, first through more traffic, then through building a community/readership base on your blog.  Decreasing the amount of drops, say below 100 per day, would decrease the amount of traffic you could potentially receive by dropping on other  sites and other members "dropping" on your site.
  3. More high-trafficked sites, or blogs that are a part of networks need to join.  Entrecard would be able to increase their traffic to some degree, but the main benefit would be fore sites with less traffic - the return rates would be higher than many sites that don't receive as much traffic.  However, I don't see this as a viable solution either, as long-term results wouldn't be as great.
Share your thoughts on what Entrecard can do to get the "quick drop" mindset out of the people who use the system.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Miscelleanous Entrecard News

The two contests that were recently on Entrecard have concluded and the winners have been announced on this post.

You should check out the entries about others' opinions on the "traffic quality" debate.

In addition, a reiteration of the Entrecard Blog Quality Standards were posted here , which makes it harder for "spam" blogs to be kept in the system and approved.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Entrecard Contest - Giveaway Bash

There is a new contest available on the Entrecard blog, with a total of more than 100,000 credits being given away.

Simply write a review of your favorite Entrecard blogger, publish it on your blog, link back to the post on the Entrecard blog, and the entries will receive, as follows:
  • 1st Prize - 30,000 credits
  • 2nd Prize - 20,000 credits
  • 3 Runner-up Prizes - 10,000 credits
Entries will be judged on creativity, quality of the review, quality of constructive criticism/feedback, and quality of the blog you are writing on.  
The winner will be announced Tuesday.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Entrecard U Drop, I Follow Plugin Released

A plugin for WordPress, which adds a link to your blog to support the movement created by Lee Doyle is now available.
Today Stuart and I have released the U Drop I Follow plugin. This plugin will display your Entrecard widget along with one of the U Drop I Follow badges.
I also hope to soon have a system in place in which the U Drop I Follow system really does give real droppers a reward fr dropping back. With Entrecards new API I will soon have a system where the top droppers get added to the top of the drop list and the lesser droppers get put further down.
This system is still new and may be awhile away from being used… But I do hope to have a new sign up form that will help build this.
You can also find it on the Plugins repository or on the author's blog.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

View and Purchase Ads Directly from OIO Publisher

A great new feature was added to the OIO Publisher Marketplace - the ability to browse and search for blogs that have the OIO Plugin installed on their blog.

It is rather basic at this point, but you can sort blogs by Name, Alexa, PageRank, and User Rating, making it easier to spend your Entrecard credits on blogs that accept them.

Link to Marketplace .

Quality of Entrecard Traffic

All traffic from Entrecard is human.  A large percentage of it is targeted in the sense that you can browse blogs that you are interested in, search for topics that may interest you, and choose not to visit those that are not up to your standards.

With these main aspects in place, the traffic from Entrecard is quite good, especially on this blog.  This blog is a mini-experiment to determine just how successful you can be using Entrecard.  Since April, I only used Entrecard to promote this blog, writing tips and covering news about the system.

To date, I've received more than 10,000 visitors, averaging 61 visitors per day, now averaging over 100-150/day - all from Entrecard (search engines is approximately 1.42%; direct traffic is 28.47%).  In these numbers, it is ranked within the top 150,000 blogs worldwide  and under 50,000 in the United States (in approx. 5 months time) - a figure that many bloggers can't attain after more than a year of blogging.

For those of you who think Entrecard traffic isn't that great - a huge boost in your blog's ranking alone can help advertisers decide whether your blog is the right place to advertise on, even if you aren't making the conversion rates that "normal" traffic would bring.   Myself, I would rather build a community with recurring visitors than quick traffic that never returns and brings in sales simply because your site is the first one that they happen to visit.  A community is more likely to stick together and support you than using any similar method, which won't contribute to your wants.

Now, when you take a look at the bounce rate (93.13%), it is obvious that people aren't interested in visiting multiple pages, but this can hold true for nearly all sites on the Internet, especially sites like blogs, with new content featured on the homepage (without displaying excerpts of content).  From this perspective, the traffic isn't that good, but had this blog not been promoted at all, through no other method could you attain levels this high in a relatively short period of time (with less than 50 posts to date).

People in the Entrecard network want to share their thoughts with one another, unlike the people you "pay" to visit your blog through AdWords.  Unlike AdWords, Entrecard is and can be completely free to use.  You never have to pay a cent to receive traffic, often targeted, with people who have spending power.  The traffic may not be as great as you want it to be — but that means that you aren't putting the time required into the system to see the return that it is promising you.

Think of it this way: You want to harness 1,000 new visitors to your blog.  However, you have a very limited budget, and you are only blogging on Blogger with a blog in the 'personal' category.  You are extremely limited as to how to do advertising, but Entrecard is the best way to promote your blog for the least amount of cash - who is able to pass by the opportunity for free advertising?  Within a month, it isn't that difficult to assess the savings by using Entrecard vs. PPC or CPM advertising methods.  It may take more time, but the long-term results are definitely more than running a short-term (monthly) ad on another site.

I don't know how most people feel about this, but advertising on other sites for free (minus time) using credits vs. $10+ each blog - there is an enormous savings there.

The 'Competing' Sites
I don't want to directly criticize MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog, but their services haven't accomplished what they were meant to do, despite "similar"goals to Entrecard.  Despite being members of these services, I cannot say the traffic is on par with that of Entrecard, and neither is the community backing or discussion - which are both kept on their sites rather than brought back to your site.

The core aspects of network sites: traffic and a strong backing.  Without these, the service can't grow unless it receives funding from another source.  While I don't know who backs BlogCatalog, I am sure they receive funding through advertisers/sponsors and some sort of developer program.  MyBlogLog is largely funded by Yahoo!, providing new features and support for the service.

Entrecard's traffic first started to display on Compete in October of 2007, versus pre-August for the other services.  If Entercard continues to grow at its current rate (between 60-110,000 new visitors each month), it will outpace MyBlogLog within the next month or two.  In total U.S. visits, it is only 40,000 away from becoming the leading network.  Unlike the other services, with growth at only slight increases month-over-month, Entrecard is seeing growth at between 6-35% or higher.

- Pages/Visit: 15 vs. 5.5 (MyBlogLog) and 5.3 (BlogCatalog)
- Attention: Up 21.7% over the past month, overall: 35.4% (only site in this category, total time spent on site as a percentage of the total time spent online by all U.S. Internet users.
- Unique Visitors: 1,063,725; up 6.1% (Entrecard) vs. 1,178,966 (MyBlogLog) and 680,192 (BlogCatalog)
- Rank: 1,480 in United States, growth of ~100 each month.
- Attention (Monthly): 8.3% vs. 0.0% and -26.5% by other services.
- Average Stay: 03:05 vs 02:45 (MyBlogLog) and 04:00 (BlogCatalog)

Simply from this raw data, you can see why you want to align yourself with the traffic and community around Entrecard rather than the others services - if the referring site doesn't have the traffic, there won't be any to "distribute" with your site.

Other Reasons Why Entrecard Traffic is the Best
  • People who visit your site directly through search engines are less likely to know about 'social networking' websites like Facebook, MySpace, and other tools, such as StumbleUpon and Digg than people using Entrecard.  After all, the owner and members of Entrecard heavily promote alternative methods of spreading word about your blog and have provided different ways to do this, including tips to integrate the Yahoo! Buzz/Digg button, SezWho for commenting, and more.
  • As a result of the first reason, I have had a high rate of people from Entrecard who have liked my content, thus deciding to StumbleUpon my posts.  Alone, this is one of the best values of Entrecard.  While the traffic isn't directly from Entrecard, it means that the members have "connected" with me, and sent thousands upon thousands of new, referred members to my site, for which I would not have received without the support of its members.
  • There is a "community" behind Entrecard.  Unlike other systems, Graham has made it easy to connect with others.  Although some have called it another "directory" or "traffic exchange widget", it is more than this.  People that have joined Entrecard are dedicated in their pursuit to create a blog that is better than others', but are also willing to help other bloggers achieve their goals, by subscribing, commenting, rating, or joining other blog's discussions.  These people will visit your blog each and every day, subscribe to your blog, and spread word about it, writing and linking to it on their blog.
There are many success stories with Entrecard, and no other system has yet to receive the same level that Entrecard has.

It is encouraged that you share your ideas on this topic.  What levels of

You can read more follow-up on the blog post.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Top Droppers in September

This is a post to thank those of you who faithfully "dropped" on this site over the past month.  While this post won't be as in-depth as last month, I'll post links to the members that should be rewarded.

Quick Stats: Visits were up 6.13%, Pageviews were up 3%, Pages/Visit were down, Bounce Rate and Time on Site were also negative.  However, New Visits were up nearly 2%, so depending on ow you look at it, September saw an increase in many aspects of traffic levels.

You can also find the list by viewing the feed.
# of drops
Smart Bloggerz 31
Realm of Prosperity 29 28
What About Blog 27
FOOTBALL: Just Love The Game 27
Enfotainer - Enfotain Your Mind 27
My Tramping View 26
Entertain Me 26
Beethoven Midi 24
Earn Blogger 24

Entrecard Cleaning up Contests

In an effort to make contests more "standard" and less through sites that are simply hosting them in hopes of generating a large number of backlinks, a volunteer job at Entrecard as contest correspondent can now be had.

Requirements: You must be an active member of the community, have good organizational skills, want to help Entrecard a better place to take contests to the next level, and never have sold credits before.

By doing this, there will be added legitimacy behind the Entrecard contests, as they will be "moderated," so to speak.  The transfer fees will be waived if you go through Entrecard, and links throughout the site will be placed to help you promote it.