Monday, April 27, 2009

Lack of Updates

Although this blog is still here and being updated, there have been little to no updates from Entrecard over the past week to ten (plus) days. I don't know whether they are in the process of trying to fix issues or the site is taking a dive towards a place that members didn't want to see it.

I see the main problem being the forum change, and how many of the ideas that were previously available are no longer, under an "elite" plan that has been setup. Essentially, it is easy to get in, as long as you spend at least 800 credits (400 ads at 2 credits apiece) or 410,000+ if you purchase ads on "popular" blogs.

This might make sense for those that have already reached this level, but for those with few credits and want to interact in the special areas of the forums are no longer able to.

Perhaps the main reason for this was to further deplete credits from the system, but the "equilibrium" level that was previously encouraged is no longer intact with the lack of updates - there is no desire to spend credits or "artificially" create them now that there hasn't been updates.

Not only have there been no updates from the main owner, but everyone else has become silent, as though the site doesn't have any meaning for those that are still using it (a lot of people say that prominent members have left).

What are your thoughts for the future of Entrecard?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cashout Now Available

After nearly a month since the first advertisement options were unveiled, you can now cash out your credits, starting at $1. This is a small update, as this was already planned, but it appears as though accounts are being approved after about five days.

In addition, the form to sign up is now HTTPS (secure), so there is less chance of having your personal information stolen by signing up for cashout.

I'd like to hear if you have been paid/accepted yet and what you think since the new changes have gone into effect.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Entrecard Essentially Making Forums Available to Most Active Members

If you were previously an active member in the forum, you will likely find that there are new rules and a revised structure to the forums. This is a move that will likely prevent some new members from sharing thoughts with others, although it had to be done as people were "bashing" one another and sharing negative thoughts on Entrecard.

I don't think that the changes will make any huge difference, as the average user that posts in the forum already is a) an Entrecard member and b) has purchased at least 400 ads.

The only people that this targets are those that want to introduce others to their blog and want to get some insight into the system before joining. They will only be able to access the support areas and none of the other areas.

Details concerning this change can be found here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Poll: How Much Do You Want Credits to Be Sold At?

Even though it appears as though Entrecard is setting the price for selling credits, how much would you be willing to sell your credits for, no matter how many you have? Prices are per thousand credits, and I've included a number of options.

I am not doing this poll as part of Entrecard, but to see what the average user would be willing to sell his or her credits at.

You can take the poll below or follow this link.

Entrecard Updates and More Revolt

The past month has been a challenge in terms of releases and revolts from members who were less than thrilled about how Entrecard handled the support requests and general issues surrounding the launches.

For one, the method of advertising through CPC (Cost/Pay Per Click) was removed with rather short notice, and some advertisers felt that there wasn't good reason for this. After all, when you pay per click, you are generally "guaranteed" a certain number of clicks, depending on how much funding you place in your account. The other method and previously-updated pricing is still intact.

Entrecard - Twitter Search
Twitter Disputes Outlined on Twitter

Member are now able to withdraw their earnings for $1 per 1,000 credits, or looking at it another way, for every time they view someone else's blog or participates on the site. Many members thought that $1 was too little to start with, but as long as they are able to attract new advertisers and increase revenue, there is no reason why increased amounts won't come soon.

However, some members have not taken the time to fill out the application form, as it is not secure (HTTPS) at this time and a change to this was posted, but has not yet been changed. Others feel that the amount should be increased, before they will be willing to cash out at such low rates.

Well, that's as much as I can post about this at the moment. I won't get into the disputes/problems/questions that are occurring, as many of you are already aware of them if you visit the Forums.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Choose" How Much Entrecard Credits Should be Worth!?

The admin at Enrecard posed this question: how much money do you want to earn through the Entrecard cashout system?

With more than fifty million credits in the system, the number of credits needs to be reduced as quickly as possible to get some control over the value of credits and advertising through the blogs in the network. If they are reduced too quickly or the value of the credits at cashout time is either too high or too low, it'll lead to more inflation or deflation, depending on the particular circumstance.

Here's what needs to be done with the $1,760 that has been accumulated over the past two weeks:
  • The funds have to be divided somewhat equally to the members that want it and have credits to sell.
  • There needs to be a certain level of credits or a "level" that needs to be reached by a certain level of credits - perhaps set the goal of "deleting" a certain percentage every week depending on how the market reacts.
  • For extremes, see what the market does with the price set at $0.01. This will give everyone a chance to see how much is sold at each price. Gradually increase price until "everyone" starts selling their credits.
  • Under no circumstance should the funds used that have been dedicated to members be used for enticing new advertisers or creating other projects. 25% is already set aside for this and will be used appropriately.
  • It appears that most members of Entrecard do not want to see cash from this, but unless something is done to curb inflation within the system and solve the funding problem, there is no way for the site to remain in operation, it's that simple.
  • Opening up a "closed" system with only certain times throughout the day for cashout would create a stronger demand, limiting some of the timeframe for cashing out - demand/price would rise, and "less" credits would be cashed out in the near-term, if this makes any sense.
This is what the forum post said:
  • If we start buying back at our retail price, $6.00 per thousand, we can buy back 293,000 credits. This would result in the economy deflating by 0.5%
  • at $3.00 per thousand, we can buy back about 600,000 credits. Economy deflates by .1%
  • at $1 per thousand, we can buy back 1.7 million credits.Economy deflates by 3.4%
  • If we start buying credits back at .50 cents per thousand, we can buy back 3.4 million credits. Economy deflates by 6.8%
  • at .25 cents per thousand, we can buy back 6.8 million and the economy deflates by nearly 15%.
What price do you think credits should be placed at from the start?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Testament to Entrecard Advertising

Allen Stern of Center Networks posted a more in-depth look at Entrecard advertising, with a test $25 campaign, and the results are again quite the same as other people have seen and similar to other smaller advertising networks.
The campaign resulted in zero total orders - I can use this metric because my startup charges a fee and isn't based on pageviews like a blog might be. The interesting part that's not computed at this point is how many of the 550 visitors have I at least opened the door to -- meaning they will come back and order at a later date or share my service with someone else who will.
Although he was using his paid service in the campaign, this might be a bad sign for bloggers and people who want to advertise a service. It signifies that people clicking ads through the Entrecard widget aren't looking to purchase anything, and that the return rate isn't that good, especially compared to larger networks, like Google AdWords, which distributes ads through their Google AdSense program.

Even though he didn't make any initial sales, if one person that found the site through Entrecard has bookmarked or shared the service, the ad campaign might have worked. However, if it doesn't garner any sales, it truly indicates further problems for Entrecard down the road – More than 10,000 people, potential advertisers, could have seen the post, and taken appropriate action based on their findings.

Another sign may be the fact that less and less is being "dumped" into the system each day – originally at nearly $300/day, now the amount to members is down to nearly $100 per day. If this rate continues, with the "expected" cash out still in place (1 million deleted daily), they will have to sell credits for well under $0.15 per thousand.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Why So Many Can Avoid Paid Advertising

This post is not meant to tell you to "drop" paid advertising, but offers some insight into what is really happening in the system and why the holes exist.

With paid advertising, there were many disputes. These were largely caused by people who are taking part in the system to get traffic and interact with other members, and did not want to make money by selling their credits. There are quite a few of these people, and there was enough of a reaction for the owner to give an answer to their pleas - to allow the "old" system to remain.

Paid advertising won't benefit everyone. This was made clear nearly from the start. Prices will be so low to start, that most will agree not to "sell out" at bottom-low prices. There are so many credits in the system, that the value is so low for each. If you figure in the most expensive blog, at more than 3,000 credits, would you even consider paying upwards of $20 (at current prices) for a daily advertisement on that blog? Most wouldn't.

The value of advertising on the blogs with paid advertisements has gone down significantly. Each day, I see fewer and fewer other blogs and site owners that are trying to place advertisements on blogs. There is simply no value in doing this, when you are getting less than half of the exposure that you once were. Rates (credits) have remained the same and haven't really decreased, so you have to "work" and save up credits longer in hopes of getting a few credits/visitors out of the ad placement.

Many of the advertisements aren't really relevant to the niches on Entrecard. Although there are blog owners placing ads for products on Entrecard, many of them don't really interest the visitors to blogs in the network. This is a reason that many have found to reject all paid ads, therefore eliminating the opportunity of their visitors seeing these ads. Some have even appeared to be controversial.

In the long-term, advertisers will continue devaluing blogs. After the cash-out feature, the blogs that have any remaining credits will likely get cash for them, then sincerely consider leaving. It takes too much work, as many would say, to be involved in the community. Unless the ad rates are increased even further, it will be difficult for new features to be added to Entrecard and continue the payout system that is set to go into place.

The community becomes stronger. I've seen a number of groups form, with people that "want the old system back," creating lists of blogs that don't accept any form of paid advertising. While we all need to make money (it costs money and time to maintain many blogs/websites), some feel that blogs should represent community and interaction more than anything. As a result, some blogs have joined together to promote the message that advertising on Entrecard blogs is "flawed."

The problems can't be fixed with extra funding. Some members have realized this, and have decided that accepting advertisements won't really do the site any good, falling in line with the other examples above.

In conclusion, the only people that really lose are the advertisers, who might not want to advertise on a network that doesn't have the level of high quality spots. Even though some people may be refusing the ads, 80% or so are approving a significant portion of them, which still accounts for a significant portion of the "5 million monthly" clickthroughs that go through the system.

If you have any other further responses to the advertisement system, please leave them in the comments area.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Advertising Experiment through Entrecard

Justin Germino of Dragon Blogger did an experiment in which he purchased $10 worth of advertising to see the level and quality of traffic you can receive.

In summary, it brought 526 clicks, 78,590 impressions, and had a click through rate of 0.0067. Other factors may go into play, but it appears as though the rates are fairly average, if not slightly below average for Entrecard advertising.

Read the full post for additional details.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ad Prices Double

In a logical step to manage the number of paid ads, the prices have doubled, as illustrated below:
  • CPM - .60 to 1.20
  • CPC - .04 to .08
The announcement comes on this forum post. As a result of the huge number of paid ads the first day and the continued demand for them, the price change should help users that saw too many ads or ads that weren't really planned or thought out before placing - after all, $10 could have gotten a website 500 clicks, fairly affordable by any standards, when advertising across all blogs.

Even at the new rates, advertising is still targeted towards bloggers and hasn't seen a huge increase in price, especially if you are advertising a service/blog that is able to get a conversion/multiple conversions.

If you are a paid advertiser, the difference to your account balance has been doubled - if you had $10 in your account, you now have $20, to adjust for the decrease in clicks/appearance of your ad that would have been present under the previous pricing grid.

Performance Upgrades: As a small side note, performance upgrades have been made, with other fixes coming soon - possibly dealing with the reported paid ads that are making it through without prior consent from the blog/site owner(?).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Disputes within Entrecard

Several of the recent announcements and launches at Entrecard have caused disputes within the system. At times, it appears as though the members could care less about whether Entrecard remains in operation, while others remain devoted to the system.

I also want to clear up some issues. I want to stress that I am divided on some of these and have different feelings about which side of the fence I am on.

Value of Dropping Credits - There is no reason to stop visiting other blogs and earning credits this way. Even though you can't travel from one blog to the next through the widget unless you look at the status bar link, Entrecard is still rooted in providing traffic to members of its service.

The Ad Approval Process - Even though all ads have to be manually approved, some members have felt that some shouldn't have made it through the system. The simple matter here was that you are in full control of ads, and you are free to approve or deny them as you wish. The site might have contained content or beliefs that you might not have approved of, but they are the thoughts of one member.
Entrecard Paid Advertisements in Inbox
Paid Ads versus Credits - Paid ads are placed on blogs by advertisers and advertisements that display at the top of your queue, which have been paid for by other members through the credit system. There may not be a sharp distinction between the two at this time, in terms of how they are displayed on your blog, but one is "paid" and one is "free."

Time Concerns - I can see where people had a hard time dealing withe the large number of ads in the Dashboard, especially if a large number enters between logins. However, in the long-term, you'll get more back as you continue to approve ads.

Rotation - Although all ads rotate that you place, other than through Entrecard credits, you will still receive the number of clicks or impressions that you have. It is a different situation than purchasing an ad on a single site, as they will be distributed throughout the network or by a category that you specify. When there are more ads, it will just take longer for your ad to be displayed, although you have to look at the entire category/network and how often your ad is being displayed - likely on multiple blogs.

The 50/50 Split - Separation between paid/credit ads has to be made, and this is a concern that many people have expressed. There are those people who are able to pay to have their ad displayed that isn't really a blog, while others put work into their blog, dropping, and commenting on other blogs day in and day out (often paying in excess of two thousand credits) to advertise on that blog for one day.

The 'Spam' Ads - Some users have complained about "ad" sites appearing. A third-party ad network allows ads from anyone, not just blogs. Even though many of these sites are really just affiliate ads, many could still be run by bloggers that you have commented on. Look at Google AdWords/AdSense, and you'll find a similar case.

[My Complaint] - The number of SPAM BLOGS in the network is still extremely high. Unless you stick with sites that have a daily price of at least 128 (or so) credits, the content has typically been copied, the person never signs into their dashboard and drops, or the widget isn't on the blog. This means that the top blogs will continue to receive a majority of the traffic, and trying to "give" traffic to smaller blogs is nearly impossible due to the fact that 60% of the sites in the "random" or "cheap" categories don't contain a widget, are full of ads, or redirect to another site.

Any further disputes will be added to the post. I'd like to hear more of what you think about the changes - whether they are for better or worse.

The Cashout Service

As you may already know, the Entrecard team is anticipating the launch of the new cash out system sometime this weekend (likely Saturday). This comes just one week after the launch of the advertising platform, which has earned Entrecard members (at 75% share) between $275 and $300 per day, with a total of nearly $1,400, less the 25% the administration keeps.

There has continued to be a lot of confusion between members and what the Entrecard team wants, ranging from credits to the advertising system and cash out. In the interests of the members, they want to keep as many as possible, making it more attractive down the road for advertisers and new members looking to advertise with them. On the other end, they want to make sure that they don't "overspend" or provide funding to members who don't really deserve it, not using the system the way it was meant to be.

Rejection of the paid ads have brought some members together, forming "Old School" lists of members who don't accept ads, to threads expressing problems/concerns, and others calling for an Entrecard Strike. Even though the new system is exposing dividing lines among members, it is, in some ways, bringing those together that really want to stay with the system and those that don't.

Back to the cash out service and what we know at this time. From best guesses, if you have a large number of credits, you probably won't be able to cash out for quite some time, as there isn't nearly enough funds to allow everyone to do so at this time.

Some people feel that the cash out service will devalue dropping credits and visiting other sites. Alternatively, there have been disputes about who gets to cash out first and how many can be cashed out at a time.

The Entrecard Equation

The method for determining who gets to cash out is as follows:
  1. The number of cards you drop and/or how frequently.
  2. The percentage of paid ads you approve.
  3. The percent of Entrecard ads you approve.
  4. Market listings and how many items you have sold.
  5. Contests that you hold and how you generally participate with other members and the community.
  6. The percent/number of credits you spend on other Entrecard blogs.
Some Limitations I Think Should be Enforced
  1. Initially, up to 10,000 credits (or a set, similar amount) should be enforced, allowing the greatest number of people to cash out their credits for cash. This will prevent certain members from cashing out all their credits at once, leaving no funds for other members with much less credits to cash out.
  2. Similar to number one, a set amount of "earnings" can be cashed out per week/per month, etc. until a solid revenue has been built from the advertising.
  3. Even though a member drops 300 cards per day shouldn't necessarily entitle them to cash out first, as they are often people that don't spend as much time commenting and exploring other sites or communicating with other members - not a goal of Entrecard.
  4. People who reject all advertisements should be limited in some ways to the amount they can earn through the cash out system. While they might still be supporting Entrecard through ad clicks (using the CPC rates of $0.02 to $0.04), they generally aren't adding to the "network" of blogs through additional impressions.
Other Thoughts

While I have to hope that the cash out service will work, only time will tell. Like other virtual services, it can be difficult to determine how successful it will be in the long-term, considering that only short-term results are available.

Introductory rates for credit cash out look to be much less than the half of the "retail" value of $6 per 1,000 credits. Assuming the advertising rates remain the same, with $300 of revenue per day, the rate will be $0.0003 per credit, much less than the $0.006 which is the current rate. This is also assuming they want to "delete" a million credits per day. Half that number and keep the current rate of advertising and rates will be $0.6 per thousand credits. Again, this is assuming everything remains the same, and very low rates are given to members to deplete credits.

Here's another situation. Let's assume that all ~30,000 or so members have 1,000 credits in their account, or 30 million total. The posts indicate that the rate for Entrecard credits may rise up to $15 retail/$7.50 cash out, although I don't find this feasible unless huge earnings can be brought in and advertising rates are increased dramatically. With the "millions of credits in the system," it would take nearly a quarter of a million dollars in the "chest" before members could earn anywhere near the $6/1,000 current rate.

Now, don't let all these figures and assumptions get to you, as other values come into play with the market and economy. If the number of credits can be reduced to a manageable level, and this could be as little as a million, the rates for credits will increase dramatically, the value of advertising through Entrecard will increase.

Your Thoughts - Please let me know what you think of the cashout system or any of the other recent changes at Entrecard.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Additional Updates on Ad System

The "beta" system released to all members is now in its third day and there are still problems. However, some of the bug fixes on Dashboard approvals have been made. users with category or blog limits were being shown ads to approve that the ad network would never display. This may have been the reason for so many ads being placed into the Dashboard, without a user's prior consent.

Additional settings have been added to the Advertisement Settings page, which are already turned off by default.

You can now view the cut that Entrecard users will be getting from the paid ads sold, currently at around $1,000. This is certainly a good start, meaning that since the release of the advertising system, $300 has been made per day. Certainly not high enough to support withdrawals by all the members that want it, but once this gets worked out, maybe it will allow people to earn from the system that really want to.

Entrecard Advertiser Statistics

Additional clarifications and updates will posted as they become available. I want to emphasize that this new system is a major change and I certainly wasn't happy about how it was released and haven't seen any changes to support a "better" opinion of upcoming plans.

If you'd like to learn anything specific about the system, please let me know. This will help benefit the community.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The New Ad System - Leave Feedback, Thoughts, etc.

The new ad system has been launched and has been available for quite a number of hours. I'd like to hear some additional feedback from members other than what has been posted in the forums.

New Entrecard Homepage
New Entrecard Homepage

The consensus that I am receiving is that members weren't quite ready for the sudden change and are expecting "something" in return for displaying paid ads on their site. If you were expecting direct payment like AdSense or any other network, you couldn't be further from wrong. Credits are the backing of the system and that won't change. Read the forums, read the blog posts, and you'll find that they are planning (and this has been in the works since the initial plans) and it will explain that they need funding, they need to reduce the number of credits in the system.

Don't assume that just because you can't see any improvements that they aren't being made. As I previously stated, it costs a ton of money to operate the site and without that, it wouldn't exist. How many other online services do you know that remained in operating for more than a year with no premium/paid/sponsored service (although Entrecard did initially have some rounds of funding)? Not many that I can think of. Entrecard could have turned into a spam site if it had been purchased for ~$100,000 earlier and you wouldn't be receiving a single valid click through to your site and everyone that you met through the site would no longer be available for instant, easy contact.

Just because it says that you are a "beta tester" doesn't mean that tests haven't already been done. Think about the new changes as a way to balance the "world economy." It'll take a lot of work and testing to see what needs to be done and tweaked to get everything right. It'll take some expenses form the members and advertisers before you see any return. If you kept tabs on updates from the lead developer and administration, you would have noticed that updates were posted concerning bug fixes throughout the day and last week when the first rounds of updates/introductions were made.

Don't get ahead of yourself and assume that this model won't work. Yes, some of the numbers concerning cash out rates and amount needed for advertising and such might not have had the most testing involved when coming up with an exact figure, but you aren't the one in charge of the site, making the tough decisions.

How long did it take you to make your first thousand dollars with your blog when you added advertisement options? You could equate this to the amount required for Entrecard, but much, much higher. Assuming there have already been about fifteen advertisers site-wide, that means that roughly $150 has been spent. At the current rates, that'll barely purchase a few members' credits. They need to accumulate much more than that (at least a week's worth of earnings) before they can even start to consider the cash out rates (which I see as being at least half of what they were being sold directly through the site).

Remember this key fact - your blog is not a permanent part of the Entrecard network. Although you probably can't deal with the fact that these changes are happening, there is always the option of canceling your account or immediately removing the widget. I'm not saying that you should do this, but some members tend to think that their blog was started as a result of Entrecard, instead of their natural love for writing, sharing thoughts with other bloggers, and maintaining a part of them, online. Secondly, you are still in control of paid advertisements. You are under "no obligation" to approve or conversely, deny all paid ads that come through your account. This has been a commitment by the staff at Entrecard and with this change, that philosophy and motto has not changed.


Some of the facts may be harsh for you to deal with, but they are there. Please leave your feedback about the new system. I will be expanding the homepage of this blog to accommodate the large influx of new posts published here today and will be answering questions to the best of my ability as I can see the concerns that some are having.

Do you think these changes will help in the long-term or simply add to the number of "spam" blogs that have been entering the system?

Benefits of CPM/CPC Network for Advertisers + Walkthrough

There were some questions that Entrecard members had when placing an ad, and this may be a problem if the site wants to attract advertisers from outside the network. The main problem was the initial sign-up process, so I created a test/demo account and will try to address the problems.

Step 1: Go to the Entrecard homepage, and then got to the area that displays: For Advertisers (New!!).

This is what is displayed:

– Self-service advertising.
– Reach across tens of thousands of blogs.
– Target more than fifty vertical niches and categories.
– CPM rates from .30 to .60.
– CPC rates from .02 to .04.

Step 2: Click Sign up as an advertiser! and then proceed from there, filling in essential information such as your username and password.

Skip to Step 3 now if you wish (terms/details listed below).

Information: Guidelines, Terms, and Conditions for Advertisers

– All ads will be approved first by the Entrecard staff, and second by the individual bloggers publishing your ads.
– Sites that advertisers are placing adverts on are required to place their ad-serving widget within one page-down of the top of their blog.
– High standards must be followed when placing ads on any site in the network.

Unsuitable/Not Permitted Advertisements

– The following ads are not permitted: male enhancement ads, adult-themed ads, any ad that links to a site with nudity, gambling or casino ads, ads for drugs, ads that link to sites selling prescription drugs, ads using images of scantily clad women, ads that are offensive, unprofessional, in poor taste, etc., ads for sites that are part of money-making schemes, and so on.
– Absolutely NO ADS/IMAGES or LINKS/SITES will be permitted that have the content listed above on them.
– You must change your link or image to a suitable one, or you will then have to request a refund after thirty days.

Approval Process, Publishers, and Some Guarantees

– No guarantees are made as to how many publishers approve your ad.
– Publishers/bloggers will approve most, if not all, advertisements within 24 hours, often more frequently. The number of people approving your ad versus denying it is your approval ratio.

Campaign Targeting and Redirecting

– Redirects are allowed for targeting and tracking purposes only.
– You may never change the target of the redirect after your campaign is approved by the staff. The end-target of the campaign must be the same for the duration of the campaign as it was approved initially. No refund will be given for accounts that do not follow this rule.

Creating a Successful Campaign

– Be sure that you select a category that is somewhat relevant to your site, or it won't be viewed by the right group of people and your ad will be displayed on less blogs due to a lower approval ratio.
– Advertisement designs that are more attractive and professional will see higher approval ratios and more clicks.
– The target links that have been targeted to the specific categories and are blogs themselves will be seen and clicked through more often than traditional websites or sites that aren't really relevant to the site.
– Type of site - don't advertise sites that themselves aren't professionally done or don't have content that people are looking for.

As an advertiser, at this time, you don't have control over what specific sites you target, as you could (in many cases) target members of the site directly for this opportunity. There are plans in the future to allow more targeted advertisements, but for now they are by category and site-wide only. Therefore, you could be displaying ads on sites that have thousands of visitors per day or some with just a few.


All sales are final, therefore refunds cannot be given. Test a campaign by filling out all details, other than adding funds to your account.


Advanced reports will be given from the dashboard of your advertiser account. The number of impressions, clicks, and more will be displayed in this area.

Funding and Purchasing Advertisements

Funding is done through PayPal. First add funds to your account, then add more to continue your campaign. Choose CPM or CPC based on what item/blog you are planning on advertising through the network and your budget/plan.

All Campaigns Start in Paused Mode

Due to this, you will have to start or pause the campaign as long as you have funds in your account. Campaigns will be paused when you run out of money in your account.

Step 3: You will be greeted with a Dashboard area for managing your account upon signing in.

Entrecard - Advertiser Dashbaord

To the left, you have an overview of your balance and campaigns. There are links to increase the balance in increments: $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, etc. You can view previous transactions by clicking the appropriate link/button.

Campaigns will be listed below, from which you can view archived/previous campaigns or quickly update the currently running campaigns.

To the right, you can see the Ratecard, which has the rates as follows:

– CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions): $0.30 across the entire network and $0.60 when targeting specific categories.
– CPC (Cost Per Click): $0.02 across the entire network and $0.04 when targeting specific categories.

Step 4: Creating your first campaign.

Entrecard - Starting a Campaign

Click the "New Campaign" link under the Current Campaigns area on the Dashboard. This will bring up a new page with several options and configuration settings.

First, select an image (JPG/PNG - no GIFs or animated ads), a target URL, whether your advert is a direct link to an established blog, whether you want to display only in spots in the same category, which category you are targeting, and your payment (per impression or per click).

You're done! All you have to do at this point is go back to the Dashboard (you should be automatically redirected/given the option), and then you can "start" the campaign. Your balance will gradually decrease, depending on the number of clicks or impressions.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

FAQs on the New Advertisement System

Listed below are some FAQs commonly asked by people throughout the forums, on the release post, and elsewhere. I hope to have cleared up some of the more common questions (to my best knowledge) and give some more input into the system.

Follow-up questions can be added in the comments of this post or can be targeted directly to the Entrecard staff.

What's the purpose of the new ad network?

Simply put, Entrecard needs to make money. Sometimes people think that the site has very little cost to operate and add new features. According to the figures posted by phirate, it cost more than $7,000 to create the Entrecard Market and $12,000+ per year for the hosting and systems required to keep the site accessible, even under heavy load. Even though the site does did sell advertising on the main page, the earnings weren't high enough to balance the hosting and extra earnings (for payments to moderators, coders, and the rest of the staff, including the owner) weren't high enough, either.

How will the new system benefit me/my blog?

There shouldn't be major changes if you were already a part of the network and approving ads from other members before. Now, you'll see a "Paid Ads" area beneath the Entrecard Ads in the Dashboard area. You can approve or deny them as you wish, and then they will begin appearing on your blog.

Approving ads for placement on your blog will improve the site, as you are contributing cash (albeit somewhat indirectly) to the site. At rates between $0.02 and $0.04 per click depending on whether you target a specific category or the entire network, the cash will go into a "chest" where earnings will eventually be "distributed" back to members. At this time, the cashout service will be available by next week (or later, depending on the amount earned).

Denying ads ultimately means that you do not want Entrecard to make money nor do you want to accept any forms of advertisements on your site (you should never have joined up for Entrecard, as all ads, even those purchased with credits, are technically ads). This may appear a bit harsh, but is the reality.

What are the immediate benefits of accepting paid ads?

Right now, absolutely none. Until the earnings from ads have grown, you won't see any immediate benefits. Down the road, the option to cash out credits for cash will be looked at as many as the answer to reducing the number of credits in their account without advertising, although some still do not want to go down this path. Even further down the road, new features and integration into other services will be released. Again, even the smallest of improvements to the site cost a lot of capital, in both time and monetary expenses.

You can continue approving or denying regular ads as you wish.

Do I get penalized for rejecting a paid ad?

Not right now. Perhaps down in the road, you will be limited by the number of cash out options you have or additional features, as you aren't "helping" them earn money, but for the mean time, you can deny all the ads or approve them all, depending on how you feel about paid ads appearing on your site.

From the start, and even now, you are free to control what is displayed through your widget. This is unlike every other service on the Internet, including even the more traditional advertising formats.

Please Note: Accounts that have not logged in and approved/denied ads, their ad queues will automatically begin displaying on their widget, as per the normal settings.

Ads not displaying/errors?

Any browser with adblock or some form of blocking will not display the URL that is delivering the ads will render the area black or blank, depending on the particular area/error.

Email notifications aren't arriving.

They won't at this time. In the future, a survey email/option set may be introduced to help you see the paid ads that have been sent to your Dashboard.

There are more paid ads than regular/non-paid ads. What am I doing wrong!?

You haven't done anything wrong. Under normal market conditions, this will be normal, as advertisers are sending their ads across entire vertical channels (ex. Blogging Resources/Tips) or the entire site. Previously, you could only advertise to single blogs at a time, and now you're seeing ads that have been sent to thousands of blogs at a time. This may balance out in the future, but if trends continue, you'll be seeing more paid ads versus regular ads in your Dashboard.

I don't want to/cannot see paid ads.

If you are a part of the blog network and do not/cannot see the paid ads, then go into the Advert Settings area of your profile and make sure that the "Allow paid ads only if explicitly approved by you" is checked. Otherwise, ads may automatically approve or be approved without prior permission.

All I see on blogs I visit are paid ads.

It may appear this way at this time because with the ~50/50 split of advertisers to regular advertisements, the new ads may appear more frequently, and in some cases, more than the regular ads. As some of the members of the site have purchased ads using their regular banner ad, you won't see any difference. If you hover over the ad, the last part of the link will appear as &type=entrecard or &type=paid.

Will the number of "credit" advertisers decrease?

It's too early to tell for sure. However, I think that those without large budgets or extra cash to spend on paid adverts will probably still stick to dropping and advertising for free. After all, that is what Entrecard was from the start and will (hopefully) always stick to as its main benefit against other services.

In an ideal market, the credit value of all advertisements will decrease by 50%, although this probably won't happen in this case. When people see the paid advertisements on the widget, they might not be that influenced by the values and still advertise on the blog. More demand will be fore the sites that aren't accepting paid ads - 100% of the ads will be shown for Entrecard members' ads.

The reason for no dual-layout option.

Some members insisted on a widget that was split with a regular banner and a paid ad. Even though Entrecard has several options for blogs, depending on the size of the blog's sidebar, more people choose the smallest one, which fits best in smaller sidebars and nearly anywhere. This would have meant less room (less than a 125x125 ad) for advertisers, and would have failed in the end.

Conclusion - In the next post, I'll be discussing the benefits to advertisers, some more long-term prospects, and further along,t he new homepage.

The New Advertising System - First Thoughts

Today, paid ads began appearing in the accounts of all Entrecard members. Some people freaked out, although it has been at least three weeks since the initial announcement was made regarding the new system and the new potential for both members and those who want to advertise their site or services through the network.

Due to the large number of questions and problems that have been on the minds of members (including myself), I waited a few time for the initial dust to settle and see what happened, how the Entrecard staff would be dealing with the problems, and more. As you might well know, few questions were answered initially and some still haven't been answered.

This will be the first post in a series of using the advertising system, what it means, and more. You can follow these posts and any new ones by clicking on the Advertising Network label/tag at the bottom of the post.

My Initial Thoughts

Timing - It probably wasn't the best idea for the staff to roll out the system on the weekend. It means that some members probably would have seen the new system much more quickly than if it had been rolled out during the week, and bugs would have been exposed to more members at once - most of the members have more time to "drop" cards on the weekend than during the week.

Prior Insight - No one really knew what to expect from the new system until it was rolled out, quite quickly at that. How were members to know what to do when they saw the new ads within their Dashboard? How could they see what ads that had approved or denied?

Bugs and Errors - While I didn't see too much out of the ordinary, I am sure that some other members weren't seeing the intended ads/banners while the new system was being implemented. This really is in the control of the developers and staff, although the person on the front-end could have been using a script or browser that didn't render something correctly, etc. Again, this is minor at this time, since they are still reportedly working on bugs and the errors.

Overall, I think the new system will work in the long-term, but I have to see how many advertisers there are on average coming into each blog, and how well the entire network views these ads.

This post was kept short, as it is just my initial reaction - look for more upcoming posts on the new system. Please don't forget to follow this blog via Twitter or Subscribe via RSS to stay on top of Entrecard news.

Friday, April 3, 2009

150,000 Credit Video Contest

Entrecard is holding a new contest, giving away a massive number of credits to the people who are able to create helpful tutorials for new Entrecard members who may be interested in learning about the site but do not know where to start.

Some Possible Topics
  • How to drop.
  • How to add the widget to different blogging platforms.
  • How to buy ads and different buying strategies.
  • How to earn credits by dropping.
  • How to earn credits by increasing the number of people who drop on you.
  • How to install and use the toolbar.
  • ... and so on.... choose your own topic(s).

Your video must be of high quality, receive some type of feedback, and have been posted on multiple video sites in order to receive the highest chance of winning.


Winning/First Prize - 75,000
Second Prize - 25,000
Third Prize - 25,000
Fourth Prize - 25,000

Leave a comment on the post and you'll be entered in a chance to win - the contest comes to a close during the first week of May (one month).

Make A Pound is a sponsor of the contest.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Top Droppers for March 2009

I'd like to thank the top droppers for the month of March. All of the following sites dropped their card on my site for at least 26 of the 31 days in March. 

Please visit any of the sites below as a way of thanking them and further contributing to the Entrecard network.
  1. BMWF1Blog
  2. My gypsygoods
  3. Theresa's Treasures
  4. Dungeons and Dragons Corner
  5. Tomorrow is Here
  6. Avoid Money Scams
  7. Dungeon Siege Cheats
  8. Louis L'amour Book Reviews
  9. Septagon Studios Indie Comic Blog
  10. Animal Crossing Wild World Cheats

A Note on Blogs

The post about Entrecard and the removal process has been updated, with the following addition/change:
Instead of forcing you to take the widgets down and then having to police
everyone's blogs we're giving everyone 2 weeks notice that as of 4/7/09 we
will no longer be paying for traffic from Entrecard. If you still find value in
the traffic without being paid for it then you're free to leave the widget up,
however, no paid ads must be shown on it.
For various reasons, it was spread around the Entrecard sites that everyone using the blog service would have to remove the widget, but now it appears that is not the case, and you may keep the widget up as long as you "reject" the ads when the new system is implemented. I don't know whether there will be limitations, such as you not being able to display the paid, third-party advertisements.

The original goal of Entrecard was to form a community, and when many of the bloggers announced that they were leaving, they still wanted to read the blogs and thoughts from people they had met through the system. By following the steps that have been posted on the Forums, you can remain a part of the network, continue receiving traffic, and continue commenting and dropping on other blogs.