Sunday, October 25, 2009

Advertising Rates on Entrecard (Under the New Ad System)

Within the new ad system (using 15% of their ad network), you can purchase advertising across all the member sites within Entrecard. I wasn't aware of this (the link is rather hidden on the homepage) mainly due to the fact that it wasn't promoted heavily. I figure they want more of the "outside" to advertise on the site, rather than purely the members.

I don't know how successful this has been - three of the ads that appear in my Sponsor Ads area are still from Entrecard. So, if this is true, they haven't enticed any long-term deals yet.

Pricing is $0.60 CPM for the entire network or $1.20 CPM for targeted categories (choose from one of over fifty categories). They will only accept 125x125 pixel advertisements, and a $25 minimum deposit is required.

The main benefits, as stated from this page are: maximum exposure and click-throughs, professional results, highly effective with detailed stats, and discounted rates.

What do you think of this pricing model (quite similar to the last time advertising was introduced) and how it is being marketed?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Entrecard Credit Pricing Reduced

You can now purchase Entrecard credits for half the price, they can be found on this page. However, it is slightly harder to compare the value, as the interval has also changed, as follows:
  • 4,000 Credits - $12.00
  • 6,000 Credits - $23.20
  • 16,000 Credits - $44.80
  • 32,000 Credits - $84.40
  • 64,000 Credits - $166.40
Have you ever purchased credits through this manner?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Advertisement Credit Tax Lowered from 75% to 50%

In an effort to retain some of its users, Entrecard has changed the advertisement credit tax to 50%. So, if it costs 512 credits to advertise on your blog, you'll now receive 256 credits in return, rather than 128. The change will remain in effect for three months, unless some dramatic problem arises within the network to suggest that too many credits are maintained.

Please leave your thoughts on this here, and the discussion will continue.

September Entrecard Traffic Up Slightly

Taking a look at Entrecard's traffic, you'll find that it was up slightly for the month, but is down nearly half since its peak in the January to March period during this year, when unique visitors were over 1.7 million and total visitors were over 4.4 million. During September, traffic figures rose about 2.3%, to 1.2 million visitors, but total visitors were down nearly 5%.

September Traffic for Entrecard

I expect next month's traffic to be quite a bit lower unless something is done to combat the people who are quickly leaving the service and not staying on the site.

Something interesting to note, however, is the number of visitors not going to the Entrecard site. According to the sub-domains feature of Entrecard, about 6,700 visitors went to the website during the month of September, while the rest of the traffic (1.1 million unique visitors) came from serving advertisements (at

If these figures are anywhere near correct, this may be one of the reasons why Entrecard stopped offering advertisements on their blog and main page - the amount of traffic on their blog/website is extremely low. The only reason the site is even considered in the top 1,500 sites is because of the number of advertisements it serves.

Let's assume there are 26,000 legitimate sites within the network (an average of 500 sites per category). I'm sure that there are less than this, as there are only about thirty "expensive" sites, which are the primary users of the service at this time. There are quite a bit of sites within the 384-1024 credit/day range, with traffic of these blogs in the 3-10K range/monthly.

The most popular/highest costing site on Entrecard at this point receives about 14K visitors per month/45K total visits. It also means that the average Entrecard user (assuming all traffic is from Entrecard) visited the site three times during the month).

Apart from these higher-trafficked sites, the average site on Entrecard receives about 42 visitors per month. Again, this is assuming my estimates are correct, and they may not be - I am open up to discussion and dispute on this if more accurate figures can be proven.

There simply isn't any reason why traffic will increase during the next month across the network, and the main reason traffic will drop in the future will be when the more higher-trafficked sites begin leaving the service. Compete's traffic may be really wrong, as Quantcast estimates traffic at 61.2K, coming off of a maximum of 95.2K since the beginning of Entrecard. However, approximately 90% of the traffic is from "," similar to Compete. I'd assume these figures are low, as "100%" of traffic is from the U.S., which it definitely isn't.

Please lave your thoughts on some of these figures, especially if you can add more specific information about the traffic and return that can be expected from the site.

"The Ultimate Networking Tool" - Wait, What Network?

It appears as though Entrecard is doing even more to alienate the members of the service that are left. The forums have completely closed (and have been closed for just a few days now).

Entrecard Forums Closed

Without any warning, the forums were closed, and there will be no new one opened for quite some time, if ever. The main reason was probably due to the moderators and members who would often get into disputes over rather minor issues. It became spam-infested over time, and really didn't provide much value to the site.

However, now that there are no forums at all, there is no way for members to communicate with one another and promote their blogs in this method. Forums serve as a method of off-topic conversation.

Their Twitter profile remains dull and not updated. No new updates have been posted since September, and I honestly doubt how much interaction the members of Entrecard receive simply browsing and visiting one another's sites.

Finally, all new posts on the Entrecard Blog will have their comments closed, ensuring that no negative opinions are posted on the site. All one would have to do is enter a simple Google Search for specific terms to learn about the negatives of Entrecard. I'm not saying everything is negative about Entrecard, but for the most part, they aren't working on the positive elements of the site that helped it grow so rapidly.

Now, for a network built around developing relationships, there is only one way to communicate with the site - through email. This is an extremely faceless conversation - they will never know any other details about you other than your name and perhaps your website. It's a mindset and business model that rejects what helped to create the success. Everything will disappear within a few months, and it wasn't the members' fault.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Poll - Do You Plan on Leaving Entrecard?

This is just a brief poll that you can take so I can get a better idea of what you think about Entrecard? Have you left Entrecard, or do you plan on leaving soon?

Subscribe to Entrecard - Now Live!

An option to subscribe to Entrecard is now available within your account, making it easy to remove all the sponsored ads. At this time, they are still testing the new system, so it would be worthless to block just two ads.

Subscribe to Entrecard

Pricing is $5.00 per month or $48 per year (great discount to just $4.00 per month). No refunds will be provided, and this is more of a donation to the service than anything else.

I would just like to know how many people that are members of Entrecard really even thought about this membership just to remove ads and support the system?!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sponsor Ads Management

A new feature was rolled out, allowing you to block one ad form their list. At this time, there are only two Entrecard-sponsored ads, but more will be placed here in the future. One of the problems that may arise is that two ads might not appeal to your blog, but you'll be unable to do this.

In the end, I simply don't see how this feature will really pay off. There will be difficulties in selling advertisements, especially to a network of users that don't really want to see them.

What do you think about this management area, and how should it be changed? By the way, you can access this area through the link provided in your admin area, or by attaching sponsor_ads after the trailing slash at the end of your user number.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sponsored Ads Coming Tomorrow

It appears as though history is repeating itself, although some things are still more planned than in the past. Users are being told that they either must accept paid ads or they will have to pay $50 or so per blog to get them removed for a yearly period.

This is a response that Cindy, one of the writers on the blog gave, in response to other comments:
Thank you for everyone’s feedback. As we mentioned in our earlier blog, Entrecard will be using 15% of the ad inventory to serve ads to sponsors in order to keep our service free. We believe this is extremely fair considering some free ad networks use 50% of their inventory to serve sponsor ads. We understand that users fear that the ads served might conflict with their blog. Because of this, we will give users an option to opt out of the ads that they do not find appropriate on their blog. This is also free.
Now, users are thinking that they have to pay $50 a year just to use our service. This is not the case. Entrecard will remain free for all users because it will be funded by the sponsors, not the users. The $50 per blog fee is just another option for users that would like to opt out of the sponsor ads program completely. It’s an option and not mandatory.
There are have been many options suggested by our users and we’ve read through them. However, at this moment, we feel this is the best approach to take. Even with the options we have made available, we understand that many of our top users do not agree with us, expecting the worst and are planning to quit our service entirely. We don’t disagree with anyone leaving a company because of bad service. We just ask that you stick around and try it out for the next month and see what happens before making your final decision. If you choose to leave now, we hope that Entrecard has been able to help you achieve some of your goals as a blogger and that you are welcome back anytime.
In my opinion, this is what happened the last time paid ads were introduced. It was viewed as an alternative method for people to advertise and capitalize on the sites within the network, but this time it will be touted as a "closed" network. Users won't necessarily be able to advertise within the network, and they must either decide to continue using the service/accepting paid/sponsored ads or they must pay the fee to have them removed.

Blog and advertising networks need something to keep them going - loyal users. Without them, no one can expect the site to continue growing. Entrecard was started and promoted as a free blog network that allowed people to build up a community as well as traffic. The problem fell in how the site aimed to generate revenue. There were no clear ways initially, but a paid advertising plan was introduced nearly a year after the service was launched, barely paying for the site, and barely achieving what it was set out to do.

Looking back at the comment left above, you'll notice that they - Entrecard - state that you are welcome to lave at any time, yet they are also trying to suffocate those who try to inform others about what is occurring:
Because of our recent changes, we have a small group of users who are extremely angry and are using the blog comments to encourage other members to rebel against Entrecard. Due to this reason alone, we have decided to disable comments. This will be restored in the near future.
I don't have a problem with a site making money, but the way they are doing it is against the morals of many people who joined the site simply for the traffic and building a following - not profit. Larger blogs WILL NEVER join Entrecard now because they don't want to have competitive, "free" ads placed from a third-party network. Now, it is without their approval, or else they pay a $50 fee per blog.

Something isn't being spelled out to the users. I realize that there are goals of Entrecard looking into the future, but it is difficult to continue using the service when few new features and enhancements are being added, further degrading the experience users are having.