Entrecard will now not only bring bloggers traffic to their blogs, it will now, also allow its members to monetize their blogs by allowing EC members to exchange their EC credits for cash right on their EC dashboard!
HOW THIS WORKS!
Entrecard is tying up with a third party ad network and will be allowing ads to run through the entire entrecard system. I am not so sure yet how this is going to be conducted, but I assume the ads will run through the EC drop boxes in our blogs. I presume that instead of the usual widgets of the EC members, who bought an ad from you, appearing on your drop boxes, they will be replaced by 125 X 125 ads from the ad network. The thing to take note of here is although members will still have the right to reject the ads that will appear on their drop boxes, they need to pay a rejection fee with EC credits (the amount of which is still being determined).Entrecard will paid by the ad network per cpm ad placed. According to Entrecard administrators, 75% of the revenues will be used to buy back credits from Entrecard members. The other 25% will be used to grow the network.
I personally do not see anything bad about the whole thing. In fact, I believe, the men behind Entrecard deserves to get paid off for the great job of putting together a free network that generates free traffic for upstart bloggers. They deserve to be able to cash in for the great service and effort they are doing for bloggers for free! The wonderful thing about it is the pay off will not come from the member bloggers but from the ad network! The other good thing about it is the fact that under this new scheme, EC members will now have the chance to convert the credits, which we can't help but accumulate as we make our daily rounds of EC drops, into real cash!
In the past, Entrecard has been criticized a great deal in some social network forums by people who I believe knows very little about its real value. I believe the critisms come from disgruntled EC members who abhor having to make the tedious daily rounds of EC droppings, describing the regimen as a useless, worthless task.
When I was new to Entrecard, I also thought of EC the same way, finding the task of dropping EC cards daily too tiring and directionless. When my account was deleted for some TOS violations several months ago, I got irked and condemned what I thought then as a useless practice just to get my blog visited. I even wrote a post on this. I felt then that there is no short cut to gaining blog popularity, and develop linkages with blog followers, but to post useful and relevant stuff on your blogs. But guess what, the many weeks I was out of the Entrecard network, I saw my visits drop to 0 on certain days - even if I thought I had very good and relevant posts then. Nobody, it seems was paying attention. My blog was dying a slow death - despite the hard work I tried to put in into it.
I finally decided I will give myself a second chance with Entrecard. I corrected my TOS (Terms Of Service) violations and had my two blogs reinstated. Now, hear this. I made a unique experiment with my two blogs which are both registered with Entrecard. In one, the Traders' Hub, I became a "dropaholic" droping EC's and visiting EC member sites to the maximum of 300 drops a day which is allowed by the system. (I even used the credit generators I found in some of the EC members' sites at some point in time for faster droppings, only to get exasperated when I noticed that most of the drops lists I came across with included non-EC members, irritatingly stalling my daily runs while I look for the non existent drop boxes in said sites). On Swirling Thoughts, I intentionally did no drops! The results? My Traders' Hub was giving me over 200 visits a day while I hardly had more than four visitors on Swirling Thoughts in a day!
This is what Entrecard is all about. With the "U drop I follow" policy being practiced by majority of the EC members, your visits are reciprocated with a similar visit and a drop by EC members. While it is true that you won't get 100 visits for every 100 drops you make daily ( my ratio now is 180 visits for every 300 drops I make), the more important thing is you get substantial daily traffic which otherwise won't be there if you are on your own - and, which is a very vital to get successfully noticed in the blogosphere. Do not forget, no matter how good and relevant your posts may be, no matter how unique and beautiful your website design is - you still will have no visitors because no one will even know your blog exists at all unless someone pays you a visit and word is fast spread around - besides, it will take a while before you are able to develop a circle of loyal followers who will like your blog enough to want to visit your site over and over again!
When I used to give marketing seminars in the past (incidentally, blogging is no different from making a sales pitch), I fondly describe the various stages to a successful sales presentation with a four letter acronym - 'AIDA' where A stands for Attention, I stands for Interest, D for Desire, and A is for Action. I always emphasized the very first, and take note, the hardest stage of the selling process which is to catch the viewers' ATTENTION. This is normally a tall order for a newbie blogger to achieve on his own.
Well, Entrecard is providing them the free platform to do this. With Entrecard, visits will come! Attention can be had through reciprocal drops made by site owners of the blogs you just made your own drops to! But thereafter, it will now be up to you how you will gain the Interests of those making such fleeting visits to your site - how you will make them linger longer after making their drops on your site! It will now be up to you how you will package your site to be attractive enough to sufficiently develop your visitors' Desire for any one of the products or services you are offering in your blog. It will be up to you now how you will skillfully craft your blog to be attractively loaded enough to convert those fleeting visits into Actions - which will result ultimately into products bought through your site, or services subscribed to, or linkages clicked on! (And this in turn will lower your bounce rate!)
The bottom line is, Entrecard will only get the ball rolling for you! You still have to do the rest to achieve whatever level of success you have set out to achieve for yourself right from the start.
Much more than the generated site visits, Entrecard has also developed its own 'marketplace' where members freely interact by buying or selling, links, comments, reviews, even physical goods, using only the generated EC credits as payments. Those seemingly 'empty' visits earn credits which can be converted into productive blogging ends after all!
Entrecard has its own toolbar too, which members can use to surf through all member blogs in the network, zero in on special categories of EC members, and reach a more relevant group of targeted blogs!
Entrecard's slated partnership with an ad network is a welcome development for me as an Entrecard member. For where else on earth can you find a social network that helps start up bloggers get the much needed blog visits to get noticed - for free! Where else on earth will you find a social network where bloggers even get paid for working hard to successfully develop their own blogs into formidable sites in the blogosphere? Well, this is how Entrecard's slated partnership with an ad network looks like to me!
Still have doubts? Try it yourself!