An Entrecard Credit is worth $.006  

I mentioned in my previous post that 10000 ECs sold on ebay for $61. Yesterday, the same seller got $31.99 for 5000 ECs. So, if an EC is worth 6/10 of a cent...

...offering someone 20 ECs to comment on your site is like offering them 12 cents.

...200 ECs ($1.20) to design an ad is a steal.

...a Contest Prize of 500 ECs is a whopping $3.

...advertising on The Chow's site at 250 credits would be a bargain at $1.50.

...don't quit your day job if you're counting on making money at 300 drops ($1.80) per day.

Even if the amount you pay to buy ECs is double what the price was on ebay, you can see that using ECs to purchase ads and services can be a smart move!



Entrecard Credits Market Value  

I sold out. I closed EntreBank after just a few days and sold 10000 credits to Entrecash for $55, which was their advertised buy rate. As of the moment, it will cost you $80 to buy those 10000 credits from Entrecash. And seeing as how I didn't get a single nibble regarding borrowing ECs, I decided to cash out and walk away from the table. And if the folks at Entrecash can make $25 profit on the transaction, then more power to them.

I expect that Entrecash will make a profit on my ECs. And I also expect the value of ECs will continue to drop. Here's why:

1) Fast clicking chaindroppers can cruise through 15-20 card drops a minute. Keep that pace up and drop 600 cards (between two accounts) and you might end up with 800+ ECs (after the return drops) for your efforts. Do it every day for 2 weeks and end up with 11000+ ECs. Now what? Buy ads? Spend them in the Shop? Continue to accumulate ECs? Sell off what you have? Because it's easy to get ECs--lots of ECs--and lots of people are getting lots of ECs. And if more people are wanting to sell them than are wanting to buy them, the price (and corresponding value) is going to continue to fall.

2) The current ranking system is driving up the price of ads as more people join Entrecard and are dropping cards left and right. My Internet Marketing Adventures account had a sticker price of over 300 ECs for an ad last week. Why? I was dropping cards like crazy! I got an added boost from some well placed ads featuring my Entrecard on sites that have real traffic and not just chaindropping traffic. And once I made the Most Popular page I got additional card drops from those who figured it was a good strategy to drop on all the cards in the Top 30. Success begets success. Did the value of an ad on my site change much? Probably not, even though the cost to advertise on it went through the roof. We're paying more because more people are in the game and even when the laws of supply and demand are in play (no wait time), the price of an ad stays artificially high because of card drops.

3) I suspect (sorry, no data) that many Entrecarders enjoy watching their credit counts go up, even when it makes more sense (to me) to spend most of one's available credits on today's ads instead of tomorrow's higher priced ads. Assuming that two sites have equal traffic and the biggest difference in their ad price is when they joined Entrecard and started actively card dropping, the newer and less expensive site would be the better value. Waiting another week to advertise will likely cost you more and will weaken the value of your ECs.

It's worth mentioning that 10000 ECs were just sold on ebay for $61. As it turns out, the seller got a couple of dollars more than I did for my 10000 ECs...with a lot more risk and effort. But the ebay auction validated the price that Entrecash was offering on their website. (Chicken and the egg?) $55 per 10000 isn't enough to quit one's day job over, but I expect that we'll start to see more services in the Store and Entrecard related transactions start to reflect the current prices. We'll also see some opportunities arise where market information isn't perfect and sellers of goods or services are unwittingly providing bargains due to the dropping value of Entrecard credits. For example, BloggersShowroom.com is offering to put your 260x154 ad on their site for $10 OR 100 ECs a month. That's a great exchange rate! Even if you had to buy (and who would?) the 100 ECs for $1, your ad cost is only about 3 cents a day.

Of course, Graham could change the ranking system or otherwise manipulate the flow of ECs and then this post would be moot...and I'd have to write another one!


Entrecard Dropping Tips & Hints  

Not yet the seasoned blogger, I don't have a list of ideas for posts to write each day. Fortunately, (at least for this blog) there is enough going on in the evolving Entrecard community that I can usually find something that tickles my fancy. Today my interest is back on card dropping strategy, with a pinch of advertising strategy thrown in. My first post on this blog was about chain dropping and I thought it was interesting that a few folks disagreed with my approach. (Note: I have several previous posts about Entrecard on My Internet Marketing Adventures blog.) There are many paths up the mountain and I'm trekking on one that works for me, although it might not work for others. As such, I'm not attempting to be an expert or suggesting that others follow my path.

One of the paths that I followed as a new member of the Entrecard community was that of an upright guy with the unlikely handle of Turnip. His response to my post about chain dropping can be found in the comments section, but is worth highlighting here in its entirety:

Thanks for mentioning my list. I wanted to make a few comments about the history of it. I created it by going through every single entrecard at the time. It was an excercise in trying to be more efficient with my time. Every single card. Those above the fold got in, those who weren't even close didn't. If people want to play "where's waldo" with their entrecard, then I want nothing to do with them, and certainly don't want to advertise on a hidden card. When I finished my first list, I considered selling it. Only problem was the shop wasn't open yet, and I had an A-hole in the forums campaigning against my blogs. I released the list for free, and kept adding names from the "most recent" category until I had nearly 350 names. I then deleted all blogs that hadn't posted in over 30 days. I also deleted obvious spam blogs. That dropped me under 300 again. When my blog got popular, some people started asking how they could get on the list. I had always added anyone who asked, but decide to ask for a technorati favorite or subscribe to rss as a return favor. There never was any clique as I here some people claim. Recently I created 2 new categories, favorites and new blogs. By dropping blogs that seem inactive, and adding hungry new blogs, my list should give you a very high return drop rate. The problem is you have to do it every day, comment, and post in the forums so people actually notice your name.

Coincidentally, I just raised the question in the Entrecard forum of creating an Inactive Status for Entrecard accounts that are dead in the water. Why? For the reason that Turnip points out...by not dropping on Inactive accounts it should improve the return drop rate and increase one's efficiency. Not a big deal if you are only dropping 5-10 cards a day (which when some folks recently mentioned in a forum post, I promptly took them off my chain drop list), but if you are dropping 300 cards each from multiple accounts, efficiency gets to be really important.

I have further posited that separate lists based on the location of the Entrecarder might eventually be of value. Not now, but if there are 2500 ACTIVE Entrecarders and you have plenty to choose from, why not have separate lists that would have your Entrecard being dropped at the time of day when it would have the highest probability of being returned? The day of the week comes into play also. I've noticed that Friday afternoon and evening are SLOW and Saturday can get really busy, reflecting how many people are sitting down at their computers versus doing something else. And while it's possible to capture all the cards dropped on you via a feed reader pointed at your inbox, wouldn't you want your card to be "fresh" and not the last one on the list to get a return drop?

And what about those chain droppers who dropping on your site every day? As I mentioned in an earlier post, do you need to drop a card back on them every day? No. I'll bet once a week would do it. They aren't going to notice and they're not going to take it personally. (There goes my card off of everyone's list.) Eventually I plan to have a list of chain droppers and a list of return droppers and time my drops on each list accordingly.

For what it's worth, I prefer to subscribe to a blog via email. For some reason I can scan it and archive it (bless you Gmail) and move to the next one without having to wait for someone's site to load or deal with their ads. I have also found that card dropping with images and page colors turned off is faster and more conducive to reading content. To each his own.

Finally, my tip for the day about advertising:
When looking in the Category listings, roll your mouse over the Entrecards and check out their "http://entrecard.com/details/XXXX" number. Higher numbers are reflective of newer Entrecards, but not necessarily newer Entrecard accounts, as each time you submit a new Entrecard design it is given a new number. However, if you see a lower number that has available ad space and is in the middle or lower part of the Category, it's very possible that that is an inactive or disinterested account and your ad won't be approved or you won't get any real benefit from it if it does. I'm in the process of removing these accounts from my chain drop lists as there is very little chance that I will get a return drop.


EntreBank on It!  

In case you hadn't noticed, the Biz Beacon group of blogs expanded yesterday to include The EntreBank. Due to a flurry of card dropping, I've already gotten quite a bit of traffic to The EntreBank and plenty of complimentary comments. No borrowers as of yet, but I have a feeling that that will change shortly. Perhaps people are giving me too much credit, in that my intent was to be able to use the EntreBank as a community-building tool more than a business proposition. I remember what it was like to have few EntreCredits and not be able to advertise on the higher ranking sites. Now that I have plenty of credits and find that most of the blogs are overvalued (especially mine), and considering the small percentage of the ad price that actually goes to the blog owner, I decided that it might be a good thing if I offered to help out some of the newer EntreCarders by lending them some of my EntreCredits. This was intended to be a non-cash transaction and repayment would be on the honor system.

Coincidentally, a new Entrecard account called EntreCash also debuted yesterday. From their website:

"EntreCash does one thing only. We buy and sell Entrecard Credits (EC), that’s it."

What an interesting day for the Entrecard community! Now you can buy, sell, and borrow EntreCredits from fellow members.

The fact that I didn't go right to buying and selling of EntreCredits when I was thinking about the EntreBank is probably why I have spent more time as a strategic planner and consultant than I have spent as an entrepreneur. It's just not in my nature to look for ways to make a buck...something that I would like to change a bit. So, in that spirit, I'm thinking of having The EntreBank offer EntreCredits for sale at 90% of whatever the going rate is elsewhere. Just message me on the Entrecard system and if you're really serious about buying EntreCredits instead of just borrowing them, then you can send some cash to my paypal account.

In the meantime, I'm banking on the Entrecard community to continue to double in size a couple more times and that's part of the reason I'm trying to manage multiple Biz Beacon blogs. Yeah, I know...I should probably be spending some time figuring out how to make money with my time. But old habits die hard and I'm having too much fun to worry about such mundane details just yet. Tomorrow. I'll start tomorrow!


Bloggernoob is Laying Out Some Cash...Soon!  

I might even be too late with this post, but check out Bloggernoob's progressive jackpot contest, with a minimum $50 payout.

Contest rules are pretty easy. Mention the contest, Link to Bloggernoob, and leave a comment.

The Entrecard Community  

If you have arrived at this post with absolutely no knowledge of what an Entrecard is, my suggestion is that you go to Entrecard.com and watch the video. Entrecard is creating a lot of buzz and thousands of bloggers are joining and participating in the adventure. And as there are hundreds, if not thousands, of posts about Entrecard that can be googled, my intent with this post is to give you my 2ECs worth.

1) Entrecarding can become addictive and you might find yourself spending more time managing your account (ads, comments, and dropping cards) than you do actually writing content for your blog. Depending on the stage of your blog that might be a plus or a minus. I bring it up here because I have to constantly remind myself that Entrecard is a tool and that even though I have a good time messing with my Entrecard accounts, the main reason I participate isn't to have fun.

2) The Entrecard community is experiencing rapid growth and it is likely that there will be more members that join Entrecard in the next 6 weeks than have Entrecard accounts today. The site continues to change and evolve and that will suit some people more than others. Imagine what things might have been like way back in November when one would have had to visit a good percentage of the active sites in order to reach 300 Entrecard drops a day. I joined in the last week of December and could sense a camaraderie that existed amongst some of the "older" Entrecarders that will be impossible to replicate when there are 5000+ accounts.

3) The Entrecard opportunity can result in lots of new traffic to your site and that can be pretty thrilling to many newer bloggers. No, chaindropping does not result in "quality" traffic right away, but most quality blogs will increase their readership over time. Not everyone stays active with Entrecard, as there are likely many folks who decide that the results they got did not justify the time and effort spent on Entrecard.

4) It's about community. There are numerous methods to increase traffic to and readership of your blog. If you don't like belonging to a "community" then my guess is that you will tire of Entrecard within a month or so. Human nature seems to be we get out of things what we put into them. If you like reading other blogs and interacting with other bloggers, then you'll have a good time with Entrecard. If not, maybe you should focus your efforts on SEO.

Comment posted by M. Apip
at 2/12/2008 12:41:00 AM
Thank you for your inputs.


Comment posted by biz beacon
at 1/29/2008 6:34:00 PM
I enjoyed the climb onto the Most Popular page, at one time reaching the 16th spot with My Internet Marketing Adventures blog. The thrill was short lived. Now I am looking for a long-term Entrecard strategy that is less about credits and more about connections.

Comment posted by Dreampunchboy
at 1/29/2008 5:16:00 PM
I'm so sick of trying to stay on top. I just gave up, not worth it. Takes way too much time. But don't depend on card droppings etc. I never drop unless I am on a blog where I read an article.

You have to really think "out of the box" to go upwards in the rankings.

Comment posted by Mo
at 1/26/2008 4:39:00 PM
My first visit here, via Entrecard!
I'm brand new there, but am enjoying what I've seen so far!
mo @ It’s A Blog Eat Blog World

Comment posted by peterahon
at 1/25/2008 4:14:00 AM
yeah entrecard is addictive... well I think it is but proper to acknowledge and return back those who visited/dropped their card to you, so it is another of those internet time that I spend, good thing most are into blogcatalog also. So writing sometimes take the back seat... ugh...

To say about addiction this is another addictive site that I am so much caught up with:


well I like to maintain being on
the top 15 so I am addictive to it... another... ugh...


Affiliate Lounge Non-Contest Follow-up  

The best part of the Affiliate Lounge's non-contest wasn't earning an easy 500 Entrecredits, it was exchanging a few messages with site author Phillip van Coller. Nice guy, and considering that it was 3am his time (South Africa), a very generous guy indeed!

Xavier Media Contest Winner....Me!  

Xavier Media holds frequent contests and I scored 350 credits from their most recent one. Thanks guys!

The Uncanny Broadcasting Brain Blog...Thanks!  

Chalk up another contest win for the BizBeacon! Mark Dykeman of The Uncanny Broadcasting Brain awarded me the 500 Entrecredits for winning his contest. (Read my review of his blog at my companion site.)

The Uncanny Broadcasting Brain Blog  

A bit of a coincidence, but the first two blog reviews that I've done both have interesting avatars/logos where the character is wearing dark glasses. (In the case of The Uncanny Broadcasting Brain Blog I think the glasses help out his X-ray vision.) A visit to this site, which is authored by Mark Dykeman, with the occasional guest author chipping in, isn't complete without going to his About page and getting a richer glimpse into why he is writing. Mark mentions that he is an ISTJ and I'm an INTJ and so we share some similar personality traits, at least according to the MBTI. And while you are tooling around the Broadcasting Brain's site, take the time to visit the "old site", The Mark Dykeman Web Niche, for some additional posts and entertainment.

You have to like a guy that uses Superheroes in his posts! Green Lantern aside, Mark compiles some very good information about Social Media and how best to utilize StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg and other popular sites. And if you're in the mood for Beef Stroganoff, Mark's your guy. Mark is establishing a niche lens on Squidoo with more info on the tasty dish than I have ever seen in one place.

So, extend your antennae and pick up some of the brainwaves that are being sent your way by Mark Dykeman at The Uncanny Broadcasting Brain!

The Entrecard Forum is "For Us", Not Just "For Them"  

I don't usually participate in forums too often, well, at least I haven't over the past several years, after having unpleasant encounters with the "Anonymous Lack Of Civility Syndrome" that can permeate some boards. The term "forem" can describe a variety of sites and not all are friendly in nature. Fortunately, the Entrecard Forums are very pleasant and full of interesting topics that are germane to the Entrecard community.

While I don't tend to hang out in the forums, I do make a couple of forays there during the day to see what's happening in this quickly evolving Entrecard world. The forums represent an opportunity to loosen the tie and chat outside of the constraints of writing a professional looking or sounding post, and I have gotten a better understanding of some of my fellow Entrecarders as a result of reading their forum comments. And while there are many blogs--like this one--that contain good info about how to leverage the Entrecard opportunity, the forums allow for a quick answer to some of the basic questions, albeit at times with a bit of ribbing from some of the more experienced members of the group.

If you are an Entrecarder and you haven't perused the forums, then you likely don't know that there is a Promotions and Events section where contests and deals are announced and discussed. I cover some of the details on my Contests blog, but I'm usually only catching a small percentage of what's going on. Many of the top ranking Entrecarders have used Promotions to build their readership and one can learn how to do the same via the forum posts.

Perhaps what I enjoy most about the forum is that the Entrecard brass make regular appearances to answer questions and concerns. You get it straight from the horse's mouth. Hopefully that personal touch will continue to be felt as this community continues to grow and evolve.


Joe Tech: What's Good and Bad About Blogging  

JoeTech's blog is handsome. He's got style and he's savvy. He's been blogging for a couple of years and he gets lots of page views. That's the Good part. The Bad part is that he's not raking in the cash. And that's somewhat discouraging to a new blogger like myself.

I'm new at this and so I don't feel qualified to review JoeTech.com on its blogging merits. What I can say is that he has made himself a player in the Entrecard community in which I have incubated my blogging activities. The vibe is that he is a good guy and I read at least one forum post mentioning that an ad on his page yielded great results.

So, my bottom line on JoeTech is that he is a fellow traveler on the road and I wish him all the success he can garner as he continues to inform and entertain. I'm now a subscriber!

Comment posted by JoeTech.com
at 2/9/2008 9:58:00 PM
Thanks for the kind words. I'm hoping to have more success with monetizing my blog after the Affiliate Summit in 2 weeks.

JoeTech Contest for Ad Space & Entrecredits  

Just do ANY of the following to enter:
- Comment on this the contest post at JoeTech.com (1 entry)
- Send a visitor to http://www.joetech.com from your site (2 entries per visitor!)
- Sign up for JoeTech's RSS feed via email (10 entries)
- Favorite JoeTech in Technorati (10 entries)
- Put http://www.joetech.com in your blog roll (30 entries)
- Write a post about this contest (MUST link back to this post) (50 entries)
- Write a positive review of JoeTech.com on your blog (MUST link to Joetech.com) (100+ words)(100 entries)
- Stumble one of JoeTech's articles (20 entries)

REMEMBER: You do not have to do all of them. Any combination of any of the above works, but do all of them for the best odds.
Bonus: If your site or blog has an alexa rank under 50,000, DOUBLE YOUR ENTRIES
Entry deadline is January 30, 2008.

The Blog Entrepreneur's $100 Bonus Contest  

The Blog Entrepreneur's Revolution Premium Theme and $100 Cash Bonus Contest is ending soon and the easy way to enter is to subscribe to his feed and comment that you did as much. You'll get a code word in a post that you need to include in an email back to The Blog Entrepreneur in order to validate your entry. And, if you are the first of the two winners chosen AND you have blogged about the contest, there's a $100 cash bonus for ya!

Affiliate Lounge's Non-Contest for 500 ECs Each  

There's such a thing as style points and Affiliate Lounge is definitely setting the standard for how to disburse Entrecredits. Here's the deal: Affiliate Lounge, one of the leaders in the Entrecard rankings, is flexing his spending muscles and tossing 20000 credits out to the tune of 500 ECs each for bloggers willing to do just what I am doing...writing about his site, linking back to it two times, including a screenshot or related picture, and commenting on the post to let him know where you posted.

I like this approach! I can appreciate that some Entrecarders are offering prizes of 350, 500, 1000 ECs or more, and I will still participate it those contests. But, honestly, I've got plenty of ECs myself and am playing along with Affiliate Lounge because of the boldness of his approach. I don't even know for sure that I am one of the first 40 bloggers to jump in and play, but it doesn't really matter. He wants to improve his rankings and I'll spend the 10 minute to help him out as a reward for his style. (But I'll still take the ECs if I qualify.) I like the way he thinks, as displayed in his post about Facebook and Entrecard.

So hustle on over to Affiliate Lounge and play along...you might even get 500 Entrecredits as a result!


The Entrecarder  

I've made some changes to this blog and my approach to Entrecard and will take a moment to explain what I'm doing and why. I wish I could say that I had this strategy in mind from the beginning, but the truth is that things have just evolved to this point and likely will continue to do so in the future. As this blog is intended to be a record of My Internet Marketing Adventures, I've noticed that it was turning into mostly a record of my Entrecard activiites. Valuable, but that's not all that I am doing or want to do with my online marketing. The first offshoot was a blog about Affiliate Ads & Referral Programs, which is where I can write about ad companies and place ads and referral links that I don't want on this blog. The next related blog was about Blogger Communities, and then one about Reviewing For Money, Entering Blogger Contests, and the most recent one I've called The Entrecarder. Each of these blogs has a specific purpose and I hope that each will be of value to the reader. I'm just getting started with these blogs and will be scrambling to add quality content as quickly as possible.

At first I was going to give each of my blogs a different look so as to create a separate identity for them. As the number of related blogs grew I decided to use the same template for each and to cross link them via tabs. I'm hoping that the end result is a coordinated presentation of my Biz Beacon brand, with easy transitions to each site. Each blog has its own Entrecard, so feel free to jump via the tabs or links and get 6 drops for 1 basic visit. However, because they are separate sites the Archive and Search functions only cover the specific site you are on at the time.

Over time I might migrate (or copy) the Entrecard content on this site to The Entrecarder, as it really is my intent to push beyond the Entrecard world and start actually making some money on the Internet!

Comment posted by Who We Are
at 1/25/2008 11:49:00 AM
I think it's a good first step to bridge all the sites together. But now I think your job is to make each a specific brand within your six site community.

Comment posted by biz beacon
at 1/23/2008 8:27:00 AM

Thanks for visiting and commenting. I'm enjoying following my muse and learning by my mistakes. There will come a time when I will probably consolidate all the related Biz Beacon blogs back into one site and start worrying about rankings. But for now I'm having a blast just setting things up.

Comment posted by Duncan
at 1/23/2008 5:33:00 AM
The new design seems to work well. I've been using a similar approach for a long time now - it's helpful to distinguish between different genres at times. Only problem is the Technorati ranking gets split up. Alexa seems to recognise them all together.

Why This Blog?  

I made the decision to run multiple blogs in conjunction with My Internet Marketing Adventures in order to keep myself more focused and have the content be more consistent. As a new blogger, I read what the more experienced folks had to say and it seems that writing reviews leads to quicker cash than pay-per-clicks or affiliate advertising does. Yet, what happens to your blog when you are known to be writing reviews for money? I guess it depends on your intent. I see writing reviews for money and other remuneration as a viable activity and one that I want to participate in, at least until my ad revenue is sufficient to warrant otherwise. The problem has been that I've been so busy with structuring my blogs and getting them up and running that I haven't turned to writing for money yet, something that I hope to rectify this week with this blog.

Entrecard Advertising Strategy  

When I opened my first Entrecard account at the end of last month I didn't have many options as to where to pay to place my Entrecard. No Entrecredits, no real clue as to what to try. After a week or so I had enough ECs to try out placing ads and the results were less than spectacular. I just kept buying ads, usually bottom fishing, but occasionally risking a larger amount on a site that seemed to be popular. Due to the lag between joining the ad queue and the date the ad actually runs, I wasn't really paying attention to the Advert Clicks chart on my Statistics page...at least until January 16th, when I received 229 clicks (and 194 cards dropped.) That represented almost a 10x increase in activity! How did THAT (a tenfold increase) happen? Two reasons: Yimto (103) and Wildclips (98). I paid Yimto 263 credits for the ad and Wildclips cost 99. I was further fortunate in that it just so happened that the ad on my site was for another of my Entrecard accounts and I got 140 click throughs as a bonus.

I got lucky. I got lucky because I don't control when my ads will run on another Entrecarder's site. In this case I was the beneficiary of running two ads on active sites that boosted my numbers and has resulted in my being on the Most Popular page, in the 24th position (right ahead of some guy named Chow), with an ad cost of 248. Absurd! Ridiculous! And the reason that Entrecard is changing the system. And now that I'm playing with the big boys (and girls) here on Entrecard's Most Popular page, some of them are placing their Entrecard on my site. Which is a good thing...because tomorrow my ad price is going to take a dive by about 100 credits. The good news is that I'm still buying ads on sites that are active and have high traffic in the hopes of another lucky day.

So the strategy? Save up your ECs and buy your way onto a Entrecarder's site who gets lots of EC traffic. What? That's a problem? You have the credits to spend, but their spots are always full?

Some of the wilier members of the Entrecard community have written scripts that will check for ad openings. I'm not a programmer and I haven't pursued that avenue, but it did occur to me that ads start running at the same time each day, depending on when one's first ad ran. (Unless you let your ad queue go empty and restart.) That means that John Chows ads are going to expire at the same time every day and that possibly he will have an available spot (for about .25 seconds). A list could be compiled of all the popular ad expiration times and then everyone could fight over them. :-) However, I believe the system is designed to allow for more ad requests than there are current openings, which accounts in part for the variances in the max number of days before the ad will run. (Someone please correct me if I've got any of this wrong.) When the total number of ad requests maxes out is when we get the "Ad queue full" display instead of the "Spot full" message. Either way, if one is really motivated to put their Entrecard on a popular site, it would pay to try and figure out exactly when their ads expire.

Don't Chaindrop the Same 300 Entrecards Every Day!  

Recognizing that a rework of the ranking system is in the offing, I'm addressing this topic for the here and now. A recent forum thread included discussion about the ratio of cards dropped to cards received, with the most common result being 3:1. I mulled that over for a while and looked at my own Statistics page and came to the conclusion that chaindropping the same 300 cards every day is not the best strategy. It's efficient and I've got my 10 year old hyped up to get paid a penny a drop starting this week, but there are a couple of reasons why that chaindropping plan can be improved upon:

1) Not everyone drops back the same day. Time zone differences, the 300 card daily limit, missing your dropped card as it came through their Inbox, or non-obsessive Entrecard activity where one only checks their Entrecard account once a day or less frequently, can mean that your 2nd or 3rd dropped card might have been better used on another site.

2) Chaindroppers are going to do their thing regardless of whether or not you drop back on them. While I might be shooting myself in both feet by saying this, your Entrecard is likely in a bookmarks folder and as long as your site loads quickly and your Entrecard is above the fold, and your blog is updated regularly, you are going get some card drops every day. The chaindroppers are hoping you will drop back on them, but do they really want to spend the time to check? There are so many chaindroppers now that you aren't going to crack the Top 10 Card Droppers list on their accounts and it just isn't efficient for a chaindropper to follow up with who has dropped back and who hasn't.

3) The Entrecard community continues to double in size every month or so, with the current number of accounts having just passed 2500. If that growth rate continues for even two more months it will mean 10000 accounts in the Entrecard community. The point being that there will be plenty of active sites to drop your Entrecard on and I suspect at that time the emphasis will be shifting (and as a result of the new ranking system) to more strategically chosen sites on which to drop your Entrecard. Perhaps Turnip or ahkong.net will still be providing great lists of drop sites, although if it were me I would be tempted to sell the lists in the Entrecard Store. What if you had a list that yielded a 2:1 or 1.5:1 return drop rate (your cards dropped : cards dropped on you) instead of the typical 3:1? You would be more efficient and a higher ad value (under the current system) would result, in addition to having that much more traffic to your site!

4) Dropping a card back on someone who just dropped one on you is a nice thing to do, but it doesn't always make sense. For example, if Ken at You Can Learn Series drops a card on me (which he does on a regular basis...thanks!) and I turn right around and drop one back on his site, he can't return the favor until the following day.

What I have decided to try is to stagger my chaindrops by using two different lists and allow 2 days in between visits. Unless the Entrecarder writes long posts (like mine at times), I'll still be able to easily peruse two days' worth as I cruise their site. And as I'm subscribing to more and more blogs via email or feed, I'm getting access to the good stuff when I'm in the mood to read. I'm also going to follow up on the suggestion to scoop up all of the cards dropped on me via a feed reader and make a greater effort to drop back, although it might not happen until the next day.

To be candid, I'm not yet worrying about making money with my BizBeacon blogs. I'm having fun and I'm going up the learning curve, and I don't think it would have happened outside of the Entrecard community. Thanks to the Entrecard Team for their efforts and for creating this great community!


Ask The Admin 500 Credit Contest  

Late notice on this contest as it ends today. 500 Entrecredits to the winner and there are a couple of ways to enter:

1) Comment on the Ask The Admin Contest Page with a link to your blog and you will get one entry,
2) Sign up for their rss feed via email and you will get one entry,
3) Blog about this contest and get 10 entries,
4) Comment on the Contest Page about your post and get another 5 entries.

Good Luck!

Android Guys Inaugural Contest, 1750 EC Payout  

First place is 1000 EntreCard Credits!
Second place wins 500 Credits!
Third place wins 250 Credits!

There are plenty of ways to gain an entry into the contest: Comment on the Contest post on Android Guys site, drop an Entrecard on them, subscribe to their feed via email, write a blurb about the contest, put this ad (and link)

ON your site until the contest is over, and place another ad (see right sidebar) INTO your site until the contest is over.

The contest ends on January 31st at midnight (I think that what they meant to say as they are planning on announcing the winners on February 1st.)

Normally I wouldn't bother to display ads for another blog without any guarantee of remuneration, but this was such a cheeky request that I decided to go along with it.

3000 Entrecredits Up For Grabs at SBDC!  

SHANKER BAKSHI DOT COM has a January contest with 3000 Entrecard Credits to the winner. Shanker Bakshi describes himself as "cartoonist first, then a radio jockey, television anchor, caricaturist, voiceover artist, novelist..." and his blog subtitle is "The Miscellaneous Ramblings of a Dot Com Guru." recent posts include What is Page Rank? Everything you wanted to know about Google Search - Explained and What is RSS feed and how you can use it?

Enter by subscribing via email, which will earn you 5 entries, or via posting a 200+ word entry (and sending Shankar a copy via email), which will get you 3 entries.. I'm doing both...and it's not clear if that's allowed. Considering the effort to write a 200 word post, I would think that it would be worth several times the value of subscribing via email. Maybe it's just me, but perhaps Shankar will drop the post requirement by about 150 words for the next contest. Either way, I'm committed on this one and so 200 words it is. Do the 7 words in the title count? I suppose I should play it safe and assume they don't.

The contest is slated to end on January 31, 2008 and the winner announced and Entrecard Credits transferred on February 1st, 2008.

Broadcasting Brain 400 EC Contest Ends Today!  

The Canny Brain Broadcasting Blog is freeing some of his Entrecredits to migrate to another Entrecarder's account, but you'd better hurry as this one ends tonight! The rules are simple: post, link, and comment with your post url.

I Wanna Be A Shoeperstar!  

I'm venturing outside the Entrecard community to enter a contest that is being put on by some internet marketing rockstars, Jeremy Schoemaker of ShoeMoney and Ted Murphy of Izea. What's the grand prize? A chance to join Jeremy and Ted in an episode of Rockstartup, Web 2.0 Reality TV. Oh, and as the filming (yes, as in by a HD camera and possibly headed for national network distribution) takes place in Austin, Texas during the SXSW Interactive mega-event in March, you'll fly for free and be put up in a hotel (chosen by the staff, whom I hope isn't too warped with their humor) and given 1000 bucks to tip with, or whatever else you choose to spend it on while you are in town attending the conference via your free pass. All you have to do is convince the voting public that you deserve to be one of the 3 Finalists and then it's up to Jeremy and Ted to do the eenie-meenie-miney-mojo.

Why me?

Reason 1 - I am a committed Rock and Roll father. My two oldest sons have played in a local band called Side Dish for the past 6 years and when they were first starting out I functioned as their manager. (Nowadays I have been relegated to loading and unloading the band van.) They practice at our house and I really like their music! Even if Side Dish didn't make it to SXSW this year, I should be there to scout it out for them for next year!

Reason 2 - I'm a new and impressionable blogger and internet marketer. I have several blogs going at the moment and could really benefit from the collective wisdom of these two gurus!

Reason 3 - I'm a former AM Radio Talk Show host and can manage to speak without slobbering, and I'm actually a pretty good interviewer. I'd love to get these two guys under the hot lights and grill them about what they really think about Google AdSense!

Reason 4 - I have an interest in multiple intelligence theory and am well versed in temperament analysis, and I think that the world would benefit from as insights as to how Jeremy and Ted are similar, what makes them tick, and whether or not they'd pass a lie detector!

There you have it...4 reasons to pick me instead of one of a thousand hot blogger girls who would be more interesting to see on the show. I'll start packing...

1000 Thanks To Ken Brown of You Can Learn Series!  

Honestly, when I started entering these contests it was more of a hobby than with any real expectation of winning. And yet I found my Entrecard account 1000 Entrecard Credits fatter yesterday after winning 1st prize in the You Can Learn Series Scavenger Hunt / Contest. Ken has one of the more comprehensive sites I've run across while participating in the Entrecard community, but what impressed me more than his site or the 1000 ECs, was his willingness to implement a suggestion that each contestant be rewarded for entering the contest. The idea was to offer each Scavenger Hunter 5-10 ECs for their efforts. Ken ended up giving them each 100 ECs. Job well done, Ken!


Global Entrecard Strategies for Different Time Zones  

I guess I was an Entrecard member for almost two weeks before I caught on that the ad values and stats were updated at midnight Eastern Time. Armed with that knowledge, and the recognition that there are Entrecard members from many parts of the globe, I got to thinking about how the relative time of day impacts how and when one drops cards. I'm guessing that the majority of Entrecard members try and drop cards back on those people who dropped on them. And I have found that I get more cards dropped on me after a chaindropping spree, as many folks who aren't chaindroppers are returning the favor. Building up one's ad price might be good for the ego, but there is also no denying the value of being one of the top 3 in each category, as it means you are getting additional exposure on the Campaign page. (Ad value is calculated as twice the number of cards dropped on your site each day, using a rolling average over the most recent 5 days, including the current "day", which begins at 12am ET.)

Dropping a card on someone when they are most likely to be logged into their account might improve the return card drop rate. The same logic is used as the reason to not drop cards on blogs that haven't been updated in a while...the goal is to generate a return drop and hopefully a good visit to your blog in a timely manner, as in that day. When possible, I start card dropping right after I've posted a new entry here so that the regulars are presented with a new headline, or at least see today's date on the post. When I am chaindropping or using a hybrid method that I'll call multi-avenue-drop-surfing* (MADS), I take the time to read a post that interests me and make a comment here and there.

Choosing when one drops a card on someone living in Japan versus someone living in England might mean the difference of a day before they return drop a card. I live in Utah and the Entrecard magic moment occurs at 10pm, a good time for me to drop some cards as I am winding down for the day. That's part of what got me to thinking about time zones. If I drop cards on people who live on the East Coast there is a good possibility that they aren't at their computers and won't see that card for another 4-8 hours, at which time I might have moved too far down their list for them to even know I dropped a card on them. That's not good. On the other hand, dropping a card on someone in Australia who is in full blogging mode might get me a quick return drop.

This kind of analysis might seem a bit extreme to some of you and I suppose it is. I'm not sure it matters right now when you drop your cards as the Entrecard community is still in its infancy. However, when there are 10 times as many Entrecarders are there are now, the strategy of dropping cards by time zone might make more sense.

*MADS worked well for me today as I was able to combine chaindropping from bookmark folders with free form card surfing. I started by opening up a folder with 10 or so booksmarks in it and dropping cards tab by tab and clicking on each Entrecard to open up yet another tab. Not as efficient as pure chaindropping, but I ended up visiting sites that I don't usually see when chaindropping. And because each of these had purchased the right to be on that specific Entrecard, it was a good guess that they were on the more active end of the spectrum than might be found by just trolling through the Campaign pages.

Comment posted by Annie
at 1/26/2008 10:11:00 AM
I had already given this time zone thing a thought or 2 but it sure would take card dropping up a notch, not to mention the extra thought that will have to go into it. Who knew we could make blogging so technical?

Comment posted by Jethro
at 1/25/2008 9:55:00 AM
heh - you dropped on me in australia at 9pm - 10 pm for daylight saving states - im not in one though
but - i looked at entrecard dashboard at 1:52am - lol
still you were 2nd top of the list.

i like the thinking you put into the post and how you make it work.
thanks for dropping by www.spyjournal.biz

Comment posted by mariam
at 1/19/2008 11:15:00 PM
I gave this some thought too as I realized there are a lot of Asian bloggers and I'm in the Eastern time zone.

However, what I think is getting around in the forums is that people now realize they can have an RSS feed to their inbox.

Comment posted by BizBeacon
at 1/18/2008 1:06:00 PM
KimbaTheWhiteLioness, Thanks for the heads up on the non-working site! Dropping cards is a major part of the Entrecard experience. You should think about signing up and promoting your blog!

Rebel, I read somewhere that if you subscribe to your inbox feed you can capture more than the 10 visitors shown on the dashboard.

Nathan, thanks for dropping by, neighbor! I'm about 40 minutes south of you and will be reading your blog on Salt Lake City Real Estate with interest.

Comment posted by nathanburrblair
at 1/18/2008 10:47:00 AM
Thanks for the valuable information for a new Entrecard user. I thought there would have to be some sort of strategy to this, and your post proved me right. Entrecard has been fun and very informative so far.

Comment posted by Reward Rebel
at 1/18/2008 9:58:00 AM
You’ve obviously given this a lot of thought!

I’m from the UK, but recently I seem to be living on Eastern US time. You’re spot on about optimum times to drop cards, and I don’t know why Entrecard has limited the number held by the Inbox to only 10, unless it’s a deliberate ploy to encourage users to monitor their Dashboard more often than once a day.

Entrecard has hit on a winner here, everyone seems to be enjoying this surfing technique, I chain drop at high speed, but intermittently scan sites as I go. Of course, another factor in how fast or leisurely I drop cards is dictated by my workload… and my sense of its urgency at any given time;-D

Comment posted by kimbathewhitelioness
at 1/18/2008 7:05:00 AM
Kent, THIS blog is working!

I guess I'm not really sure what "dropping a card" means, to be honest?! Is that blogging for money? Yes, I'm somewhat naive, I suppose... to me, exploring blogs and occasionally writing a few of my own has always just been a hobby for my spare time. Glad you've found a PRACTICAL aspect to this world and I wish you much success! I'll have to read up on the concept more in the near future!

Comment posted by BizBeacon
at 1/17/2008 2:53:00 PM
oyvind, thanks for chiming in from Norway! I'm not sure if it nostalgia or the sense of adventure that makes "surfing" so interesting, but I am enjoying it. And no, I don't want to go back to using Mosiac and 2400 baud connections. I'm also enjoying the global connections that allow us to chat with others from around the world. Thanks again for commenting!

Comment posted by Oyvind
at 1/17/2008 2:36:00 PM
Good biddings Sir! Great article, thanks for sharing. As I read your post I remembered something from when I went to school. In 92 when we were allowed to use our Unix terminals and Mosaic browser there werent many sites.

We were actually dependent on outgoing links from the site we visited. I remember I loved doing that, and Entrecard give me that feeling again when I do what you explain. Kind of exploring the web like the old days.

I've found a great deal of lovely blogs on my way, Entrecard is my favourite these days. Who need commercial ads when you can get rich by splendid information and
meet lovely people :)

Just my .2£ :)


Old Time Web Surfing with Entrecard  

I cringed a few years back when the phrase "web surfing" got picked up by Madison Avenue advertisers, as it seemed so passe to me at the time. I "surfed" the Internet in the mid 90s, before Yahoo made a couple of young guys into millionaires and there really wasn't an easy way to find new sites. You just followed links to wherever they would take you, sometimes good, sometimes not so good.

In real life, I like to surf--having learned in Hawaii while living in Honolulu and going to school at UH--and like to bodysurf even more. The fact that I'm 667 miles from my favorite beach does cut down on my opportunities to splash in the waves and occasionally get pounded into the sand. And until this morning I hadn't thought about "web surfing" for a while, either.

Admittedly, I have been chain dropping Entrecards and looking to be efficient in building up my advertising cost for this blog. Yippee!! As of the moment it cost 140 credits to put your Entrecard on this blog and no one is lining up to do so. I've just about cracked the top 10 in the Internet Marketing category at Entrecard and I'm feeling satisfied with my progress...but not so much to keep chain dropping much longer. Life has to move on and as soon as that memory card arrives in the mail today I'm shifting the chain dropping to my 10 year old...cuz I'm going surfing!

I guess I actually did what the Entrecard creators intended I do by using the Entrecard as a link to the next site. In 30 minutes I dropped 50 cards, signed up for a couple of feeds, entered a contest, and READ about 15 posts. Sometimes the "wave" died out and I had to "paddle" back to the dashboard, or more often I would go through BlogCatalog or MyBlogLog to get to the next Entrecard, signing up as a friend or contact with new folks I passed along the way. No, not as efficient from a pure card dropping point of view, but much more satisfying and useful for long-term blog success.

Comment posted by BizBeacon
at 1/19/2008 9:15:00 AM
John, thanks for surfing by and staying long enough to comment. And keep getting fit! I lost 40 lbs in 2007 and have another 20 to go.

Comment posted by john - from fat to fit
at 1/19/2008 8:34:00 AM
Same here - I can't stay caught up on my RSS reading now because I am doing too much Entresurfing!

Comment posted by Lightening
at 1/17/2008 3:24:00 AM
That's about what I've been doing too. I try to leave a comment where I can come up with one. It feels kind of like bad manners to just swoop into a site, drop my card and buzz off again. But maybe that's just me... :-)

Comment posted by adamsky
at 1/16/2008 6:51:00 PM
That's what I do... I just "surf" the internet and that's thanks to Entrecard. I work as a programmer and I get bored with the web a long time ago. But Entrecard brings me the "new joy" of "surfing" :)

Good luck and thanks for the great blog.


RenaisNet's 10,000* EC January Contest  

Tom Hanna is running a contest at RenaisNet that most people seem to be ignoring or not abiding by the rules on, but it suits me. As of this writing there are only SEVEN people who have completed their entries, so make haste and head over to RenaisNet.com to enter!

The instructions aren't entirely clear as to whether on not you have to perform all 6 listed items or if the 6 are mutually exclusive methods of entering. What is clear is that you need to send Tom an email to validate each entry attempt! Tom is putting all of his Entrecard Credits up as the grand prize and is increasing the count each day until the end of January. He updates the total here.

*The 10,000 figure is my estimate of what the total prize will be at the end of the contest and is not binding. What a bummer it would be if it was only 9000 ECs!

Blogger Contests and Communities  

I do. I really do. I DO have a strategy about my blogging efforts and Entrecard in specific. Yesterday I started up my I've Entered The Contest! blog and established my 6th(?) Entrecard account. I started the contest blog because I didn't want to clutter up this blog, which is sort of an account of my internet marketing activities. Shilling for contests, especially those which want you to write a blog post to participate, doesn't fit with what I want to do with this blog.

I started by entering the Tylercruz.com vs winningtheweb.com contest and then I entered one of Emma Nelson's contests at ItsWriteNow.com. I could have just stopped right there, but I realized my contest entries could also serve as a compilation of contests that other bloggers / Entrecarders might want to join. So, it's turning into a bit more work than I anticipated, but it should have some value to the community, in addition to possibly winning me some prizes.

Using similar logic, I had already started Tips for Newer $ Bloggers, a blog that lists some of the more common affiliate ads & referral programs. And I'm just getting started on Top Blog Communities, a blog that covers MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, OthersOnline, Bumpzee, and, of course, Entrecard, among others. Again, this blog is geared toward those bloggers who are just starting up with the monetizing process. The next in the series will be Reviews for Money & Other Remuneration, a blog where I can explore the pay-per-review process. I have a couple more ideas for blogs about blogging niches that I might foray into under the BizBeacon umbrella, and another blog where I write about product ideas I have come up with over the years, like Bankshots, Ancestors Mobile, Beach in a Box, and more.

And that's not all!!! If you order now... Actually, I have another bunch of blogs that I am working on that fall into the Intunique or Provorem categories, but most of those won't be making an appearance for another couple of weeks.

Comment posted by Sadie
at 1/16/2008 5:55:00 AM
This is not only an amazing post, but a bit inspirational too. I have 2 blogs one is active, and 1 is pending, 2 lens and that's just about all that I can handle at the moment. I only wish that one day, I could have as many blogs up and running with more in the can just waiting to be shown as you have. Congratulations...80)
SF Scott

Comment posted by emma
at 1/16/2008 1:03:00 AM
Thanks for the link. I feel like I made a new friend.

You Can Learn Series Scavenger Hunt Contest  

This one ends soon...January 17th at 6 am ET. I made it more complicated than it needed to be based on how I read one of the 3 clues. So as not to invalidate my entry, I won't give you the entire clue that caused me to search fruitlessly throughout the You Can Learn Series site. This is what it says "What page can you find this partial image which is part of a larger image on the You Can Learn Series Website?" I interpreted that to mean where can I find the partial image (as it was shown) and not the larger image. Well, I found the larger image and not the partial image and after having invested more time in the contest than I intended to, I submitted the url of the larger image. I did think about sending the url of the contest page because it did contain the partial image and there was no rule prohibiting it.

1000 credits are up for grabs, and while the scavenger hunt was a good idea, I think that a 500 credit prize and 5-10 credits for everyone who sends in a correct entry might have been a better allocation. Most of these Entrecard contests just require me to subscribe, link or post and yet if I'm going to have to scrounge around someone's comprehensive site I'd like to know that my time expenditure was recognized.


$100 Cash Prize for this January Contest  

I admit it...I lifted the following from CK Marketing's site:
Win $100

It’s easy to enter

To gain entries into the contest, just do any of the following:

  • Subscribe to RSS via email = 2 entries (per blog you subscribe to!).
  • Make a comment of value (not just “i agree”, etc.) on a post = 1 entry (remember to comment on all blogs).
  • Write a post about the contest on your blog (must include a link to this page and the links below to participating blogs) = 25 entries.

How much easier can we make it? You can sneak in with just one entry by simply posting a comment here, you can increase your odds by reading and commenting on a few more posts here and at one of the blogs below and maybe subscribe to a couple, or you can really up the odds and subscribe to all all of our blogs (which you’ll enjoy reading anyway), comment on a bunch of posts, and blog about this contest. The more entries you earn, the better your odds, of course. If you’re going to post about this contest, just grab the image and code from here.

The deadline for this contest is 12:00 AM February 1, 2008.

Who wants to pay you?

Subscribe Via Email To Enter These Two Contests  

It's almost too easy:
DotSauce.com Lots of prizes to choose from....ends Tuesday January 15.
Saphrym.com 1000 ECs...Ends 2:35 pm ET Tuesday January 15.

jDonuts Link Love January Contest  

This one has a bit of a twist in that you don't have to write a post about it to enter. Instead, comment on jDonuts page with the name and link of another blogger whose post you really liked, or to play along, "love". I chose to list Emma's (Itswritenow.com) post about Words To Know Version 3, partly because I suspect she is a deipnosophist.

CyberStreet Report's HUGE Contest  

This one ends on January 19th, so get busy! CyberStreet Report (Helping Bloggers Spread Their Word) is sponsoring this contest and has a nice array of prizes (Banners, review, ECs and cash.) For the full details go here. Treat Reno right and you just might make it into his League of Authors!

Million Dollar Portfolio January Contest  

James Wilcox at the Million Dollar Portfolio has a contest running with the first prize of 500 ECs. Three ways to enter: Advertise on his blog with your Entrecard, write a comment, or post about the contest. His post and the rules are here.

PeterFoti.com January Contest  

This one is easy...just sign up via email here for the feed and contest entry. First prize is 1000 ECs, 2nd prize is 500 ECs. A visit to PeterFoti.com will also let you see his SitePal. Kinda creepy, but kinda cool at the same time. I went to their site but didn't sign up yet. There is a 15 day trial period and it appears to be $9.95 a month. Their site lists an affiliate program, so if you are interested, follow Peter's link and I'm sure he'll appreciate it.

Xaxier Media Blog Contest  

This is bread and butter:

Post about the contest that Xavier Media Blog is holding (until the 18th of January) and then comment with a link and you're in. Up for grabs is 350 Entrecard Credits. Good Luck! P.S. XavierMedia has some good info for webmasters and others re hosting. Check it out!

Bloggin-ads.com Big Contest  

Now here's a contest that is worth entering:

Mike at Bloggin-ads.com has put together the "One Heck of a Giveaway"Contest featuring prizes from many of the regulars in the Entrecard community. Entering is pretty easy and one method is to write a post like this one. Sans that, you can enter by subscribing to Bloggin-ads.com's feed (which I just did), posting a comment on sponsors' blogs, and digging or stumbling Mike site.

I see another benefit for newer members of the Entrecard community in that the listed sponsors comprise a group of very active bloggers from whom we can learn quite a bit. So comment, click, and post away!


There are going to be 12 different groups of prizes, which means there are going to be a total of 12 different winners. By adding up the value of all the prizes, I would say it is worth a least $1,000. Just for Max’s sponsorship of “500″ One Buck Wiki pages total a value of $500, which makes it one heck of a contest.

*Group 1*

*Group 2*

*Group 3*

*Group 4*

*Group 5*

*Group 6*

*Group 7*

*Group 8*

*Group 9*

*Group 10*

*Group 11*

*Group 12*

Every contestant is only able to win once. *EC = Entrecard Credits*

Winning The Web: Tyler Cruz vs. Gyutae Park  

Entering contests is what this blog is all about! Here's one that likely will have expired by the time that anyone ever reads this post, but I'm going for it anyway.

A couple of heavyweights are slugging it out in a featured bout that has plenty of spectators due to the potential of prize money being handed out to a lucky few. Tyler Cruz of TylerCruz.com and Gyutae Park of WinningTheWeb.com have squared off and are duking it out for bragging rights and plenty of links and mentions. This contest of web popularity is scheduled to have the final bell ring at 9 pm ET tonight (Jan. 14, 2008.)

Here are the rules and guidelines:
1) Your vote should have at least 300 words and should clearly indicate who you are voting for and why.
2) Link to the site you are voting for and link to both WinningtheWeb.com and TylerCruz.com when describing the contest.
3) You can only vote one time.
4) You can only win once.
5) Only voters choosing the victor are eligible to win cash prizes.
6) Leave a comment on your chosen blogger's site linking back to your voting post.

1) You get the thrill of entering a contest, replete with all the anticipation of possibly winning a prize!
2) You get your blog associated with a couple of heavyweights!
3) You get to participate in a great blogging community effort!
4) You don't have to come up with your own topic for a blog post!
5) You might win something!

Now, these combatants both seem like nice fellas, but my vote is going to...Gyutae at WinningTheWeb.com, if for no other reason than I figure he must be a drummer...and my 2nd son is a drummer. Good enough for me.

If you happen to read this post, head over here to WinningTheWeb.com and read the rules and then join me in voting for Gyutae!

How Quickly Does My Page Load?  

As time goes on I suspect that my blog will start to look more and more like the outside of my refrigerator, cluttered with all sorts of stuff that might not get noticed after they become part of the landscape. It occurred to me that someone should (if they haven't already) create a button or widget (which, of course, would further slow down the page) that allows the visitor to indicate that they felt the page took too long to load. Just like those "How is my driving?" bumper stickers.

I got to thinking about it this morning while I was riding my exercycle and clicking through Entrecard sites, merrily dropping and sweating, killing two birds with one stone. While we have cable broadband, the computer that sits next to the exercycle is running Windows 98 and isn't the speediest one in the house. And while page loading speed seems to have always been an issue for me (I hated that AOL spinning ball back in '93 at 2400 baud), I really notice it on a slow computer that stalls easily if I ask it to do too much...like load more than one page at a time.

I recognize that bloggers have different goals in mind and different audiences they are targeting. Most of the traffic to this blog comes via Entrecard and that is where I am focusing my energies at the moment. I don't really expect that most card droppers will read more than my headline and I'm OK with that. I don't trim my posts down or purposely make them RSS-friendly and I know that my posts are not usually a quick read. I'm happy when chaindroppers cruise on through and I want to be included on their lists. Which (finally) brings me back to my topic. When I am pedaling away, I have found that I'm willing to wait about 5 seconds for a page to display their Entrecard before I'm pushing "Stop" and then "Delete" from my bookmark list if the Entrecard didn't load. Sounds cold I suppose, but with so many Entrecard sites to choose from, why do I want to wait for a slowpoke? Sometimes pushing Stop works really good--too good on some sites--when the Entrecard loads and nothing else.

All of which got me thinking about how quickly my blog loads. No, I don't really expect people to take the time to comment...but IF I had a button they could click that would give me some idea of their dissatisfaction, I might be able to trim the fat from my page and speed things up. I suspect that most widgets don't individually kill page loading speed all that much. But in combination with large graphics, YouTube imbeds, and oodles of other widgets, things can get downright pedestrian for readers with slower connections or computers. How much does anyone want to see the "Waiting for..." message?

As long as I'm at it, I made a few other notes while riding:
1) When I'm in full chaindropping mode I look first to the upper right hand column under the header for the Entrecard. That's usually because I opened a bunch of bookmarks at the same time and I'm trying to be efficient. However, I noticed when I am opening them one by one from the list I have opened on the left side of the browser window, a left hand column Entrecard placement is preferable.
2) Some of my bookmarks require a pass-through an Entrecard url. Oops. I guess I should have just bookmarked the site and not dragged the url from their Entrecard profile page.
3) There's some conversation going on in the Entrecard forums about chaindropping and the ranking system that Entrecard uses. Honestly, I'm feeling sheepish about the company I find myself in on the Entrecard board. I'm still new at this and have maybe 1 regular reader (thanks Mom!) I see the cost of "advertising" on this blog as an indication of the time I am devoting to Entrecard and not the intrinsic value of my blog or its content. The slight competitive urges that I feel to climb the rankings help me stay focused on this blog (and my other blogs that have Entrecard accounts). And so when I look at the folks I am meeting through Entrecard (like Emma at ItsWriteNow.com, or TurnipofPower.com) I feel somewhat like an interloper and recognize I have plenty of dues to pay.

Comment posted by Work-at-home-Wealth
at 2/12/2008 7:47:00 PM
1)Your bloag loads rather quickly on my PC (WinXP, ADSL)
2) I liked your blogs, especially "180 degrees of intelligence" (where did my other 120 go?)
3) No, I'm not your mommy :-)
Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm just starting with this "blogging" thing but I'll improve (written english skills not included in the word "improve").


Comment posted by J. Scott
at 1/15/2008 11:52:00 PM
Hi, I read a lot of blogs and I appreciate that yours does not crash my computer and loads really quick. I am on dial-up. I even try have my blogs load quick but for some reason that doesn't happen/


Noman Isa Nisland...Join Some Blog Communities!  

By now you have seen them...widgets full of miniature faces representing visitors to someone's blog. MyBlogLog and Blog Catalog seem to appear the most on blogs that I visit, and there are dozens more sprouting up here and there. Is it worth joining these communities? I guess it depends on what you are trying to achieve. And what I'm trying to achieve with this blog is to highlight the Top Blog Communities in one place so that the reader can easily sign up for the ones that appeal the most. Also, I'll provide my two cents about my experiences with these various communities. Feel free to let me know if I'm missing a good blog community that should be included here. And I might just cover some more socnets, too, if they have some specific appeal to bloggers.

Delete, Delete, Delete...Cleaning Up The Entrecard Bookmarks  

It's only normal that some people will get their Entrecard set up and lose interest after a day, a week, or a month. It goes to what their expectations were and how closely reality came to meeting them. So, as I was dropping cards last night from Turnip's list, I swept about 30 stale Entrecards into the trash. I'm sure that they were fresh and hopeful when they first made it to Turnip's bookmark list, but I figure that if they don't have a January 2008 post yet, they ain't taking their blog too seriously. And that means that they aren't likely dropping any cards. And so why do I want to drop a card on them? I don't.

I also discarded (great word, under the circumstances) another 5-10 sites whose content was static or dateless. Again, they aren't likely doing much card dropping. And of course, anyone whose Entrecard is below the fold is headed to the trash, too. Fortunately, there are so many Entrecard members now that it's not too hard to find plenty of folks to visit who just might drop a card back on your blog. New members are great because they are still fired up about Entrecard and are happy to get cards dropped on their sites.

I guess it's going to be a constant cycle of out with the old and in with the new. One real positive I experienced was that as I was scanning posts for a date (as in calendar), I managed to read more content than I have been in my recent dropping sprees. And that was a good thing!

Comment posted by David
at 1/14/2008 4:54:00 AM
It makes me wonder when there will be a copycat site set up that operates like EntreCard. Its only a matter of time.

Comment posted by Turnip
at 1/13/2008 2:39:00 AM
Glad you found the bookmarks useful. I too clean my bookmarks daily, adding fresh ones from the "most recent" category. The latest version from 1/10/08 can now be downloaded in zip format from this page: http://turnipofpower.com/about/entrecard/


Adbrite, Entrecard Community, Small Successes  

Adbrite is getting hammered today in the Entrecard forums. Apparently they have been bad boys and are now on the Entrecard blacklist. It only makes sense that Entrecard should derive revenue from all of the activity that goes on and as I got to thinking about it I realized that I hope they (honestly, I really don't know who "they" are and should probably spend a few moments to find out) make a boatload of money from Entrecard. As they get more and more successful they will be spending more and more effort getting the word out as they decide to build their reputation outside of the blogging world. And as that happens, more and more folks will be arriving at Entrecard and the community will continue to thrive.

I'm enjoying the sense of community that exists here on Entrecard, and the spillover that I'm experiencing in MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, and other communities. I don't comment all that often and have only had a few conversations with other Entrecard members, but I'm starting to recognize familiar cards and feeling more comfortable with the regulars. I write with my own voice and I'm not yet attempting to optimize my posts for anything other than my own satisfaction. I don't have designs on being the best blogger by any measuring stick and my income goals for this blog are very modest. My larger desire is to be informative and entertaining, and to get efficient at this process, seeing as it is just a small part of what I do.

Perspective aside, and my 51 years not withstanding, it's still very cool to see something work. Like someone putting money in my tip jar (otherwise known as My TopSpots) or saying thanks for pointing them towards a useful site. I suppose there will come a time when such small successes will become routine, which realization is why I'm savoring them today. Like fellow travelers met along the trail, there is a camaraderie that exists solely due to sharing the same place and time, no matter how fleeting the moment. Hello, G'day, Cheers, and Godspeed to you all.

Comment posted by CyberCelt
at 1/23/2008 3:47:00 PM
Hopefully, you will always want to read what people comment on your blogs and say in their reviews.

There are a lot of boomers on the web, so do not be surprised by the many blogs that resonate with you.

Comment posted by Emma
at 1/13/2008 2:18:00 PM
Thanks for noticing. I always wanted to rank for the keyword someone. :smile:


My Strategy on Leveraging Entrecard  

Here's what I'm doing with Entrecard as of the moment:

1) Multiple Entrecard Accounts - I have more than one Entrecard account due to having several different online businesses that I am promoting. This account, "My Internet Marketing Adventures" is my main account and is a record of my activities on Entrecard and elsewhere that I combine under the BizBeacon brand. A second account, "Intunique...the art of smart," (the model is my youngest daughter) is designed to build readership of my blog that deals with Multiple Intelligence Theory, personality, and how each of us has specific intellectual abilities that are in the gifted range, even if we don't realize it. My third account is "Madame Goyin", a collection of MLM tips and experiences that I have ghostwritten on behalf of my mother, who has been the CEO of 3 separate MLM companies. (That's her in the 60s when she was a top fashion model, standing there next to the Goyin bottle.) My fourth account is "Tips for Newer $ Bloggers" and is designed to introduce folks to the more common Ad companies like AdToll, Bidvertiser, Widget Bucks, etc.

2) Review, Sort, & Bookmark Entrecard Sites - Thanks to Turnip I started bookmarking sites so I could quickly open them and blast through them in mass card-dropping sprees. I haven't hit his pace yet, but it does quicken things up significantly. My current method is to check the Most Recent sites and drop a card from my "Tips for Newer $ Bloggers" account. Then I either put their bookmark in a folder for Above The Fold (ATF) or Below The Fold (BTF), and occasionally--based on adult content or really slow page loading--I don't bookmark it at all. I have found that my computer works best when I keep the bookmarks in a single folder to 20 or less. I use the right click "Open All" feature in a new window, click the first card and then click the tab of the next card, continuing until all cards have been clicked, leaving the tabs open for the time being. Then I close the Firefox window (which quickly closes all the tabs) and move to the next folder. Am I reading most of these blogs? No...unless the title to the top post catches my eye. However, I have found that it takes my computer a minute or so to load all 20 sites and so I am in the process of placing a blog that I want to read every day as the top bookmark in the folder...if it loads quickly. That will allow me to read it and click through the rest. Initially I thought I would go through both the ATF and BTF groups of folders, but honestly I don't want to spend the extra time to scroll down. To me that says that the blog owner doesn't care enough about Entrecard to make it easy for me and I'm not particularly motivated to help grow their traffic as a result.

3) Purchase Ad Space From The Bottom Up -At first it seemed like a good idea to use my Entrecard credits to place my card on the category leaders' sites. However, that thrill passed quickly and I'm now purchasing ads starting from the bottom of the category and working my way up until I'm zeroed out. I've been shifting credits from my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th accounts to my main Entrecard account to improve my buying power. My goal is to get as many ads running as I can so that my fellow Entrecarders get used to seeing my card and consider me one of the regulars.

4) Recruit Assistants
- As I build this system it will become easier for someone else to grind through the 200-300 cards each day. It was fun for a couple of days, but I'm quickly getting to a point where one of my 5 children who are still living at home could do it just as efficiently.

I think Entrecard is a great idea and while it might appear that I am trying to game it, the truth is that everything I do benefits someone else's site, in addition to mine. I still have plenty of work to do to optimize my blogs and I haven't yet gotten into the comments, backlinks, contests, or other good ideas that are proliferating around the Entrecard community. Feel free to point me at your site if you have some good ideas for leveraging my Entrecard experience.

Comment posted by memeandmemes
at 1/11/2008 9:27:00 PM
Great Stuff on Entercard. I'm posting a link under my Entrecard Meme Builder


Join Affiliate Referral Programs Sooner Rather Than Later  

If you are blogging for money, odds are you already know about AdSense and would love to earn big bucks from your blog visitors. The good news for the blogging community is that there are dozens and dozens of ad programs that you can participate in to get your share of the millions of advertising dollars that are spent each month on the Internet. In addition to income from ads that run on your site, many of these programs will also pay you a percentage of the income earned by other bloggers that you point their direction.

Most experienced bloggers are familiar with the programs that I have listed on this site, if for no other reason than they see the ads all the time while they are reading other blogs. I compiled this list so that a newer blogger could find these programs with less effort than I spent to do so.

I'll continue to update this list with those programs that are similar in nature and write entries and updates about each one. So go ahead and sign up and start the dollars flowing!


Multiple Blogs and Market Segmentation  

This past week has been quite an education and much of it came from the collective expertise found in the Entrecard community. While I have blogged off and on over the past couple of years, I'm awed by the sheer volume of good blogs that I've run across. One truism that I've encountered in my real world adventures in the business world is that you only get to be a "newbie" for a short while and those impressions are extremely valuable because the largest part of the general populace are always going to be newbies.

I have a couple of different areas of interest that don't really fit together into a single blog and I started off with the idea that I would have multiple blogs so that I could write to niche audiences. I've since segmented the potential audience into 6 different categories:

1) Intunique - A word that I borrowed from ancient programmers (people my age and older) and applied to the concept of "unique intelligence", hence Intunique.

2) BizBeacon - My branded word for my online business activities. This blog falls into the BizBeacon category, as do my other online marketing activities.

3) Provorem - A contrived word resulting from the two cities that represent the core of Utah County--Provo & Orem--where I reside and work. The content for these blogs--which number over 25 at the moment--eventually will meld together into a website that deals with our local business community.

4) Ready Health Products - This company is owned by a relative and I'll spend some time blogging on several sites to drive traffic to the main website.

5) Anonymous Blogging - I've got some ideas for blogs that I think will be entertaining (think PG-13) but that I'm not sure I want to have fully integrated with the rest of my blogs.

6) The Rest - Blogs on Driving, Volleyball, Genealogy, Positive Thinking and more. My creative outlet.

I'm still in the process of determining how I want to reach each audience and how best to monetize my sites. My first inclination was to include as many ads, communities, feeds, directories, etc., that I could on a site. OK, so it looked pretty busy and unattractive, and there was only so much that I could fit above the fold. Honestly, while it's a good thing that there are so many ways to earn money with your blog, it can be challenging to figure out which path to take. So, as I was already committed to multiple blogs based on audience, I decided to expand the concept a bit and design different blogs--with the same content--for different marketing approaches.

For example, I reworked my Intunique blog that is hosted by Blogger so that it was "optimized for Entrecard." Many thanks to Turnip for his Top 5 Entrecard Tips and Tricks, as I realized that my page had likely been too full of ads to be of interest. Basically I wiped most everything off the site except for the Entrecard and my own ads. And then I bumbled my way through setting up a BuzzBoost through Feedburner so that the content from my main Intunique blog gets posted on the Intunique blog that I have optimized for Entrecard.

I have since repeated the process for another Intunique feed site that is focused on Communities: MyBlogCatalog, BlogCatalog, OthersOnline & SpicyPage as of the moment. My thought was that I can continue to build that site so it's visitor friendly, a site that will encourage lingering and poking around, something that the streamlined Entrecard site isn't designed to do. My plan is to have at least two--and maybe more--Intunique feed sites that address different marketing approaches tailored to specific types of advertising like Adsense, Amazon, CJ, Adtoll, and the many others out there.

I'm pretty excited about the prospects of this market segmentation approach to monetizing my blogging and have to smile about the fact that all of the structuring work I am doing is getting in the way of writing!

Comment posted by Turnip
at 1/5/2008 8:44:00 PM
Glad you found my tips useful! Everything looks fast and optimized now.


Entrecard: Fast, Fun Traffic  

I'm very impressed with the Entrecard ("Entre" as in Entrepreneur) concept as a method for quickly getting traffic to one's blog! First of all, it's easy to set up,with perhaps the first real hurdle to overcome being the choice of a image to put on one's Entrecard. Not to worry...you can easily change the look of your Entrecard if you misfire with your first attempt(s).

Why does Entrecard work?

1) Entrecard (hopefully) moves link exchanging a couple of steps closer to Google acceptability and empowers the "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" vibe.

2) When you "drop your card" on another Entrecard you get Credits that can be used to buy ad space on other Entrecard members' blogs, thereby getting your blog some valuable exposure.

3) Entrecard Credits are rapidly becoming a form of currency that can be used to purchase goods and services in addition to ads.

4) The market forces involved with the price of ads for specific Entrecard members' blogs helps maintain the vibrancy of the Entrecard community and helps introduce beginning bloggers to the laws of supply and demand that exist in the broader internet marketing community.

5) As there are many blogs in the Entrecard community that focus on how to make money with blogs, visiting other members' site and dropping your card can be very educational.

6) It's entertaining to see the different Entrecard designs and it's fun to see one's Credits soar without too much effort. Now, if only each Credit was worth a dollar!

Feel free to comment about other benefits to Entrecard that I might have left off my list! Also, let me know if you think there is a point where your blog traffic is high enough that spending time to drop off your Entrecard is not an effective use of your time.

Comment posted by INconstantIN
at 1/19/2008 6:01:00 PM
Yes, Entrecard works for me just fine! It brought me over 100 new visitor in just one day!!!

OffLine: I like your blog a lot. Would you consider exchanging links with me? INconstantIN's Blog http://mdro.blogspot.com

And by the way, how did you manage to display you recent posts by categories in the commenting section, I'd likt to do that too!