Making Money with Entrecard  

A new day is dawning in the Entrecard community, and with it comes the legitimization of earning money via one's Entrecard account. (I sniff an e-book in the works. See below.) No longer is one relegated to back alleys and paypal widgets when magically converting Entrecard Credits (ECs) into cash. The EntreAdmins have rolled out Phase 1 of the Credit Exchange and there are a lot of happy Entrecarders today, including this one.

Enterprising bloggers can now earn $100-$1000 a month (or more) from their Entrecard activity WHILE they build they traffic and publicize their blog. Want to know how? Check out the soon to be compiled and published Entrecard Ebook.

Note: I am not an Entrecard expert. Ok, well maybe I do know my way around Entrecard and have been involved longer than 75% of the other folks here, but that still doesn't make me an expert. Then again, I guess I have some expertise when it comes to card dropping strategies and how to make money on Entrecard. I'm just not an expert blogger. Now PhiRate, he's an expert on Entrecard, but he should be as the main programmer dude and one of the admins. (Why are you reading this? The whole "I am not an expert" is a reference to a prior post and is a running gag that isn't funny anymore.)

2nd Note: Blogging purists who deem themselves above the commercing of their sites can send their spare ECs to me. Thank you in advance.


Entrecard FAQs  

A new Entrecard account popped up recently that is entitled Entrecard FAQs. The author must fancy himself to be a clever fellow as the FAQ doesn't stand for Frequently Asked Questions, but Forum Admin Quotes.

The site isn't fancy and is limited by the Blogger driven labels versus the more user-friendly tags & categories. Still, there are a number of quotes from Entrecard Admin PhiRate that address key rules and concepts central to the Entrecard community. Not to be confused with a real FAQ section, Entrecard FAQs is mostly relevant to the Intermediate Entrecarder, not the brand noobie.

The site has not been endorsed or shunned by Entrecard as of this writing and does contain a small disclaimer in the header that it is not an official Entrecard publication. The quotes appear to be completely lifted from the Entrecard Forums and contain a link to the specific thread being quoted. Not all of the Admin quotes are included and it's entirely possible that key quotes are missing or policy changes have rendered some of the quoted passages moot. Regardless, this is a useful resource for Entrecarders and worth a few minutes perusal.


Entrecard Widget Surfing Should Get Double Credits  

The Entrepoll this week is about what type of dropper you are, and by my own admission I am a Power dropper, with a hint of Reciprocative thrown in. One of the downsides to running multiple Entrecard accounts is that it's difficult to stay on top of all the card drops that run through 20 Inboxes. My current approach is to aggregate the various cards that have been dropped on my accounts and create folders that I use for all of the accounts. I'm not dropping from all 20 accounts every day and so I'm probably not going to win any Reciprocative Dropper awards. Honestly, the main reason I bother with working out of the Inbox isn't that I'm a friendly guy...it just improves the odds of return drops and the closer I can get to a 100% RDR, the more efficient I become.

I should probably include in each of my posts some disclaimer to the effect that "I am not an expert." There are few things that I do consider myself to be an expert on and yet it's easy to slip into that authoritative tone when writing, even when we know that we're not an expert. Sometimes just knowing more than your reader is qualification enough to justify the "expertise." However, even though I'll bet I'm as guilty as the next guy, it irks me when someone is passing themselves off as an expert when their advice is just garbage. A difference of opinion I can accept, but when you don't really have a clue, like when you have been part of the Entrecard community for 7 days and you are writing one of your obligatory "Entrecard is great and this is how to do it right" posts, please tone it down. 1500 ECs in your account doesn't make you the man, and you ain't no expert.

OK...now that that is off my chest, let me get back to card dropping strategies and the title of this post. It's true that Power dropping 300 cards from a list or from folders is very efficient. And it's also true that Reciprocative dropping will make you lots of friends here in the Entrecard community. But (inside joke for the Executive Apprentice) I'm thinking that Widget Surfing should be the Entrecard-sponsored card dropping strategy of choice. The reason is that it helps support the ad system better than the other card dropping strategies.

Power dropping means you're not caring whose ad is on that site's widget, just how quickly can you click and run. Reciprocative dropping is about who dropped on you and not who advertised on their widget. Neither of those two popular strategies are designed to benefit the 3rd party advertiser. Sure, you get an EC and the site gets an EC and the widget advertiser gets...a visit to their site? Not usually. They DO get their Entrecard seen (yeah!) and there is some benefit to that, but don't we really want visitors to our sites when we advertise and not just brand recognition?

Nimble fingers will still be able to widget surf their way to 300 sites in 30 minutes or less, managing to avoid reading "distracting" content along the way. However, if most folks were to widget surf instead of power drop or reciprocative drop then the ad system would have greater applicability. Spent 500 ECs on a Popular site? With widget surfing you should (on average) get 250 visitors to your site from that ad. It doesn't happen that way because Power dropping and Reciprocative dropping can drive the cost of the ad up without any direct relationship to the number of visitors your ad will generate.

So let's reward widget surfers with an extra bump. Give them a credit for hitting the "Drop Yours" and another one for clicking on the ad on the widget. (Since I am not a programmer, I am comfortable in the ignorance that believes that PhiRate can make it happen.) Of course, there will never be a "perfect" system that pleases everyone, but for now (and I recognize that I will likely have another idea tomorrow) I vote for subsidizing Widget Surfing.


NOTE: I am not an Entrecard expert.


Results From Drop Rank Poll  

Drop Master 3 (12%)

Very Very Seriously 7 (29%)

Dedicated Dropper 8 (33%)

Consistent, Regular 4 (16%)

Casual & Relaxed 2 (8%)

Here for the View 0 (0%)

Entrecard Noobies, By the Numbers  

It's not like I don't always have something else I should be doing for my Entrecard accounts. Over the course of a week I might make 30 or more posts and rarely are they regurgitations of someone else's post. Yet, every once in a while I like to cruise through the Recent category to see the noobies and what they are bringing to the Entrecard community. As I don't seem to do this often enough to see all the new accounts while they are still on the Recent page, I have found it useful and informative to spend some time checking out the last 100-200 accounts that have signed up. To do this I usually just enter in their profile ID in numeric order. For example, this blog's id is "http://entrecard.com/t/oc/3582." (You can find the id by rolling your mouse over the Advertise area of a card in the Categories or by copying the link location from their profile page, among other places.

I'll usually paste the link location into the address bar and then go take a look at the noobie's site. Then I'll paste it again and change the last digit(s) to see the next id in sequence. I drop cards along the way and bookmark the sites that I find to be most interesting, which recently resulted in a post on my 11 blogs site. Sure, it's a chore to go through 200 new sites at a sitting, but I don't want to lose track of the fact that the Entrecard community is growing and that each week there are hundreds of new members who haven't yet had the thrill of bumping into the Biz Beacon! Seriously, as I have many Entrecard related sites that could be of interest to newer Entrecard members, I want to try to stay on top of who's new.

I haven't been keeping stats, but I was surprised to find that a good number (1/3?) of newer accounts have abandoned their widget within just a few days of joining Entrecard. Sometimes the reason is obvious by the nature of the site and other times I think that they were either confused or overwhelmed by the process or were just checking out Entrecard based on the ambient buzz. It's what prompted me to list the 11 blogs that I did and I hope to continue to highlight newer members, especially those who have established blogs and might be debating whether or not this community is for them.

Ad Prices are Going Up!  

When I first cooked up the idea for the Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op I knew that it would be a more difficult sale if my 20 blogs had an average ad cost of 100 ECs. I had purposely risked the ire of fellow Entrecarders by rejecting ad requests left and right and proceeded to not drop many cards for 5 days. At that time one could have advertised on my 20 sites via the system for about 600 ECs total. I had one paying customer and one who stiffed me. (Now I require payment up front.) Today, the system charges 2013 ECs to advertise on my sites and most of them have a line of approved ads to run. While I'm not going to try and sell my 20 widgets space for concurrent placement, I figure that I will throw it out there to the occasional reader (versus dropper, who didn't make it this far down the page) who might be interested in advertising on my sites:

Make me an offer!

The system gives us 25% of the ad cost, so if all my blogs' widgets are purchased I get just over 500 ECs a day right now. That's about $100 a month at wholesale prices and $150 a month at retail prices for ECs. That's good...but it could be better. The more cards I drop, the higher my ad prices, the more ECs I get, the more money I make. PLUS...I'm not advertising on hardly any sites right now and those ECs from ads on my sites and from card dropping are starting to build up. In theory, with 20 Entrecard accounts that each dropped the 300 daily max and got a 66% return drop rate, that's 10000 ECs a day...in addition to my ad revenue. Well, I'm not dropping 300 cards a day, mostly because I don't have the time, but also because my ad prices would go through the roof. It keeps me busy dropping 100 cards a day (on average) per account and that helps keep my ad prices more reasonable. And if any of you are thinking of advertising on my sites, just remember that ALL the traffic I get is Entrecard driven.

Here's an offer in case you couldn't think of one:

As my sites' ad prices go up I will consider accepting and then rejecting your ad after a 23 hour run. You have to go through the normal process of advertising on my site(s) and then send me 2/3 of the ad price you paid via the Entrecard "Give credits to this site" system, followed up by a message letting me know what you did. (For example, if the system price is 100 ECs, you'll send me 66 ECs separately.) I'll run your ad and when it is about to expire I'll reject it and you will get the system price back. You end up with a 33.3% discount (actually it is less than 1/3 because its run was only 23 hours instead of 24, but you get the idea) and I end up with more ECs. And Graham has already okayed this approach!

I should note that I'm not going to be getting up at 2AM to reject your ad so we'll have to make sure that your ad run starts and ends at a time that I can reject it at the right time. IF I fail to do so and you don't get a system refund, I will refund the entire system price that you paid.

Don't like my offer? Fine...make me an offer that suits you and maybe I'll accept it.


Saphrym's Largesse  

Saphrym is holding a contest with a $250 Grand Prize and I've Entered it! Contest Guidelines state:

1. Pick a post (besides this one) from Saphrym.com and blog about it. The post can be positive, neutral, or even negative if you just don’t like me.
2. Include this link:
(Copy and paste that code into your html code for your post exactly as is. The link should look like this: Saphrym)
3. Include a link to the actual post you are blogging about.
4. Include a link to this contest post.
5. Comment below and leave a link to your post making sure to provide a valid e-mail address.

The post on Saphrym's site that I have chosen to blog about is My Turn For Thoughts. At first I found it odd that Saphrym would expose himself in such a personal post about God, Organized Religion, Evolution, Abortion, Flag Burning, Capitol Punishment, and Gun Control. That was likely a result of reading the post via email, right after 10+ posts on how to make money online. Saphrym has already shown his willingness to get personal with his posts about weight loss and other areas of life that many of us would choose to shield from the prying eyes of others. The fact that he stood atop the Entrecard Popular page for weeks shouldn't override his option to write about what he feels strongly about. Saphyrm isn't a spokesperson for Entrecard and I fully support his approach to stating it the way he feels it, even if I don't agree 100% with what he has to say. Kudos to you Saphrym for being honest to yourself.

Make the Dogs Talk!  

Mapiles.com is holding a contest where you can help the dogs talk.

Contest Rules:
1) You must be an Entrecard Member.
2) Drop a card on my Entrecard Widget.
3) Make the Dogs Talk by putting the funniest caption you could ever think in the comments box.
4) Nothing more. Yes, it’s how simple it is.

This contest runs for one week and three winners will be declared on February 29, 2008.

Executive Apprentice 19" Inch Flat Panel Contest  

The execs over at Executive Apprentice are holding a contest entitled "The Ides of March Monitor Giveaway" et tu can be the winner. The rules are simple, subscribe, comment, blog, and blogroll your entries. From their contest page:

Entries will be accepted until Noon on March 15th, 2008. The drawing will be held on the evening of March 15th, 2008. The winner will receive a new 19″ Flat Panel display shipped with no further obligations, free of charge! This contest is open only to mainland USA entrants. We will not ship this item internationally.

Executive Apprentice is authored by Jon Griffith and is a "blog-powered website running on the popular Wordpress blogging platform....My vision for this site is to create a destination where you can go to learn how to blog using Wordpress."

Entrecarders Create Useful Tools for Others in the Community  

I don't have the experience to evaluate whether or not what has occurred in the Entrecard community is typical of other communities or not. What I can say is that I find it interesting that individual Entrecarders have been willing to share with others info and tips that improve the functionality of Entrecard.

Turnip of Power was the first one that I noticed with his list of card drop bookmarks. He regularly updates his list and those who are striving to be Drop Masters will save hours of time by taking advantage of Turnip's goodwill gesture. Others have followed suit with lists of links posted on their sites, some that should come with a warning label in that dropping cards too quickly will result in penalties being assessed.

Ben Barden highlighted a method of reciprocal card dropping that targets another approach to utilizing Entrecard. An assist can be given to Cecilia of You Should Own for discovering the tiny link that opens the expanded Inbox. (I'm still waiting for the official explanation as to why Entrecard didn't let us know about it.)

Entrecash.com and Entrecredits.com opened up the door for commercing in Entrecard credits, and again it was Turnip who introduced the paypal widget that is now seen on 5 different sites where one can purchase ECs. (In case you don't know, I started a site called the EntreBank where I was going to lend ECs and have since converted it to Black Market ECs where one can find a comprehensive list of EC vendors and their prices.)

Daily Tech Impressions has created a toolbar for Entrecard, Linkfog has a fun Entreball page where one can buy numbers and possible win the EC pot, there are several sites where one can have their contest listed, and I've got an Entrepoll site (that is feeling very neglected at the moment) where one can take part in Entrecard related surveys.

My bottom line is that if you are an Entrecarder and haven't perused the Blogging Resources Category or wandered through the Promotions Forum you are likely missing out on opportunities to improve your Entrecard experience.


11 New Entrecard Blogs You Might Have Missed  

1) Aerten Art.
2) Work at Home Mom to Five.
3) Tiddlywinks.
4) Which Way Nigeria. Talk, Involve and Walk.
5) 1stopmom Blog. Random thoughts from a nowhere near perfect SAHM.
6) Les Becker: Photo-play.
7) VampAmber's Clutter. Creating chaos as a hobby.
8) My Favorite Diet Blog Dot Com. Gain the Goods. Lose the Weight.
9) Greenforks - Gardening With A Passion
10) Eumaledictio. I cook in my underwear and I steal recipes… Kind of like a pirate.
11) Boiled Over. Are You Ready To Boil Over...We Are!

Comment posted by Aerten
at 2/24/2008 1:11:00 PM
Thanks for adding me to your list! I'll be sure to visit some of the others you've listed!

Kelly of Aerten Art

Comment posted by TripTheLady
at 2/23/2008 1:50:00 PM
Nice site! Thanks for dropping your card on mine so I could find you ;)

Comment posted by Stacey
at 2/22/2008 3:01:00 PM
Great list you have thank you very much for the mention. Boiled Over is just starting out, we are a few months old, but growing fast.
I look forward to finding new blogs to visit from your site.

Da..Da..Da..Da..Da..Da.....Down in Flames!  

It didn't work. Well, at least not as of yet. Phirate was right when he said that my plan to accept ads across all 20 Entrecard accounts at the same time would be labor intensive and likely not worth the effort. There are a couple of other reasons why I pulled the plug--temporarily--on that idea. First of all, I chose the witching hour of midnight Eastern Time to make the switch. Bad, bad idea. It made sense from the standpoint of having a "new" day to run all the ads in, but that is not a good time of day to try and do anything on the Entrecard system. SLOW.

Speed is important because I had to log into 20 different accounts and reject the ads so that my advertiser would get their credits back. If I missed the 24 hour cutoff then they would end up paying for the ad twice, one via the Entrecard system and once to me directly.

Another potential downside to the "advertise across all 20 Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op sites" plan was that I was having to reject lots of potential ads in order to keep the space available. Some folks were not happy and expressed their discontent in the Entrecard Forum. Negative publicity.

I was charging 500-600 ECs for the opportunity of advertising on Entrecard widgets that carried a system price of 800-1000 (1200 as of this writing) ECs. Good deal for the advertiser and good deal for me. So, I'm not going to say that I won't try it again. Honestly, I'm surprised that the sites on the Popular page don't use this approach. If my site had a price tag of 400 ECs a day and the system kept 300 of that, it might be worth 5 minutes a day to use my approach and pocket the potential $3 that I was missing. That's $90 a month extra if I could sell the ECs at current market value of $10 per 1000. And many of those Popular sites have no problem with someone ponying up to spend 400 ECs a day to place their Entrecard there. Just a thought. (How many ECs would you pay to get on Problogger or Chow?)

The other part of the Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op is scheduled to start tomorrow. I've placed a 125x125 ad under the Entrecard widget on each of my 20 sites and have now sold that space for 700 ECs a week, or 5 ECs a day per site. This is obviously way below the system price for space on 20 Entrecard widgets, but it should be as one doesn't get credit for a drop or experience some of the other benefits of advertising on an Entrecard widget. I feel it is a better deal than Project Wonderful in that you can count on having the space for the week and don't have to worry about being outbid. I will likely adjust the price of this program based on demand and the total system cost of my Entrecards.

MyBlogLog - Updated Widget  

The web tentacles continue to reach out and tie thing together. I went ahead and grabbed the code for the new MyBlogLog widget due to seeing it on someone else's site. It's cool. The flyaway feature allows for more info on the people who have recently visited the site. I suppose I could list all 20+ blogs on my profile, but for now I'm still concentrating on Entrecard. It's a nice move on MyBlogLog's part to stay relevant in the blogger community, and if I had just one blog that I was trying to build readership to I suppose I would be more active in their community.


The One and Only Way to Entrecard  

Every so often the Entreboat starts to rock as community members debate this, that, and oh yeah, the other thing. Headline aside, there is no one way to use Entrecard. Powerdroppers, chaindroppers, reciprodroppers, nondroppers, namedroppers (one of my blogs was once ranked higher on the Popular page than John Chow's) are just some of the card dropping folks that make up the community.

So what's the big deal?

Blame Graham and Phirate. Dang it...why do they have to be so accessible and open to input about how the Entrecard experience should evolve? And since they asked...

The very nature of many of those who choose to blog--people who feel they have something to express that someone else might care about--creates a situation where Entrecarders are expressing away about what they think would be the best way to run Entrecard. So far I've found Graham and Phirate to be pretty sharp dudes who have done a great job planning and growing Entrecard. They've had to scramble when unexpected problems arose and for the most part have a done a really good job of handling the grow-on-the-go challenges.

Which just makes all the bickering about the "best" way to Entrecard seem that much more petty. 4000+ accounts representing dozens of nations from around the globe and somehow we're all supposed to agreed on what's "best"?

Not going to happen.

That's why companies have CEOs, classes and countries have presidents, and in most cases there is someone designated to accept that the buck stops with them. Feel strongly about a particular issue? Express yourself. Lobby to get things to go your way. And ask yourself just how did you manage to survive 4 months ago or 4 weeks ago or even 4 days ago when you didn't have an Entrecard account?

Entrecard is a tool. For some it is a tool to build readership for readership's sake. For others it is a tool to build readership to eventually make more money from their blog. For me it is a way to make money...today. With 20+ blogs I'm certainly not going for the quality over quantity approach. The bottom line for me is that Entrecredits = cash, and the more ECs I can garner, the more cash I can get. If and when I can't convert ECs to cash anymore at a favorable rate I will likely climb up on the elephant and head on to greener pastures.

So everyone please stop bickering and start advertising more! Hold more contests with bigger prizes, like 10000-50000 ECs. And drop until you drop.


Blog Tips From the Blogging Brainiac  

In 1996 I brought home a Powermac and my then 13 year old son was very taken with the Internet and webpages in specific.
Nowadays he makes his living as a programmer & system administrator and long ago surpassed his dad's coding abilities. I can only imagine the world of possibilities that awaits 13 year old Marko Dimitrovski, the boy behind Blog Tips From The Blogging Brainiac Series. (I should note that contrary to the title of this blog, the only remuneration I am receiving for writing this review is the satisfaction of helping Marko build his blog.)

Marko is still fleshing out his blog after doing his own Wordpress install and so the reader needs to be patient when cruising the site. His site is attractive, functional and destined to be very popular. Why? Because he hasn't developed an "expert's" attitude of knowing it all. For some reason it's easy to accept his "Blog Tips" when you realize that he's just a nice kid intent on making his mark in the world.

Marko is located in the Republic of Macedonia (I featured his home city in a recent post on Where on Earth Am I?) and Marko is the first Entrecarder to advertise on the Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op. If you haven't been to his site, do yourself a favor and go drop him a comment, subscribe to his feed, and make a new friend. I did!

Partial Day Ad Blasts  

While the plan of the Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op is to provide the opportunity to better control your ad campaign, there will be some times (like now) where I can run your ads for a few hours at a time and then reject them, resulting in your receiving a refund through the Entrecard system. For example, if you have a contest that is just about to end or some other time-sensitive event that you want to get the word out on, I might be able to help you out. It would still work better if you scheduled your ad campaign in advance so that I could make sure that I drop my cards for the day before its scheduled run on all 20 sites.

As a backup plan for someone who is trying to get the word out in a hurry, of course there is the Entrecard Promotions Forum, but there is also Project Wonderful to consider. Search for Entrecard accounts and place high enough bids to get your ad to run for a bit and then cancel your bid. Pretty inexpensive way to get some targeted impressions quickly.


The Elephant in the Entreroom  

Many Entrecarders participate in order to quickly build their traffic and readership numbers.

There...I said it. I described the elephant in the Entreroom.

And I recognize it's not all about getting more money. There are a number of reasons why bloggers want bigger numbers. But it's hard to ignore that a large segment of the Entrecard community is thinking about how to improve their numbers. Most of the contests are designed to increase readership, comments, links, etc. The Entrecard Shop is full of offers that one can purchase that will result in getting Dropped on, Recommended, Favorited, Stumbled, Dugg, Linked, Commented, Reviewed, Subscribed, and more. Folks, it's just business.

Is this a bad thing?

Not necessarily...but that darn elephant is still standing there.

Is it "selling out" to buy reviews, etc.? Does it make your blog less "real"?

I guess it depends.

So, let's say you're ok with buying all of the above mentioned services, in the name of building up your blogging for money business. Can you do it and look the elephant in the eye or do you have to look the other way to ease your conscience? Is it easier to hold a contest or "pay" people with Entrecard credits than it is to pay them with cold hard cash...even though it has been shown that ECs are convertible to cash? Are you willing to pay someone $1 to subscribe to your email feed and leave you a comment? Is it worth $100 to boost your subscriber base by 100, even if they might not ever read your feed?

To some people the answer is an easy "Yes."

Case in Point: Our resident 13 year old blogger, Mark (Blogging Brainiac), has a promotion going wherein he is "giving away" 100 ECs to the first 70 bloggers who subscribe to his blog. That's roughly 60 cents to $1 depending on the black market rate for ECs. It appears that he is willing to spend $42 to $70 to increase his readership numbers. In essence he is buying numbers.

I decided to help him...25 times. I've got 20 active Entrecard accounts and another 5 that I'm getting ready to launch. This young man wanted numbers and by golly I delivered...'cuz I'm riding the elephant!

Is that too blunt? Do you think Mark will balk at paying me the ECs because I gave him what he wanted...just not in the form he expected? Was he paying for numbers or was he buying fans? If it's the latter then I'm sure I've disappointed him. But if he's able to look at the elephant then he should just send me 2500 credits with a big THANK YOU.

So there you have it. You might be asking why I chose Entrecard Resources for this post, as it just as easily could have gone in The Entrecarder. The answer is that for those of you who can look the elephant in the eye and not blink, I have a resource to offer you: 25 email subscriptions, 25 places to advertise, 25 possible text links...and so on. Efficiency. Economies of scale. Volume discounts.

Whoa, Dumbo! Who wants to take the elephant for a ride?

The Everchanging Entrecard Environ  

Linkfog said it best in a post in the Entrecard Forum this morning:

This is why i love entrecard. It reminds me of my car. Sometimes it's slow, it gets fixed then it's fast again, then it breaks down completely and refuses to work. :)

I own cars like that too! Which means that I have plenty of experience with workarounds and in finding alternative methods to accomplish what I'm trying to get done. The massive slowdown recently and the current glitches that pop up are minor inconveniences and should be expected when one is operating with a system that is being modified on the fly. I'm always reminded of how different people are when I read forum posts from folks who are whining and complaining that Entrecard isn't doing exactly what they expected it should be doing. Wah. Grow up. So take the Entrecard widget off your two-bit blog and continue to make your $6.76 a month as a professional blogger on your own. And then there are just those fine human beings who are negative nellies.

Why should the Entrecard community be any different than other gatherings of our species? There are some who are universally liked because of their social skills, charisma, and positive outlook, and there are those who can't seem to get out of their own pit and are committed to spreading the misery. Read the forums for a couple of weeks and you'll quickly decide who you'd like to be around (eg - Cecilia, Saphrym, Ben Barden, Green Colibri--among many, many others) and those who probably have no friends in real life due to their negative, whiny persona (eg - stock picks.)

I guess that's why it's a community and not a clique. The much good and the occasional bad. And it's likely that online behavior does in fact mirror real life behavior. I've listened to the beat of a different drummer for many years now and know that I don't "fit in" very well. I'm one of those who has the ability to go against the flow of common belief, a must if one is going to innovate and create. Yes, I'm doing things differently than many of the rest of the Entrecard crowd, and yet in do doing I'm filling a valuable role. I hope that the EntreBank and the Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op are not the last ideas that I bring to this community. And there are dozens and dozens of like-minded individuals here that are doing the same, all of which helps create a more enjoyable and effective experience.

I have a plan for my Entrecard activity and I'm generally having a good time here, spending 6-10 hours a day setting up and maintaining my 20+ blogs. And like many Entrecarders are finding, just dropping cards for one account, reading blogs, commenting, entering contests, reading forum posts, etc., can easily take one away from the business of creating content. Imagine trying to get 20 blogs up and running! I'm committed to presenting useful, interesting content on my blogs and recognize that it will take some time to get all of them up to speed. I'm grateful that Graham has created a place where beginning bloggers can do just what I am doing...and as I've said before...I hope he makes a boatload of money for his idea and efforts.


Thanks Graham!  

I initially called this blog The Entrecarder in an attempt to distinguish it from some of my other blogs and it was appropriate in that I was spending most of my time on Entrecard and found myself writing primarily about Entrecard. In a recent blog post Graham (The EntreFounder) mused about the community that has arisen to sell jeans and pick axes to the miners working their claims via Entrecard. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? My vote should be obvious. What I found to be more revealing was that Graham was still considering Blog Catalog, MyBlogLog, and Blogrush to be competitors...when I think he already has them beaten 6 ways from Sunday. No, the race isn't over yet, but none of the other 3 did I find to be addictive nor did they capture my attention the way that Entrecard has. Graham has a winner and I'm enjoying participating in the subculture.

I enjoy blogging and yet I am not cut out to be a professional blogger, if what I read from my fellow Entrecarders in the way of advice is accurate. Instead, I'm having fun figuring out different ways to benefit from the Entrecard opportunity by exercising creativity and utilizing analysis and strategy. Along the way I am writing more than I have ever consistently written before because I need content...and for me that is a good thing. I've got 20 Entrecard accounts and my goal is to make each one useful and profitable. This community is still growing and there are thousands of future Entrecarders who won't even know that Cow had a cow here. All of those new people represent opportunity to make money if I have something of value that they desire. Every boomtown has niches for enterprising folks and it's quite clear that Entrecard is booming!

So, thanks Graham and all of you miners that are digging for gold and whose efforts are making Entrecard an exciting place to spend the day. I'll try and do my part and provide services that help folks be more successful at what they do, and in so doing experience some success and satisfaction of my own.

The Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op  

At midnight Saturday night I completed registering my 20th active Entrecard account...this one. Each one now includes a note in the description that it is a member of the Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op. A search on the Category page for "Biz Beacon" will show all 20 sites that are participating in the Co-op.

So what is the Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op?

It's my solution to some of the challenges that I have found with Entrecard. For example, it's hard to run an efficient ad campaign when you have little control over when your ads will run. While this might not be important for many Entrecarders, there are some who have a contest that they would like to promote, a particularly special post they want read, or some other reason to want a lot of traffic to their site on a specific date. Until now it has been a haphazard venture at best, seeing as how your ad could run immediately or up to 13 days later...if approved at all. All of the sites involved in the Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op will run the same scheduled ad beginning at approx 12:15 am (ET) and ending at approx 11:45 pm that same day.

Q: What happens when your ad is canceled before it has run for a full 24 hours?

A: You get a full refund.

Q: Why am I doing this?

A: Because I am going to charge an appropriate amount of ECs to make up for it.

Let's say that the going rate to advertise on all 20 of the Co-op's sites is 2000 ECs per day. Entrecard gets 1500 and the Co-op gets 500. By canceling the ads before they complete their full 24 hour run the advertiser gets their 2000 ECs back. I'm going to start by charging an amount of ECs that is less than total of the individual ad spots, but if the concept catches on I will likely end up charging a premium.

Q: How do I sign up for a specific day?

A: For now, just send a message to this account's Entrecard message box. Do not submit an ad request via the Category listing as I will be rejecting all ad requests except those that are approved for participation in the Co-op program.

Q: What sites are included in the Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op?

A: Here's The List:
1) The Entrecarder
2) The EntreBank
3) My Internet Marketing Adventures
4) Entrecard Polls
5) Biz Beacon Advertising Co-op
6) Affiliate Ads & Referral Programs
7) Top Blog Communities
8) I've Entered the Contest!
9) Reviewing for Money & Other Remuneration
10) Resources for Entrecarders
11) My Favourite 11 Blogs
12) Intunique: The Art of Smart
13) The Backseat Driver
14) What Do YOU See?
15) Where on Earth am I?
16) New Product Ideas
17) I'm Losing 60 Lbs!
18) Madame Goyin
19) Ready Health Products
20) Double Oh Adventures

Q: Do I have to advertise on all 20?

A: Yes. I'll make an exception to exclude a particular site that you really hate or have other reasons why you don't want to have your ad on it.

Q: Can I get my site included in the Co-op?

A: Not at this time.

Q: What about traffic?

A: None of these blogs have traffic outside of what is generated by Entrecard dropping. Most all of them are newer blogs and don't have a lot of content. (I'm scrambling to add original content as fast as I can.)

Q: So, what traffic am I going to get if I purchase the block of all 20 Co-op sites?

A: My plan is to drop 100 cards a day from each account, although I reserve the right to drop more or less. I am in the process of creating 20 lists of active Entrecarders so that I can drop on as many different cards as possible and increase the exposure for the Co-op's advertisers.

Q: I want to do this but don't have enough Entrecard credits to advertise on each site--even though they will get refunded--and pay the Co-op's fee. What do you suggest?

A: There are a number of Entrecard vendors listed on the EntreBank's site. Also, I might be able to sell you ECs directly, depending on the amount you need and the rate you are willing to pay.

Q: Remind me...why would anyone want to do this?

A: To better control the timing of your Entrecard advertising. If you have a contest or specific event or even a post that you really want people to read, buying a block of ads for a specific day will result in targeted traffic.

Q: What else should I be considering?

A: I have put most of the Co-op sites on "ads disabled" status and have not been dropping recently so that the ad costs would come down. As I start to drop cards again on a daily basis the overall cost of buying the Co-op's block of sites will go up. Also, I expect the fee that the Co-op charges for the right to advertise on all 20 sites will go up as more people seek to use this valuable service.

Q: Wait a minute...what does Entrecard think about this?

A: I submitted my plan to Entrecard and got the following response:


Entrecard Ad Campaigns  

One of the advantages to having multiple Entrecard accounts is the additional data one can twist and turn in order to develop strategies for driving traffic via Entrecard. One of the most interesting results that I was able to see from recent activity was the impact that buying ads had on the number of cards dropped on my site.

While dropping 300 cards a day is a very good way to drive up the cost of advertising on your own site, most Entrecarders learn rather quickly that 25% of the revenue doesn't really make that big of a contribution to one's Entrecard Credit total. And unless one's Entrecard is in the top 3 of its category and gets featured on the Category Main page or featured on the Most Popular page, having a high ad price might be good for one's ego, but not necessarily good for one's traffic. There are plenty of open ad slots for sites that cost 100 ECs or more and some of these more expensive sites end up displaying their own Entrecard when no one steps up to buy their spot.

So, you drop hundreds of cards for a couple of weeks and the credits in your account keep climbing. Now what? (This question was just asked today in the Entrecard Community Forum.) Do you try and buy an ad on Joe Tech's or Saphrym's blog? Do you bottom fish and try and grab the noobs when they first hit "submit" on their new Entrecard account? Do you use the ECs to buy 125x125 ads on sites via the Shop or Promotions Forum? Do you sell the ECs on ebay or elsewhere?

A lot depends on what you are trying to do with your blog, the nature or your content, and what stage of development you are at with your blog. I enjoy working on ad campaigns and have come up with a few ideas that I will share in this blog that might be of interest to my fellow Entrecarders.

Forums & Groups for Entrecarders  

In addition to the four official Entrecard Forums, there are several other places where Entrecarders get together to exchange ideas and information:

1) Fawnzy.Com - There are few recent posts in this forum.

2) Blog Catalog Groups:
a) Entrecard Group
b) Entrecard
c) Entrecards
d) Entrecard-2

3) DotSauce's Forum

4) Other Forums, not exclusively for Entrecarders:
a) Bloggeries Blog Forum
b) Blogger Forum
c) Authority Blogger
d) Blog Mastermind
e) The Blog Experiment
f) Bloggst
g) Performancing
h) Digital Point
i) Blog Chews

Comment posted by Jackie
at 2/21/2008 10:18:00 AM
Thanks for info. I find the on site forum a pain to find things, so nice to go elsewhere for info and discussions :)


General Marketing Blog 400 EC Contest  

This contest from General Marketing Blog has a twist in that you can enter by joining the forum at BlogChews.com, in addition to blogging and commenting about it. This one ends on February 11th.

The Asian Economist's 2000 EC Contest  

The Asian Economist has a contest running until February 12 and the prize is 2000 Entrecard credits. Entry is easy...just Blog, Link, Subscribe and Comment. I like this guy! He's trying hard to build his blog and you should help him out!

Tech Freak Entrecard Contest: 3000 credits giveaway  

Tech Freak has a new outlook on contests as a result of a mean losing streak. He has structured his "Entrecard Contest : 3000 credits giveaway and everybody wins along with the top 3" so that even he could win something...along with you!

* 1st prize winner : Takes away 1000 credits
* 2nd prize winner : Takes 700 credits.
* 3rd prize winner : Takes 300 credits.

"You may ask, that's only 2000 credits where are others. So, the remaining 1000 credits will be distributed equally among the guys who participated in the contest, but didn't make it to top 3. Hence, Everybody Wins !!!"

Several ways to enter: Comment, Subscribe, Blog, Recommend, and putting an Ad on your site. (I'm doing all of the above.) The deadline to enter for the contest is Feb 29th 2008 midnight.

I'm Growing Money Trees  

I'm not the nurturing type who fusses over plants. My typical approach to growing things is to get them started and move on. Oh, I'll water and weed the garden often enough. (It's under a foot of snow at the moment.) But I think the plants know that I'm not really committed to their success. As I look at my internet marketing activities, I am hoping that they know that I DO care about their success. I care because I see them as little money trees, albeit just barely sprouting at the moment.

Part of the reason that I'm choosing to look at my blogs this way is that I have 20+ active blogs in my orchard and will likely continue to plant more. That's 20+ money trees that I am hoping will mature and bear fruit for at least several seasons. It helps to envision these sproutling blogs as future money trees so that I don't expect too much of them in the short run. I need to feed them and care for them if they are to mature and develop.

I know that what I am doing is somewhat unconventional...and that's ok with me. I find it both challenging and satisfying to have so many different blogs and am energized by the opportunities I encounter each day. I am confident that my little money trees will bear fruit if I am diligent in caring for them. And I am grateful for the advice and knowledge that I am gleaning from my fellow gardeners.

Comment posted by Mee mOe
at 2/7/2008 11:28:00 AM
Send me some seeds..lol

My Multiple Personality Entrecard Experience  

On my Intunique blog I'm usually talking about multiple intelligence and personality and not just multiple personality, but the way things are developing for me at Entrecard the latter phrase seems more appropriate. I've come to the conclusion that I won't likely have a single blog that looks like a professional blogger's blog. After all, blogging is just part of My Internet Marketing Adventures. Instead, I am finding enjoyment in the creation of multiple blogs and launching them via Entrecard. Over the weekend I started up a couple more:

11 Blogs - This is a site where I list blogs in groups of 11 and by categories that are not easily found on the Entrecard Campaign board. Most of the listed blogs are part of the Entrecard community, but I will venture outside if I can't fill up my list of 11 for the day. So far I have covered 11 Blogs about Contests for Bloggers, 11 Entrecard Blogs from Australia, and 11 of my own blogs.

The Backseat Driver - I won't post in this blog all that often, but as I have another child approaching Driver's Training age, I wanted to put down some of the advice about driving I have given to her older siblings. I plan on explanding outward and gathering up some other good driving tips to flesh out this niche blog.

Next up on the list are blogs about How to be A Secret Agent, New Product Ideas, and Serial Shorts, the latter being a presentation of some of the short stories I have written over the years. And the list goes on...and on.

The ability to get some quick views and feedback about new blogs is one of the valuable benefits I see to participating in the Entrecard community. I'm hoping that I will be able to get my structuring work finished up so I can spend more of my time creating content, increasing traffic, and forging new relationships with other bloggers.

Ebay Affiliate - Live Auction Listings  

As I was updating the info on the EntreBank blog this morning, I was about to link to an ebay listing where 5000 credits are being sold (and I am currently the high bidder), when I starting thinking about the posts I have seen about building a niche store on ebay. Turns out I was making an easy task more difficult than it needed to be. I had already signed up as an ebay affiliate through Commission Junction and I ended up just needing to choose my widget and the live auction(s) that I wanted to feature on it. (I must have missed something, as the widget is much larger than I anticipated it would be.) I went ahead and put it on the Entrebank site so that folks can easily see what is happening on the Entrecard credits auction. I don't expect to make any money by doing so, but it was another opportunity to get some experience with an affiliate program that I will likely use on other niche sites.

Comment posted by Ishaan
at 2/12/2008 1:28:00 PM
Hi, i have just started a competition on my blog!

It costs nothing to enter and the prizes are great! (free advertising/free 500 word review)

Please do have a look!


its easy to enter and the outcomes are great!


11 Blogs About Contests for Bloggers  

1) I've Entered the Contest! - Biz Beacon's List of Contests
2) Contest Blogger Forum - Online Contests, Sweepstakes and Free Samples
3) Contest Whiz - The Blog Contest Expert
4) Contest Hub
5) Contest Beat
6) Contest Time
7) Contest U - My Contest Beat Up Your Contest
8) A.B.C. - About Blog Contests - Contests Around the Net
9) My Blog Contest - Sweepstakes, Free Stuff, Giveaways, Blog Contests
10) The Prize Blog - The Original Contest Blog
11) Blog Paradise - Blog Contests and Tips

Comment posted by exinco
at 2/17/2008 11:09:00 AM
i hope that can work some of them and be a winner!

Comment posted by gLf
at 2/5/2008 3:12:00 AM
Glad to see ABC is one of your favourite blog!


11 Entrecard Blogs from AUSTRALIA  

1) Mathew Packer - Photography, Blogging, and Other Stuf
2) AdsenseAddict - Our journey to making money online
3) MarkLloyd - SEO, W3C, CSS, XHTML and General Web Banter
4) Bec's Work @ Home Life! - Does Working At Home Appeal To You? Join The Club!
5) Nearly Dr. Ferox - a blog about being a Veterinary student
6) SCHWOIT - Gardening and Geekdom in the Urban Jungle
7) DNXPERT - Daily Domain Name Blog
8) Insight of Nothingness
9) My Latest Find
10) Josh Sharp Design
11) Scarlet Words

Comment posted by Sueblimely
at 2/16/2008 8:36:00 PM
Another Aussie Blogger here. "On Blogging Australia" has a big list of Aussie Bloggers if you are interested :-)

Comment posted by Matt
at 2/14/2008 5:13:00 AM
Thanks for the link, you should also add in Tim Christie as he's an Aussie and post some fantastic photos and articles.




A Completely and Totally Unbiased First List of 11 Favorite Blogs  

Randomly chosen from the Entrecard community:

1) My Internet Marketing Adventures - A record of Kent Vorkink's journey as an Internet Marketer.

2) The Entrecarder - Biz Beacon's (Kent Vorkink) thoughts, tips and advice about all things Entrecard related.

3) I've Entered the Contest - Biz Beacon blog dedicated to contests, particularly those which he has entered himself. Updated regularly.

4) Affiliate Ads & Referral Programs - Biz Beacon's site to list affiliate ad programs and other referral programs. Not updated very often.

5) Reviewing for Money and Other Remuneration - Biz Beacon's site for blogging for Entrecredits, cash or other good stuff. Not updated very often.

6) The Blogger Community - The blogger communities that Biz Beacon belongs to. Not updated very often.

7) The EntreBank - Biz Beacon lends Entrecard Credits at favorable terms. Also contains list of other sites that buy and sell ECs. Updated weekly.

8) Intunique: The Art of Smart - Kent Vorkink's site that deals with multiple intelligence theory, creativity, personality and temperament, intelligence and IQ, etc. Updated weekly or thereabouts.

9) Go Go Goyin - Madame Goyin's (Kent Vorkink's mother) blog that Kent ghostwrites. Contains information and advice about network marketing, with an emphasis on Goyin. Updated weekly or thereabouts.

10) Ready Health Products - Another of Kent's mother's businesses. Natural nutritional supplements. Updated weekly or thereabouts.

11) The Backseat Driver - Tips and Advice about driving that Kent has taught to his children over the years. Updated weekly or thereabouts.


My Entrecard and Project Wonderful Post  

Whether or not the value of an Entrecard credit is $.006, merely having a hard figure allows for some interesting insights into other advertising opportunities. It was part of my plan to use the Entrecard experience to go up the blogging and blogging for money learning curves and I'm now doing much the same with Project Wonderful.

My approach so far has been a bit different perhaps than the typical Entrecarder in that I have a product line--Ready Health Products--that I am pushing and that takes a higher priority than advertising my blogs. I want people to go to the Ready Health Products website and buy products. Advertising 101. The twist comes in when I merge my Entrecard activities with my Ready Health Products advertising.

The Entrecard ad costs (in credits) are not necessarily indicative of a site's traffic and resulting value for advertisers. However, when considering the "market value" of the Entrecard credits, and then by comparing that cost to another ad service--like Project Wonderful--it becomes clear that there are some great bargains out there. For example, as of the moment it costs 380 credits to advertise on ahkong.net for one day. At $.006 per credit, that's about $2.28. The current high bid for the same size space via Project Wonderful is 3 cents a day. Yes, the Entrecard ad usually has better placement and there are additional benefits from the Entrecard system...just not 72x as many!

I'm still just getting my feet wet with Project Wonderful and am being somewhat conservative with my bids. I'm going to place additional PW ads on my blogs and use that revenue to bid on placements for my Ready Health Products ads via PW. I expect that in the short run there will be plenty of bargains like Ahkong.net and eventually the prices via PW will go up or people will get bored and move on to other ad companies.

Last note: DTA at Ahkong.net only nets 1/4 of the ad cost (95 credits or 57 cents) from an Entrecard ad. How long will it be before his Project Wonderful ad revenue surpasses that?

Entrecard Drop Rank: Kiss of Death?  

In an Entrecard forum post I suggested that creating an Inactive status would help identify those accounts which weren't fully participating in Entrecard. Hardly anyone commented and one person that did said basically "who needs it?" Well, I did. Fortunately, the new Entrecard Drop Rank system works as an indicator of who is dropping cards and who isn't.

"Just here for the view" - Translates into "I won't drop a card on you for love nor money." Note to self: Don't waste time dropping on this site!

"Casual and relaxed" - That means "I'll drop cards now and then on my friends and favorites." Note: Only drop if I KNOW they will drop back

"Consistent, regular dropper" - They are playing, just not trying to win. Note: Drop on these sites until have enough higher ranked sites to get to 300.

"A dedicated dropper with a hint of addiction" - I see these as the large percentage active Entrecarders...they're working it! Note: Daily drops and pay attention to who is dropping back.

"Takes dropping Very Very Seriously" - Climbing the ranks and distinguishing themselves as Power Droppers. Note: I want to be on every one of their lists!

"Deeply committed - Deadly serious. A drop master" - [Bowing deeply] Please drop on me! Note: Figure out what it takes to become a drop master.

I've got a folder for each of the new Drop Rank categories and have put a couple of hundred bookmarks into their corresponding spots. There is no guarantee that Graham will keep this ranking system, and it's likely that one can move up the rank categories quickly after a week of solid card dropping. Somehow it has become less important whether the Entrecard is above the fold or not. I can spare the extra two seconds if it means I'll double my efforts as a result of a return drop.