Back to the moneymaking and marketing/advertising! Several posts ago, before all the contest announcements and write-ups, The Monetizer discussed the new online business card, EntreCard. If you're a blogger and haven't signed up yet for this free widget service, you really should. It can bring a newer blog with low traffic and readers more visits. It won't quite be like getting Dugg, but if you play your EntreCard right, it can bring some advantages. The best advantage is you are getting free ad space on blogs that normally charge hundreds of dollars for it. So why would you not want that deal?
Here's 5 tips for how to best advertise using EntreCard.
1 - Build and save your credits - To get the credits, drop your card off on other blogs. You can do this 1x per day on a blog, and earn 1 credit every time you drop your card off. Other bloggers will start to drop their card off for you, giving you 1 credit each time they do. If you do this enough, your ad price (in credits) goes up as you receive more cards. Get in the habit of doing so, and saving up over 30-40 credits can get you into prime position for good advertising.
2 - Refer to Alexa Rank - If you don't have the Alexa toolbar installed, you really should. It will display a site's Alexa traffic rank in the lower right-hand corner of your web browser. The lower that number, the better that blog or site is for traffic (Note: if you see 12, you're seeing Blogger's rank, meaning the site isn't even in the 10's of millions yet). Using the Alexa rank as your gauge, you can decide the best deal for where to advertise. I try to look for blogs with a rank at least 100,000 higher than mine. Some blogs tend to advertise on every blog that comes into Entrecard, which might be a decent strategy, but credits are more wisely spent on high traffic sites.
3 - Refer to PageRank & RSS count - PageRank has been the recent discussion in the blogosphere the past few weeks. It's Google's importance of a web site (0-10). The higher that number, the better. While it's not a huge deal, you may want to aim for blogs with 3 and higher. You can install SEO for Firefox if you use that browser and it will tell you a site's PageRank up on your browser tabs area. Also, if a blog displays their RSS count up top or somewhere on the site, that may be another good gauge. If they have 100 plus readers showing, it's probably a decent place to advertise, although not as good an indicator as Alexa, because RSS doesn't really tell you if the subscriber visits the site or just uses a feed reader.
4 - Lurk on the EntreCard site - Ok, not in a creepy way, but you want to snatch up a good deal to advertise as soon as a good opportunity opens up or a new blog joins. For example, when a blog first joins EntreCard, they start out at an ad price of just 2 credits. Imagine if you had noticed the moment John Chow joined up? You'd have gotten yourself a steal. There's a rumor ProBlogger will be joining, so keep your eyes open. When you go to the "Campaign" tab on your dashboard, you will see a choice for "most recent". That spot could hold some good deals, and you might see a big blog as it joins.
5 - Refer to your Stats - On your Entrecard tab menu, you also have "Statistics". Once you've run ads on several blogs you can see which performed well and gave you clicks to your site. If a particular blog did good for you, it might be a good idea to try advertising there again. Keep in mind their price may have gone up and their ad spots may have filled up since then.
EntreCard can really teach you the ways of advertising strategy. Once again, I encourage all bloggers to join EntreCard. It's a good way to network, and advertise your blog for free in relevant and less-relevant places. You could be missing out on new readers if you don't!