The following is a paid review and is completely of my own opinion and is not influenced by being paid. If you’re interested in having me review your site or product, please view my advertising page.
Exactly two weeks ago I wrote a review of Entrecard, after only using it for a couple days. This is a follow up to that review which will show the results I achieved from using Entrecard, having now a solid two-weeks of Entrecard use under my belt.
If you are unfamiliar with Entrecard, I highly recommend reading my original review of them before reading on, as it gives a very good introduction and overview as to what Entrecard is.
This review is going to resemble more a children’s book than an actual review, as I am going to utilize a lot of screenshots. Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially when stats are involved
First, I should say that Graham, the brainchild behind Entrecard, has added a ton of new features to the site. So many improvements and new features have been added that I wouldn’t be able to cover even a quarter of them in detail in this review. Some of the larger improvements, include a blog, forum, and fancy graphs and charts on the statistics page.
Here are my own personal Entrecard stats, having used them for two weeks now:
142 people clicked on the Entrecard ad on my blog, which is on the left sidebar. If I priced that spot at $0.20 CPC, that would net me close to $60 a month.. which is exactly double what I’m currently charging for those slots. Looks like I may need to raise my prices again.. *evil grin*
I’ve received 110 clicks from various ads I’ve bought with my credits in my account, and received 377 clicks from users within Entrecard itself… members who are curious to see my blog is about, want to visit to drop a card on my blog, or want to see if they should advertise on it.
Below is a screenshot I just took from Analytics. It is the referral traffic of my blog from the past two weeks, since I started using Entrecard. As you can see, Entrecard is my number one source of referring traffic, even beating Google (that doesn’t say much for my Google presence, does it? ;)).
Broken down, that’s approximately 5% of my daily traffic (if I calculated it correctly), meaning that Entrecard effectively brings in an additional 5% of traffic to my blog. Whether your blog is large or small, 5% is a big number when you’re not paying anything.
Now, critics of Entrecard claim that this traffic isn’t true traffic since the majority of those visits are simply from other members visiting your blog to drop their card (they receive a point whenever they drop their card). I agree with that statement, and I’m sure Graham will too. However, some of these people will see your site and stick around, captured by your content. And some of those people will subscribe to your RSS.
Shortly after adding Entrecard to my blog, I saw a new RSS record of 960. It has since dropped to an average of 930 (it’s lower now because of the weekend), and this could easily be a coincidence.. but there is no way to really know.
But I do know that Entrecard has brought new readers to my blog. Part of my ‘strategy’, when I spend my credits on Entrecard, is not to simply purchase ads on the biggest blogs, but to simply purchase on a wide number of blogs. My strategy appears to have worked when the other day I received an e-mail stating "Thank you for purchasing an ad on my blog. I have never heard of your blog until now and now that I know about it I’m subscribing to your RSS! Keep up the great work".
Moving on, if you’re fast, you can land some great details. I had a bit of insider information on this deal: I had learned that Darren Rowse of Problogger.com fame was about to join Entrecard, so I managed to keep an eye out.
New Entrecard users start at a very low credit cost and work their way up as their average card drop count increases. Because of this, I managed to purchase several slots on Problogger for only 9 credits each! Here is a screenshot:
I purchased about 8 slots from Problogger in a row, which cost me a total of 72 credits. Effectively that meant I would receive my ad on Problogger.com for 8 days.. at a cost of what I made in credits in only 1 day.
Unfortunately however… Darren 7 of my ads.. I shouldn’t have been so greedy.. However, I did land one ad on his blog, which will go live on Dec. 17th. This shows how anyone, without paying a single cent, can get your ad on even the largest blogs for free.
Below is a screenshot of some of the graphs available on Entrecard’s improved Statistics page. They represent my blog’s data:
When I wrote my original review, the cost to purchase a card on my blog for a day (24 hours) was 14 credits. Since I’ve been using Entrecard for a while now and my numbers have averaged out properly now, the cost to purchase a card on my blog is now 89 credits! I can not set this price; it is determined by the average number of drops I receive on my Entrecard widget.
I’ve been sitting in 5th place in the category "Make Money Online" for a while now. This is the biggest category, with 101 cards at the time of this review, which is twice the size of the next largest category. Problogger quickly climbed to 3rd place, and John Chow has secured first place since the beginning of time. John’s price is now 191 credits – the most expensive in Entrecard, and Problogger is at 130 credits.
What’s fascinating to me, is that as the number of Entrecard members grow, so does the potential benefit of Entrecard for the larger blogs. When Entrecard was newer, it wasn’t quite fair since the bigger blogs weren’t receiving much more credits from very small blogs. But now, they are starting to get the price they deserve.
If 1,000 new members joined Entrecard tomorrow, John’s price would quickly shoot up to around 500 credits per day probably, and I’d be (hopefully) around 200-250 per day. At that price, I could advertise on 20 small blogs for every ad purchased on my blog. John would be able to get a 50:1 ratio. Start to see the power of Entrecard now?
The screenshot above shows that I am currently the 8th most popular, and thus expensive, blog to advertise on. John still sits in first, and Problogger in 3rd. I must admit, it’s quite fun checking to see how the ‘rankings’ change daily. I predict Problogger will secure second place within a couple days… but I don’t know if he’ll be able to dethrone John Chow.. it will be close if anything..
Entrecard currently has just over 600 active widgets running. Effectively that means that I’m the 8th most expensive blog at the moment out of 600 blogs! The fact that, despite being only a month old, Entrecard already has over 600 blogs actively using them, shows just how popular and successful Entrecard has become in such a short period of time.
I’d like to end this review with a very simple but extremely useful suggestion and request I have for Graham at Entrecard.
The screenshot below is another section on the Statistics page. It lists the top droppers to your blog, and the blogs with the highest amount of clicks that you purchased ads on.
This information is somewhat useful and helpful, but not nearly as helpful as knowing what the eCPC was, which could easily be calculated. eCPC, of course, is the effective Cost-Per-Click, and can be derived by dividing the cost it was to purchase the ad, by the amount of clicks.
By knowing which ads you purchased ads on have the lowest eCPC, you can determine which ads will give you the most bang for your buck… or in this case.. credit.
As it is right now, displaying the number of clicks is rather pointless; I could have purchased 10 ads from the same blog, and it would show more clicks, or I could have purchased only 1 ad but have the same amount of clicks. Or I could have purchased an ad and only got a decent amount of clicks, but the ad was very cheap.
It would be nice to also have a new sorted listing in the Campaign screen, then, to sort by eCPC… taking an average over a month to prevent cheaters and to ensure stability.
I was paid to write two reviews of Entrecard, and now that both of my reviews are done, I can remove the widget from my blog.
But I’m not going to. At least not yet. I’m seeing a nice amount of traffic from Entrecard, and am exposing my blog to new bloggers who have never seen it before.
I’m also starting to see a nice amount of credits, at 90 credits per day to advertise on my blog, and it’s only been increasing.
Entrecard is currently my #1 referrer, so I just don’t see the logic in removing them. I can’t wait to see the continued improvements Graham keeps unleashing onto Entrecard.
So, if you haven’t signed up to Entrecard yet, I highly recommend you do. And when you do, be sure to drop your card on my blog every day – remember, we both get a credit when you do!