Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guest Post: Entrecard Basics

Today's guest post is from Alyssa at Kingdom First Mom:

When I first discovered EntreCard a few months ago, I was completely bewildered. Thankfully, a sweet bloggy friend showed me the ropes and I have never looked back!

What is EntreCard?
EntreCard is basically a blogging network that provides a source of “free” advertising for your blog. By visiting other EntreCard holders and “dropping” your card, you earn credits which can then be used to purchase ad space. In turn, others will drop their card on your widget which also earns credits. As a frugal blogger myself, this is right up my alley.

How do I get started?
Begin with a snazzy 125x125 logo or “card” for your blog. Good design is important! My logo was designed by Sashwhy’s Studio to match my header.

Place your EntreCard widget in a visible location on your blog. Start dropping! Others will soon return the favor, and you will start to accumulate credits in your account. You can then “purchase” an advert on another blog.

How does this help me?
Traffic. EntreCard has brought many new readers to my blog. Much of the traffic is simply drop and go, but if your content is sticky, they may even leave a comment or two!
Branding. Your logo is your brand. After a while, certain EntreCard logos become familiar friends in the blogosphere. I make it a point to seek out my favorites each day. Consistent, regular droppers are the key to gaining credits.

Is it worth my time?
Absolutely. If you are serious about growing your blog, EntreCard is a great way to get started. Dropping a few cards here and there probably won’t have a major impact. It does take a commitment of time and energy.

Another unexpected perk of using EntreCard is the connection with new blogs. I have discovered many fantastic blogs simply by dropping and reading. Blogs I probably would never have otherwise stumbled upon. Reading and visiting other blogs ultimately is a learning experience.
EntreCard is definitely a unique networking tool for bloggers. It allows you complete control over who advertises on your widget, and where your logo is seen. Although there is no monetary gain from using EntreCard, the benefits are worth it.