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Monday, December 17, 2007

Advanced Entrecard - Increase Website Traffic With A Strong Alternative to Chain Dropping

If you're an Entrecard user who is looking for an alternative to "chain dropping" (drop your card, click thru to the next ad, drop your card, repeat), and you want to maximize your efforts even further with some insightful, exploratory strategies, then read on....

Since writing an article titled, "10 Simple Ways to Squeeze the Most Out of Entrecard for Your Greater Advantage" , I've read all kinds of articles that range from amateur to insightful.  Some trashed Entrecard, preferring to blame the "quality of the traffic" rather than the "quality of their marketing skills", while others have just been elated to start getting any traffic at all.

Some have whipped out traffic stats and made wild inferences based on how much time visitors have or haven't spent on their sites while others have simply looked at ANY influx of traffic as an opportunity to win over some new readers.

Let Me Give You A Tiny Example
Converting So-Called "Junk Traffic"

Some people have referred unfavorably to the questionable quality of chain dropping traffic.  They quote "average time" statistics and infer that since people aren't staying long enough to read an article, that the traffic is junk.

Well, Put Something Irresistible to Entrecard Users Under the Damn Widget!

entrecard pony, beware it kicks!
like a little pony

After all, every single Entrecard users is, by nature of doing what they're doing, someone who has wants and needs.  So, if you know that, then either give them something they want or give them something NEW to want.  It can even be FUNNY, after all, we could all use a little relief from this madness every now and then, but don't blame them, or their "quality"... that's like blaming an acorn for not being an oak, or a child with ADD for not being able to learn.  Provide the right sunlight, or the right medicine and you should become better known as a good "gardener" or "doctor."

Let Me Give You Another Tiny Example
Placing Your Widget Strategically

By now, any Entrecard user over a week old realizes that searching a site for an Entrecard widget can be a royal pain in the ass.  Especially if one is interested in testing out one of the high cost blogs and needs a lot of credits.  As a result, they're going to start realizing the value of blogs that have their Entrecard widget at, or near, the top versus those who either jam their widget at the very bottom or have it buried undiscernibly amongst a bunch of other similar looking ads on the sidebar (the sidebar is a horrible place, by the way, because no one is LOOKING for your ordinary ads but they ARE looking for your Entrecard widget).

In fact, I just dropped 70 cards for a very specific purpose and found widgets, like mine, either NEAR or AT the top to be of great service to me.  Ironically, I was more disposed to look around if the initial impact of the blog looked nice and easy to read.  I felt a strange gratitude towards such blog owners for not forcing me to have to search all over the place under the assumption that MAYBE  I would like their blog. 

The widgets near the top suggested that these blog owners not only understood what Entrecard card-droppers want but also weren't looking to squeeze every dime out of me.  It's subtle, but it IS conveyed.  As a result, I've bookmarked those blog owners into special folders and will, in the very least, bless them with a dropped card every time I go card dropping.

A Strong Alternative to Chain Dropping

I've never been a "good boy" - that doesn't mean I'm only a "bad boy", it just means I'm very inquisitive and have a special gift for finding the outer limits of others' comfort levels.  More so than wanting to know how things work, I like to know how they can work BETTER and in clever, unexpected ways, for that would give me a little while to play with something and then share in the discovery. 

But it's really just human nature to want to be more efficient - even procrastinators like to be more efficient when you think about it.

The Multiple Dead-Ends of Chain Dropping

Most Entrecard chain-droppers eventually start running into widgets whose current ad displays contain an ad for a site they've already card-dropped.  Essentially, it represents a temporary dead end to their chain-dropping rhythm.  It doesn't take a whole lot to click the E and go back to Entrecard to find another starting point but if you're trying to build up a bunch of credits and that starts happening more and more frequently, well, let's just say it defeats the purpose of chain-dropping.

So I've come up with something a little better.  Not necessarily brilliant, but a little better AND there's more benefit to it than meets the eye.

Use Your Bookmark Folders and Labels

Whether you use Firefox or IE, or something like the Google Toolbar Bookmark Button, you should be familiar with something that looks like this:

entrecard site bookmarks in sam freedoms entrecard lesson

At the very bottom, there's an option to "Open In Tabs" so I could open all those websites at once.  Assuming it won't bog down my computers resources, that's a pretty powerful way to get all those EntreCard sites to come up.  Now remember, there's currently over 3180 people using EntreCard and more coming in every day.  Not all of them will read this article and, following lackluster, inside-the-box, A-list bloggers, they won't think to put a juicy tidbit under their widget... like I have... and like you will.

entrecard widget with a little juicy bit added by sam freedom

But That's Just Plain Evil!

Why?  Are you in denial?  Chain-dropper?  I am talking to a chain-dropper here, aren't I?  I AM talking to someone who is reading my Entrecard articles because they want to understand how to use things to a greater advantage, aren't I?  We are not breaking any EntreCard rules, are we?

But keep in mind, we might be chain-dropping or mass-opening but we are still human.  If you see a site that has some immediate appeal to you, by all means, bookmark it under a separate folder or label for further review.  THAT is the ultimate power because you're chain-dropping for credits AND you're bookmarking Entrecard-friendly (widget near top), eye-pleasing sites for further review... to maybe advertise on them, or get to know the site owner for some other reasons.

Either way, what you're doing is not evil at all.  It's INTELLIGENT.  Instead of dropping cards at sites, one by one by one, you're loading up 10 and then running down the list and you're bookmarking friendly sites for further review.  It only makes sense that any site that impresses you from the first few seconds deserves the prize of your attention.

Suggested Setup of Your EntreCard Site Folders

Obviously, you aren't going to setup 3180 sites into 318 or so folders or labels.  But setup WILL probably take a mere 5-20 minutes depending on how many credits you want to blaze each day.  That's just enough time to get the academics to complain that you could make a lot better use of your time. 

But they don't quite comprehend your fascination with EntreCard - and I do

So I'm just trying to help you make it more satisfying and more efficient.  And the added bonus is that the "way of thinking" you will learn here, will help you in later ventures with, or without, me.

This Is REALLY Simple...

entrecard users using sam freedoms alternative to chain dropping

Did you know there is a page of Entrecard users who are the "Most Recent?"  Not everyone does because the mention of it is somewhere in the instruction pages that few read word for word.  Here it is...

The Most Recent Entrecard Users
(opens in a new window)

Now, you can lurk there and hope to pick up some new cheap advertising... like 100s of others people (and, therefore, truly waste your time), but I'll show you how to use it differently.

Those are the newest people. 
They are the most hungry people.
 

You and I once appeared on that page and we can remember what it was like coming into Entrecard and being hungry.  We wanted to get right to it.  We wanted to start dropping cards and advertising on others' sites.  We were thrilled to see others dropping cards on us.  And we thought it was cool that a bunch of people actually wanted to advertise on our site...

But at EntreCard University,
We're Now Sophmores, and Juniors
and (dare I say?) Seniors...

Alright, here's a Suggested Method for a More Effective Alternative to Chain Dropping

  1. Choose and visit 20 of the most recent Entrecard users;

  2. Drop your card so they get to meet you nice and early;

  3. Put them in 2 folders or under 2 labels depending on how you bookmark

  4. Have a SPECIAL folder or label for those whose widgets are right at the top.

  5. Do the same for 20 Entrecard users in your category.

  6. Do the same for 20 of the most popular Entrecard users.

  7. Several days later, do the same in all three areas with new people until you are satisfied.

  8. Then, each day, just open the folders of your choice and start dropping!

The unspoken benefits of this are...

  1. The simplicity and just opening 1 folder and dropping 10 cards should be obvious;

  2. Just like Coca-Cola, you get your ad in peoples awareness over and over, and early;

  3. New people appreciate you giving them a consistent, early boost;

  4. You will appear more consistently to select people in your category (rather than randomly via chain-dropping)

  5. You will appear more consistently to the Most Popular and that can have further unseen benefits.

You see, the sky really IS the limit. 

While naysayers will wring their hands and glow academically about how X.z% of Q traffic spent (A/b)*C minutes doing LMNOP, you are, in the very least, learning the HOW of finding unorthodox, yet highly intelligent, ways of getting your brand noticed, making your presence felt, building your relationships, maximizing your efforts, thinking outside the box and, in general, increasing goodwill.

Now, Tell Me, How Is THAT Bad? 
It Isn't.

entrecard user university gets a lesson on efficiency by sam freedom

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17 comments:

Saphrym said...

Great post! Love the info!

blarguments.com said...

You couldn't be more right about the quality of traffic. ANY traffic is better than no traffic, and its up to the host to make it interesting enough to make the carder stay. Like ponies.

Also--I like your "open all in tabs" I hadn't thought of that yet... Nice.

Woobie said...

Or a dancing santa! I got a bit frustrated with the ones who rant about "junk traffic" from Entrecard. People look around, either say "wow-i-like!!!" or "err-what???", then promise or not to come back and read some more after their card-drops. The ranters don't get it. Entrecard herds the traffic in and you hook 'em.

I think I like this post better than the previous one.

ryan444123 said...

ANY traffic gets more people seeing your content and ads which means more money in the long run. Personally, I came here to read what you had to say, not just drop a stupid card.

Big Pappa said...

Some are complaining about junk traffic as the result of entrecard. I have to tell you, thanks to people like you, my comments have jumped 5 fold since getting signed up with Entrecard.

clairec23 said...

Just wanted to leave a quick comment about one of your points. Somebody told me not to leave my widget where it is (relatively high up on the sidebar) because people would see it instantly, not have to look for it and immediately click away instead of scrolling down and viewing the rest of the page. (In fairness, if they aren't interested by the first post, they won't be interested by the second. My blog is what it is.)

I don't agree with that. I love blogs that have the widget in a nice easy to see position, if I've spent ages looking for the damn widget, I'm not going to bother reading what's on the page. I'm just going to carry on to a site that has it right there, nice and obvious, not leaving me feeling frustrated or like I'm going blind and enjoy their content because I'm not grumpy from looking up and down their sidebars half a million times!

james & erin said...

It is amazing that such a new phenomenon is already being analyzed and the user experience becoming better as we learn. Thanks for the great advice and practical tips.

Sam Freedom said...

@saphrym - great! glad to hear it, thank you.

@blarguments - ponies are magical. The "big" bloggers don't understand that with 100s of 1000s of new bloggers, their traffic tips aren't going to help anyone except maybe a handful of people. Then they hold those people up as examples that their tips work.

@woobie - you've got it, it's the blogger's responsibility to figure out what people want and then serve it to them - even if it's just a break from the madness. ;-)

@ryan - that's right and it should cause anyone to raise an eyebrow any time someone refers to something as "junk traffic" - people want to hear about solutions, not problems. ;-)

@big pappa - well, owing to your friendly, outgoing nature, your comments were bound to jump anyways but I'll take some credit for at least 2 or 3-fold. ;-)

@claire - the fact you really understand that puts you in a league above any blogger who thinks hiding a widget is a bright idea. People come specifically looking for that widget so to give it to them might cause them to leave soon but at least you get a credit and they won't resent an obvious manipulation.

The follow-up opportunity lay in the back office, when you get their dropped card. You are bright to see all this.

@jamesanderin - it's nice to see you so inspired by all the analysis and activity. Kinda makes ya feel like you're in on something big, and you are. Whether or not you get droves of new traffic from Entrecard, just witnessing the analyses, of which you speak is, in itself, a valuable experience.

It helps people digest and assimiliate totally new experiences in a way that is fun and practical.

Thanks, so far, for all your comments. They are very good and, I'm sure, helpful to the lurkers. ;-)

Jenz Iggo said...

A fresh view for Entrecard. Blogger here and there already deemed EC as bringing in untargetted, almost-useless traffic.

And that was almost true when I found that EC'ers are only spending a minimal time in my blog. However I still get views, and yes I am still in the starving lot.

Yes agreeable that branding repetition enables affirmation of acceptance, but we need a huge repetition.

Nice idea though.

Sam Freedom said...

@jenz - we are only human, just provide EC users with an irresistable offer targeted to THEM and in a place where they cannot ignore it.

You will know if it is good if they thank you.

As for "brand acceptance" requiring a lot of repetition. For companies that require massive capital, like Coca-cola, yes. But for you, and other starving IM'ers, one or two POWERFUL impressions can be enough to create a desireable effect.

Thanks for your thoughts.

James Michael Wilcox said...

these are all really good ideas, in fact I have been using most of your strategies since day one. As far as quality goes, you get what you give. If you are visiting sites that are nothing more than spam boxes, of course your traffic isn't going to be what you expect. So far, I feel Entrecard is successful, much more than BlogRush at least for me.

Sergey said...

have you thought of registering a domain name for yourself? )
with amount of activity that i've seen from you, you should really get one to be take seriously.
just a friendly advice.


visit hellomonsters and get some loving!

Sam Freedom said...

@jamesmichael - excellent, well, i hope you are doing even better because of them.

@sergey - i agree... for a while, i kept this the way it was because this is a "controversy blog" - and doing it the way everyone else does it was just too mainstream for me, but i think you are right and now is the time. Thank you for taking a minute to say something...

Sam

malshi said...

All bloggers definitely want a good reputation in the blogosphere! There is a lot to learn from experts like you.

...................

Malshi.

http://www.BootyCallFriends.com

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