A little while ago, Heathens Hearth suggested I try out Entre Card when I was asking about how to gain more readers on my blog. And I'm really glad I did! My readership has increased dramatically since I started it, and I've also had a chance to check out neat blogs I would not have seen otherwise.
Here's how it works - First, you request to sign up. They ask a few basic questions about your blog. Basically, they want to make sure that you are for real and fairly serious about blogging. I got my approval in a few business days. Then, you add the widget to your blog. They give you the code for three different options. Here's what two options look like -
Then you create your own card. I just used a picture of one of my cozies and put text on it. Here's what my Entre Card profile looks like (it says "0 drops" because I was looking at my own profile and you can't drop your card on your own widget) -
And lastly, you have lots of fun dropping your card like crazy on all the EntreCard widgets you can find! :) I found this list really helpful in starting - it lists a lot of people who usually return the favor and drop their card on your blog, and then you can get a good list going of people who regularly drop on your blog and then you drop back. Every time someone drops their card on your blog, they have to actually visit your blog - so that boosts your views and gives you a higher chance of more comments and followers.
I sort my "drops inbox" to show only the blogs I have not dropped on that day. Here's what it looks like -
On EntreCard, people will request to put their ad on your blog. Your ad approval queue appears on your Dashboard page. There are paid ads (meaning the person is paying EntreCard, not you) and there are ads that are paid by EntreCard Credits, which are earned organically by the user dropping their card on other blogs, possbily including yours, and keeping their blog updated. I've decided to accept only EntreCard Credit-paid ads. They didn't use to have paid ads, so it's been a bit controversial. But you're well within your right to accept any kinds of ads you wish! You can reject ads simply because the colors clash with your blog and it's no problem. :)
Here's what a widget on someone else's blog looked like before I dropped my card (notice the little bar below that says the blog does not accept paid ads) -
And here's what it looks like after I dropped my card (sometimes it says silly things like "Go! Go!" instead of "thanks" but you get the idea) -
You can use your credits to advertise on other blogs with the EntreCard widget. You go to the "Campaign" tab and enter in some search details to try targeting your ads. (You can also use it find blogs to drop your card on). Then you can check out how many credits a day the ad would cost and see a bit of info about the bloggers as well as click to be taken to their actual blog before deciding whether you want to advertise there. The blogger then has to approve or cancel your request. There's quite a lag between requesting your ad to be placed and actually seeing your ad up on the blog - seems about a week for me. Here's what it looks like when you're searching for blogs to advertise on -
Some card droppers might be just be dropping their card and moving on, but a lot of them do stay long enough to read your newest posts. I would say about 9 times out of 10 when I'm looking at a blog to drop my card, I read at least the two most recent posts and sometimes I feel compelled to comment.
It's totally free, so there's no harm in trying it out! :)
EDIT - Just found out EntreCard is ending the paid ad program, which is great! You can read all about it by clicking here.
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