Done With Entrecard

Done With EntrecardThe time has finally come to remove the Entrecard widget from Affiliate Confession and make better use of the sidebar space it has occupied. Over the last couple of months some major bloggers have dropped Entrecard and some of my favorite places to advertise (that have brought me the most traffic) have left as well, but the last straw in helping me make that decision was when Lisa from To Create A Website rejected my Entrecard advertisement because she is also leaving Entrecard.

I’ve had a 9 month love, hate relationship with Entrecard and sang it’s praises when I first installed the widget on this blog at the beginning of December 2007. Through those 9 months I’ve tried massive advertising experiments, purchased credits from eBay and Entrecard itself, won thousands of Entrecard credits and spent massive amounts of time dropping cards and trying to find blogs worthy of advertising on.

And that’s where my main issue with Entrecard comes in. Trying to locate blogs worthy of spending your hard earned credits to advertise on is a huge time waster mainly because 97 to 98% of the blogs in the Entrecard system are one small step above being spam blogs. And unfortunately the pricing system for advertising isn’t based on actual traffic a blog receives, it’s based on how many ads are waiting to be shown in the blog’s que. This sometimes creates hugely overpriced ads that bring little to no traffic.

The process of hunting down blogs in your niche, visiting them to see what they look like, weeding through blogs that have advert prices above 1000 credits, yet have less than 10 rss readers, getting less than quality traffic from your ads and then sticking with that process week, after week, after week is just too cumbersome. Where Entrecard fails in my opinion is that the adverts you place only last for 24 hours. In my last advertising blitz I spent somewhere around 8 hours using up 30,000 credits, advertising on 300 different blogs and did get some low quality visitors to the tune of 250 to 300 oer day. But that only lasted for 10 days and the whole process starts over again.

That just doesn’t work economically for me. If I’m going to spend 8 hours doing advertising for my blog, it should last longer than 10 days and bring better quality traffic. Entrecard is too much like those lame traffic exchange systems where you earn traffic credits for visiting other sites in the system you aren’t interested in just to get people who aren’t interested in your site to visit you. Sadly, Entrecard is not much different than that.

If you have an ad already in my que it will run, but as of today, I won’t be approving any new ads. See ya later Entrecard.

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Harsh Reality 1 – Ranking For Keywords That Get Zero Traffic Means Nothing

Tuna FrappuccinoSome time from minutes to hours after this post goes live, it will rank number one in Google for tuna frappuccino. While some may get excited about that, it means nothing, because the last time I checked, not a single person was searching for one of these tasty delights. And to my knowledge, Starbucks isn’t serving them yet either.

Depending on how much time you as an affiliate may waste trying to get your domain name or some clever phrase you’ve thought of, to get that high ranking in Google, it can either be a minor distraction or a huge mistake. You may be proud of the fact that you own the number one spot in Google for your name or some obscure phrase, but the harsh reality is that you’re the only one searching for that specific term and it is bringing you exactly zero traffic.

You’d think this would be a no brainer, but it isn’t. Someone might go to Google and think that ranking number one for tuna frappuccino out of more than 39,000 results is something special. It isn’t. There aren’t 39,000 results for the phrase “tuna frappuccino”, there are 39,000 results for pages that have the word tuna and the word frappuccino somewhere on that page but there are zero pages that have those two words together, that is until now.

Reading the little results bar at the top right on Google search results pages can be a quite misleading about your keyword competition. Some of this misconception probably comes from ebook pimps promoting their skills by showing those misleading results on those insanely long sales pages. They will tell you, and even show you, how if you buy their ebook you can rank for lots of obscure phrases as well. You then spend the money and start ranking for obscure phrases that bring you zero traffic, and find you still don’t rank for phrases that do bring traffic.

To get accurate competition results on a keyword phrase, you need to be looking for the pages where your phrase is in the exact order of a keyword that is actually worth promoting. To find your true competition, place quotes around the phase and then look at the results. For example, let’s take the phrase make super big money. Wow, there’s over 2 million results for that phrase! No, there are 2 million pages with some combination of those words on them. Some page may be a blog where a guy is happy about his wife making pizza for dinner and writes, “Super, my wife is going to make a big pizza for dinner. I hope I have enough money in my wallet to go to the store and get mushrooms, otherwise I’ll have to use the credit card.” That’s not really about making money.

When you put the phrase “make super big money” in quotes, the results come out a little different. There are only 4 pages with that exact phrase on them (but now probably 5 with this post) and most importantly, no one is searching for that term.

If you’re overly excited one day to find your name or an obscure term on your web site ranks number 1 in Google, head over to either the Free Keyword Suggestion tool at WordTracker or the Free Search Term Suggestion Tool at KeywordDiscovery and see how many people are actually searching for that term as reality sinks in a bit.

Maybe you can head over to Starbucks now and drown your sorrows in a nice tuna frappuccino. Did you want whip cream on that?

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One More Shot At Entrecard With 10,000 Free Credits

Entrecard AdvertisingI don’t spend that much time doing the Entrecard thing any longer, but I do occasionally drop a card here and there and buy an advertising spot when I have a few spare minutes. I think people are beginning to see that the time spent with Entrecard is not really paying off because it’s a lot of work for a little benefit.

But I will give things one more shot here because I just won 10,000 credits in a contest John Chow was sponsoring over at his blog. That’s a lot of credits and it can buy a ton of advertising, so it will probably be worth the time go through the blogs in my niche at Entrecard, finding good ones and spend them all to see if I can increase my traffic for a couple of weeks. It would take you 33 days to earn that many credits just by dropping 300 cards per day. Of course you will earn more credits than that in 33 days because of drops on you and credits earned through accepting advertising on your blog, it’s just an illustration of how out of kilter things are at Entrecard.

My initial thought is to not spend that much time at all and just go for the lowest priced blogs in a massive sweep of 600 ads or so. I’m probably going to do that and then hit up a few of the higher priced blogs for a little wider exposure.

After I spend all the credits I’ll report back on the results.

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Get Your Blog Reviewed At Webmaster-Talk.com

Get Your Blog ReviewedWant to get some free traffic to your blog or web site and actually have people take a good look at it? I know you’ve seen the cheesy, get 25,000 visitors to your site for $29.95 scam deals, but this is a way to get real visitors to review your site and give you pointers on what you can do to improve it and make it better. No, you won’t get tens of thousands of visitors with these reviews, but you will get real opinions from real people.

If you head over to Webmaster Talk forums you can get your blog and or web site reviewed for free, but there are some rules. You can’t just hop over there, sign up and start spamming the forums with your blog or site urls, you have to participate and add value to the forums first by reviewing 3 blogs before you can submit your own.

You can also get your web site reviewed for free as well, and you also have to review 3 web sites  before asking for your own web site to be reviewed. You can’t do 1 blog review and 2 website reviews and then submit your own blog and web site. You must review 3 of each before submitting your own. Preferably you should look for threads and review those sites or blogs that haven’t been looked at yet or had a response to. That’s not always possible, but be on the look out for empty, non-responded threads.

Oh, and no lame, “Cool site” or “Like the colors” type responses. Please add value to the forum and review a site as you would expect to get yours reviewed.

You can join Webmaster Talk forums here.

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Is Entrecard Doomed Because Of Its New Pricing System?

The End Of Entrecard?Has Entrecard doomed itself to be known as just another promising, traffic generating blog widget to render itself useless? The credit pricing structure has now been completely changed at Entrecard and is no longer based on how many cards are dropped on your blog. It is solely based on how many advertisers have placed ads on your blog.

The way pricing works now is every time someone places an ad with you and you accept it, the price of your advertising spot doubles. Starting with 2 points for the first ad and doubling with every ad placed, quickly increases the cost to rather ridiculous levels. The switchover to advertisers determining the price, vs traffic and card droppers determining the price has caused some serious anomalies in the system. Blogs that used to cost no more than 30 credits to advertise on are now commanding outrageous prices of more than 2,000 credits and Problogger, who must have had many ads waiting to show, now costs more than 130,000 credits to advertise with. Correct, that is one hundred thirty thousand credits!

You can obviously see that there will be a settling of the Entrecard economy in the next couple of weeks because no one will want to advertise on a blog that costs 2,000 credits, when it is only worth 30, and of course no one has 130,000 credits to advertise on Problogger much less other blogs costing over 250,000 credits. A positive I see with the new pricing structure is that you will also potentially earn more credits as the cost to advertise on your blog doubles with every new ad placed.

What I don’t like about Entrecard though, is for the very little return it has brought me, I’ve determined I spend way to much time with this system, dropping cards and finding advertisers. It just not economically feasible for one to use their time clicking Entrecard widgets and researching advertisers to see if they are worth 1024, or 2048, or 4096 credits or more. What I determined from the massive Entrecard advertising expeirement was that it was better to just place blanket advertising on the least expensive blogs that had good widget placement and then look at the best return and continue to advertise on a regular basis with those blogs.

It used to be easy to find good deals in the Entrecard system and to be able to consistently advertise with those that brought you the most traffic for the least amount of credits. Case in point, Joel Comm’s blog was an incredible deal for an Entrecard advertiser. I have advertised 4 times on his blog for never more than 18 credits and received about 1 click for every 2 credits spent. However, I just used 7 times more credits than I’ve ever spent to place another ad today on Joel’s blog.

The main problem this new pricing system has created is that it will require even more time to watch you favorite blogs to see when advertising with them will be economical. I forsee people watching on a daily basis to see if the price continues to drop on a blog, before they decide to place their advertising. Sorry, I’m not going to spend any more time with Entrecard. I’d like to spend a lot less time with what is becoming a huge time waster.

I’ll wait another 2 or 3 weeks to see how this all pans out, but the amount of time spent with Entrecard is ridiculous. I’m thinking of dropping the whole deal. I’ve mentioned this before and I still think a solution is to have the ads show for 48 hours instead of 24. That way you could possibly get twice as much return for the same amount of work.

The new pricing structure seems to be an attempt to stabilize the Entrecard advertising economy, but as long as a blogger’s time economy is out of whack with Entrecard, I think Entrecard is doomed.

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