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Entrecard for increasing blog traffic

Using Entrecard on your blog - it's a controversial topic, gaining more controversy by the day it seems. And they like it that way - the Entrecard view is, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Entrecard creator Graham Langdon has said "I’m always amazed how controversy drives record numbers of signups."

Depending on how you use it, Entrecard can be a powerful force of good or bad on your blog. It can drive you a significant amount of new traffic, forge relationships with other bloggers, and give you a load of free advertising. Or, it can be little more than a glorified traffic exchange. It all depends on how you choose to use Entrecard.

Entrecard is great to use on a new blog that doesn't have much 'Google juice' yet. It's discouraging to start up a blog and see that it only gets single- or double-digit hits a day. Feedback like visitors and comments are important to a new blogger, to give them suggestions for improvement and confidence to continue blogging. Entrecard may be just the boost you need for your new blog.

Entrecard is a blog network where you drop your 'Entrecard' - sort of a virtual business card (a 125x125 ad) - on other blogs, using the Entrecard widget. Every Entrecard blog has this widget that you can drop on or advertise on. Dropping on a blog gives you one point, as does receiving a drop.

Advertising is based on powers of two, depending on how many people want to advertise on a blog - it starts out costing 2 credits, then 4 credits, 8, 16, 32, and so on. The multiplication breaks down in the higher numbers, for no apparent reason, but that's not important. Each Entrecard ad runs for 24 hours.

You can see what blogs have dropped on you by viewing your Entrecard Drops Inbox, and it's good etiquette to drop back on the blogs that have dropped on you. If you choose to do this, and only this, then Entrecard is just a traffic exchange. They visit you, you visit them.

However, Entrecard doesn't have to be a traffic exchange. It can be more valuable than that. You can use it to find new readers in your niche, targeting your drops and advertising towards blogs with a similar audience. You can also find new related blogs to read, learn from, and comment on.

Entrecard has recently introduced a cashout system where you can cash out your Entrecard credits at a rate of 1000 credits for $1. Some people have taken advantage of this, but I prefer to put my credits right back into the system for free advertising. For me, credits don't accumulate fast enough to make cashing out worthwhile, and Entrecard is more important to me for the traffic it brings and the advertising it offers.

Despite its bumps and screwups (if you don't know what I'm talking about, Google Turnip of Power, or the Official Entrecard blog - read some comments), I find Entrecard to be a useful service for bloggers, especially new blogs starting out. Depending how active you are on Entrecard (dropping, commenting, advertising), it can bring you between 50 and 200 extra visitors per day. For a new blog, this is an important traffic boost that can give you just the confidence you need to continue blogging.

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