I've been using this traffic program for a couple of weeks now, and I really like it. There are a few things I would like to say to all those who are using Entrecard, and for those who are thinking about it. (Click on my widget to the right if you have no idea what this is).
First, I personally think it's really fun to use - and I have run across several interesting blogs which I have bookmarked. Dropping my card is easy, for the most part, and being able to advertise for free is a nice added perk. I spend about an hour every day while drinking my coffee just checking out blogs, commenting and dropping my card.
There are just a couple of constructive criticisms I would like to offer other bloggers who are using this program - maybe it will help you increase your traffic and the usability of your blog.
1. It's a huge pet peeve of mine to click on a blog from the Dashboard at Entrecard and have it load fully and not be able to find the widget at all. If your widget is no where on the landing page, I can't drop my card, and I will likely not take the time to read your blog. Please, put the widget somewhere on the landing page. Even if it's at the bottom - that's fine. *Especially if you participate in the web rings or special lists for Entrecard users.
2. Do not automatically load sound or video on your blog! Nothing makes me want to leave it faster. It not only taxes my system - it's rather annoying, because I am often listening to something on my own system. If you want sound on your blog, give the user the option of playing it or not.
3. If you have so many widgets, advertisements, images, etc that are randomly scattered all over your blog, I will likely leave without dropping my card. Too many widgets and ads reduce the effectiveness of the ads anyway. It's mind boggling to me why a blogger would want to clutter their pages up so much that it's hard to find anything. I won't stay and read your posts if I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of distractions.
4. Make sure your scripts all work and that your blog actually loads. I've clicked on many a blog link only to find that script errors are making it impossible to load. Please make sure you check to see if your blog is actually loading.
Now, with the criticisms, I would like to add a few positive things.
I love blogs which.....
1. Are pleasing to the eye. Pretty images, organized pages, subtle but interesting graphics - these all make me want to stay and read your content.
2. Have interesting and engaging content. Posts on how to make money online are so prolific that I often just leave. But posts which contain information that draws me in and makes me think will often get my bookmark. I realize this is a personal thing, though. Just, you know, blog about something you think might interest the masses.
3. Are updated more than once every few months. I struggle with this too, but I promise to work on it if you will!
4. Have contests - I love entering contests - just make sure the rules are clear!
5. Have a graphic Entrecard and not a text Entrecard. No real explanation for that one - it's just my preference.
That's pretty much it! And if you have never heard of Entrecard and you have a blog, I highly recommend it. Even if you don't have the time to drop your card, etc., you can buy the credits to advertise. There are a lot of art/hobby/fashion related blogs there, which really is attractive to me as an artist who likes to keep up on art-related discussion. And the color inspiration on some of these blogs is astounding. :)
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