Yes, I spent at least an hour yesterday dropping cards on tech blogs. I actually went through and dropped a card on almost every blog listed under the Technology category (I picked one of the few relevant categories at random to begin with). If you're familiar with Entrecard, you probably know that the obvious reason for doing this is to get more credits to buy better ads for my blog. But this was for more than just hollow credits. This was a fact finding mission of epic proportions.
This is the nifty graphic chart that Entrecard has available in the Stats area. As you can see, I exploded in my drops for today. I gained enough credits to finally buy some ads on some more popular sites, which will hopefully increase visitors to this little corner of the web (that's always the goal, right?).
I admit... when I begin dropping cards, it was a emotionless journey to gain credits. But a funny thing happened. I wasn't hitting as many sites as quickly. Things caught my attention. I begin to read these sites. I subscribed to one or two. I looked at their designs and made mental notes on how cluttered or clean they were, respectively.
I learned a lot. It's amazing how many people out there have incredibly cluttered blogs. Links everywhere, ads everywhere, four columns, blogrolls...ack! I've mentioned before my concern of when propaganda becomes clutter. Look over to the right... that's the small version of the Entrecard widget. When it was hard to find the widget to click on amongst all the randomness, I wonder how many clicks they really get on anything.
And another interesting, yet completely rational, thing happened. As my card drops went up, so did my organic clicks (clicks through to my site from the Entrecard website) and my card drops (cards that were dropped on my blog). Which means more visitors. More people seeing the content.
Which is what we all want. So not only is Entrecard a great advertising agent (that's free, come on you can't argue with that) but it's a good exercise in seeing what else is out there. Finding new content that you hadn't seen before. You may just find your next favorite blog. Or learn some tips through example about what to do and what not to do with your blog design.
Try it. Go ahead, I'll wait. What did you find when you poked around the other Entrecard user sites?