Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Hawg figures out the value of

For the past few weeks, I've been wondering about how to get more traffic.

Now, I'm a member of Entrecard and this little blog owes a lot to that great service (if you've got a blog, get an Entrecard account, by the way -- trust me on this). I've gotten a lot of traffic from Entrecard and was thinking it would be nice to find some other service to drive traffic over here.

A thought occurred to me while I was searching around here and there. The fact that traffic comes over from Entrecard is great, but that's not really what matters. What is important about Entrecard is that the service puts bloggers together and they are naturally inclined to interact -- to leave comments, visit blogs regularly and write content for an audience.

Yes, Entrecard has received its fair share of criticism, but I've run across more quality bloggers through that service than through anything else. Sure, people will say it's one of those "drop and run" sites that encourages people to stick around long enough to grab a credit and then head to another site in an attempt to pump up their traffic stats.

There is some truth to that, but people who simply drop and run without slowing down and reading some great blogs are only hurting themselves. No, the real value of Entrecard is relationship building -- we all blog in hopes of getting and audience, and that's not going to happen if you merely get a credit then zip to another blog without slowing down to read and comment.

Yes, the Entrecard members who stop long enough to read my prattle and leave a comment are the ones I'm more likely to visit often. When enough people react that way, you wind up building audiences and that pushes you to come up with meaningful content which leads to even more traffic. Who wants to take the time to run a blog and update it often if all that work is for naught because people don't bother reading anything?

And, let's not forget the importance of backlinks. I found out about those a few months ago when noticed that both my Alexa ranking and Google Page Rank had swelled. Why? The only thing I could keep up with is that I'm a gabby sort and tend to comment regularly.

BlogExplosion has the same potential to lead to that relationship building if it's used right. I do get a traffic boost by participating on BlogExplosion (if you visit two blogs, you get a credit in the system that's good for a visit to yours), but the traffic is really secondary just like it is with Entrecard.

I might visit 40 sites a day through BlogExplosion, and that's good enough for about 20 return visits. I'm a member on BlogExplosion, primarily, to run across some great blogs, develop some backlinks and find an audience. Getting BlogExplosion to work well for you takes some time, but it's worth it.

After all, it's hard to sift through the blogs out there that are rotten or that I simply don't want to read. Sites like Entrecard and BlogExplosion make it easy to identify great blogs and I appreciate the heck out of that. There's a lot of stuff on the Internet, after all, so having a service to direct you to some blogs you might not have heard of is something I truly appreciate.

Speaking of backlinks, I'll mention that I'm still looking to exchange reciprocal links with some great bloggers. Interested? Want to get on that sidebar o' mine. Send a comment my way and I'll be glad to consider it.


Robin said...

I also find EntreCard and BlogExplosion to be useful in not only finding other blogs of interest but also getting exposure for mine. A few weeks ago I also tried that site Easyhits4u (at your suggestion) but I don't particularly like it - the quality of blogs there is lacking!

Your blog is one of several that I enjoy visiting because it's more than just selling some product and I would gladly reciprocate links if you so wish - just let me know!


Junk Drawer Kathy said...

You described EC exactly the way I use it. I'll never understand the complaints against it. I've heard of BlogExplosion, of course, but never poked around enough to see if it might work for me. I may do so now. Thanks for the thorough review of both.

Da Old Man said...

Now I need to look into BlogExplosion. Thanks for the good review of it. BTW, EC is the best thing I've ever found, too. I never understood the complaints about it, either.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

I'm on Blog Explosion too, and I just joined Traffic Exchange Business a similar service, but it's faster. You do have to make a splash page for your blog, and right now they are very new so don't have as many members, but you earn points really quickly. I don't get as many hits through Blog Explosion as you seem to.

This is not spam... I don't have any vested interest in TEB.

JD at I Do Things said...

Cool stuff, indeed. I feel the same way about Entrecard. You get what you put into it,and it sounds like the same is true of BlogExplosion, which I'm not familiar with, but thank you for writing about it. I'll definitely check it out.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Robin -- You are right about EasyHits4U -- I wasn't thrilled with it, either. If there were some more blogs there instead of all that "get rich quick" junk, that would be great.

I've enjoyed your blog as well for the past few months and I'm glad to add a link to it on my sidebar (in fact, that's now up!)

Kathy -- I thought BlogExplosion was horrible until I figured out that just getting people to visit isn't what the site's all about (in my opinion, at least). Finding good blogs written by people with something to say is the point. Leaving backlinks through commenting is the point. The return traffic is secondary.

Da Old Man -- Entrecard's a dandy thing, isn't it. Give BlogExplosion a look. You might like it.

Sharkbytes -- I'll check into that one. No, your post isn't spam at all. I'm always glad to hear of other services out there.

The Natural State Hawg said...

JD -- Heh. You could write a post about it -- "I sign up on BlogExplosion so you don't have to."

Sherry said...

I'll have to look into BlogExplosion. I'm not familiar with it.

You've got one of my blogs on your side bar. Thanks oodles!

Inspire Political Discourse said...

Nice article. Plan to try blog explosion. :)

Denford said...

What put me off about them is that it just looks like a poky little site and I am aware it is all down to the design.....but then navigation from their landing page is bewildering to say the least....that's just me anyway. But I think they bring good traffic.

By the way, Hawg, you say you despise Clinton, but someone tells me you were great mates back in his Little Rock days.

And don't you tr to deny it: we've got photographs of you and him eating Grits together!!

Karen said...

I will have to look into this. I appreciate quality blogs and have come to know some great writers through Entrecard. The ones who simply drop and run are the ones who are missing out. Of course, I have weeded out many blogs that weren't worth looking at let alone dropping a card.

LiquidSilver said...

BExplosion=EntreCard+backlinj+left comment

that's what I do..haha..

Theresa said...

As often as I've raised my voice to EC, I'm still there because of the great, great people I've found through EC. I would've never "met" you if you hadn't joined! And you live right here in AR too!

I'm not a drop-n-runner myself, so I don't give them a second thought.

I joined CMF Ads and like the service. What you get out of it is what you put into it, just like EC.

Though I probably shouldn't say this out loud, I've never been one for big crowds. I am more comfortable with smaller numbers, and think perhaps I reach few people better than I would a large number, at least with my blogs. So, I'm not out to win popularity contests or gain fame and fortune and am happy with a few great people instead of a slew of drop-n-runners... (By the way, I don't care how big my small group becomes!)

Lyndon said...

I used to use BlogExplosion a long time ago, when I first started blogging. It was really good and then they got bought and the quality really went downhill. I may have to give them a look again!

spicybugz said...

I have been a member of BE for a long time. It was sold a couple of years back and for the most part has been dead. There is someone now fixing the broken stuff and getting things back to the way it was, which makes me happy.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Sherry -- You do that -- I hope you like what you find. And you're welcome!

Inspire Political Discourse -- Glad to hear it. You ought to enjoy the site.

Denford -- You caught me, man. I can deny it no longer. Bill Clinton and I go way back.

Yes, we know each other well. We used to have great fun shooting rats down at the dump, drinking moonshine and coercing state employees into having sex with us. I knew all of his family, too -- everyone from that coke snorting brother of his to that old whore that gave birth to him (I never met his father -- no one is 100 percent sure who his real dad is, anyway).

Seriously, though, presidential politics scares the hell out of me. Look at our past three presidents -- we've had (in order) a piece of white trash, a moron and now this naive guy who throws money all over the place. Sad.

Karen -- Agreed, and do give it a look.

LiquidSilver -- Works well, doesn't it?

Theresa -- I've seen that service around. Looks like something to look into.

I feel the same way about Entrecard, although I'm absolutely furious about these damned paid ads. What a rotten idea.

Lyndon -- You should looks active and full of quality sites.

Spicy -- Looks pretty good over there now!

wayang times said...

hi i was wondering if you would like to do a link exchange with me :) do drop me a comment.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Wayang -- You're added!

wayang times said...

hey hawg thanks! i've linked back :) and thanks for the compliment!

Atomic Lib Smasher said...

I'm a member of BlogExplosion too but I don't use it often. Sure, it's good enough for a dozen or so hits, but most of the blogs there are crap written by 14 year old emo kids.

Never heard of Entrecard. Would ya say it's better or worse than BE in that aspect? Email me back at and lemme know what ya think, Hawg.