A Review of Blog Networks

July 13, 2008 / Social Media / 16 Comments

Note: Double post today! Read my Shopping post below!

I’ve been seeing an increase in blogs on hiatus, and as a result, a decrease in the amount of quality visitors lately. In an effort to expand my blog circle, I gave blog networking a try. So, I thought I’d write a review for a few of the blogging networks I belong to, as well as some important tips to ensure blog networking success.

Entrecard vs. MyBlogLog vs. Blog Catalog

Entrecard is great for increasing hits, but not so great for increasing comments and blog buddies because of its inherent design. Entrecard users are supposed to ‘drop’ their card (their blog’s ad) on another Entrecard user’s blog. After it’s dropped, the owner of the blog will view card on their dashboard, and reciprocate, if they are interested. Dropping cards, among various other ways, will allow the user to gain Entrecard credits, to be used as currency to buy ads on other blogs. The more the user actively participates in Entrecard, the more expensive the ad space on his blog is, the more he will gain from ads. As such, not many will bother to comment. This also means that there are many low-quality blogs, who are out there just to generate hits for the sake of PayPerPost and other paid blogging programs. The search for high-quality blogs is a very arduous process. But if all you want is to increase hits, this may be one of the most efficient networks out there.

Honestly, I haven’t spent much time on MyBlogLog, mainly because I’m not a fan of its interface. However, I found it very useful for tracking visitors. I’ve been able to put names and faces on who visits my blog without looking through IP addresses on my hit counters. I’ve also been able to do the same to MyBlogLog friends, and have been able to find some real offline friends and their blogs in the process. I feel like a CIA agent when I’m on MyBlogLog. LOL! But then again, of course, the reverse also holds true. That means others are able to track my web surfing habits if they look around MyBlogLog.

Of all three, BlogCatalog is the best at doing what it’s supposed to i.e. network bloggers. I have met many of my subscribers and blog buddies from Blog Catalog. And I can vouch for the number of great blogs on the network. It’s one of the best places to check out blogs from every niche and meet people from every creed. And it is all thanks to the infrastructure of the network. On BlogCatalog, each blog page has a rating, a rank, a review section and a ‘Similar Blogs’ section. The owners’ page allows for a short biography, a ‘Shout’ section meant to be something like a Facebook Wall, amongst other network-friendly sections. There is also a discussion board and a groups section for users to hang out and mutually profit from. There’s no point system or crappy interface to misguide you. So, people who sincerely and actively participate earn their share of blog buddies and subscribers. The more you participate, the more often you blog, the higher-quality your blog is, the more your blog rank increases. Blog rank starts with 0 (worst) to 100 (best). FYI, Nanyate?! ranks a whopping 75.7! So, low-quality and spammers get weeded out in the process, and have their blogs stuffed right to the back of the directory.

The Key to Blog Networking Success

Whether you’d like to increase visits, comments or blog buddies, there is a recipe for being successful – and a very simple one at that. All you need is active participation. Search the directory. Seek out new blogs that you are genuinely interested in. Comment on them. Leave a shout. Add them as a friend. Subscribe to their entries. And I will guarantee an increase in your comments, visitors, rank and blog buddies. By becoming a member and simply listing your site, you gain absolutely nothing. Okay, maybe just a few visits.

The amount of effort you put in is directly proportional to your returns. Case in point: of all three networks, I spend the most time at BlogCatalog. That resulted in around 10 blog buddies, a handful subscribers and many links exchanged. I’ve also managed to expand my readership far beyond personal bloggers. MyBlogLog is where I spend the least amount of time at, I’ve only managed to find one long lost friend. As for Entrecard, I’m still quite new at it. So, there aren’t any notable returns as of yet.

What do you think of blog networking? Have you tried it? If so, what networks do you belong to? Which ones do you like best?

  • hmm, haven’t given blog networks much though recently. that last one sounds pretty great…

    last time I participated in something like that, it was a think where basically you were given a site to visit every day and you were forced to comment. needless to say, you mostly got crap comments.

  • I am new to entrecard and I do find it difficult to weed through sites that I think are spammy etc. I spent a lot of time looking at sites the other day and found that a lot of them weren’t even current so it was a little frustrating.

  • I have only tried EntreCard and even though it brings lots of traffic, a lot of people don’t take the time to read you blog or comment. I also get tired of reciprocating all the drops every now and then.

  • Thanks for this post Ivy! I’ve actually joined a couple blog networks but never actually actively participated in any of them. I’m gonna login to my account at BlogCatalog now (hopefully it’s not deactivated or anything now)! Lol.

  • My problem with blog network or whatever is that I only do it on and off. I’ll do it when I have time on my hands, but then I could go for days with no time to really read other people’s blog. X_X;; Trying to maintain my current blog reading list can be a bit of a hassle at times when I’m exhausted. Ah. I miss the good ol’ days of being a student. I swear, I had more time and energy then!

  • Back in the early days of my “blogging career” ha ha, I used to really be involved with MyBlogLog but since I’ve gotten back into it, not so much. Maybe when I REALLY start focusing on my blog I’ll get back into networking but it’s just something else that would take up way too much of my time at the moment.

  • I’ve never tried any of those, and I don’t know if I will… Maybe because my blogs not like yours, mine’s more personal. Hehe…

    But yeah, that last one does sound really good though, although I believe my blog will probably get a low score… =/ Oh well, maybe I’ll try that one day. Maybe.

  • Liz

    For me also BlogCatalog has been the most useful blog network (I found Nanyate?! through it so it must be good haha) The way it’s organised makes it really easy to find good blogs on a particular topic.

    I’ve been trying out Entrecard but I’m not sure how well it works to be honest. It brings traffic but with a really high bounce rate – I suspect people just drop their card and move on to the next one without even reading anything. That said, I haven’t been able to put a lot of time in so probably that doesn’t help.

  • The way I blog network was to go on AOL, curse people out, and have my site linked in my profile, lol. I did that back in 2003 when I first started and funny enough, that’s how people knew about me. But the most positive way to do it is to just visit other sites, leave comments in their blogs (only after reading them) and expand your reading history. I know, it’s time consuming but it worked for me. 🙂

  • you’re pretty spot on in terms of your assessment for those three services. I use them all and spend most of my time on entrecard to bring in traffic. but yes, in terms of quality, blogcatalog seems to be the better of the three.

  • Thanks for the review of the blog networks! I generally do not use them because I’m not a big fan of advertisement on blogs (but I’m not against those who use advertisements 😉 it’s just a personal preferrence). I’ve tried BlogExplosion in my early years of blogging, and knew a friend who later became my websister 🙂 it’s interesting how blog networks can bring different people together!

    I registered with Despair.nu but later inactivated my site on its active listing because I find it no point to force others to comment on your site. They’ll just leave comments that are of less quality than a regular visitor…

  • hey Ivy, did you see that entrecard has now partnered with SezWho? maybe this will help in getting entrecarders to comment on the blogs they visit! 🙂

  • I’ve accounts for all that you mentioned, but I don’t spend too much time on BlogCatalog and MyLog. Eh, I’m too lazy.

  • Great review. Frankily I just started to realise the benefits of blogcatalog which you have analyze so aptly.

  • Hi Conratulations! Your blog is great! keep up the good work! I’d like to get your

    feedback on mine.