I told you guys that i wanted to start up an interview section on my blog. I have a lot of interviews lined up but i welcome any suggestions or requests. If you want me to interview anyone in particular, i’ll try to set that up for you all. To launch my first interview, i wanted to showcase a guy who is lighting up blog marketing. Graham from Entrecard is flying high right now with a site that is becoming a million dollar sensation. I learned a few things doing this interview and i found it to be inspiring and honest. Thanks Graham for a quick replay to my interview questions and i wish you continued success in your internet ventures.
What’s your age, sex, and location?
I am 22 years old, male, based in Boston.
How many uniques does entrecard get on a daily basis?
The Entrecard.com site is getting about 7000 uniques daily. The widget network, however, does a million daily impressions to far more uniques.
Do you plan on selling entrecard? How much do you think entrecard could fetch if it were sold right now?
I have no plans to sell Entrecard. I want to grow it into an enormous website. When you think of operating the currency of the blogosphere, the possibilities are mind-numbing, and I would never want to sell myself short by jumping ship for a little cash.
We are taking on an investor, with a valuation of $750,000. The after-money valuation, as they call it, is $860,000. I predict in a years time it will be well into the millions.
You were the wonder marketer who sold over $100,000 worth of wikipages. It’s obviously a dead fad now and some might consider it a waste of money. How many people wanted refunds for the wikipages they bought? Did you give them a refund?
Hardly anyone wanted a refund. I think most people understood that it was an all-sales-final type of thing. I mean, you can’t purchase an ad in a magazine and then demand a refund from Wired because it didn’t bring as much traffic as you thought you know? Although, we did issue a ton of refunds to people who attempted to purchase pornographic or trademarked names. When you consider that bidding for keywords like “make money online” costs you about $5 per click with Google Adwords, people who bought these popular keywords for $100 and own them for life have found value in the purchase.
The Million Dollar Wiki, however, has been acquired by NamePros.com, and under the agreement they are going to promote it heavily and send lots of traffic to it. It’s unfortunate that I became obsessed with Entrecard and put Million Dollar Wiki to the side, but I did find the best possible person to take it over.
A lot of people copied your milliondollar wiki site. Care to comment on copycat webmasters?
Yes, if you can, do something so complex that people cannot copy it! That way, by the time the big boys are copying it, chances are your site is already worth a least a million bucks. I actually got fed up with MDW copycats, and it became a motivating factor behind Entrecard. A million wiki sites popped up because the barrier to entry was low. Just plug and play with a Media Wiki install really. So I decided to focus on Entrecard, because you’d be hard pressed to find the money and a developer who can put something like that together!
But, you do safeguard yourself a bit from copycats by being the first and entering the market with a splash. Also, maintaining positive working relationships with people thwarts copycats. When I talked John Chow down, into a lower commission per sale, he immediately started promoting Million Euro Wiki instead! Had I not attempted to negotiate a lower payout to Chow, Wiki would have flew higher for longer.
You attended web conventions? Do you think it’s worth the price of admissions? Honestly, do you think it’s worth it for the average blogger to attend this things?
I attended the Blog World Expo in November and I have mixed feelings about it. On the positive side, you meet a lot of people you wouldn’t otherwise meet. Anyone who takes themselves seriously in the industry goes to the expos and conventions, and Blog World is intimate and small enough that you’re going to meet everyone there and really have some great conversations and connections with people.
Exhibiting at a the convention costs an exhorbinant amount of money. We’re talking $400 to rent a table, $300 to roll down a carpet, $2500+ for the smallest booth they have, on top of promotional material, plane tickets, hotels, t shirts to hand out, etc. So, unless you have a war chest of cash, exhibiting at an expo just isn’t worth it. It won’t do much for you, but you’ll make a ton of personal connections.
I’ve seen you advertise on so called A-list blogs? Do you also advertise on small no name blogs? Would you?
When I first started out, I experimented a lot with smaller blogs. I think a blog has to have about 1000 subscribers before I consider advertising with them. However, I will say this. Getting a positive reviews is 1000 times more effective than any sort of banner advertisement you can put on a blog.
I recently signed up for project wonderful because i saw the widget on entrecard. Is that your site? Are you a partner of that site? How much does entrecard make with PW?
I am not affiliated with Project Wonderful in any way, though if I had a few million they would certainly be an attractive acquisition. We make a little bit of money with them, but nothing to brag about.
Besides milliondollarwiki and entrecard, what other projects have you worked on, or am working on now?
Entrecard is my sole project. Its funny too, because usually I’m working on a million things at once. But Entrecard has become so fun and interesting to work with that I’ve put everything else on the sideline.
Except one thing. I’m writing a book: Power Brokers of the Blogosphere. I have a publisher, and you should see it on shelves by the end of 2008.
How much did you spend to launch entrecard? Developer fees, advertising, hosting, admin?
To get to launch it was just under $5,000. The Blog World Expo ran up about an $8000 bill, and we’re burning through about $7500 in cash per month right now. Thankfully, we have an investor and we can start increasing our promotion