Tuesday, October 03, 2006

FreeDeepLinks


What Is Your Name?
Jenn Mattern

What Are the Ways of Getting Listed in Your Directory (E.G. Free, Reciprocal, Paid)?
Basic listings are free, and I don't require any reciprocal links. Only deep links to individual article pages are accepted though. I allow an unlimited number of free links per category and directory-wide, and allow webmasters to include the same article (also things like recipes, craft projects, forms, templates... basically text-based resource pages) in multiple categories as long as they're relevant. The only place I don't accept free links is in top level categories, which are reserved for featured spots only.

What Is Your Main Source for Entries?
The main source would be a combination actually... DigitalPoint members and writers with a content network that I work with.

When Did You Start This Directory?
Just a few weeks ago... I want to say it was September 14th.

How Many Entries Do You Have in the Entire Directory?
As of this morning, there are 1976 article links added. Once it hits 2000, I'll be launching a secondary marketing campaign targeting readers searching for these articles (to help drive traffic to the listed pages), rather than exclusively focusing on webmasters and writers. Almost there.

What Is Different About Your Directory?
Well, I could be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge (and based on feedback from a number of people), I don't believe anyone's done a directory where they're actually out there trying to categorize articles on the Web. The point is to be a good service for readers (to allow them to find articles and resources on just about any topic, without the "junk" results in search engines - like sales pages and such that won't help them - that just happen to be optimized well). The fact that webmasters get free one-way deep links to their article pages is just a bonus to them for helping to build the directory (because it saves me from having to find them all or having to hire more people to do it for me).

Do You Advertise Your Directory?
No. Like my other sites and even my business in general, I steer clear of advertising. My specialty is public relations, so I tend to go the publicity route first, seeing what I can do in that sense, and then advertising is sort of a backup plan if I need it. I avoid it more because I try to prove to myself what I can do without it than any other reason.

What Are Various Ways in Which You Earn Money From Your Directory?
I suppose that would just be Adsense and featured listings.

How Much Money Do You Make From the Directory?
Well, I'll stick with just the repetitive income.... With Adsense it's doing from $1-3 per day right now; not great or anything, but I'm happy with it considering that the directory isn't even a month old yet, and I haven't marketed it all that heavily. The highest amounts seem to come from Adsense on the results page, so I'd expect the revenue to pick up a bit more when I start marketing towards actual readers, getting them to search for articles rather than mostly the webmasters who add them and leave. Only time will tell of course.

Did You Create This Directory Or Buy It?
I created it... nothing fancy; just a template I edited and a category dump which I'm slowly but surely rearranging and purging.

Have You Managed To Get Listed With Many Directory-Submitters?
Well Heaven help me if I do! That's honestly the last thing that I want. It would just amount to far too much spam and home page links (which I don't accept) being added.

What Types of Directories Will Succeed and What Types Will Fail?
I'm still new in the directory area. I had one previously, but this is the first I'm putting any real effort into. So I'll look at this from a marketing standpoint: like in any market, I honestly believe that the ones who succeed are going to be the ones where the directory owners think for themselves a bit and try to find a new niche.

I think it's just going to be harder and harder for general directories at this point, and only the ones that are marketed effectively or have some unique spin are really going to succeed. But I also think there's still probably a lot of room for new directory owners.

I'd expect to see an increase in coming months or even years in deep link directories. With that comes a huge number of opportunities (recipe-only directories similar to what I'm doing with more general articles and resources would be just one example).

I'm sure there are still plenty of untapped (or under-tapped) niches in home page link directories too... just pick a topic that you like and specialize. In my case, for another directory, it's indie music. Directories are really pretty versatile. You could run a directory of niche businesses or professionals (say Web designers and firms, or even template designers if you want to narrow it down more), or a directory linking only to information on holidays, roller coasters... whatever pops into your head. I doubt we're even close to the point of everything already being "done."

What Plans Do You Have for This Directory?
First of all, I plan to change up the home page a little bit to start featuring not only select categories like I'm doing now in the headers, but also specific articles (for instance, I'll pull some good Halloween articles soon enough). Basically, I'll be looking for ways to make it more user-friendly for the people actually searching for articles and information. I'll market more heavily to them shortly. The plan on the webmaster side of things isn't just to give them free deep links, but also to actively try to bring in readers to help drive traffic to the articles they list. I want people coming and going relatively quickly because they're happy that they found a decent resource through my directory. That's what I'm hoping will bring them back. I'm not saying there aren't any, but I haven't seen a directory where the owner is purposefully trying to find ways to promote the links listed for free. So hopefully webmasters will consider that a good thing and start adding more articles.

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