For a second I was lost when I visited the directory, I was expecting lots and lots of coffee sites, as the name gives the impression that it’s a coffee directory. Plus I love vanilla flavored coffee, so was disappointed to see nothing about coffee. Maybe Denise might want to start adding some coffee sites also. Anyways enough of bugging Denise, time to put my thoughts on paper.
Like I said, this directory is nothing about coffee, it’s a “niche directory focusing upon the indie arts “ – Denise. I like the basic layout of the directory, really impressed me, makes my own directories and sites look so dull and lifeless!!! Browsing is a breeze unless you are still stuck up on dial-up. None of the links seem to be broken and first directory in the review program that actually has a “Link to us” page with cool logos and images, which makes you just link to the directory because they look really cool.
The listings on the site look lifeless, however. No thumbnails are displayed for individual sites, which leaves spot for lots of “white”. Also, the sites listed do not have long descriptions attached to them either, thus aiding the white empty space effect. The review process however can be slow at times for free links, and can range from few days to few weeks. The paid reviews can take upto 3 business days.
So, if you are in a hurry for a review and get listed on IndieCoffeHouse, go for the paid review!! I feel it’s worth the investment. Directory has a great pagerank as you can see from the stats listed above in the table, most of the categories also have good pagerank. But Denise is not targeting for good pagerank, she just wants to help out all the indie sites out there by providing a platform for exposure!!!. Thank you mam, and good luck in your venture.
What is your name and age and where are you from?
I’m Denise Raphael, in my early 40s and living in the lovely state of Washington, on the Pacific Coast.
When was your directory created? And might we dare ask what made you jump into the directory business? Did any directory motivate or inspired you to start your own directory?
Indie Coffeehouse (www.indiecoffeehouse.com) went online in May, 2006.
I’m primarily a website designer with a specialty in designing websites for the arts.
As I promoted my clients’ sites to the various directories, I found that there was a need for quality niche directories focusing upon the indie arts. After thinking about it for over a year, I finally plunged in!
Indie Coffeehouse is a niche directory focusing upon the indie arts. Indie means independent; it refers to creative people such as bands & artists who are not affiliated with a major record label, or large company.
They are usually on the cutting edge of the musical or arts scenes, and are largely responsible for their own promotion. Indie Coffeehouse provides a place where indie folk can get relevant links to their sites, enabling people to more easily discover their creative work.
Our directory is also designed to be user-friendly, so that people looking for fresh music, art, or literature can easily find something new & exciting.
It’s very important to us that the directory isn’t just a source of links for the purpose of PR or link popularity, but that it offers a place both for promotion & discovery.
It’s been more work – and has required more time – than I’d imagined, but it’s also been very rewarding!
Do you remember the first Pagerank your directory received, if so would you mind sharing it with us. What are your plans for the next one?
Our first PageRank was 4; it’s 5 now. Most of our categories are PR3 or 4. (A few new categories don’t have PR yet.)
We do constantly work on building backlinks. And, we’re also very fortunate that many of our visitors, and those who submit links, link back to us.
Is it prepared properly to face the next PR update?
Sure. While I’d love to see Indie Coffeehouse’s PR increase, I don’t worry too much about it. I spend most of my time trying to make the directory better, reviewing submissions, and trying to get the word out about the site.
What about the template? Is it custom made or using readily available free templates? And do you have any plans in near future for changing the design?
It’s my own custom design, based upon the default PHPLD template. I do plan to update the design somewhat late this summer.
What modifications or some say mods do you have installed?
I recently installed a mod to force submissions from a category, which has been somewhat helpful in reducing spam.
I’ve also added contact, about us, and "link to us" pages. That "link to us" page has been helpful in gaining links from those who submit links to the site. We’re finding a lot of people will link back to us with the banners & buttons we provide.
We never require a reciprocal link, so it’s great when anyone chooses to do it.
Do you believe that a directory should have a blog?
We don’t have a blog, and we don’t have any particular plans to add one, though I think they can be very useful.
Do you have a link building strategy you want to share?
We are working on getting links from other directories & arts-related websites. We’ve also promoted the site fairly heavily on webmaster forums. And, we are encouraging links from indie musicians & bands, artists, and writers – we are especially grateful for those.
Is there a promotion strategy you are after?
I’d like for Indie Coffeehouse to become more well-known in the webmaster community, amongst other directory owners, and in the indie music & arts community. So, I’m looking to get the word out via other websites in each of those areas.
How is traffic? Do you have any specific goals set?
I don’t have specific goals as far as numbers go, but I want to see a substantial increase each month. For the past six we’ve been achieving that.
In July 2007 we had seven times the traffic we had in September 2007. So while I’d love to have a lot more traffic, I’m pleased to say that we’re heading in the right direction.
Where is your traffic coming from?
Much of our traffic comes from indie arts-related websites, various forums, other directories, and Google searches. Indie arts sites.
What about SEO and SERPs? Do you believe in that and as a directory owner do you believe it’s a requirement for any directory?
Yes, I think SEO is very important. As a webdesigner I make sure every site I design is optimized for the web. I know there’s more I can do with Indie Coffeehouse in this regard, and I’m working on that.
Because I want the directory to be a venue where those listed can be easily found and discovered by those who are in search of new music & art, SERPs are important, too, and we are constantly working to improve them for our various keyphrases.
What keywords are you targeting, if any?
Our keywords all have something to do with the indie / diy scene: indie directory, indie music directory, arts directory, indie music sites, indie artist resource, etc.
Do you have any kind of stats regarding the traffic your directory sends to the listed sites?
We don’t keep those stats, though the number of clicks to each listing is logged and listed on the listing’s detail page.
Are there any other strong features you think must be pointed out?
I think we are fairly unique in that most arts directories focus on one area: visual art, music, or literature. We have all in one place.
We also have categories for directories, both general & arts-related; this is provided so that indie artists can find other places to promote themselves.
Would you like to share with everyone the stats of your directory? For example, active links, number of categories, and inactive links?
Currently we have 684 active links in 129 categories, and no inactive links.
The small size is accounted for by the fact that we are very selective about the sites we add, and by our desire to keep the site tightly focused on the indie arts.
These days we’re receiving more submissions than ever, and I expect IC to grow much more quickly in the future.
How many editors does your directory have? If none, do you plan on hiring editors at later stages of your directory development?
It’s just me; I’m a one-woman band and don’t plan on adding editors at present.
But at some point it might be nice to have some help. That person would have to be knowledgeable about, and have a passion for the arts.
How can users get in touch with you?
Email is always the fastest way to reach me. Just go to our contact page at http://indiecoffeehouse.com/contact.php, or through my webdesign site at http://www.quantawebdesign.com
I’m always glad to hear comments or suggestions, or to just chat. Drop me a line –
Would you like to add anything else, that we might have missed?
I’d just like to thank you for the opportunity to talk about Indie Coffeehouse, and for the great work you do to help get the word out about quality directories. Gracias!
After going over the interview, we missed this very important question that others might also be wondering about.
We noticed categories like directories of directories which is not related to the theme of your directory ! Might we ask why have you included such categories that do not relate to the theme ?
Good question. I think I touched on that a bit in the answer to the question, "Are there any other strong features you think must be pointed out?" But perhaps it deserves a bit more explanation.
The category the directories are in, is called "Web Promotion for the Arts." It features directories, and a few selected resources for indie artists who want to promote themselves on the web. It enables them to find other directories where they might submit their website. Categories include Arts, Literature, Music & other Arts Directories, as well as General Directories. And, there are Directories of Directories where they can find even more promotion opportunities.
Our goal is to provide as much promotional support for the indie community as we can, even helping them find other places to get the word out about their creative work.
We included a Vintage category, because it fits with the theme of non-corporate, independent sites. And, many indie musicians use vintage clothing, and indie artists & crafters often incorporate vintage items into their newly-crafted goods.
However, we’ve been debating removing it – and probably will, soon, as there are few links currently there and it isn’t strictly an indie category. We’ve actually deleted several categories recently that were only peripherally related to the indie arts scene, in order to sharpen our focus.