There are at least a million different ways to increase traffic to your Web site, but one of the most useful to the Internet community is to volunteer to be a category editor at DMOZ, an open source, public Web directory similar to how Yahoo! was in the early days before it became a media giant.
While many categories have editors already – and if the one that best fits your site does, don’t forget to submit your site while you’re visiting by going to the correct section then clicking on “Suggest URL”! – there are a surprising number of different sites that don’t have category editors, and they’ll accept most volunteers if you have a legitimate explanation of why you’re a subject matter expert in that area.
Since I just recently was accepted as the category editor for Top: Computers: News and Media: Books, I can share with you that the application form asks for four main things: what is your Internet experience, why are you interested in becoming a DMOZ editor, what is your interest and expertise in the specific category area to which you’re applying, and what sites are you associated with online?
In addition, the form requests that you submit two or three ‘sample’ entries for that category by specifing URL, page title, and a “no more than 25 word” description of the site. Be prepared.
As they say on the application itself, one of the goals of their screening process is to try and identify people who can help keep the quality of the directory high, so it’s well worth your while to take the time and ensure you’ve written clearly, in full sentences, and in a friendly tone.
Once that’s all done, it’ll take about a week (in my experience, at least) to hear back from them on whether you’re the new section editor or not.
So why go through all this bother? Because as a category editor you’ll be able to keep up with new businesses and Web sites in your area of interest, you’ll be able to legitimately communicate with the Webmasters of these new sites, and you’ll be able to ensure that your own site (or sites) are listed exactly as you’d desire.