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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 03:52 PM   #1
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Default Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Hey JD Here,

Some of you know Im the originator of the report “The Bower Formula” and are familiar with the story of biz on the net about how we created 20,000 web site customers for our directory site within a span of 12 months back in 2000...

So I have people asking me constantly about directory sites.

Recently, a few friends here, Shay, RentItNow, Di..., and a few others have asked me to post a new thread on the subject so here it goes...

I think this will be enlightening for newbs and experienced people alike. Sure inspires the heck out of me...

Let me ask,

Can You Imagine having only one domain to manage and being able to put 1000 customers on it, using identical cloned pages instead of building from scratch?

Can you imagine charging them say $100 per month per listing on your site?

Well that’s what many directory sites do.

Lets start from the beginning...

What is a directory site?

Well for instance lets say you own “Chicago diners.com” or something a site where visitors can go and review local diners listings all in one place. It would be considered a Chicago diners “directory site”.

Diners pay you a monthly fee to have a listing on your site. It could be $49. Per month, or $79 , or $99 or even $1,000 per month. Depends on who you market to and what you want to charge.

Checking out findlaw.com, or dentistcom, or realestate.com, whatever...many directory sites charge each customer over $1,000 per month depending on the niche.

Yellow book 360 charges $79. Per month, and they have thousands of listings.

ATT has a directory site, and they also charge right around $79. per month. They create hundreds of new customers every single day!

Let me break that down for you, a thousand people paying you $79 per month is $79,000.00 per month. Is almost a million dollars per year in residual income just for managing one single site!

Fact is that if you have a ranking local site, in any industry’s niche, or can build one, everybody in that niche wants and needs to be on it, and they are willing to pay you!

BIG QUESTION HERE: How do you sell it?

ANSWER: How does everyone else sell it?

Yellow book 360 sell hundreds of listings per day, with their what?

Telemarketers!

So did I, and so does ATT. So do a few Warriors here.

But the beauty is that being such a high value and low cost to get started , you can sell listings with classified ads, flyers, easily door to door, all kinds of stuff, because being on a good directory site that is ranked is worth money, and is an interesting proposition.

Did you know you can even sell listings on a pre-launch, before you site is even on the first page, and the listings will help get it there?

I’ve sold pre-launches before, they are the same as selling an established site, you just call people, or advertise to them, till someone says yes, just like anything else.

So Next Question:

How do you rank them?

“Cherry Pick Your Markets”.

I could do a directory site in little rock and probably get 100 attorneys on it, because its easy to rank in little rock, yet big enough to facilitate 100 attorney customers for me...

National sites are hard to rank, but local ones are easy...and each customer you list helps you rank even higher!

But what if you don’t live in little rock?

That’s the beauty.

You could really market ANYWHERE, because this is the kind of sale you can easily close over the phone.

In closing,

Directory sites in my opinion are really the perfect offline business model.

Any newby can start one... with a vision, and some passion to make it happen.

Once you see the potential you would be hard pressed to hold yourself back from starting one.

This is bound to be an exciting subject. I cant wait to hear others input!

Shay, hope this is a good start! We will enjoy this thread Im sure!

All The best,

-John Durham

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits - How To Make Money With Directory Sites!

Hi John,
Thanks for sharing a powerful business model that is very scalable.
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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits - How To Make Money With Directory Sites!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjohn View Post
Hi John,
Thanks for sharing a powerful business model that is very scalable.
I think thats the beauty, you are right. Its the most easily scalable offline business model out there.

This model is the esence of the word "Duplication". Its built specifically for that!

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

John, I think what I am going to do in the short run is offer it as a lower-cost option to company getting a full blown website. In other words, if they cant afford a $799 package they could SURELY afford a listing on a directory site with their own special subdomain. I own a cityof< xyz >.info that screams to do this. Do you suggest doing businessname.cityofatlantis.info or lawyers.cityofatlantis.info and putting a sub category for each lawyer?

I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

@john

We used to do something like www.biznezzonthenet. com/frankthomsponlawfirm


Sorry, wasnt supposed to be a real link.

Oh Wait John I see what you are saying...

I would look up exact match local keyword phrases myself and try to match up a domain name with one of them personally.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

How do you suggest giving it that value that no other directory can give them? An offer they just cant refuse that puts mine WAY over the top?

I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

yup it is great business model with great passive income...

got to create benefits to link owners(traffics)...easy to sell..

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

THIS is what keeps me up at night! I have an idea for a national site that is near and dear to my heart. Totally focused on mobile as it caters to travelers that are as crazy about this as I am! Domain purchased already - haven't pulled the trigger yet - why the he!! not rugman! Maybe this thread will kick me in gear!

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Yeah, I don't think you want to do subdomains...

Keep it all on one domain, interlink the mofo out of it, and pretty soon you'll have yourself one bad butt internal page linked beauty!
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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

@ John

Well firstly, you are going to offer them Value period.

It may not be value that no other directory can give them... and they dont need value that no other directory can give them... They only need value!

If your directory ranks and has potential to pull them traffic then there is "Value".

Many companies are part of several directories because each has value and sends traffic to their site.

However I do know what you mean, how do you build perceived Value?

There are many ways to do that, and as soon as I get back from church Im going to list some, excellent question!

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Cleanmountainliving, I'm thinking maybe some subdirectories with local street names too might build up some seo for it?

<Guess I have no more thanks left for today. I'm just so darn thankful for connecting with likeminded ppl!>

I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rugman View Post
THIS is what keeps me up at night! I have an idea for a national site that is near and dear to my heart. Totally focused on mobile as it caters to travelers that are as crazy about this as I am! Domain purchased already - haven't pulled the trigger yet - why the he!! not rugman! Maybe this thread will kick me in gear!
I dont blame you, its kept me up many nights as well... I have a back burner idea for "surfarkansas.com"...not so much a niche directory but a general one... maybe with sub directories like lawyers, dining, lodging... but I may do a more targeted one first. Like little rock attorney.com or something.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Just a note but I am seeing a lot of .mobi domains are still available which can add a real value to business owners. Just registered cityof________.mobi on a few in my area.

<Now im gettin the vision!>

I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

hi John,
i'm about to do the same thing, except coupon oriented.
somthing they can see measurablee results, that they're familiar with and already doing.
It's also very sucky economy friendly.

Reason being, I tried what you described a couple of years ago.
I used a premium platform.....see edirectory.com
It was for local merchants.

It's a great concept, that's why I did it.
It can certainly work....

I think you need some decent capital to generate traffic.
Show traffic and businesses will bite.

No traffic, you can't give slots away.

The problem I had at the beginning was businesses saw it as just another form of advertising at a time the economy was slapping them upside the the head.

I didn't really get a chance to work past the initial hurdles. My biz got an order for !00k plus that was 98% profit, so I back-burnered the site, closed my storefront and moved my shop back home.

Anyhow, I'd suggest starting with free minimal listings with upgrades that will get them on the front page.

Treat that home page like beachfront property....
Make visitors opt-in and offer newsletter and solo ads.

Jerry

P.S. it's a great way to get to business owners for other services. If a biz feels it's profitable, there are no gatekeepers. The biz owners will be your friends...

Last edited on 1st Apr 2012 at 04:43 PM. Reason: added p.s.
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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

@ Jerry,

Its all about building percieved value in the pitch, and yes; calloing alot of numbers.

As I said, you can sell this as a prelaunch before it ranks at all.

There are a million beautiful business plans around here, howbeit hardly any of them THIS beautiful honestly, but the problem with EVERY ONE of them...comes down to aquiring customers...whether its your directory site or any other...thats where people get held up.

Its more a matter of salesman than business models.

The thing is that the sales priciples apply the same way to this as anything else, only the rewards are alot more lucrative and customer management is more simple.

You would be hard pressed not to make a single sale per day at $97 price point, with any resonable amount of effort, which equates to creating over a quarter million per year in residual over 12 months.

As far as pre launch, no traffic , no slot...- I would sell based on how upwardly mobile we are and how we are gaining in the rankings and anticipate to be at __ within 90 days...Get it while the price is hot... You gotta "sell" with anything.

You can sell if you try. 200 numbers per day is gonna get you what you need. A single $97. sale per day.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Yeah I think the payoff is probably the highest for the least amount of work...if you step back a bit from it and look at it. I have to admit John, I thought you were kidding when you said it is where the money is going to be because it has just been done to death but I am starting to see the vision...I just want to see it more from the business owner's perspective. Something to ponder tonight. Out selling tomorrow so this is great timing.

I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 04:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

From the biz owners perspective John, its a good deal, and something that he might lose out on if he misses, but the important thing to remember is that whether you sell this or anything else; Only 2 out of 100 business owners is going to see it our way anyway! Lol

It's the numbers...

You build those up to 100 or so over 6 months to a year, you really have something. I think one could reasonably do a minimum of 1-2 sales per day.

@ Jerry,

I went to your site. Very nice, but it seems to talk language that is more akin to tech's understanding than small business owners. Perhaps wording things in more lay terms that an ole greek restaurant owner could relate to.

Just a thought, but the site is beautiful.

Also what geography are you targeting? It would take alot to rank a national site.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 05:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

I started playing around with this - getting a site ranked for something else that might occur in an area (maybe tourist stuff) - things people might be looking for in an area. Then I then ad a biz directory page on it - gave a few free listings to mom and pop places. My hope (and I will be getting on the phone when the tourist season kicks in) is to sell some ad space on the front page to bigger hotels etc. My mistake (well only cost me a domain - made the site myself so not a big $ mistake) - they have a pretty big off season so I may have to sell the ad space cheap - but - who cares!

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 05:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Hi John,
I don't know what site you're referring to....i didn't mention one.
Pleas PM

Thanks,
Jerry
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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 06:06 PM   #20
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

This is great John, thanks for sharing everything.

I have an article directory that does pretty well, good enough to where I can go on vacation and not have to worry about anything assuming all my clients and projects are caught up with. The articles that bring in more traffic I beef up with amazon, clickbank and others along with adsense already being there but that is more internet marketing than offline.

What I've really been considering is building a national directory website, but not really with the goal to make money on it directly, just enough to cover costs and time. The MAIN reason why I would want to do it, is I would already have their email, their number, and have a relationship with them and can easily market to them through emails about other services. Basically making it a gateway to the real money making. Problem is I already have a lot on my plate, it's hard to set that aside while working on an entirely new project!

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 06:16 PM   #21
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

I am so excited that you have started this thread!

I am actually going to ramble a little bit. Part of that's because I have not figured out all the details, and part of that is because I'm still crunching some numbers to see what I can offer and what kind of a return I can give to the business owners.

I already do a lot of services that have to do with print on demand services for business owners. Mostly I've dealt with books, but I've also done some fundraising stuff for nonprofits.

So here is what I'm thinking.

I live in a tourist town. we're getting ready to ramp up the tourist season here. I'm thinking that if someone gets a listing on my directory site, that also will give them a basic listing in some of the advertising materials that I have in mind - such as a printed directory, a tourist guide that could be left in hotel rooms, and a variety of other book-ish items. I have some ideas for items that I think would really be geographic-specific, so I'm not sure how helpful it would be to people for me to mention those, but I'd be happy to if anybody wants me to.

So here's what I'm thinking, pricewise:

I'm thinking $197 monthly will give people a spot on my directory site, plus an automatic inclusion in one printed advertising medium per quarter. (You really could couple this with what Bob Ross is doing and perhaps send a mail out every quarter for anyone on your directory.)

But here's the catch - being on my directory site entitles the person to two things:

1. A very basic listing in a directory or other advertising Promo (like the name of the business and the phone number - very basic). but they have the option to upgrade to a larger ad for an additional cost, and the additional cost would be less than if someone off the street wanted to advertise in the directory or whatever it is.

Think of as a Costco membership for advertising - my own personal Costco for advertising.

2. First shot at being included in whatever advertising I have. I plan on notifying the business owners when I have an upcoming advertising promotion to offer them first shot at the prime real estate in what ever advertising medium I'm using.

I'm looking at a base target of 100 business owners paying a flat rate of $197 monthly. That gives me a starting base of $19,700 monthly, and that doesn't include any revenue from the upgrades that the business owners purchase.

I want to reach my base target of 100 business owners in 90 days. I think that with the time of year and with tourist season kicking up, I should be able reach that easily.

Also - any kind of promotional materials that go out will have my website and business name all over it, so I can start my branding.

I have a business expo coming up in May, so I plan on kicking this off in April and then really hitting it heavy in May at this business expo. I'm giving myself 90 days to reach 100 business owners on my site, but I would really like it done in 60.

Those are my initial thoughts. I would love to hear any feedback you might have.


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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 06:16 PM   #22
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

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Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

What I've really been considering is building a national directory website, but not really with the goal to make money on it directly, just enough to cover costs and time. The MAIN reason why I would want to do it, is I would already have their email, their number, and have a relationship with them and can easily market to them through emails about other services. Basically making it a gateway to the real money making. Problem is I already have a lot on my plate, it's hard to set that aside while working on an entirely new project!
I have been having the same thoughts - thinking of making mine more towards mobile - maybe offering listings cheap with a link to their site (oh - btw - your site sux on a mobile device). Lots more you could upsell. Would like to do well $ wise on the front end as well though.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 06:27 PM   #23
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

I've always wanted to start a site like this but I have a huge fear of telemarketing so I'm very cauious about the whole thing. I'm more of the postcard and email person but that doesn't always seem to work.

Also don't forget it doesn't have to always be local directories. You can go highly niche focused and divide the site into local categories.. think specific niches that people buy both online and offline. I'm simply too shy to work local sadly.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 06:52 PM   #24
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Some more numbers:

If you are following Bob Ross' model, you are looking at $495 for one of the basic spots on one of his postcards (I think).

If you offer something like that once every quarter, you are looking at a rough cost to the business owner of $165 a month.

again, I'm just throwing some numbers out there to give you an idea of what you are looking at.

If you use my directory idea and provide it to hotels locally, you could target businesses that would benefit from the tourist industry and traffic.

Restaurants, bars, dry cleaners, maybe even mechanic shops or tow trucks.

Honestly, I'm thinking that restaurants alone (in my area, anyway) could provide enough businesses to keep you in business and really hopping.

If a business wanted to have exclusivity on my site - maybe they wanted to be the only pizza place, for example - I could always charge a premium for that. As it is, I may offer a certain degree of exclusivity. The area that I live in is spread out over a half dozen zip codes, so it is very possible to offer a price for basic inclusion, zip code exclusivity, and citywide exclusivity.


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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 06:58 PM   #25
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Great thread:

Does anyone know of a really great directory script?

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 07:16 PM   #26
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mraffiliate View Post
Great thread:

Does anyone know of a really great directory script?
I'll bet we can put our heads together and come up with one on this thread.



Edited to add:

I was thinking phone script for selling the directory spots. My bad. Sorry.

Just the telemarketer in me. LOL Duh.


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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 07:16 PM   #27
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

My bad Jerry I was rushing out the door, and just skimmed before posting.... That was the site of the "platform" - edirectory you were referring to . Many apologies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rugman View Post
I started playing around with this - getting a site ranked for something else that might occur in an area (maybe tourist stuff) - things people might be looking for in an area. Then I then ad a biz directory page on it - gave a few free listings to mom and pop places. My hope (and I will be getting on the phone when the tourist season kicks in) is to sell some ad space on the front page to bigger hotels etc. My mistake (well only cost me a domain - made the site myself so not a big $ mistake) - they have a pretty big off season so I may have to sell the ad space cheap - but - who cares!

I recently sold an adspace on one of my sites for $3,000. In December for a one year spot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post
The MAIN reason why I would want to do it, is I would already have their email, their number, and have a relationship with them and can easily market to them through emails about other services. Basically making it a gateway to the real money making. Problem is I already have a lot on my plate, it's hard to set that aside while working on an entirely new project!
I understand about the plate. Bummer.

Yes you can do this all kinds of ways, but why not sell them a listing cheaply and bring them in as CUSTOMERS, and still get their email?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RentItNow View Post
Yeah I think the payoff is probably the highest for the least amount of work...if you step back a bit from it and look at it. I have to admit John, I thought you were kidding when you said it is where the money is going to be because it has just been done to death but I am starting to see the vision...I just want to see it more from the business owner's perspective. Something to ponder tonight. Out selling tomorrow so this is great timing.
I definitely think that offering a directory listing to your small business website package customers can be a great bonus, and also a great way to justify charging them $97 per month.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post
I'm looking at a base target of 100 business owners paying a flat rate of $197 monthly. That gives me a starting base of $19,700 monthly, and that doesn't include any revenue from the upgrades that the business owners purchase.

I want to reach my base target of 100 businesses in 90 days.
I loved everything about your post and plan, as we spoke of earlier, I know the benefit of advertising with career builder is that your ad ALSO goes into the local print rags in the city where you advertise, that makes them doubly beneficial. And its why they are my employment ad choice.

Beautiful Idea. Now just keep thinking of ways to build the perceived Value, try to think of even more benefits that dont neccessarily cost you more money or time... either that or look deeper into your offer and find benefits that you may not even be seeing and capitalize on those, giving you more features and benefits to demonstrate in your pitches and really blowing the perceived value through the roof.

The quote above my post here is what I like best about your mindset. Thats what it comes down to, keeping your eyes on that. Thats where it all comes down.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 07:24 PM   #28
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

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Originally Posted by mraffiliate View Post
Great thread:

Does anyone know of a really great directory script?
Haven't tried this myself, there is a free version:
businessdirectoryplugin dot com
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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 07:40 PM   #29
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

@ John -

What would you offer on their page?

Text only? Photos? A simple video?


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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 07:45 PM   #30
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

There are some amazing thoughts coming forth here, and we hope they keep coming... every now and then though Im going to pop and break it down to its simplest form though just to be a bird in your ear... $99 per month your have 2k per month residual income, even if you only have 20 customers per site...

20 customers is literally a fulltime income for alot of people...How hard could it be at $99?

This model is SOOOOO worth it.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 07:48 PM   #31
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Durham View Post
There are some amazing thoughts coming forth here, and we hope they keep coming... every now and then though Im going to pop and break it down to its simplest form though just to be a bird in your ear... $99 per month your have 2k per month residual income, even if you only have 20 customers per site...

20 customers is literally a fulltime income for alot of people...How hard could it be at $99?

This model is SOOOOO worth it.
A problem that I see with a new directory site, even if it's in a targeted niche, is that if it's mostly vacant it will be a hard sell to get someone to pay to be listed in a directory that has only a few other listed businesses.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 07:50 PM   #32
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Durham View Post
There are some amazing thoughts coming forth here, and we hope they keep coming... every now and then though Im going to pop and break it down to its simplest form though just to be a bird in your ear... $99 per month your have 2k per month residual income, even if you only have 20 customers per site...

20 customers is literally a fulltime income for alot of people...How hard could it be at $99?

This model is SOOOOO worth it.
This is also a step in the door for other services you could offer them in the longterm.
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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 07:53 PM   #33
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post
@ John -

What would you offer on their page?

Text only? Photos? A simple video?

If it were me?

I would just create 3 basic one page templates, could even do it with homestead honestly... and when I got a new customer I would pull up the template, copy it, start a new page, paste it... and there. My customer has a one page listing.

The listing would include:

1 Exciting headline
2: One custom or stock graphic
3:One prargraph of information about their company based on the information they submit to us in the sales process.
4: A BBB graphic to show they are trusted members of the better business bureau, their contact info./hours...

and finally (USP)

5: an "interactive contact form with a strong call to action designed to make people fill it out and contact you".
6:Basic On page Optimization

Ooops, one mre:

7: Valuable baclinks to any of your other sites.

Does that sound like its worth $97.00?

Its all premade except for the graphic and the 2 paragraphs of text... Most will go with stock graphics.

Also if you optimize their page, and give it keyword rich content, then it even helps rank your directory higher, so you arent just building the clients value, you are also building your own.

Edit: Im sure if I think it out I could list ten more features ... its a matter of how you present it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mraffiliate View Post
A problem that I see with a new directory site, even if it's in a targeted niche, is that if it's mostly vacant it will be a hard sell to get someone to pay to be listed in a directory that has only a few other listed businesses.

BINGO!!!!


Theres the question I have been waiting for... BRB in 5 to answer this.

Okay...

The reason people dont do directory sites is because they feel they cannot get instant gratification.

What do I mean?

Anyone can find some worthwhile keywords in a niche in some medium sized town, and you dont have to live there. This is something you can do by phone.

Regardless its going to take you 4-6 weeks to rank.

Here is what you do in the mean time, and this is where my understanding can help you.

Listen closely:

When you are on the phone, you do NOT want to call large corporations, unless you are selling 10k ad spaces which is not likely.

Because everyone is going to tell you "I cant answer that, it has to go through corporate...", which requires board meetings and a whole mess of stuff..., so you wont get far calling them if you want a sale per day.

But, every town has a McDonalds, and a Burger King, and a Walmart, and a this and that , a target, JC penny...

Since you want to "call" small business owners, not corporations, put up free listings for all of your local corporations while you are in the process of ranking...

THEN...

When you go to pitch your site you can say

Yeah you might know some of the other people who have listings on our site, Mc Donalds, Walmart...Jc Penny..."

And the business owner sees it as an opportunity to advertise next to big corporate giants on an equal playing field. It helps you sell.

The reason most people dont do directory sites is because of that month or so it takes to get them totally presentable.

The second biggest issue is that they are afraid they cant sell, but they can.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 08:15 PM   #34
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mraffiliate View Post
A problem that I see with a new directory site, even if it's in a targeted niche, is that if it's mostly vacant it will be a hard sell to get someone to pay to be listed in a directory that has only a few other listed businesses.
In my opinion, not sure if John would agree or not, is that you can sell it before you even have the directory. Maybe offering a launching special. People buy websites that don't exist yet, I don't see that being a very big issue for a listing.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 08:22 PM   #35
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post
In my opinion, not sure if John would agree or not, is that you can sell it before you even have the directory. Maybe offering a launching special. People buy websites that don't exist yet, I don't see that being a very big issue for a listing.
Yes , you can do that too or a mixture of both. You would be surprised how many people will buy a pre-launch directory listing if you word your offer correctly and hit the numbers. You just have to make it sound like the next big thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcrabhoney18 View Post
I've always wanted to start a site like this but I have a huge fear of telemarketing so I'm very cauious about the whole thing. I'm more of the postcard and email person but that doesn't always seem to work.

Ps. @ Mr affiliate. This is a one call close, you wouldnt believe how many people will never even see your site before they buy...so usually they are a customer right from your pitch before even going to the site. You can also offer a 30 day guarantee, but hardly any will ever use it.

Also don't forget it doesn't have to always be local directories. You can go highly niche focused and divide the site into local categories.. think specific niches that people buy both online and offline. I'm simply too shy to work local sadly.

Best of luck
I find that what helps me in high volume telemarketing is to tell myself or even write a message in front of myself "Just deliver the message".

In other words , dont personalize it, just deliver the companies message thats in front of you, if they dont want it fine, you are just delivering the message that there's a special. Someone eventually will... I sometimes totally disassociate from it by drawing or something while Im talking, and just go through the motions saying rhe pitch, Thank you bye, Thank you bye, Thank you bye, thank you bye....Next, next ...Until my number comes up.

It doesnt have to be something you cringe over. Trust me, after enough numbers, you dont take it personal.

And you learn to depend on the system as it works for you day in and day out , so there becomes less anxiety about "I wonder if Im going to get a sale...?"

In our example of $97 on sale per day equals almopst 300k per year passive income...in Shays it means twice that...so she could accomplish that with only a few sales per week.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 08:57 PM   #36
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Durham View Post
If it were me?

I would just create 3 basic one page templates, could even do it with homestead honestly... and when I got a new customer I would pull up the template, copy it, start a new page, paste it... and there. My customer has a one page listing.

The listing would include:

1 Exciting headline
2: One custom or stock graphic
3:One prargraph of information about their company based on the information they submit to us in the sales process.
4: A BBB graphic to show they are trusted members of the better business bureau, their contact info./hours...

and finally (USP)

5: an "interactive contact form with a strong call to action designed to make people fill it out and contact you".
6:Basic On page Optimization

Ooops, one mre:

7: Valuable baclinks to any of your other sites.

Does that sound like its worth $97.00?

Its all premade except for the graphic and the 2 paragraphs of text... Most will go with stock graphics.

Also if you optimize their page, and give it keyword rich content, then it even helps rank your directory higher, so you arent just building the clients value, you are also building your own.

Edit: Im sure if I think it out I could list ten more features ... its a matter of how you present it.




BINGO!!!!


Theres the question I have been waiting for... BRB in 5 to answer this.

Okay...

The reason people dont do directory sites is because they feel they cannot get instant gratification.

What do I mean?

Anyone can find some worthwhile keywords in a niche in some medium sized town, and you dont have to live there. This is something you can do by phone.

Regardless its going to take you 4-6 weeks to rank.

Here is what you do in the mean time, and this is where my understanding can help you.

Listen closely:

When you are on thee phone, you do NOT want to call large corporations, unless you are selling 10k ad spaces which is not likely.

But, every town has a McDonalds, and a Burger King, and a Walmart, and a this and that , a target, JC penny...

Since you want to "call" small business owners, not corporations, put up free listings for all of your local corporations while you are in the process of ranking...

THEN...

When you go to pitch your site you can say

Yeah you might know some of the other people who have listings on our site, Mc Donalds, Walmart...Jc Penny..."

And the business owner sees it as an opportunity to advertise next to big corporate giants on an equal playing field. It helps you sell.

The reason most people dont do directory sites is because of that month or so it takes to get them totally presentable.

The second biggest issue is that they are afraid they cant sell, but they can.
This sounds good.

I once accepted a telemarketing position for a non-profit organization. The call was 100% scripted. I sat at a computer with headphones on and once a call was ended you had another one waiting. I would do approx. 3-4 or more calls a minute because most people just hung up the phone or told you to kiss off then hang up. But day after day their were people who would give their money and so it was just a numbers game.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 08:58 PM   #37
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

I think I should stick my 2 cents in here, quite sure Mr. Durham would expect nothing less. As the thread progresses, I'll have more to add but I'm pretty tired so I'll just add this.

I agree 272.47% with everything John has to say about the income potential of directories. I have been working on several on a very part time basis since the beginning of the year. More on that at another time.

I know it's important to look at the big picture and the details take care of themselves, but if you are going to build a directory, you need to do it on not only a reliable platform, but a platform that fits the area/niche/market that you are targeting. There are many directory platforms and I did a ton of research before I chose the one I did.

I'm not going to recommend any platform here, I have no horse in this race as I am not an affiliate of any directory platform. I will tell you, however, that besides all that you will learn about the sales part of this business from John and others in the forum, you will learn almost as much from doing research of the directories out there.

Here's a few obvious things to look for:

Make sure whatever you purchase is well supported. The best support is going to come from a user forum ( I mean look what we have here at WF). You'll learn a lot about how to market from all the others also marketing directories.

Make sure it's customizable! When you get to marketing this you're going to find dozens of tweaks and add-on's that you can sell. But if your stuck with a directory script that's a one trick pony you're going to have a problem.

There are a lot of quality scripts that cost under 150 but don't spend much less than 100. You don't need to spend 400 or more on some of the hosted scripts that are out there.

Most of the scripts take up a good amount of resource. You should upgrade your hosting to a VPS. You should do this for other reasons. If you're on a shared server and some joker on another domain get's the server shut down, you risk ticking off every account on your directory.

Please don't ask me what script I use, I don't want to sound secretive about it, I just don't want to get a lot of what does it do and not do. In the end, you'll gain a lot more by doing the research. I promise!

I originally looked into directory scripts for use in a project that had nothing to do with directories. While I was doing the research I found out what an ideal business model it is.

Off to sleep...maybe.


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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 08:59 PM   #38
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post
In my opinion, not sure if John would agree or not, is that you can sell it before you even have the directory. Maybe offering a launching special. People buy websites that don't exist yet, I don't see that being a very big issue for a listing.
I have recently seen local directories offering three options:

1- a free limited listing
2- A small fee listing
3- A larger fee listing that would put your listing on the top of others

It seems to work even though you always advertise a free listing.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 09:01 PM   #39
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mraffiliate View Post
This sounds good.

I once accepted a telemarketing position for a non-profit organization. The call was 100% scripted. I sat at a computer with headphones on and once a call was ended you had another one waiting. I would do approx. 3-4 or more calls a minute because most people just hung up the phone or told you to kiss off then hang up. But day after day their were people who would give their money and so it was just a numbers game.

Yeah, you can use an auto dialer... if you go to my forum thetelemarketingforum.com and click on the banner above the homepage, you can read all about them.

I guess I assume its become common knowledge but new people are coming everyday into this, so some dont know about remotely hosted auto dialers. They are a reasonably priced and can be a great asset.

Also I wanted to remind you that this is a one call close , most people will buy before they ever go to your website and even see it, just based off your pitch...you can also offer a 30 day money back guarantee, but hardly anyone will ever take it. There's an added USP. Its cheap enough to make that you can offer that safely.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 09:06 PM   #40
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Durham View Post
Yeah, you can use an auto dialer... if you go to my forum thetelemarketingforum.com and click on the banner above the homepage, you can read all about them.

I guess I assume its become common knowledge but new people are coming everyday into this, so some dont know about remotely hosted auto dialers. They are a reasonably priced and can be a great asset.

Also I wanted to remind you that this is a one call close , most people will buy before they ever go to your website and even see it, just based off your pitch...you can also offer a 30 day money back guarantee, but hardly anyone will ever take it. There's an added USP. Its cheap enough to make that you can offer that safely.
Keep posting great information of this thread. I have considered creating a local directory but got discouraged thinking about putting all the work into it and not being able to monetize it.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 09:09 PM   #41
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

I know it's important to look at the big picture and the details take care of themselves, but if you are going to build a directory, you need to do it on not only a reliable platform, but a platform that fits the area/niche/market that you are targeting. There are many directory platforms and I did a ton of research before I chose the one I did.

What kind of technical knowledge do you feel is required for this David as far as using a directory template...?

Also; Great Input!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mraffiliate View Post
I have recently seen local directories offering three options:

1- a free limited listing
2- A small fee listing
3- A larger fee listing that would put your listing on the top of others

It seems to work even though you always advertise a free listing.
I believe thats similar to what Shay is thinking.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 09:24 PM   #42
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

@John and anyone else: I was about to go to sleep when I saw your question on my phone, so I'll do my best.

It's hard to quantify, semi-geek maybe? Seriously, there are a few out there that are very simple, in fact, there are a couple of WP Plugins. You don't need much tech speak, in fact, almost none. I tested a couple of the better ones, but there's price you pay for simple. That price was flexibility and I wasn't willing to make that sacrifice.

Just about any of them offer installation, and many have paid support. Worth it when they reach a good income. But in the beginning, most all of them offer forum support and you will need to know some of the basics of editing php, css, things like that. Most often you can figure out where in the script to copy and paste things. You are going to need to know how to FTP, change persmissions, fun stuff like that.

You don't have to be a super geek, and it's easy to learn this stuff to the level you need it if you have a little patience. I was amazed at how much help forum members of product purchasers give to one another.

Every script is going to say it's easy easy easy.....not true. Good news is that a lot of them have free versions you can practice on. Learn to install it yourself, you'll be glad you took the time. It means you'll fully understand what your BUSINESS is capable of handling.

Hope that helps!

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 09:31 PM   #43
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Durham View Post
If it were me?

I would just create 3 basic one page templates, could even do it with homestead honestly... and when I got a new customer I would pull up the template, copy it, start a new page, paste it... and there. My customer has a one page listing.

The listing would include:

1 Exciting headline
2: One custom or stock graphic
3:One prargraph of information about their company based on the information they submit to us in the sales process.
4: A BBB graphic to show they are trusted members of the better business bureau, their contact info./hours...

and finally (USP)

5: an "interactive contact form with a strong call to action designed to make people fill it out and contact you".
6:Basic On page Optimization

Ooops, one mre:

7: Valuable baclinks to any of your other sites.

Does that sound like its worth $97.00?

Its all premade except for the graphic and the 2 paragraphs of text... Most will go with stock graphics.

Also if you optimize their page, and give it keyword rich content, then it even helps rank your directory higher, so you arent just building the clients value, you are also building your own.

Edit: Im sure if I think it out I could list ten more features ... its a matter of how you present it.




BINGO!!!!


Theres the question I have been waiting for... BRB in 5 to answer this.

Okay...

The reason people dont do directory sites is because they feel they cannot get instant gratification.

What do I mean?

Anyone can find some worthwhile keywords in a niche in some medium sized town, and you dont have to live there. This is something you can do by phone.

Regardless its going to take you 4-6 weeks to rank.

Here is what you do in the mean time, and this is where my understanding can help you.

Listen closely:

When you are on the phone, you do NOT want to call large corporations, unless you are selling 10k ad spaces which is not likely.

Because everyone is going to tell you "I cant answer that, it has to go through corporate...", which requires board meetings and a whole mess of stuff..., so you wont get far calling them if you want a sale per day.

But, every town has a McDonalds, and a Burger King, and a Walmart, and a this and that , a target, JC penny...

Since you want to "call" small business owners, not corporations, put up free listings for all of your local corporations while you are in the process of ranking...

THEN...

When you go to pitch your site you can say

Yeah you might know some of the other people who have listings on our site, Mc Donalds, Walmart...Jc Penny..."

And the business owner sees it as an opportunity to advertise next to big corporate giants on an equal playing field. It helps you sell.

The reason most people dont do directory sites is because of that month or so it takes to get them totally presentable.

The second biggest issue is that they are afraid they cant sell, but they can.
An this kind of info right here is exactly why I wanted this thread. Lots of amazing info and questions answered.

(PS - Is there a fangirl emoticon I can use...? )


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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 09:38 PM   #44
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Okay, I am going to ask a question that indicates my non-techy-ness.

Why do I need a directory script? What the heck does it do?


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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 10:10 PM   #45
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Thanks for the great thread John...starting cold calling this week but I think I'll be changing what I was going to offer based on some of the words of wisdom you've shared here!

Been following quite a few of your threads for a while now & picking up some great ideas...

I've actually had a directory site (not really your typical local directory site though) up and running for 6 years now, so it has some awesome rankings in Google (in the top 3 spots for most of the main keywords for it's niche)...but I haven't been monetising it as well as I could have been.

Used to charge for people to access it, but included the businesses for free. A year or so ago I made the entire site free to access, with an email submit though to make sure I kept building my list.

So here's my plan...any thoughts or suggestions on this would be appreciated .
  • One page site (similar to what you mentioned John).
  • PLUS, the opportunity to promote their products to the very targeted email/member list (over 10,000) - probably done through special emails that I send, say weekly or fortnightly. I'll maintain full control of the list & it won't be 1 email for 1 business, rather there'll be 1 email sent with product info from those particular businesses that want to promote.
Price $97/month.

I'm hoping the product promotion to the targeted list (plus the fact that it's pretty much the highest ranking directory in the niche) should be enough to entice a fair few on board!

Cheers

Rachel

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 10:24 PM   #46
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Rachel , OMG that plan is MONSTROUS.

Its a solid reasonable offer. Its easy to build value by saying "Our solo ads are usually worth up to $_____ per mailing, by themselves..."

If you can follow through with that plan it will work. Making a goal of 100 customers initially like ShayRockhold mentioned.

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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 10:42 PM   #47
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

okay, I have two ideas and I couldn't decide which one to do, so I'm going to be working on both simultaneously. I might give my VA to help me.

I'm gonna lay out the plan, and I welcome any comments.

Site One - "<City, State> Guide"

This one is going to have the benefits that I put in a previous post. $197 a month for a listing. Not only does that give them virtual real estate, but it also will get them listings in quarterly advertising media.

My two target markets for these guides will be tourists and also people that have just moved into the area - new homeowners, apartment dwellers, etc. I am going to be working with the local real estate agents and also the apartment managers to see if I can get the guides/directories/etc. in front of the clients/tenants.

I will also be talking to hotel owners/managers, gift shop and tourist attraction owners/managers, etc. in order to reach the tourist market.

Site Two - "The Rockhold Guide"

Tagline: "O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer - Psalms 19:14"

Yes, it's a play on my name, but I couldn't resist. I think it's a memorable name for a guide (because of the way it's used).

It's a guide for local Christian businesses/business owners, and a guide to local places of worship.

Marketing:

Churches will get free listings. When I get the information for their listings, I'll also let the contact person know that their members with businesses can get listings, too, and if they mention the church they got the referral from, I'll give a discount.

So it looks like this:

I contact churches and get 50 listings for them. I'll be targeting local large churches (1000+ members), so I am hoping to get this directory site filled fairly quickly.

Distribution for the printed guides will be through the various churches that have listings. Each church that has a listing will get x number of copies.

That's a rough plan. I'm a little tired. LOL I'll write more when I get some coffee.


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Unread 1st Apr 2012, 10:45 PM   #48
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Thanks John your input is very much valued & appreciated...will try to keep you updated with how things go with it!

I probably have a reasonable number of my target businesses on my email list as well, so part of the promotion will be an email blast to the list, but will definitely have to cold call as well.

Now I haven't done any cold calling before , but have been reading a lot here on the forum & your Great Telemarketing Report & the Bower Formula...so would you suggest to start with (until I find my feet) maybe a modified version of the Bower Formula script?

That's a great idea about mentioning the normal cost of the solo ads, will definitely do that and was thinking I could probably also suggest it's some kind of introductory price....which it may well end up being if it takes off!

Cheers

Rachel

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Unread 2nd Apr 2012, 07:24 AM   #49
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

What directory to use? I know Mr Miller didn't want to say what he was using but maybe we could all toss around some ideas. I looked at directory press - pretty popular theme and reasonable. Seems more local but could be tweaked for a national type site.
Also - is there a real need to use one of these sites instead of a WP theme or HTML site? I know D Press lets potential clients sign up on the site and enter payment info to be listed.
I came across this on another thread - http://www.montgomeryrestaurants dot com/
Really nice but pricey!

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Unread 2nd Apr 2012, 07:29 AM   #50
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Default Re: Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

Here is something i posted on another thread as well regarding starting with an empty directory:
I have been tossing around a similar idea for a restaurant niche. Big problem is - how do you start with an empty directory and sign other biz? Here is one idea I had instead of just giving listings away. I was going to do a contest type of promo - first I would put a few in for free (people that I know) - then contact other places offer this: 1st 12 places that send me something form their place (tee shirt or whatever) get 1 year free listing (maybe first 3 also get a mobile site?). Next 6 get 6 months free and everybody else gets 3 months free.
Not sure if it would work but takes away that "too good to be true" thing. You could trade for gift certs also. I think most small biz understands that you would need to get the directory populated asap for it to be viable. Also - once they are on board they are more apt to buy mobile sites etc.
Thought?

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