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A Directory Like No Other

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Posted 6th January 2010 at 04:35 PM by dvduval

As we have expanded our jobs area, we have seen many wonderful ideas and approaches to making a directory. I can think of at least a half dozen people we have worked with in the last couple of months that are making hundreds or thousands of dollars per month off of their directory.

In most cases, the successful ideas are based on going into a niche, and customizing the directory to be useful to people in the niche, accompanied by a marketing program that pulls in people. In many cases it involves setting up a really useful site, and then actually calling people and getting them signed up.

The idea that you can just put up a site, and wait for paid submissions to come to you, and worse, setup a site that works just like dozens of other people is not very good. ANY successful site got that way as a result of coming up with a good idea that would be helpful to lots of people, and then really building on the idea, and helping people benefit through use of the site.

Definitely true that there is too much emphasis on pagerank. I consider pagerank to be a reward for doing a great job on your site, not the goal of the site. Moreover, there are lots of sites that are very profitable and have a pagerank of 4 or less. But the people that are focusing on building a site that will be helpful to others are the ones that get somewhere.

Just to give an imaginary example (that might work for someone!):

Let's suppose that as a result of the recession, small shipping companies are not investing as much in new boats, and as a result are spending more money on things like maintenance and parts for existing boats.

So someone makes a directory of boat repair contractors and locations that sell parts for boats. The contractors find it helpful because they can locate parts they need. The parts makers are happy to advertise because they want the contractors to buy their parts. The shipping companies are having trouble finding decent help to fix their boats, etc.

So in this example, there are lots of people that benefit from the information, as well as from the ability to advertise.

The directory owner gets on the phone and starts calling contractors, parts makers, and shippers offering a free listing for a limited time, as well as a premium membership. They are calling 30+ people per day, and signing up a half dozen or more for $50+ annual fee, so they are making $200+ per day on their directory.

Obviously, some planning and preparation work was needed including a good design, and tailoring the directory so that it contains the right fields and structure to fit the business.

There are lots of opportunities out there like this, and instead people are wasting their time on pagerank.

If you want to learn more about building a directory please come visit us on the phpLD forums.
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