How can I make a directory more interactive?

16 replies
Hello All,

I'm going back and trying something with the old niche-specific directory site biz model and was thinking of different ways I could make consumers interact with the advertisers on the directory. I really want to show the potential advertisers that the site in some way, will be engaging with the audience I'm targeting. Any ideas, suggestions, experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
#directory #interactive #make
  • Profile picture of the author TMMR Michael
    Why would you do that? Unless you have a budget to beat Google then directors are pretty useless.
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground
    I guess the most common imaged attached to the word directory on the mecca of the work from home/make money online movement is a site that is mostly a place where people simply post company details to spam the serps and try to rank.

    Any site that is attempting to grow a loyal and growing online community of engaged users that become frequent visitors has to be more of a web app then anything.

    The user-dashboard, and it's features and benefits, becomes the main draw.

    You could buy a dashboard like this few less than 30 dollars, already comes with lots of elements that will keep users engaged.

    Designing Media Works | Item : Apricot

    You need to come up with features and benefits that are useful to users and businesses.

    Right now, by saying you're dusting down an niche biz model, you would only be wasting your time attempting it. Because the idea of what you think one is, is obsolete.

    Spam directories only ever reached some success by pure fluke and loop-holes in google.

    You simply can't launch a major online community with the wrong mindset of it being a biz model.

    It's a proper business and web users are well to savvy to join some outdated geocities type site when there are so many innovative and engaging sites.

    Study that dashboard. Seeking out thriving directories online who have got with the times. They'll all have dashboard, reviews, points systems to encourage reviewers and 'local experts', offers.

    You need to build on that. Create different features for business accounts, and have a free account they can join to begin with. Tell them they about all the social features, how they can be followed, follow others, share different media, becoming an authority.

    Create upsells, etc.

    Have a launch where you focus on getting businesses on board and listed before you open officially to users. Then have email templates ready and leverage the businesses' you've signed up email lists to grow a user base who can join the site and see that it's already filled with good info, has great features for them, and someone worth frequenting to mix with like minded people.

    Just have something interesting, useful, unique and that both business and users want, and be in it full time for the long term, or forget.

    I remember when I first found this place, or even before that, when I first fell victim to ads on the line about making $500 a day from home and all that, years back.

    People were making easy money back then because people's sophistications levels of the whole online thing were at their lowest point.

    You can't build anything lasting and that will generate profitable and consistent ad revenue without really being serious and business minded about it today, no matter what the course sellers claim.
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  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    Originally Posted by Underground

    I guess the most common imaged attached to the word directory on the mecca of the work from home/make money online movement is a site that is mostly a place where people simply post company details to spam the serps and try to rank.

    Any site that is attempting to grow a loyal and growing online community of engaged users that become frequent visitors has to be more of a web app then anything.

    The user-dashboard, and it's features and benefits, becomes the main draw.

    You could buy a dashboard like this few less than 30 dollars, already comes with lots of elements that will keep users engaged.

    Designing Media Works | Item : Apricot

    You need to come up with features and benefits that are useful to users and businesses.

    Right now, by saying you're dusting down an niche biz model, you would only be wasting your time attempting it. Because the idea of what you think one is, is obsolete.

    Spam directories only ever reached some success by pure fluke and loop-holes in google.

    You simply can't launch a major online community with the wrong mindset of it being a biz model.

    It's a proper business and web users are well to savvy to join some outdated geocities type site when there are so many innovative and engaging sites.

    Study that dashboard. Seeking out thriving directories online who have got with the times. They'll all have dashboard, reviews, points systems to encourage reviewers and 'local experts', offers.

    You need to build on that. Create different features for business accounts, and have a free account they can join to begin with. Tell them they about all the social features, how they can be followed, follow others, share different media, becoming an authority.

    Create upsells, etc.

    Have a launch where you focus on getting businesses on board and listed before you open officially to users. Then have email templates ready and leverage the businesses' you've signed up email lists to grow a user base who can join the site and see that it's already filled with good info, has great features for them, and someone worth frequenting to mix with like minded people.

    Just have something interesting, useful, unique and that both business and users want, and be in it full time for the long term, or forget.

    I remember when I first found this place, or even before that, when I first fell victim to ads on the line about making $500 a day from home and all that, years back.

    People were making easy money back then because people's sophistications levels of the whole online thing were at their lowest point.

    You can't build anything lasting and that will generate profitable and consistent ad revenue without really being serious and business minded about it today, no matter what the course sellers claim.
    Totally agree, and I still think a niche specific directory can work.


    Posted from Warriorforum.com App for Android
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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    Well...in the dawn of the internet...we had user groups and bulletin boards to exchange info - just running a computer you needed help LOL....as Steve Jobs said (paraphrase) "You don't need a user group for a toaster, in the future you won't need user groups" ...well the future is now....we do not need user groups

    As it progressed...to windows, then to Windows 95 - with this graphic interface there were more things to see and do - compuserve...prodigy...america online.....then more and more websites - the dot com, net and org....in 1999 average people could buy domains for ? I think it was $150>? A flood of "site builders" came out..."free websites".....on tripod and homestead.....wheee

    Now we not only had forums for how to run our computer, how to install software, troubleshoot..now we had forums to figure out html...and..forums to figure out how to find these wonderous sites

    For awhile searching was hard...I ..and many others I guess..bought my own "spider">> a program that you input search parameters, boolean search and you could save your searches and favorites

    cause you see ...when you typed in "transmissions" or "nail salon" you would get national transmission company and a nail polish manufacturer LOL....it was very hit or miss..those who could "game" the search engines were getting their stuff out there...but it might not be local

    Things got very complicated when there were tons and tons of search engines coming out....tons ...
    askjeeves....dogpile (was actually cool)...and so many others....all with varying results

    Link farms were set up - to put your tripod site out there LOL...tons of links..nothing but links

    and....the directories were born...people who were good at searching set up a little directory site...so that you could find a hair salon in Hollywood florida not Hollywood california....and people liked this...
    relevant searches....local stuff....now whee...coupons...yay

    some of these directories stand today...are national and are "citation" sites for what it is worth
    some people still use - menuism for menus...opentable for reservations etc
    Some allowed the average joe to "review" - Yelp and are huge today

    and many many went by the wayside cause Steve Jobs was right...you dont need a user group for a toaster or a microwave and you do not need a directory when you have google

    Google changed everything

    I agree with Underground in that you would have to have an original and high end idea and then you would need a lot of backing....the days of build it and they will come have long past.

    The only way I could see it working is if you did it very high end...or if you did it very coupon/deal oriented. ....and even then this is not easy. So many have come and gone that I think biz owners are jaded and resistant to them.

    Hey Zoro...good to see you ..what's shakin'?
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    • Profile picture of the author zoro
      Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999 View Post

      Well...in the dawn of the internet...we had user groups and bulletin boards to exchange info - just running a computer you needed help LOL....as Steve Jobs said (paraphrase) "You don't need a user group for a toaster, in the future you won't need user groups" ...well the future is now....we do not need user groups

      As it progressed...to windows, then to Windows 95 - with this graphic interface there were more things to see and do - compuserve...prodigy...america online.....then more and more websites - the dot com, net and org....in 1999 average people could buy domains for ? I think it was $150>? A flood of "site builders" came out..."free websites".....on tripod and homestead.....wheee

      Now we not only had forums for how to run our computer, how to install software, troubleshoot..now we had forums to figure out html...and..forums to figure out how to find these wonderous sites

      For awhile searching was hard...I ..and many others I guess..bought my own "spider">> a program that you input search parameters, boolean search and you could save your searches and favorites

      cause you see ...when you typed in "transmissions" or "nail salon" you would get national transmission company and a nail polish manufacturer LOL....it was very hit or miss..those who could "game" the search engines were getting their stuff out there...but it might not be local

      Things got very complicated when there were tons and tons of search engines coming out....tons ...
      askjeeves....dogpile (was actually cool)...and so many others....all with varying results

      Link farms were set up - to put your tripod site out there LOL...tons of links..nothing but links

      and....the directories were born...people who were good at searching set up a little directory site...so that you could find a hair salon in Hollywood florida not Hollywood california....and people liked this...
      relevant searches....local stuff....now whee...coupons...yay

      some of these directories stand today...are national and are "citation" sites for what it is worth
      some people still use - menuism for menus...opentable for reservations etc
      Some allowed the average joe to "review" - Yelp and are huge today

      and many many went by the wayside cause Steve Jobs was right...you dont need a user group for a toaster or a microwave and you do not need a directory when you have google

      Google changed everything

      I agree with Underground in that you would have to have an original and high end idea and then you would need a lot of backing....the days of build it and they will come have long past.

      The only way I could see it working is if you did it very high end...or if you did it very coupon/deal oriented. ....and even then this is not easy. So many have come and gone that I think biz owners are jaded and resistant to them.

      Hey Zoro...good to see you ..what's shakin'?
      That's exactly what happened with the Local Restaurant Directory I tried to get going. Setting it up was the easy part, but getting restaurant owners interested to sign on for listings was almost impossible, because most of them said to me this, Quote: "why will I need to be in a directory, when people just google pizza+city and they find us instantly". end Quote.

      So, I decided to walk away from that directory but I left the directory Live, because I already had over 300 hotel rooms with my flyer and QR Code pointing to the directory and didn't want to let the hotels down. I added a few restaurants listings into it just so that it would have some functionality.
      Now, some 8 weeks later, I checked my visitor stats to the directory, it shows me that the directory had just 35 unique visitors in that time .. Lol. Which now, if I wanted to, makes it an even harder proposition to try and sell listings to restaurant owners. (I would feel guilty selling ad spaces knowing those stats)

      Freebiequeen1999, to answer your question, I am now back on the site rental wagon, building lead gen sites and renting them out. I've already got my first client.
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      • Profile picture of the author Underground
        Originally Posted by zoro View Post

        That's exactly what happened with the Local Restaurant Directory I tried to get going. Setting it up was the easy part, but getting restaurant owners interested to sign on for listings was almost impossible, because most of them said to me this, Quote: "why will I need to be in a directory, when people just google pizza+city and they find us instantly". end Quote.

        So, I decided to walk away from that directory but I left the directory Live, because I already had over 300 hotel rooms with my flyer and QR Code pointing to the directory and didn't want to let the hotels down. I added a few restaurants listings into it just so that it would have some functionality.
        Now, some 8 weeks later, I checked my visitor stats to the directory, it shows me that the directory had just 35 unique visitors in that time .. Lol. Which now, if I wanted to, makes it an even harder proposition to try and sell listings to restaurant owners. (I would feel guilty selling ad spaces knowing those stats)

        Freebiequeen1999, to answer your question, I am now back on the site rental wagon, building lead gen sites and renting them out. I've already got my first client.

        Nice one mate. Dusted yourself of and got on a solid model and got your first client like a man. Shows your character. Pleased for you.


        Ivanela, a good site to model in the pure directory space if you wanted to, and to log-in to check out their dashboard for users and the one for businesses, and the features and ways to build engagement and activity is this one here: Local Business Directory Australia
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by zoro View Post

        That's exactly what happened with the Local Restaurant Directory I tried to get going. Setting it up was the easy part, but getting restaurant owners interested to sign on for listings was almost impossible, because most of them said to me this, Quote: "why will I need to be in a directory, when people just google pizza+city and they find us instantly". end Quote.
        THIS thinking is why directories in general don't work. Believe me Zoro I aint picking on you when I say what I am about to say....

        If you are targeting local restaurants as clients.... I think what happens to many is the term "Local" stays in their head. How am I going to attract a local audience.. you know what I say to that "F locals.. I am targeting the people coming in from out of town"

        People that come to visit a city ANY WHERE in this world in todays day and age hit up the internet to find interesting things to do, places to go.. places to eat. a Directory today needs to fit that bill. A directory today has to be a localized tourist oriented BLOG that just so happens to have a list of business attached to it ( IE a Directory )

        Itineraries are the greatest internet advertising cock block since sliced bread, always have been, always will be. Once a decision is made it is hard to break. I COUNT on that decision being made at HOME before they even get there. Monday we are doing this, and going here, and eating here and trying this place in the evening. Tuesday its this this and that. There is no need for these people to get on their tablet or phone or laptop to figure this stuff out.

        Understanding your target audience is obviously key here. Understanding your local market and the demographics of who goes there and when is crucial. with this type of data you can start communicating to those that you are writing for more directly.

        The mold that needs to be broken is the target. its not the locals.. everyone is right Google does a great job there. Its the VISITOR that has to be the target. as I see it, that is what a successful Directory / Blog looks like
        Signature
        Success is an ACT not an idea
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  • Profile picture of the author ivanela33
    Thanks for the detailed responses. I have to go back to the drawing board so I can think of how I can make this work. I got the idea of this specific niche directory from a recent webinar but I wanted to expand this idea a bit more since it appears to "work" on paper but I will have to see.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      I say this time and again..maybe not as direct as I am about to say it, but I say it non the less.

      The current day "working" directory model is called a BLOG. content based articles on local restaurants or food or travel locations or what have you. Google or Yahoo or Baidu for that matter.. they may provide you a company site or a phone number and a map... but humans need more than that.

      The internet is very good at answering specifics. I want to eat Italian tonight.. you can get an answer.. broaden the scope a bit and say I want to eat tonight... THIS is where blogs/directories fit in.

      I currently have a directory for Mexico. your standard directory format with all of the business details and ratings what have you... The whole thing is targeted around travel and hospitality. A Directory today HAS TO have a blog behind it. Its the content itself that is the draw and not the directory of yester years.
      When I look at my sites ranking, with very very few exceptions its not the business listing that is getting ranked.. its the written content.

      The written content tells a story.. gives pointers, and exposes the other potential choices. Like if you are visiting Mazatlan ( Mexico ) and you travel 70 or so miles to the west you come to Durango. just about 20 miles outside of Durango is Parque Nacional Sierra de "rganos. Very much like the national parks of Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. There are daily hiking and educational trips for the beginner to more advanced.

      The point being this may be something that someone may not search for specifically.. but on a well thought out Directory / Blog its about exposing the options and placing the clients of your directory in a position to capitalize on the information you are giving.

      Directories are very much alive and well today.. its the face of them and the information they provide that has changed over the years.

      Now in terms of "Interaction".. every piece of a well thought out web presents has its "Job" a web site is there to provide information... Social Media provided the interaction. forcing a site to do both will end up in failure. Your site educates and sells... Social Media interacts. think form follows function.. there are forms suited for the display of information and there are forms that are suited for interaction.

      You cant very well post 100's of pieces of content on facebook.. but you can post links. FORM and FUNCTION.
      Signature
      Success is an ACT not an idea
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    • Profile picture of the author DQuinn
      Originally Posted by ivanela33 View Post

      Thanks for the detailed responses. I have to go back to the drawing board so I can think of how I can make this work. I got the idea of this specific niche directory from a recent webinar but I wanted to expand this idea a bit more since it appears to "work" on paper but I will have to see.
      Why are you letting these people discourage you? You have an idea. There's a group on here who knock everything - they don't actually contribute much but are quick to post to tell you the hundred ways it's all wrong and bound to fail. These same people don't speak for the country, nor are they a relevant sampling of the market you're after.

      The way I see it, if they've got zero to contribute to the actual question, their opinions are irrelevant.

      What kind of interactions do you want? Solve that one first and then look for the options to make it happen. If it works on paper, there's no reason it wouldn't work materialized. Just go with your market.
      Signature

      Ideas come and go, as with motivation and inspiration, but nothing happens until the fuse is actually lit.

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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    Well then we had the guy here begging for help - with his florida directory..

    it was so generic...and copy paste reviews...and the fact is I took one look for my own area and I saw he was listing out of biz, or not nice restaurants..he obviously did not know the area..
    he would have had tourists take a long cab ride to a strip mall dingy pizza restaurant in an area that is not great at night LOL>> he had listed a retiree's local golf course, municipal owned, way out in the suburbs..hardly where a tourist would golf...it was a joke

    you would have to know about what you were writing or get people t guest blog and review

    I stated before you might get local aspirng review writers or foodies or whatever -you would need content

    it also seems a lot of work to put it together before you start out - as I did state - you need some investment, time, money both....no more "build it and they will come" IMHO
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground
    Yeah, what Freebie said about big investment and backing is so true for proper sites today.

    Forget doing this 'Warrior Style'. Any web app type start up that gets anywhere usually has raised venture capital, already had their own investors like the big corporate ones, or ran crowd funding campaigns and had $50,000 or above to invest. Development, apps, web presence, pr, social media, support, content creation, marketing, sales, customer care. They're not cheap. And one person can't do them all.

    If your idea is ever going to work, then a crowdfunding campaign, when done to best practises like Indiegogo teach, will tell you if your idea has legs.


    I sometimes allow myself moments of weakness to look at webinars and training in the IM space, and risk subjecting myself to the cringey, skin-crawling feeling I get when listening or reading most of them, since I can basically finish of the next sentence for them, so formulaic and disingenuous are they, and such a massive insult to intelligence the claims and the hyperbole.

    Yesterday, after this thread I checked out a webinar about this model, with Syd, Brian and someone else. If your referring to that, OP, you know who they are as I can't remember their surnames.

    I skimmed through and heard the bit about how they differentiate. Only allowing one business in the category to get a listing so they're not competing, and thought OK, at least these guys know you need to differentiate on the older model.

    But then started seeing the same idealized, 'could happen' figures of finding just 12 business who wanted to be listed in the directory and charging them $499 a month, and then making other directories and doing the same, and getting yourself a nice 6 figure income, I got that horrible feeling again when I encounter people who are either sociopathic fraudsters or absolutely delusional masquerading as experts and gurus selling junk via mental and emotional manipulation of the gullible and naive.

    Find hyper-local areas of less than 70,000 people was their suggest as basis for what to look for.Those communities for a start ain't big enough to attract advertisers. Because you'd be lucky get 0.00001 of that figure just plonking a site up and doing basic promo activity for a while, that got a few 1-time-only visitors and early-adopters who jumped in, filled in a profile and never came back. Plus, what visitor is going to return to directory site with one listing in that category. People using the yellow pages model to find businesses want choice, not an paid advertising placement.

    I saw the theme they had. It's just a standard listing theme, wp, that looks ok, but that not enough. A community site needs to be alive with constant activity and new content daily.

    No-one uses them these days to find businesses, unless they have really done everything right, so unless you get them ranking for keywords it's not worth it.

    It's just an immediately absurd proposition to anyone who knows about this area and has researched it with serious intent from the very first sentence, as soon as they started trying to build their case. And it continues to become even more so as they go on, but to people who don't know there area, they've been lead right down the garden path at that point and are sold on how easy it seems to get just 12 people at $499.

    Ask anyone of them to see their sites where they have even 2 people paying on a regular basis, and you won't get to see one, because they don't exist..

    It's the exact same webinar some guy call Luther was doing. I checked out a site they used in the webinar and it was dead a few months later and not renewed.

    Forget launching a business on the back of some course that sounds good by an IM'er.

    This place is about tapping into the deep emotions and psychological triggers people have to be desire to make money and escape their current situation so people buy their shit. Not providing real training on businesses, with the rare exceptions.

    There are legions of people just stuck in a docile, unthinking, trance-like state in the IM world expecting the next course to 'be the one' and refusing to take responsibility. People need to snap out if and get real. Get back to real life. Learn from proper sources and experts and take responsibility for themselves and their learning. Forget the Tony Robbins cult of positivity here that accounts for why so many people continually suspend rationality and believe childish, infantile make-believe claims.

    If you studied that dashboard I showed you, all its features and capabilities and applied some creative thinking, and even just found real world sites to replicate, you could build something bigger than just a directory, something that could grow an online community.

    But it takes skill, hardwork, creative thinking, commitment, sacrifice and money.

    I came across this site today: https://deals.thenextweb.com/

    They're following a proven model. By proven, that means in the real world, quantifiably to the tune of billions. e.i., there is clear consumer demand there. A existing, profitable market to be tapped into. But it needs to be done right and professionally.

    I recognized the brand from somewhere else. It started as a tech blog years back and built a community, but have added more strings to their bow. Deal sites and Udemy style educational programs

    You have be flexible in terms of what you offer. And don't have to solely be one strict category of site. The big web brands usually have lots of branches and sub-domain these days.

    Warrior style thinking looks truly demented and absurd when held up to the light of the real, factual world beyond it. The competition out there has just got its shit together and if you want a site that generates serious passive revenues from advertisers, that means you need a large audience of frequent, targeted visitors where you have something exceptional and worth making a staple.

    A directory, in the sense of a site whose main utility is to list contact details and act like a business search engine, is now at best, an important ancillary function but shouldn't be the main function of a site in isolation. Many top sites have them, Moz.com, Twitter, Peopleperhour, so they're useful, but don't define or restrict the brand.

    The sites who do still specialize in the directory model are just to big and powerful or exceptional to try to compete with without giant resources.
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    • Profile picture of the author ivanela33
      Originally Posted by Underground View Post

      Yeah, what Freebie said about big investment and backing is so true for proper sites today.

      Forget doing this 'Warrior Style'. Any web app type start up that gets anywhere usually has raised venture capital, already had their own investors like the big corporate ones, or ran crowd funding campaigns and had $50,000 or above to invest. Development, apps, web presence, pr, social media, support, content creation, marketing, sales, customer care. They're not cheap. And one person can't do them all.

      If your idea is ever going to work, then a crowdfunding campaign, when done to best practises like Indiegogo teach, will tell you if your idea has legs.


      I sometimes allow myself moments of weakness to look at webinars and training in the IM space, and risk subjecting myself to the cringey, skin-crawling feeling I get when listening or reading most of them, since I can basically finish of the next sentence for them, so formulaic and disingenuous are they, and such a massive insult to intelligence the claims and the hyperbole.

      Yesterday, after this thread I checked out a webinar about this model, with Syd, Brian and someone else. If your referring to that, OP, you know who they are as I can't remember their surnames.

      I skimmed through and heard the bit about how they differentiate. Only allowing one business in the category to get a listing so they're not competing, and thought OK, at least these guys know you need to differentiate on the older model.

      But then started seeing the same idealized, 'could happen' figures of finding just 12 business who wanted to be listed in the directory and charging them $499 a month, and then making other directories and doing the same, and getting yourself a nice 6 figure income, I got that horrible feeling again when I encounter people who are either sociopathic fraudsters or absolutely delusional masquerading as experts and gurus selling junk via mental and emotional manipulation of the gullible and naive.

      Find hyper-local areas of less than 70,000 people was their suggest as basis for what to look for.Those communities for a start ain't big enough to attract advertisers. Because you'd be lucky get 0.00001 of that figure just plonking a site up and doing basic promo activity for a while, that got a few 1-time-only visitors and early-adopters who jumped in, filled in a profile and never came back. Plus, what visitor is going to return to directory site with one listing in that category. People using the yellow pages model to find businesses want choice, not an paid advertising placement.

      I saw the theme they had. It's just a standard listing theme, wp, that looks ok, but that not enough. A community site needs to be alive with constant activity and new content daily.

      No-one uses them these days to find businesses so unless you get them ranking for keywords it's not worth it.

      It's just an immediately absurd proposition to anyone who knows about this area and has researched it with serious intent, from the very first sentence as soon as they started trying to build their case and continues to become even more so as they go on, but to people who don't know there area, they've been lead right down the garden path at that point and are sold on how easy it seems to get just 12 people.

      Ask anyone of them to see their sites where they have even 2 people paying on a regular basis, and you won't get to see one, because they don't exist..

      It's the exact same webinar some guy call luther was doing. I checked out a site they used in the webinar and it was dead a few months later and not renewed.

      Forget launching a business on the back of some course that sounds good by an IM'er.

      The place is about tapping into the deep emotions and psychological triggers people have to be able to make money and escape their current situation so people by their shit. Not providing real training on businesses, with the rare exceptions.

      They are legions of people just stuck in a trance like state in the IM world. People need to snap out if and get real. Get to back to real life. Learn from proper sources and experts and take responsibility for themselves and their learning. Forget the Tony Robbins cult of positivity here that accounts for why so many people continually suspend rationality and believe childish, infantile make-believe claims.

      If you studied that dashboard I showed you, all it's features and capabilities and applied some creative thinking, and even just found real world sites to replicate, you could build something bigger than just a directory, something that could grow an online community.

      But it takes skill, hardwork, creative thinking commitment and money.

      I came across this site today: https://deals.thenextweb.com/

      They're following a proven model. By proven, that means in the real world, quantifiably to the tune of billions. e.i., there is clear consumer demand there. A existing, profitable market to be tapped into. But it needs to be done right and professionally.

      I recognized the brand from somewhere else. It started as a tech blog years back and built a community, but have added more strings to their bow. Deal sites and Udemy style educational programs

      You have be flexible in terms of what you offer. And don't have to solely be one strict category of site. The big web brands usually have lots of branches and sub-domain these days.

      Warrior style thinking looks demented absurd when help up to the light of the real, factual world beyond it. The competition out there has just got its shit together and if you want a site that generates serious passive revenues from advertisers, that means you need a large audience of frequent, targeted visitors where you have something exceptional and worth making a staple.

      A directory, in the sense of site whose main utility is to list contact details and act like a business search engine, is now at best, an important ancillary function but shouldn't be the main function of a site. Many top sites have them, Moz.com, Twitter, Peopleperhour

      The sites who do still specialize in the directory model are just to big and powerful or exceptional to try to compete with without giant resources.
      You actually hit the nail on the head with your reply. I was going off the same directory biz model that you mentioned from Syd Michael and Bryan. At the same time, I know the model they presented did not stand out or have a "pop" from an advertiser's point of view so that is why I was thinking of different ways I can change the model up a bit and make it more engaging. From the different replies I've received, I have come up with a few twists but I definitely want to continue to come up with ways to increase user experience. I already have thought of a couple things I can do that the big boys in the similar niche are not doing so that is a start.

      I'm really going to look into those example sites you provided to see if there's some hybrid concept I can come up with.

      Thanks again for your long replies
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      • Profile picture of the author Underground
        Originally Posted by ivanela33 View Post

        You actually hit the nail on the head with your reply. I was going off the same directory biz model that you mentioned from Syd Michael and Bryan. At the same time, I know the model they presented did not stand out or have a "pop" from an advertiser's point of view so that is why I was thinking of different ways I can change the model up a bit and make it more engaging. From the different replies I've received, I have come up with a few twists but I definitely want to continue to come up with ways to increase user experience. I already have thought of a couple things I can do that the big boys in the similar niche are not doing so that is a start.

        I'm really going to look into those example sites you provided to see if there's some hybrid concept I can come up with.

        Thanks again for your long replies

        And thank you for taking them on-board. I really respect the fact your doing your own research on this and looking to come up with your own spin and open minded.

        I'm talking from experience so I'm glad it wasn't ignored.

        I have a brand based on a niche, locality based, but more than just based on people based on the fact they live in town, with lots of different websites, a video site, main blog, directory, social, dating, events, expert q and a site, property and jobs, and main media site that is the kind of main site that sells marketing and advertising services to businesses.

        All nice wordpress sites, nearly finished, could have launched, but I needed a way to connect them all in some way, and though about having a dashboard where users can select and receive feeds based on just the info they choose and want to see, from any of the sites the choose and in any category those chose, all aggregated from their selected sites. I would have failed if I didn't integrate them so all my marketing to get subscriptions drew traffic to the whole network rather than trying to promote all these different sites separately. I came up with a way to do it in unison. Thats what sites like TWS are now doing, all their marketing promotes their brand, and grows their subscriber base, no matter which site visitors access first or for what purpose.

        On the other side of the user equation are businesses in that area, who produce the content for the sites, sharing their blogs, media, jobs, offers, deals, videos, whatever, and having it received only by people with real interests, so it's super targeted, and gives them away to syndicate and distribute their content. I'll be select about the businesses who can get an account and will charge a monthly fee of around 99 to 250 or something depending.

        Before launch, I will make sure I have many businesses signed up to free accounts on all sites, and then leverage their lists for viral growth when ready to open to users.

        It's going to cost at least 15k just to build it, and at least the same to get a good amount of businesses aware and onboard. I'll be cloning the best sites in those categories, like totaljobs.com for the jobsite, timeout for the blog site etc, getting all the best functions and options, but redesigning and customizing. So I'm currently focusing on a few revenue generation services to get the money to be able to launch and promote my own crowdfunding campaign myself. So you can see that to compete today, and be taken seriously and have a strong value proposition that appeals to businesses and users, it's a real business and commitment so you have to be sure it's something you really want to do beyond just money and be authentic, creating your own media property.

        It's not a model I'm chasing just to make money. I love the niche I'm targeting. I love web apps and digital and all of that. I know and have a strong interest marketing, design, copywriting, ecommerce, conversion rate optimisation, seo, viral marketing, advertising etc to a good degree and this gives me the perfect place to focus all that knowledge.


        I know now, after what you said that it goes without saying that most important thing is to have strong value proposition for all users, great features they want, model successful sites, make sure there's demand, do proper research of the best sites, keep your knowledge current and up-to-date, and then come up with something you have a real interest in a way no-one else is doing. If you can find something you love and commit to for however long it takes to build (a long time), creating your own online brand that can build a community around something is probably one of the most enjoyable as well as profitable models online.

        Good luck. The way you've gone about this and been willing to research those kinds of sites, I'm sure you'll create something cool.
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground
    Yeah, never let people discourage you from chasing a lost cause, non-starter, dead as door nail, obselete business model. There's just haters trying to piss on your parade. Feels much better to listen to the people who will you fill up with the most ridiculous nonsense.
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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    Hey Zoro congrats on the site rental - good for YOU
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