Directory Site Profits 101- How To Make Money With Directory Sites In 2012!

by John Durham 584 replies
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
#offline marketing #directory #make #money #profits #site #sites
  • Profile picture of the author sjohn
    Hi John,
    Thanks for sharing a powerful business model that is very scalable.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      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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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    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?
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    @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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    • 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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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    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?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
      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...
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  • Profile picture of the author jspmedia
    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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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    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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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    @ 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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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    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!>
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    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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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    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!>
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    @ 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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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    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.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    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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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    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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    • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
      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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      • Profile picture of the author ShayB
        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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        • Profile picture of the author Creativegirl
          Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

          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.
          If I understand this right, my experience is to sell the print and offer the online directory inclusion as an added value. I also see publications develop a site for the publication and business directory. My only concern with going online directory first and added value print/direct mail of some sort is to make sure you know your hard costs. I like your ideas and there's always room for more -- what doesn't your local tourist town have or what can you do better than what they have?
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          • Profile picture of the author ShayB
            Originally Posted by Creativegirl View Post

            If I understand this right, my experience is to sell the print and offer the online directory inclusion as an added value. I also see publications develop a site for the publication and business directory. My only concern with going online directory first and added value print/direct mail of some sort is to make sure you know your hard costs. I like your ideas and there's always room for more -- what doesn't your local tourist town have or what can you do better than what they have?
            I already work with printed products, so I know my hard costs.

            It's actually a really nice addition to what I do already, so it's not like I'm adding a completely different service.

            I plan to market this in such a way that it does a few things.

            1. It's a stand-alone business model - and profitable.

            2. It helps to brand my main biz. (My main biz will be on the cover/site as a sponsor.)

            3. It lets me get advertising for my main biz for free (because my biz will obviously be on the site and in the directory).
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        • Profile picture of the author mmgolebi
          Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

          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.

          did you ever reach your goal?
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    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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    • Profile picture of the author rugman
      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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  • Profile picture of the author sweetcrabhoney18
    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.

    Best of luck
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      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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    • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
      Great thread:

      Does anyone know of a really great directory script?
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      • Profile picture of the author ShayB
        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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      • Profile picture of the author sjohn
        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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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          @ John -

          What would you offer on their page?

          Text only? Photos? A simple video?
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          • Profile picture of the author John Durham
            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.

            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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            • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
              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.
              Signature

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              • Profile picture of the author John Durham
                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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                • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
                  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.
                  Signature

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                • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
                  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.
                  I get you on everything except the telemarketing.

                  I am guessing that you write the script.

                  But other than that....are you just hiring 100% commissioned sales people from various local papers, etc?

                  CT
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                  • Profile picture of the author maricelu
                    Originally Posted by Charles Harper View Post

                    I get you on everything except the telemarketing.

                    I am guessing that you write the script.

                    But other than that....are you just hiring 100% commissioned sales people from various local papers, etc?

                    CT
                    John will not post here anymore.
                    Signature

                    I have no signature.

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            • Profile picture of the author ShayB
              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...? )
              Signature
              BestHomeBizIdeas.com
              "Fate protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise." ~Commander Riker
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              • Profile picture of the author ShayB
                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?
                Signature
                BestHomeBizIdeas.com
                "Fate protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise." ~Commander Riker
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                • Profile picture of the author Bubba6590
                  Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

                  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?
                  Shay,

                  I recently purchased a link directory off Flippa and it is a PHP based script directory.

                  Barry

                  www.flamesofc.org
                  Signature
                  Free Listings for Websites & Articles
                  Alexa Traffic Rank 64k World Wide!!!
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            • Profile picture of the author websub01
              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.
              Thanks, I love the advice given, that was a question in my mind about how do I fill my directory to ad value. I'm starting a directory myself locally and I will telemarket the clients. Will keep you informed on how it goes.
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        • Profile picture of the author n_touch
          Originally Posted by sjohn View Post

          Haven't tried this myself, there is a free version:
          businessdirectoryplugin dot com
          I use this on my wordpress directory. If you would like to check it out go to www.houstonlawyerlistings.com. It will give you an idea of how they look.

          Any feedback on the site is appreciated as well!
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          • Profile picture of the author n_touch
            Originally Posted by Terry Gorry View Post

            Hi
            I took a look at your site-you seem to be offering free listings?

            How many (if any) paying clients have you at $150-197 per month?

            I wouldn't be running Adsense if I was you..doesn't look too professional and the links at the bottom of the page in an obvious attempt to provide back links to other directory sites just doesn't smack of a site where I would be anxious to pay on ongoing monthly payment to be listed.

            And I am an attorney (solicitor in Ireland and UK)

            Just my 2 cents.
            Terry

            Terry
            Thanks Terry,

            I do not have any on in that price range, and I can say that it is all my fault. I have build the site and got busy with other clients and it got moved to the back burner.

            I agree with everything that you said about the adsense, the only thing that I disagree with is the links to the other sites. I can see where they would look just as an obvious attempt at links to you, I, and others that are in this business or that know the value of the backlinks, to most people it is nothing more than letting you know there are other links there. The attorneys that I do have paying have never had a problem with it on there.

            I had backed off the site for a while, but after reading this, I know I need to take a more proactive approach and build this up. The 5 sites that I have can easily generate a nice monthly passive income, I just need to make it happen. Once again thanks Terry!
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            • Profile picture of the author David Miller
              @n_touch - Some of the most established national law directories have adsense on their sites. The one that immediately comes to mind is infolaw.com

              This is a well respected national directories and charges upwards of 3000 per year for listings.

              I would lead the adsense for several reasons, but the most important reason is because the majority of people surfing around the web have no understanding of what adsense is. If you ask, you'll find that the vast majority believe that it's Google's stamp of approval for a site.
              Signature
              The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
              -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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              • Profile picture of the author David Miller
                @Terry Gory - My mistake, I meant lawinfo.com as infolaw is a CT attorney's site.
                Signature
                The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
                -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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              • Profile picture of the author David Miller
                Originally Posted by Terry Gorry View Post

                David
                You are mistaken about the site referenced here..
                Infolaw.com does not have Adsense and is the website of "The Law Offices of John J. LaCava LLC".

                To get back to the substantive point-no rational attorney is going to shell out $197 per month to be listed on a site where a visitor can simply be sucked away by clicking on a Google ad.

                You can say what you like about attorneys/lawyers but most of them act pretty rationally when shelling out the moolah.
                Terry
                Care to see the numbers on this site for a listing?

                Mt Sinai New York Bankruptcy Attorneys | Mt Sinai New York Bankruptcy Attorney - LawInfo

                Featured listing on the left with a video is 3500/yr , listing on the right is 1500 per year and you'll notice that there is adsense on this site.

                The legal market is extremely competitive and attorneys will and do pay this.

                I have the contracts in my desk for all of them.
                Signature
                The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
                -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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                • Profile picture of the author janesomme
                  Hi David Miller

                  I really like the design and the way the directory functions (lawinfo.com) Can you tell me what script or software you are using for this directory?

                  Thanks
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                  • Profile picture of the author David Miller
                    Originally Posted by janesomme View Post

                    Hi David Miller

                    I really like the design and the way the directory functions (lawinfo.com) Can you tell me what script or software you are using for this directory?

                    Thanks
                    Wish I could say that was my directory. If it was I'd probably be able to afford someone to type this posts for me. That directory from what I know of it is a custom and extremely complex operation.
                    Signature
                    The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
                    -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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                    • Profile picture of the author eezymoney
                      The model of making money from directories is a very compelling one and interests me.

                      I have a few thoughts on why it might not work for me - over here in the UK it would be difficult to get a potential business to part with their hard earned money on a monthly basis, without showing them some value or a listing that appeared on page 1 above the fold of page 1, x amount of leads from etc etc.

                      I can hear potential clients asking to see the directory, how many visitors it gets, can I prove it? I could argue that they're getting in on the ground floor and they're receiving a nice discount to boot, but time are tough and I can also hear them laughing at me when I can't show them anything of any value.

                      In order to get the listing appearing in position 1-4 would take quite a lot of seo work and the biggest stumbling block is that on a local basis you would be competing with google's very own directory - their local place page listings, which are currently free. I can't see them favouring my johnnycomelatelydirectory .co.uk before their own listings and the seo work that's gone into lawinfo .com must have run into six figures/annum at least!

                      Would it be a better plan to just try to offer potential clients an optimisation service on their places listing? I was thinking that I could work on their listing until it reached page 1 for free and then work on a pre-agreed retainer, while it was on page 1... but then I've now got to work on a method of how to get their places page listing to page 1. Does anyone know how to do that and even if you do google could change their algorithm overnight and you lose all your clients.

                      I know I'm being negative here, but another long term plan I'm sure google have got with their places listings is to make them work on the same basis as adwords. The highest local bidder would rise to the top of page 1, surely this would push their stock price up again and lets face it, they are only a one trick pony, in terms of their income model.

                      I am in a particularly bad mood (can't stand google mood) tonight, so shoot my negativity down.
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                      • Profile picture of the author jacquic
                        OK, the sun's over the yard arm in the UK now, so go and get yourself a beer or glass of wine, and sip, smile, sip, smile...and come back

                        We have many directories in this town, and I have no doubt I can knock the socks off them! Sure, it will take time, but I'm working away quietly at them.

                        In addition to listings, I'll be offering pages for those who want and additional page or don't have their own site, including an option to take away the branding. If only one takes me up on that, that'll pay for the directory's keep.

                        To make the free listings I've added more useful, people have to contact me to get their post code and web address added. (I can contact them too, of course.) This, to me, means I can start a dialogue about their business/website/marketing/Places page, etc.

                        You can do it, if that's what you want
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                        • Profile picture of the author AussieT
                          Originally Posted by jacquic View Post

                          To make the free listings I've added more useful, people have to contact me to get their post code and web address added. (I can contact them too, of course.) This, to me, means I can start a dialogue about their business/website/marketing/Places page, etc.

                          You can do it, if that's what you want
                          Jacquic can you please clarify what you include then in your free listings? Do you include only the basics like Business name, address and phone number or do you include a description, image/s etc
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                • Profile picture of the author weezie
                  Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

                  Care to see the numbers on this site for a listing?

                  Mt Sinai New York Bankruptcy Attorneys | Mt Sinai New York Bankruptcy Attorney - LawInfo

                  Featured listing on the left with a video is 3500/yr , listing on the right is 1500 per year and you'll notice that there is adsense on this site.

                  The legal market is extremely competitive and attorneys will and do pay this.

                  I have the contracts in my desk for all of them.
                  Great site - would you mind telling us what software or script you are using??

                  thanks
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              • Profile picture of the author Warren Tibbotts
                Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

                @n_touch - Some of the most established national law directories have adsense on their sites. The one that immediately comes to mind is infolaw.com

                This is a well respected national directories and charges upwards of 3000 per year for listings.

                I would lead the adsense for several reasons, but the most important reason is because the majority of people surfing around the web have no understanding of what adsense is. If you ask, you'll find that the vast majority believe that it's Google's stamp of approval for a site.
                I personally think you shouldn't have adsense on these sites. After all one of the key benefits to your advertisers is that your directory should be providing them with leads (in return for the monthly fee) whereas if you have adsense all over the site, you risk losing those visitors to another business that hasn't advertisied in your directory 9and you might receive chump change (60c to a $1) for the click

                Warren
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      • Profile picture of the author keaz
        Originally Posted by mraffiliate View Post

        Great thread:

        Does anyone know of a really great directory script?
        I use geotheme. They just released v3 it is feature packed and doesn't look to bad on mobile.
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        • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
          Originally Posted by keaz View Post

          I use geotheme. They just released v3 it is feature packed and doesn't look to bad on mobile.
          Thanks for the theme recommendation. I feel honored to be your 1st post since 2007.
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        • Profile picture of the author rugman
          Originally Posted by keaz View Post

          I use geotheme. They just released v3 it is feature packed and doesn't look to bad on mobile.
          Gotta say thanks too I have been lookin for something like that for a while!
          Signature

          Growing older but not up!

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    • Profile picture of the author AussieT
      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.

      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
      Could you please explain your idea a bit more
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    • Profile picture of the author GabeF430
      I'm currently running an outbound call center in Cali and we specialize in appointment setting, lead gen, and telesales. Just figure the cost of the telemarketing campaign into your pricing and you won't have to make one phone call to get your directory filled.

      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.

      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
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    • Profile picture of the author Brenda Trott
      I've had a mobile directory going for about a year. I never had to do a hard sell because I gave away the basic listing. I just walked in and asked them how they wanted it to read, and was the address correct. I told them how to get it on their phone and showed them what they could get if they wanted it...coupons, etc. 2 out of 3 upgraded to a full listing that showed their phone number and linked to a website.
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      • Profile picture of the author kolonel
        Originally Posted by Brenda Trott View Post

        I've had a mobile directory going for about a year. I never had to do a hard sell because I gave away the basic listing. I just walked in and asked them how they wanted it to read, and was the address correct. I told them how to get it on their phone and showed them what they could get if they wanted it...coupons, etc. 2 out of 3 upgraded to a full listing that showed their phone number and linked to a website.
        Nice work Brenda. Are you able to post link to the site?
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        • Profile picture of the author imglaur
          I've read this forum for a few years now - but never joined or posted, so here goes!

          I've picked up a few tips in this thread, and they've helped me immensely.

          My entire salary comes from directories, so obviously I feel the effects of google updates, website proliferation, thin content penalisation, apathy towards digital advertising etc.

          I am running an experiment to target a specific niche, beginning next week. The idea is simply to charge a one-off fee (for the 'lifetime' of the site), cutting out rebilling and chasing invoices, and to create a hub site for a particular niche in a local area.

          It's a twist on my directories, which unfortunately have seen decreased traffic (possibly because of thin content).

          Oddly I'm not looking for a to do list - rather I'd prefer a don't do list.
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          • Profile picture of the author ijohnson
            imglaur,

            Congratulations ... you've made your first post!!!!

            That sounds like a very interesting experiment you outlined. And I'm on the same wavelength with you with NOT having a "To Do List" but, instead, doing a lot less to make a lot more.

            Will you journal or share your experiment with us, on this thread? It would be a wonderful way for all of us interested in this business model to grow, get inspired, share ideas and challenge each other to take things to the next level.

            Iris
            Signature
            Make every day count!
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            • Profile picture of the author kolonel
              That first step is always the hardest

              I am currently working on a directory using DirectoryPress and slowly getting it right based on a plan i put together from reading through the forums. It will be for local businesses and targetted accordingly as i still find there is still some loyalty for locals.

              Wasnt sure whether to just focus on it as just a directory or have a blog where i could post local activities and events as well. From what i have read people seem to say not to clog up the directory. Any thoughts ??

              Hope to see this thread continue and would be good to hear some feedback from those that are maintaining a successful directory.

              Rob
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            • Profile picture of the author imglaur
              Originally Posted by ijohnson View Post

              imglaur,

              Congratulations ... you've made your first post!!!!

              That sounds like a very interesting experiment you outlined. And I'm on the same wavelength with you with NOT having a "To Do List" but, instead, doing a lot less to make a lot more.

              Will you journal or share your experiment with us, on this thread? It would be a wonderful way for all of us interested in this business model to grow, get inspired, share ideas and challenge each other to take things to the next level.

              Iris
              Hi Iris,

              Obviously, I won't be giving everything away (all you warriors would slaughter my business), but I come from a web design background and have developed my own system. I wouldn't use DirectoryPress myself but understand the reasons others do. Here are 7 great tips for directories I've found invaluable:

              1. A Responsive Design - there are loads of devices with various screen sizes, so the site needs to cater for all of them. A business owner regards his listing as a mini-website for his business, so it needs to look professional on all screens.

              2. Use of Video - at least two videos, one to target the advertiser / business owner, and the other to target the consumer using the site. The consumer-facing video needs to be prominent on the homepage, partly because the business owner sees your customer-facing strategy and knows you are serious.

              3. Use the Micro-yes rule for everything. That basically means make it easy for advertisers to say yes at every point - easy signup with small number of fields, moneyback guarantee, testimonials etc.

              4. Content. Directories are notoriously thin on substance, so they need to be "fleshed out". We can't always do it, so include "achievements" and "rewards" for users to leave comments and reviews of businesses in your design, giving them good incentives to flesh out your site. Give businesses a free listing upgrade if they fill out a profile or add special offers / blog posts for you. Great for SEO and fresh content.

              5. Site speed. Believe it or not, I've seen great advances with faster page speeds. Higher ranking in google for subpages, more sign-ups and reduced bounce rates simply by adding ajax loading, minifying scripts, compressing css and managing image sizes.

              6. Be unique. I can't emphasis this enough. I personally believe that most people in general are highly visual by nature, so a striking site design / logo / color combination is a great tool to differentiate you from the plethora of directories out there.

              7. Capture the email addresses of users who send enquiries to business listings on your site (with opt-in of course!, and be sure businesses know you are doing this - they are usually ok as long as you are not in direct competition to them). They'll be useful for building up a database of people who are buying in that niche, making a Niche Product-Selling Site viable. For instance, take a directory for patio furniture suppliers. As people use this site and contact the businesses, you legally garner their opted-in email address, and then contact them in 3-4 months time with your own small Amazon-affiliate site selling Patio Furniture Covers. Simple!
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              • Profile picture of the author Rollmodl
                Many people don't like change but change is essential for success. With that being said, starting today I converted our magazine section to a subscription based model.

                Our magazine is the most popular part of the site. A lot of work goes into creating video and photo content. Subscriptions will allow us to grow our membership site and help attract local businesses. Subscriptions only apply to NEW content in the “Magazine” section. However past articles, promotional, partner/client videos may still be viewed without it.

                We also added online ticket sales where users can create events and sell tickets online. We then add those emails to our newsletter adding to the numbers.
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              • Profile picture of the author kolonel
                Some great input imglaur.

                Originally Posted by imglaur View Post

                Hi Iris,

                Obviously, I won't be giving everything away (all you warriors would slaughter my business), but I come from a web design background and have developed my own system. I wouldn't use DirectoryPress myself but understand the reasons others do. Here are 7 great tips for directories I've found invaluable:

                1. A Responsive Design - there are loads of devices with various screen sizes, so the site needs to cater for all of them. A business owner regards his listing as a mini-website for his business, so it needs to look professional on all screens.

                2. Use of Video - at least two videos, one to target the advertiser / business owner, and the other to target the consumer using the site. The consumer-facing video needs to be prominent on the homepage, partly because the business owner sees your customer-facing strategy and knows you are serious.

                3. Use the Micro-yes rule for everything. That basically means make it easy for advertisers to say yes at every point - easy signup with small number of fields, moneyback guarantee, testimonials etc.

                4. Content. Directories are notoriously thin on substance, so they need to be "fleshed out". We can't always do it, so include "achievements" and "rewards" for users to leave comments and reviews of businesses in your design, giving them good incentives to flesh out your site. Give businesses a free listing upgrade if they fill out a profile or add special offers / blog posts for you. Great for SEO and fresh content.

                5. Site speed. Believe it or not, I've seen great advances with faster page speeds. Higher ranking in google for subpages, more sign-ups and reduced bounce rates simply by adding ajax loading, minifying scripts, compressing css and managing image sizes.

                6. Be unique. I can't emphasis this enough. I personally believe that most people in general are highly visual by nature, so a striking site design / logo / color combination is a great tool to differentiate you from the plethora of directories out there.

                7. Capture the email addresses of users who send enquiries to business listings on your site (with opt-in of course!, and be sure businesses know you are doing this - they are usually ok as long as you are not in direct competition to them). They'll be useful for building up a database of people who are buying in that niche, making a Niche Product-Selling Site viable. For instance, take a directory for patio furniture suppliers. As people use this site and contact the businesses, you legally garner their opted-in email address, and then contact them in 3-4 months time with your own small Amazon-affiliate site selling Patio Furniture Covers. Simple!
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          • Profile picture of the author vne5
            Originally Posted by imglaur View Post

            I've read this forum for a few years now - but never joined or posted, so here goes!

            I've picked up a few tips in this thread, and they've helped me immensely.

            My entire salary comes from directories, so obviously I feel the effects of google updates, website proliferation, thin content penalisation, apathy towards digital advertising etc.

            I am running an experiment to target a specific niche, beginning next week. The idea is simply to charge a one-off fee (for the 'lifetime' of the site), cutting out rebilling and chasing invoices, and to create a hub site for a particular niche in a local area.

            It's a twist on my directories, which unfortunately have seen decreased traffic (possibly because of thin content).

            Oddly I'm not looking for a to do list - rather I'd prefer a don't do list.
            Welcome to the posting community! I personally think you are shooting yourself in the foot by charging a "one-off" fee instead of charging a monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, etc. The reason I say this is, it's gonna cost you money to do business. You are going to have hosting fees, upgrades to hosting if your site becomes busy, taxes, employees, etc.

            Any business that has been in business for awhile, has already accepted the fact that they need to advertise. They are used to paying for advertising on at least a bi-monthly basis.

            You need to provide them with value. They need to see that your service is making them more money than they are spending. You also need to be able to maintain your service to the point that is profitable for everyone involved.

            I'm not sure where you live, but to make a living with directory sites while only charging a "one-off" fee, you would need to have literally thousands of businesses paying you a premium. Even if that happens, the market will become saturated, and the money will run out and stop you form being able to maintain your service.

            Making money with directories doesn't happen overnight. You need to have initial content to not only promote to new businesses, but also to keep the folks that are using your directory on your site.

            Try to find a cool niche to compliment your listings... a free subway map, coupons from businesses that are specific to your site only, etc. WHen I was a kid I used to love going to yard sales with my mom. I hated stopping at the yard sales that either had really boring things, or nothing at all. Good luck and hang in there!
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      • Profile picture of the author kolonel
        Originally Posted by Brenda Trott View Post

        I've had a mobile directory going for about a year. I never had to do a hard sell because I gave away the basic listing. I just walked in and asked them how they wanted it to read, and was the address correct. I told them how to get it on their phone and showed them what they could get if they wanted it...coupons, etc. 2 out of 3 upgraded to a full listing that showed their phone number and linked to a website.
        I actually am contemplating the idea of free listing on the website and upgrade to mobile app version. With the amount of people using smart phones it should almost be a no brainer.
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      • Profile picture of the author AussieT
        Originally Posted by AmyKay View Post

        I just started following this thread again. Time to rev up the directory machine again! But with my own twist. Here we go!

        Thanks, all!
        Amy what did you have in mind as a twist? And how is it going?

        Originally Posted by Brenda Trott View Post

        I've had a mobile directory going for about a year. I never had to do a hard sell because I gave away the basic listing. I just walked in and asked them how they wanted it to read, and was the address correct. I told them how to get it on their phone and showed them what they could get if they wanted it...coupons, etc. 2 out of 3 upgraded to a full listing that showed their phone number and linked to a website.
        Hey Brenda how much were you charging for the upgrade to a full listing?
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    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.

    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.

    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?

    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.


    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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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    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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    • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
      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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      • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
        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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        • Profile picture of the author John Durham
          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.

          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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          • Profile picture of the author David Miller
            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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            -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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            • Profile picture of the author John Durham
              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!

              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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              • Profile picture of the author David Miller
                @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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                The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
                -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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        • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
          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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    • Profile picture of the author sjohn
      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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    • Profile picture of the author AussieT
      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.
      Try it and see! I have had a travel niche directory for 10 years now and it is hard enough to get my clients to pay $99 per year for a premium listing.

      Not saying it can't be done but I personally don't feel it is as easy as we might think.
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      • Profile picture of the author ShayB
        Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

        Try it and see! I have had a travel niche directory for 10 years now and it is hard enough to get my clients to pay $99 per year for a premium listing.

        Not saying it can't be done but I personally don't feel it is as easy as we might think.
        Just curious - what are you offering for the $99 a year?
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        • Profile picture of the author AussieT
          Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

          Just curious - what are you offering for the $99 a year?
          A premium listing in their local tourist region in a national niche accommodation site that has top (1-5) rankings in Google for most of the popular related keywords.

          They get their own page with pictures and full decription and contact details. Plus an entry on the regional list view page which is prioritized to show premium listings first.

          EDIT: I admit I am not much of a salesman and I have done 99% of my marketng via email and snail mail.

          I will get on the phones in the next week or so when things settle down a bit.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Rachel Incoll
      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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      • Profile picture of the author ShayB
        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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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    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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    • Profile picture of the author Rachel Incoll
      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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      • Profile picture of the author rugman
        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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      • Profile picture of the author kat57
        What a great thread.
        Would you have any tips on dealing with the telemarketing aspect? Here in FL they open and close weekly...and I have no experieonce in the area..
        Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    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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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by rugman View Post

      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?
      Check out Post #33 in this thread - John gives great ideas for this.
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    • Profile picture of the author donza
      Can anyone post some links to some "financially successful" directories that were created in the last couple of years or so. From what I've read, and seen, they are best used as "loss leaders" by people upselling services such as web design etc. or for creating links to your own sites that you want to promote.

      BTW did John ever link to any directories he had actually created?



      Cheers Don
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    • Profile picture of the author xpress page
      Hi Everyone.
      I am new and I read this article/post as my first one.
      I love it.
      I have been working on my Directory for 3 years, it is not live on the web yet. But after this post, it will be in the next 3 months. And I will come back and than you all.
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      • Profile picture of the author ProSeomCo
        Originally Posted by xpress page View Post

        Hi Everyone.
        I am new and I read this article/post as my first one.
        I love it.
        I have been working on my Directory for 3 years, it is not live on the web yet. But after this post, it will be in the next 3 months. And I will come back and than you all.

        @xpresspage

        Welcome to the warrior forum - Looking forward to you sharing your directory with the rest of us in the community soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
    I run a small wedding directory for my local area. I've been running it for about 10 years as a backend project, and have had some successes with it.

    In the beginning, I used a basic HTML layout, which evolved over time, but the annual charge was tiny. I had over 200 businesses listed, all around the wedding niche, and thought I was doing ok. I never cold called, and didn't really go looking for business, but just by being ranked well brought in advertisers. Overall I guess I made 4 figures each year.

    But having read this thread, it looks like I missed out on so much!!

    My mindset was small, so my income reflected that. I tried tinkering with the pricing structure, but found I coudn't get higher rates. Because of the small amount of income, I didn't give it a huge amount of time, but maybe I should have massively ramped up the cost and spent at the beginning to get it REALLY ranking!

    Oh well, you live and learn. I've sold that site now, but whilst running it, I found it needed lots of content to keep it fresh and ranked well. That's where my issue was because I didn't know anything about the wedding industry. Therefore I outsourced the content.

    John, and others with the experience, do you find you need to "wrap" your directories with lots of content (articles, tips etc) to keep it ranking well?

    I mean, the figures you're demonstrating are great, but it's obviously not easy for someone starting out, and will presumably require some reasonable outlay each month to maintain the rankings? Hope that makes sense??

    Also, how do you manage the monthly / annual billing?

    I have 3 domains that reflect dialing codes in my area, which I've recently redeveloped into directories using Directory Press for Wordpress. Although the script is good, it's not as flexible as maybe it could be, but at least it's being developed and updated regularly.

    Thanks in advance, and I'm reading this thread with intrepidation!

    Roger
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    • Profile picture of the author Wendy Hearn
      Just sharing an idea:

      Also have a blog about the niche and as either an added benefit or upsell, the advertiser gets to post an article to the blog. This might be weekly, monthly of whenever there is a slot available. A list could also be built from this. Then the advertiser gets more exposure, you've got plenty of good content added to your site and content that can be regularly shared with your mailing list.

      I appreciate that this may depend on industry/niche .
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      • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
        I tried this on my wedding directory, Wendy.

        I even roped in a few wedding planners, who were already writing their own newsletter, and explained that getting their articles republished on the site with a link back to themselves would increase their exposure and add to their "authority level".

        Still didn't happen!

        Again, because of the rediculously low amount I was charging for a listing, I felt it wasn't worth spending more time and money to promote it more then general SEO stuff. Was a bit of a downward spiral.

        However, I will try again with new vigour!

        Roger

        Originally Posted by Wendy Hearn View Post

        Just sharing an idea:

        Also have a blog about the niche and as either an added benefit or upsell, the advertiser gets to post an article to the blog. This might be weekly, monthly of whenever there is a slot available. A list could also be built from this. Then the advertiser gets more exposure, you've got plenty of good content added to your site and content that can be regularly shared with your mailing list.

        I appreciate that this may depend on industry/niche .
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by Wendy Hearn View Post

        Just sharing an idea:

        Also have a blog about the niche and as either an added benefit or upsell, the advertiser gets to post an article to the blog. This might be weekly, monthly of whenever there is a slot available. A list could also be built from this. Then the advertiser gets more exposure, you've got plenty of good content added to your site and content that can be regularly shared with your mailing list.

        I appreciate that this may depend on industry/niche .
        Well, Allen is a perfect example... He can charge whatever he wants for advertising on the warrior forum because there is traffic. International traffic.

        But 'we" dont have to have monstrous international traffic because thats not what our local customers want. They only want a share of their local markets which is much easier to accomplish.

        Even your blog is valuable if it reaches a target market and there is valuable advertising space.

        Most of where people get hung up is the "sales process". They build something valuable and then they dont know how to "sell" it. Or structure their offers, present...

        Its a shame because alot of people, like yourself who is taking advantage, have sites that could be valuable if they knew how to present what they have to offer.

        Originally Posted by RentItNow View Post

        Actually, here I will share now cause as I was typing the last message this idea may have just made me $1800.

        What if you made a directory of common problems in that city and rank that. So if the problem is for instance (sorry John no offence), how do I get a divorce, how do I find a cheap apartment....etc etc. Then make them super specific to the city. THAT is a lead generating machine! I just proved it because an investor just contacted me on one of my real estate sites that I will turn over to a real estate agent for 25% on his comm. So what if you do that for lawyers, bridal services...blah blah...so the path for the customer takes is:

        1. search for a problem <in their city>
        2. they find a site that is something like cityofatlantis dot info/how-do-i-get-a-divorce-in-atlantis.
        3. At the end of the article you put a lead form to a lawyer that buys it.

        Man I could charge a whole lot more for that spot! I have r/e agents already giving me 25%, why not lawyers, concrete companies,....

        In other words it is a directory of problems/solutions in my city site.
        Well, apartments for example will generally pay you up to $200-$500 per qualified applicant you send them, so yes. I have often thought of that business model, but that particular niche is pretty competitive. If you can rank in it, I would hook up with all the apartment buildings in your area and be making some commissions.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
          John D,
          Justa thought......in all seriousness.....

          Since you've got the experience to put together a big time, big ticket directory.....why not start a brianstorming thread and take the lead on something with major potential.

          You've got a large eager army of affiliates ready to go to war with you.

          Something with a high recurring affiliate commission....on an international level.

          What say J ?
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          • Profile picture of the author John Durham
            Originally Posted by Jerry McGough View Post

            John D,
            Justa thought......in all seriousness.....

            Since you've got the experience to put together a big time, big ticket directory.....why not start a brianstorming thread and take the lead on something with major potential.

            You've got a large eager army of affiliates ready to go to war with you.

            Something with a high recurring affiliate commission....on an international level.

            What say J ?

            Man its so tempting... my plate is so full... Yer killing me. Let me ponder it a bit... I dont see how right now honestly.

            If I could somehow make it work with the next 90 days of my pro ninety challenge I could see it, but that would require changing my game plan.

            "A man only has time for one mistress, and thats got to be his farm..." ~ Uncle Carl

            Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

            Okay, I'm getting my VA to get the first site set up.

            I'm getting the <city state> guide.net site set up. Working on the first 5 pages.

            Some stats:

            I'm looking at about 10,000+ exact searches a month for this phrase (many times that for broad searches), and it's perfect for additional keywords, too.

            Plus.....something else.

            I did some research on Kindle. Come to find out, lots of people look to Kindle to buy guides when they are planning a vacation or they are moving. So it's a great way to get some more traffic/lead for businesses.

            I'm going to be offering a number of things to biz owners for advertising:

            1. Their listing on the site, with what all John suggested.
            2. A listing in the Kindle guide.
            3. Listing in the downloadable guide.
            4. Listing in the physical guide.

            For $197 a month, that's not bad.
            Totally building value! No doubt. Awesome.

            Some people dont realize how easily you can do that, for instance, in less than 2 minutes you can even offer them a free mobile version as a bonus or loss leader by getting it at dudamobile.com

            Its easy to build value and not increase the fulfillment aspect much.

            Paul Myers refers to adding these things as developing the "Thud Factor" with your package.


            Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

            Okay, an opinion, please?

            I bought <city state> guide.net for my area. The .com is taken, but it's a parked page and it doesn't even show up when you do a search.

            I'll be using the .net for the directory, but debating on whether or not to snatch up the .com? (It's under $1000.)

            Thoughts?
            I would spend the thousand dollars on two telemarketers and get 100 man hours out of it. Buy the com later when its working.


            Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

            2 things

            A) hope things went your way today.

            B) so why not put everyone on there that you can find for your local

            then just call them all to UPGRADE the listing ...

            sounds like it would be an easier sell, if you already have a bunch of the competition in the directory, and your just upgrading them, so that they stand out.
            Thanks Ken , actually i wont know till wednesday if they went my way or not.

            B: Yeah it could work like that too! IAMnameless suggested that earlier.

            Originally Posted by rugman View Post

            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?
            As long as you rank you can sell yourself as "new, premier, projected to be number 1...", or if you rank number one you can be "premier and number one". Its all about how you present it.

            With that status you can just have a few listings in each category and people will still jump on.

            Certainly once they jump on you have a "buyers list" for other things.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jeannie Crabtree
          John, good thread, thanks for everyone sharing your thoughts here. You have talked about directories before and I have a couple.

          I have some rental sites as well for a town 60 miles from here, that have not done much.

          One in property management and two in home rental. One got 375 searches coming to the site last month. It is frustrating, to have all these people come, some being genuine leads, and no one take them.

          I have not been able to close anyone, even sending them leads, making calls, sending letters. The last person I talked to (for the site to rent a home) said he has has plenty of renters. The economy is down here, so anyone having rentals is doing well here.

          So I am in the process of making that site into a directory for home rentals and apartment rentals. I will lose ranking for a while, but decided a directory may get some people to say yes to advertising, versus thinking they would be renting another site besides their own.

          As to sending qualified leads to apartments, don't think I can do it in this state. I would seem to need a real estate license, which I don't have. However, them advertising in a directory would be no problem.

          Jeannie Crabtree

          Originally Posted by John Durham View Post


          Most of where people get hung up is the "sales process". They build something valuable and then they dont know how to "sell" it. Or structure their offers, present...

          Its a shame because alot of people, like yourself who is taking advantage, have sites that could be valuable if they knew how to present what they have to offer.



          Well, apartments for example will generally pay you up to $200-$500 per qualified applicant you send them, so yes. I have often thought of that business model, but that particular niche is pretty competitive. If you can rank in it, I would hook up with all the apartment buildings in your area and be making some commissions.
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          • Profile picture of the author mojo1
            Originally Posted by Jeannie Crabtree View Post

            As to sending qualified leads to apartments, don't think I can do it in this state. I would seem to need a real estate license, which I don't have. However, them advertising in a directory would be no problem.

            Jeannie Crabtree
            Try signing up for the apartments.com affiliate program until things work out. You do not have to be a real estate agent for this and this affiliate program pay based on a simple email form submission.

            Here are a list of rental/real estate/moving type affiliate programs

            property*::*Affiliate Program Directory*
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Roger Mayne View Post


      Oh well, you live and learn. I've sold that site now, but whilst running it, I found it needed lots of content to keep it fresh and ranked well. That's where my issue was because I didn't know anything about the wedding industry. Therefore I outsourced the content.

      John, and others with the experience, do you find you need to "wrap" your directories with lots of content (articles, tips etc) to keep it ranking well?

      I mean, the figures you're demonstrating are great, but it's obviously not easy for someone starting out, and will presumably require some reasonable outlay each month to maintain the rankings? Hope that makes sense??

      Also, how do you manage the monthly / annual billing?

      I have 3 domains that reflect dialing codes in my area, which I've recently redeveloped into directories using Directory Press for Wordpress. Although the script is good, it's not as flexible as maybe it could be, but at least it's being developed and updated regularly.

      Thanks in advance, and I'm reading this thread with intrepidation!

      Roger
      1: Start Over
      2: Build a 5 page authority site around a niche, in a town where you can compete.
      3: You can rank a 5 page site. People do it everyday.
      4: Now lets say your niche is "attorneys",
      • List ten different categories of attorney's.
      • Put up 2 or 3 free listings under each category.
      • Make those two or 3 listings the top competitors in the area
      • Get a merchant account , or design your close around a paypal system, or take a check by phone with something as simple as checkman.com. I did that for awhile when I was in between merchant accounts.
      • Make a call list.
      • Tell everyone on the list "This is a chance to be on a top ranking site and compete with prestigious clients like ___, __________. and________.
      • Make a goal of closing 100 people.
      • You have a profitable directory site.
      You can grow it and do all kinds of things from there.Thats the basics. You can offer options for monthly or annually billing. The idea here is to build a residual income but its always smart to get your money upfront whenever possible.


      People also subscribe to rss feeds and things to keep content updated, you can do that with most basic web design programs.


      The two basic issues are


      A: Ranking
      B: Acquiring customers.


      If you rank, you have what customers need, its a matter of acquiring them now.

      Thats all you 'Need", however, I myself am also interested in hearing about the different tools available for creating the sites, so Im enjoying these other answers.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5958620].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        1: Start Over
        2: Build a 5 page authority site around a niche, in a town where you can compete.......
        John, I'm actually thinking what if you just buy a site that is already ranked for $200 or even $100? There are tons of sites already ranked #1 and someone probably made them years ago and forgot about them. Just a thought. Would get you up and running immediately.
        Signature
        I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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      • Profile picture of the author jercarbra
        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        1: Start Over
        2: Build a 5 page authority site around a niche, in a town where you can compete.
        3: You can rank a 5 page site. People do it everyday.
        4: Now lets say your niche is "attorneys",
        [*]List ten different categories of attorney's.[*]Put up 2 or 3 free listings under each category.[*]Make those two or 3 listings the top competitors in the area[*]Get a merchant account , or design your close around a paypal system, or take a check by phone with something as simple as checkman.com. I did that for awhile when I was in between merchant accounts.[*]Make a call list.[*]Tell everyone on the list "This is a chance to be on a top ranking site and compete with prestigious clients like ___, __________. and________.[*]Make a goal of closing 100 people.[*]You have a profitable directory site.

        Where do you find legal info for the 5 page authority site without copyright infringement?
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      • Profile picture of the author mikeb1
        @John Durham
        On what numbers are you basing setting up a directory i.e. monthly searches?
        I live in a big city but city name + lawyer or attorney or solicitor only gets a cpl of hundred searches a month, what do you say

        Mike

        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        1: Start Over
        2: Build a 5 page authority site around a niche, in a town where you can compete.
        3: You can rank a 5 page site. People do it everyday.
        4: Now lets say your niche is "attorneys",
        • List ten different categories of attorney's.
        • Put up 2 or 3 free listings under each category.
        • Make those two or 3 listings the top competitors in the area
        • Get a merchant account , or design your close around a paypal system, or take a check by phone with something as simple as checkman.com. I did that for awhile when I was in between merchant accounts.
        • Make a call list.
        • Tell everyone on the list "This is a chance to be on a top ranking site and compete with prestigious clients like ___, __________. and________.
        • Make a goal of closing 100 people.
        • You have a profitable directory site.
        You can grow it and do all kinds of things from there.Thats the basics. You can offer options for monthly or annually billing. The idea here is to build a residual income but its always smart to get your money upfront whenever possible.


        People also subscribe to rss feeds and things to keep content updated, you can do that with most basic web design programs.


        The two basic issues are


        A: Ranking
        B: Acquiring customers.


        If you rank, you have what customers need, its a matter of acquiring them now.

        Thats all you 'Need", however, I myself am also interested in hearing about the different tools available for creating the sites, so Im enjoying these other answers.
        Signature
        Affiliate links are not allowed.
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  • Profile picture of the author StevieJK
    Awesome - I was thinking of this idea a while back and might just do it this time

    What would you say on the phone to sell it to prospects?

    Cheers,
    Steve.
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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    John, I'm sorry I dont know the economic factors of your area to compare a price. Can you tell me for example how much an average 3 bedroom house is or what is average wage rate for an average job there? I just want to understand a bit about where you are coming from with numbers.

    I have some other ideas with this but will post them in a bit...thanks.

    <Edit: Shay, can you tell me the same please?>
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by RentItNow View Post

      John, I'm sorry I dont know the economic factors of your area to compare a price. Can you tell me for example how much an average 3 bedroom house is or what is average wage rate for an average job there? I just want to understand a bit about where you are coming from with numbers.

      I have some other ideas with this but will post them in a bit...thanks.

      <Edit: Shay, can you tell me the same please?>
      John, my area may be a bit unique, so I'll try to give as much detail as I can to help put things into perspective.

      I live in an area that has a "downtown" area in the city, but the suburbs extend a LONG way out.

      The economy varies greatly within those boundaries, as well.

      In this area, a 3-BR home can run anywhere from $20,000 to well into millions, depending on where it is located.

      The average, though, in most places is around $150,000-250,000 for a 3BR home in a fairly good area.

      Wages are the same way. Lots of people here making minimum wage, but others making much more. A good wage here is in the neighborhood of around $40,000-50,000.

      Hope this helps.
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      • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
        Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

        John, my area may be a bit unique, so I'll try to give as much detail as I can to help put things into perspective.

        I live in an area that has a "downtown" area in the city, but the suburbs extend a LONG way out.

        The economy varies greatly within those boundaries, as well.

        In this area, a 3-BR home can run anywhere from $20,000 to well into millions, depending on where it is located.

        The average, though, in most places is around $150,000-250,000 for a 3BR home in a fairly good area.

        Wages are the same way. Lots of people here making minimum wage, but others making much more. A good wage here is in the neighborhood of around $40,000-50,000.

        Hope this helps.
        Thanks Shay, yes it helps tremendously. I think I know a price point based off what you said because no way in the world would someone pay $197 here but in Toronto they would. Here I am thinking about $47/mn would be a pretty easy sell but not including the printing you are speaking of. I still need to absorb this for a day I think. I have sort of a 6th sense with pricing in this city but I still test it anyway.

        I know a place that does something similar to what you are describing with the printing/site except with real estate here and they are getting a yearly fee of $500 but I know personally they are not making money on it. But it is not because of the concept it is because of their labour outlay for the delivery guy and full-time receptionist. They were trying to offset the cost by taking in other advertisers that were placing cards in their mags. Did not go so well because of the lack of ROI.
        Signature
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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          Originally Posted by RentItNow View Post

          Thanks Shay, yes it helps tremendously. I think I know a price point based off what you said because no way in the world would someone pay $197 here but in Toronto they would. Here I am thinking about $47/mn would be a pretty easy sell but not including the printing you are speaking of. I still need to absorb this for a day I think. I have sort of a 6th sense with pricing in this city but I still test it anyway.

          I know a place that does something similar to what you are describing with the printing/site except with real estate here and they are getting a yearly fee of $500 but I know personally they are not making money on it. But it is not because of the concept it is because of their labour outlay for the delivery guy and full-time receptionist. They were trying to offset the cost by taking in other advertisers that were placing cards in their mags. Did not go so well because of the lack of ROI.
          You can always start with an introductory price that is low and then raise your rates as you have more prestige. There's nothing wrong with that, and that way you can reward your early adopters for taking a chance with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    You guys should look at what rely local is doing in terms of setting up a directory site. I dont think they charge enough but I know this is part of their long term plan.
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    Deliver Bigger.
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    • Profile picture of the author AussieT
      Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

      You guys should look at what rely local is doing in terms of setting up a directory site. I dont think they charge enough but I know this is part of their long term plan.
      rely local?
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  • Profile picture of the author Aussie_Al
    Great plan man and thanks for sharing

    How do you handle billing? Not every business owner has a paypal account?
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  • Profile picture of the author 9999
    Any recommendations on a website temPlate to use for a local directory?

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Wow. Lots of great stuff here, will try to answer all of these questions shortly.

    @ John, I have been paying close to 2k per month for my four bedroom in rogers for the last couple of years... but its more of a corporate town (home of the walmart corporation) where salaries are high, however I have been spending alot of time going back and forth to Johnson county , where my family lives (personal reasons). Its more of a farming town, where wages are lower... been looking for a place nearby, and its looking like 3 bedrooms are around $750 -$800 which is quite a jump, and bonus! lol

    I know in some places 3 bedrooms may cost 10 times more than that.

    In either event, you can do this in any town or anywhere, I think what you charge would be more heavily dependent on the niche itself that you are targeting.

    @ Roger,

    Im trying to answer this thread incrementally so this post will get some additions and edits over the next ten minutes... but if you are choosing your niche and towns properly, it shouldn't take alot to rank. You can find local keywords to rank for that are low competition by trying different towns, in other words using the google keyword tool, or whatever you use , look up keywords or niches you want to target by putting the names of towns before keywords when you research... I have found towns that have virtually no competition, or a least "sucky" competition for words like "Attorney's"... and other lucrative words.

    So it doesnt take much to stay ranked.

    You can compete relatively without competition if you choose your battles, and it wont take much more than a paraqraph or two of text to rank. Period.

    What I loved about your post is that you used just a basic layout...with an HTML program or whatever. And the truth is that , its all you need to be honest.

    I use to think I needed a $3,000 guitar to write better songs, and all kinds of equipment...because I only had a cheap guitar. Then later I got a fulltime publishing deal and several guitars like that and Im sitting in the middle of some big studio thinking..."I dont write any better songs than I did with my little Yamaha acoustic in my 2 bedroom apartment".

    Will come back and answer more in a minute. Gotta take a call...
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Here is something you need to keep in mind if you are using print on demand services for your directories - if you decide to go this route.

      You can literally order one copy of your directory so that you have a copy to show people.

      Or you can order 10 or 20 - literally, whatever quantity you want - just so that you have an example to show a prospective business owner.

      Go around town and collect business cards - or simply cold call or whatever - and ask if the business owner would like to have a free listing in your debut volume of your directory.

      This way you can have something to show your prospective customers, and it won't take you a whole lot to get the samples. it will also give you experience in setting up your directory and going through the process without the pressure of having paid customers at first. (Think of it as a dry run.)

      Make sure you have your site on the front cover to show your brand.
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      • Profile picture of the author AussieT
        Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

        Here is something you need to keep in mind if you are using print on demand services for your directories - if you decide to go this route.

        You can literally order one copy of your directory so that you have a copy to show people.

        Or you can order 10 or 20 - literally, whatever quantity you want - just so that you have an example to show a prospective business owner.

        Go around town and collect business cards - or simply cold call or whatever - and ask if the business owner would like to have a free listing in your debut volume of your directory.

        This way you can have something to show your prospective customers, and it won't take you a whole lot to get the samples. it will also give you experience in setting up your directory and going through the process without the pressure of having paid customers at first. (Think of it as a dry run.)

        Make sure you have your site on the front cover to show your brand.
        Shay do you have a link to one of these print on demand services?

        How does it work?
        Do you need to have your directory in a specific format?
        What does it cost?
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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

          Shay do you have a link to one of these print on demand services?

          How does it work?
          Do you need to have your directory in a specific format?
          What does it cost?
          The POD services I use are LuLu.com and CreateSpace (mostly, but there are others, depending on what you need to do).

          I haven't used them for directories yet, but I'll play around with it and see what works best.
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    • Profile picture of the author MarkR
      I'm interested in this as well.

      I'd like any input on 1) directory scripts, and 2) how to drive traffic. I'm looking for a solid WP-based script. I'd also like one that can take a CSV/text file and automatically build pages/listings. I'd like to pre-populate the site with free listings to make it look fully functional/active. Ability to add coupons would be a huge plus. Also, is the traffic typically SEO/organic, or from other sources?
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      • Profile picture of the author ShayB
        Hm.

        Now I'm wondering something else. I'm not sure if I'm going to do it, but it is something that I will think about and let you know.

        What if the directories that you offered - if you decide to go that route - weren't something that you give away? What if they were something that could be sold? Every advertiser would have some kind of special offer - like you see in the coupon books. Those will generally sell for $20 or more.

        You could sell them via local organizations as fundraisers.

        Hm.

        That would be an added benefit for your advertisers on your site, but she would have some revenue for supplying the books, plus you would also be doing community service as well. You could easily offer 50% commission to the organizations as fundraisers, and it would be a unique fundraiser for them as well.

        Taking a little bit further....

        You can even customize the directories/coupon books and have different versions available for different organizations.

        Hm.

        I am definitely going to be thinking about this more. It seems to be a way to make everything more profitable for everyone involved.
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      • Profile picture of the author David Miller
        Originally Posted by MarkR View Post

        I'm interested in this as well.

        I'd like any input on 1) directory scripts, and 2) how to drive traffic. I'm looking for a solid WP-based script. I'd also like one that can take a CSV/text file and automatically build pages/listings. I'd like to pre-populate the site with free listings to make it look fully functional/active. Ability to add coupons would be a huge plus. Also, is the traffic typically SEO/organic, or from other sources?
        Yes sir! We'll get right on that for you. Anything else?
        Can we get you a cup of coffee or tea, or perhaps a cold beverage while you're waiting?
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        • Profile picture of the author AussieT
          Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

          Yes sir! We'll get right on that for you. Anything else?
          Can we get you a cup of coffee or tea, or perhaps a cold beverage while you're waiting?
          Now that you mentioned it a hot chocolate with 2 marhmallows would be nice!

          Or you might prefer to tell us if you decided on WP script or other? I have not seen to many good scripts under $150 other than WP scripts.

          If you don't want to tell us the script you chose can you perhaps tell us what your top 3/5/10 choices would be and let us decide.

          I love edirectory but find it too expensive and it is a one off license only.
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    • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      What I loved about your post is that you used just a basic layout...with an HTML program or whatever. And the truth is that , its all you need to be honest.
      Thanks for the numbers John. Explains a lot to me. 2 bed here is $500-600 all in, 3 bed home is average $125K or so and average wage (if you are luck to have a job) is about 15/hr to 20/hr. Toronto is triple to quadruple those numbers. I actually thought about what you said also about just hitting the correct markets...there are some businesses that are so desperate for advertising but cant afford a $5000/yr yellow page add and $1000 website..blah blah..i think that is how I would position this but still thinking about it..

      On your quote, that is the ready, aim shoot approach. We used it in software design all the time. Get out whatever we could that meets the customer's needs then refine it later after it proves its worth.

      Btw, you can also use PHP and reuse a majority of the code...just make up a small html file for each business. Would be super simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyscott
    You can take this as a reality check or negativity - depends on your viewpoint, but running a directory site isn't easy money - I know, I run one.

    If you charge very low fees, you can probably get away with not delivering enquiries but if you are charging a decent amount for listings, the business will generally want to see a return on their money.

    In either scenario, you can get the leaky bucket syndrome where you continually add new listings just to stand still. The admin for that is time consuming.

    What works in my experience is a) Get the traffic first, then sell advertising b) build relationships with your advertisers and c) push up the price as you go.

    Those businesses who see you as an asset will pay higher prices, those who don't will leave. You end up with a smaller number of highly satisfied clients paying higher fees.

    Want to play churn and burn? Sure, whack up a $100 php script, scrape listings in, then throw telesales at it - good luck with that.

    Tony
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      @Tony - That's exactly what I've found. If you can't show a prospect that you are in the top spots in Google they have no reason to talk with you.

      You have to spend time up front getting a solid rank and keeping it there. In the beginning I used some typical get me there quick seo and it got there and left almost as fast.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by tonyscott View Post

      You can take this as a reality check or negativity - depends on your viewpoint, but running a directory site isn't easy money - I know, I run one.

      If you charge very low fees, you can probably get away with not delivering enquiries but if you are charging a decent amount for listings, the business will generally want to see a return on their money.

      In either scenario, you can get the leaky bucket syndrome where you continually add new listings just to stand still. The admin for that is time consuming.

      What works in my experience is a) Get the traffic first, then sell advertising b) build relationships with your advertisers and c) push up the price as you go.

      Those businesses who see you as an asset will pay higher prices, those who don't will leave. You end up with a smaller number of highly satisfied clients paying higher fees.

      Want to play churn and burn? Sure, whack up a $100 php script, scrape listings in, then throw telesales at it - good luck with that.

      Tony
      Not a problem - reality checks are always good.

      I, for one, don't see this as an easy money thing at all. And, honestly, the site isn't the main thing I'm offering. Plus I'm tying it in with stuff I'm already doing locally.

      You make some very good points.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by tonyscott View Post

      You can take this as a reality check or negativity - depends on your viewpoint, but running a directory site isn't easy money - I know, I run one.

      If you charge very low fees, you can probably get away with not delivering enquiries but if you are charging a decent amount for listings, the business will generally want to see a return on their money.

      In either scenario, you can get the leaky bucket syndrome where you continually add new listings just to stand still. The admin for that is time consuming.

      What works in my experience is a) Get the traffic first, then sell advertising b) build relationships with your advertisers and c) push up the price as you go.

      Those businesses who see you as an asset will pay higher prices, those who don't will leave. You end up with a smaller number of highly satisfied clients paying higher fees.

      Want to play churn and burn? Sure, whack up a $100 php script, scrape listings in, then throw telesales at it - good luck with that.

      Tony
      Which is exactly what Im saying, most dont do it because it takes a couple of months to rank and get traffic flowing.

      But I also disagree that ranking has to be a big head ache if you cherry pick your markets.

      If you have that, its not hard to aquire customers.

      I "Have" thrown telemarketing at such a plan, and created a 50 million dollar business that later sold to prodigy for over 800 million dollars.

      I know that sounds amazing and you probably cant believe it, but its true and has been checked out and verified by many warriors here.

      Tony while I appreciate your input in saying "I run a directory site, I should know", I know alot of people sitting in booths who say "I telemarket, I should know" and they are under performers while there are people performing all around them... So , alot of people run directory sites. Im telling you how to do it "successfully".
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyscott
    Hi Shay - my post wasn't aimed at you obviously. In fact it wasn't aimed at anyone, just passing on some of my experience in the directory market.

    Your coupon idea is a good one because it proves that your directory works for the advertiser. It has to be automated though or you'll be bogged down with countless updates and changes. However, if you automate it, they generally won't use it because it's too techy, they don't have time, they can't be bothered. They want YOU to handle it, so you have to charge appropriately and deliver value. It's a tricky circle to navigate.

    Tony
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by tonyscott View Post

      Hi Shay - my post wasn't aimed at you obviously. In fact it wasn't aimed at anyone, just passing on some of my experience in the directory market.

      Your coupon idea is a good one because it proves that your directory works for the advertiser. It has to be automated though or you'll be bogged down with countless updates and changes. However, if you automate it, they generally won't use it because it's too techy, they don't have time, they can't be bothered. They want YOU to handle it, so you have to charge appropriately and deliver value. It's a tricky circle to navigate.

      Tony
      Oh, I know it wasn't really aimed at anyone in particular, luv. I just wanted to chime in and give my perspective.

      You have a point about the time required, though. I'll have to keep that in mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    If this thread were about telemarketing, there would be people coming to it saying "I should know, I tried that and it didnt work....", obviously it does though.

    Again, there are alot of people running directory sites who will say "I should know", but what "I'm" talking about, is how to do it "successfully".

    Take it or leave it.

    Edit: I just sent David Miller A lead From an Old lawfirms website that I put up last year... a similar lead could be worth 5 or 10k to a lawfirm... If I generate 20 leads per year for them they could reasonably pay me $1,000 per month.

    What if I only charge $100?

    Big value to them.

    Its about the offer structure. If I only send them 1 or 2 leads per month, maybe 3. Its worth it ten times over.

    Ps. I do appreciate opposing views though, because they allow us to bring it back down to the basic truths, and break through the thoughts that oppose us.
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    • Profile picture of the author tonyscott
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      If this thread were about telemarketing, there would be people coming to it saying "I should know, I tried that and it didnt work....", obviously it does though.

      Again, there are alot of people running directory sites who will say "I should know", but what "I'm" talking about, is how to do it "successfully".

      Take it or leave it.
      I didn't say it didn't work John, I said it isn't easy money - big difference.

      What I do agree with is that it's crucial to take action and that's what holds most people back. However, the right sort of action is what's required. You can't just throw up a directory site and expect businesses to pay you $79 per month for ever because a good closer spoke to them on the telephone.

      Offer something of value and build relationships - it's the same as any other business.

      Tony
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by tonyscott View Post

        I didn't say it didn't work John, I said it isn't easy money - big difference.

        What I do agree with is that it's crucial to take action and that's what holds most people back. However, the right sort of action is what's required. You can't just throw up a directory site and expect businesses to pay you $79 per month for ever because a good closer spoke to them on the telephone.

        Offer something of value and build relationships - it's the same as any other business.

        Tony
        Totally agree. and the good thing is that they also become part of the value. So you arent just building someone elses web presence. You are building your own.


        Originally Posted by RentItNow View Post

        Actually that's it! I just thought of something on this. OK, I'm going to mock some stuff up later and it may be a direction for people to go that adds value all around. Cant believe I didnt think of it before.
        Okay, thats just from an 8 page lawfirm site. what if I redesigned it and started placing listings on it...?

        Then it would be a directory site.

        A directory site at its core is just a website where people come to view listings of whatever they are looking up. Doesnt matter if it only has ten listings on it...call them the city's top ten or something.

        Charge ten people 100 bucks per month, and you have a site that makes a thousand dollars per month.

        Ps.

        This will be good news to renta site marketers who cant sell their wares. If your site generates traffic, you can turn it into a directory site and restructure your offer to business owners. It will work.

        It's hard to explain the logic of renting a site to a business owner, but they "get" directory listings. Especially where their competitors are advertising.
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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          Okay, an opinion, please?

          I bought <city state> guide.net for my area. The .com is taken, but it's a parked page and it doesn't even show up when you do a search.

          I'll be using the .net for the directory, but debating on whether or not to snatch up the .com? (It's under $1000.)

          Thoughts?
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          • Profile picture of the author AussieT
            Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

            Okay, an opinion, please?

            I bought <city state> guide.net for my area. The .com is taken, but it's a parked page and it doesn't even show up when you do a search.

            I'll be using the .net for the directory, but debating on whether or not to snatch up the .com? (It's under $1000.)

            Thoughts?
            Test the idea first with the .net and then buy it later when you know if it is working. Not all directories and niches are winners.
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          • Profile picture of the author rugman
            Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

            Okay, an opinion, please?

            I bought <city state> guide.net for my area. The .com is taken, but it's a parked page and it doesn't even show up when you do a search.

            I'll be using the .net for the directory, but debating on whether or not to snatch up the .com? (It's under $1000.)

            Thoughts?
            I have been going through this thread again and saw this. I had a similar issue - great dot coms just sitting! Some say put a v at the end - portlandcarpetcleanersv dot com. I just did this with a domain so we will see. How about this - BESTportlandcarpetcleaners dot com - or - portlandcarpetcleanersGUIDE?
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            • Profile picture of the author AussieT
              Originally Posted by rugman View Post

              I have been going through this thread again and saw this. I had a similar issue - great dot coms just sitting! Some say put a v at the end - portlandcarpetcleanersv dot com. I just did this with a domain so we will see. How about this - BESTportlandcarpetcleaners dot com - or - portlandcarpetcleanersGUIDE?
              I would go for Best.... in your example above because people actually search for "best portaland carpet cleaners" but very few would search for "portland carper cleaner guide"

              It would depend on the niche though. If you were doing a general city directory then giide would be better. e.g. PortlandCityGuide.com
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        • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
          Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

          Totally agree. and the good thing is that they also become part of the value. So you arent just building someone elses web presence. You are building your own.




          Okay, thats just from an 8 page lawfirm site. what if I redesigned it and started placing listings on it...?

          Then it would be a directory site.

          A directory site at its core is just a website where people come to view listings of whatever they are looking up. Doesnt matter if it only has ten listings on it...call them the city's top ten or something.

          Charge ten people 100 bucks per month, and you have a site that makes a thousand dollars per month.

          Ps.

          This will be good news to renta site marketers who cant sell their wares. If your site generates traffic, you can turn it into a directory site and restructure your offer to business owners. It will work.

          It's hard to explain the logic of renting a site to a business owner, but they "get" directory listings. Especially where their competitors are advertising.

          2 things

          A) hope things went your way today.

          B) so why not put everyone on there that you can find for your local

          then just call them all to UPGRADE the listing ...

          sounds like it would be an easier sell, if you already have a bunch of the competition in the directory, and your just upgrading them, so that they stand out.
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        • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
          Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

          Okay, thats just from an 8 page lawfirm site. what if I redesigned it and started placing listings on it...?

          Then it would be a directory site.
          Actually, here I will share now cause as I was typing the last message this idea may have just made me $1800.

          What if you made a directory of common problems in that city and rank that. So if the problem is for instance (sorry John no offence), how do I get a divorce, how do I find a cheap apartment....etc etc. Then make them super specific to the city. THAT is a lead generating machine! I just proved it because an investor just contacted me on one of my real estate sites that I will turn over to a real estate agent for 25% on his comm. So what if you do that for lawyers, bridal services...blah blah...so the path for the customer takes is:

          1. search for a problem <in their city>
          2. they find a site that is something like cityofatlantis dot info/how-do-i-get-a-divorce-in-atlantis.
          3. At the end of the article you put a lead form to a lawyer that buys it.

          Man I could charge a whole lot more for that spot! I have r/e agents already giving me 25%, why not lawyers, concrete companies,....

          In other words it is a directory of problems/solutions in my city site.
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    • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Edit: I just sent David Miller A lead From an Old lawfirms website that I put up last year... a similar lead could be worth 5 or 10k to a lawfirm... If I generate 20 leads per year for them they could reasonably pay me $1,000 per month.
      Actually that's it! I just thought of something on this. OK, I'm going to mock some stuff up later and it may be a direction for people to go that adds value all around. Cant believe I didnt think of it before.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
    Thank you to John and everyone so far for your comments. I'm getting motivated again!

    @John Durham

    1: Start Over
    2: Build a 5 page authority site around a niche, in a town where you can compete.
    3: You can rank a 5 page site. People do it everyday.
    I think that's where I went wrong. My site covered a whole county, with dozens of different categories. Maybe it was just spread too thin. We got visitors, and as I say, it WAS profitable, but for me at the time, not enough income for the effort.

    However, if I had broken that down into towns, and focused on the categories that gathered the most advertisers, then maybe that would work better?

    In terms of the billing, my HTML site worked well, but then I ran a small database with renewal dates and listing data. I then had to export this to my mailing software each month after retrieving the listings ready for renewal.

    My new directories are based on DirectoryPress via Wordpress, which handles the payment (via various merchant accounts including PayPal), plus will handle the client communication and the renewal after X days.

    I'll admit it's not as flexible in design as others I've seen, but that may be down to my own knowledge as opposed to the script itself. I thought I know a reasonable amount of PHP, but it seems not!!

    I will refine it until I'm happy though, and give it another shot!

    Thanks again everyone who is contributing to this thread.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Roger Mayne View Post

      Thank you to John and everyone so far for your comments. I'm getting motivated again!

      @John Durham



      I think that's where I went wrong. My site covered a whole county, with dozens of different categories. Maybe it was just spread too thin. We got visitors, and as I say, it WAS profitable, but for me at the time, not enough income for the effort.

      However, if I had broken that down into towns, and focused on the categories that gathered the most advertisers, then maybe that would work better?

      In terms of the billing, my HTML site worked well, but then I ran a small database with renewal dates and listing data. I then had to export this to my mailing software each month after retrieving the listings ready for renewal.

      My new directories are based on DirectoryPress via Wordpress, which handles the payment (via various merchant accounts including PayPal), plus will handle the client communication and the renewal after X days.

      I'll admit it's not as flexible in design as others I've seen, but that may be down to my own knowledge as opposed to the script itself. I thought I know a reasonable amount of PHP, but it seems not!!

      I will refine it until I'm happy though, and give it another shot!

      Thanks again everyone who is contributing to this thread.
      No prob Roger, I guarantee that at least 20 attorneys in your town are paying findlaw $1,000 per month for much less targeted exposure than you could provide. They will gladly pay you $100

      Edit: "Big Key Here".

      Find highly expensive directories where people are paying alot of money and model after them. Most of them are national sites and they dont really target locally very well, or cover many keyword combinations. They arent focused locally and tend to leave alot of great local keywords on the table.

      BIGGER KEY:

      You can generate part of your cold call list from these directories = proven buyers who are known to pay ten times as much.
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      • Profile picture of the author DianaHeuser
        That is pure gold John. What a genius idea.

        Off to scour some local South African directory sites

        Di

        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        Find highly expensive directories where people are paying alot of money and model after them. Most of them are national sites and they dont really target locally very well, or cover many keyword combinations. They arent focused locally and tend to leave alot of great local keywords on the table.

        BIGGER KEY:

        You can generate part of your cold call list from these directories = proven buyers who are known to pay ten times as much.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Okay, I'm getting my VA to get the first site set up.

      I'm getting the <city state> guide.net site set up. Working on the first 5 pages.

      Some stats:

      I'm looking at about 10,000+ exact searches a month for this phrase (many times that for broad searches), and it's perfect for additional keywords, too.

      Plus.....something else.

      I did some research on Kindle. Come to find out, lots of people look to Kindle to buy guides when they are planning a vacation or they are moving. So it's a great way to get some more traffic/lead for businesses.

      I'm going to be offering a number of things to biz owners for advertising:

      1. Their listing on the site, with what all John suggested.
      2. A listing in the Kindle guide.
      3. Listing in the downloadable guide.
      4. Listing in the physical guide.

      For $197 a month, that's not bad.
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      • Profile picture of the author Warren Tibbotts
        Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

        Okay, I'm getting my VA to get the first site set up.

        I'm getting the <city state> guide.net site set up. Working on the first 5 pages.

        Some stats:

        I'm looking at about 10,000+ exact searches a month for this phrase (many times that for broad searches), and it's perfect for additional keywords, too.

        Plus.....something else.

        I did some research on Kindle. Come to find out, lots of people look to Kindle to buy guides when they are planning a vacation or they are moving. So it's a great way to get some more traffic/lead for businesses.

        I'm going to be offering a number of things to biz owners for advertising:

        1. Their listing on the site, with what all John suggested.
        2. A listing in the Kindle guide.
        3. Listing in the downloadable guide.
        4. Listing in the physical guide.

        For $197 a month, that's not bad.
        You should also make a 'mobile optimized ' version as well, cos probly 25-40% of searches are likely to be from a mobile, especially if you're in a tourist location

        Warren
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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          Originally Posted by Warren Tibbotts View Post

          You should also make a 'mobile optimized ' version as well, cos probly 25-40% of searches are likely to be from a mobile, especially if you're in a tourist location

          Warren
          Hm. That's a really good point. Thank you.
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      • Profile picture of the author weezie
        Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

        Okay, I'm getting my VA to get the first site set up.

        I'm getting the <city state> guide.net site set up. Working on the first 5 pages.

        Some stats:

        I'm looking at about 10,000+ exact searches a month for this phrase (many times that for broad searches), and it's perfect for additional keywords, too.

        Plus.....something else.

        I did some research on Kindle. Come to find out, lots of people look to Kindle to buy guides when they are planning a vacation or they are moving. So it's a great way to get some more traffic/lead for businesses.

        I'm going to be offering a number of things to biz owners for advertising:

        1. Their listing on the site, with what all John suggested.
        2. A listing in the Kindle guide.
        3. Listing in the downloadable guide.
        4. Listing in the physical guide.

        For $197 a month, that's not bad.
        Shay

        are you using a wp script??
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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          Originally Posted by weezie View Post

          Shay

          are you using a wp script??
          Not sure I understand the question?

          Edited to add: I don't know squat about self-hosted WP sites. I hand it all over to my VA to install and such. You'll have to be a little more specific. LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
    @John Durham

    Sorry, but just hitting the "THANKS" button didn't seem enough.

    You are an inspiration sir!
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    "If you don't quit, you can't fail"
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Roger Mayne View Post

      @John Durham

      Sorry, but just hitting the "THANKS" button didn't seem enough.

      You are an inspiration sir!
      Thanks bro... Later when we grow old that will have been the most valuable part of our experience. However much we inspired others is what lives on and as Rudyard kipling says in his poem "If":

      "...if you can force your heart and nerve and sinew , to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you, except that which is the will, which says to them 'hold on'...".

      By posting these things... if I died tomorrow , my will would still be on earth, serving my turn long after the nerve and sinew were gone... and my heart could reach out and touch someone and say "hold on".

      Isnt that cool?

      I practically live my life by that poem like a religion.


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      • Profile picture of the author BlogDiva
        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        Thanks bro... Later when we grow old that will have been the most valuable part of our experience. However much we inspired others is what lives on and as Rudyard kipling says in his poem "If":

        "...if you can force your heart and nerve and sinew , to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you, except that which is the will, which says to them 'hold on'...".

        By posting these things... if I died tomorrow , my will would still be on earth, serving my turn long after the nerve and sinew were gone... and my heart could reach out and touch someone and say "hold on".

        Isnt that cool?

        I practically live my life by that poem like a religion.


        That's really Cool John! LOVE IT!
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Medley
    Loving this thread

    I will add my own insights albeit from an end users perspective, but first a story.

    Some years ago I worked in a 24/7 heavy truck breakdown department for a huge Canadian leasing company. In our hay day we had upwards of 25,000 units running the roads of North America. It was my job to keep the wheels rolling as quickly and cost effectively as possible... This is before directory sites like truckdown.com came into existence, no small feat!

    We had a huge print library of repair directory books to search through and the process of finding a qualified repair facility was brutally time consuming and inefficient. This is how innovation is born... out of pain and necessity. We needed a better way to service our customers so we created our own database of repair facilities. The database software was poor, the data entry was endless but the concept was brilliant. Within 2 years we had created a database of over 70,000 repair facilities sorted by state, province, city and could even enter a search radius up to 100 miles. It listed every repair possibility sorted by truck, trailer, reefer, tire, towing etc...

    We had created the largest north american directory of repair facilities in existence. and then a funny thing happened... our own customers wanted to buy copies from us for their own road call departments... BINGO, a software package was born.

    We knew we had created a valuable resource but had no thoughts of monetizing it. Looking back now from a marketing perspective we could have made a small fortune with it. There were so many different ways of monetizing that asset it boggles the mind.

    Alas, as I mentioned before the database software was a poor choice and when the US did a massive area code change it rendered the database virtually useless. We did not have the ability or scripting to do mass area code changes.

    So here are my pearls of wisdom for anyone wondering how to make their directory site stand out in the crowd...

    Get face to Face with the end user and ask them where it hurts, they know and will be glad to tell you. If your directory doesn't help ease their pain in some way you are no different from the 10 others they are already paying for. There is no substitute for fresh market research.

    Survey them, tell them about your project and what you are hoping to achieve. Tell them your existing web site clients get a free page... Ask them what they need a directory to do for them... Ask them what directories they are listed in and why. Do they have a website, what is the URL. In short do some market research. Once you have come up with a way to solve their problems you have made a friend, not just a customer.

    And make sure whatever software you are using has mass edit options if you choose to run a massive directory.

    Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      I have a meeting with my local biz group Thursday morning.

      I think I'm going to offer a discount rate for anyone who signs up this week from my local biz group. There are 50 members, so I may pre-sell quite a few spots this week. We'll see.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author j3rki
      Very inspiring!

      There are so many ways to do it!

      I will launch my second company within the next weeks cause I need a good company name to succeed the firm I own at the moment just got my personal name because I made money with cpas and had no customers contact.

      When this is done, I will continue. Coldcalling is not allowed in germany but everyone does it Ive never done anything like that but Im good in lay outing so I will make a very good sales letter. I will offer free web design by a pro containg a little movie with phone number in and stuff, a small description and a contact form.

      I will buy many domains cause I want to fit every niche! Lilke plumbersinCITY.com, lawyersinCITY.com but all in german and all are FREE

      What will I charge? Lets see what somebody will earn from me! Lawyers will pay like 400€ every month cause just one client will fit their expanses twice.
      Restaurants wont earn 1k/client so I will charge 97-197 euros per month. Lets see how big they are

      I will create a sales letter containing statistics of my directory (analytics and stuff) to convince! Free web design is always a big plus! Just charge for SEO (on page only lol), hosting, maintenance and stuff. Do you have any advices for that?

      I want to send them everything in one. like a contract with it to keep out of personal meetings (100 dollar are to less to drive to someone..)
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      • Profile picture of the author AussieT
        Originally Posted by j3rki View Post

        Very inspiring!

        There are so many ways to do it!

        I will launch my second company within the next weeks cause I need a good company name to succeed the firm I own at the moment just got my personal name because I made money with cpas and had no customers contact.

        When this is done, I will continue. Coldcalling is not allowed in germany but everyone does it Ive never done anything like that but Im good in lay outing so I will make a very good sales letter. I will offer free web design by a pro containg a little movie with phone number in and stuff, a small description and a contact form.

        I will buy many domains cause I want to fit every niche! Lilke plumbersinCITY.com, lawyersinCITY.com but all in german and all are FREE

        What do you mean they are free? No domain name registrations fees?

        What will I charge? Lets see what somebody will earn from me! Lawyers will pay like 400€ every month cause just one client will fit their expanses twice.
        Restaurants wont earn 1k/client so I will charge 97-197 euros per month. Lets see how big they are

        I will create a sales letter containing statistics of my directory (analytics and stuff) to convince! Free web design is always a big plus! Just charge for SEO (on page only lol), hosting, maintenance and stuff. Do you have any advices for that?

        How do plan to get your directory of the ground to start with? Ho will you get listings to fill the directory?

        I want to send them everything in one. like a contract with it to keep out of personal meetings (100 dollar are to less to drive to someone..)
        All the best with it. We will be happy to hear about your progres.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    You need to build value in your presentation, by adding freebies and making it thud. example: free mobile version.

    Ps. Take every benefit you can think of about your product and feature it in your presentation.
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  • Im doing something very similar with lasik vision centers. I am creating a directory of local lasik vision providers. I will list all the local ones, and "feature" the ones that pay me. I am also signing up for the lasikvisioninstitute.com affiliate program to get income out of it. ($200 each sale) Third, once I am done with the site, I will export it all to a PDF that the users can download to "instantly compare all the lasik vision centers" in DFW. I use the Geoplaces WP theme and it works wonders for this kind of sites. My site is still being worked on but you can take a look at it at ilasikvision.com
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    • Profile picture of the author AussieT
      Originally Posted by unlimitedmarketing View Post

      Im doing something very similar with lasik vision centers. I am creating a directory of local lasik vision providers. I will list all the local ones, and "feature" the ones that pay me. I am also signing up for the lasikvisioninstitute.com affiliate program to get income out of it. ($200 each sale) Third, once I am done with the site, I will export it all to a PDF that the users can download to "instantly compare all the lasik vision centers" in DFW. I use the Geoplaces WP theme and it works wonders for this kind of sites. My site is still being worked on but you can take a look at it at ilasikvision.com
      Adding affiliate links is a good idea. Especially in the initial stages while you are trying build up content and get the site established and ranked.

      Question: Whats DFW?
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    • Profile picture of the author mikeb1
      Originally Posted by unlimitedmarketing View Post

      Im doing something very similar with lasik vision centers. I am creating a directory of local lasik vision providers. I will list all the local ones, and "feature" the ones that pay me. I am also signing up for the lasikvisioninstitute.com affiliate program to get income out of it. ($200 each sale) Third, once I am done with the site, I will export it all to a PDF that the users can download to "instantly compare all the lasik vision centers" in DFW. I use the Geoplaces WP theme and it works wonders for this kind of sites. My site is still being worked on but you can take a look at it at ilasikvision.com
      Nice theme and idea, but is the video not condemning lasik ? looks like you have a site for a product then you are going to change it to a directory that is the total opposite of what you are promoting as an affiliate ? puzzled:confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      I don't want to seem like I'm hiding anything so I won't. I will tell you that most of what I learned about directories, how they are set up, marketed, and some other extremely important aspects I learned from researching everything I could find.

      Notice I said "marketing" and not "sales". You'll never get better sales advice than what you'll find in this forum and in particular from JD.

      That said, the only two scripts I could recommend are either PHPLD or eSyndicate. Both are very reasonably priced. PHPLD is extremely robust and be prepared if you are not technically capable. If you need help, both have very good support via their forum. However, if you have an issue that you need addressed, you'll get an answer in the language of the planet "technoid" which is a pain in the butt.

      Typical of these types, they will often berate you for not having a Phd. in php and you'll have to put up with their ego, but you will get an answer that you can make work.

      OK?
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      • Profile picture of the author rugman
        Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

        I don't want to seem like I'm hiding anything so I won't. I will tell you that most of what I learned about directories, how they are set up, marketed, and some other extremely important aspects I learned from researching everything I could find.

        Notice I said "marketing" and not "sales". You'll never get better sales advice than what you'll find in this forum and in particular from JD.

        That said, the only two scripts I could recommend are either PHPLD or eSyndicate. Both are very reasonably priced. PHPLD is extremely robust and be prepared if you are not technically capable. If you need help, both have very good support via their forum. However, if you have an issue that you need addressed, you'll get an answer in the language of the planet "technoid" which is a pain in the butt.

        Typical of these types, they will often berate you for not having a Phd. in php and you'll have to put up with their ego, but you will get an answer that you can make work.

        OK?
        Thanks! I looked at both quickly PHPLD not a bad price point at all. Not having a PHD in php (or in anything for that matter!) - would you think something like the directory press theme would do for a local directory? Seems like most of us are well versed in WP "stuff".
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        • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
          Originally Posted by rugman View Post

          Thanks! I looked at both quickly PHPLD not a bad price point at all. Not having a PHD in php (or in anything for that matter!) - would you think something like the directory press theme would do for a local directory? Seems like most of us are well versed in WP "stuff".
          Hi rugman

          I can't speak for the other scripts, but I have been using DirectoryPress, and it is powerful, however, to make it your own will require a large amount of coding and customisation.

          Version 7 (just released) has some awesome features, which makes it easier, but there is still a good amount of work to be done.

          Definitely worth it though.
          Signature

          "If you don't quit, you can't fail"
          Success will follow.

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          • Profile picture of the author David Miller
            Honestly, what I would do is start with a WP and when it's off and running upgrade to something robust.
            Signature
            The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
            -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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          • Profile picture of the author rugman
            Originally Posted by Roger Mayne View Post

            Hi rugman

            I can't speak for the other scripts, but I have been using DirectoryPress, and it is powerful, however, to make it your own will require a large amount of coding and customisation.

            Version 7 (just released) has some awesome features, which makes it easier, but there is still a good amount of work to be done.

            Definitely worth it though.
            I was on a chat with them a while back. One of the things I am tossing around is a national directory for a niche. Dir press is more local but they said it could work (although they have never done one). I need mine to have all 50 states with 3 categories under each state. I wanted to do one of those maps where you click the state to be taken to the inner page but haven't had too much luck - must be a plugin somewhere that can do that!
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            • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
              Originally Posted by rugman View Post

              I was on a chat with them a while back. One of the things I am tossing around is a national directory for a niche. Dir press is more local but they said it could work (although they have never done one). I need mine to have all 50 states with 3 categories under each state. I wanted to do one of those maps where you click the state to be taken to the inner page but haven't had too much luck - must be a plugin somewhere that can do that!
              From what I've experienced with DirectoryPress, if you start stepping out of their expected layout, you can run into problems unless you know your way around PHP and WP scripts.

              They suggest a permalink structure of /%postname%/, but I've changed mine to /%category%/%postname%/

              That way, you could have each state as a category and sub categories under that so domain/state/category/business

              It does seem to work, but the linking sometimes goes awry.

              I'm setting up a directory with just one layer, so domain/category/business. I feel it's a better way to bring in the keywords. Then you can backlink your category pages just as you normally would.

              No idea about the map idea. I can only think you could have a layered image on a static page that links out to each state page??
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    • Profile picture of the author rugman
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Jeannie, if you contact some apartment complexes they will pay you $200- $500 per qualified applicant.
      I did a little looking into that here in the NY/NJ area - seems like there are some laws in some states that you have to be careful of. I have a really good friend that is a realtor (does some IM stuff so he knows the game) and he told me the same thing - gotta be a realtor. I am sure there are ways around it though. It does seem to be a wide open market.
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  • Profile picture of the author FormerWageSlave
    Inspiring thread. Thanks all.

    WordPress can get you started inexpensively and with a little less of a learning curve. The two directory themes I'm most impressed with are:

    Directory Script | New 2011 with upto 50% off today!

    Location Based Wordpress Theme, City Directory / Portal Wordpress Theme


    Both are set up to take payments for listings and Geo Places will let you set up tiers.

    Having never done this myself, I'd like to learn more about best practices for getting these things ranked, specifically, the best way to set up site structure and content for best results.

    My state is small enough that I'm interested in doing a whole state directory for a particular niche.

    We want the individual pages to rank for that particular business, so if someone types in 'joe's lasik hut tucson', we want our page to rank as high as possible, essentially competing with the main website.

    But with multiple city directories, we want one or more of our pages to rank for the various city search terms like 'tucson lasik'.

    How do you guys approach this?

    The way I think about it, if my directory was arizonalasik.com, I would want arizonalasik.com/tucson-lasik to be the top level page that lists out all the lasik providers in Tucson. I think I would want that page to also be the top searched keyword in this niche.

    WOuld it just be a matter of back links to get it to rank?

    Is this the right way to approach it?

    Thanks.
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    grrr...

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    • Profile picture of the author FormerWageSlave
      Anyone want to talk about bringing value to the customer?

      The client wants value for their $97... they want the phone to ring with new business, so we need to get their page and our site ranking in the search engines.

      Best practices for building out a site like this? How do you structure things for max effect?

      Will you try (and invest) to get their individual page to rank for their business name?

      Or just work to get the main site ranked?

      Are we all starting fresh regarding this aspect of the project or are their some veterans following this thread who can chime in?

      Thanks!

      Originally Posted by FormerWageSlave View Post

      Inspiring thread. Thanks all.

      WordPress can get you started inexpensively and with a little less of a learning curve. The two directory themes I'm most impressed with are:

      Directory Script | New 2011 with upto 50% off today!

      Location Based Wordpress Theme, City Directory / Portal Wordpress Theme


      Both are set up to take payments for listings and Geo Places will let you set up tiers.

      Having never done this myself, I'd like to learn more about best practices for getting these things ranked, specifically, the best way to set up site structure and content for best results.

      My state is small enough that I'm interested in doing a whole state directory for a particular niche.

      We want the individual pages to rank for that particular business, so if someone types in 'joe's lasik hut tucson', we want our page to rank as high as possible, essentially competing with the main website.

      But with multiple city directories, we want one or more of our pages to rank for the various city search terms like 'tucson lasik'.

      How do you guys approach this?

      The way I think about it, if my directory was arizonalasik.com, I would want arizonalasik.com/tucson-lasik to be the top level page that lists out all the lasik providers in Tucson. I think I would want that page to also be the top searched keyword in this niche.

      WOuld it just be a matter of back links to get it to rank?

      Is this the right way to approach it?

      Thanks.
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      grrr...

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      • Profile picture of the author MonteMichaels
        Originally Posted by FormerWageSlave View Post

        Will you try (and invest) to get their individual page to rank for their business name?
        That is a big part of what I am planning my pitch around. I want to make sure that the client knows that I am going to work on the site to differentiate it from the other free sites out there.
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      • Profile picture of the author AussieT
        Originally Posted by FormerWageSlave View Post

        Anyone want to talk about bringing value to the customer?

        The client wants value for their $97... they want the phone to ring with new business, so we need to get their page and our site ranking in the search engines.

        I see a directory as being an additional advertising medium for the client not their only advertising. Many will already have their own site. What are are doing is bringing them extra clients. So I tend to SEO the site and main category pages only. In fact I have never checked the page ranking of my clients but perhaps i should at least out of curiosity.

        Best practices for building out a site like this? How do you structure things for max effect?

        Will you try (and invest) to get their individual page to rank for their business name?

        Or just work to get the main site ranked?

        See above comments. I do have one local directory that I started with the aim of offering free listings to local businesses as a foot in the door for other services. But i put it on the back burner. I have however noticed in the stats that it is being found for the names of seveeral of the free listings that I added when setting up. I guess what I am saying is that the indiviual listing pages often rank themselves especially if they don not have much of a web presence.

        Are we all starting fresh regarding this aspect of the project or are their some veterans following this thread who can chime in?

        Thanks!
        It sounds like most of us are not seasoned directory professionals.
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        • Profile picture of the author FormerWageSlave
          True... but if we put our heads together...

          Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

          It sounds like most of us are not seasoned directory professionals.
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          grrr...

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          • Profile picture of the author pspro
            Many thanks for all the great ideas and input here. Even though I've started this more times than I care to admit, I can't resist the temptation of giving this another go round.... basically because of all your inspiration and because I actually LOVE coming across a quality directory when I'm shopping. A good directory can not be beat when you really don't know what to look for or who to call when shopping.

            My goal will be to build one from the sole perspective of offering the end user, the searcher, the best information when they ask themselves... "where can I find the best ____ in ____ ?" I think that if I accomplish that goal, it would stand to reason that I could monetize it with local listings or even affiliate offers but job one will be to create quality.

            My only catch is I will have to commit myself to only working on this in my spare time, when my actual "jobs" are done... I'm hoping this will keep me from not only losing focusing on the work that is paying me money now but will keep me "dropping the ball" on this directory business yet again. I may even start a progress blog to hold me accountable and motivated

            Heidi
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            • Profile picture of the author AussieT
              Originally Posted by pspro View Post

              Many thanks for all the great ideas and input here. Even though I've started this more times than I care to admit, I can't resist the temptation of giving this another go round.... basically because of all your inspiration and because I actually LOVE coming across a quality directory when I'm shopping. A good directory can not be beat when you really don't know what to look for or who to call when shopping.

              My goal will be to build one from the sole perspective of offering the end user, the searcher, the best information when they ask themselves... "where can I find the best ____ in ____ ?" I think that if I accomplish that goal, it would stand to reason that I could monetize it with local listings or even affiliate offers but job one will be to create quality.

              My only catch is I will have to commit myself to only working on this in my spare time, when my actual "jobs" are done... I'm hoping this will keep me from not only losing focusing on the work that is paying me money now but will keep me "dropping the ball" on this directory business yet again. I may even start a progress blog to hold me accountable and motivated

              Heidi
              A great inspirational goal. Even if you start a blog on your progress please keep us posted here in this thread also.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rollmodl
        Originally Posted by FormerWageSlave View Post

        Anyone want to talk about bringing value to the customer?

        The client wants value for their $97... they want the phone to ring with new business, so we need to get their page and our site ranking in the search engines.

        Best practices for building out a site like this? How do you structure things for max effect?

        Will you try (and invest) to get their individual page to rank for their business name?

        Or just work to get the main site ranked?

        Are we all starting fresh regarding this aspect of the project or are their some veterans following this thread who can chime in?

        Thanks!
        Good points and this is exactly what I offer with my listings since SEO is part of my profession.




        That Video Magazine New York
        • Keyword - New York Magazine
        • Phrase match traffic (monthly local) - 110,000
        • Competition - Low
        • Onpage SEO - Keyword in title, head, description and url
        • Keyword base - Boost local searches (eg. New york restaurants, new york real estate)
        • Optimized listings - Each business category and listing optimized in thier niche through keyword research.
        • SEO options - each listing can opt for additional ranking through press releases, linkbuilding, content, etc.
        Before building a site think about your keywords and linking structure. Keywork research should be the first thing you do. This will help drive traffic saving $$$ on online marketing. Hope this help someone with thier site structure
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        • Profile picture of the author bsnrjones
          Okay, I want to sum up my ideas and share my direction - about to kick this thing off.

          I have decided on my niche and will be building a national site - from my initial research there are at least 14,000+ businesses to call on a national basis - this is just from a list I got for free from my local libraries website using ResearchUSA database.

          These businesses spend big money on advertising and the profit margin for them is high.

          I am going to buy the leads per state, and load the data into my database to create the intial directory. So for example this week I will buy the leads for Texas and build the directory out for Texas. (I might be able to do the entire directory for all 50 states, just not sure yet). So basically everyone will get a free listing - but they pay to get the top spots and more options, etc.

          Then I am going to hire a couple of experienced telemarketers that have been carefully screened for accent in the Phillipines. I will pay them by the hour with a bonus if they hit sales goals.

          I am shooting for a one call close. Basically the TM will call and say that we are verifying the contact information for our listing in the state of Texas. They will confirm the information quickly and then offer a updated listing that normally goes for $97 a month for $67/month (not sure on pricing yet). The thud factor will be high - but not much actual work will need to be done if they upgrade.

          TM will run the credit card thru my virtual terminal and send me the details.

          Here is where it gets a bit tricky. I have $500 to burn on the TM's. If I pay them $6 per hour, they would need a sale a day for me to basically break even. If it was less than that, I could still function, but might have to slow down a bit until the renewals kick in the next month.

          I will be working on the exact script and share it here for criticism in the next few days.

          So does anyone with experience have an idea on how many of these might be able to be closed by one person per day? How many hours should I give a person to close a deal before I let them go? 8 hours, 16 hours??

          How does this plan sound???
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          *** Do you need leads for you insurance agency? We generated telemarketed leads all over the country. Shoot me a PM and we can from there! ****

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          • Profile picture of the author John Durham
            Originally Posted by bsnrjones View Post

            Okay, I want to sum up my ideas and share my direction - about to kick this thing off.

            I have decided on my niche and will be building a national site - from my initial research there are at least 14,000+ businesses to call on a national basis - this is just from a list I got for free from my local libraries website using ResearchUSA database.

            These businesses spend big money on advertising and the profit margin for them is high.

            I am going to buy the leads per state, and load the data into my database to create the intial directory. So for example this week I will buy the leads for Texas and build the directory out for Texas. (I might be able to do the entire directory for all 50 states, just not sure yet). So basically everyone will get a free listing - but they pay to get the top spots and more options, etc.

            Then I am going to hire a couple of experienced telemarketers that have been carefully screened for accent in the Phillipines. I will pay them by the hour with a bonus if they hit sales goals.

            I am shooting for a one call close. Basically the TM will call and say that we are verifying the contact information for our listing in the state of Texas. They will confirm the information quickly and then offer a updated listing that normally goes for $97 a month for $67/month (not sure on pricing yet). The thud factor will be high - but not much actual work will need to be done if they upgrade.

            TM will run the credit card thru my virtual terminal and send me the details.

            Here is where it gets a bit tricky. I have $500 to burn on the TM's. If I pay them $6 per hour, they would need a sale a day for me to basically break even. If it was less than that, I could still function, but might have to slow down a bit until the renewals kick in the next month.

            I will be working on the exact script and share it here for criticism in the next few days.

            So does anyone with experience have an idea on how many of these might be able to be closed by one person per day?

            How does this plan sound???
            Good plan, a bit ambitious, but if you are up for doing 50 states individually then rock n roll!

            About the Phillipine TMS... I would BARELY trust them with appointment setting, and I can pretty much tell you straight up that if you ask them to phone close you will get ZERO sales for your $500.

            Not so much because of the accents... Its because they dont prefer closing deals... and so they will take your money, let two sucky telemarketers who they dont need on their appointment floor to burn your hours just to fill the obligation....knowing that it will be a lucky day if they actually close one....

            Here's why:

            They arent interested in a long relationship with a phone closer deal... they prefer to give precedence to the appointment setting gigs, but they WILL take the $500 order knowing you wont be long term anyway.

            They make as much on an appointment or more than they do on a close, but its easier to set appointments and train their telemarketers on...

            They wont turn down money, even if they know ahead of time that it isnt going anywhere for you.

            I used to be a BPO for a Philiopine lead company (the lead tree). My room used to take the contracts they didnt want.

            I wouldnt do it if I were you. Hire people from here who might actually develop an interest in your project and become a part of your own team, whose loyalty is to YOU.
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          • Profile picture of the author maricelu
            I'm interested in your script

            Originally Posted by bsnrjones View Post

            Okay, I want to sum up my ideas and share my direction - about to kick this thing off.

            I have decided on my niche and will be building a national site - from my initial research there are at least 14,000+ businesses to call on a national basis - this is just from a list I got for free from my local libraries website using ResearchUSA database.

            These businesses spend big money on advertising and the profit margin for them is high.

            I am going to buy the leads per state, and load the data into my database to create the intial directory. So for example this week I will buy the leads for Texas and build the directory out for Texas. (I might be able to do the entire directory for all 50 states, just not sure yet). So basically everyone will get a free listing - but they pay to get the top spots and more options, etc.

            Then I am going to hire a couple of experienced telemarketers that have been carefully screened for accent in the Phillipines. I will pay them by the hour with a bonus if they hit sales goals.

            I am shooting for a one call close. Basically the TM will call and say that we are verifying the contact information for our listing in the state of Texas. They will confirm the information quickly and then offer a updated listing that normally goes for $97 a month for $67/month (not sure on pricing yet). The thud factor will be high - but not much actual work will need to be done if they upgrade.

            TM will run the credit card thru my virtual terminal and send me the details.

            Here is where it gets a bit tricky. I have $500 to burn on the TM's. If I pay them $6 per hour, they would need a sale a day for me to basically break even. If it was less than that, I could still function, but might have to slow down a bit until the renewals kick in the next month.

            I will be working on the exact script and share it here for criticism in the next few days.

            So does anyone with experience have an idea on how many of these might be able to be closed by one person per day? How many hours should I give a person to close a deal before I let them go? 8 hours, 16 hours??

            How does this plan sound???
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        • Profile picture of the author FormerWageSlave
          Thanks for sharing Rollmodl. But I'm still confused. What are you optimizing their listing for? Their industry keyword? So you're only taking one listing per industry on your site? Only one page can own the keyword.

          If your client doesn't want their listing anymore and you need to swap in someone else's listing, isn't that going to affect on-page SEO factors and hurt your ranking?

          The way I see it, you have listing pages and keyword pages. The best your listing page can do is rank for the business name, which may or may not get any searches at all.

          Prime keywords should have your own pages and will need all the on-page SEO that Google loves to rank. I think I want to own that page and the primary content on that page will be there for ranking purposes. A top paying listee could have a featured box on that page so they get the benefit of that traffic, but I'm not going to give it up completely to a listee that may not be with me forever, as changing out the content would hurt my rankings.

          Am I thinking about this wrong? I'll be the first to admit that SEO doesn't always click with me, so maybe I'm wrong.


          Originally Posted by Rollmodl View Post

          Good points and this is exactly what I offer with my listings since SEO is part of my profession.

          That Video Magazine New York
          • Keyword - New York Magazine
          • Phrase match traffic (monthly local) - 110,000
          • Competition - Low
          • Onpage SEO - Keyword in title, head, description and url
          • Keyword base - Boost local searches (eg. New york restaurants, new york real estate)
          • Optimized listings - Each business category and listing optimized in thier niche through keyword research.
          • SEO options - each listing can opt for additional ranking through press releases, linkbuilding, content, etc.
          Before building a site think about your keywords and linking structure. Keywork research should be the first thing you do. This will help drive traffic saving $$$ on online marketing. Hope this help someone with thier site structure
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          • Profile picture of the author Rollmodl
            Originally Posted by FormerWageSlave View Post

            Thanks for sharing Rollmodl. But I'm still confused. What are you optimizing their listing for? Their industry keyword? So you're only taking one listing per industry on your site? Only one page can own the keyword.

            If your client doesn't want their listing anymore and you need to swap in someone else's listing, isn't that going to affect on-page SEO factors and hurt your ranking?

            The way I see it, you have listing pages and keyword pages. The best your listing page can do is rank for the business name, which may or may not get any searches at all.

            Prime keywords should have your own pages and will need all the on-page SEO that Google loves to rank. I think I want to own that page and the primary content on that page will be there for ranking purposes. A top paying listee could have a featured box on that page so they get the benefit of that traffic, but I'm not going to give it up completely to a listee that may not be with me forever, as changing out the content would hurt my rankings.


            Am I thinking about this wrong? I'll be the first to admit that SEO doesn't always click with me, so maybe I'm wrong.
            • Featured listing are optional for an additional fee and yes they will be displayed at the top of thier category page.
            • Trying to explain explain keywords and SEO is a very in-depth topic. You should not rank a client based name. For example, when you search Google do you enter a company name or the product/service? The search results then provide you with the names of business. I use various SEO software to find the best keywords. The simplest which is available to everyone is Google's Keyword Tool.
            • Google will find the listing within the pages as long as the listing is optimized
            • Listings are not swapped. If a client ranks very high and he decides to cancel, that is his loss. You can also have two listings optimized exactly the same but one can rank much higher due to back-links. So though optimization is great, back-linking is more important.
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            • Profile picture of the author FormerWageSlave
              I get all that. The question is what are you optimizing for?

              There are only so many keywords available in a given industry and only one page can rank #1 for a given keyword. If you are optimizing all pages for, say, New York Plumber, you're not only competing with external competition, you're competing with yourself.


              Originally Posted by Rollmodl View Post

              • Featured listing are optional for an additional fee and yes they will be displayed at the top of thier category page.
              • Trying to explain explain keywords and SEO is a very in-depth topic. You should not rank a client based name. For example, when you search Google do you enter a company name or the product/service? The search results then provide you with the names of business. I use various SEO software to find the best keywords. The simplest which is available to everyone is Google's Keyword Tool.
              • Google will find the listing within the pages as long as the listing is optimized
              • Listings are not swapped. If a client ranks very high and he decides to cancel, that is his loss. You can also have two listings optimized exactly the same but one can rank much higher due to back-links. So though optimization is great, back-linking is more important.
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              • Profile picture of the author Rollmodl
                Originally Posted by FormerWageSlave View Post

                I get all that. The question is what are you optimizing for?

                There are only so many keywords available in a given industry and only one page can rank #1 for a given keyword. If you are optimizing all pages for, say, New York Plumber, you're not only competing with external competition, you're competing with yourself.
                • I won't know what I am optimizing for until I know the client, conduct keyword research and choose the optimum keywords. External competition is minimized through keyword research using my Market Samurai and Article Samurai software.
                • I'm not competing with myself but rather the clients are competing with each other within the site. True, only one can rank for #1 but there are still 9 other slots that are available. This is why I try to rank the main category #1. The user can then research the listings within the category.
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                • Profile picture of the author FormerWageSlave
                  I use Market Samurai as well and have been doing extensive research on my chosen niche and the most populous cities in the country and it's lead to my conundrum on the proper site structure and SEO.

                  I want to sign up as many paying listees as I can and I want to help all of them as best I can, but there's only so much traffic.

                  I'm now thinking the keyword pages need to be optimized landing pages with primary (a featured listee) and secondary (links to category listees) calls to action.

                  In the early stages, I can get the page to rank for a given keyword and monetize it how I want, but later as I add subscribers, I can add featured clients module to the page and a category module to the page, all without affecting on page content and SEO.

                  This doesn't matter for every niche, but for the niche I'm considering there are really good ways to monetize the page(s) before I get even the first subscribers. In this way, I hope to reinvest the revenue to scale the site, and be able to have hard numbers on lead potential when talking to subscribers.

                  Gotta think about this more though.





                  Originally Posted by Rollmodl View Post

                  • I won't know what I am optimizing for until I know the client, conduct keyword research and choose the optimum keywords. External competition is minimized through keyword research using my Market Samurai and Article Samurai software.
                  • I'm not competing with myself but rather the clients are competing with each other within the site. True, only one can rank for #1 but there are still 9 other slots that are available. This is why I try to rank the main category #1. The user can then research the listings within the category.
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                  • Profile picture of the author professorrosado
                    Originally Posted by FormerWageSlave View Post

                    This doesn't matter for every niche, but for the niche I'm considering there are really good ways to monetize the page(s) before I get even the first subscribers. In this way, I hope to reinvest the revenue to scale the site, and be able to have hard numbers on lead potential when talking to subscribers.

                    Gotta think about this more though.
                    This is the best reasoning I've seen so far concerning the local directory concept. A farmer doesn't plant his crops first and then prepares the soil afterwards - he prepares the environment first before he makes the effort and investment in planting his crop.

                    Making money online is not just setting up a website and selling space. Anyone and everyone is doing that. You need to offer them something more than just another listing out of hundreds of directories out there.

                    Look at what the need is and address it - it sure isn't just a listing.
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                    • Profile picture of the author FormerWageSlave
                      Thanks. I certainly believe you can sell listings before you have any traffic, but I'm not sure that's how I want to go about it. I want to provide more value.

                      And since this is a curious side-project for me and not my main gig, I have the luxury of time. Time to plan, time to build and time to think long and hard about it beforehand.

                      Originally Posted by professorrosado View Post

                      This is the best reasoning I've seen so far concerning the local directory concept. A farmer doesn't plant his crops first and then prepares the soil afterwards - he prepares the environment first before he makes the effort and investment in planting his crop.

                      Making money online is not just setting up a website and selling space. Anyone and everyone is doing that. You need to offer them something more than just another listing out of hundreds of directories out there.

                      Look at what the need is and address it - it sure isn't just a listing.
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                      • Profile picture of the author professorrosado
                        Originally Posted by FormerWageSlave View Post

                        Thanks. I certainly believe you can sell listings before you have any traffic, but I'm not sure that's how I want to go about it. I want to provide more value.
                        Yes, you need more value for customers. Listings are fine until the competition arrives. I say this because multi-faceted worldwide networks are focused on the geo-based local model heavily.

                        When they do "arrive" in your hometown, your listing directories will start losing out to the new level of service provider.

                        The bottom line is that if you are not going to provide your customers with value, you don't really have a long-term plan with this. You are just giving them more reason to join a value-packed network solution when it opens in their area.

                        I'll say this, that the only ones that will survive in the long-run are Niche and micro-niche directories. This type of specialized directory would be hard for any network to break into if the niche directory is value-packed.

                        So you'll have to know the niche, provide content and value services and you should really make great money from such an operation. Don't just think putting up a listing directory is going to be a long lasting business model at this time. It was before and still may provide some with money, but that time is soon coming to an end. IMHO ; )
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                        • Profile picture of the author keldog
                          Terrific conversation!

                          @FormerWageSlave, or anyone else that would care to share...

                          If I may ask a question of you? Here you wrote:

                          (begin)
                          "If your client doesn't want their listing anymore and you need to swap in someone else's listing, isn't that going to affect on-page SEO factors and hurt your ranking?
                          and:
                          The way I see it, you have listing pages and keyword pages. The best your listing page can do is rank for the business name, which may or may not get any searches at all."
                          (end)

                          In the first instance do you see a way this page ("listings" page) could be built similar to a rent a site model? So essentially the entire page is for a single advertiser and is simply a lead generator for that one advertiser.

                          I'm suggesting the typical rent a site set up: 800# that you own, and more general content, but keyword rich/seo'd for ranking purposes. With swappable header (a sort of individual page header, not the directory header) and spot somewhere for their company logo, but not much else (except maybe the video, which again you own).

                          This way you can keep all the benefits of the work you've done for ranking and avoiding greater loss if you lose that advertiser.

                          (This of course is predicated on it being an advertisers "page" on your site and not a "listing". I know you were writing about something somewhat different, just asking for your thoughts as I find myself confronted by this, a similar situation)

                          So, if it were a "page", built like a rent a site...

                          Still ranking, right? You lose that advertiser for whatever reason. So? call the next guy and offer it to him. It could be very valuable to some. Forward the phone, replace the graphics, ..good to go, right?

                          Finally, what if you did also rank it for an advertisers name? In fact that may look really special to them and they may decide to stick around even longer. Should only take a short time to lay some seo on it for their name, if it is low competition, cool, should take little effort to rank for the business name.

                          Then if somebody does search for them (past business that you seo'd name for) by name and did come across that "page" they were on, you and your "new" advertiser get another visit, right? Good for you both and if that visitor becomes a customer of your new advertiser, well then the old client just loses out.

                          Would that work do you think, or is my naivete giving me away?

                          It's late, hope I'm making sense.

                          If anybody has thoughts on this sort of set up please share.

                          PS: I do apologize if this is thread high jacking, noob here. But this is a great conversation. (Thanks for starting it John D)
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                          • Profile picture of the author FormerWageSlave
                            Hey keldog,

                            The business' individual listing page is a lead generation page yes, but those pages aren't going to get a whole lot of SEO value. I mean, I wouldn't want to do the work and incur the expense of SEOing a listings page for a business that may not be with me in a few months.

                            So what's the smart thing to do? I think, get a keyword page ranked as best you can. Like:

                            Code:
                            http://awesomelawyers.com/miami-lawyers
                            With "miami lawyers" being your keyword.

                            Originally, I thought to build that page with content to rank and have some modules on it to entice clicks through to a featured listing as primary call to action and another module inviting them to see the whole category listings.

                            And maybe that should be tested, but now I'm thinking those pages should contain some type of lead generation form to "get quotes in minutes!"

                            No brand owns the page, I collect leads and sell the leads to the business that wants to buy them.

                            So, I think we're on the same page here... as long as we agree on what a listings page is... and to me it's the individual business page.

                            As far as SEOing a listings page, not sure what that would do... and maybe someone with more knowledge than I will chime in, but if I am SEOing my keyword page for a high search keyword, I'm not going to do the same for an individual business. I think that is competing with yourself. And SEOing for their business name may not hold much value if it never gets searched.

                            This is all theory though. I've never done this and have only seriously considered this biz model since the advent of this thread.


                            Originally Posted by keldog View Post

                            Terrific conversation!

                            @FormerWageSlave, or anyone else that would care to share...

                            If I may ask a question of you? Here you wrote:

                            (begin)
                            "If your client doesn't want their listing anymore and you need to swap in someone else's listing, isn't that going to affect on-page SEO factors and hurt your ranking?
                            and:
                            The way I see it, you have listing pages and keyword pages. The best your listing page can do is rank for the business name, which may or may not get any searches at all."
                            (end)

                            In the first instance do you see a way this page ("listings" page) could be built similar to a rent a site model? So essentially the entire page is for a single advertiser and is simply a lead generator for that one advertiser.

                            I'm suggesting the typical rent a site set up: 800# that you own, and more general content, but keyword rich/seo'd for ranking purposes. With swappable header (a sort of individual page header, not the directory header) and spot somewhere for their company logo, but not much else (except maybe the video, which again you own).

                            This way you can keep all the benefits of the work you've done for ranking and avoiding greater loss if you lose that advertiser.

                            (This of course is predicated on it being an advertisers "page" on your site and not a "listing". I know you were writing about something somewhat different, just asking for your thoughts as I find myself confronted by this, a similar situation)

                            So, if it were a "page", built like a rent a site...

                            Still ranking, right? You lose that advertiser for whatever reason. So? call the next guy and offer it to him. It could be very valuable to some. Forward the phone, replace the graphics, ..good to go, right?

                            Finally, what if you did also rank it for an advertisers name? In fact that may look really special to them and they may decide to stick around even longer. Should only take a short time to lay some seo on it for their name, if it is low competition, cool, should take little effort to rank for the business name.

                            Then if somebody does search for them (past business that you seo'd name for) by name and did come across that "page" they were on, you and your "new" advertiser get another visit, right? Good for you both and if that visitor becomes a customer of your new advertiser, well then the old client just loses out.

                            Would that work do you think, or is my naivete giving me away?

                            It's late, hope I'm making sense.

                            If anybody has thoughts on this sort of set up please share.

                            PS: I do apologize if this is thread high jacking, noob here. But this is a great conversation. (Thanks for starting it John D)
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                            • Profile picture of the author ePolymath
                              Originally Posted by FormerWageSlave View Post

                              As far as SEOing a listings page, not sure what that would do... and maybe someone with more knowledge than I will chime in, but if I am SEOing my keyword page for a high search keyword, I'm not going to do the same for an individual business. I think that is competing with yourself. And SEOing for their business name may not hold much value if it never gets searched.
                              Without much done in the way of individually optimizing these sub-pages. A lot of business detail pages from my directories often rank higher than the business's website.

                              In an ideal world, if a customer is searching for a business, their website, not mine, should show up at the top. Seeing how many of these sites are put together by inexperienced web designers/seo people, I believe I deserve the traffic I get .

                              Since the search volume for most business names is very minimal. I wouldn't suggest spending too much time on optimizing pages for business names.
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                              • Profile picture of the author Nomader
                                Thanks everyone for some great insight.

                                I am looking to start a small directory and was wondering what would be best for SEO:

                                A <city>.com domain with categories for each type of business or a micro niche of separate website for each type of business in that city.

                                Micro niche would be a ton more time and expense and not as much opportunity for interlinking but I can be very specific in the domain.

                                Also I see a lot of people asking about scripts. I have been looking into using the GeoTheme WP Theme. Reviews look good but who knows. Haven't pulled the trigger on it yet.
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                                • Profile picture of the author Local Jake
                                  Originally Posted by Nomader View Post


                                  Also I see a lot of people asking about scripts. I have been looking into using the GeoTheme WP Theme. Reviews look good but who knows. Haven't pulled the trigger on it yet.
                                  I'm not finished yet but I use the ProAffiliateTheme to create directory listings for local businesses. See here: Waco Web Design - WebWaco - JustWaco.com | JustWaco

                                  All of my listings are free because we're talking pennies compared to what I make offering them internet marketing services.

                                  This is a great way to get in the door and also offer them initial value to make you more of a "friend" rather than a "salesman".
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                                  • Profile picture of the author Local Jake
                                    The directory method is very easy...
                                    1. Create Your {City} Directory
                                    2. Contact local business owners and let them add FREE listing
                                    3. If businesses are interested, add their listing and send an email with a link to listing
                                    4. Now create a email Sales Funnel for these businesses regarding the best local marketing techniques
                                    5. In each email, include subtle hints of services that you provide and how you can help out
                                    6. This is fully automated so your work is minimal!
                                    7. $$$$$ PROFIT $$$$$$
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                                    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
                                      Originally Posted by Local Jake View Post

                                      The directory method is very easy...
                                      1. Create Your {City} Directory
                                      2. Contact local business owners and let them add FREE listing
                                      3. If businesses are interested, add their listing and send an email with a link to listing
                                      4. Now create a email Sales Funnel for these businesses regarding the best local marketing techniques
                                      5. In each email, include subtle hints of services that you provide and how you can help out
                                      6. This is fully automated so your work is minimal!
                                      7. $$$$$ PROFIT $$$$$$
                                      Theoretically maybe. But why not turn them into a customer from the beginning?

                                      Most people just are afraid to "sell".

                                      This works too...loss leader...yes we are familiar. However, this argument is the same as "Free reports and optins" vs. "only taking paid members on your lists".

                                      It's obvious which one is more potent. some truths are self evident and dont need point out, but I will anyway, because alot of people will tend to cling to bells and whistles , which is why not many succeed.

                                      Not saying the free route doesnt work as a shot in the dark, but one works alot better and gives you more control over your outcomes. You just spin your wheels less.

                                      Does anyone want to spin their wheels? Do we want to PLAN to give ourselves a long road? Do we want to strategize intentionally to give ourselves an uphill battle, just to avouid the word "sales".

                                      Alot of people do that and there's a name for them "Failures".

                                      Dont hate me, just because reality backs up what Im saying!

                                      Both work...and you can do BOTH, which you will see at the bottom of this post... but focusing on the free one only, is just taking the long way around and it may be months before you make money....

                                      Question: If you are contacting them first anyway, and if you have someone interested on the phone why not try to close them?

                                      This is an easy close.

                                      What you are saying doesnt make ergonomical sense.

                                      Im going to tell you the truth and if you dont believe me you cant test it yourself... I know this will open me up to be debated by the inexperienced who are spouting what "sounds like it makes sense"...

                                      "Most of the people who even BUY the webpage from you and pay7 $100 per month will not even open your emails half the time".

                                      Why should the free ones?

                                      Dont believe me, try it yourself...

                                      I REALLY REALLY dont mean to to brag, but listen it makes sense... I have written over 19,000 of these things (deals)... Im telling you if you try it , you are going to find out Im right.

                                      Take it or leave it.

                                      You can get some sales that way, but you are spinning your wheels alot until you have 3k people on your list...because small business owners will tend to not open your emails...

                                      Now: It "will" work. Its just the long way around and you wont be making money from your first day more than likely...and it will not be predictable.

                                      You can predict your sales call numbers...but doing it the way described , every day is going to be a grab bag special.

                                      UNLESS you really prepave what you are doping in your pitch when you called them the first time.

                                      You can set them up to be more qualified in your initial phone pitch for giving it away free...however, if you are goping to do that then why take all the extra steps...Just sell em!

                                      Here's what I suggest.... try to sell EVERYONE!

                                      And if they dont buy....then give them a free listing anyway, and set them up for upselling down the road as described.

                                      Which is better and shows more charater, to "position" yourself as a sales guy, or to BE a manipulator who isnt upfront about their intentions, and who is just waiting for the moment to pounce?

                                      Which one seems more integritable?

                                      I would suggest offering the free one as a last rebuttal and optin the "maybe laters" into a list.

                                      This is another way you can build your listings is to just give free ones to select people who you couldnt sell but feel you might down the road.

                                      Do I believe in loss leaders? Tes. I have a list myself that has a couple of thousand paying customers on it, but even MORE free ones...

                                      But experience tells me that there is a difference between a list developed online and one developed offline with small business owners, and one simply BARELY works.

                                      It can happen.... with ALOT of distinctions that make take you years to make, and you may make SOME money in the meanwhile, but not much at all, and you will spin your wheels alot more than you make money.

                                      Again, experience has to be believed, and you dont have to believe mine, but if you choose to get your own instead, the value of it diminishes with the time required to amass it.





                                      @ Former Wage Slave...

                                      You can use your miami lawyers page to do a brief listing for each customer, which links to their "company profile" page (Actually web page for that biz) as you are saying, and send the prospects to the SEO'd miami lawyers page as you suggest... The beauty of which is that , each of the listings you put on that page can be a few lines long and you can use them for seo in the descriptions.

                                      You can turn this into a USP, telling prospects that they have a chance to benefit from the traffic of major corporations and compete on the same level.

                                      In fact if you can do some research and look up some local business names that already get searched and add them to that page, even better!

                                      Alot of people can do SEO, but its useless to you if you dont know how to make it synergistic with the rest of your business model, and sales process.

                                      Jakes post IMO is the epitomy of an online marketer assuming that online stuff works the same way as offline, simply because the thoughts seem to connect...

                                      Thats called a "theory".


                                      @ Jake - I like your design colors nice logo's... but what is your site saying?

                                      Waco Web Design - WebWaco - JustWaco.com | JustWaco

                                      It isnt telling me about the cities or a niche, it looks like a web designers site reading the copy.

                                      You have to deliver a clear message. People click away fast, and they dont buy when they are scratching their heads trying to figure out what you are.

                                      Thats a rule of sales, which again is a different thing from SEO, but SEO is useless if you dont understand sales rules.

                                      I know a guy (right here on the Warrior Forum) who sold a group of investors here over 30 number one SEO'd sites...ALL NUMBER ONE in their niche, and the investors are all desperate now because they cant sell them and the systems and pages he designed arent sunergistic with any sales process.

                                      He shot the seo first and didnt consider the sales process with forethought.

                                      You need a slogan under your company name on that page page, that says more than jkust Waco Web design, IMO. Its kinda redundant and doesnt knock you out of your chair. Thats just me though maybe.

                                      Not "about us". There is a reason about us pages are optional to click on... because people come for WIIFM and they only want to know "about us" if they click on the about us link.

                                      Excellent action taking though!
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                                  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
                                    Originally Posted by Local Jake View Post

                                    I'm not finished yet but I use the ProAffiliateTheme to create directory listings for local businesses. See here: Waco Web Design - WebWaco - JustWaco.com | JustWaco

                                    All of my listings are free because we're talking pennies compared to what I make offering them internet marketing services.

                                    This is a great way to get in the door and also offer them initial value to make you more of a "friend" rather than a "salesman".
                                    You say all your listigns are free, but I can only see 2 listings and I assume one in yours. Are there others I missed
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  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    I built this for the 90 day challenge as a directory site. http://audiologynj.com/

    I purchased 2 local domains to attach onto this site. Currently I'm trying to rank this site in the Serps, before calling prospects.
    I have some one that will do a flyer first and send out a mailing before calling prospecrts. Any ideas how to improve this site ?
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        Are there hundreds of audiologists in your area? Do you have a big enough market? .
        I went to the Telemarketing forum in the lead generator and found 2pages worth of leads. Took the information and looked in Super Pages and found more in the area. I'm not sure if the Market is big enough, but most do not have web-sites or listings. However every day more people need hearing aides as the population ages. I would think this is a growing market, unless I should target end users instead ?
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    • Profile picture of the author AussieT
      Nice site DWolfe
      Mind teeling us which script you used?
      Does the script add the scolling ful-page image of their site automatically?

      Only suggestion would be to add more clients before approaching others

      What I did with my first directory was add 10-20 free listings (without telling them) then approach new clients. When I had a 5-10 new clients I would remove 5-10 of the free listings and then contact them and offer them a listing at a reduced rate since I already had the listing done for them sitting waiting to be reactivated

      Tom

      Originally Posted by DWolfe View Post

      I built this for the 90 day challenge as a directory site. http://audiologynj.com/

      I purchased 2 local domains to attach onto this site. Currently I'm trying to rank this site in the Serps, before calling prospects.
      I have some one that will do a flyer first and send out a mailing before calling prospecrts. Any ideas how to improve this site ?
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      • Profile picture of the author pwk2000
        Pricing questions:

        1. Is it usually best to just offer a monthly price instead of an annual price? If you offer both, do most sign up for the monthly package?

        2. Does anyone suggest selling a lifetime listing? Seems like an easier sell.
        Maybe offer $600 a year, or a $1,200 lifetime listing. Any thoughts?

        3. Does anyone offer or get asked about a money back guarantee?

        I have been working on a small niche directory for 5 years, always re-doing the design. Re-thinking pricing, featured listings etc. Leaving it alone for a while then coming back to it months later and messing with it again! Something is stopping me from just calling or even emailing my offer... I am not sure why... any advice?

        At this point sometimes I think I would be better off building directories for other people! And just charge a hosting/support fee.
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        • Profile picture of the author Karen Connell
          Originally Posted by pwk2000 View Post


          ...At this point sometimes I think I would be better off building directories for other people! And just charge a hosting/support fee.
          You should get your feet wet and just go for it - you can iron out any pricing problems along the way.

          Once you get started it is surprising how easy it is to talk to people about themselves and their needs - everyone likes to talk about themselves.

          A lot of small businesses don't have a web presence so rather than building directories, build a free simple website for those business people that don't have one, then charge a monthly hosting/support fee as an upsell for your directory targets. At least, that's what I intend to do.

          Good luck

          Karen
          Signature

          Never Mistake Activity for Accomplishment

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          • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
            Hi Karen

            I think you can do all of those things.

            Sometimes I guess the listing on a directory site is an easier sell to start with, which you can then upsell to a full web site, or maybe even a rental site.

            By the way, I have a few projects coming up that will include the Surrey / Sussex area.

            Perhaps we could chat about this at some point and put our heads together. Do you do any local marketing at the minute?

            Roger

            Originally Posted by Karen Connell View Post

            You should get your feet wet and just go for it - you can iron out any pricing problems along the way.

            Once you get started it is surprising how easy it is to talk to people about themselves and their needs - everyone likes to talk about themselves.

            A lot of small businesses don't have a web presence so rather than building directories, build a free simple website for those business people that don't have one, then charge a monthly hosting/support fee as an upsell for your directory targets. At least, that's what I intend to do.

            Good luck

            Karen
            Signature

            "If you don't quit, you can't fail"
            Success will follow.

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            • Profile picture of the author Karen Connell
              Originally Posted by Roger Mayne View Post

              Hi Karen

              I think you can do all of those things.

              Sometimes I guess the listing on a directory site is an easier sell to start with, which you can then upsell to a full web site, or maybe even a rental site.

              By the way, I have a few projects coming up that will include the Surrey / Sussex area.

              Perhaps we could chat about this at some point and put our heads together. Do you do any local marketing at the minute?

              Roger
              Hi Roger,

              My exisiting clients are in Ireland. I lived in Ireland for 10 years but recently moved back to UK.

              Fortunately my clients were set up so they don't need any face-to-face meetings now - they just pay money to my bank each month for their hosting etc. . In fact, they don't know that I'm not still in Ireland - they still get their monthly email from me.

              I am just at the point where I can get back to 'offline' stuff and am going to make a start with a couple of directory sites.

              Feel free to get in touch if you want to chat.

              What I was asking in my post was, is it better to get my site ranked before beginning to sell listings? I don't want to lose potential prospects showing an empty, unranked directory.

              So, if I just used 'content' on the site and pushed it onto the first page would I lose the place if I then changed the site to a directory script?

              Not too sure if I have explained this properly .

              Karen
              Signature

              Never Mistake Activity for Accomplishment

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              • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
                Originally Posted by Karen Connell View Post

                s it better to get my site ranked before beginning to sell listings? I don't want to lose potential prospects showing an empty, unranked directory.

                So, if I just used 'content' on the site and pushed it onto the first page would I lose the place if I then changed the site to a directory script?

                Not too sure if I have explained this properly .

                Karen
                Hi Karen,

                I think it is better to get the site ranked first and then start selling it. If I was a local business owner, I would like to know what I can expect before I invest on advertising. If you show me some ranking and traffic stats then I would be more willing to advertise on your site.

                Why don't you start by listing businesses and adding content at the same time? All the listings will be free listings when you are just starting, then you can offer premium/featured/homepage/sidebar etc. listings as your site and traffic grows.

                You shouldn't make any dramatic changes once your site is ranking, because you may lose your position. So, it is better to plan it well at the beginning and build upon it.
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              • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
                Hi Karen

                Always good to network with local marketers.

                I'll PM you my contact details.

                Thanks

                Roger

                Originally Posted by Karen Connell View Post

                Hi Roger,

                My exisiting clients are in Ireland. I lived in Ireland for 10 years but recently moved back to UK.

                Fortunately my clients were set up so they don't need any face-to-face meetings now - they just pay money to my bank each month for their hosting etc. . In fact, they don't know that I'm not still in Ireland - they still get their monthly email from me.

                I am just at the point where I can get back to 'offline' stuff and am going to make a start with a couple of directory sites.

                Feel free to get in touch if you want to chat.

                What I was asking in my post was, is it better to get my site ranked before beginning to sell listings? I don't want to lose potential prospects showing an empty, unranked directory.

                So, if I just used 'content' on the site and pushed it onto the first page would I lose the place if I then changed the site to a directory script?

                Not too sure if I have explained this properly .

                Karen
                Signature

                "If you don't quit, you can't fail"
                Success will follow.

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                • Profile picture of the author pspro
                  I've started and stalled so many directory projects over the past decade I could scream! I keep getting stuck on the details, the which directory platform, how will I monetize it, need I go on LOL I'm sure I'm not alone on this.

                  Fact IS directories offer extremely helpful content for searchers so it's an online business model that will never die... I should know, I've sat on the sidelines observing it's staying power
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                  • Profile picture of the author j3rki
                    Karen, how do you want to sell?

                    I hate cold calls. I will write direct mails. But what arguments? Any contracts? What do you think how I should start with? Im very new to offline but very comfortable with online
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                    • Profile picture of the author Karen Connell
                      Originally Posted by j3rki View Post

                      Karen, how do you want to sell?

                      I hate cold calls. I will write direct mails. But what arguments? Any contracts? What do you think how I should start with? Im very new to offline but very comfortable with online
                      Hi,

                      I'm not sure that I'm the one to answer this - there are lots of people reading this thread with much more experience than me.

                      I haven't done this for a couple of years, so I'm actually starting over.

                      For what it is worth, my first few sales came from walking in the door of prospective clients. It took a few days (and a lot of frustration...) to make my first sale.

                      I'm planning to have a go on the phone this time, once I've finished setting up my directory :confused: and getting it ranked.

                      I will put in free listings, rotating them each month so the site isn't empty when I contact a business until I get a good looking site with lots of content.

                      Good luck

                      Karen
                      Signature

                      Never Mistake Activity for Accomplishment

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                      • Profile picture of the author AussieT
                        Karen can I ask how and why you plan to rotate the free listings each month?

                        Originally Posted by Karen Connell View Post

                        Hi,

                        I'm not sure that I'm the one to answer this - there are lots of people reading this thread with much more experience than me.

                        I haven't done this for a couple of years, so I'm actually starting over.

                        For what it is worth, my first few sales came from walking in the door of prospective clients. It took a few days (and a lot of frustration...) to make my first sale.

                        I'm planning to have a go on the phone this time, once I've finished setting up my directory :confused: and getting it ranked.

                        I will put in free listings, rotating them each month so the site isn't empty when I contact a business until I get a good looking site with lots of content.

                        Good luck

                        Karen
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                  • Profile picture of the author MonteMichaels
                    Originally Posted by pspro View Post

                    I've started and stalled so many directory projects over the past decade I could scream! I keep getting stuck on the details, the which directory platform, how will I monetize it, need I go on LOL I'm sure I'm not alone on this.

                    Fact IS directories offer extremely helpful content for searchers so it's an online business model that will never die... I should know, I've sat on the sidelines observing it's staying power
                    I know how you feel. I had far too many projects in the burner at one time and had one set up last year. I was going to use the original Bower formula, which I am very sure would have worked just fine, I just did not do the work on it.

                    I just now re-bought the name that I was going to use because I let it expire after a year. I had directorypress installed, a few demo pages up. It was ready to go. I just let myself get distracted by too many other things.

                    I have a good business going right now, but I am kicking myself for not getting this going already.
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              • Profile picture of the author Warren Tibbotts
                Originally Posted by Karen Connell View Post

                Hi Roger,

                My exisiting clients are in Ireland. I lived in Ireland for 10 years but recently moved back to UK.

                Fortunately my clients were set up so they don't need any face-to-face meetings now - they just pay money to my bank each month for their hosting etc. . In fact, they don't know that I'm not still in Ireland - they still get their monthly email from me.

                I am just at the point where I can get back to 'offline' stuff and am going to make a start with a couple of directory sites.

                Feel free to get in touch if you want to chat.

                What I was asking in my post was, is it better to get my site ranked before beginning to sell listings? I don't want to lose potential prospects showing an empty, unranked directory.

                So, if I just used 'content' on the site and pushed it onto the first page would I lose the place if I then changed the site to a directory script?

                Not too sure if I have explained this properly .

                Karen

                Hi Karen

                Depending on what types of listings you are going to offer, (basic, premium, platinum, etc) why dont you just list all of the businesses for free, but upgrade couple of them to each type so you can demo what an upgrade will receive and benefit from?

                Warren
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                • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
                  Hi guys,

                  I'm hoping some of you with experience could help me out here - as I've had a recent thought about setting up a hyper-local directory where I live.

                  I don't know if it will work though, so here's the low down and let's see what you guys think.

                  In my town, we have around 20,000 people. Pretty much an 'average' town here in Australia. The town is part of a bigger city obviously, but in terms of locality, the town has 20K people.

                  According to some quick looking around, I believe there to be around 8K homes in the town.

                  Now, if I could make the number work.. I was thinking of initially sending out an offer to 8K homes (approx. 20K people exposure potentially) to sign them up for an "up and coming XXXXX local business directory". Obviously this entire process (including the design, mail out, sign up process) would need to be 100% down pat and seamless.

                  But, assuming we've got it all down pat with an attractive advert, I was thinking with hitting the 8K homes I could get a 'reasonable' amount of sign ups.

                  From there, when they get my postcard/advert, they will be directed to call a number (perhaps voice mail and leave details), fill a form on a website (where there might be a video etc) and I basically sign them all up by calling them back.

                  I was thinking charging something like $19.95/m and minimum buy-in is 12 months (to make it worthwhile for me - I need to recoup costs for the mailings). I think at $19.95 it is affordable. Could potentially go $29.95.

                  In either case, on the initial mailing going out to all house holds there would be NO link to the actual directory. I do not want people to see it empty and then not like it. So the directory would not be made public on the initial mailing.

                  The initial mailing would be just to get the info. out there. I would put something like, "Do you want to get your business in front of 20,0000 Local XXXX Residents?" for example, to try and get the businesses signed up.

                  Once signed and everything is good to go, a second round of mailing goes out..

                  This second round is now targeted all all people in the area. It hits the same homes as before, but now is targeting people and NOT business owners. It will direct them to the website and perhaps have a nice, stick out design with fridge magnet so that the URL doesn't escape them some time down the line.

                  I have NO idea how much traffic this would actually generate. I have NO idea if this would even work.

                  But, I am thinking of giving it a go. If I lose my initial investment because not enough businesses join, I will let it flop and call it a loss. But it is an idea I have had for now.

                  To also make some good extra coin, I could do a small twist. With the second set of mailings, I could include my directory URL in big font but also include a small "essentials" bit of space where there would be the details of the 'essential' businesses.

                  For example, on the fridge magnet promo. I could have 4-6 business types like plumbers, electricians, mechanics there so people wouldn't even need to log on the site if it was urgent and they just needed someone to call ASAP. This would attract a once-off fee and would help pay for the mailing.

                  However, that might detract from actual website visits. Also, how would I re-bill them after a year or so?

                  I am not sure how to make this work entirely just yet. But in my mind, it might have potential.

                  I also suppose that, when the business owners who sign up with me to join the directory -- when they actually SEE the advertisement (promoting the directory) go out to all of their friends and family in the town/suburb, they will see that we really are mailing everyone in the streets and that might actually satisfy them because they know the promised work has been done!

                  Also, the main reason this appeals to me: ZERO reliance on Google. Don't have to worry about Google getting their period and changing the algos and knocking the directory down and then having trouble from all the paying clients.

                  Thoughts?
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                  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
                    Mate if you can afford it give it a go. I think it has great potential. It serves two purposes. 1 it gets you business listings to fill your directory and 2 its get your directory known in the local community.

                    One observation why would you send your initial offer to the homes and not just to the businesse only? Aust Post offers this option.

                    The other thing I would do is offer a pre-launch special offer to these businesses for signing up before the site goes live.

                    One final observation this is probably more suitable for a general local city directory that needs to rely more on word-of-mouth promotion as opposed to a hyper niche directory where people will be typing keywords into a search engine.

                    Originally Posted by krzysiek View Post

                    Hi guys,

                    I'm hoping some of you with experience could help me out here - as I've had a recent thought about setting up a hyper-local directory where I live.

                    I don't know if it will work though, so here's the low down and let's see what you guys think.

                    In my town, we have around 20,000 people. Pretty much an 'average' town here in Australia. The town is part of a bigger city obviously, but in terms of locality, the town has 20K people.

                    According to some quick looking around, I believe there to be around 8K homes in the town.

                    Now, if I could make the number work.. I was thinking of initially sending out an offer to 8K homes (approx. 20K people exposure potentially) to sign them up for an "up and coming XXXXX local business directory". Obviously this entire process (including the design, mail out, sign up process) would need to be 100% down pat and seamless.

                    But, assuming we've got it all down pat with an attractive advert, I was thinking with hitting the 8K homes I could get a 'reasonable' amount of sign ups.

                    From there, when they get my postcard/advert, they will be directed to call a number (perhaps voice mail and leave details), fill a form on a website (where there might be a video etc) and I basically sign them all up by calling them back.

                    I was thinking charging something like $19.95/m and minimum buy-in is 12 months (to make it worthwhile for me - I need to recoup costs for the mailings). I think at $19.95 it is affordable. Could potentially go $29.95.

                    In either case, on the initial mailing going out to all house holds there would be NO link to the actual directory. I do not want people to see it empty and then not like it. So the directory would not be made public on the initial mailing.

                    The initial mailing would be just to get the info. out there. I would put something like, "Do you want to get your business in front of 20,0000 Local XXXX Residents?" for example, to try and get the businesses signed up.

                    Once signed and everything is good to go, a second round of mailing goes out..

                    This second round is now targeted all all people in the area. It hits the same homes as before, but now is targeting people and NOT business owners. It will direct them to the website and perhaps have a nice, stick out design with fridge magnet so that the URL doesn't escape them some time down the line.

                    I have NO idea how much traffic this would actually generate. I have NO idea if this would even work.

                    But, I am thinking of giving it a go. If I lose my initial investment because not enough businesses join, I will let it flop and call it a loss. But it is an idea I have had for now.

                    To also make some good extra coin, I could do a small twist. With the second set of mailings, I could include my directory URL in big font but also include a small "essentials" bit of space where there would be the details of the 'essential' businesses.

                    For example, on the fridge magnet promo. I could have 4-6 business types like plumbers, electricians, mechanics there so people wouldn't even need to log on the site if it was urgent and they just needed someone to call ASAP. This would attract a once-off fee and would help pay for the mailing.

                    However, that might detract from actual website visits. Also, how would I re-bill them after a year or so?

                    I am not sure how to make this work entirely just yet. But in my mind, it might have potential.

                    I also suppose that, when the business owners who sign up with me to join the directory -- when they actually SEE the advertisement (promoting the directory) go out to all of their friends and family in the town/suburb, they will see that we really are mailing everyone in the streets and that might actually satisfy them because they know the promised work has been done!

                    Also, the main reason this appeals to me: ZERO reliance on Google. Don't have to worry about Google getting their period and changing the algos and knocking the directory down and then having trouble from all the paying clients.

                    Thoughts?
                    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6060236].message }}
                    • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
                      Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

                      Mate if you can afford it give it a go. I think it has great potential. It serves two purposes. 1 it gets you business listings to fill your directory and 2 its get your directory known in the local community.

                      One observation why would you send your initial offer to the homes and not just to the businesse only? Aust Post offers this option.

                      The other thing I would do is offer a pre-launch special offer to these businesses for signing up before the site goes live.

                      One final observation this is probably more suitable for a general local city directory that needs to rely more on word-of-mouth promotion as opposed to a hyper niche directory where people will be typing keywords into a search engine.
                      Thanks AussieT,

                      Well, I worked out it will cost me around $1200-$1500 or there abouts to get my letter to all 8K homes. Given that I would need to do 2 runs, that's looking to be around $3K for 2 mailings.

                      From those 8K homes, and potentially 20K people looking at my ads - I need 12.53 people to sign up at $19.95 per month for 12 months (minimum contract) to break even.

                      I may be over-optimistic, but I think I could close 12 people at that rate, don't you?

                      Also, the reason I am targeting the whole neighbourhood is because there are a lot of business owners that don't have a shop front. If I was hitting purely shop front owners then this wouldn't work nearly as well.

                      A lot of people are running plumbing, painting, cleaning, renovation etc companies or might be doing that type of work - where they visit the client - and thus have no shop front. Am I wrong to assume AusPost service is only for shop front?

                      If they somehow have data of all people who are business owners (even though with no shop fronts) then yes that would be a much, much better option for me.

                      As it stands, to me, it looks like the only way for me to actually mail businesses only would be to manually find them all online and address a letter to them all. Tedious and time consuming. So that is how I came to the idea of just mailing the whole suburb out in the beginning.

                      About your last point, perhaps I have worded it wrong? With the hyper-local aspect. I just meant really close to home, as the towns as you know, are much smaller here than compared to the US. But in the end, ideally, it would take the focus away from Google completely.

                      Thoughts?
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                      • Profile picture of the author AussieT
                        I think they deliver all registered businesses not just shop fronts

                        Go to this link for more info Australia Post - Unaddressed Mail

                        You can download a csv file for your state and it breaksdown the number of provate and businesses by post code as well as giving the total.

                        You may have to call the 1300 at the bottom of the link for pricing. They are very helpful

                        Tom

                        Originally Posted by krzysiek View Post

                        Thanks AussieT,

                        Well, I worked out it will cost me around $1200-$1500 or there abouts to get my letter to all 8K homes. Given that I would need to do 2 runs, that's looking to be around $3K for 2 mailings.

                        From those 8K homes, and potentially 20K people looking at my ads - I need 12.53 people to sign up at $19.95 per month for 12 months (minimum contract) to break even.

                        I may be over-optimistic, but I think I could close 12 people at that rate, don't you?

                        Also, the reason I am targeting the whole neighbourhood is because there are a lot of business owners that don't have a shop front. If I was hitting purely shop front owners then this wouldn't work nearly as well.

                        A lot of people are running plumbing, painting, cleaning, renovation etc companies or might be doing that type of work - where they visit the client - and thus have no shop front. Am I wrong to assume AusPost service is only for shop front?

                        If they somehow have data of all people who are business owners (even though with no shop fronts) then yes that would be a much, much better option for me.

                        As it stands, to me, it looks like the only way for me to actually mail businesses only would be to manually find them all online and address a letter to them all. Tedious and time consuming. So that is how I came to the idea of just mailing the whole suburb out in the beginning.

                        About your last point, perhaps I have worded it wrong? With the hyper-local aspect. I just meant really close to home, as the towns as you know, are much smaller here than compared to the US. But in the end, ideally, it would take the focus away from Google completely.

                        Thoughts?
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                      • Profile picture of the author Warren Tibbotts
                        Originally Posted by krzysiek View Post

                        Thanks AussieT,

                        Well, I worked out it will cost me around $1200-$1500 or there abouts to get my letter to all 8K homes. Given that I would need to do 2 runs, that's looking to be around $3K for 2 mailings.

                        From those 8K homes, and potentially 20K people looking at my ads - I need 12.53 people to sign up at $19.95 per month for 12 months (minimum contract) to break even.

                        I may be over-optimistic, but I think I could close 12 people at that rate, don't you?

                        Also, the reason I am targeting the whole neighbourhood is because there are a lot of business owners that don't have a shop front. If I was hitting purely shop front owners then this wouldn't work nearly as well.

                        A lot of people are running plumbing, painting, cleaning, renovation etc companies or might be doing that type of work - where they visit the client - and thus have no shop front. Am I wrong to assume AusPost service is only for shop front?

                        If they somehow have data of all people who are business owners (even though with no shop fronts) then yes that would be a much, much better option for me.

                        As it stands, to me, it looks like the only way for me to actually mail businesses only would be to manually find them all online and address a letter to them all. Tedious and time consuming. So that is how I came to the idea of just mailing the whole suburb out in the beginning.

                        About your last point, perhaps I have worded it wrong? With the hyper-local aspect. I just meant really close to home, as the towns as you know, are much smaller here than compared to the US. But in the end, ideally, it would take the focus away from Google completely.

                        Thoughts?

                        Don't waste your money on the mailing. Unless you're prepared to drop a few (say 100) and then go and door knock them the next day, you are wasting your money. The response rate will be around 0.001%. (so you might get 1 or 2 joining, but that will be it) If somehow you can personalise all the mailouts with a name and address, you might improve this to around 1% which would cover your break even. The only real way you could make this work (as you plan to do it) is to make it stand out BIG TIME, and with a massive BENEFIT headline (what's in it for me!!!!) statement. If you cant do that, you may as well wire me your investment now, and I'll sign up for your monthly site as your likely single prospect.

                        Just my 2cents worth

                        Warren
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        • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
          Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

          I've decided to offer discounts for the first 20 spots. Then bump it to a higher price fr the next 20, then go to the $197 monthly price.

          I'll be pre-selling spots at my local biz meeting Thursday.
          Shay, I will be checking this thread frequently to see how your progress goes, it is really interesting. Although I decided on a niche and found a couple nice domains available, I am still not sure how well this will work. Following real case studies from others like you just gives me more motivation.

          Originally Posted by pwk2000 View Post

          Pricing questions:

          1. Is it usually best to just offer a monthly price instead of an annual price? If you offer both, do most sign up for the monthly package?

          2. Does anyone suggest selling a lifetime listing? Seems like an easier sell.
          Maybe offer $600 a year, or a $1,200 lifetime listing. Any thoughts?

          3. Does anyone offer or get asked about a money back guarantee?

          I have been working on a small niche directory for 5 years, always re-doing the design. Re-thinking pricing, featured listings etc. Leaving it alone for a while then coming back to it months later and messing with it again! Something is stopping me from just calling or even emailing my offer... I am not sure why... any advice?
          The important point is to get traffic to your site and being at high spots on Google is one factor for that. If your site is on Google page 1 and gets some considerable traffic, I believe business owners will find you and ask you to be listed or advertise on your directory. Once you have the traffic, it will be an easier sell I guess.

          I wouldn't do a lifetime deal for any type of advertising or listing. Let's say, you normally sell listings $500/year and sold one lifetime listing for $1000. 2 years later, you will be starting to advertise that business for free for the life of your site. Can you get any lifetime deals on a local store for any product/service?

          Personally, I will not offer a money-back guarantee and I don't think any business owner would ask for a money-back guarantee for this type of listing or advertising, unless you make unrealistic promises like, "List your business on our directory and we will send you 10 new customers a month."

          Here is my simple strategy that I will follow:

          Build the site > Grow it > Increase traffic > Contact business owners and show them traffic stats > Make no promises > Offer no guarantees
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          • Profile picture of the author ShayB
            Originally Posted by Nail Yener View Post

            Shay, I will be checking this thread frequently to see how your progress goes, it is really interesting. Although I decided on a niche and found a couple nice domains available, I am still not sure how well this will work. Following real case studies from others like you just gives me more motivation.
            I hope it helps!

            The group that I meet with every week is a great group, and we do a lot of business with each other. I figure it's a great place to start - and it'll be a nice way to get things going.
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            • Profile picture of the author catcat
              I'll also be watching Shay. This is one of the pet projects on my list and will start when some other obligations are out of the way. This is a great thread!
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        • Profile picture of the author AussieT
          Originally Posted by pwk2000 View Post

          Pricing questions:

          1. Is it usually best to just offer a monthly price instead of an annual price? If you offer both, do most sign up for the monthly package?
          You can offer an annual price for a discount. it has the advantage of getting more money upfront and if you offer monthly only and they cancel then you will have a tough time getting them back. Having them onboard for a year gives you more time to build up traffic and prove your worth to them.

          2. Does anyone suggest selling a lifetime listing? Seems like an easier sell.
          Maybe offer $600 a year, or a $1,200 lifetime listing. Any thoughts?
          One of my competitors originally offered a lifetime listing and did very well. He quickly filled his directory and Google rewared him. A few years later he began upselling them to a premium listing with added benefits and higher listing in the list view section.

          I am thinking of doing the same in another niche to try it.

          3. Does anyone offer or get asked about a money back guarantee?
          Never been asked in my niche although I have been asked for free trial listings.

          I have been working on a small niche directory for 5 years, always re-doing the design. Re-thinking pricing, featured listings etc. Leaving it alone for a while then coming back to it months later and messing with it again! Something is stopping me from just calling or even emailing my offer... I am not sure why... any advice?
          Stop playing with the design and get filled with listings and ranked instead.

          At this point sometimes I think I would be better off building directories for other people! And just charge a hosting/support fee.
          That is an option but the advantage of keeping it yourself is the recurring income.

          Tom
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      • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
        Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

        Nice site DWolfe
        Mind teeling us which script you used?
        Does the script add the scolling ful-page image of their site automatically?

        I had the site built by a memeber here on the forum, In the source code it says directory press. I can send you his contact information if you need it. Not sure what the scrolling is " I have no real experince in building a site"


        <title>Audiology NJ</title>
        <linkrel="stylesheet"href="http://audiologynj.com/wp-content/themes/directorypress/style.css"type="text/css"media="screen"/>
        <linkrel="pingback"href="http://audiologynj.com/xmlrpc.php"/>
        <linkrel="shortcut icon"href=""type="image/x-icon"/>
        <metahttp-equiv="Content-Type"content="text/html; charset=UTF-8"/>
        <linkrel='stylesheet'id='wpimageflow2css-css'href='http://audiologynj.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-imageflow2/css/screen.css?ver=3.0.3'type='text/css'media='all'/>

        I copied the source code and see something called imageflow2 . I guess that is what the image is on the top. Personally I thought that might be a distraction. I will take your advice and add more sites before advertising.

        Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
    I want to thank all of you and especially John Durham for this great thread. I read every single post from fellow warriors and took down notes. Although the directory idea was always in my mind and I even registered a local domain, started building it but never continued, now I will give this another try and see how it works in the following months.

    I am full of ideas and specifically, I have a national niche directory idea that I will start working on tomorrow that I believe has a chance to work nice. I prefer nation-wide, or if possible global, directories over local (city-based) directories because although the competition for the former option will be higher, the reward will also be higher, if it works.


    Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

    Okay, an opinion, please?

    I bought <city state> guide.net for my area. The .com is taken, but it's a parked page and it doesn't even show up when you do a search.

    I'll be using the .net for the directory, but debating on whether or not to snatch up the .com? (It's under $1000.)

    Thoughts?
    Shay, I personally stopped registering domain names other than .com's. Especially if it will be a local directory, I would try to find something available with .com. Once your site becomes popular, you may not be able to get the .com version.
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  • Profile picture of the author maricelu
    I 've got a flash. Say I build a lawyers directory in a city. As we know, lawyers offer different services. I include all their services as a category for my posts. Then, I start calling lawyer offices, and, depending on what services they offer, I propose them to be featured on each services category. However, If there are multiple lawyers wich offer the same services, I would fill the services page with a lot of featured listings. I think people nowadays don't just look for "lawyer city" but also "accident lawyer city" so there is an opportunity.
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  • Profile picture of the author Karen Connell
    Just a quick question:

    If I build a simple 5 page site on my domain XXXXdirectory.com and get that up in the rankings, could I change the site to a directory script without losing the ranking?

    Or would I be better biting the bullet and buying a script, add some free listings and get that ranked?

    The domain that I have bought has 9,000+ monthly searches and is a local, very specialized niche with lots of Google ads - so people are paying to advertise. There are lots of sub niches very closely related to go for. Hopefully, the possibilities are endless...

    I tried this halfheartedly a few years ago but didn't put much effort into it due to other priorities that still make me money today (thank you John...). The script that I used was not very good and I made the mistake of trying to rank for a very large area rather than a local one, so I suppose I just lost interest.

    But, again thanks to John (my hero...) and all the other contributors to this thread, this time I'm in it for the long haul.

    Karen
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      I've decided to offer discounts for the first 20 spots. Then bump it to a higher price fr the next 20, then go to the $197 monthly price.

      I'll be pre-selling spots at my local biz meeting Thursday.
      Signature
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      "Fate protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise." ~Commander Riker
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  • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
    How's this for a simple business plan...

    I have 3 local domains that are based on dialling codes. I will develop basic directories on them, and offer free basic listings to fill it up.

    Then I will upsell some of those to premium listings at £50 per month, and promote those more proactively.

    I also intend to use the site rental model this year, so could use the directories to promote my own rental sites, and then offer those as an additional upsell. This would be on separate hosting so could justify interlinking them for more Google presence in the SERPS.

    So, if a business has their own site already, they could have a premium listing and a site rental site to totally dominate the results pages for various keywords / phrases.

    Does that sound like it could work?
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    • Profile picture of the author AussieT
      Originally Posted by Roger Mayne View Post

      How's this for a simple business plan...
      I have 3 local domains that are based on dialling codes. I will develop basic directories on them, and offer free basic listings to fill it up.
      Roger what do you mean by domain based on dialing codes? Can you give us an example?

      Then I will upsell some of those to premium listings at £50 per month, and promote those more proactively.
      What do you mean by you will promote the premium listings more proactively? Do you mean backling them for example so they rank better or do you mean you will promote the actually selling of these premim listings to businesses more aggressively?

      I also intend to use the site rental model this year, so could use the directories to promote my own rental sites, and then offer those as an additional upsell. This would be on separate hosting so could justify interlinking them for more Google presence in the SERPS.
      Good idea

      So, if a business has their own site already, they could have a premium listing and a site rental site to totally dominate the results pages for various keywords / phrases.
      This should weor well for those who reconise the potental of having several listings on the first page of google

      Does that sound like it could work?
      I think it should work well for you if you have the selling skills. Keep us in
      iformed in this thread of your progress please.

      Tom
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Sorry guys I was out of town today. Will return to this exciting thread tomorrow. I have the first real nice rest coming in a long time tonight, after experiencing a small victory today, one that I have awaited for a very long time.

        My personal mountain is beginning to move. Anyway, this deserves a night of rest! and thankfulness to God, also to Jeannie Crabtree and her brother David!
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      • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
        Hi Tom

        Here's more information for you...

        Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

        Roger what do you mean by domain based on dialing codes? Can you give us an example?

        By dialling code, I meant local area code. In the UK an area code will cover a bunch of towns, so the catchment can be reasonably large. Plus, it means that my domain is only 5 numbers long (easy to remember).

        So if the STD code is 01999, my domain is 01999.co.uk and encompasses various towns within that area.

        Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

        What do you mean by you will promote the premium listings more proactively? Do you mean backling them for example so they rank better or do you mean you will promote the actually selling of these premim listings to businesses more aggressively?
        I meant I would more actively promote the premium listings, using varied keywords backlinks rather than just their company name.

        Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

        Good idea

        This should weor well for those who reconise the potental of having several listings on the first page of google.

        I think it should work well for you if you have the selling skills. Keep us in
        iformed in this thread of your progress please.

        Tom
        There's the rub. I guess I would have to educate them by setting up some examples and demonstrating the power of it. The local domains would become my lead generators as I would have to assume that anyone who signs up for a free listing is looking to promote their site.

        I'll be honest, I'm not the greatest salesman, but I can only improve with more practice.

        Luckily, I used to be a freelance IT consultant, so I'm not afraid of getting in front of people, but then I let my knowledge do the selling for me.

        As part of that business, I teamed up with an old school friend who is an excellent web designer. I hope to be able to work with some of his clients in terms of promotion, so our services will compliment each other quite well.

        I think this will be a harder sell, but I have a full time job at the moment, so won't have to rely on this income.

        Having said that, I want this to be a success, so am prepared to step out of my comfort zone to achieve that. I have set myself a low residual income goal by the end of this year, so I'm reasonably confident on reaching that.

        Thanks for your input.
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        • Profile picture of the author AussieT
          Originally Posted by Roger Mayne View Post

          Hi Tom

          Here's more information for you...

          By dialling code, I meant local area code. In the UK an area code will cover a bunch of towns, so the catchment can be reasonably large. Plus, it means that my domain is only 5 numbers long (easy to remember).

          So if the STD code is 01999, my domain is 01999.co.uk and encompasses various towns within that area.

          In Australia we only have 2 digt area codes (Sydney is 02) But do people really search using these area codes? Or does Google perhaps give some weight to them? I am wondering how these domains will help you rank better in the SERP's? I know that some talk about using Postal Codes in domain names but I wonder if these are really helpful also?

          I meant I would more actively promote the premium listings, using varied keywords backlinks rather than just their company name.

          Got it. Thanks

          Thanks for your input.
          Your're welcome we are all here ask questions and learn from one another
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          • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
            Originally Posted by AussieT View Post

            Your're welcome we are all here ask questions and learn from one another
            Hi Tom

            I don't necessarily think the std code domains will help with ranking, but I'm hoping will make them more brandable. every business in the area will recognise their own dialling code, plus it means the domain is only 5 characters long.
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  • Profile picture of the author j3rki
    No, I meant that no domains are registrated yet
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  • Profile picture of the author Karen Connell
    Just a quick note:

    I went ahead and bought DirectoryPress (which seemed the better option of the ones I looked at).

    If you plan on buying it look for promo codes first. I paid $55.30 instead of $79.

    Right - off to make a start getting it up and running .

    Karen
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    • Profile picture of the author FormerWageSlave
      Why did you choose DirectoryPress? What did you like about it that the others didn't measure up? Which other scripts were you considering?

      Originally Posted by Karen Connell View Post

      Just a quick note:

      I went ahead and bought DirectoryPress (which seemed the better option of the ones I looked at).

      If you plan on buying it look for promo codes first. I paid $55.30 instead of $79.

      Right off to make a start getting it up and running .

      Karen
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      grrr...

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  • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
    Good luck with it Karen.

    The new version (7.09) has some great features and is a lot easier to customise.
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Connell
      Originally Posted by FormerWageSlave View Post

      Why did you choose DirectoryPress? What did you like about it that the others didn't measure up? Which other scripts were you considering?
      I'm not comfortable with saying which didn't measure up because for some they may be brilliant.

      I bought a script a while ago and found that there was not the same easy customisation as DirectoryPress. It was not WP based and I kinda like WP.

      For a techical dunce like me, DirectoryPress looks like something that even I can get along with.



      Originally Posted by Roger Mayne View Post

      Good luck with it Karen.

      The new version (7.09) has some great features and is a lot easier to customise.
      Thanks Roger - I'm watching the tutorials now

      Karen
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      • Profile picture of the author FormerWageSlave
        I realize not every solution will work for every person, I was interested in your thoughts and opinions.

        Did you look at Geo Places from Templatic? Those are the two I am strongly considering and if you looked at both, It would be nice to know why you picked DirectoryPress over the others.

        Thanks.

        Originally Posted by Karen Connell View Post

        I'm not comfortable with saying which didn't measure up because for some they may be brilliant.

        I bought a script a while ago and found that there was not the same easy customisation as DirectoryPress. It was not WP based and I kinda like WP.

        For a techical dunce like me, DirectoryPress looks like something that even I can get along with.





        Thanks Roger - I'm watching the tutorials now

        Karen
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        grrr...

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