How To Make Money With Website Directories

Of all the different ways there are to make money online, this is probably one of the more unusual. It’s certainly not the first one to come to mind… and yet when you think of where you could end up by giving it a go (does the name Yahoo sound familiar?) you can see why it’s worth at least considering the idea.

What’s more, you can choose your focus so that it appeals to everyone online or just a specific topic area. If you choose the second option you could end up building a whole empire of websites over time.

So what is a website directory anyway? Simply put it’s a website which lists other websites. But of course it’s a little more than that. By putting them into specific categories everyone visiting your site will be able to find what they need quickly and easily.

The first step is to decide what you want the focus of your directory to be. Do you want to list anything and everything, or do you want to concentrate on a particular topic? For example you could create a directory listing shops and stores in a particular country. You obviously need to pick a subject area where there is plenty of meat to include; a website which lists fake mustache sellers in a specific town probably isn’t going to be that big.

Once you have your topic you need to create your site, and it needs to be a good one. It’s worth getting it designed professionally because people simply won’t use it if it doesn’t look respectable. The cost will be worth it though because you will then be able to charge for your listings.

Adding a fee structure to your website is the way in which you will make money. Free listings will also generate valuable free advertising and promotion for you, since in return for a free listing you will ask for a backlink to your website. The free listings should also be basic so as to allow for paid listings to stand out more and be worth the money you will charge for them.

So what kind of paid listings should you offer? You can charge for two basic types; for example a normal paid listing would appear at the top of its relevant category, whereas a premium paid listing could involve the use of bold type as well, so it would stand out more from its rivals.

You can develop paid services as much or as little as you like; for example free listings may not include a clickable link to the website being advertised, whereas paid listings will. You could also add an optional extra fee to premium paid listings to allow the purchaser to add their business logo or a photo to their listing as well.

The fees you charge are up to you, but it’s important to remember that people won’t pay money if their websites aren’t going to be seen by lots of potential customers. That’s why you need to make sure your site has real value by generating streams of traffic towards it (a good reason for having free listings which require a link to your site).

The more traffic your website directory is capable of getting, the more traffic your customers are likely to get in return, and the more they will be prepared to pay for a premium listing. In this way building a successful directory has two main areas of interest – firstly you need to get plenty of listings on your site, and secondly you need to get plenty of traffic to those listings.

By doing this you will be adding real value to your website and word will start to get out that your website directory does indeed help to drive traffic to people’s websites. Once you can legitimately lay claim to this then the paid requests for inclusion will start pouring in.

Once you get to this stage you might also consider spreading the word about the efficiency and benefits your site offers by spending some of your profits on more advertising. Google AdWords could get you even more paid listings for very little outlay.

Leave us a comment below to let us know what you think, and then start making plans for your very own website directory. Good luck!

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