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How To Build Your Own Wordpress Directory Website Business
Why Directory Sites Make Money
A quality directory website can be a great source of passive income online. But not just any directory site can generate money, good ones do.
Think about Yelp, Angies List, and even Google+ these sites are always ranking #1 not because they have great content and real reviews.
In my opinion all of these sites lack personality and focus. Sure there at the top of the food chain, but there's always room to come in and carve out your own market a start making money.
The most important thing is making sure that you get started for the right reasons, sure it's great to be able to make money doing it, but it helps to start a directory website based on something that you either know about or have an interest in.
Local Directories Make Money Online - Choose Your City and Get Started
Types Of Directories
The directory business is all about creating a site for the right audience. You can choose to take the "Everybody" approach and build your directory site to attract people all over or you can target a small group of people or a niche.
Either way keep in mind these different type of directories:
- Local - These directories are created to cover a specific geographical location. Like choosing your hometown or your state.
- Website directories - Instead of listing places you'll categorize websites or online place
- Types of Business - These types of directories aren't really specific to any location but more dedicated to a certain industry like directory of salons or lawyers.
- Products or ecommerce - These types of sites will offer price comparisons or help people find products. This type of site may include ecommerce features as well
- People Finders - A good example of these types of sites will help you locate people and their social profiles, or types of people with different skills or talents.
This list should really give you an idea of the possibilities that are still out there for directory website businesses. Don't think about how small the market or how much money you can make. Go for what's unique and not being done. Of if you do choose to go with something that's already out there, think about how to make your directory website better.
Choosing a Name and Purchasing Your .com Domain Name
Once you decide the type of directory you want to build, you can start brainstorming a name for your site. It's always a good idea to choose something short and descriptive if possible.
There are tons of new start-up ventures everyday and I'm sure coming up with a name can be challenging. You can get super creative and invent your own word like "Groupon" or be more description like "Topchildcarecenters.com"
I recommend going with a company like Bluehost > link you can purchase your .com and setup hosting all in one order + install wordpress in about a minute. They provide instant setup and great customer service.
So start brainstorming!
Here are a few names that are available as I'm writing this post.
- whodoesyoursmile.com (dental directory)
Once you figure out your .com don't hesitate to purchase it, once it's gone it's gone!
Quality Over Quantity
Of course you'll want to become the most popular destination for your type of directory website. But let's not get to hasty. In the beginning it's going to be way more important to makes sure you are building a site with QUALITY + REAL listings, otherwise what's the point.
For any directory website to survive you have to have great content and for any directory the great content starts with your listings.
Depending on the type of directory you are building content can be created in a variety of ways. For most directories this is done organically.
(Organically meaning people will find your site and signup on their own)
To get started in this direction you'll have to figure out your strategy for getting people to find your site and get them to sign up to get listed. I'll talk about marketing later on in this hub, but for now just keep in mind that to build your directory organically can take some time at the beginning. As your listings increase so will your traffic.
Another way to get content on your site is to curate it yourself. For some types of websites this might be ideal. For example if you were building a directory about salons you could easily begin locating these salons on your own and adding them to your website.
If you are building your content this way it's always a good idea to reach out to these business owners to let them know of your efforts. Also when generating your listings this way make sure the businesses are in good standing and offer good service if you can.
Quality Directory Website Hosting
In addition to quality content you want to make sure that as your directory business grows you are with a reliable hosting company.
To get started setting up your online Directory I recommend using Blue Host - They offer quick free wordpress installations and their very reliable with amazing customer support.
Using A Wordpres Theme To Build Your Directory Website
Step 1: Choosing A Directory Site Design
This is the fun part, and of course you can think about a name and get a .com and all that. But I find that when you start shopping for your software or a theme it helps get your creative juices flowing. You can then find the right setup and features and see them in action.
This will lend in the process of coming up with the name and everything else. So take a look at these options for choosing the right directory software of directory website theme.
Side Note: Directory Software VS. Themes
(Directory software would be purchased and need to be installed on your hosting server in order to work. This type of software works on it's on. A directory theme as listed below will typically need a platform such as WordPress and will allow you to manage your directory website using the WordPress system.)
Option 1: Build Your Directory Website Using Directory Software
With all of my hubs I only recommend software that I can personally vouch for. I've build countless website and pretty much know everything that's out there for directory websites.
Both of these options are full featured and will allow you to accept payments for listings, and manage memberships. They will also allow your customers to manage their accounts and create listings on their own.
Sof if you want to go the self hosted software route these are you options that I would recommend.
PHPMyDirectory - phpmydirectory.com
- Price: $99
- Very affordable
- Standard directory look, will need to be customized
- No monthly fees
- Company offers regular updates
- Great support
- Active customer support forums
- Third party themes and design options
- Mobile ready
eDirectory - eDirectory.com
- $199 setup/ $99 month or $1799 onetime fee
- Very pricey but includes tons of features
- Updated regularly
- Better looking template designs
- Mobile ready
Option 2: Use WordPress Themes to Build Your Directory Website
These templates will provide a great start to your directory website. They are all full featured and mobile ready.
You'll be able to accept payments and manage your memberships and user accounts.
Directory Portal Wordpress Theme
Purchase Directory Portal Theme For $55
Wordpress Directory Business Finder Theme
Get Business Finder Theme $60
- WordPress - Business Finder Theme
Business Finder Theme
After you Choose Your Software Or Theme...
Once you choose your software or theme, you have to finally decide on your name and what your directory will be all about.
Then it's time to purchase your .com.
I recommend Godaddy for this, they have great pricing and good service.
Makesure you choose a company to host your website, you can again choose Godaddy. I also recommend HostGator for website hositng.
Mobile Marketing For Directory Sites
Local Marketing For Directories
Social Marketing For Directories
Getting Traffic To Your New Directory Website
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing should be your ultimate goal in marketing. Because once your directory site grows the content in the listings is what's going to bring the traffic to your website. But in the beginning this can be difficult because you probably won't have many listings. So you have to get creative and make your own content. Here are some ideas:
- Start a blog on your website and start blogging about the industry your directory will serve offer tips and resources
- Create infographics about your industry highlighting facts and other tips
- Make video slideshows and put them on YouTube with links back to your website
2. Outbound Marketing
This form of marketing would be some of the traditional types of marketing and can be expensive
- Paid advertising on search engines
- Purchasing banner space on other website
- Mailing letters and postcards
- Posting fliers
3. Quality Listings
Like I said before having quality listings is going to be one of your most powerful forms of marketing. Take time and think about who your idea website visitor will be and what they are going to be looking for and make sure that your listings provide enough information. Include things like reviews, better business bureau links, and website and social media profile links.
This will help build your websites reputation as a trusted source.
4. Social Media
As soon as you come up with your business name you'll want to immediately reserve your social profile names on all the major social media sites including:
Once your have your profiles setup on these websites you'll want to link them to your website, and allow your listing owners to link to their profiles and well. Make sure that when you create new content that you share it on your social channels.
If you are creating a local directory it makes sense to do some local marketing around your city. This can be done simply with business cards and flyers. You may also want to take it a step further and create window clings or in store marketing materials for businesses that are listed on your website to help them promote to their customers. You've seen this done by companies like Yelp. Where business will put a Yelp sticker in their window to show offer their rating status.
Don't forget mobile, more people have cell phones than computers and mobile devices are often the used to search. So make sure you site is mobile ready so that you aren't missing out of mobile leads.
Are Directory Sites Profitable?
Do you think there's opportunity to make money with directory websites?
Don't Put It Off, Just Take The First Step Now
I hope this page has helped you with ideas and provided you with a starting point for creating your online directory website.
There is still so much opportunity to make a great website that would create a great source of income for you.
It's going to take some work , but if it's worth having, it's worth doing so go for it.
Please post your questions and comments below.
Thanks for reading!