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4 Facts You Need to Know before You Start a Web Directory

web directory businessWebpreneurs – fancy starting a web directory? Before you start, read this first!

Many have said that web directory business is dying. Some other don’t think so (and I believe so, too. I know a couple who makes thousands of dollars every month from their web directories.) Regardless of what people say, if you are interested in starting a decent, well-run web directory, here are some facts you need to know so you can align your expectation with those facts:

1. Start a web directory is easy, but to run it well requires a lot of patience (and money) to start bringing in profits

It’s easy to start a web directory. Just buy a decent web directory script, install it and promote your new web directory in many places, such as webmaster forums.

However, if you expect you can make money right away from your web directory business, you need to think again and change your perception about web directory business.

If you read web directory owners experience in running their directories, most acknowledge that a web directory startup requires months of hard work before you start seeing results. That mean, you need to be well-prepared to do link submission and listing moderation, directory marketing and promotion, etc. for months, sometimes with no return whatsoever in the form of money.

And yes, you often need to spend money to make money in directory business. One tip offered by a successful directory owner is that you need to be ready to splash some cash for your web directory promotion before you start seeing results.

2. Choose the right monetization methods

It’s official – website monetization is different from one site to another. Monetizing a web directory is different with monetizing, say, a blog.

With web directories, the best advice I get from webmaster forums is: Focus on making money via listing review fee. Putting banner ads can be the next-best route, but not recommended if you don’t want to turn your visitors to one of your competitors.

Google AdSense? Never, ever install one in your web directory – the earning per click is really bad and you don’t want to, again, lure your prospects to your competitors.

3. It’s probably better for you to buy an established directory than starting one

The startup phase of web directories is long and windy. Let’s say maybe 90% of web directories fail within the first 3 months. Some turn into dead directory and some others turn into link farms (and link farms are not directories!)

4. Want to succeed? Niche directories are your best bet

People tend to start general directories as it is easier to make money from them. A directory owner I know claim that yes, general directories are easier to monetize.

However, considering the stiff competitions in the general directory market, it is wise to spend your time and money on niche directories – such as an interest-based directory like, say, fishing directory or local business directory, especially on niches you are interested or have expertise in. This way, your directory can have a better chance to be considered as the authority in your niche; and yes, in directory business – as well as in any businesses – “authority” means profits!

So, there you go – some facts you need to know to help you prepare for your web directory business startup. For more insight on web directory business, read our directory tips blog, DirectoryDaily.com.


Ivan Widjaya is a webpreneur and an owner of a site network. He actively runs Noobpreneur.com, a small business tips blog, and CBRdigital.com, a cloud business blog .

2 Responses to “4 Facts You Need to Know before You Start a Web Directory”

  1. Estrella Grotts says:

    Better to use WordPress and you can get it started for free.

  2. Eric Lenhard says:

    Great overview for someone trying to wrap their head around how to start web directory business. Thanks a lot.

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