Web directories, despite losing their favors in search engines, are still lucrative. The most lucrative of all web directories are local business directories. How to establish one quickly and how to make money from it?
What is a local web directory?
Local directories typically contain listings of local businesses, such as directories of businesses in Orlando, Florida. The listing is categorized by business niches and types.
You can also consider local niche directories, such as a directory of plumbers in Orlando, Florida.
Essentially, the more niche a local directory, the better it can capture targeted traffic (and clients.)
How a local business directory make money?
In general, a local business directory makes money from mainly listing and advertising.
You can charge a certain dollar value for a local business to list in your directory. Of course, you can always offer free listing, with premium listing in prominent location available to those who pays a monthly or annually.
Advertising would only work effectively (read: Make you a good amount of money) if your directory is well-visited and ranked well in search engines.
How to establish a local business directory?
All you need to do is to install a quality directory script and you can start building a directory.
If you are a WordPress fan, you can build a business directory with more perks – more on this later; read on…
To build a quality directory, I recommend you to take these steps.
1. Install WordPress on a WordPress-friendly hosting account
WordPress is great because it’s free and has a strong community supporting it, making plenty of WordPress add-ons (WP plugins) available, mostly at no cost.
I recommend you to sign up with WordPress-compatible web hosting, such as HostGator, to avoid future technical problem (I know because I once partnered with a hosting provider that brought me so headache as the servers are not setup to be compatible with WordPress.)
2. Get DirectoryPress
DirectoryPress is a WP theme that can turn your WordPress basic installation into a directory. Setting up the directory can be done inside the WordPress Admin Panel.
Monetization methods can be set from the theme setting; you can also choose from dozens of front-end directory design.
3. Get WP Data Storm
WP Data Storm is a premium WordPress plugin that can let you scrape listing from the web with a push of a button, based on keywords.
Unlike other content scrapers, WP data Storm will automatically “fill” your directory listing and turn each listing into unique, Copyscape-passed content.
Thousands of listing can be scraped in minutes – a real time saver.
4. Monetize your directory
When the timing is right, you can now start offering paid listing for businesses, as well as start placing ads on your local business directory.
You can sell links, but that would be risky as they against Google TOS.
5. Start promoting your directory
“Just build it and they will come” won’t work in online business. You need to actively promote your directory. You should start posting in webmaster forums, promote in business forums and local chamber of commerce, do directory submissions, do social media marketing, etc.
Good luck in building a great local business directory!