Hi guys just wanted to offer some advice about “directories” and how to make them profitable and worthwhile. I am writing this as i have learnt from my mistakes and where i went wrong. This won’t be for everyone but if it helps one person it will be worthwhile.
I tried building 5 directories over the past 4 years and all failed. Why ?
1. I had no-one to advertise too
2. I just built the site and imported thousands of listings
3. The directory offered nothing of value
Whats changed since 4 years ago
1. I have built a niche and have a facebook group with 30k members all interested in the subject. (This is my most valuable piece of advice, create a group for your niche.)
2. Every listing is manually done and I get the owner of the business involved, if they are not interested it gets deleted off (they will come back when they see there competitors on there)
3. I make the listing owner push out there listing to get reviews
4. I offer the listing owner a badge for there website so customers can see independent reviews.
5. I get the community involved to review said listings.
6. On the listing page offer a unique voucher code for that business so consumers get used to coming to your site for that companies deals and the owner can see the code being used (only for online websites)
So instead of 10k listings with no value i have 100 with lots of value. If the business your listing has no input its pointless in a lot of niches.
Like i said i hope this helps someone to think about some to do’s if your struggling like i was 🙂
gruppopegasoLifetime MemberPost count: 85
Are you using GT Vouchers? Because i don’t understand if project is stopped.
I’ve a successfully working directory, based on a city of 200.000 inhabitants, and on the social following every events in the territory we created a very strong audience.
But on Voucher i really dind’t get much success. All was based on old Geotheme declined on 3 apps.
No, i created a custom post type called deals and did it that way so users can manually add them. I just link them manually
David SiriusExpired MemberPost count: 163
Thank you very much for sharing! I agree with most of your points but not on deleting listings that dont pay (it contradicts in maximising user value from my perspective), but I guess it also depends on type of directory you’re buliding. I’d only do that if you have lots of leverage (by visitor numbers) and it will actually hurt the company. When starting out I’d focus on maximising user value to get traffic up.
I’d be very interested in connecting and exchanging views outside of here. If you’re interested, let me know!
Sorry what i meant was you get a free listing but whats the point in a free listing that shows a name and address (thats what googles for) it adds no value and clogs up a “clean” directory. I would prefer 10 listings that are of “use” than 100 that offer no value if you get me.
p.s just added you on Facebook
Agree with the Facebook suggestion. It is also important to network in person as running a business is not a pure digital play. My directory is a bit different in that its value is being a neutral and independent source for comprehensive information on my niche. I reaearch and add all the listings myself. Access is free but parts of it require membership (which is free). Listings can be upgraded for a fee. Revenue comes primarily from consulting fees as I learned from my niche that everybody wants this information but don’t have the time to use it. So they tell me what they need and I pull the information for them for a fee. The directory attracts the potential clients and gives them value.
It is very early days yet and the site has not officially even launched and yet through Facebook alone I have started pulling in both clients and contacts. I then meet with them either in person, over the phone or via Skype.
The key thing is find a niche that people will pay for information on and be passionate about it as it is a lot of work!
Bottom line is there are multiple ways to use your directory to build revenue. I haven’t even looked into advertising yet.
Thanks for the kind words, I have to disagree if you mean banner advertising, I am anti banners, they don’t work and generally the ctr to conversions is horrendous. I am all for clean sites (i dont even show related posts)
No not banner ads but advertising in general. With a well-defined niche people don’t mind advertising as long as it relates to that niche and that they feel it does not jeopardize the independence of the site, which is reason enough to diversify your revenue streams. Also it has to be as unobtrusive as possible.
I use related posts so that if somebody is researching F3 teams in the UK other teams they might not have considered will show in the related posts part.
You just have to know your niche and what people want and don’t want.
“Also it has to be as unobtrusive as possible” that is a perfect analysis and good choice of words 🙂
I can’t use related posts for the simple reason it “may” put people off the company in question. As a business owner myself i would not link to my own listing that had my competition on the same page.
Thats where a lot also go wrong when creating “niche” sites.
Good point. But then you can also use that as a selling point to get your listings to pay to stand out from the crowd. Again it all depends on your niche. That’s what is fun, there are multiple ways to generate revenue and run your business.
I think a lot of people get very misguided with building a directory. GD is very powerful and also very complex but if you think you can just scrape Yelp and slap up a directory you will have a hard go of it. It takes a lot of work as you well know! I think people underestimate that.
“I think a lot of people get very misguided with building a directory”
yes very and i was in that boat, my old sites got traffic but to be honest it was pointless traffic.
“if you think you can just scrape Yelp and slap up a directory you will have a hard go of it”
This is the very reason of the post, if your scraping yelp your offering nothing as thats what yelp is for. Creating something unique is where it’s at or your just wasting your time and your visitors time.
PaoloSite AdminPost count: 31205
great discussion and suggestions ukvape.
The key is definitely to create value… 🙂
In case someone missed it we have a post with few other tips here: https://wpgeodirectory.com/the-6-rules-to-monetize-a-directory-website/
andersExpired MemberPost count: 121
Thank you for sharing your story ukvape, very interesting and you have some great points!
Did you start the Facebook group before launching the Geodirectory site?
We are aiming to launch a Geodirectory site soon but are approaching from a different angle.
We want to gather events and press releases/news from a niched business.
Mostly these are small companies that sometimes don´t even have a website.
Our plan is to make it as quick and simple as possible, no images, no reviews, no comments…
The unique value will be to find an overview of what´s new + local events for each city.
We plan to make it profitable from relevant advertisers and later premium listing/services perhaps RFP.
I do think a Facebook group would be a great complement but sort of hope that it will not be necessary 😉
Paulo, your blogpost was great I had missed that one. Thanks!
don quixoteExpired MemberPost count: 667
So true! UK vape! Launching a Directory by itself will probably fail.