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Question Owning a Web Directory — Can It Be Profitable?

Discussion in 'Questions & Answers' started by Rainman, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. Rainman New Member


    Paid directories can make the owner some or a lot of money depending on how many webmasters/site owners pay to get their sites listed [on the directory]. But getting your first customers would be pretty hard if you're new to the business since no one would be willing to fork out cash so their site can be listed on an obscure directory.


    Would it be better for a first time web-directory owner to start and run a free directory? Would it [a free directory] make the owner any money?

  2. SimplySidy Member


    Statistics prove that anything that was launched for free and later commercialized made it big only when there were more additions and bonuses attached to the paid version.

    Unfortunately, Web Directories have a straightforward job to do - free or paid, they would only list you. Agreed, that some may go ahead with promoting you if you Pay (more) than the others but in the long run, such directories are junk and blamed to do unethical practices to promote a few listings - Maybe this is all good to the one who pays - but in the long run, it definitely is unhealthy for the credibility of the Web Directory. [Remember - we are taking about New Web Directory launching now]

    Also, as per the Big G's Rules of DOs and DoNOTs - "Dont pay to get backlinks" - so those planning to pay just for the backlinks should be careful when approaching such web directories.

    As for your question -
    A new Web Directory, starting today, should be FREE for all times and earn via other media - maybe adverts or anything else.

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  3. Converse Active Member


    No, I never recommend that, if only because free directories attract spammers and very few legitimate submitters. On the other hand, since most new directories don't last a year, people are hesitant to pay large submission fees for a new directory. If you charged even one dollar, that would cut your spam down to nothing.

    For any one person managing a directory alone, I do not recommend a general web directory because no one person can handle that; thus, they usually turn to crap. My recommendation would be a niche directory, either by topic or by geographic area. You'd have to add sites to each category for free before anyone is going to pay to submit a site, but you should go out and find those sites rather than accepting free submissions. I'd suggest a submission fee of at least $5, and perhaps a $25 option that would include deep links, but call them something other than deep links.

    Also, remember that the fee is a submission fee, not a listing fee. Not all submitted sites should be accepted. Personally, I think it's a good idea to refund at least a large portion of the submission fee when a site is rejected but don't accept worthless sites into your directory just because someone paid a fee.

    One person should be able to assemble a nice niche directory without paid staff, and niche directories are popular these days. Plus, it's easier to market within a niche. It's still a lot of work though, and quality should be emphasized from the beginning because it's hard to re-create quality in a directory that didn't demand it from the start.

    SimplySidy and Rainman like this.
  4. Jill Original Member



    Best Answer
    It's not a get-rich quick scheme. Frankly, I don't recommend that anyone start a directory unless they believe that they can have fun with it. Otherwise, you won't do a good job of it, and you won't succeed unless you do a good job of it.

    I suggest a niche directory. Pick a topic that you know about and enjoy, then look around to see if there is a need for a directory on these topics. By that, I mean that there are already several good directories for some topics, so it would be harder for you to compete in these areas. On the other hand, you need to find a topic that isn't so obscure that you can't create a demand.

    Once you've decided on a topic, create a taxonomy for your directory. By that, I mean decide on the categories and subcategories that you'd like to store your listings in. Mind maps work very well for this, but you can do that on paper, as well.

    Once you have decided on categories and subcategories, take a look a look at some other good quality directories and see if you can get some other ideas. Read some of the reviews of directories from Web Directory Reviews, which is linked to from this forum. You don't have to follow them completely, but you'll get some good ideas there. It's way easier to do it right from the start than to try to fix it later.

    Consider some designs that you'd like to create, and then you are ready to go shopping for a directory script. There are several available and,, to a large part, the one that would be best for you will depend on what it is that you want to achieve. These include traditional web directory scripts and themes based on WordPress. If you know WordPress really well, one of these may be a good choice for you. Otherwise, it's easy enough to find a designer for a directory based on phpLD, SyndiCat, phpMyDirectory, or one of the others. Put some thought into it, and ask around, before deciding on one. However, when you ask around, keep in mind that most people will give you answers based on what they've used, and they may have only tried one. It's still valuable information, if that's working out for them, but there may be other good ones that they don't know about. In the end, it's your decision so get something that will work for you.

    Before you ever put your directory on the Internet, make sure you know what categories and subcategories you are going to use, have quality guidelines established, and be prepared to stick to them. You should also make sure you have a few good sites in each category before asking someone else to submit. Don't create a category until you have at least one site for it.

    Rainman, WDFAdmin and Converse like this.

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