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Can a niche directory make good money?

Discussion in 'Directories' started by jbthedon, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. #1
    I have an idea about a directory sort of like a yellow pages that I want to build but I want to know if it's worth the effort. Can you make good money with premium listings and advertising. When I say good money I mean over $100,000 a year. Or should I put my efforts somewhere else.
     
    jbthedon, Dec 7, 2011 IP
  2. msam029

    msam029 Peon

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    #2
    depends on you proximity idea etc any way good luck
     
    msam029, Dec 7, 2011 IP
  3. silencer

    silencer Well-Known Member

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    #3
    Any website entity can make money.

    The amount it makes is dependent on many factors.

    With directories how much marketing do you propose to do? If you just create a directory using an out-of-the-box script and mention it on a few forums, you'll be lucky to make $100/year. Are you going to approach local businesses who fit the niche (i.e. offline approaching). Are you going to brand the directory or just put up a vanilla one?

    What sort of value-add initiatives do you have for the directory.

    Like with any business, you need to have a plan and an on-going set of objectives for it to succeed. Typical directory owners don't do anything. They just buy a directory script, slap a pricetag on listings, and expect to get sales. Dumbest idea ever.

    Think of it in terms of a bricks-n-mortar style business. If you owned a t-shirt shop, and had to pay rent, and have cash flow for stocks etc, and you were new. Would you just sit in the shop all day and do nothing, or would you get off your backside canvass the streets and get your brand/name out there with some marketing savvy? Would you wear some of your shirts? Would you give some away to friends/charities so their word-of-mouth business could bring you actual sales and build a *real* social network not a fake one on facebook?

    Any business can make money. If it fails it is usually because the owner failed, not the business.
     
    silencer, Dec 7, 2011 IP
    jbthedon and deluxdon like this.
  4. jbthedon

    jbthedon Peon

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    #4

    Thanks, makes alot of sense
     
    jbthedon, Dec 7, 2011 IP
  5. stock_post

    stock_post Notable Member

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    #5
    Any directory other than webmaster related directories, it is hard to market..

    Suppose you find Real Estate Agents - they don't know the value of adding their links to a directory..

    That is one close to web - As most of them are on the internet most of the time - still they don't add..

    I am running http://www.RealtyLinkDirectory.com for few years - and there are hardly 2000 submissions.
    Most of the initial ones I added.. (It is free for Real Estate Agents)


    If that is a webmaster related directory like General directory I would have got at least 200,0000 listings by now.
     
    stock_post, Dec 7, 2011 IP
  6. Renatus

    Renatus Member

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    #6
    Making a profit from niche directories is nothing but a MYTH.

    I have a PR3 travel directory that has been online since 2009. I made it paid because I wanted to cut down the spam. In all that time to date (3 years), I have received a grand total of 10 paid review submissions. I mean seriously, ten?? I have other directories (general, not niche) which have much lower PR (paid, by the way) and making ten times more than that amount.

    The only reason I am keeping the directory online is because I love this niche and want to contribute something to the web. So for me, it's nothing more than just a hobby for this particular directory and not a serious business venture.
     
    Renatus, Dec 7, 2011 IP
  7. samdar

    samdar Well-Known Member

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    #7
    I am sorry, I can not agree with this. It depends on various factors. Please don't take it as a thumb rule that niche directories are hard to market. As a matter of fact, they are best when you offer 'real' business value to business owners and end users. It's not just adding links you see.... It's about value in terms of business and leads. It's not about links and PR. Speaking of real estate industry, please see http://www.realtor.com. They have over 106,000 pages cached on Google. We can imagine the number of listings they have and the revenue they generate.

    I agree General directories are easy to maintain in terms of adding listings. Niche directories need niche skills. If I personally don't know anything about a niche, how in the world I can manage a niche directory. I think this is the mistake most of us do.
     
    samdar, Dec 7, 2011 IP
  8. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #8
    Sam, I think comparing any real estate related website to realtor.com isn't entirely fair. Realtor.com is run by the governing body for all Realtors. They were the first site offering access to MLS-style data on a grand scale. Individual agents almost have to participate if they want to compete. The site is continually raising their rates and giving agents less for their money and yet, agents know they virtually have no choice.

    The DP member-owned site mentioned in this case has a lot of things that I would change. It's using a standard template, everything above the fold is ads or ad-like and there's very little branding going on.

    That said, Realtor.com provides us all with a bit of a lesson. Create a resource where someone in that line of business feels they have to participate and you will do well. Create a resource that the buying public will use and you will do even better.

    One of my writing clients works in an industry that IMHO is polluted with directories. The directories are so pervasive that it is hard to search for actual companies in Google and not get a directory. The directories have obviously used a data collection company to fill their sites. Then they have staff contact the companies to sell them additional services. At least one of them is essentially blackmailing people in that industry to participate - the companies have to be listed to compete. These folks have invested a great deal of time and money and are in turn making money - they even can afford staffs of salespeople. They prey on business owners who do not understand SEO and how with a little effort they can easily outrank their competition.

    I've not done any work in the travel industry but I do know that Realtors are bombarded with offers from people who want their money and often make promises they can't keep. They are used to seeing a parade of folks coming through their offices with claims of number one rankings on Google. Most of the Realtors I've worked with or spoken to have either been burned or know people who have. They're willing to spend money but they have become more careful about doing so.

    Niche directories IMHO are both harder and easier to promote than general ones. You won't see hordes descending on you like you do with general directories. You are going to have to market directly to potential customers.

    A few questions for Stock_Post and Renatus - when's the last time you participated in a forum where people in your niche participate? When's the last time you offered marketing advice for people in that industry to show you know what you are doing? In other words, are you doing anything to make you and your directories known within the industry you are targeting?

    Is $100,000 a year possible? That depends upon your market, the value you are offering and the effort you make to brand yourself. Will it be easy or cheap to get there? - Not a chance.
     
    YMC, Dec 8, 2011 IP
  9. syted

    syted Notable Member

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    #9
    No it isn't a myth, just because it didn't work for you doesn't mean it's a flawed business model. To achieve the income the OP mentioned would be difficult in any business and I wouldn't suggest giving up your day job. But you can make a profit and keep your paypal account topped up with a niche directory.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
    syted, Dec 8, 2011 IP
  10. jbthedon

    jbthedon Peon

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    #10
    I'm thinking though to make huge success with a directory is to make a demand from the consumer. So example with a realtor instead of concentrating on realtors concentrate on people that are looking for a realtor. That way people will see the value of buying a premium listing because the directory is active. I also think you can create an income stream by upselling people who sign up for your directory. Maybe have a newsletter that goes out every couple of weeks and you can try to sell them stuff a realtor would need maybe printing for business cards or a website etc.
     
    jbthedon, Dec 8, 2011 IP
  11. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #11
    Now you are getting the idea. Build a site that users flock to and folks will beg you to be included.
     
    YMC, Dec 8, 2011 IP
  12. temi

    temi Active Member

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    #12
    I think that niche must be a pretty new niche, there is hardly any niches out there that has not been explored but yes, if you can find a niche that is being under served or not served at all by any directory at the moment, you have struck gold
     
    temi, Dec 8, 2011 IP
  13. skseofleet

    skseofleet Peon

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    #13
    Niche directory is very good source of traffic and earning as above all webmaster stated. Niche directory specific to local or global business will increase revenue if you are successful to show it in search results.
     
    skseofleet, Dec 8, 2011 IP
  14. samdar

    samdar Well-Known Member

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    #14
    Absolutely you got it! This is what I call Creating demand. You attract end customers by having some valuable take away. When this happens, you will automatically advertisers (listings)....
     
    samdar, Dec 9, 2011 IP
  15. maldives

    maldives Notable Member

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    #15
    The truth is income from General Directories are far better than niche directories. No argument there.
     
    maldives, Dec 9, 2011 IP
  16. temi

    temi Active Member

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    #16
    This is true to some extent but its not always the case. With nich directory you have the added opportunity of making money from targeted ad and link placement.
    Most quality advertisers on the other hand don't like advertising in general directories
     
    temi, Dec 9, 2011 IP
  17. maldives

    maldives Notable Member

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    #17
    It is the truth 99% of the time.
     
    maldives, Dec 9, 2011 IP
  18. temi

    temi Active Member

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    #18
    I will not go as far as 99%, I will say 80% because I have 2 niche directory that are actually doing what I said above.
     
    temi, Dec 9, 2011 IP
  19. Renatus

    Renatus Member

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    #19
    I couldn't agree more with this. In additional to the travel directory, I also run a property directory which has given me a grand total of 0 paid reviews for the past 3 years. If anyone thinks that he/she can make a profit off it (the property niche dir), I'm going togladly hand over everything to that person FOR FREE, including the domain. I do not want to be involved with niche directories any longer.
     
    Renatus, Dec 9, 2011 IP
  20. temi

    temi Active Member

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    #20
    It also depends on how well you niche or general directory is promoted. I have a general directory that has received 0 paid link in the last 3 years but I also have a niche directory that gets almost 1 paid link every week?
     
    temi, Dec 10, 2011 IP