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Steps for creating/running a Directory

Discussion in 'Directories' started by luix, May 16, 2016.

  1. #1
    Hello everyone.

    I would like to create a local directory, firstly free, for attracting traffic. Then, offering both, free and paid options. So it could eventually become business. I would like people could give opinions regarding every enterprise. I have a lot of questions, but first ones are these:

    1-Could you recommend any free and good wordpress product I can use for this purpose?
    SEMrush
    2-How should I proceed for adding enterprises? : It should be done by adding one by one the links to these enterprises?

    3- Should I ask permission to these enterprises?


    4- By the way: are the most profitable and useful directories the ones linked, for example to very precise aspects of one or two cities, like hotels and restaurants?

    Thanks
     
    luix, May 16, 2016 IP
    SEMrush
  2. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #2
    Start by writing a solid business plan and pass it by some people who run success, small businesses. The days of directories being easy money are long gone. This will be a long term project and it will take a long time to start getting a return on your investment of time and money.

    I probably wouldn't suggest using WordPress, I've tried and it's just not well suited to that niche. I messed around with phpLD but got disheartened when the v5 had more problems than v4. It looked good but I think the owner had given up having seen that the directory business was going out of style.

    One by one and with care. Adding high quality businesses (especially those who would never submit) adds credibility to your directory. Humans who visit are more likely to respect the smaller businesses listed.

    No, but when the time comes to charge be really, really careful with your wording. We've had people go to jail here for running "pro forma scams". These are where they pretend the original listing was paid or solicited in some way and that the requested payment is a "renewal". It should be fine to say "hey we gave you a free listing, would you like to upgrade to a paid listing".



    Having dabbled in directories over the years I was really interested about 5 years ago when a directory was started by the old owners of the NZ Yellow Pages. They called it Localist, had heaps of staff and you'd see their cars whizzing about town. They had tons of listings, mobile apps, competitions and everyone was listed. They told lies about how they were partnered with Google when in fact they just used Google's custom search and so you didn't know what to believe about the other things they said. Eventually, the numbers didn't add up and it was going to be shelved but there was a management buyout which disturbed me. That's people sinking their life savings into a ship that's already sunk.

    Maybe by doing your directory on more of a shoestring budget you may have some success but be very honest about the strengths of your project compared to others which have failed.
     
    sarahk, May 16, 2016 IP
  3. luix

    luix Peon

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    #3
    Thanks for your kind and interesting answers. By the way, regarding question and answer 2, then, which software -free or paid- would you suggest? Thanks ;)

    Sorry, I meant the question 1. Also, I would like o ask: for starting choosing themes for a directory, is better to define it by starting with one or two cities´ more interesting businesses and using bilingual information?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2016
    luix, May 16, 2016 IP
  4. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #4
    Can't help you with alternatives, I'm more of an onlooker than an active participant these days.
    By theme do you mean niche? You really have to crunch the numbers, do your strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/risks analysis. I don't know your competitors, what's been tried and the reaction to it etc.

    Example: there was a laundry detergent that was test marketed in NZ and it was a dismal failure - the product was tweaked and went on to be successful globally but fails to move in NZ even 30 years later. The test was successful because it let them iron out the problems and failure in such a small market doesn't really matter.

    You have to look at your local market, have people become accustomed to using another directory? does Google have a stranglehold? Is the local culture traditional or do they like to try new things? Only you know all these answers.

    And remember that it's cheaper to walk away from an idea than it is to give it a go knowing the odds are stacked against it. And that isn't personal, its just the way businesses work.
    If you had come up with something completely new then predicting success/failure would be harder but there are tons of directory examples around to study. Go back through the Solicitations section of this site, find threads from 3 years ago where the directory mirrors the one you want to create and contact the owners. Are they still going? What would they do differently etc.
     
    sarahk, May 16, 2016 IP
  5. fastreplies

    fastreplies Banned

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    #5
    fastreplies, Jul 13, 2016 IP
  6. mike30

    mike30 Well-Known Member

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    #6
    Answering your question - "Should I ask permission to these enterprises?"
    I have seen so many bad reviews about yelp from restaurant owners because yelp didn't ask them to put their info and in many cases the info is outdated or wrong. (including bad reviews on the business profile without the actual business owner know it)

    My TIP: If you're going to put their info without asking "because is public information" then at least make sure the info is updated and accurate. Personally wouldn't go yelp's route.
     
    mike30, Aug 4, 2016 IP
  7. fastreplies

    fastreplies Banned

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    #7
    I don't get it.
    What "yelp" have to do with OP question?

    ???

    fastreplies
     
    fastreplies, Aug 4, 2016 IP
  8. mike30

    mike30 Well-Known Member

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    #8
    If you don't understand, I guess you don't know about yelp. Let me explain a little....
    Yelp is a directory that takes business information to put in their listings without asking anybody permission to list them. Then the information is not updated or current when business owners don't pay them.
    And I put Yelp as a bad example not to follow.
     
    mike30, Aug 5, 2016 IP
  9. fastreplies

    fastreplies Banned

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    #9
    I would say vice versa, you have no idea how YP function

    Right, because YP owns that information thus it's scraping data as it wishes

    Not updated because business never renewed/updated data in local Yellow Pages
    and online YP is not designed to remove obsolete listings automatically.

    So now, what is your point?

    :)

    fastreplies
     
    fastreplies, Aug 23, 2016 IP
  10. KylieSweet

    KylieSweet Active Member

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    #10
    I'm not against with running a directory but in the competition today its affects a little and the worst nothing at all in your business. There are lots of platforms to be considered rather than directory. Try to analyze your target audience on how they look for a brand or service then you will realize it.
     
    KylieSweet, Aug 23, 2016 IP
  11. fastreplies

    fastreplies Banned

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    #11
    I can say that about any SM options because arguably they are too
    have very little, near non existing effect whereas directories at least
    offer you exposure and vote.

    Right, and most of them wouldn't give you backlinks these days.

    Compare to you, I don't have to, I'm analyzing real, every day audience
    day in day and out watching attendance and submissions by entities
    you believe not smart enough to know what is best for them.

    As in the past, today and tomorrow everyone who are believing that
    they can pass on even smallest opportunity and dismissing any chance
    to promote themselves in every available media as good as lost in shuffle.

    :)

    fastreplies
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
    fastreplies, Aug 30, 2016 IP
  12. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

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    #12
    True, to a degree. However most have gone by the wayside. The days of the directory being the "popular" or "in thing" have long since passed.

    That said, the few that have remained and are maintained have built quite a niche' in the industry. All the bad apples have fallen from the tree.

    If it were me, I would buy an already established directory and improve on it. Less work, already populated with categories and sites. ;)
     
    Mia, Sep 2, 2016 IP
  13. snowbird

    snowbird Notable Member

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    #13
    If you are going to build a local directory, first start by building a local website that has content to draw local users and travelers to the region in. Create categories/pages based on local attractions, local news, city data, etc. Once you've established some traction there, then consider creating a local directory with businesses you add yourself. The "Business Directory Plugin" for Wordpress is popular, but there are others available. Search WP plugins to find which has the features you want. You will find creating a good directory is a difficult expense and the ROI may take years unless you go in with a big budget from the start.
     
    snowbird, Sep 3, 2016 IP
  14. fastreplies

    fastreplies Banned

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    #14
    If you're talking about dead on arrival then yes, furthermore I never call them
    directories anyway but lousy imitations of real thing some people mistakenly
    are calling them that while claiming that directories are thing of the past
    whthout realizing that they are talking about 2 different thing.

    :)

    fastreplies

    LOL man, as Mia said:
    The only problem as I see it, people who are looking at directories as money
    making machines one day wake-up asking themselves: why did I do that?

    :)

    fastreplies
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2016
    fastreplies, Sep 5, 2016 IP