Niche Directory Websites
Let’s talk about something I am playing around with right now.
Instead of doing the traditional niche website with affiliate product reviews as the main source of income, I am going to do something a little different.
If you been following along with the weekly niche site posts, then you will know that I have been thinking about niche websites in a slightly different way of late.
I have been thinking about niche sites as a part of the greater network of my own business sites.
Another way to make money online with small websites is to create directory sites. If you think about the same sort of targeting and niche selection for directory listing sites as you do traditional niche websites, then you’re in the right place.
Most directory websites are quite boring and the market isn’t anywhere near saturated so far as directories are concerned.
Most will be city directories. Some will be job boards. You can do a lot better than that.
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With directory sites, somebody else does most of the work for you. You are a middleman, and within a twist it a little so you can be much more than that.
This will be a short article because I am going to give you the result later on, but here is what I am doing with the latest domain I bought.
Create A Directory Site In Your Niche
Let’s say you want to offer a web design service in your city. You could easily buy a domain WebDesignIn[YourCity].com or some variation.
Instead of being just another brick in the wall, you instead are a curator of content. So you go to the web design companies and you say to them, “Hey. Want to list on our website?”
You can do this for an affiliate fee or you can do this for free and premium listings can become available.
Here is the easy part.
WordPress is great for directory listing sites. I would link you to some theme and plug-ins, but there are basically millions and you could spend your whole weekend picking what bits to choose from.
Essentially though, if you’re doing things in a tight niche, then you don’t need anything fancy. Just go to Theme Forest or Code Canyon and find a directory theme that includes a live demo install, and that will most of the work for you.
That’s the easy bit. Let’s talk about making money.
Most Guys Are Amateur
Most guys who do directory listings, and websites in general, are complete amateurs. When I looked up this latest scheme, most of the advice was targeted toward people getting thousands of views. They were monetizing with AdSense.
This is ineffective and stupid.
Now, you can monetize by having premium listings. That’s the easy way to go about it but it requires cold calling or otherwise reaching out to people, especially in the beginning stages. As a lot of people are socially awkward when it comes to sales, you might not want to do this.
You can still make money, and you can make it in exactly the same way that you would with a normal niche site.
By that I mean that you can run banner ads to affiliate offers. So, you might have a web design directory listing like I said above, and you could do banner ads for web hosting, domain names, those website-in –a-box websites, and so on.
Or you can advertise your own services. Or products. That’s the genius bit.
With niche sites, they can be a money generating asset in and of themselves. However, they are best when you connect them to your wider business process.
And so your directory listing can serve purely as advertising for your other offers. It doesn’t have to, but it can.
This takes your weekend project from something that is simple and makes a small income to something that potentially makes a small income passively and also leads to larger income. It also means you have more leverage with anybody who wants to advertise or accept a premium listing later.
One of the big issues I’m having now is that my content producing capacity is at a limit. I have more ideas for content-based businesses than I have time. So I am trying to on the one hand work out how to scale effectively, and on the other hand I’m trying to automate processes.
As such, this latest project might appear to be a pain in the arse as far as more work is concerned.
Here’s where we get really sneaky. Depending on the niche, we outsource our content creation process. This isn’t something I’m big on because a lot of outsourced writing is terrible. However, what we are going to do is simply offer a free listing in exchange for a monthly blog post. We then allow the person to link out to their website, link to their articles in social media and generally treat the whole thing as though it is a guest post.
This is a nice, easy way to get people to fill your site with content for free.
Like I say, this is a bit of an experiment that I’m running. I hope to come back to it in the future to reveal how successful (or not) it has been.
Some people would say that directory websites are saturated. Again, this is a case of people doing the same thing that everyone else does and expecting better results. If you twist what you learn and take it in a new direction, then you will not have any problems.
This is something a bit experimental so far as niche sites go, but it works basically on the same principles, with the added benefit that you can link out to your wider business processes and succeed more.
You also build a sense of community and leverage the network effects which the Internet is built upon.