How to Create a Directory Website in 8 Steps

How to create a directory website: essential tips to launch a successful directory

how to create a directory websiteTo create a directory website, follow these:

  1. Choose the type of directory you will launch.
  2. Sign up for any eDirectory plan
  3. Define your Top Level and Sub-Level Categories
  4. Create your Membership Levels or Pricing Plan options
  5. Create or import your first listings
  6. Create quality content
  7. Optimize and publicize
  8. Include new features

1. Choose the type of directory you will launch.

The great thing is, a directory website can be launched for almost any industry or purpose with an opportunity for members to add all kinds of great content like videos, articles, special deals, and photo galleries. There are several ways to create a directory website that you can choose from. The most common ones are local business directories, professional service provider directories, and membership directories or association websites. To make it easier, you can start in the area that you have the most experience in or the location where you are residing. For example, if your city does not have a strong local business or tourism guide, you have a good opportunity to create an online community that generates recurring revenue. If you are a special service provider, you can create a directory for your industry, starting with you and your colleagues and ultimately making some money from your competitors while featuring your business at the same time. Or perhaps choose an interest or topic that you are passionate about and create a national or international directory website or membership community around that. There’s room for a lot of innovation with the online directory business plan.

2. Choose the technology partner for your directory software

There are several different approaches here. You can, for example, hire a developer and a web designer to build your own directory script, yet the chances are they will most likely use an inexpensive off-the-shelf product that they charge you a lot of money to maintain. Worse yet, they disappear or get a bigger job and you’re left behind with a directory solution you can’t use. Another approach is that can go with a low-cost high-maintenance option like a WordPress directory theme and WordPress directory plug-in. They still require you to have someone with technical knowledge on your payroll to maintain. Also, the difficulty to build a directory with WordPress is that WordPress was not built for directories, it was made for publishing blogs, so you’ll have to invest a lot of time patching various components together and it is not best suited to scale for a powerful directory solution. With eDirectory, you can create your professional directory website quickly and easily. The monthly plans make it affordable to start quickly with all the essential features for a successful directory website right where you need them so you can focus on the directory business plan rather than back-end maintenance.

3. Define your Top Level and Sub-Level Categories

A directory website is really just a large amount of information (business listings or member profiles) that is highly organized for visitors to search, browse, and connect. With top levels and perhaps various sub-levels of categories for visitors to search through, online directory websites allow users to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. If you need general business categories, eDirectory will provide them free of charge. You can also add them manually. 25 top-level categories with an average of 10 sub-levels for each is generally sufficient, yet with eDirectory you can go down to 5 sub-sub levels for a very granular search experience. Your members or business listing owners can also be charged to appear in more categories, which in essence creates more visibility and this impressions, and conversion. This is another great way to build a “ladder” with your pricing levels to encourage the sales of your most premium membership level, by limiting the number of categories your directory website listing owners will appear in.

4. Create your Membership Levels or Pricing Plan options

Early on the name of the game is to get people to join your online community website, so a Free membership level is highly recommended. Free members add a ton of value early on as they will contribute content (although limited), provide invaluable feedback, share their listing to their social media, and may upgrade to a paid listing down the road if you really give them some quality attention from the beginning. With setting up the remainder of your pricing levels, make sure to have the top level get everything under the sun to really encourage purchase, even do some promotional discounts on the first 100 paid sign-ups with 20-50% off, perhaps even free banner ads for a month or two. With the pricing level(s) in the middle, make sure they get enough to warrant the price they’re paying for yet to limit or restrict the most valuable directory website features, so maybe they can only add 1 special “deal” to your deals engine for example. Do some testing knowing that nothing is set in stone and that you can adapt your directory website pricing and update your directory business plan as you learn and grow.

eDirectory Facebook Group

5. Create or import your first listings

If you have a list of businesses or members to import, that’s great! With the directory solution, all you need to do is use the import template and you’re ready to go. You can also add a few listings manually for businesses or members you hope will join. Start including several listings and gradually add more. You can start with a goal to include, for example, 10 listings per day. Once members join, encourage them to share their listings to social media to gain more visibility to your directory website. As your online community starts to grow and get noticed by people, they will come to you and create their own listings by themselves. Until you reach that point, you need to assert by yourself or hire someone to do it for you, if you plan to scrape a few public sites for example. In this other blog post, we shared a few other marketing ideas as well.

6. Create quality content

Publishing and curating high-quality content is an important factor to bring new and qualified visitors to your site. If you have a local directory, talk about what makes that local directory business unique and highlight its qualities. Think about what type of content would be useful to your readers and write it down, schedule based on priority, and get started with a content-creation schedule for your directory website that you are comfortable with, like 1-2 hours per week for example. You can also invite and encourage contributors and members to add content to your online community website. If you have an online directory website for specialized dentists for example, they usually will be happy to contribute valuable content to your directory solution so they can start to be seen as authority on that subject, showcase their practice, and help visitors get to know them a bit better before making the connection; all of which helps bring them more views and traffic.

7. Optimize and publicize

Once you start the process of quality content and attracting target customers, keep it going by consistently asking yourself these questions:

* How can I make my directory website so appealing that members will visit and want to join my online community and contribute content as a paying member? Take the lead!  Build a directory website you would want to join.  With our easy directory software at eDirectory, you can get started right away on adding all kinds of great content like blog posts, articles, industry or local events, even classified ads that can be used for all kinds of purposes like jobs, business opportunities, and even products to be showcased on your directory website.  

* How can I make sure that the listings have enough depth to ensure a high utilization for directory website visitors? Listings with just title and phone number are less attractive and useful than listings with photos, videos, maps, deals, classifieds, and descriptions. Invite every new member to create content, talk about their mission/vision, and share a video about themselves and what they do.

* How can I monetize my directory? Online directory websites have many ways of generating revenue, which really adds to your directory business plan. The model is so successful because once you have a large captive audience, it creates many more opportunities to generate revenue like with membership dues every month or year, leads you sell to your members, affiliate links to other ecommerce products or services, banner ads you sell to publishers and members, sponsored social media posts, donations, and you can also connect a storefront to your online directory website with the new eDirectory Storefront MOD.

* What type of content will bring more visitors? There are always opportunities for content creation with a potential to bring a lot of visitors to your website. Find out who the other players in your industry are as far as direct and indirect competitors, complimentary service providers, industry publications, forums, portals, and even social media groups. Get inspired by what works well for others and even what may NOT work well for your brand or community (sometimes it makes things a lot easier to get started when you at least know what to focus on).


8. Include new features

Treat every new member and newsletter subscriber early on as GOLD! Ask them what they’d like to see available to them on your site as far as any new features or functionalities. Try to truly identify what your niche can be with this as well. You will learn this by making an effort to connect and ask questions. You may be surprised by what you learn and it could create new opportunities for your online directory website. As you start to grow the directory website builder in you, you might find it useful to add a Community Forum, integrate with services like Infusionsoft or Salesforce, or perhaps connect an eDirectory storefront in the MOD Store. All these services can provide the perfect environment for growing your business.

These are a few tips to help you to create a directory website. Contact us if you have any questions and we will make sure you have a dedicated account executive to answer all your important questions before getting started.

Take a Guided Tour of eDirectory

Edirectory Free guided demo

How to Build a Real Estate Website with eDirectory

How to Build a Highly Effective Real Estate Website with eDirectory

Building a real estate website with eDirectory is a quick and simple task. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process and the dos and don’ts of this type of online directory that will attract more visitors, generate leads, and help you establish a strong online presence in the real estate industry.

We will give you access to a fully-featured, well-designed, and SEO-ready real estate website. Excellent for both brokers and real estate/property agencies looking on How to Build a Real Estate Website. Let’s dive into it.


A well-designed and user-friendly website significantly impacts the success of a real estate business in several ways.

A positive user experience encourages visitors to stay longer on the website, explore different listings, and engage with its features. This increases the chances of potential buyers or renters finding the perfect property and converting it into leads or clients for your advertisers.

The eDirectory’s design, for both desktop and mobile devices, ensures that users can easily find what they’re looking for, whether it’s property listings, filters, contact information, or other essential features. This reduces frustration and enhances overall user satisfaction.


With eDirectory you can build a well-structured real estate website with optimized categories and intuitive navigation. It is essential for both users and search engines. Here are some key tips to optimize your real estate website.

2.1 Clear and Logical Hierarchy for Categories

Ensure that your real estate website’s pages and content are arranged in a coherent hierarchy. Utilize categories and subcategories to establish an organized architecture that facilitates effortless navigation and discovery of property listings and general information.

How to Build a Real Estate Website - categories

With eDirectory, you have the flexibility to create unlimited categories and subcategories, allowing you to organize your website exactly as you desire.

Each Property Listing in an eDirectory real estate website can be associated with up to 10 Categories and Sub-categories, making it easier for the potential buyer/renter to search, filter and find what they are looking for.

2.2 User-Friendly Navigation

In addition to organizing your website’s content effectively, it is crucial to prioritize user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) in the context of a real estate website. A user-friendly navigation menu plays a vital role in enhancing UX/UI. By implementing a clear and intuitive navigation system, visitors can effortlessly explore your website, leading to higher engagement and improved satisfaction.

The eDirectory software allows site owners to adjust the navigation menu and the links on the footer according to the website’s objectives.


An essential aspect of a real estate website is showcasing property listings in an appealing and user-friendly manner. Remember that the listing detail page is the place that connects the user to the property, so trying to answer possible questions in advance is a good strategy.

Here’s how you can do it:

3.1 Detailed Property Descriptions

Take full advantage of the eDirectory’s exclusive Listing Template Editor. With this feature you can create custom fields for each property category in your real estate website, helping your advertisers to showcase the best they have while creating rich and unique pages – perfect for users and search engines.

Highlight the key features, amenities, and unique selling points of each property type. The richer your description gets, the better it will engage with the visitors.

How to Build a Real Estate Website - listing detail

3.2 High-Quality Design

Visual content significantly impacts users’ perception of a property, and professional-quality visuals can make a substantial difference in attracting potential buyers and renters.

The eDirectory’s exclusive Listing Template Editor also allows you to create a unique design for the Listing Detail Page. From the header to the content, there’s a lot you can create for your real estate website.

You can create unlimited tabs to distribute the content (fields) whether it is text, icons, image gallery, and videos.

How to Build a Real Estate Website


To get your site ranked in Google, Bing, and other search engines, you need content, and content is king in the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Your real estate website should have high-quality, informative, and keyword-rich content that resonates with your target audience.

With eDirectory you can easily optimize all of your pages and content: locations, categories, blog posts, listings, and more.

Focus on conducting thorough keyword research, identifying relevant search terms, and strategically incorporating them into your content. This way you can increase your chances of having maximum exposure and outranking competitors.

Moreover, the eDirectory Real Estate website is coded within the parameters. Explaining in broad terms is a collaborative project by major search engines like Google and Microsoft, providing a common language for organizing data on web pages.

By using markup, websites can make it easier for search engines to understand their content, which improves search engine optimization (SEO) and boosts visibility in search results. For real estate websites, using the correct type, known as RealEstateListing, is essential. It helps search engines recognize and categorize real estate listings effectively, displaying important details like property information and prices directly in search results.


Managing a real estate website can be a daunting task so you should be looking for a platform that allows for a good level of business automation and user-generated content management.

eDirectory allows advertisers to create, manage, pay, and publish content on their own, through the Advertiser Dashboard.

The payment gateway integrations associated with recurring payments and billing reminder emails make it easy to collect online payments. If an item is due or not renewed, it will be automatically suspended from your site. You don’t have to lift a finger.

You can also approve the listing before them goes live to ensure the quality of the content. It all saves you valuable time and effort.

eDirectory Facebook Group


To outrank other real estate websites in your target market, it’s vital to implement effective local SEO strategies. Identify and optimize your website for relevant local keywords. Include location-specific terms in your content, meta tags, headings, and URLs to improve your visibility in local search results.

Add the country, states or provinces, cities, and neighborhoods that your real estate directory will encompass.

Monetizing a real estate website should not be complicated. A good software like eDirectory will allow you to create different listing levels with different features in each such as custom fields, videos, number of images, etc.

Besides property listings, you can also monetize your eDirectory real estate website by selling events, articles, service classifieds, and banner ads.

7. use the right platform to Build a Real Estate Website

By following the strategies outlined in this guide, you can build a highly effective real estate website ready to outrank competitors and attract more quality traffic. Remember to focus on delivering exceptional user experience, and valuable content, and implementing proven SEO techniques to achieve long-term success in the online real estate market.

Launch your real estate website today with eDirectory

If you own a real estate agency or are an independent broker, the eDirectory Real Estate Website is the ideal solution for your business. eDirectory is a complete platform ready to generate recurring revenue and offer value to advertisers and visitors. Take a free guided demo of eDirectory and learn how it can help you build your online business in the real estate market.

Edirectory Free guided demo

The Best 20 ChatGPT Prompts for Online Directories

The Best 20 ChatGPT Prompts for Online Directories

If you’re running an online directory website, you understand the importance of engaging your audience and providing valuable content. One effective way to achieve this is by utilizing ChatGPT Prompts for Online Directories to generate content for various aspects of your website. In this blog post, we’ll explore several prompts that can help you create compelling content for your online directory. Let’s dive in!

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an advanced language model developed by OpenAI. It is designed to generate human-like responses and engage in conversational interactions with users. As a state-of-the-art natural language processing model, ChatGPT can understand and generate text in a manner that simulates a conversation with a human.

The “GPT” in ChatGPT stands for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer,” which refers to the model’s architecture and training approach. It is based on a deep learning neural network called a Transformer, which is trained on a massive amount of text data to learn patterns, grammar, and context.

ChatGPT has been trained on a wide range of internet text sources, allowing it to acquire knowledge and linguistic skills across various topics. This vast training corpus enables ChatGPT to generate coherent and contextually appropriate responses to a wide array of queries and prompts.

And what are prompts?

Prompts are essential instructions or questions given to ChatGPT, an advanced language model, to guide its responses and generate specific content. These prompts serve as cues for the model to understand the context and provide relevant information. When it comes to online directory websites, using well-crafted prompts is crucial for obtaining good and reliable answers from ChatGPT.

Additionally, prompts enable you to extract specific details from ChatGPT, such as web addresses, working hours, and contact information, to enhance the value of your online directory. By including these essential details in your prompts, you empower ChatGPT to provide comprehensive and accurate information that users can rely on when searching for businesses or services.

In conclusion, well-crafted prompts are vital for obtaining accurate and reliable answers from ChatGPT for online directory websites. By providing clear instructions and specific details, you can extract valuable information and ensure that the responses align with your users’ needs. Utilizing prompts effectively maximizes the potential of ChatGPT, enabling you to create a robust and trustworthy online directory that offers valuable insights to your users.

How to utilize ChatGPT prompts for Online Directories

Obtaining a good answer relies heavily on asking a well-structured question. When utilizing AI models like ChatGPT, it is crucial to provide specific details about your desired outcome. Include relevant information such as web addresses, working hours, and contact details like phone numbers and email addresses to ensure a satisfactory response.

It’s important to note that copying and pasting the answer directly into your online directory, whether for a blog post or listing description, is not recommended. Instead, take the time to analyze and tailor the response to make it relevant to your niche and target audience. ChatGPT-generated answers can sometimes lack a personal touch, so it is highly advisable to edit and customize them to suit your specific needs.

Remember, by crafting well-structured questions and adapting the responses to your unique context, you can harness the power of AI models like ChatGPT to enhance your online directory and provide valuable information to your users.

ChatGPT by Unsplash

The Best 20 ChatGPT Prompts for Online Directories

Now let’s get to the good part! Here are our favorite prompts for online directories. Select the ones that fit your need and tweak them to make it work for your audience.

  1. “Give me 10 blog post ideas for Online Directory Websites.”

  2. “Create a blog post about “{Local search websites}”. Use active voice. Write over 1000 words. The blog post should be in a beginner’s guide style. Add title and subtitle for each section.”

  3. “Create a short email inviting the subscriber to claim his or her listing on my website [website name]. Mention the importance of claiming a listing related to their business, especially to keep it up to date, take part in the “best of” yearly selection of their category and collect reviews from customers to boost their chances of closing more deals.”

  4. “Suggest five CTAs for an online business directory website with the best [restaurants in Newark NJ].”

  5. “Create 6 headlines for Facebook ads with the theme [Find the Best Restaurants in Newark].”

  6. “Write Google Ads headlines and descriptions for the keyword [NewarkOnline] which is an online business directory with the best listings for restaurants and hotels in Newark NJ.”

  7. “Write a meta description under 160 characters including the keyword [your kw].”

  8. “Create a 300 word listing description for Mango’s Tropical Cafe, Inc. including the address 900 Ocean Drive and phone number (305) 673-4422, their specialties, and working hours.”

  9. “Write a sales pitch for an online business directory about our [product, service, or company]. Include [monthly traffic] and the [number of sponsors].”

  10. “Write a meta description under 160 characters for the keyword [local directory].”

  11. “Reply to this bad review that I got on my business directory: [paste review comment].”

  12. “Suggest 8 promotion ideas to boost the online presence of an Online Directory Website and Classifieds ads Portals.”

  13. “Translate the following listing description into [language]: [content copy].”

  14. “Tell me a friendly way to respond to this message from a customer who is unhappy with my service?”

  15. “Suggest 5 catchy e-mail subject lines to promote my Online Directory Website [website name].”

  16. “Write a release presenting my Online Directory Website [site name] for a media press kit.”

  17. “Give me long-tail keyword suggestions for [your business niche] for content creation.”

  18. “Create Instagram posts for one week about [your business niche] including the captions.”

  19. “Suggest 5 niche markets within the Classifieds Ads Websites that have growth potential in 2023.”

  20. “Propose 6 strategies to improve customer retention in my business [your business niche].”


In conclusion, by leveraging ChatGPT prompts for online directories, you can revolutionize your website’s functionality and take user engagement to new heights. Don’t miss the chance to create exceptional content and dominate your industry.

Discover the power of eDirectory, the most user-friendly and robust software for building business directory websites. With native iPhone and Android apps and a host of powerful features, you can elevate your directory to new heights. Take a free guided demo today and unlock your directory’s full potential.

Edirectory Free guided demo


Do it for me services for Online Directories


Do it for me services for Online Directories

If you have an online business directory, whether it’s brand new or already established in your niche, there’s no doubt that you need to consistently create unique content, generate leads, convert new clients, and so much more. This can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you’re a “solopreneur”, and you may need some extra help. That’s where “Do it for me services for Online Directories” can be incredibly useful.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the various benefits of using such services and how they can help your business flourish. So, read on to discover the key aspects of this strategy and how they can positively impact your business.

Boost Your Online Presence with “Do it for me services for Online Directories”


  1. What are “Do it for me services for Online Directories”?
  2. Benefits of using “Do it for me services for Online Directories”
  3. What type of Services could be offered
  4. Conclusion

What are “Do it for me services for Online Directories”?

The “do it for me” (DIFM) strategy is an excellent solution for online business owners who want to alleviate the burden of managing their business directory or membership-based website. With DIFM, business owners can focus on other essential aspects of their business, such as marketing and sales, while professionals handle the website’s content according to the owner’s specifications.

DIFM services offer numerous advantages, including cost-effectiveness, time-saving, and professional results. Platforms like Fiverr and Workana provide a pool of talented professionals from around the world with expertise in various fields such as marketing, writing, coding, video and photo productions, and translations. The popularity of DIFM is on the rise, as more and more businesses are discovering its effectiveness as a strategy for growth and success.

In addition to freeing up time and energy for business owners, DIFM services also ensure that the website’s content is up-to-date and relevant. This, in turn, enhances user experience, drives traffic, and increases conversions, making it a worthwhile investment for any online business looking to grow and succeed in the digital age.

Benefits of using “DIFM” services

There are some  benefits of using “Do it for me” services for online directories, including:

Consistency – DIFM services ensure that your online directory is consistently filled with relevant information, such as blog articles or listing descriptions. This consistency is essential for maintaining a strong online presence and generating targeted content that caters to the niche audience.

Time-saving – By outsourcing directory-related tasks to other professionals, you can save time and effort, allowing you to focus on other essential aspects of your business. With DIFM services, site owners can benefit from an on-demand service that follows their needs, delivering results promptly.

Professionalism – DIFM services for online directories are provided by professionals with expertise in fields such as SEO consultancy, ensuring a professional outcome.

What type of Services could be offered?

Businesses can outsource a range of services for their online directories, including:

  1. Content Creation – DIFM services can assist businesses in creating high-quality and engaging content, such as blog articles, listing descriptions, and product descriptions, ensuring consistency and relevance.
  2. Website Design and Development – Professionals can design and develop a website that caters to the business’s specific requirements, providing a seamless user experience for directory users.
  3. SEO Optimization – SEO consultancy services can help businesses optimize their online directories, ensuring that they rank highly on search engines and generate relevant traffic.
  4. Agency Services for Online Directory Owners – In addition to outsourcing services for their own online directories, businesses can also offer agency services to other online directory owners. These agency services may include Directory Management, Marketing, and Sales consultancy.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, “Do it for me” services offer several benefits to online directory businesses, such as consistency, time-saving, and professionalism. By outsourcing tasks to professionals, businesses can ensure that their directories are filled with high-quality content and provide a seamless user experience. Moreover, businesses can offer agency services to other online directory owners, generating revenue and expanding their portfolio. Overall, “Do it for me” services are an excellent option for businesses looking to improve their online presence while focusing on other essential aspects of their operations.

Are you in search of the ideal platform to build your online directory or membership website? Look no further than eDirectory – the best in the business. Our platform offers all the features you need to create a robust and user-friendly directory. Don’t just take our word for it – sign up for a free guided demo today and experience the platform for yourself. Our team of experts will guide you through the features and functionalities of eDirectory, helping you make an informed decision for your business.

Edirectory Free guided demo

Create an Online Church Directory Website for your community

Create an Online Church Directory Website for your community

In today’s world, having an online presence has become crucial for any organization, including churches. An online church directory can be an excellent way to connect with members of your community, provide easy access to information, and promote transparency. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of an online church directory and how to create one.

Whether you are a parish leader or someone looking to bring people in your community together, we’ll cover the advantages of having a well-built, structured online member directory for your church. Keep reading to know more.

Offline vs Online Church Directory

An online church directory provides several advantages over its printed counterpart. It allows members to easily access updated information about the church community from anywhere and at any time. Additionally, an online directory enables administrators to efficiently manage the directory’s contents, making it easier to keep it current and accurate. Members can also interact with each other through an online directory by adding comments, sharing photos, and connecting through social media platforms.

This can help foster a stronger sense of community and connectedness among members. Overall, an online church directory can be a powerful tool for modern churches to build and maintain a thriving congregation.

pessoa levantando a mão

image source: Unsplash

Unite your community

An online church directory can help unite your community by providing a centralized platform for members to access information. This can include contact information for pastors, staff, and other members, as well as information about upcoming events, service times, and other relevant details. This can help members feel more connected to the church, and make it easier to get involved and stay informed.

When creating an online church directory, it’s important to consider what information to include. Typically, you’ll want to include contact information for members, such as phone numbers and email addresses. You may also want to include other details, such as photos, social media links, and areas of expertise or interest.

This might be the most time-consuming part of the entire project, but filling in current, and detailed information about your parish, with photos, blog posts, articles, events, and others, will encourage the members to join and make their own profiles.

Be sure to include the member’s detailed information

When creating an online church directory, it’s important to consider what information to include. Typically, you’ll want to include contact information for members, such as phone numbers and email addresses. You may also want to include other details, such as photos, social media links, and areas of expertise or interest.

Encourage your members to create rich profiles and engage with the events of your community. This will create a sense of belonging among the users and goers of your church even when they are out of the church.

Once you have a clear plan in place, you can start building your online church directory website.

eDirectory Facebook Group

How to Create an Online Church Directory

One of the easiest ways to create an online church directory is by using eDirectory. This powerful directory software is designed to be user-friendly and easy to customize. With eDirectory, you can create a members-based website that is tailored to your church’s specific needs, with features like member profiles, event listings, and more.

Plus, eDirectory offers a robust in-house support team and ongoing updates, so you can be sure that your directory is always up-to-date and functioning smoothly.

1- choose a domain name related to your church

Select a domain name that mirrors your community’s identity, complete the registration process, and integrate it with your eDirectory account via the control panel. A customized domain name imparts a more professional and polished impression of your church’s online membership website, elevating the sense of belonging among members.

It communicates that your church is an ongoing project beyond the physical confines of the church and is committed to serving its members through the digital realm. Choosing the right domain name can be an essential step in establishing your church’s online presence and building a lasting relationship with your congregation.

2- Create the categories you need

Creating categories in eDirectory is a straightforward process that can help you organize your website’s content and make it easier for visitors to navigate. To create categories, start by logging into your eDirectory owner account and accessing the control panel. From there, select the “Categories” option and click on the “Add Category” button.

You will be prompted to fill out the information about the category, such as its name, description, and image. Try to create church-related categories, or others related to services offered by your community, like hair salons, lawyers, pastors, education, etc. You can also choose to assign subcategories to further organize your content around the needs of your community.

Create Categories - Church online directory

Once you have filled out the necessary information, save your changes, and your new category will be added to your website. You can repeat this process to create as many categories as you need, each with its unique name, description, and image. Categories can be edited or deleted at any time from the control panel, providing flexibility to adapt to changes in your website’s content.

By using categories, you can help visitors find the information they are looking for quickly, enhancing their user experience and promoting engagement with your online church directory website.

3- populate your church directory website

With eDirectory, creating an online members website for your church has never been easier. Utilizing the powerful listing template editor, site managers can create detailed profiles for both advertisers and members, allowing users to upload photos and videos, and create classifieds, events, deals and offers, blogs, and articles. This level of customization ensures that your online directory is tailored to meet the unique needs of your parish.

As your community grows, there are plenty of opportunities to monetize your online church directory using eDirectory. With the ability to charge for membership or dues and collect payments through the integrated payment system, you can easily create up to four plans for your members and monetize other aspects of your directory, such as selling, classifieds, events, articles, and banner ads. Simply connect eDirectory with your preferred payment gateway, sit back, and start collecting recurring payments. With eDirectory, you have all the tools you need to create a successful online directory that benefits both your church and its members.

4- Release your church online directory: spread the word!

Releasing your church’s online directory is an exciting moment that requires careful planning and promotion to ensure its success. To begin, start by sending an email blast to your members announcing the launch of the directory and explaining its features and benefits. You can also promote the directory on your church’s website, social media accounts, and in person during church services. Encourage members to register and update their information regularly, and provide incentives for doing so, such as access to exclusive content or discounts on church events.

Another effective strategy for promoting your church’s online directory is to partner with other churches or organizations in your community. Reach out to local community groups to see if they would be interested in featuring your directory on their website or social media accounts. Consider offering a reciprocal promotion in exchange for featuring their organization in your directory. Additionally, consider hosting an event to promote the directory, such as a launch party or training session. By leveraging your community’s network and hosting events, you can increase visibility and engagement with your online directory, ensuring that it becomes an essential resource for your members.


An online church directory can be a valuable tool for any church looking to improve communication, connect with members, and promote transparency. By creating an online directory, you can save time, money, and resources, while providing a valuable service to your community.

If you plan on creating an online members website for your parish, don’t hesitate and schedule a free guided demo of eDirectory and see what it can do for your community.

Edirectory Free guided demo

5 niches for online business directories to explore in 2023


5 niches for online business directories to explorer in 2022

This post was updated on Dec-2022

Online directories are guides that list companies, products, and/or services from multiple commercial niches. Directory websites have evolved from newspaper classifieds and the old Yellow Pages, which featured companies and professionals from a wide range of areas.

Since the internet boom in the late 90s and early 2000s, online directories have proven to be a lucrative business opportunity and continue to be so, even today. Here we present the 5 niches of classified portals that will be hot in 2023.

Define your niche well to succeed

To get started, we’ll help you take the first step by finding the right niche. You need to follow three rules:

a. Be Specific

As opposed to what many might expect, to be successful at creating an online business directory, you need a specific focus. In fact, a very diverse directory would compete with numerous other sites (such as marketplaces and other directories), in addition to not passing the credibility of an expert in a certain field.

Select a niche you are familiar with and that has a consumer base that is willing to pay to be listed on your online directory. Gather services and products in this niche and choose a name and domain that reflect what your site offers.

b. Stay hyper-focused to beat the competition

One effective technique to beat the competition is to stay hyper-focused.  Instead of an overly broad directory in terms of categories or geographic areas covered, narrow it down to a niche you can win.  You can always expand the focus later.

In highly competitive niches, you may need to invest in paid media (such as Google ads or Facebook ads) in order to compete.

c. Better chances of success

Niche markets with less competition are already more likely to be successful. Despite this, to ensure your project’s success, it must, above all, be relevant.

One strategy that has gained traction over the past couple of years is the concept of unbundling. The aim is to break up larger and multi-layered businesses such as newspaper classifieds, yellow pages, or even Craigslist into smaller niches, and specialize in them while offering excellent services and advantages over their original sources.

Below, you’ll find the top 5 online directory niches we believe will have the greatest probability of success in the year 2023.

Main niches for online directories in 2023

1. Wellness and beauty

Do you have any idea of how big is the beauty industry? Globally, it is expected to grow to $716B by 2025, from $483B in 2020 to $511B in 2021, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.75 percent worldwide. Led by personal care products, skincare, and cosmetics, this can give you an idea of how strong this niche is.

Online Directory Niche: Beautysource: Commonthreadco

In the fitness department, 2022 is expected to surpass pre pandemic times in terms of revenue and sales for fitness equipment. Market size is estimated to be worth US$ 8.9million in 2022 while the entire market is worth nearly 160 billion in 2021, the fitness industry is expected to grow 171.75% to 434.74 billion USD by 2028.

Fitness market growth Source: IHRSA Global Report fitness

Which gives us plenty of reasons to recommend this niche as a viable option for you to explore in 2022. Aim for your local market and make your online directory a source of qualified listings.

2. Investments and finance

(I think this section isn’t clear about what the guide is supposed to focus on, which I think is probably investment products (stocks, bonds, investment funds, stratagies around them, and also insurance products and retirement planning, maybe with a bonus add in digital currencies)

As fintechs (financial startups such as Acorns, Stash, and others) and financial influencers on social media have popularized investments for the general public, it has become easier than ever to make investments from your smartphone.

According to Gallup research, 56% of US adults own stocks and keep other investments, showing the steady interest in investing in the US.

Even though investing is highly sought after, many people still have doubts about how to begin. Therefore, an online directory covering this niche will be relevant in 2023. Include listings for investment brokerages, events related to financial education, accounting firms, and tax consulting services for companies.

Investment online directory niche

3. Origins and beliefs (foods, religions, Culture)

(let’s find some other way to say race, too hot to touch, maybe culture?)

Starting an online directory based on the diversity of your region could be an effective way to achieve commercial success. You can offer listings and events that reflect the values and culture of your selected nationality, such as food and drink, language tutoring, cultural events, arts and crafts, products, and services.

Another segmentation method is the division of religions and their subdivisions, which create several niches that can be targeted to aggregate religious services and products regardless of beliefs. Understand your niche and provide services (classifieds, events, text articles) that speak to this audience.

Edirectory Free guided demo

4. Weddings

In the United States alone, around 2,5 million weddings are expected to happen in 2023. A considerable growth from the 1,9 million celebrated in 2021.

Weddings are, without a doubt, back to pre-pandemic levels.

Upon the return of major in-person events at the end of 2021, weddings are back in full force. Market revenue for the Wedding Services industry is expected to reach $57.9 billion in 2022.

You could advertise services such as ceremonials, catering, clothing rentals, photographers, and decor, as well as promote events in the area and write articles in the niche.

Wedding online directory niche

5. Events

Parties, graduations, birthdays, concerts… Events are back in full action in 2022. Among dozens of other possibilities, events are a great source of material for an online directory.

Just to paint the scenario, the 2021 edition of Lollapalooza in Chicago racked in over $300 million dollars in revenue. A bump up over the $248 million over the 2019 edition.

Look for relevant events in your niche and don’t disregard online events, which will still be high in demand. You can easily offer tickets, discounts, and easy access to events through your business directory.

Partner with public agencies to promote events including city halls, the secretary of culture, NGOs, and others.

eDirectory is the ideal tool to create an online business directory in your niche

Create an online directory using eDirectory, the most comprehensive platform available. Besides its ease of use, its greatest advantage is that, even if you have no prior knowledge of coding and/or design, you can have your website ready to generate revenue in just a few steps.

eDirectory gives you all the tools to create something unique. Whatever your idea is, eDirectory is the ideal software to get it off the ground.

Wrapping up

We outlined the main points to consider when selecting a niche to start an online directory. Even though it is important to consider the points mentioned, you should choose something you are familiar with. If you’re in the medical field, go for a specialty within the health area. Working in the law field, aim for legal services and consultancy in your city.

Remember the three rules:

  • Be specific;
  • Choose less competition;
  • Better chances of success.

We also brought the top 5 niches for online business directories to invest in 2023, which are:

  • Fitness and beauty;
  • Investiments and finance;
  • Origins and beliefs;
  • Weedings;
  • Events.

In addition, we introduce the leading platform to bring your online directory to life, eDirectory.

Even if you’re an absolute beginner, eDirectory has a completely free guided demo to get you started, along with an extensive support team.

Request your free demo today!

Join the eDirectory Facebook Group

The Online Directory Business Model (and how to succeed)

The online directory business modelStarting a new business with an online directory is a very attractive option for several reasons. Online directories are one of the most effective business models within the online media space and can be used by agencies to grow revenue or by entrepreneurs to launch a new digital company.

Some advantages of the online directory business model:

  • Easy and affordable to setup;
  • Provides a valuable service for people making purchase decisions;
  • Much of the content is user-produced, meaning the business can be run with a small team;
  • Low ongoing maintenance;
  • Generates high-margin, recurring revenue.

In this article, we’ll cover the foundation of the online directory business model, as well as learn how to monetize the business and get the first customers.

What is an online directory?

An online directory is a guide that assists people in making a purchase decision, whether it’s a local guide for restaurants and hotels, a niche product, such as a guide to help set up a wedding, or a business-to-business guide for buying factory equipment or enterprise services.

Online directories provide information about specific businesses including their names, addresses, contact details, associations, services, and products offered in the form of listings. Businesses are typically categorized based on their location, activity, or rating, and the directory must ensure that all the information in its listings is accurate.

In this business model, there are several niches to be explored and each one of them generates value differently for users and clients (which we will discuss in the next chapters).

How does the basic business model work

The basic business model is creating a site that has a list of all the relevant suppliers, which includes detailed information about what they offer, photos and videos, ratings, and reviews.  The model originally was used by yellow page companies, which in the US was a 20+ billion-dollar-a-year industry globally.  Also, niche B2B media companies often published vendor and supplier directories.

The online directory business model has been in use since the late nineties. Did you know that Elon Musk himself, when starting his climb in the business world, created an online city guide with maps and yellow pages, founding Zip2?

Back then, the company’s strategy was to create a physical database to promote this service to major newspapers and media publishers. He managed to close deals with major publishing houses like the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and others.

In short, in February 1999, he sold the company to Compaq for $307 million. With the $22 million he received for his 7% stake in Zip2, he next launched an online bank called, which merged with Confinity to form PayPal in 2000.

Interestingly, since then, the online business directory model has grown more and more, attracting the attention of different brands, products, competitors, etc.

eDirectory Business Listing Online DirectoryBusiness listing information example and how the information is displayed in an online directory.

The power of curation

Online information is everywhere these days – you can find information about a business on Google, Facebook, and many other sites. So why would people need a directory? The value is in the curation. The directory shows all the suppliers, ratings and reviews, and other information making it the authority to help make the purchase decision. There is so much information out there that curation is especially valuable, filtering out the noise and delivering only what’s really valuable.

By exploring the best content available in a certain niche, your online directory will be recognized. Customers value the diverse perspectives offer about the topics and interests that interest them. So get to know your audience, what are your customers looking for? What are their pains and needs?

Pay extra attention to the following points in order to have an effective curation process:

  • The kind of audience you are trying to build
  • The segment of customers you are trying to attract

Knowing your audience (and your niche) is key. Remember this.

As a source of curated content, your online directory’s purpose is to share listings, events, deals, and classifieds that your audience wants. It acts as a funnel. It is one of the most important ways to build trust between you and your audience. The better the content you provide, the more likely you are to receive clicks and referrals.

Get to know the types of online business directories

There are several types of online business directories to meet the most diverse interests and segments you could think of. Here are the most commonly used today:

  • Online local businesses;
  • Classifieds;
  • Real estate classifieds;
  • Job boards;
  • Freelancers;
  • Domestic services;
  • Events;
  • Weddings;
  • Doctors;
  • Travel, hotels, and food,
  • Softwares and apps;
  • Auto sales.

The key elements to having a good online business directory

For your online directory to be of higher quality, it must consider the following parameters:

  1. Breadth and depth of data for the categories the directory covers, so it has all the relevant listings and all the relevant information about each listing.  We have an entire Webinar dedicated to this topic.
  2. Provide relevant related content to attract more traffic (blogs, videos, social media);
  3. Present advertiser listings in an attractive and organized, with good descriptions and images;
  4. It is essential to have integrations with providers for online payment, allowing sales through this channel (check your local and major gateways);
  5. An online sponsor dashboard would allow sponsors to fully manage their listings. This saves time and allows greater flexibility for advertisers;
  6. To ensure a higher position in the search rankings of your listings and websites, it is essential to have content optimized for SEO;
  7. By providing maps and information related to the locations of listed companies, the directory site becomes much more useful to users.
  8. Reviews are important to make other users from your audience to have based purchase decisions.
  9. Invest in good quality photos and videos, hire a photographer or an image specialist. Good photos make your online directory look and feel more professional, and also make the sponsors sell more.
  10. And curation, as we mentioned before. Stay in your niche, promote an Editor’s Choice Award and other creative contests to engage with your audience.

How to get the first customers for your online directory?

To get started, you need to develop some marketing strategies to promote your online directory and attract your first customers. It is a job that requires a certain amount of patience to take the right steps and achieve the desired results.

Next, we will present some tips to attract the first customers to your online directory site, which are:

  1. Build listings on your site to grab users’ attention as an empty business directory doesn’t grab anyone’s attention. You can scrape listings and start filling your website by yourself.
  2. Use social media to promote your online directory, as your target audience is in these spaces and willing to interact with brands;
  3. Take advantage of the opportunity to establish a relationship with your audience by electing your visitors’ favorites in a certain niche;
  4. It is interesting to start using paid advertising, such as Google Ads, to increase traffic to your online directory quickly. Bing ads are also an option;
  5. Drive traffic to your directory site and build authority for your brand by writing relevant content and using guest blogging. Organic strategies typically require a longer time to work;

These are just a few suggestions to get you started in making your online directory popular and profitable.

How to monetize your online directory?

Certainly, most online business directory sites make money by providing visibility to their partners. This happens both with the dissemination of products and services and with the use of spaces for advertisements.

Additionally, some websites offer premium advertising and spaces. Once you have your online directory, it’s time to monetize it. It’s what generates business and profits.

Other forms of monetization can also be found in niches and differentiated business models, for example:

  • Affiliate Marketing;
  • Sales of leads;
  • Sponsored newsletters;
  • Disclosure on social networks.

Edirectory Free guided demoPaid advertisement inside the online directory business model

The option of paid advertisements to earn income in the online directory business model is the most used and applies to several types of online commercial guides, such as:

  • Stores;
  • Restaurants;
  • Subscriptions to scientific articles or videos;
  • Job vacancies, among others.

In this type of monetization, businesses pay to have their brand appear at the top of search results in their category. This is certainly an effective method of gaining visibility.

In addition, this type of listing generates recurring revenue, as the company can pay a monthly membership fee to have your name displayed throughout the month at certain times.

The listing is displayed on the first page of its categories, depending on the type of plan that is chosen by the companies. For example, a plan might offer three levels of memberships, such as:

  • Bronze ($30/month): Featured listing in a category and 2 photos to upload;
  • Silver ($50/month): Featured listings in 3 categories, 5 photos to upload and 1 social media account link;
  • Gold ($100/mo): Featured listings in 5 categories and 1 rotating ad slot, 10 upload photos, and linking 5 social media accounts with active feed updates.

In this example, it is clear how the advantages of each plan are increasing and how you can choose the one that best fits your budget.

Interestingly, the amount charged by companies to advertise their services and products directly relates to the quality of the directory site. Thus, the better your online directory, with a lot of good listings, the more you can charge for these plans.

As well, the more traffic your site has, the more opportunities you have to attract advertisers.

Ad spaces available

You can also monetize your online business directory by selling ad spaces, i.e. banners. Initially, you can offer free advertising space to encourage sponsors to start using your online directory.

You can also use the rotating banner to sell the same space to different companies. This requires defining a marketing plan that can be weekly, biweekly as well as other options.

One way to charge for ad slots can be Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM) or cost per click (CPC), or by setting a monthly fee for a certain space in a specific location on the page.

Take advantage of every opportunity to advertise your online directory. Some ideas can generate good results, such as promoting events related to the niche market in which it operates. Or even promoting articles, classifieds, and everything else that may be related to your business and generate an audience.

How to get started?

This is a critical step in getting your business directory started and on its way to success.

With the tools available today such as directory templates, themes, or online directory scripts, it can be overwhelming to build and update your online directory yourself or have to rely on a developer.

A company that specializes in online directory site software has a lot to offer for your online business model. For example, eDirectory is an extremely complete and commercially available directory website builder.

It offers its users all the tools to create, manage and promote a successful directory site. It also offers a robust list of resources, including some essential tools to help you market your directory online, such as:

  1. Ability to create professional directory listings with images, videos, social media feed, and coupons within an intuitive and beginner-friendly interface;
  2. Customize your pages to fit your needs, using a visual editor to create different categories for each listing you create;
  3. Seamless integration with the most popular social media platforms and encouraging advertisers to promote their own listings with social sharing links;
  4. Automatically integrate with Google Maps as new listings are added;
  5. Providing automatic payment reminders to listing owners as their payment due dates approach;
  6. You can generate business for your advertisers by allowing them to create their own coupons and offers directly from their listings. Additionally, you can sell them banners ad space;

To get a better idea of all these eDirectory benefits, go to and schedule a free guided demo. You will be surprised!

eDirectory Facebook Group

eDirectory vs WordPress Directory Plugins

eDirectory vs wordpress directory plugins

eDirectory vs WordPress Directory Plugins & Themes: what is the best solution?

As you begin to plan and research creating and building a profitable online directory-based website, you will find that there are a few options for you and may wonder – ‘what is the best solution for me?’

If you are contemplating using WordPress directory plugins and themes, there are some pros and cons to consider.

eDirectory Wedding business directory Theme

You can use WordPress for an institutional brochure-type of website, your personal blog, e-commerce, and of course, for directory-based websites such as Yellow Pages, Local Search Site, Classified Ads Portals, and more. If you are not minimum skilled in Webdesign, it can be a daunting task.

eDirectory is a platform specifically designed for building and managing directory-based websites. The skilled development team has thought through all of the details needed to build a fully-functional website. Once you sign-up for eDirectory, your new website is ready for you to configure according to your business model. No coding or design knowledge is required.

To create a good-looking and reliable directory-based website using WordPress directory plugins, there’s a lot more than just starting adding content to it.

If you are new to using WordPress, there may be a bit of a learning curve. Although getting started with WordPress has a relatively low cost as an open-source code, building on the website begins to add up and create a lot of moving parts. Many of the reliable WordPress themes are offered at a premium price – the same is to be said for plug-ins.

eDirectory VS WordPress

Here are the basic steps to creating a WordPress-powered Online Directory


What an easy start! There are several companies out there providing low-cost hosting for WordPress websites. Pricing will vary according to the resources offered by each company/plan.

Server Configuration

Not all companies will deliver the server ready to host your project, in many cases you’ll need to do it yourself. Some important things to consider in this step:

  • Will you need Cpanel or WHM to manage the server?
  • Can you scale storage, bandwidth, and performance?
  • Is it ready for email services?
  • Can it handle safety backups?
  • How many security levels does it have to protect your data?
  • Does it provide an SSL security certificate?
  • What’s the system library version recommended?
  • What is the policy to update the library for PHP, Java, and other modules?

WordPress Installation

As an open-source simply head to their official website and with a few clicks you can download their code. Assuming you have your server already configured, there are plenty of tutorials available to guide you with this installation.

Directory Theme/Template/Plugin research

Here’s what you need to look for when choosing the right WordPress directory plugins/template/theme:

  • Is it compatible with the core version of WordPress?
  • When was the last update?
  • Is there any support or guidance?
  • Is it for Business Listing only?
  • Can you create custom fields for Listings?
  • Does it include Classifieds too?
  • Does it include Events and Recurring Events?
  • Does it come with its own Banner Ads manager?
  • Can business/members post deals and offers?
  • Does it support online recurring payments?
  • Does it automate the billing procedures?
  • Does it include a portal for the advertiser to post and manage their content?
  • How many pre-built pages come ready?
  • Is it drag-and-drop?
  • What is the page builder? Elementor, Gutenberg or Divi?
  • Can users bookmark their favorites and have a public profile?
  • Can you create discount codes and free trials?
  • Does it have a Claim This Listing feature?
  • Does it come with pre-built email templates?
  • How does it handle the Categories Tree?
  • Does it allow for subcategories?

Additional Plugins

As WordPress is just the core application, many of the basic features for directory-based websites are achieved by adding plugins developed by the community. The Plugins will vary according to the needs you already know (and some will rise along the way). Don’t forget to check on each Plugin if they are compatible with the version of WordPress and with the version of the theme – these issues can break your site. The most common WordPress Directory Plugins sites are:

  • Yoast SEO
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Google Maps
  • Google Recaptcha
  • Payment Gateways (Paypal, Stripe, etc)
  • Contact Forms
  • Dynamic Calendar Widgets
  • Bulk Importing tool
  • Exporting tool
  • Image sliders and Carousel
  • Rating and Reviews
  • Newsletter widget
  • GDPR active consent
  • Facebook comments
  • Social Login by Facebook, Gmail, and Apple ID

Installation and Setup

Once you have the site, the theme, and the plugins installed. It’s time to activate everything and start configuring the basics to be sure the plugins won’t conflict with each other and won’t break your site.

eDirectory vs wordpress directory plugins

While you are still considering what theme to use and the collection of Plugins you’ll need to start your idea, an average eDirectory user is already working on the new site and will be launching it soon.

Top 5 reasons to consider eDirectory over WordPress Directory Plugins

1. Support

With eDirectory, you have a TEAM of over 50 techs, reps, and customer success agents to make sure you have the greatest opportunities for success – whether that means scheduling a training session or getting some help with how it all works. No need to chase down a developer or have staff on payroll for basic maintenance or consultation.

2. Product

With WordPress, you may end up with a sort of Frankenstein website with lots of controlled moving parts by various 3rd party developers that may or may not keep current with the constant security updates of an open-source platform like WordPress, meaning you could go weeks with broken items on the page with no sign of help in sight. So in the end, just to make things work, you may bog down your site and find yourself trying to piece things together with bandaids, duct tape, and hot glue.

3. Scalability

Many people launch with WordPress for the low sticker price, but once your clients start gaining traction with WordPress and eventually grow out of it, clients experience high-switching costs to a platform better suited for growth and scalability like Many clients experience extended delays and issues with migrating data, service interruptions, customer dissatisfaction from a broken site, and overall growing pains that can easily be avoided by launching with eDirectory from the get-go. So, for clients with serious revenue goals and long-term growth plans, and fewer headaches so they can focus on activities that add value rather than operational development, clients choose eDirectory.

4. Credibility

Visitors can spot a WordPress site from a mile away. There’s nothing special about a $99 theme that makes your brand look credible. With, our clients LOVE the integrated app builder, all the essentials under one roof like payment processing, hosting, and member management. And your online community will appreciate all of the features you’re able to provide with our fully-integrated online directory solution to provide a one-stop shop for growing your revenue goals. When people see you have an unbranded mobile app, they know you’ve invested and are serious.

5. Growth & Custom Development

As your online community grows and you start to receive actionable feedback, you might find there are features or functionalities unique to your community that you need to keep growing and adding value to your brand. With WordPress, you may encounter the same Frankenstein scenario that makes it more difficult to keep it all together without a full-time developer at an average hourly rate of $100 per hour. We have an entire department of custom development services to add what’s most important to your expansion plans.

Wrapping up

eDirectory offers a stable, secure hosted solution so you can rest assured your investment is in good hands. With so many built-in features and functionality, the website need not get ‘bloated’ with additional plug-ins and scripts.

By choosing eDirectory as your directory platform, you can be up and running AND generate revenue quickly and easily.

To help you get started, contact an account executive to discuss your needs and ask about our onboarding plans to help you get the jump on your new venture!

Edirectory Free guided demo

Content Marketing Strategies For Online Business Directories

content marketing strategies for online directories

If you are launching an online directory there are a number of content marketing strategies to help you attract an audience and build engagement.  Content marketing is part of a larger marketing category called Inbound Marketing and is designed to attract your business’ target audience by building content pieces that provide information and reinforce authority on the subject matter.

In this article, we’ve outlined some of the key content marketing strategies that are most effective for building an audience.

  • Why is content marketing important for an online business directory?
  • How to get started with a content marketing strategy
  • 7 content formats to explore in your online strategy

Copyright: (c) Bakhtiarzein |

Why is it important to use content marketing strategies for online business directories?

Content marketing is part of a bigger category of marketing activities called inbound marketing, or attraction marketing as it is also known.  This is different from outbound marketing which takes the value proposition to the customers.

Content marketing offers several benefits such as:

  • Educate your audience about your niche;
  • Promote your business’ authority;
  • Generate engagement from your target audience;
  • Take a softer approach to convert users into customers;
  • Reduce your business marketing costs;
  • Expand your site’s organic traffic and visibility.

How to start a content marketing strategy for online business directories?

Now that you know the importance of utilizing content marketing strategies for your classifieds website, you might be wondering how to get started, right?

Well, contrary to what many people think, a content marketing strategy does not simply involve posting blog posts on your website at random but rather, researching, planning, executing, and measuring the results (and the use of different content formats).

So, before thinking about creating content for your online business directory, you should consider all the steps in this process and think about aspects such as:

  • Who are you creating content for?
  • What are the goals of your strategy?
  • How do you plan to promote them (channels and formats)?
  • How will you fit content into your business’s sales funnel strategy?
  • How will you measure your results (KPIs)?

All of these are critical to achieving successful results in your content strategy for online business directories.

Once you plan, execute and evaluate the results, you can make the necessary adjustments to the strategy to improve it further.

7 Content Formats to Explore in Your Trade Guide Strategy

A content marketing strategy is not based on just producing content sporadically and only in one setting (people often associate with blog posts). On the contrary, there are several formats that you can adopt, mix and reframe in your planning.  Here is an overview of a few successful formats.

1. Interview with Advertisers (video, podcast or text)

Create a sense of importance in your advertisers by inviting them to an interview by telling their story, and sharing their knowledge. Invite a prominent sponsor and record an interview in webinar format, highlighting their background, strategy and successes (as well as their mistakes).

To save time this can also be done via email, where you regularly send a set of questions to directory listing owners or other people in the industry, edit them and post as articles or blogs.

The goal here is to generate more engagement with your audience, creating identification with real people, so that other users can connect and interact through your platform. We recommend that you hold webinars or do a written email interview with a guest once a month and then feature it in your directory site and other channels such as social media or newsletters.

2. Create Local Itineraries

For local search directories, a great way to drive readership is by creating a virtual itinerary of good options for businesses and services offered in your guide. Contact advertisers and offer space within your itinerary, but be sure to curate it to give your audience a good experience. It can be regional food restaurants, craft and arts stores, street food vendors and other attractions that might be of interest.

You can structure the itinerary into a blog post, or article, including mentions of listings and advertisers, as well as videos and photos to enrich the material and rank higher on Google. You can create thematic itineraries based around holidays and events (watch the calendar). Renewing annually to update with new tips and content.

3. Create Top 10 Lists

Another great opportunity to generate engagement with your advertisers and visitors is to create Top 10 or Best of lists, with the best picks from your online business directory. Use “editor’s choice” badges to value the top-rated advertisers and offer this premium space in a top 10 of the year in key categories in your business directory, such as best restaurants, best dental clinics, best car dealerships, accounting offices, lawyers and others.

Top 10 lists are usually run annually, selecting the best services, products and advertisers. Send an email to selected candidates informing them that they are participating in the selection for the best of the year in their category. Define how the choice will be made and reward the winners with a special badge for that year and promote the result on social networks and groups of your online directory.

4. Create Infographics

Infographics about different subjects relevant to your directory can help capture attention by telling a story with information and images.

This format increases engagement and traffic to your site on search engines. First, think of a narrative (a story) that you want to include and what main data you should gather, for example: an infographic that shows the main attractions in your city center on a map, or an infographic that shows the reviews and prices for services (choose a category) in a particular neighborhood.

As a lead-gathering strategy, you can start off by offering some of the content for free in your business guide, and a more complete version accessible by subscribing to a newsletter, where the visitor leaves their name and email to access the material.

5. Create a Fun Contest

Here’s a fun tip to generate more likes and comments on your social media: a contest is always a good way to generate some buzz on your online directory! Host a photo contest of the best dishes from advertised restaurants in your online business directory. Is your location a coastal city? Even better! Award the best photos of the beaches in your region. Create polls open to the public to choose the best services, food and stores in the region.

Offer prizes to winning advertisers such as upgrades to your ads or free plugins. The better the offer, the more people will engage and participate in the contest.

6. Create Memes

According to scientist Richard Dawkins, “a meme is an idea or information that is propagated and multiplied among individuals, similarly to what happens with the gene in genetics”. This may seem far from the concept of memes we see on the internet every day, but it’s exactly the same concept.

The power of Memes comes from the fact they are meant to be shared – it’s a content format with potential to reach thousands of people. You can take advantage of this format by creating fun images that fit your niche. Believe me, there is a whole audience of the most diverse segments that consume memes produced specifically for them such as pet owners, cooks, nutritionists, lawyers, dentists… In short, look for your niche and pay attention to internet trends.

7. Ebooks, Templates, and Podcasts

Other informative content formats that draw attention and build authority are ebooks, templates, and podcasts.

Ebooks can further deepen a topic and still explain clearly and objectively the topics covered, in addition to serving as a tool for capturing leads. Try to create different ebooks in pdf format of various topics around your niche. Pay attention to what your users are looking for and create files to address their pain points and collect more leads.

Document Templates, which help businesses save time and create a professional image, are great for attracting leads to your business directory. Create ready-made templates of customer engagement emails your advertisers might use, or landing pages, or other things that might help their business like spreadsheets to plan or budget.  Businesses will download and customize them to fit their needs, and along the way they learn about your site and may sign up to become a paying member.

Podcasts are also great for attracting an audience.  You can plan, record and distribute audio content on subject matters that may be of interest to your audience.

Join the eDirectory Facebook Group

How to Distribute Created Content

Create an email marketing strategy

Email marketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies.

A survey showed that for every $1 you spend, you can expect a return on your investment of $51. It is said that the ROI for email marketing is a whopping 4400%, that’s just amazing and shows how well email marketing strategies can perform. Make sure to customize your emails to your user base (this is key), keep your audience engaged with news and deals when it is relevant. Be sure not to spam your sponsors with too many blasts per week.

Content Marketing Strategies For Online Business DirectoriesSource: sendinblue

Do you want to build loyalty with your audience and establish a connection with your online business directory? An email marketing strategy can help you.

After defining the aspects mentioned in the previous topic, think of ways to build your email list with the contacts of potential customers who might be interested in your listing.

For example, invite your readers to subscribe to a newsletter where you will share valuable content and practical tips to your customers, free of charge and with the frequency defined in your planning (weekly, fortnightly, monthly).

Use Social Media

Social media is an extremely powerful tool in marketing campaigns for one reason: your potential customers are there on a daily basis.

Therefore, using them as one of the means of distribution in your content marketing strategy for trade guides is indispensable.

The great benefit of this means of distribution is that you can be present in the channels that make the most sense for your strategy and you can develop content that will really connect and create valuable relationships between your online business directory and your audience, all of it in a more present and frequent way.

Then, analyze which channels make the most sense for your strategy, according to your persona and objectives defined in the planning phase, and thus start thinking about ways you can engage your audience in these media through content production.

As you may already know, you can create a presence on social networks such as:

  • LinkedIn;
  • Facebook;
  • Instagram;
  • Twitter;
  • Pinterest, among others.

Reuse your content across different channels and formats

Who says content has to have the same format forever? A great way to put content marketing for online business directories into practice is to reuse your content across different configurations and channels.

How does it work? Well, blog content can become a more detailed ebook that you will make available to your audience and in return, you will get a contact that can be reused at another time; a live broadcast can become a longer blog post; a video can become a dynamic and useful infographic, among others. You just need to know how to fit the content to another purpose!

Use the video content format in your strategies

Videos, as well as blog posts, are excellent content formats to explore. This becomes more relevant every day as users consume more and more audiovisual content.

Also, producing content in video format is a way to make your content more shareable and thus reach more people. You can even embed videos in some blog articles and further optimize their content.

Videos also appear in search results, such as on Google, and therefore, can be optimized to better rank your portal in the most used search platform in the world.

Make your content relevant to Google – Write with a focus on SEO

One of the pillars of content marketing is blog content written with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind.   Understand which keywords groups are relevant to the topics you are targeting, and write with them in mind.  This will help you become an authority in search engine result pages for those topics.

A great way to do this in 2021, according to Neil Patel’s website, is to produce smaller, niched content and use long-tail keywords to occupy the more specific search positions on Google.

Also, doing keyword research work in your niche and developing content around those terms remains extremely important to getting good results.


Content marketing is a great way to attract an audience to your directory site and make your site the authority on the subject matter, and with the techniques from this article it’s not difficult to get started.  Make a plan and a schedule to try different strategies, and build on the ones that are most successful.

And if you’re still looking for a platform that integrates everything you need to successfully launch your trading guide, schedule a free demo with us today and see how eDirectory can help you!

Start Your Online Directory

How to Build a Membership Website Easily

how to build a membership websiteYou’ve heard the buzz. More and more people are researching how to build a membership website.

Why? Membership websites can provide a great new source of recurring revenue, so it’s no wonder they’re exploding in popularity.

So then, which one of these are you?

1) It’s all in my head: You have a really great idea for a membership website you want.


2) I’ve got the content: You’re a pro at something and already have a ton of content you’d like to monetize.

Whether you’ve only been thinking about doing it or you’ve already been building an online knowledge base, you’re onto something big…

Because regardless of the path you walk now, starting a successful membership website has never been easier. 

Yes — running a successful membership site takes work, but luckily, there are some great tools out there to help you along the way (and give you access to amazing features you can use to grow your business online).

So in this article, we’ll show you exactly what a membership website is, what it does, and how you can build one (no advanced technical skills required).

Ready to explore this ultimate guide to membership websites? Let’s jump in.

What Is a Membership Website?

A membership website is a platform that offers exclusive content to members only. Usually, that content exists on the other end of a paywall.

Simply put, in exchange for signing up for the site, members can access gated content that’s not available elsewhere. Only members can access and use the information you put “behind” your membership sign-up.

Pricing for a membership site can be free, paid, or tiered. Most notably, a membership website takes advantage of the booming subscription-based model of recurring revenue.

Meaning, site owners can expect to see repeated income. Which is extra enticing since 76% of businesses now look at subscription-based pricing as a way to improve their customer relationships and retention.

how to build a membership website

Sure, numbers like this are super exciting if you’re just starting to learn how to build a membership site. However, it’s important to point out that building this kind of website is no small task. Business owners who make money online through a successful membership site put a ton of work into it.

So, let’s see how people end up making money with a successful membership site next.

How Membership Sites Make Money

It’s likely you’ve heard about people making good money from running a membership website. And you may be thinking that income is just from repeating monthly or annual fees. In reality, many successful membership sites make money using a mix of different methods.

So now you’re probably wondering…ok then, exactly how do membership sites make money?

Well, here are the main ways membership sites can earn money:

  • Membership Dues: Get recurring revenue month after month (or year after year) when people pay you to be a member of your site. This can be set up in tiers so the highest-priced plan should also include the most perks for your members.
  • Affiliate Sales: Collect revenue from sales you send to your affiliates. Insert affiliate links to partner products within your website content.
  • Google Ads: Make money from your web traffic by displaying 3rd-party advertisements in banner areas with Pay-per-Click advertising.
  • Selling Digital Products: Courses, guides, and other downloadable content that’s valuable to others can be sold on your website. You can set up an eCommerce shop or bundle these products with specific membership plans.
  • Selling Directory Listings: If you’re using a robust membership tool, you’ll have access to other revenue-generating features like online directories and classifieds. Selling these listings to advertisers and sponsors can be a fantastic way to generate income.

As you can see, there’s more than one way to make money using a membership site. And using a solid membership tool that offers features that support these revenue streams makes it much easier to tap into these different ways to generate income from your website.

WordPress Plugin vs Dedicated Membership Tool

When you’re learning how to build a membership site, you’ll see there are WordPress membership plugins that developers install and use to give normal website membership capabilities.

Some people look up how to build a membership website with WordPress and dive right in, trying to do everything at once and all by themselves. This could cost months of time setting up a DIY website and configuring a WordPress plugin. And after it’s up and running, many people realize they simply don’t have the time or energy it takes to continue to build every feature their membership site needs.

Because for the average business owner, installing, setting up, and maintaining a made-from-scratch website plus a membership plugin can be very time-consuming and not beginner-friendly.

For those that plan their membership site, use a dedicated membership site tool like eDirectory, and stay committed, the possibilities for growth can be astounding. This dedicated membership site tool offers everything you need to launch and grow a successful membership and online directory website like a blogging system, banner advertisements, online recurring payments, and more.

how to build a membership website

If you’re serious about setting up a successful membership site and looking for a one-stop solution, a dedicated membership tool is the way to go.

So now that you know why people prefer dedicated membership tools over DIY solutions like WordPress membership plugins, let’s cover exactly how to build a membership website.

How to Build a Membership Website

When you’re ready to make your own membership website, follow these easy steps to get it up and running in no time.

1. Determine Your Industry

When you’re first learning how to create a membership program, it can feel overwhelming. Luckily, this step is not only fun, but it will also help clear a path for where your website is headed.

The very first thing you’ll want to do to build a membership website is to pick your niche.

You may already have an online presence that you want to monetize, like a blog or podcast. In that case, you’ve already carved out your niche.

If not, some great membership website ideas can include (but are not limited to):

  • Niche online business directories.
  • Specialized gated content like stock photos, how-to’s, recipes, etc.
  • Local classified listings.
  • Event calendars for specific interests and groups.

…and a lot more.

So, what do you know a lot about? What are you passionate about? The answers to these questions can help inspire ideas for your membership website.

Start Your Online Directory2. Choose the Right Membership Tool

Next up, you’ll want to sign up for eDirectory. Using a dedicated membership tool is the best way to easily build and manage your website (plus access features that let you generate additional income.)

how to build a membership website

And unlike a WordPress membership site, eDirectory is a cloud solution that provides everything you need to build a raving online community (and without all the hassle).

After you’ve got your membership tool up and running, you’ll want to set up your payment gateways.

3. Set Up Payment Methods

Accepting secure credit card and PayPal payments over your website is a must for a successful membership site. Plus, you need a way to get paid.

So, the next step to setting up your membership website is to configure your payment methods. You’ll have many payment service provider options to choose from.

how to build a membership website

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to set up an account with your preferred payment solution. Then, you can connect your account through your membership website.

To do so, simply head to Settings > Manage Levels & Pricing > Payment Gateways.

Once you’ve connected your payment provider(s) details, you’ll be ready to set up and customize each membership level that you offer.

4. Build Your Membership Levels

The next thing you need to do is determine the cost and features of each one of your membership levels.

Not sure what to charge? We recommended starting with a free membership level with some features included. Free members get to use your software and are a great place to find paying customers since they’re already familiar with your brand and software.

After your free level is set up, you’ll need to decide what you’ll include with each one of your paid membership levels.

Because eDirectory is a leader in online business directories, you’ll find a lot of options to really fine-tune what your members can and can’t do.

You can offer different features within:

  • Listings
  • Events
  • Classifieds
  • Banners
  • Articles

how to build a membership website

Just remember to save the most impactful features for your highest plan so people will want to sign up.

And don’t stress about which features and pricing to go with. It’s easy to return to this area and adjust your membership level offerings whenever you need to as your business grows and your members’ needs change.

5. Populate Your Listings

Now that your membership plans are built, it’s time to populate your directory listings. This is an important step because you’ll want to show leads what they can expect when they sign up as a member with you. That’s nearly impossible to do if you can’t visually explain it.

So, you’ll need to create some listings, by hand or by importing them.

how to build a membership website

During this step, you’ll want to customize your listing layout to match your membership website. There are many configuration options, so pick the one you like the most and keep populating your listings.

6. Create Members-Only Content 

The next step to build a membership website is to create members-only content. The psychological phenomenon known as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) can really drive sales, so locking gated content behind a paywall can be a great business decision.

This can look different for everyone since no one membership website is the same.

You may be an expert at succulent care and have tons of helpful guides already published. Compiling this content into an organized course or workbook is a great way to source members-only content for your website.

If you don’t already have a blog, or if it aligns better with your business model, these are some popular ways to create some members-only content:

  • Business Directory: From local business directories to niche hobbyist groups, people are willing to pay to access listings specific to what they’re interested in. 
  • Classified Ads: If you’re using classifieds on your site, only letting paid members post ads is a great way to earn new recurring subscriptions. Just make sure to populate your ads just like you’ve populated your listings in the previous step.
  • Event Calendar: Only allow members to post to a public event calendar. Alternatively, set it up so only members can view the events.
  • Offer Services: Access to coaching calls, pre-recorded webinars, or courses.
  • Offer Goods: Creatives can give members access to things like custom social media graphic templates or stylized stock images.

…and anything else you can think of that may have value to someone. But to start, these are excellent sources of members-only content you can create quickly and easily.

7. Promote Your Membership Site

Next, you need to promote and market your membership website.

This is an extremely important step because, after all that hard work, you want to make sure people are coming to your website.

Head to the Blog Module in eDirectory and start writing posts around keywords related to your membership website and your intended audience. Find out your ideal customer, what they need, and how they search for it.

how to build a membership website

The easy-to-use and SEO-optimized Blog Module lets you create, monitor, and optimize your content in just a few clicks.

And if you’re planning on making money through affiliate sales, you’ll also find an option to seamlessly insert your links within your content.

On top of SEO blogging, you might also want to consider these popular website promotion methods:

  • Pay-per-Click Advertising (PPC): Pay for Google Ads advertising on specific, related keywords.
  • Take Advantage of Social: Create (and stick to) a social media posting schedule.
  • Email Marketing: Build an email list by collecting addresses on your site then promoting to those leads (great for returning traffic and high conversions).
  • Word of Mouth: In this digital world, website owners often forget how impactful telling other people about your membership site can be. This is especially important for online communities that are locally based, like a business directory.

There are a lot of ways to promote your membership site, but these are all very popular places to start. For more, make sure to head over to our article on how to market an online directory where we’ve laid out some detailed tips for powerful website promotion.

8. Keep Improving Your Membership Site

For any business to succeed, you’ll need to make sure to continually improve. If you notice something isn’t working right on your site, jump in and fix it. If you get feedback from an advertiser about a feature request, see if you can provide it. Make the customer experience pleasant and you’ll likely see members who stay subscribed for the long haul.

how to build a membership website

The great thing about easy-to-use membership website platforms is that whenever you see an area for improvement, you can jump right into your site and change it. And if you’re not sure how, reach out to us for help.

With eDirectory, you get access to a helpful support team ready to help you make your membership website a success.

Create a Membership Site with eDirectory 

Now that you know how to build a membership website, your next step is to launch yours using eDirectory. This feature-rich tool lets you build and manage a customized membership directory to meet your business goals and drive growth.

With eDirectory, your membership site can:

    • Collect Member Dues: Generate recurring revenue from membership fees.
    • Let Members Login: Display an easy-to-use login area for your members to access and manage their own account information.
    • Sell Directory Listings: Allow people and/or businesses to create listings, and automatically turn them into member profiles.
    • Featured Listings: Sell featured directory spots with a repeating revenue model.
    • Integrate with Social Media: Display your Twitter feed on your website, plus encourage members to share your brand across popular social platforms.
    • Use Classified Ads: Offer your members different capabilities inside of classified listings based on membership levels, driving sales to your higher plans.
    • Social Media Integration: Connect with social media platforms for more exposure with social sharing links and a website Twitter feed.
    • Grow with Content: Access the Blog Module to create and manage SEO-optimized content that brings you the right kind of traffic.
    • Earn Money from Ads: Easily Insert Google Ads into banner space on your site or even sell the space to members with a powerful Banner Ad System.
    • List Events: Encourage a sense of community among members by letting them create recurring or one-time event listings, complete with a Google Maps integration.
      …and more.

So if you’re wanting to build a successful membership website that’s easy to manage and gives you access to the power of online directories, eDirectory is a fantastic choice.

Asking yourself how can I create a membership website for free? Don’t wait, sign up for a free eDirectory demo today.

Join the eDirectory Facebook Group