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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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How to Start A Yellow Pages Directory Website

How to Start A Yellow Pages WebsiteYellow pages are some of the most useful online directory websites, both for your visitors and local businesses. They’re also beneficial for you as the directory website owner. But what exactly is a yellow pages directory website? What are the advantages of creating one and, most importantly, what does it take to build one? Those are the questions we’ll answer in this article. We’ll also explain how to get started building a yellow pages directory site.

What is a Yellow Pages Directory Website?

A yellow pages site is an online business directory that helps visitors discover local businesses. Typically, a yellow pages directory consists of location-based listings that include businesses, service providers, organizations, and similar. If a visitor is looking for a restaurant or a doctor in their area, a yellow pages directory can point them in the right direction.

This type of listing can provide them with all the necessary information they need to know about a particular business: address, hours of operation, contact information, website address, and more. They can even show reviews and ratings of any individual business.

In other words, online users benefit from a yellow pages directory because it’s an easy way to find the information they need when they need it. Businesses and organizations benefit from being listed on yellow pages because the listing can bring them more customers and clients.

Why Build a Yellow Pages Directory?

A yellow pages directory website is useful for both online users as well as businesses. But what about you, the person behind the yellow pages directory? Why should you bother building a yellow pages directory website?

There are a few reasons. For starters, it’s a good way to make money online. You can sell listings as well as advertising spots. On top of regular listings, you can also sell enhanced listings and allow businesses to claim a listing for a fee.

Secondly, it allows you to create a business without having to worry about creating a product or gaining skills to provide a specific service.

Lastly, it’s a low-risk and low-cost business idea as you don’t need a huge investment to get started. Another benefit is that you also don’t have to worry about renting an office space and paying associated bills and other fees.

What Does It Take to Create a Yellow Pages Directory Website?

The first thing you’ll need to build a yellow pages website is a dedicated yellow pages directory software like eDirectory. Using eDirectory is the fastest and most affordable way to launch a directory website in any niche without the need to hire a developer.

eDirectory Notable Features

eDirectory has a plethora of features that make it a great choice for building a yellow pages directory:

  • Build a small directory with several thousand listings or a whole network of sites with millions of listings
  • Easily create and sell listings, classifieds, events, deals, articles, blog and banner ads
  • Price listings by category, sell enhanced listings, and offer the ability to claim listings
  • Users can create detailed listings with descriptions, photos, maps, video, categories, keywords, downloadable files, and more
  • Automated listing renewal reminders
  • SEO-optimized platform
  • The ability for users to leave ratings and reviews
  • Integration with multiple payment providers
  • And more

Yellow Pages Directory Template

How to Get Started With Your Yellow Pages Directory Site

Now that you know what it takes to build a yellow pages directory site as well as what features to look for in a yellow pages directory software, it’s time to take the next step. Here are the steps to get started with your yellow pages website.

1. Decide On Monetization Method

Before you start building your yellow pages directory website, it’s important to decide how you’ll monetize it. As mentioned earlier, you can charge for listings, sell advertising space, as well as charge an additional fee for claiming a listing or selling enhanced listings.

If you’re just getting started, focus on one or two monetization methods and expand from there.

2. Get a Domain

The next step is to decide on a domain name for your yellow pages directory. There is no shortage of domain registrars where you can purchase a domain name. A few tips to keep in mind when it comes to domain names are:

  • Keep the name short and simple
  • Try to include your main keywords
  • Opt for a name that is easy to spell and remember

3. Build Your Directory

Once you have a domain name and you know how you’ll monetize the directory, it’s time to build it. As mentioned earlier, you’ll need a dedicated yellow pages directory software like eDirectory to facilitate the process. Packed with the features mentioned above, eDirectory makes it easy to launch a yellow pages site in no time.

Start Your Online Directory 4. Get Listings

A directory is nothing without listings. But it’s hard to get people to create a listing if nobody knows your directory exists. A good starting point for getting the initial listings is to reach out to local businesses and offer them a reduced rate for their first term.

5. Drive Traffic

Once your directory is live and you have the initial listings, the main task is to drive traffic to your directory. A few ideas include:

  • Being active on social media where your target audience spends time
  • Creating quality content around topics that interest your audience
  • Optimizing your directory for search engines


Building a yellow pages directory website might seem daunting. But once you know what’s involved, what features you need to include, and how to get started building a yellow pages directory, the task becomes easier.

Get started on your yellow pages directory website with eDirectory and see how easy it is to build one using our platform. Sign up for a free demo and explore all the features eDirectory has to offer.

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How to Create a Classified Website (Step by Step)

How to Create a Classified Website (Step by Step)Any idea how much annual revenue comes from digital classifieds?

It’s 2.49 billion dollars in the US alone.

So, it’s no surprise more and more people are looking up how to create a classified website themselves.

Especially because more smart business owners are realizing a classified ad website that earns money can be easy to build (with the right tool).

And the industries and niches that a classified website can help serve are nearly endless. From a regional classified site that lists rare items to a local classified site that advertises available neighborhood goods, the opportunities are only limited to your ideas.

But making sure that you have a good idea, a solid plan, and a quality classified site software are all key when learning how to create a classified website.

So, let’s jump right in and take a deeper look at the ins and outs of classified websites, so you’ll have all the knowledge you need to build yours.

What Is a Classified Website?

A classified website is an online advertising platform that connects sellers to buyers by promoting products and services.

Simply put, a classified website is a list of online advertisements. And usually, they’ll be listed by specific categories or by location.

On one end, there’s a listing owner who has a service or product to sell. On the other end, an interested buyer.

The goal of the classified site is to connect the listing to someone who wants that service or product (or in the case of a job board or a wanted ad, someone who could offer that service).

Some good classified site examples (on a large scale) include sites like Craigslist, OfferUp, and OLX. But some other places you may not realize are classified websites can include:

  • Real Estate Listings
  • Job Boards
  • Online Consignment Shops
  • Casting Notices

…and others.

Since online advertising is becoming the norm, more and more people and businesses are getting in on the action and making their own classified site.

Classified ad websites are an incredibly fast-growing type of online advertising. Businesses and people love advertising on them because a listing is usually affordable. And, if the website is being optimized and promoted well, listing owners can expect to see an awesome ROI on their investment.

For people browsing listings, it’s a great way to connect with a business or person in the exact area they’re researching. Whether someone’s looking for a new job, a second-hand bike, or something else.

And it’s not just for buyers and sellers. Classified websites are exploding in popularity for business owners wanting to start their own classified project.

That’s because a good classified website not only helps connect people, it can also earn the site owner money.

How Classified Websites Earn Money

You might be surprised to learn that classified ad sites can and do make money in more than one way.

Classified websites typically make money for their owners in several different ways, actually. And if you’re using a solid classified ads software like eDirectory, you’ll have all the tools you need to make money with a classified site.

Here’s how classified websites owners earn money:

  • Selling Listings: The most straightforward way classified sites earn money is by charging people to list an ad on their classified site.
  • Selling Ads: Charging a fee for placing an ad (usually a banner) somewhere on the classified site. This is often a great upsell to add when selling someone a listing so that more people will see their details.
  • Pay-per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Using a PPC platform like Google Ads, business owners can earn money from 3rd-party banner ads displayed to website visitors.
  • Membership Fees: Some classified website tools offer membership features, so site owners can collect recurring dues.
  • Affiliate Links: Inserting links to partner products that let you collect revenue off any sales you send to your affiliates.

With all these great ways to earn money, are you starting to think creating your own classified website sound like a great idea? You’re not wrong.

Launching your own classified ads site project can be a game-changer for many businesses. But, doing it on your own can have some major drawbacks to consider before you begin.

DIY Site vs a Dedicated Classified Tool

When creating a classified website, there are two main options. You can either do a DIY project and build every aspect of your site from the ground up (advanced) or keep things simple by using a dedicated tool.

We recommend using a dedicated tool to build a classified website. But for advanced users, taking the DIY route to build it yourself or by paying a developer might be a good option for you if you:

  • Are a web developer.
  • Have coding skills.
  • Are planning to continually pay a someone to maintain your site.
  • Are wondering how to create a classified website with WordPress and a plugin.

Because it’s the easier and more affordable option, using a dedicated classified tool like eDirectory is the best choice for most people. Using a software that’s built specifically for classified ad sites comes with tons of benefits like:

  • Beginner-friendly tools have made it so building and managing a classified website is easy, even for non-developers.
  • Make more money by accessing additional revenue-generating features.
  • Simple setup lets you launch quickly.
  • Integrated blog modules to keep content management easy.
  • It looks professional so you can maintain a healthy reputation.
  • Advanced search functionality so people can find what they’re looking for on your site, without hassle.

Even for people who can build a website on their own, there are tons of other reasons website owners choose a dedicated classified tool instead of a DIY site.

So now that you know how important using a dedicated classified website tool is, let’s take a look at exactly how to create a classified website.

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How to Create a Classified Website

Ready to launch your own classified ads site project? Follow these steps to build a high-quality classified website.

1. Pick Your Niche

The first thing you’ll want to do when making your classified website is to pick your niche. This is the industry in which you’ll be making your website.

Already have a business idea? Great! Still exploring ideas? No problem. This is an extra exciting time because as directory and classified websites skyrocket in popularity, there are still tons of opportunities for different types of helpful sites.

The most common classified websites tend to be:

  • Local goods-based classified directories.
  • Industry-specific job boards.
  • Membership directories.

If you notice that your industry or your local area is lacking a strong classified site, take note. You may just notice that you’ve got a great opportunity to create an online classified community that connects people, businesses, and services while also generating revenue.

2. Choose a Domain Name

Next up, you want to pick a good domain name that’s easy to remember and spell, like

Your niche will help inspire your business name, and your business name should be the backbone of your domain name.

You’ll choose this while you set up your website hosting. If you’re hosting your website yourself, we recommend Amazon or Digital Ocean. However, all eDirectory cloud service plans include secure hosting.

3. Sign up for eDirectory

The next thing you’ll need to do to set up your professional classified ads website quickly and easily is to sign up for eDirectory. Avoid having to hire a web developer to build your WordPress site, and never need to worry about having to pay them every time you need to change anything.

Then once you’ve got your classified ads software up and running, you can start categorizing your site.

If you’re ready to set up your classified website for free and explore all the available features, you can request an eDirectory demo here.

4. Pick Your Categories

In order to make sure your classified website is easy to navigate, you’ll want to pick and define your categories.

Not only do search engines love categories (meaning your website can rank higher when people search for specific keywords), but website visitors love to search through different categories and filters.

Your job? Build out this important section of your site by providing comprehensive details inside each category. Also, make sure to add sub-categories so you can take advantage of the advanced filtering capabilities (your website visitors will!).

With eDirectory, you get unlimited categories, so feel free to get as granular as you want.

Offering to display a listing in multiple categories is also a great way to upsell your higher membership levels, which we’ll cover next.

5. Set Your Membership Levels

If you’re taking advantage of all the ways eDirectory lets you earn money from your classified site, then the next step is to determine your membership levels.

This means you’ll decide which features each level includes plus how much it costs.

And because eDirectory classified websites are scalable, meaning you can have a small site with just a few listings to a network of sites with millions of listings, you can choose exactly how much to charge for your membership levels.

If you’re just setting up your website, we recommended starting with a free membership level.

Even though you aren’t charging them, free members can offer a lot in return. Using a free membership level is a smart way to:

  • Turn people into paying members when they upgrade.
  • Grow your email list.
  • Gather feedback about the site.
  • Get listings shared on social media.

And for your paid membership levels, you’ll want to offer exclusive benefits that are appealing. For instance, you can offer one month of “free” banner ads to anyone who signs up for your highest plan (a great incentive if you’ve got decent traffic coming to your site).

Remember, you can always adjust your offerings and pricing as your business grows and you learn more about what works for you, your audience, and your website.

6. Create Your First Listings

Before your classified website can be helpful to anyone (advertisers or otherwise) it needs to have listings.

So, the next thing to do to make a classified site is to create your first listings.

You can do this manually or import them if you have a large amount of data and want to make things easier on yourself.

Setting up your listings is where you can really have fun customizing your classified website. That’s because you can use drag-and-drop widgets to configure your pages and highlight:

  • Top-level classifieds.
  • New members.
  • Most-recently added items.

…and more.

Sure, it may take a bit of time to populate listings yourself, and you may need to get creative with the classifieds you’re listing. But until an advertiser can visualize what you’re selling, it will be hard to get them to pay to list on your classified site.

7. Create Quality Content

Once your classified site is up and running with some listings, it’s time to start creating content.

Blogging is one of the best ways to drive traffic and sales to your website. It’s an incredibly important part of advertising a business these days, and your classified website won’t be any different.

Because we know blogging is essential to a successful classified website, eDirectory includes an easy-to-use Blog Module where you can create, monitor, and optimize your content.

Once you’ve got the hang of consistently posting high-quality content, don’t forget to naturally insert your affiliate links within your content. The Blog Module also helps you insert these, which is extremely helpful if you’re planning on generating revenue through affiliate sales.

8. Market + Promote Your Site

Creating a classified website step by step is incredibly exciting. But remember, you’ll need to have traffic coming to your site before you can start earning money from it.

As a classified site owner, part of your job will be to market and promote your site. On top of blogging, this could also range from paying for advertising, using social media, and even rolling out an automated welcome campaign to your email list.

If you don’t already have an email list to promote your classified website to, email marketing is a great place to start. Did you know that more than 8 out of 10 people will open a welcome email?

Image Source: GetResponse

Whatever you do, you’ll need to prioritize getting the word out there and promoting your site.

Be sure to check out our guide on how to market an online directory for detailed tips on promoting your classified site.

9. Keep Optimizing + Improving

Your website is a business, so you’ll need to continually improve and optimize your classified ads site for success.

Connect with your community to ask questions. Find out what they love and give them more of it. And do it all automatically if you can. To automate your outreach, you can sync your classified site to your CRM.

Integration opportunities like this are just some of the reasons why having a tool that can help you create a classified site is so important. It costs a big chunk of change to pay someone to set up a classified website. And when you have to pay them to make any changes in the future to improve your site, the costs can really add up.

With eDirectory, you have tons of control to optimize your website and make it even better for yourself, your advertisers, and your visitors.

And no matter your industry, the more control you have of your classified website, the more control you’ll have over the long-term success of your business.

Next Steps: Install eDirectory and Create Your Classified Website

So now that you know how to create a classified website, it’s time to get started on your own.

If you’re looking for the best tool to help you successfully launch and manage your classified website, try eDirectory. It lets your customers sell or list anything they’d like with expertly categorized, well-organized, and beautiful classifieds.

eDirectory is packed with features that will help you grow your classified site like:

  • Flexible Customization: Access a nearly ready-made classified website that you can customize to your heart’s content, with detailed control over descriptions, photos, pricing, and contact information.
  • Professional Listings: Easily create gorgeous directory listings with images, video, and coupons inside a beginner-friendly and intuitive interface.
  • Classified Website Template: Offers a visual Listing Template editor to further customize your listings.
  • Social Media Integration: Connect with social media platforms for more exposure with social sharing links and a website Twitter feed.
  • Auto Renewal Reminders: Automate your payment collection process by notifying listing owners when it’s time to renew.
  • Blog Module: An easy-to-use area that lets you create and manage content to drive traffic and sales to your classified site.
  • Interactive Map: Our Google Maps integration lets pins automatically appear as new listings are added.
  • Optimized Images: Let your listing owners upload a variety of gallery photos, plus use a built-in photo editor.
  • Membership Site Capabilities: Create member profiles and tap into the power of recurring payments by collecting repeating dues.
  • Banner Ad System: Earn money from banner space by selling it to advertisers and/or running Google Ads on your site.
  • SEO Optimized: Rise to the top of search engine rankings with built-in SEO control.
  • Awesome Support: A robust online knowledgebase plus access to a genuinely friendly and helpful team via chat or email.

…and much more.

With your dedicated classified site tool in hand, you’ll be on your way to creating a classified ads site that earns you more revenue and grows your business.

So get started today.

Sign up for a free classified website demo today and create your eDirectory site right away.

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15 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Online Directory

15 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Online Directory

Getting traffic is the backbone of all websites. The same is true for online directory websites, specifically. The more traffic your online directory gets, the higher your conversion rate will be. In other words, more traffic means getting more listings which means more revenue down the line. As such, driving traffic to your online directory should be one of your main goals. The task may seem daunting, especially if your directory is brand new. However, there are quite a few ways to drive traffic to your online directory website and we’ll cover them in this article.

15 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Online Directory

Below, you’ll find various tactics and methods for increasing the traffic to your online directory website. The good news is that most of them are free and require only your time.

1. Content Marketing

One of the easiest ways to market an online directory is through content marketing. According to HubSpot, businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don’t.

Focus on creating content that would be relevant and helpful to your target audience. In other words, create content that solves their problems, educates them about your offer, and answers questions they have that are related to your online website directory.

Once you’ve started creating content, it will be indexed by the search engines which means it can appear as a search result when your audience searches for relevant keywords.

In short, creating content not only boosts your website traffic but it also allows you to appear as a search result for both potential customers and people looking for the best resources or specific businesses in their area.

2. Make Use Of Social Media

Aside from content marketing, social media is another easy way to promote your directory. Facebook is one of the most popular platforms out there but don’t forget that there are many other social media platforms including:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Youtube
  • And others.

Remember, you don’t have to be active on all of these. Rather, the key here is to focus on one or two platforms where your target audience likes to spend time. Then, post relevant and engaging content. You can also repurpose content from your website’s blog instead of creating all the content from scratch.

Engage in a conversation with your followers, ask questions, and reply to comments. This will boost your engagement which will increase the chances of your content being shown to people who aren’t yet following you.

Link to your directory website in your profile’s bio and point people to helpful resources on your website as well as share about the benefits of being listed in the directory. You can also create promotional posts or a special offer such as a reduced listing price for your social media followers.

3. Use Video

Video marketing has been gaining in popularity for the past few years and it shows no signs of slowing down. Video marketing is great not only for increasing conversions but also building trust and establishing a more personal relationship with your audience.

Similar to content marketing, you can use video marketing to create helpful and educational content that your audience would benefit from.

When it comes to video marketing, YouTube is your best choice for long-form educational videos. Posting content on YouTube has another benefit: it allows your videos to show up in search results and you can embed them onto your website along with a transcript as a blog post.

If you prefer shorter video content, platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels are great for showing your brand’s personality and making a connection with your audience.

4. Optimize Your Site

In 2021, nobody likes a slow-loading website. It hurts your user experience and search engines typically favor websites that load fast. That’s why it’s crucial to optimize your site as higher rank in search engines leads to more traffic. Not to mention, your existing users and visitors will be more inclined to recommend and share your online directory website if it loads fast.

Start by running a speed test with a tool such as Pingdom Tools to determine how fast or how slow your website loads. Then, work on getting the load time to 2 seconds or less. A few recommendations include:

  • Using a Content Delivery Network to serve static content such as script and style files
  • Optimizing images and compressing their file size
  • Making use of caching techniques

5. Work On Your SEO 

Search Engine Optimization is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website. When you optimize your site for SEO, you’ll get organic traffic — visitors who are already interested in what you have to offer and are actively looking for it.

In addition to that, having an SEO-optimized site means you don’t have to rely on the ever-changing social media algorithms and you don’t have to pay for ads.

The downside of using SEO is that it’s a long-term strategy. However, once you start ranking for your desired keywords, you’ll reap the benefits for years to come. The first step in optimizing your online website directory is to use an SEO-friendly directory platform. Aside from that, here are a few more tips for optimizing your site for search engines:

  • Publish relevant, quality content on a regular basis
  • Link to other pages and resources on your site
  • Optimize your site to load fast
  • Use keywords naturally
  • Optimize page titles
  • Optimize images with SEO-friendly titles and alt tags

Start Your Online Directory6. Comment On Relevant Sites

Most websites that allow commenting have a field where you can enter your website. By leaving comments and contributing to a discussion on relevant websites in your industry, you can get people to click through to your website.

This not only helps you build relationships but it also puts your online directory in front of new audiences that might be interested in creating a listing for their business and website.

7. Be Active On Forums Or Communities In Your Niche

Similar to leaving comments on websites in your industry, you should get involved in forums in your niche. This gives you an opportunity not only to reply to others but also to start topics and become one of the top contributors in the specific forum which is bound to get your profile viewed by other users.

However, don’t make the mistake of joining a forum and then posting a link to your online directory every chance you get. Instead, focus on providing value first. You can include a link to your directory as a helpful resource or when someone asks for it directly.

Another way to point users to your online directory is to include it in the forum signature. That way, it’s always present but it’s not obtrusive.

If you can’t find a forum that’s related to your industry, try finding a community in Facebook or LinkedIn groups. With Facebook and LinkedIn groups, you’ll want to make sure that your profile is optimized and links to your online directory or to your Facebook business page.

8. Take Advantage Of OTHER Directories

Another way to market your online directory is to put it in another directory. Places like Google My Business and Bing Places For Business make it easy to get started and list your directory.

In addition to that, getting listed in either Google My Business or Bing Places For Business can also help improve your SEO. Once you list your directory, it can show up as a relevant local search result when people enter keywords and topics that are related to your directory.

9. Paid Advertising

If you have a marketing budget, you could consider investing in paid advertising. Both Google Ads and Facebook Ads are a great way to expose your directory to new audiences and gain visibility.

Facebook ads are a great choice if you want to get really detailed with your audience targeting. They also allow you to use images, video, and text ads so you have more choices when it comes to creating a compelling ad for your business directory.

If you want to keep it simple, you can opt for Google Ads as they make it easy to create text ads that drive traffic to your directory.

10. Post On LinkedIn, Medium, And Similar Sites

We’ve mentioned earlier that content marketing is a great way to drive traffic to your online directory website. Another benefit of content marketing is that it gives you plenty of material to repurpose as social media content or to repost on other websites.

LinkedIn and Medium are great places to repost your blog posts without having to pitch your article idea and go through the approval process.

There are a few ways to approach this:

  • You can repost the article in its entirety and say it was originally published on your website
  • Repost a part of the article and encourage readers to go read the rest over on your website
  • Expand on the original article and end with a call to action that points them to a landing page on your site where they can explore all the features your online directory has to offer

11. Use Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a common marketing practice where you submit a blog post or an article to another relevant website in your niche. This method works really well for driving traffic to your website, especially if you link to a landing page with a special offer.

Once you submit a guest post, you’ll get a link back to your website through your byline that appears at the bottom of the article. As a result, you get traffic to your website and you build authority and brand awareness at the same time.

When it comes to guest blogging, the biggest challenge is finding websites that accept guest posts and making sure they’re relevant to your industry. It does you no good to publish a guest post on a popular site with millions of readers if that website has nothing to do with your niche.

Instead, you need to focus on websites that your target audience would visit as this will result in getting visitors that are interested in getting listed in your directory. Luckily, you can find plenty of suitable websites where you can submit a guest post with a quick Google search.

All you have to do is type in a keyword related to your industry along with a few search operators to find guest posting opportunities. A few examples include:

  • KEYWORD intitle:”write for us”
  • KEYWORD “submit a guest post”
  • KEYWORD inurl:/guest-post/
  • KEYWORD “accepting guest posts”
  • KEYWORD “guest post guidelines”
  • KEYWORD “become a contributor”

Keep in mind the list above is not exhaustive but it should serve as a good starting point.

12. Invite Others To Guest Blog For You

Speaking of guest blogging, it’s a two-way street. Just like you can write content for others, they can write content for you too. Consider inviting your directory members to write a blog post for you that would be interesting and relevant to your audience. Or, create a page on your site that outlines the guest post submission process.

This is another method that has a twofold benefit. For starters, it gives you fresh content for your site and takes content creation off your plate. Secondly, the guest blogger will more than likely promote the article they’ve written which brings in more traffic to your site.

13. Provide Your Customers With A Badge That Links To Your Directory

When someone signs up to be listed in your directory, give them a code for a badge they can embed on their website. The badge should link back to your directory. The benefit of this approach is two-fold. For one, your customers can use the badge to boost their credibility and showcase where their website or business has been featured.

Secondly, it allows you to get a backlink from another, relevant website which can boost your SEO authority. Lastly, since the website will feature a badge with a link to your directory, every visitor who lands on the website can click through to visit your online directory which results in more traffic.

14. Make Use Of Ratings, Reviews, And Testimonials

People buy from businesses and people they trust. Nothing builds trust faster than ratings and reviews from other people. According to research, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. As such, your directory should make it easy for others to leave reviews and share their experiences.

Another way to build trust is to showcase testimonials throughout your directory website. Featuring testimonials will increase the trust potential customers have in your directory. You can invite your users to send you a testimonial or leave a review on Google My Business or even your Facebook business page if you have one.

Once you start getting testimonials and reviews, you can add them to your homepage as well as the main sales page. Don’t forget to make the most of your testimonials by also sharing them on social media profiles.

15. Invest In Email Marketing

Don’t wait to build your email list. Email marketing has one of the best returns on investment, with several sources citing that for every dollar spent on email marketing, you’ll get $42 in return. Email marketing gives you direct access to your audience where you can establish a relationship with them and educate them on all the benefits of being listed in your online directory.

It allows you to build trust and reach them without the fear of social media algorithms burying your posts.

To start building your list, include sign-up forms on your website. Consider offering an incentive such as a discount for their first listing or a special bonus such as a top spot in the corresponding category for the first month.

Final Thoughts

Like with any other website, driving traffic is crucial if you want to generate income with your online directory business. With the tips laid out in this article, you’ll be able to get more traffic to your website.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to use all of these tactics at the same time. Start with one or two and then slowly introduce other methods and keep experimenting. By doing so, you’ll be able to understand which traffic-generating method works best for your online directory website and double down your efforts. Good luck!


How to build a 50.000 business listings online directory

How to build a 50.000 business listings online directory

How to build a 50.000 business listings online directory

Your online directory is already up and running, which is fantastic! However, an empty directory will not bring you any clients. We’ll explain how and where to find your first business listings for your online directory in this article.

As an online directory owner, you probably have a clear idea of what you want to offer your clients. Regardless if it is a job advert wall where companies can advertise their vacancies, or a pet guide with redeemable deals and listings for the best pet shops, veterinarians, and various service providers, the main thing you will always have in common is the business listings. Without business listings, an online directory is pretty much good for nothing.

For a moment, let me put myself in your shoes. Surely, you’re wondering where and how to find quality business listings for your new directory, and this is indeed important for many reasons. The main ones being SEO (search engine optimization), because you want Google to index your online directory and show it in SERP (search engine results page), generating revenue, as this might be the key reason why you sent time building an online directory in the first place but, also, to attract more clients. Think about it, as customers ourselves, we want to go to places where other people are going, making recommendations, hiring services from other people.

In this article, you will learn about three different ways to earn your initial business listings, which will set you off on the road to reaching 50.000 listings within a few months of starting your business. Continue reading this post for more information about improving your online directory.

Table of contents

  • Building your business listings online directory database from scratch
  • Buying business listings from vendors
  • Scrape business listings with a scraping tool
  • Conclusion

Building your business listings online directory database from scratch

At first glance, this might look intimidating, but it is the safest way to post your first business listing online. By doing research and checking the accuracy or updated status of all the information there, you can ensure the quality of the information there. You will see more success if you are supported by a team, as that will increase the speed at which you populate your database.

If you are working alone and have a budget to invest in this task, don’t be afraid to hire help to grow your database. Set quality standards for your listings, remember that every bit of information counts, especially the description (put some effort into it) and contact information. Also, focus on creating and promoting features your clients might find valuable to attract more leads right away. Be creative with the titles in order to drive more clicks to your listings, be clear with every bit of information you put there. Also, be sure to make your images and photos as eye-catching as possible. Aim for professional photos (hire a photographer if possible).

Buying business listings from vendors

You might find that this is the most direct and reliable way of populating your online directory. You can streamline the process of expanding your directory in a few steps by purchasing directory listings from a reputable vendor, in addition to ensuring high-quality content.

As a downside, you could find those trustworthy vendors are not always the cheapest option. To help you further on your research for business listings, we’ve selected the top data vendors on the internet. Take a look:

The top tier business listings online directory database vendors


Acxiom, pronounced “a-xee-um”, is a database marketing company based in Conway, Arkansas. A reliable source for consumer and market data, this organization ranks among the best in the business. In addition, you will have access to a wide range of additional services such as customer segmentation, analysis of market trends (in several countries), and a Global Data Navigator service, which allows agencies to choose global data elements by country. Prices are subject to quotation.

Data Axle USA

Data Axle USA previously known as InfoUSA, Data Axle has been in business since 1972, making it one of the leading database providers in the United States. In 1986, they became the first company to digitize all Yellow Pages listings on floppy disks and CD-ROMs, so customers could consult information easily. Providing reliable databases on customer and marketing information, they are today able to help small and big businesses across the country. Prices are subject to quotation.

Dun & Bradstreet

Another database provider in the USA, DnB offers B2B contact data, leads data, business and company data, as well as corporate credit ratings. Get in touch with them via LiveChat to request a quote on their services. A distinctive feature of Dun & Bradstreet is its Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS numbers); these are used to generate business information reports for more than 100 million companies around the world. Prices are subject to quotation.


Think of Datarade as an aggregator of database solution providers. With only a few clicks, you’ll be able to compare several data vendors worldwide and save yourself months of searching. It allows you to compare different suppliers side by side, even showing you the competitors.

Other vendors you should consider are Hoovers, Citygrid and Yelp.

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Scrape business listings with a scraping tool

The term scraping data refers to an easy and fast way to gather database information from an existing website. What they do, in summary, is crawl other directories and deliver the data collected in an Excel file, therefore, you could upload that database to your online directory. There are other formats available such as JSON and CSV.

How does a web data scraper tool work?

  • As soon as the URLs are loaded into the application, the tool begins scraping.
  • In the next step, the scraper loads the full HTML code from the destination page.
  • The web scraper will then either extract all the data from the page or select the specific data the user desires.
  • In the end, the scraping app outputs all of the data it has collected into a usable file format chosen by the user.

Consider this before going this route

Before doing this, we strongly recommend that you check your country’s copyright laws regarding what information is considered royalty-free and what is not. Business listings usually include custom descriptions and images, which can be protected by copyrights.

Let’s get to know 3 data scraping tools you can use to add more depth to your online directory:


Octoparse allows people without any programming knowledge to extract data from websites. By simply following the steps on their website, you will be able to collect the information you need from any directory, in a highly efficient way.

It has an easy user interface, and you can begin downloading databases within minutes. It allows you to schedule tasks based on a specific date and time when you want to scrape data.

OctoParse pricing

  • Free plan: you can use Octoparse right now for free! These are the features you can enjoy; unlimited pages per crawl, unlimited computers, 10,000 records per export, 2 concurrent local runs, 10 Crawlers, community, lazy support.
  • Standard – $75/month: This plan offers unlimited data export,100 crawlers, scheduled extractions, Average speed extraction, auto IP rotation, task Templates, API access, and email support. This plan is mainly designed for small teams.
  • Professional -$209/month: This plan offers 250 crawlers, Scheduled extractions,20 concurrent cloud extractions, High-speed extraction, Auto IP rotation, Task Templates, and Advanced API.
  • Enterprise plan: You will need to contact a sales agent for a quotation.


Mozenda targets enterprises looking for a simple, fast, and all-in-one solution to scrape data from the web, and is trusted by CISCO, Tesla, Oracle, IBM… The list goes on, and as with OctoParse, you do not need any coding skills to boost your online directory’s business listing.

Mozenda has an easy-to-use “click-and-advance” interface, making your job a whole lot easier. With a free 30 day trial and one of the best customer service experiences in the segment, you can test it out and see if it’s right for you. The company offers four types of plans covering small projects and enterprise levels, and you can request a quote from the company’s website.

Webhose is ideal for platforms or services that require a fully customized web scraper and data provider for use in marketing, sharing, etc. Growing companies can avail themselves of the platform at an affordable price. Uncover hidden insights with NLP, machine learning, and sentiment analysis. You can easily build and train machine models based on extensive data dating back to 2008.

Webhose’s database offers a huge collection of resources including blogs, forums, and news. You can create datasets based on particular topics, organizations, and time periods. Webhose lets you run a search query, and you’ll get JSON or XML results.

Regarding the prices, Webhose offers a 10-day free trial and 3 different plans:

  • Open Web Data Feeds: Provides enterprise-level coverage, real-time monitoring, engagement metrics, and clean  JSON/XML formats.
  • Cyber Data Feed: Includes Real-Time Monitoring, Entity and Threat Recognition, Image Analytics, and Geolocation as well as access to TOR, ZeroNet, I2P, Telegram, etc.
  • Archived Web Data: This plan offers a 10-year archive of web data, Sentiment and Entity Recognition, and Engagement Metrics. The pricing model shown here relates to prepaid credit accounts.


We already know the importance of a well-populated online directory for a myriad of reasons. If the data is already alive and moving, it is easier to convince more clients to join. However, the quality of the data is crucial. Invest time in finding eye-catching professional pictures (look for stock images) or hire a photographer to help you out, this will make your website look more professional and attractive to users. Also, do not copy and paste a standard piece of text into your descriptions. Make your descriptions as concise and informative as you can, and consider SEO strategies (search for keywords that apply to your business listings).

eDirectory’s services will help your business create, manage and monetize your own online directory. If you need more information, please contact us for more information. With an intuitive user interface, best-in-class resources, and robust customer support, you can start a free trial today.

* We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected to the tools and sites mentioned in this article.
* Before using Octoparse, please read the terms and conditions and privacy policy carefully. Do not use it to scrape data from social media and password-protected websites.