One of the things I’m doing for our new community is building a few new authority sites in the “mindfulness” niche – this includes a brand new community of content and courses, (using the “Teachable” platform) a coupon style site (using a WP based theme + framework) and a social app community. (Bodhisattva – running on the very cool Mightybell network)
One of the interesting benefits of doing this (yet again 🙂 is the amazing amount of entrepreneurial interest there is in how to actually do this process for other niches, markets or industries.
Many readers, or even people we are inviting, are asking some variation of the question “hey….how hard is it to launch one of these communities in MY niche or marketplace?”
(and considering the incredible popularity of directory themes/frameworks like Listify, Listable and other similar marketplace style WP themes, it should be no surprise that so many people are attracted to this approach)
So I decided, as one of the courses we are going to teach on this new project, will be how to build, develop, grow and monetize a web directory. This does feel a bit weird to me – as I’ll be actually sharing the exact thinking and process that went into INVITING many of the people who will be looking at the course, which feels a bit like too much of a peek behind the curtain…..buy hey, who am I to argue with what the people want 🙂
So here is a blog post I’m adding to our community on how to use a directory as a way to monetize your own online agency style offers. I still, in 2016, can’t think of a better way to grow a business than this one – especially if you have passion for a given industry, and want to connect with other people/professionals in a way that offers REAL value, and gives you the appearance of expertise from jump….especially after a month or two of following the general steps below. (when you have a few hundred members on your site – even if you add them by hand – it’s hard for folks to NOT want to participate, especially if it’s a local niche and your site is getting good organic traffic as well)
Enjoy – if this is the sort of business you enjoy – and if you want to build your own authority site or web directory, OR, you simply want to launch your own agency, check out the new course I’m offering below.
How to Start a Web Directory From Scratch
I’m going to share with you the absolute EASIEST way to earn an amazing income online, without gurus, gimmicks or gadgets. You can launch this whole business model in about a weekend, and be making REAL money within 7-10 days. The benefit of this approach is that you will not only be building an asset that has real value and can be sold later, you’ll also be generating credibility for your brand,blog, and business as you grow.
Now, understand this before we dive too deep.
There is only so much of this strategy I can capture or describe in one short article. There are many unique permutations to this process you can use to grow your own business, in your own way, around your own niche, market, industry, interests or professional passion. I’m just going to lay out the steps i happen to use and love for beginners, so you can get the flavor for how easy this is.
Step 1: Pick a niche that has a lot of high value professionals. These can be real estate agents, authors, life coaches, lawyers, chiropractors, or even something simple like local restaurants. Pick a niche that you have some interest in as well, as this will make the process more fun.
2: Register a domain name, install WordPress and put a directory theme/framework on your site. There are many of these you can buy for $75 dollars or less, and your whole out of pocket expense will be under $100.
3: Pre-populate your directory with some well known people in this niche. For example? If you are doing lawyers in a specific state, go out and add 20 lawyers that are already fairly well known in your state to the directory, by yourself. Add their picture, contact information, social media profiles, a short description, etc. What I like to do is embed some of their social media directly into their bio/profile area, like their most recent twitter updates, or FB page updates, or Instagram photos, etc. This makes their profile look very personalized, and current.
Step 4: Write and send an email invitation to other people in the industry to sign up for your directory. Obviously you will include a link (or several!) in the email, and a good percentage of recipients will click on that link to see the site. They will arrive at the site, and see the existing list of profiles you added in step 3, many of whom they will know by name already. (as these folks were hand selected to add some instant credibility, and gravitas to your directory)
Step 4a: You can make this invitation FREE, or charge a fee, or some variation of a free trial, where they can add their profile for free for a month or two, before being charged. This works really, really well….and many people, after seeing the well known folks already there, will assume that this is what THEY did, and opt for the same thing.
Step 5: Offer a full suite of marketing services to everyone who signs up during step 4a. Here is what converts REALLY, really well. A “featured interview” for new members, to go with a featured profile, or a prominently positioned profile that’s placed strategically on the site. In addition, you can offer web design consulting, email marketing services, content marketing, SEO, or simple marketing consulting to your new members for a monthly fee of a few hundred dollars, or a flat fee for the year.
You literally need only 100 people to pay you $100 a month to earn well north of 100K a year on the most BASIC permutation of this process. You can give people incredible value for $100 a month, and as your directory starts to attract people in the public who are actually LOOKING for reviews and ratings on the professionals in this industry, you are going to find many people coming to YOU for both a listing, and your professionals services thereafter.
This is just the very beginning as well. You can scale this strategy across many different niches, markets or industries, and improve the ideas above to include coupon style sites rather than standard directories, and add all sorts of REALLY high (5k a year and above) agency offers that can really amp up your profits, while doing work that you love, for people who truly appreciate your expertise. (no gimmicks, no gadgets and no more “gurus” required, I promise!)
30 days to your first directory?