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Business Directories? Any Luck?

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by macdonjo3, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    So, for all you people who own business directories, I started one the other day. I got a pretty sweet domain. I did a US state. I got an exact match .com (which are very hard to get, but I know a trick so I got it).
    Do you guys target a whole state or do you target small population cities? Large popular cities? I'm very interested in someones response who are successful in this area. Like cities with 50k-100k population or what? Do you target a certain niche like hotels, resorts, car repairs, plumbers, or restaurants?

    I'm not familiar in Offline Marketing so I'm curious in what route is better. I'm trying to state wide route and will see how it goes. If it works I could bank seriously, but if I fail, it could get messy as I put a lot into this already.

    Very interested to see some responses.

    Macdonjo
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  2. reinie

    reinie Elite Member

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    Hey I also started one last week...
    I am still working on it...just got the google maps insertion figured out...

    Also, My biggest issue is contents, I don't have much info for each business name.

    Do you have a script? I am using wp which is prob a bad idea...
    Right now the only thing i am struggling with is importing csv file... I want to map a category in my csv file to a category in wp or have it create the category if it does not exist...I have no idea how to do it... :eek:
     
  3. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Hey, I've hired a writer to write content. I'm using WordPress also. Maybe we can talk on Skype and discuss suggestions to each other? My ID is: macdonjo
     
  4. Psikilla

    Psikilla Newbie

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    How have you found the return on investment from your directory so far compared to the time required to set it up and get content flowing to it?
     
  5. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The first sentence I wrote, it said I started one the other day. Thus its new, thus I will be months if not years until I start to profit.
     
  6. krzysiekz

    krzysiekz Senior Member

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    Why months or years? Make a state-wide, niche-specific directory. Dress it up, make it look good and offer it to businesses that fit the description (above) their business listing on there for a measly $5 or $10 per month.

    I think you will find that you start to profit immediately, rather than 'later'. Sure, you probably won't be providing them much benefit immediately since your directory is new - but if you can get 100 or 1000 people to sign up over the course of X months, at least you've got money to work with to hire VA's to SEO, etc.

    What wordpress theme are you using, if you don't mind sharing? If you do mind, that's fine - I'm also not keen on sharing which one I am using otherwise it will be overused and right now, I have not tested the idea enough to invest money into getting my own themes made with my own functionality (instead of relying on WP like I am now). I have had to work with a programmer to edit a whole lot of stuff because the way the theme I am using came did not work well for me.

    I know a theme a lot of people are using is "directory press" but I find that it is quite lacking for the look that I want. It doesn't look very 'nice' if you know what I mean.

    EDIT: Similarly to you, I don't know how this will work out yet - but if it DOES work out, according to my calculations (for my country, it varies) and looking at the number of businesses I could call and by estimating a realistic figure that would agree to sign up - I'm looking at approx. $15k/month minus expenses (which really are very few). It could work out worse, or better. In fact, I am sure as the directory becomes more known... people will be more likely to say yes and agree since they will see all other similar businesses investing in it. I am hoping for a 5-10% of people signing up. Given that the price is VERY cheap compared to other forms of advertising, I think they might jump on board.

    Another note: I am going to charge for 1 year up front.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  7. mattbowden

    mattbowden Regular Member

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    Not years, I started something similar three months in I have started selling featured listings
     
  8. cc1981

    cc1981 Junior Member

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    I am starting something similar at the moment. Bought a TM template and including a Google Map. Just need some nice icons now... I would also love to have a Qype type sidebar script, but it's impossible to find!
     
  9. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    So if I call, and I have a blank website, they will be like "oh, no one else is doing this, so I won't either".

    I use a theme, can't remember the name. It's not a directory theme but more like a news theme. Perhaps we can chat on Skype: macdonjo
     
  10. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Interested to talk on Skype. Mines: macdonjo

    Thanks
     
  11. THUNDERELVI

    THUNDERELVI Elite Member

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    I've done something similar with my country with 4-5 specific niches in large populated areas (and expanding as we speak) and it works great and seeing that it got even better than I expected I intend to do this with all the businesses available. I know I'm getting greedy but it really is that simple, I've been doing this for 5 months now and am going to give you a few tips to get started and to succeed and also bypass the "oh, no one else is doing this, so I won't either" problem ;)
    Here's what you have to do:

    1.Get a domain,hosting and a nice looking theme(I got it from warez sites and later bought it as I had money to invest) that is specific to your niche. Also buy an easy to remember name, don't just go after exact match.

    I've done this since I haven't done SEO in my site but used another form of advertising(see below).

    2. Call a few businesses and tell them they have a chance to get more customers by adding their business in your directory for FREE... Most will immediately jump in but will also say what's the catch? Well you say to them that only the 1st month will be free so they can see what value my directory has, get at least 20 businesses in your site, trust me it's very easy to convince them, if you've got a chance to meet the owners in person do it, if not call them up.

    3. After you have a few businesses listed call up all the others in the area. You now have something to show to them, when they see their competitors are listed they'll not miss the chance ;)

    Make them pay directly or after 1 month, your choise...

    4. Now how are you going to get traffic? By advertising your directory in:

    *Search engines - If you know SEO, then by all means go for it, I didn't spend much time getting my site in #1 in google(did it only with on-site SEO and no backlinks) because in my country there is not any competition at all and not too many people search the internet as well.

    *Newspapers - This is what I did, advertise in local newspapers, it costs but your revenue is going to cover up your expenses plus your site will be viewed by hundreds of thousands who read the newspaper every day.

    *Facebook - I implemented this recently and had great success, make a fan page/group/events and advertise your directory to FB fans, this is a whole new topic I can write about, but I won't here because this post is already too long lol

    *Flyers and postcards - I have a very cheap supplier in my area where I design ~5k flyers for $100 and then pay a few $ to kids to distribute them in high traffic areas, not much targeted but still I get visitors this way.

    Some other tips:

    *Split test everything, I use tracking tools to track where my traffic is coming from and what advertising method is more profitable
    *Start small and then get big, don't be greedy, it's normal to start seeing income after 2-3 months and it's worth it :)
    *Upsells - This is my highest moneymaker to date. As I said internet is not so popular in my country so I offer website/mobile sites design to businesses, creation and maintainence of a FB Fan Page, Professional video creation,etc..
    *I only charge $10/month(increased it to $20 to 'cover hosting fees' with the website design upsell later)

    Overall without revealing the exact number, I earn ~13k(including advertising,hosting and other fees) and growing each day.

    So if you want to step in to this kind business, don't think twice and by all means do it :)

    The figures and results might vary because of country and other factors but still I guarantee you'll have incredible results, try it and let me know.

    P.S. It was a long post so sorry for any typos or mistakes in sentences, hope I helped you somehow and have a nice day!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  12. MagicMike

    MagicMike Power Member

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    In order to populate your site and add some "credibility" to it right away, you could also call and add a number of local, respected not-for-profits as well for free as a "community service".

    With a number of recognizable names in there it could add instant credibility to your site.
     
  13. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    True but idk any non-profit restaurants besides soup kitchens for hobos and I beg to differ that those won't give me credibility. :p
     
  14. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Wow, thanks, great post. I PMed you a question rather then posting it here, because several people don't check back on the threads they've previously posted to. :)

     
  15. MagicMike

    MagicMike Power Member

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    Sorry, didn't realize you were just doing restaurants... was thinking you were doing a general business directory... yea, I guess I would leave out "Meals On Wheels"...
     
  16. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Seems like business directories are rare or people just don't like to talk about their success with them. ;)
     
  17. CoyoteAssassin

    CoyoteAssassin Elite Member

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    This is an area I have looked into with a lot of interest. I have many of the domain names, contacts, and ideas but right now, it is on the back-burner.

    Bookmarked - I'll follow.
     
  18. krzysiekz

    krzysiekz Senior Member

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    I found this also. Could be either reason, but if it was working well then I can see why they wouldn't want to make it too 'open'. You can't have 10's of directories otherwise people will start to see less value in them, so I guess people are just trying to keep a lid on it, maybe.
     
  19. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I share my experience with micro niches all the time. Lol
     
  20. coh2rxl

    coh2rxl Registered Member

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    I would love to also know if it is worthwhile to invest in building a directory for Miami Roofers. I have found a few themes for wordpress but I would appreciate if other would list some themes or give some input.

    Directorypress is the theme I am looking at