Web directories are a listing of websites which are submitted by the webmasters. A directory are mainly categorised into two types A general directory and a niche directory. A general directory has lots of sections and subsections where all the indexed websites are categorized. A niche based directory is a directory which is based on a special category for eg. Travel, Food, etc.
Free directory or Paid directory
Free directories are good if you are planning to index a lots of website and earn via advertisements. But in a paid directory you can charge webmasters for listing there websites. A directory is considered successful if it manages to sell paid listings. Making webmasters to pay up for listing is tough, but if your directory is worth it will rain money for you.
Set up a Web Directory
To set up a directory we must choose the best directory software which suits our need. The market leader in directory software is PHP Link Directory (phpld). The current available version of phpld is 3.2 (paid version) the older version PHPLD2 is available for free download. To install this software you need a php server with mysql for database. Installing is straight forward. In the cpanel create a new user, new database and make the user use the database. Upload all the files in the archive to the / (root) of the server if you want to install it on the domain or you can install it under a folder like http://www.something.com/directory/ . Once uploaded point the browser to /install and the installation will begin input the required details and your directory is up and running. You can also choose a variety of themes to match your taste. You can find many phpLD themes here.
Once your directory is up and running you can add new categories and sub categories from the administrator panel of the web directory. Now your directory is ready. It is now time to promote your web directory.
Promoting a Web Directory
This part is the most essential part as it will determine the success or failure of your directory.
- Announce the directory in all major webmaster forums ( Digital Point, Sitepoint,V7N , Directory Owners).
- Buy paid links at other popular paid link directory.
- Buy ad links on other directories.
- Keep your directory links as your signature in forums.
- Do link exchange with other web directories.
- Submit your directory to other directories, directories of directories.
- Submit your directory to DMOZ.org
- Enable SEO friendly urls for your directory.
Managing a Web Directory
This is probably the most important thing to be considered, ” People buy link only if it is worth “. It doesn’t matter if you have the best looking directory on the web. Over a period of time you will find out that lots of useless, MFA (Made For Adsense), porn, drugs, SPAM, illegal websites being submitted. Under no condition you must accept them even if they are PAID. No webmaster wants to see there website listed next to an illegal website.
Another important thing to notice is over a period of time your directory should get stronger in terms of number of incoming links and quality of website indexed. This will help you get higher search engine ranking and a good PR (Page Rank). Most of the time it is on the basis of Page Rank a directory is compared. Higher PR directory get more paid listings.
Setting the Price
It is very important to set up the right pricing for the featured listings. If it is too high you are over priced and if it is too less you are not worth it. In the beginning price it around $4.95 for one year. Keep the free links open. Once you get a PR 4 raise it to $10. As you reach PR6 you can charge around $25-$30. Again the price depend on how brand your directory. By default phpLD accepts Paypal. Paypal also happens to be the most preferred way for making payment in the webmasters world. I recommend you to have a paypal account as it will be useful to you at some point of time even if you are not using ebay. Sign up for Paypal.
Running a successful directory takes lots of commitment, time, dedication and patience. If you planning to get rich over night running a directory then surely it is not for you. Take your time, give directory its time. Brand the directory, make your directory heard in webmaster forums (don’t over do it, else you get banned for spamming).
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