To Get Visitors Sign UPS on a Resource Directory Site Like the Construction Niche

Steph
Anyone actually setup a directory? I'm thinking of doing so, was it hard to get sign ups? Profitable?
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Truslow 🎓
I built an SEO/Marketing/Usability resource directory back in the early 2000's. All coded from scratch. It did some pretty cool things – from letting me run a batch to verify links were still good to a resource reviews system that had a pretty neat algorithm that weighted ratings based upon your participation levels, diversity of the types of resources you rated and a bunch of fun stuff.
It was the Cre8asite Resource Directory and was sort of a link repository for the popular Cre8asite Forums. There are a few other folks in this group who were a big part of that in those days, too.
The directory was great, and it got decent traffic, but getting people to submit links (that weren't crappy spam) and getting folks to help curate and add even more links was tough. We hesitated monetizing it though (but I vaguely remember we might have tried running Google ads on it for a hot minute). It's tough to rally folks to work on something like that unless you can really convince them that they are contributing to something that is really important and that it has value.
I'm not sure what type of directory you're talking about, though… and what benefit you hope to give people who add a link (or what value those links might provide to people on the web who visit the site) so it's hard to judge how profitable it might be. I can say that there's a sort of breaking point for something like that, though… you're working hard – very hard- and seemingly getting no real payout but it's slowly gaining just a little momentum at a time. And then suddenly one day it hits that breaking point and zooms ahead. It's at that point you know you're either going to make it or realize that you didn't plan for that sudden burst of growth and it's going to be a beast to maintain and keep up with everything. lol

Steph ✍️ » Truslow
Thanks for the feedback here. The country is the UK and the industry I want to look at is a few but mainly construction. Nothing here in the UK offers a free package in the slightest. Even the paid packages are extortionate for such a listing. Eg. £200 per year vs £350 per year for an actual accreditation that gets you directory listed. I need some for my clients. I know this won't help but it let me.spot a gap in the market that I can monetise down the line. I've got an access to a good chunk of construction companies via an email list used by a friend who does construction magazine advertising. It seems fairly straight forward from that point but i know its never that simple
Truslow 🎓
So you're creating it with the intent of creating links that have value for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and – at least by the description you gave me – has no real value for anything other than that. If that's the case, then it will have that same "no real value" for SEO either, really.
If you actually set out to create a resource directory that provides value to users – then sure. You might, with a lot of work and dedication, get something that thrives and has the added benefit of providing some link value for being listed in it. But that takes at least one person dedicating 10-15 hours a week working and maintaining it at the start. And if it takes off, expect it to take 10 times that amount of labor to maintain. Sure – there are things you can automate, but if it's not got some sort of human manual curation going on – it's really just going to turn out to be crap.
I would definitely NOT invest any time in creating a directory where the primary goal is to create links for SEO purposes. The labor involved in making those links have any value to anyone is going to be hundreds (and probably a fair many hundreds) of times more expensive than 200 quid a year. And even then – you're basically left with a link farm that Google is likely going to spot and start ignoring anyway.

Kenny
Scraping and loading a directory for content is easy. Getting them to claim their listing isn't easy.
What is hard is to build a Software as a Service (SaaS) with a directory and getting the various entities to play. I did this as I used to manage the .london Top Level Domain (TLD). Getting residents, Business-to-Consumer (B2C)Business-to-Business (B2B), Govt and ORGs to onboard.
Friedman
I've built several over the years. Some of the platforms I used actually had a feature to scrape whatever categories of the old Dmoz directory you told it to. Made it really easy to populate them. They made me some decent money too and had some great rankings.
I didn't keep up with them because they platforms they were on stopped updating and I just didn't want to put in the time to migrate them to something else.
Colin
I have not built a directory but have thought about it. I think it is important to give those listed some good reason to claim their listing. Ideally you want those listed to be interactive and keep adding to their directory. In construction it should be fairly straightforward to get them to update with photos and a bit of text for each job they do – but they will only do that if they see a USP and benefit to them. Not sure what that benefit might be other than ranking and a backlinks, but how do you monetise?

Steph ✍️ » Colin
Thanks for your answer. My aim is to have some free element that gives them their backlink and SEO boost, a decent Name, Address & Phone Number (NAP) etc.. but only if they claim it. I plan on ranking in each city for certain phrases. Construction in the UK for some industry is untapped for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), seriously untapped. Ranking I don't see an issue. My monetize is through adsense and some premium extremely affordable features on a premium basis (£20 per year) I don't expect many premium but I expect some. Looking at some companies I can scrape data from, I'm also likely to rank for some huge company names. Whcih will also bring in traffic

Gerencser
I've owned several hundred of them over the decades. Made great money from them for a lot of years.
Steph ✍️
Thanks for your answers guys, I can scrape a few places for data, import in bulk (opting for WP) and leave out website link, maybe even phone or something to encourage claiming.
I'll be monetising with some adsense and some very low level premium features. £25 per year maximum. I don't expect to be a millionaire but if it hits right, I can turn it into a decent earner with work in the instance and not a massive amount of work long term. It's also a bit of fun and a bit of a journey. Thanks for your answers everyone

Paul » Steph
I built one for a client here in Spain a few yrs ago. He builds a page for someone then goes to show it them in person, and it's $10 per month, and then upsells etc. I think he's doing around $7k pm from it. He says nearly 100% signup.
Steph ✍️ » Paul
That's a brilliant idea! I haven't got time for face to face but it's a brilliant idea that!
Paul » Steph
I think it was a semi side project, and he was in no rush to make lots of money. He'd had directories before but got divorced and the ex-wife took everything somehow.

Marvin
Done it for storage and removals. and
Getting signups will vary between industries. Some respond to emails, others not so much.

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