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Monday, September 26, 2011

How to start an Online Business Directory

One of the really nice ways of making money online is by the use of internet based business directory which can be financially rewarding for its owners. A business directory though is not a child’s play unlike some other online business ideas such as blogging. With a business directory there is active supervision and monitoring of the website or portal by a human being who is qualified and to manage the content posted on the directory.
What is a business Directory?
A business directory is a listing of businesses and their contact information with the relevant categories or industry they fall into. Usually this listing is done in alphabetical order and could also be done regionally. For instance there is the famous online business directory in www.nigeriagalleria.com which is Nigeria’s largest online source of listing information. A business directory can sometimes take the form of a listing service in which case rather than supplying the contact information of the businesses involved only their services or classified adverts are mentioned or listed. In this kind of directory we have www.nairalist.com and www.dealfish.com.ng both of which offer free online advertisement services.
How to make money from an online business directory
There are several ways to make money with an online business directory. The most common way is by Google Adsense program in which relevant advertisements to the contents on the directory are displayed to visitors. There is also paid premium listing service in which the online directory can list businesses in each category with preferential treatment given to the subscriber. The paying customer gets to have a rather bold display of his/her business or services in his/her industry thereby receiving more exposure. There is a third way of making money with an online directory which is by selling advertising space at strategic locations within the website such as at the very top, by written text and even within the texts.  Additionally there is also leads generation in which businesses can promote their products and services to generate sales. This fourth method is called affiliate marketing and is best suited for businesses that have an online market place.
Examples of Business Directories
The following are successful online business directories. These businesses are making some cool cash by listing businesses and/or their services
1.       www.ezinearticles.com
This by far the world’s largest articles directory, it is a website that works on the premise that businesses and organizations can market their products and services to a global audience by using informative articles that have links pointing back to the website of the article author’s website. Ezine articles is suitable for both product promotions and public relations.
2.       www.nigeriagalleria.com
Nigeria galleria is a purely business listing service. All it does is to list the contact information of businesses according to sectors, regions and industry.
3.       www.craigslist.com
This is a listing service that focuses on services rather than on providing contact information of the service providers themselves.
4.       www.nairalist.com
This is Nigeria’s own craigslist but with focus on jobs, dating service, apartments and houses and autos.
5.       www.dealfish.com.ng
A free listing service that focuses on mainly jobs, property, electronics and autos
This business requires time and commitment but can be very rewarding on the long run.