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Setting up the Directory
Now we're going to setup the directory website, we're going to be using Wordpress for this. Now I know Wordpress is a very common thing, so it should be very self-explanatory how to get Wordpress on your website. |
Just go to the Wordpress website and follow the installation instructions or if you're using GoDaddy or Hostgator I know both of them have a way to install Wordpress directly on the control panel. So get Wordpress installed as it'll be the easiest way to manage a directory and ends up looking the best.
Now that you have Wordpress installed it's time to make it look more like a directory, there's a few different paid themes you can go with to turn it into a directory, here's a few that I highly recommend:
These themes are great for what you want to do because it's n built for this type of thing. However if you're looking to save as much money as possible, you're going to have to improvise this a bit so what I did was take a regular theme and tuned it to what we're trying to accomplish here.
Here's the theme I used: Fabthemes - Halifax
Download the theme and upload it to your Wordpress, then activate it. We're going to have to do a little editing before we continue so follow my instructions and your directory should end up looking just like this example:
First on Wordpress go to Posts -> Categories and change the "Uncategorized" to "Sponsored". This will be your sponsored banner that businesses will have the opportunity to rent out from you for a fee every month. So just leave that aside for now.
Next go to Categories again and add a new one named "Regular 12 Posts", this will be the category where we put basic business listings.
Next go down to Pages and edit the existing page to have the title "Contact". This will be the only other page that will be on our navigation and it'll serve as a way for businesses to contact us after viewing our website.
Next go to Themes and click on "Customize" next to the theme to change up the front page. Here you can edit the header text and underline text, For Primary Navigation set it to "Contact".
Save that then close it, now next to the theme click on "Theme Options" and go to the "Slider" tab, change the category to "Sponsored" and below it put 1 for the number of slides, this will make it appear as a banner on the top of our page, perfect to sell to businesses as a premium spot.
Under banner settings remove all the links as those were there by default for the theme, save that.
Now under the Appearance tab click on Widgets. On the right side delete everything that's listed under "Sidebar", this will make the pages not look like a blog and more like a simple website directory.
After deleting all of those drag and drop a Text widget under Sidebar, we'll be using this later on so just give it a random title and description for now.
Next under Appearance click on Editor. We need to change up the .php files of the theme a little bit to customize it more for our needs.
So first off click on the sponsors.php file on the right side, when the code comes up delete everything then save it.
Next click on footer.php, here we need to remove the backlinks back to the theme's website since they are there by default. Look for the code that looks exactly like this line:
Delete that whole line, then save that file, this will leave only your own copyright and directory name at the footer.
We're now ready! Check out your Wordpress blog and notice it looks pretty clean now, so let's start adding some posts. Go to Posts and click on "All Posts", remove any existing posts so we can start from scratch. So create a new post, for the title put "Sponsored Listing" and for the body put nothing, at the bottom-right click on "Set featured image" and upload the "Sponsor.jpg" that I included with this WSO. At the bottom click on "Use as featured image", save it and publish it.
Now check out your blog, this picture will be displayed at the top of the page as a "Special listing". People will be very interested in this because if a business is willing to spend any kind of money on advertising, they will take all the opportunities they can get to get their name in front of traffic.
Now what you're going to do is add about 20 listings to the 15 website, the way you're going to do this is head on over to either Yelp if your directory is based around food or Yellowpages if your business is pretty much anything else. Again do another search for the business you're basing your directory on and sort the listings by Rating, this way you're going after the competitive businesses in that area first.
Now start grabbing their information, here's what you're going to want to have:
• Image for the business, either logo or a picture of the business itself, some kind of graphic from them.
• Phone number
• Email Address
That's it, just that basic information, if the businesses want more information listed they will be contacting you about it, but make sure you have those 4 things. If you're unable to find an image for the business, just use Google for images this way you can add some sort of graphics, so if you're doing a directory on car rentals you'll be Googling "car rental" in images and find some royalty-free images to use. Just make sure each listing has a different image.
Gather this information for about 20 listings, a good trick is to do a search on Google for those businesses and check if any of them are using Google Adwords, if they are you know they are already spending money on advertising and would be more than happy to get their name out there further, so make sure you grab those ones too.
The last place to check out would be Google Places, here you can search for tons of businesses in the area and sort by rating as well, so that's a good resource to go through if you're unable to bring up much from Yellowpages. However I've never had a shortage of businesses looking through YP, so you should have no problem at all.
Once you've got those 4 things from about 20 different businesses go back to your Wordpress control panel, click on Posts and add a new post.
For the title use the business name, then in the body of the post put their phone number and address, that's all. Again for Featured Image at the bottom-right, select the picture you grabbed for that business and set it at as the featured image, 17 make sure the Category is set to "Regular Posts", then Publish. Check your directory and you'll see a very basic post was added. Now just repeat this for all of the listings.
It should end up looking like a pretty nice little directory. There will be 9 listings on each page then it'll automatically create a new page, but there's just a few last changes we need to do before we move forward.
Go to Pages then click on the Contact page to edit it, remove all the text that's currently in it, we're going to add a contact form to this. So to do this go to Foxyform and create a new contact form, it's pretty simple to use, just include everything you want them to write back with. When you create the form copy the HTML and paste it in the HTML part of your page, add a bit of text explaining why they should contact you and save that page.
Now remember that text widget we created earlier? Go back to that, we're going to add a Google map along with some suggestive text in this box, so go over to Google Maps and make a search for the businesses your directory is based off 18 and the location, mine would be "car rentals in los angeles". On the left side of the map there should be a link button, click that to grab the HTML for a Google map to embed on your page and paste it into the text widget for the sidebar.
Edit the iframe width and height to be width="280" and height="300", this will set it perfectly inside the widget so nothing is cut off.
Now below the map put in this in:
This website and domain are for sale by the owner.
Make sure you put your contact page URL where it says "website", this will give anyone who wants to contact you the idea that this domain is for sale, this is an awesome selling point, as this website will automatically skyrocket on Google's ranking due to a few key factors.
One, Google loves Wordpress blogs and treats them like gold, 19 since they have a wealth of information. Second, your website is an exact match for the keyword term that people will be searching for. Last, the website is already keyword rich as well, since it includes all the business names, and constantly says for example "los angeles car rentals", from experience this causes websites to skyrocket on Google's rankings for your terms.
Now check out your website, you have a clean looking directory with an option for people to buy a premium spot, you've also got your contact page that offers the domain and website to potential buyers, this is an awesome catch.
Now, remember you have all those emails of the business owners? Go ahead and start contacting them, you're going to write them a small email that lets them know you've featured their website on your directory and if they wish to make any changes to just email you back.
You see with this you're not asking them to buy anything at all, you're just offering them a taste for free, they will check out the website on their own. This is where we lure them in, you see when a business owner comes to the website they will see 20 all of these listings that are up and think "Wow look at all my competitors, maybe I should take that premium spot for just $75 a month and get all the traffic and business for myself". This is exactly what we want them to think and 9/10 times, this is exactly what will be going through their mind.
I mean, wouldn't you want the best spot possible to get the more business possible?
Now that you've contacted the business owners, all you have to do is set it and forget it. What you want to do is just wait a few days to see if you're contacted back by the business owner, if so and they are interested in the premium spot you'll take down all the information they want listed, ask them if they'd like to make their own banner or you'll have one made for them, and start collecting a $50 - $100 check every month for this website that cost $5 and 30 minutes to set-up.
For the banner, if they want you to make one, all you've got to do is have it created on Fiverr, it's cheap, easy, and you'll be able to get a professional job done in a timely manner, you can also charge them extra if you want for this, they can then use 21 the banner for their own business as well, so there's just a little more money in your pocket!
Let's do a little match here real quick, you spend $5 on a domain for a year.
Say the business owner wants to get the featured spot on a recurring payment and pays $75 a month to have the 1 premium spot on your directory, that's $895 profit a year from 1 single domain. Now let's do this 20 times, that's $100 investment and $17,900 a year in passive income! Now that's something right there.
How many businesses do you think are in the United States alone that purchase advertisement? Millions. The potential here is honestly endless, there is no way this can ever get saturated, there will always be small local business owners who will ALWAYS need more traffic and business coming through their doors. We're just going to take advantage of that.
Now there's another way to profit with this, say you don't end up being contacted by a business owner, but you still end up high up on the Google rankings for your terms, its simple what you can do next, flip the domain! Flippa is perfect for this, these kind of domains from experience go anywhere from $150 -$400 on Flippa, as long as you can show you've got great rankings on Google and the website is set-up nicely, you'll be able to get a pretty penny for that. If you even get $100 for the domain, that's 20x ROI.
Some marketers only ever dream of that kind of return for such simple work, well the dream has come true because this Goldmine is still fresh and waiting to be mined.
Source: Geo Cash
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