Starting a local directory for your town and using Facebook to market it

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Starting a local directory for your town and using Facebook to market it

We've all heard of the local directory that you want to list your website on to get a backlink, but this is a different idea, and with it, you could profit quickly.  You won't get rich with this, but you could pay some bills each month, and if you grow it large enough you could likely quit your day job and work on this full time!

This is essentially a directory for all the businesses in your town who can add their listing.  Yes, this method has been beaten to death, but it still works very well since not many people are doing it anymore.  Remember, history repeats itself, and if you jump on this now you can likely make some money with it.

What you'll need:
1. A Domain
2. Hosting
3. A directory theme
4. A paid directory plugin (this will likely come with your theme)
5. A logo
6. Some content
7. Social media pages
8. Money to invest in Facebook Ads

If you haven't guessed by now, you're going to be setting up a directory theme that has a membership login where people will pay $XX per month to get their website and business listed.  I wouldn't charge more than $7 for a basic listing because most companies can afford to keep an active subscription at $7 and they won't care when they see the small charge each month.  You can charge for premium listings, something like $45 per month to get their listing shown on the homepage at all times.  You can also charge for a category featured position, similar to how this marketplace is set up, and that should be a price between your normal listings and your premium one, so around $25 should work if you're using my other two rates mentioned.

I'm not going to get into detail about setting up your website or what type of directory theme you should go with because that's solely up to you.  Setting up a website isn't difficult with big companies like Namecheap and getting a directory theme isn't hard to find at a place like Themeforest.  Do some quick searches, find the best one for you, and let's move on lol.

As for a logo, I like using Sajeewa:

He's affordable and does some great designs.

Now then, onto your content! 
What you'll need is maybe 10 or 15 articles on your website/directory talking about your town.  You'll want to add comments to it from dummy accounts, so your website looks like it's generating traffic, which is why the business owners will want to pay for a placement.  You'll want maybe 50 dummy accounts and add five to ten comments per article you publish.

After you have the content done, you'll move onto the social platforms.  You're just going to set up your profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.  You'll only need to use your Facebook page to publish content to because a lot of business owners use that platform over the rest.  Publish around 20 posts, buy some likes to the posts, and make it look like your page is alive an active, so people know you're doing something other than taking their money and running.  Don't worry, you're going to do legitimate stuff once you're done with the setup, but for now, you need to "fake it til you make it" so people will trust you a bit before they give you money lol.

Facebook Ads
Now that you have everything set up, you will need to start running some Facebook ads.  You want to target business owners within the town you're targeting, and that's it.  Don't go crazy on your targeting because you may show your ads to people who don't own a buisness in your town and that means you just wasted money on a click.  Get super targeted when setting up your ad, so you only show to business owners, and that's it!

You won't get a crazy amount of clicks unless you're targeting a large city, so don't get frustrated if you see one to ten people a day clicking on your ads.  Remember, this is a slow method to build a passive income, and you're not going to get rich with this.

If you don't have anyone contacting you after a few days, you'll want to edit your targeting and what your ad is saying.  Run multiple ads, dynamic ones if you want, and be sure to get in front of all those businesses and be sure your ad tells them you're a directory getting traffic from the town you're in.  Tell the business owners, without actually saying it, that your directory is where they need to list their website.

Rinse and Repeat
After a few months, you should notice your directory is getting some traffic, sign-ups, and recurring payments coming in.  You can now rinse and repeat the entire process to target another town, but don't worry, you won't have to do everything over again.  Use a migration plugin that will transfer all of your files to another hosting account and rebrand the website to be a totally new one.  You'll have to set up new social media platforms, but that's about it, so don't worry too much about expanding on this idea.

In conclusion,
This method won't allow you to buy a yacht or your ideal vacation home, but it can pay your rent or help you pay some bills later on down the road.  You can target any town or city in your area, but I would recommend starting with the larger ones first and expanding to any town connected to it, then linking your directories together for the best benefit possible.

Thanks for reading Starting a local directory for your town and using Facebook to market it

- Tommy


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