I’ve been working on niche directories since 1999. Geez, you’d think I’d have more to show for it after almost 10 years, but I’m a bit slow. I guess if I were a politician or corrupt CEO of an ailing public company asking for bailout dollars I’d tell you that “I’ve been refining my business model for optimum success.” But the truth is this just hasn’t been my focus, more of a side hobby I’d pay minor attention to every once in a while. Still, if Congress wants to give me a billion dollars to bail me out, I think I’ve just made my case as well as anyone else has.
But ever since I read the Four Hour Work Week I’ve been a bit more motivated to work on it. Several iterations of the model have been worked out, but I think I’m getting close to the one that has the best chance of helping me accomplish my objective, which is to generate $20K in monthly profits with less than 4 hours of work per week, which work can be done from any location in the world with nothing more than an Internet connection. Here’s how it works in a nutshell…
I’ve got a few hundred domains that can be used as niche business directories. I’ve got one for drug rehab centers in California, another for bike shops in Utah, and another for CPAs in San Diego, etc. I’ve got a developer working on building a simple directory system that can be implemented as a package, kind of like WordPress, so that it’s as easy for me to set up a new directory as it is for me to set up a new blog (which is pretty easy). People who want their businesses to be listed in the directory come to the website, create an account, and can create a one-page profile of their business for free. If they would like a little extra promotion, they can buy one of ten spots on the homepage for $10/month. For this $10/month they get to put a 150-word description on the homepage, and they get a followed link to their own website, which gives them a good boost for search engine optimization purposes.
The sites optimize well because; 1) I know what I’m doing, 2) the niches aren’t super competitive, and 3) the sites have continually changing content that grows quickly due to it being user-generated. Because the sites are optimized well, it will generate demand for the paid listings on the homepage. 10 spots at $10/month = $100/month. That means I need about 220 sold-out niche directories to reach my goal (20 to cover overhead and 200 for profit). However, that doesn’t count other forms of ad revenue.
In addition to the revenue stream, these directories provide value for me in another way in that I can use them as tools for building links for my SEO clients or other websites I’m working on.
Will it work? It seems to be working for other people. It’s not as though I’m the first to do this. I just happen to be targeting some niches that haven’t been targeted yet. I’m going after a lot of small fish instead of the few big fishes others have already taken.
The first directory based on this model should launch soon, I’ll refine it a bit, and then we’ll start rolling them out and we’ll see what happens.