E-Commerce Newbie

How to start an online business


Web Directories

Directory Web Sites are very similar to forums in that once they become established the content is constantly updated via new posts.

Website directories generally fall into one of 3 categories.

  1. Link Directories - Commonly a sub directory of the main site used to list sites of common interest & establish backlinks to the main site. Listings are usually free with backlink but may include sponsored listings.
  2. Niche Directories - A directory website based around a specific main topic, usually accepts both free & paid listings you will find directories based on most major topics.
  3. Web Directories - Very large multi topic directories, free reciprocal & paid listings. The most influential major web directory is DMOZ after developing any website with original content you should apply for a listing in Dmoz.

Link Directories

Depending on the "expert" you are listening to & when the article you are reading was written you will find conflicting information as to the SEO value of having a link directory on your site. Search Engines are constantly changing their algorithms & ranking criteria, however some things never change quality original content & backlinks from quality original content sites.

 Although questionable for their SEO value some of my sites that have link directories do generate incoming traffic through the directory. Getting backlinks to your site will also be very hard or expensive if you are not going to reciprocate so link directories still have their place.

If you are going to incorporate a directory into your site you need to ensure the script checks for backlinks. Its somewhat self defeating to advertise someone else's site without a backlink to yours when you are only looking for backlinks in the first place.

Personally I use Esyndicat directory script for both Link Directories & Topic Directories

Niche Directories

 Unlike link directories which are also topic based a Niche Directory is the primary website i.e. your index page.

When people are searching for products or information in a particular niche a directory as with a review site will get their attention.

As an affiliate you may be looking & searching for affiliate programs to join;




Will get your attention & possibly a click through. More so than;


 As you can see depending on the market & the searches you are trying to cater for a Directory may be the answer.

 Monetizing your Directory

To start you will be the one adding listings to your directory, join affiliate programs associated to your niche & list the site & or product with your affiliate link. Esyndicat has the ability to display a different link than the actual url so your affiliate links are hidden without the need for a redirect.

Add Affiliate Banners & or Adsense to your directory pages

Reciprocal listings for a directory are advisable & do have value so look for some listing partners - Primarily the sites of value in your market not offering an affiliate program, ask to trade links & offer paid banner advertising in your directory.

Once you have listings & backlinks & you have referenced your site a few times in forums, blogs, & social bookmarks you will start to get both direct traffic & search engine traffic. As more & more people find your site, more people will want to list their site, new listings = new content (don't get greedy & only accept paid listings) new content = more free search engine traffic & so on.

All the features mentioned URL cloaking, Banner Advertising, Adsense, Free & Paid Listings are available with Esyndicat

P.S If you have an affiliate program you want a link to I will accept links to my Affiliate Program Directory without a reciprocal link.

 Web Directories

Web Directories are exactly the same as Niche Directories in structure but are not topic related. Getting a web directory off the ground is a daunting task & not recommended for newbie's. Unlike a Niche directory web directories are not targeted at any particular topic so the SEO of the site is extremely hard & getting traffic even harder. Unless someone is searching using the term directory you are not likely to find "ANY" web directory in the top 10 search results. As this is where the traffic is all you are catering for with a web directory are other webmasters looking for backlinks, it may be a business but it is hard enough getting a Niche Directory popular let alone a web directory.

If you decide on this course of action please let me know how you get on.