My friend made a directory website and got a $20k offer to sell it. It took him just an hour to build the website, using a no-code tool. He was so happy with the result, he instantly created 3 more directories by repeating the same steps.
Let's deconstruct his case and explore each of his actions in details. We will see exactly how he did it and try to reproduce his success step by step.
What is a directory website?
It's a webpage with an organized list of links to other websites. Those could be tools, projects, profiles, or even other directories. When curated by a professional such directors give huge value to visitors.
The directories trend has been started by Bram. His StartupStash has blown out the entire Product Hunt. It is still the most upvoted product in the history. Since then many collection websites have been created. And the trend is getting stronger. As the no-code tools evolve and as the makers community expands, more and more directories are created. But since the competition is getting wild, I don't think the trend will last forever.
Maybe 3-5 more years. So let's use the opportunity and try to reproduce John's success. Right now, we will make a directory the same way he did.
The John's process has 3 parts. Find a hot topic, build the website, launch it. First, we need to find a topic. To provide our director of website organic growth through SEO we will rely on a keyword. This is the most important step, because if you make a directory, which no one searches for it will not grow organically.
To find a keyword. John suggests using a free tool from Google called Keyword Planner. To access it you need to pretend that you want to run an ad in Google. You need to create a campaign, but never start it.
Now let's activate our imagination and find something. The best way is to think of a problem that your directory can solve.
I know one from my own SaaS build an experience. Accepting money is not a trivial task. Stripe has two huge problems. First it's a low level service. It means you have to set up a lot of things by yourself, such as invoicing taxes, upselling second and third, most important. It is not available in all countries.
Let's find a keyword for this problem. Open the Google tool and enter a "Stripe alternatives". And yes it's quite popular: up to 10K monthly searches. Not too much, but something. I also believe to grow over the years because we have more and more makers from LATAM where Stripe is not operating.
Now let's check if this keyword has ads in the Google's search results page. Hmm, it's bad. We have competition here. Too risky, but I will go for it anyway, because I truly love the idea.
Next the, the domain name. I prefer .com or .org because it's cheap, trusted, and recognizable. I use CloudFlare to buy the domains because they charge no extra costs unlike all the other domain name resellers.
All we have to do now is to make the website. I'm using the Unicorn Platform for all my websites and blogs. It literally takes a few clicks.
Now I need to populate my directory. I will rely on my own experience and add some payment services. I know. I will also make an additional research and add more items. Websites such as Reddit, dev.To HackerNews and of course, product hunt will help me with that.
Unicorn Platform uses Google Sheets to manage their directory data.
It's free, simple, and flexible. You can manage thousands of entries with this advanced tool. It will take me some time to populate the database. So see you in a moment.
Okay, the data is ready. Let's set up the SEO settings. I need free traffic from Google. So SEO will be taken care of. I need a clickable title and a definitive description. While checking, my keyword on another free keyword research tool, I found that the 'Reddit' word may add some extra traffic. I will use it in my description. It won't be cheating because I really used Reddit to populate the directory.
I also need a social image and a logotype. We have AI for that. I'm using the ChatGPT+ easy peasy.
Unfortunately. We are not in 1999 and you actually need to do something to get visibility. Here's the plan.
First, I will share it in the MarsX network. There are a lot of SaaS makers and they will like the website. Then I will share it across my own network. 𝕏, email newsletter, Solo Founders community. Then I will launch the project on Reddit, IndieHackers, HackerNews, Dev.to, and HackerNoon.
It will give me strong backlinks. Google ranks a website better when it is discussed on social media and blogs. At last, the website will be launched on Product Hunt.
I will do all these steps and share the results publicly on my 𝕏 account. Follow to monitor it with me.
Thanks for reading this article!