18 types of directory websites to make money in 2021

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Web promotion has become very powerful over the past few years when it comes to marketing one’s products or services. There are many tools and methods for that.  However, having a directory website can play a big role there. They collect top provider names in one place so that potential clients can search through either using keywords or certain parameters such as location, type of products/ services, company ratings, etc.

Listing your business in a directory website will definitely increase the visibility of your products/ services to different kinds of audiences as most people nowadays use the internet to search for information. Online directory with advanced filtering options and autosuggestion capabilities can help you easily connect with your target audience.

Running a directory site is also an excellent means of income. You can launch different types of directory websites targeting specific “niches”. For example, you can create a restaurant directory, wedding vendor directory, home services directory, or even pet services directory for each community. The opportunities are endless. Within this article, we’ll discuss some major types of directory listing websites which also act as money making websites in 2020.

  1. Real Estate directory website
  2. Job Directory website
  3. Online Business directory
  4. Restaurant/Hotel Directory website
  5. Events directory/Online events portal
  6. Travel Directory site
  7. Review Directory website
  8. Coupons/Deals Directory
  9. Online Classifieds Website
  10. Article Directory/Knowledge base
  11. Contact Directory Website
  12. City Directory
  13. Online Video Directory website
  14. Automotive Directory
  15. Online Marketplace websites
  16. Wedding Directory
  17. Yellow Pages Directory
  18. Course Directory/Learning Management System

1) Real Estate Website

Today, most people go to the internet when they want to search for an ideal property. Therefore it’s essential for real estate agents or service providers to have a great real estate web directory. Not having such a directory site causes the loss of a large part of the market and lagging behind the competition.

As the name implies,  real estate directories gather rental properties or for sale. These sites can be used by property owners to submit their property listings under different categories like houses, apartments, condos, vacation homes,  commercial properties, etc. Visitors can search for properties by different verticals such as location, number of bedrooms, price, and so on.

An excellent real estate web directory will require some basic features to make the right impression.

Unique features of a real estate website

  1. Location-based features like proximity search
  2. Advanced search results with extensive filters.
  3. A Convenient front end submission system
  4. Highlighting the latest or featured properties.
  5. Nice image gallery with property images.
  6. Property comparison functionality
  7. Map View of the property for easier recognition.
  8. Social sharing of properties
  9. Messaging system or other options to contact the property owner

However, in order to maximize the value of your real estate website, you need to move beyond just listing properties. There are some extra opportunities for making money with a real estate website.

Ways to make money with a Real Estate Website

  1. Selling ad spaces
  2. Offering premium packages with more features.
  3. Sponsored ads from other real estate sites.
  4. Integrating Google Adsense.
  5. Affiliate programs in which you can earn commissions for referral customers from listed websites.

Airbnb.com is a perfect example of a successful real estate website.

airbnb website

Use our HomeQuest Real Estate WordPress theme to create a fully responsive and unique real estate directory similar to Airbnb. This theme comes with all the great features to create a successful real estate website effortlessly.

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2. Job Directory website

The most common way for job seekers to find employment opportunities today is by searching on the internet. Therefore job directory websites have become the largest recruitment platform nowadays and they serve as the ideal meeting place for recruiters and job seekers.

A job directory website is used by employees to advertise their job openings to job seekers. Job seekers can find and apply for jobs in their area and profession through a job directory site.

Most job boards cover all the prominent industries and also pave many ways to generate substantial revenue for the site owners.

If you expect to create a directory for jobs it should have the following features.

Essential features of a job directory site

  1. Front end submissions
  2. User profile area (dashboard) for employers and applicants
  3. Live search and filtering options
  4. Option for job seekers to receive job alerts
  5. The ability for applicants to subscribe to job categories
  6. Applicant tracking feature for employees
  7. Responsive design
  8. Customization options

Build your amazing job board web directory with the Job Board WordPress Theme and stand out from the rest. Job Board Theme is a fully responsive and highly customizable job directory theme with a built-in profile management system.

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Ways to make money with Job Directory Website

  1. Job posting fees
  2. Charging for resume access
  3. Offering Featured employer profiles
  4. Hosting ads
  5. Job backfill
  6. Offering featured resumes
  7. Adding Google AdSense to the site

Indeed.com is one of the most popular job directory websites on the internet.

Jobs directory website

3. Business Directory website

A Business directory is a web directory for business listings.  Here you can list various types of businesses within a certain niche or geographic area. Usually, the businesses are listed by business type, locality, activity, and size.

Details provided in a business directory may vary such as business name (alphabetically by industry), address, telephone numbers, contact information, types of products or services offered, the number of employees, serving area, and any professional association. It enables users to easily find companies, products, or services around them in a more targeted way.

Growing your online visibility through a business listings website is one of the best marketing strategies. Moreover, getting listed in a top online business directory not only gives you an online presence but also helps to increase your search rankings and build trust and authority with search engines. Thereby gives potential customers a high chance of finding you on the internet.

Necessary features of a business directory website.

  1. Advanced search to find businesses
  2. Maintaining business profiles.
  3. User account management.
  4. Ability to monitor profile statistics
  5. Business categories
  6. Search Engine Optimization.

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Ways to make money with a Business Directory Website

  1. Selling listings to local business
  2. Selling banner ads and site sponsorships
  3. Adding Google Adsense to your site.
  4. Offering complimentary products and services

Angie’s List is an example of one of the best business local web directories in 2020.

Angies list

4. Restaurant / Hotels Directory websites

This is a commonly used type of web directory that is especially popular among tourists.  The restaurant directory site brings together restaurants, hotels, cafes, bars, and other food points in a certain city or area. They provide search results for users about hotels and restaurants based on location, number of stars, customer reviews, and ratings.

One great advantage of using a restaurant directory is that you can view the menu offered by each restaurant and the prices of different meals without having the trouble to visit them physically.

You can also compare different restaurants, write reviews, and also rate them. This is a good way to identify restaurants that are highly ranked and thereby make sure they offer quality food and services.

Directory is a responsive, multipurpose website directory theme that you can use to create a modern and fully functional directory website without any hassle.

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Must have features of a Restaurant directory website

  1. Responsive Design
  2. Front end submission of listings
  3. Admin Approval for Listings
  4. Editable listings by admin
  5. Subscription to add listings
  6. Restaurant Review and Rating System
  7. Option to add photos and videos of the location and food.
  8. Advanced Search Options
  9. Option to Upload Restaurant Menu
  10. Option to add location, contact details and opening hours.
  11. Payment gateway
  12. Coupon component for discounts and offers.

Zomato is a best example for a restaurant directory website.

Restaurant directory & ordering system

5. Event directory website

Event directory websites are platforms which compile and list events. They play an integral role in event promotional strategies. These events can be grouped by area, niche, category, or theme.

The main use of event web directories is to keep the public aware of upcoming events, their location, date and other useful information. Using them, you can check about exhibitions, concerts, business meetups, and any other public events.

There are a number of event web directories that offer free listings to access local and global audiences who are regular event visitors. Some event web directories enable users to book tickets to listed events and also allow them to contact event organizers directly through the website. Although it’s not compulsory, it’s common for these listing sites to have dedicated pages for organizers and planners.

Moreover, many event directories aim for some personalization. So that they recommend events to users to match their previous interests and browsing history.

Essential features of an Events directory website

  1. Front end submission system to add events.
  2. Calendar view of events.
  3. Event categories / tags.
  4. Ability to upload images or videos for events.
  5. Event coordinator profiles.
  6. Ability for users to subscribe to events and follow categories.
  7. News alerts sent by event organisers to subscribed users.
  8. Possibility to promote events through ads or featured events.
  9. Special widgets for featured events or sponsored ads.
  10. Ability to create event templates that are useful for recurring events.

Ways to make money with an Events directory website

  1. Paid event submissions.
  2. Displaying featured events on a paid basis.
  3. Selling tickets for events on your website.
  4. Selling ad space/banners
  5. Using advertisement networks like Google Adsense

Eventum is an easy to use and fully customizable Event directory theme for WordPress. It is a feature packed WordPresstheme to create a location based event website where organisers can advertise their events in an attractive way.

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A well-known event directory website is Eventbrite.


6. Travel directory website

Tourism has constantly grown in popularity as a niche mainly due to the eCommerce and advanced capabilities involved in the related products and services. People always look up information on the internet when they need to find a foreign hotel to book a room or buy an air ticket.

A travel directory provides information about all travel-related businesses from lodging, dining, shopping, attractions, recreation, and event venues. Each travel web directory is different and features different categories on the site. Some major categories of travel-related business are accommodations, food, and dining, shopping, tours and activities, travel insurance and agents, sightseeing, etc. Businesses that fall under these categories should consider listing themselves in travel directories in order to increase their visibility and reach.

Moreover, businesses in cities with swarming travel scenes should also consider listing their products and services on a travel directory website. Adding listings in an online travel directory is a great way of exposing your listings to a new base of potential customers.

TripAdvisor is a real pioneer among travel directory websites.

Essential features of a travel directory website

  1. Advanced filtering options to provide the best search results
  2. Map view
  3. Ability to provide reviews and ratings for the listings
  4. Ability to contact business owners
  5. Options to make reservations or book tickets
  6. Forum or community area to submit questions and receive recommendations
  7. Personalized recommendations based on previous searches or browser history.

7. Review directory website

Client reviews are pieces of feedback given to a business based on the customer’s experience with that company. They are collected by third-party review listing sites in order to share with potential customers. Review directory websites are online platforms that gather user reviews for specific niches.

Customers often take online reviews into account when making their purchase decisions and they are more likely to buy products with lots of positive reviews. Therefore popular online review directories are something businesses should consider.

Usually review directory websites do not offer advertising options. But you can consider such features as monetization options. Another option for making an extra income with a review directory is to review affiliate products and services.

Review directory sites provide a great opportunity for small businesses to improve their reputation online and reach more customers. Furthermore, by analyzing those customer reviews, businesses can measure customer satisfaction and improve their customer relations.

Must have features of a review listing website

  1. Advanced search options
  2. Reviews filtering
  3. Frontend submission module to add reviews to the site.
  4. Media uploads such as photos, videos, attachments along with reviews.
  5. User reviews with multiple rating criteria and rating scale.
  6. Social sharing options

One of the best review directory websites is Reviews.io


8. Deals / Coupons directory website

Customers love deals and discounts while shopping online. Offering a discount for a purchase someone makes over an eCommerce site has become a trend now.

Deals / Coupons directories are websites that advertise and display deals and coupon codes from various e-commerce platforms and online sellers. They are very useful for online shoppers, sellers, and store owners. Online shoppers can get discounts and save money using these deals/coupons listed while sellers and store owners can advertise and promote their products and offers.

Online store owners can sell more with the help of these coupon directory websites by advertising and marketing their products online for free. Additionally, small businesses can increase their visibility by using these directories while offering a suitable discount for online buyers.

Affiliate marketers can also make money by listing coupons and discount codes of the products they are affiliated with. This way they can make affiliate sales through deals/coupon listing sites.

These online deals/ coupons listings are very useful and help to sell anything quickly. For online buyers, there are great deals and discounts available to purchase online while dealers will find more sites for online advertising. Compared to other directory websites, these deals/ coupons platforms are easy to set up and manage as they only require a frontend submission system with some basic other features.

If you want to create a WordPress deals/coupon directory site, make sure to have the following features.

Important features of a deals/ coupon website

  1. Front end submission module for businesses to add their deals/coupon codes.
  2. Ability to set a maximum number of coupon codes per user.
  3. Ability to set a start and expiration date for offers.
  4. Ability to tag listings so that users can find them in categories of their interest.
  5. Ability to share deals in social media.
  6. Ability to feature listings in dedicated widgets.
  7. Recommendations based on previous searches.

Slickdeals.net is one of the popular deals/ coupons directory websites where you can find all the available deals/coupons under one place.

9. Classifieds directory website

With the internet being an important tool to reach out potential clients, classifieds directory listings have become an important form of online advertising.

Classifieds directory websites allow visitors to register and add their own listings about their business or classified adverts about the items they sell or services they offer.

The revenue model of a classifieds directory may vary from site to site. Some websites offer free submissions up to a certain number of listings per month while some offer only paid submissions.

Usually paid submission systems only work when there is a considerable traffic to the website.

Building a professional classifieds directory will be much easier with our powerful Classifieds WordPresstheme. Just as the name suggests, Classifieds is a theme built specially for online classifieds directory websites.

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General features of a classifieds directory website

  1. Front end submission to add listings
  2. Easy, Flexible and advanced search functionality
  3. Member profiles.
  4. Ability to promote listing in social media
  5. Unlimited categories and subcategories.
  6. Ability to upload images and videos to listings.
  7. The ability for users to add comments and reviews.
  8. Ability for users to contact sellers in a safe manner.
  9. Widgets to promote featured classifieds.
  10. Email notifications to users about new or expired advertisements.

Craigslist.com is an example of a best-classified directory website.


10. Article directory website

An article directory website is a collection of articles written on various subjects. These articles are constantly updated and added up on various topics from business, politics, entertainment, so on.

Article directories are very valuable tools not only to increase the credibility of websites but also to enhance the visibility of your site and thereby expand the client base. You can give a significant boost to your site by carefully monitoring the quality of content posted on your site and fitting products into the right niche.

One of the best  advantages of an article directory is the use of backlinks. Many article directory sites allow you to add quality backlinks to your site or blog within the article content, which works as an excellent off-page search engine optimisation method. Websites can be effectively promoted using these backlinks.

If you want to create an article directory of your own, our Article theme would be the best choice. It is SEO friendly and fully responsive WordPress theme for making a unique and awesome article directory.

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One popular example of an article directory is Forbes.


11. Contact directory website

Contact directory website is solely a database of contacts which acts in the same way as an online telephone directory or a staff directory. Some examples of contact directories can be named as employees of a company, students of a university or businessman from a specific area or niche.

These portals allow users to find contact information of other people if they are available online. They usually contain only contact information and a brief bio of the person listed. But you can extend their functionality by allowing users to create resumes like pages or more comprehensive profiles.

There are also some directories which display career information and details of professional licenses of listed people. Some contact directories even allow visitors to screen the person they are searching for or to run a background check.

Since contact directories only list contacts and their basic details, a front end submission system is not required for them. These directories are easy to set up and maintain when compared to other categories of directory listing websites.

One necessary feature of a contact directory website is to provide relevant and accurate information.

A well known contact directory site is whitepages.com

12. City directory website

A city directory website acts as a city guide, listing different verticals inside a city such as residents, streets, businesses, organizations or institutions and giving their location. Consumers look to city directories to find various kinds of services and information related to their community – from automobiles and restaurants to home services and shopping.

There are also some city portals focused on specific niches. For instance, a city directory focused on lifestyle niches will gather listings of sports clubs, gyms, beauty salons, spas, restaurants and cafes, museums, night clubs, and so on.

The more diverse the categories are, more structured and organized the web directory should be so that the users can easily navigate through the site.

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Main features of a city web directory

  1. Map functionality
  2. Strong search functionality and tag-based filtering system
  3. Category groupings
  4. Front end listing module
  5. Review module
  6. Company profile features including contact details, location, videos and images.
  7. Social sharing of listings.
  8. Recommendations based on user behaviour.

Bing Places can be named as a perfect example of a city directory portal.

13. Video directory website

Video web directories allow the indexing, cataloging, and searching of a large number of videos in a way they can be found on the internet. They can be broad and accommodating all sorts of nitches. General purpose video directory website requires a better search and filtering system than the niched ones so that the users don’t feel overwhelmed by the abundance of choices.

With the invention of online video in 2006, video web directories and video search engines like Google started to play a vital role for users who try to find specific video content as well as for marketers, researchers, and educators. They all could benefit from the video content they are looking for, regardless of where they have been archived, uploaded, or stored.

Even though a general purpose video directory website can bring more traffic, industry or category specific video directories can attract more high quality traffic as well as they are easier to monetize. For instance, sports video portals can offer merchandise and educational video portals can offer options to buy courses.

Video directory websites may be free or can charge a monthly subscription fee. They can also let video creators advertise their videos and generate revenue by featuring subscription-only content.

Features of a video directory website.

  1. Front end video submission module for users to upload videos.
  2. Advanced search facility
  3. Options to tag, categorize, and add descriptions for videos.
  4. Built-in video player with full-screen play mode.
  5. Social sharing of videos.
  6. Ratings and comments support.
  7. Feature to easily copy the video links.
  8. Option to embed videos in third-party websites.
  9. Live streaming capabilities.
  10. Security features.

As for directory admins, there should be an option to set the maximum upload limit for videos. Moreover, there should also be some monetization options such as dedicated space for featured videos.

The best example of a giant general-purpose video web directory is Youtube.

Video directory theme

 

Video Theme is a flexible WordPressvideo directory theme that is ideal for creating a video portal. It comes with a powerful frontend submission feature enabling any registered member to post videos just like YouTube.

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14. Automotive directory website

Automotive directories are niche directories focused on various types of automobiles. They can be car dealer websites that collect listings from a certain area or portals covering only specific types of autos such as luxury cars or trucks.

Some advanced automotive web directories provide tools like loan calculators and features like vehicle comparison which enable attracting more visitors.

Must have features of an automotive directory website

  1. Powerful search functionality.
  2. Dealer profiles.
  3. Ability to find dealers in a specific area through a map.
  4. Ability to upload high resolution images.
  5. Filtering system to sort cars based on their characteristics.
  6. Comparison feature to compare multiple automotive listings.

Apart from the features, the ability for users to place offers, contact the dealer, bookmark listings, and create a favorite list will be favorable features for an automotive directory.

Directorycar.com is a well-known example of an automotive directory website.

15. Marketplace directory website

A marketplace directory is a type of eCommerce website where users can list their products and services. Usually, the transactions are handled by the marketplace operator who will provide a warranty if the products are not delivered in time or don’t match with the marketplace description.

Necessary features of a marketplace directory

  1. A frontend submission system for users to list their products or services.
  2. Categories for listing types.
  3. An e-commerce platform for the direct purchase of products.
  4. Multiple payment methods
  5. Options to contact seller
  6. Ability to share listing on social media

In addition, the ability to add reviews and rate the sellers and the ability to leave comments are nice to have features of a marketplace directory website which also increases the transparency and credibility of the site.

An example of a popular marketplace web directory is the Envato market which is a leading marketplace for designers and website builders to showcase their creative assets.


16. Wedding vendor directory website

Planning your dream wedding is made much easier with the wedding vendor web directories. This niche directory specially came to popularity recently. They enable wedding professionals to list their business online while helping couples to find the best and affordable wedding services such as wedding planners, decorators, wedding photographers and videographers, wedding venues, bridal wear, make-up artists, and many more.

Wedding vendor directories are great resources where all wedding industry-related businesses can improve their SEO and acquire quality backlinks.

The Bridal File is a top online wedding web directory which has everything you need for your Big Day!


17. Yellow pages directory website

Yellow pages have successfully transformed itself from a telephone directory service to an internet directory giant. It’s another great online business for you to earn a passive income. Here you can add all types of listings such as hotels, schools, clinics, parks, museums, businesses, and even a job portal. Therefore, the Yellow Pages directory can be called a combination of all the other web directories.

Yellow pages directory is comparatively difficult to manage as it consists of a huge amount of listings from all types.

Features of a Yellow pages directory website

  1. An efficient frontend submission system to add listings to the site.
  2. Ability to upload multiple images for a listing.

18.Course Directory website

Course web directories are educational portals that offer various e-learning courses. Rather than merely listing online courses, they also act as a representative for both course vendors and students.

With many countries closing schools, universities, and other educational institutions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of online learning portals and course niche directories have experienced a sudden popularity among students.

Developing and maintaining an online course directory platform is a lot of hard work when compared to other web directories. Therefore you will have to hire expert developers or use an advanced course directory theme or plugins if you are developing it with WordPress.

If you are going to create a directory for courses, make sure to have the following features

  1. Course creation module.
  2. Intuitive and user-friendly learning interface (Dashboard)
  3. Online admissions / Signing up for courses.
  4. Ability to upload different types of learning resources such as word docs, pdfs, images, audio files, videos, etc..
  5. Video conferencing
  6. Forums and webinars.
  7. Performance and certification tracking.
  8. Payment gateways for online payments.
  9. Reporting and data analysis.
  10. Responsive design.

There are some absolutely large course directories like Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare, and Edx.

Conclusion

Setting up a successful directory website can be time-consuming and a lot of hard work. But it is worthwhile when considering the numerous revenue streams it can generate with minimal investment or overhead. On the other hand, launching a  directory website has become incredibly easy with CMS platforms like WordPress.

There are heaps of free as well as paid WordPress themes and plugins in the market that you can use to create different types of web directories. Therefore, with the right selection of themes and plugins, you can easily turn them into profitable businesses by affecting target niches carefully.

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