Niche directory is a web listing database of websites that are related to some particular niche or subject. There is no specific restriction to a niche, it can be some transportation service directory too, which can be built and maintained to list websites that are related only to transportation service.
I have once posted a series of web directory related posts, and making money from directories is one of those subjects that most were interested. The only thing i want to clarify is that if you are thinking to make money from a directory and nothing else, keep in mind that your directory is not going to run long. You should try to have that directory maintained in a very good condition with pure content that an average reader likes to read and appreciate the sources and links that you share, and that actually does not look like a link which you were paid to place in that page.
Now comes the promotion part. There are many ways by which you can promote your niche directory. Here are a few that i suggest -
Submit to other niche directories/general directories – Submission to a directory, whether its your website or blog or a directory, helps in getting a good backlink. And when its the point of promoting a directory, fellow directories help a lot. Being a niche directory, it gets better exposure as many people search the niche ones in the abundance of the general directories around.
Promotion with a blog – Blog has always been a helpful side in promotion of anything, many big companies too. So why not promote a niche directory with a blog? By giving out some offers, or share some good catchy information and news about the things related to your niche. These all are a booster for your niche directory, and you get good exposure.
Signature link in forums – Placing the directory link in signature space of webmaster forums helps a lot. In my experience, one of my directories had no promotion except some good exposure through signature links and it did really well, in webmaster forums. As many webmasters and SEO companies try to find the best backlinks and directories are always in their minds. Search engines do not always help in finding the best, so they search for some in forums too. It is good to stay active in various directory forums too.
Edit: I actually am trying to say is that signature link in webmaster forums is to gain some submissions from other webmasters who have related sites and search for directories to submit into. And some niche forums are helpful for audience to your directory, means some quality direct traffic to your niche directories. Thanks mikey1090 for pointing this out.
Search engine optimization – This point has to stay always. A general directory can not be optimized too well so that every category in it ranks higher in search engines, but niche directory being focused on a single topic can do well than many other websites of the same niche. Try to optimize it well, and long-term traffic and submitters through search engines is guaranteed there.
Be unique with design – Be something what people would actually like to talk about. You get very well noticed if you have a good design, and its completely unique. This shows you have something in mind, to do something big with the directory. This builds trust in the visitor’s mind and actually can turn into a submission.
Get into the lists – There are many lists of web directories on the web, and some are specifically the lists of niche web directories, one of those is directory critic’s list. Submit your niche directory to those lists, as some submitters regularly check those lists and submit to the directories there.
Every point that is said above, can be well supported, but i could not explain more as it still depends on whether you are trying to have the niche directory a paid one, or just keep it free to get easily exposed in the directory world.
Recently i had started my free blog directory and have not promoted it very well. Will myself follow the above steps like an experiment. Would come to a conclusion with that.