“Lists are a form of power.” — A.S. Byatt
💎 Why It Matters
Directories save users time and help you build a defensible business.
Finding useful information can be messy, time-consuming and inaccurate.
Directories help you sift through noise to find useful information.
- Startup Stash • Tools and resources for entrepreneurs
- Integrations Directory • Directory of integrations for your no-code product.
- One Page Love • Find inspiration from one-page websites
- Do Things That Don’t Scale • Collection of unscalable startup hacks
- NoCodeList • Software for your projects
- Page Flows • User design flow inspiration
- Stackshare • Find software for your projects and business
- Side Hustle Stack • Find platform-based work
- Webflow • No-code website builder
- Notion • Build and share tables
- Airtable • Build and export databases
- WordPress • Open-source content management platform
- Ghost • Publishing platform
- Directories will be quickly built in response to world events with no-code and low-code tools.
- The city of Los Angeles used low-code to build an online application for COVID-19 testing within 72 hours.
- Caspio provides a free no-code development to help Ukraine.
- Online communities will build their own directories as lead magnets.
- No Code MBA accesses communities within its community.
- r/FindaReddit has a directory for finding subreddits.
- IMDB lets you create lists within its site.
- Companies will create proprietary metrics to enrich directories.
- See ListenNotes and their “Listen Score”
- YouTube releases “Search Insights” for creatives.
- Use no-code tools to build directories fast.
- Nic Touron built Toomeup.io with Softr and Airtable
- Mohammed Rafy built Uncommunity using Webflow
- Mia Coleman used Webflow to build Rememory Directory
- Nicolas built EcommFrame using Airtable, Zapier, and Gumroad.
- Monetize your directory with ads and memberships.
- Martins Sulcs makes $3,200/mo with Rankd SEO.
- Levelsio added membership access to Nomad List.
- Investor Scout generates $2,300/mo to connect you with investors.
- TIMS generates $3,000/mo for a list of free tools to build online projects.
- Page Flows was making $4,500 per month with 500 customers in 2020.
- Craigslist earned $660 million in revenue last year primarily from job ads.
- Jade Craven charges $14 for The Bootstrapper Press Directory on AppSumo.
- AJ made $417 in January selling 1500+ SaaS Startup Ideas For You That Work.
- No Code MBA offers a free tool directory and membership for access to other features.
- Build a directory to drive traffic to your main product.
- Walden built a directory for their coaching services.
- Hypercontext shares a directory for OKR and goal examples.
- MicroAquire launched a directory of an in-market advisor directory.
- Webflow showcases examples of sites built with their product.
- Super.so shows examples of websites built with Notion and Super in Showcase.
- Asana shares resources on using their products with Asana Academy.
- Welcome user-generated content. Crowdsourcing helps you leverage the time and knowledge of others to build directories.
- Pexels lets you upload and find free stock photos.
- Yelp lets you create and manage a free listing for your business.
- HubSpot lets your business join its directory.
- Luc Meijer asks his Twitter followers for no-code resources.
- Jessica Gore asks her Twitter followers for resources to help IP attorneys, students, and professors.
- Jessie van Breugel asks his followers on Twitter who he should talk to about online marketing, paid ads, and SEO.
- Chicken or the Egg • If your directory relies on user-generated content, you’ll need to find a way to get your first contributions.
- Spam • Letting users post content opens you up to the risk of low-quality content.
- Market Risk • Avoid building a directory that no one cares about. Do keyword research to find patterns in searches.
🔑 Key Lessons
- User-generated content with quality controls is a reliable way to source content.
- Long-tail keywords lead to higher conversions than generic keywords and pages.
- You can use directories as a marketing tool for a related product.
- It’s easier than ever to create your own directory using no-code tools. Alex Friedman built and sold FounderGigs using Airtable and Softr.
🔥 Hot Takes
- Directories don’t have to look great. They need to provide valuable information. See Craigslist.
- Piggyback on existing directories to source content and improve the experience. Doing this saves time.
- No-code tools such as Airtable should be used as a quick-and-dirty way to validate your ideas.
“What’s defensible about a directory?”
Very little unless you update content regularly, build proprietary metrics and a brand around your directory.
“Can Google justify rebuilding NomadList? They have a much stronger network to market it.”
No. They would rather route traffic to them. Google curates directories and profits from ad spend instead of creating directories. Unless the potential market is massive.
“Why would anyone want to use my directory?”
If you pick a topic at random, they may not. Build a directory on a topic that you know well and leverage your expertise to ensure the directory provides real value. Lower market risk by doing keyword research and filling a known gap in available information.
“It feels like all the good ideas have already been done. What should I make a directory for?”
Build a directory for the thing you know best. Even if a directory already exists for something, you could curate an entirely different set of resources. Niche directories are on the rise. Try building something for your local community.
- Looking for good examples of directories • The tweet behind this report.
- How to Find Backlinks (For Any Website) • Blog post from Semrush.
- How to Launch a Product With No Money and No Customers • A post on Indie Hackers.
📁 Related Reports
- No-Code • Saves time when building products.
- The Creator Economy • Creators create value.
- Low-Code • Use less time focusing on what’s important.
- Programmatic SEO • Keywords produce results.
- Curation as a Service • Directories are about curation. Programmatically or manually.
Thanks to Soma Mandel, Camille Cocaud, Darren Travel, Yarty, Peter Duffy, Uwe Dreissigacker, Vishal Srivastava, Krish, Stewart Townsend, Lu, Daniel Berggren, Natwar Maheshwari, Katt Risen, Stephanie H., Lola Ojabowale, and Yun. We had a great time jamming on this report.
✏️ Harry researched and wrote this report. Dru researched and edited this report.
📈 What else?
Trends PRO #0098 — Directories has more insights.
What you’ll get:
- 37 Directories (363% More)
- 13 Directory Tools (160% More)
- 12 Predictions (300% More)
- 12 Opportunities (200% More)
- 6 Risks (100% More)
- 7 Key Lessons (75% More)
- 5 Hot Takes (67% More)
- 12 Links (300% More)
With Trends Pro you’ll learn:
- (📈 Pro) How to find a topic for your directory?
- (📈 Pro) How to collect data for your directory?
- (📈 Pro) How to use programmatic SEO to drive traffic to directories?
- (📈 Pro) How to use directories to build backlinks?
- (📈 Pro) How curation can become a career?
- (📈 Pro) How to get businesses to pay to be included in a directory?
- (📈 Pro) How to use directories to bring attention to charities?
- (📈 Pro) How to use directories of directories to promote your business?
- (📈 Pro) How to use directories to build your personal brand?
- (📈 Pro) How to discover communities via directories?
- (📈 Pro) How to use AI to filter directories?
- (📈 Pro) How to build a job board?
- (📈 Pro) How to build your directory to sell?
- (📈 Pro) How can boutique search engines make it easier to parse niche information?
- (📈 Pro) How to use directories as a growth tool?
- And much more…
📈 Unlock Masterminds, 1:1 Founder Intros and Standups
Become a Trends Pro Member and join 1,200+ founders enjoying…
🧠 Founder Mastermind Groups • To share goals, progress and solve problems together, each group is made up of 6 members who meet for 1 hour each Monday.
📈 100+ Trends Pro Reports • To make sense of new markets, ideas and business models, check out our research reports.
💬 1:1 Founder Intros • Make new friends, share lessons and find ways to help each other. Keep life interesting by meeting new founders each week.
🧍 Daily Standups • Stay productive and accountable with daily, async standups. Unlock access to 1:1 chats, masterminds and more by building standup streaks.
💲 100k+ Startup Discounts • Get access to $100k+ in startup discounts on AWS, Twilio, Webflow, ClickUp and more.