Directories: No-Code, Monetization, Curation

โ€‹โ€‹โ€œLists are a form of power.โ€ โ€” A.S. Byatt

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โ“ What You’ll Learn

  • How to build directories quickly with no-code and low-code tools?
  • How to use directories to build communities?
  • How to create proprietary metrics to enrich directories?
  • How to monetize your directory?
  • How to use directories to attract customers?
  • How to crowdsource content?
  • How defensible are directories?

๐Ÿ’Ž Why It Matters

Directories save users time and help you build a defensible business. 

๐Ÿ” Problem

Finding useful information can be messy, time-consuming and inaccurate.   

๐Ÿ’ก Solution

Directories help you sift through noise to find useful information.

๐Ÿ Players


Directory Tools 

  • Webflow โ€ข No-code website builder
  • Notion โ€ข Build and share tables
  • Airtable โ€ข Build and export databases
  • WordPress โ€ข Open-source content management platform
  • Ghost โ€ข Publishing platform

๐Ÿ”ฎ Predictions

  • 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. 

โ˜๏ธ Opportunities

  • 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. 

๐Ÿ”๏ธ Risks

  • Chicken or the Egg โ€ข If your directory relies on user-generated content, youโ€™ll need to find a way to get your first contributions. 
  • Spam โ€ข  Letting users post content opens you up to the risk of low-quality content.
  • Market Risk โ€ข Avoid building a directory that no one cares about. Do keyword research to find patterns in searches.

๐Ÿ”‘ 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.
  • Itโ€™s easier than ever to create your own directory using no-code tools. Alex Friedman built and sold FounderGigs using Airtable and Softr.  

๐Ÿ”ฅ Hot Takes

  • Directories donโ€™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. 

๐Ÿ˜  Haters

โ€œWhatโ€™s defensible about a directory?โ€
Very little unless you update content regularly, build proprietary metrics and a brand around your directory.

โ€œCan Google justify rebuilding NomadList? They have a much stronger network to market it.โ€
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. 

โ€œWhy would anyone want to use my directory?โ€
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. 

โ€œIt feels like all the good ideas have already been done. What should I make a directory for?โ€
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.

๐Ÿ”— Links

  1. Looking for good examples of directories โ€ข The tweet behind this report. 
  2. How to Find Backlinks (For Any Website) โ€ข Blog post from Semrush.
  3. How to Launch a Product With No Money and No Customers โ€ข A post on Indie Hackers.

๐Ÿ“ Related Reports

๐Ÿ™ Thanks

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.

โœ๏ธ Harry researched and wrote this report. Dru researched and edited this report.

๐Ÿ“ˆ What else?

Trends PRO #0098 โ€” Directories has more insights.

What youโ€™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 youโ€™ll learn: 

  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to find a topic for your directory?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to collect data for your directory?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to use programmatic SEO to drive traffic to directories?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to use directories to build backlinks?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How curation can become a career?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to get businesses to pay to be included in a directory?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to use directories to bring attention to charities?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to use directories of directories to promote your business?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to use directories to build your personal brand?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to discover communities via directories?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to use AI to filter directories?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to build a job board?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to build your directory to sell?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How can boutique search engines make it easier to parse niche information?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to use directories as a growth tool?
  • And much moreโ€ฆ

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