Since recently the development of different directories achieved its zenith. Hundreds and hundreds of directories are being created nowadays. The urgent and hot issue in directory industry is whether it is monetizing or not. It is the right time to answer the question concretely and unambiguously because all over the webmasters' forums that question is being raised as by the newbies as well as by the genuine professional webmasters.

First of all, most of webmasters agree that the sustainable source of monetizing a web directory is sponsored listing. No other thing can bring more stable and easier resources. The amount directories charge for the sponsored listing varies. It depends on the importance of the directory to the submitters. The main factors of a good directory are decent Page Rank, SEO friendliness and its fame among webmasters. These factors determine if the directory can charge for its listing or not and how much. The spread of prices is in between the highest of about $300 by Yahoo/dir and as low $ 0-1 by the majority of starting directories. Most of webmasters who submit say that the best solution for them is the range of $1-6 per link to pay for the listing. All directories develop their own pricing strategies, e.g. some start as a free web directory and as soon as they become popular, get PR turn to paid one. Most of web directories conduct the diversified policy. They offer free, paid, expensive and cheap listings to choose from.

The second most popular way to monetize is advertisement. It includes Google Adsense, Yahoo, Adbrite and Chitika Ads. In order to earn from ads on the web directory a smart strategy should be applied. The main group that visits the directories is webmasters who submit their web-sites. Web masters are believed not to click on Adsense, because they are aware of all these ads stunts. That is why web directories are believed not to generate any money from ads. It is not actually true, because many people put ads on the submission page and advertise the things that interest web-masters like SEO or software. In that case webmasters do click and the profit from ads can cover the costs of running a directory and that is already significant achievement. What concerns niche directories they really can earn with the help of Ads because they have the traffic not only from webmasters, but also from the target audience that is primarily interested in the specific area of the directory. If the ads on the directory add some additional information and are related to the niche topic of the directory then the ads will become popular and can bring a significant income.

There is one reservation to the topic of ads. People try to be careful with ads because they think that they can harm their directory. That is true only for those who create pumping, flamboyant windows so that the visitor could not escape clicking them. They do it in chase of increasing the click through rate. No visitor will want to come back to that site because that site is like screaming that it is here to earn money. There is one basic rule of a good website in order to escape that kind of problem. The web-site should bring value to its visitors. As one businessman has told, "The main thing in business is to get the benefit from benefiting the clients". That is why if you put ads that are valuable to people they will be clicked one way or the way despite their humble appearance on the side or bottom of the page.

The third most popular way to earn from the directory is affiliate programs facility. It is really good because you do not need any investment and it can become an additional source of income. The only important advice is not to digress from the topic of your web directory. It is worth to include the affiliate program of something related to the niche or the main idea of your web directory.

One more very wide spread and profitable way to monetize a web directory is selling it. There are two kinds of business opportunity. First is to sell a web directory just after you made it. That service is in demand because there are people that do not like to spend their time coding, organizing and are willing to pay to get a ready-made directory. In that case a newly born web directory can cost ?? dollars. The second way of monetizing from a directory is when the webmaster develops the directory up to the moment when it already has decent PR, traffic and good records of profit. In that case it can be sold for XXXX dollars or even more.

Another good way to earn from a directory is to use text link programs. That facility is appropriate for directories that have Page Rank more than 4 or intensive traffic. They pay $5 for each text link on the directory.

The sale of banner space on the web directory is also a good opportunity to earn. It does not differ from selling the banner space from any website. The popular web directories have a good and regular income from it.

One more opportunity to get a financial support is donations from the users. The directory that will put donations on its site should think about some questions. Why someone will want to donate? How the donation fund will be used? How sponsors benefit from donating? A directory that wants donations should be much appreciated by its users so that they would be willing to support the creators of web directory.

Seemingly all the methods of monetizing were already mentioned. Let us just summarize them.

  • Featured listing
  • Ad sense or Yahoo Mkt
  • Affiliate programs
  • The sale of a directory
  • Link programs
  • Banner space
  • Donations
  • Text link ads

These are the ways of monetizing, but what concerns the amount of income from a web directory there is the following information. A web directory in general can earn huge profits, good and no profit at all. Primarily it depends on the business approach and strategy. Quality directories need the investment of time and money. That business is not something easy and it will take years of work if one wants to make profit with it. Hence if you are willing to invest the time to make your directory unique and authoritative - it will become profitable