Post by OWG The way that I have made money on our sites is to proactively get advertisers on there. I am a bit of an oddball in as much as I come from a sales/marketing/advertising background, and as such I come up with concepts for sites based on potential revenue stream and maximum exposure for the client. There are many directories springing up on the web. Many of them are large sprawling directories which because of their wide appeal , will fail to produce a good user experience. How many empty categories will you visit before leaving? We have sold portal directories, and in fact will be launching quite a few this year as we move back into web publishing again. To many people approach making money on the web from the wrong angle THEM. People approach the web often with one sole intention, and that is to make money for themselves (which I have to say there is nothing wrong with in principle). The problem is that this flies in the face of marketing, and will be doomed to failure from the start. Take a look at the sites that make it, and they will all have one thing in common, Appeal. They ALL appeal to the user and deliver up a positive experience. The web should be compared to a newspaper shop with sites being a newspaper or magazine, it is no different really. How often have you bought the newly promoted magazine only to be disappointed with the content and quality, never to buy again? It is no different with websites, one initial negative experience with your site and they will never knowingly click through to you again. We tend to build the portals niche, and build them gradually, making sure that they grow slowly and with quality. EG. we do NOT put in place hundreds of categories only for them to be empty. What we do is start with a core section, and then as we are growing we open up new categories, safe in the knowledge that when those categories start showing up in the SERP's the visitor will get what they are expecting. We go down the route of making it free for everyone, and draw our money from section sponsors. e.g in a wedding directory there might be 20 florists in one geographical area. These florists will ALL be included free of charge, but on a first come first served basis there is an opportunity to be the main sponsor for that area. As in the film Highlander, there can be only one it truly is first come first served, and you can bet your backside that those who are not the sponsor will be emailing you asking to be considered. Many say that this system is flawed, and almost everyone that I explain our model to says the same thing " why not just charge everyone"? That is the reason most portal directories fail. you NEED comprehensive content for a web resource to work, without it you are just another wannabe site. We charge monthly by direct bank payment, as this makes it easy for the client to say yes, we make sure the payments are a sensible amount, often as low as Ã‚Â£20 a month. We also make sure that the portals appear at or near the top for the chosen keyword phrases, which helps to sell it when you can show the potential client this fact. As the site develops we get more and more enquiries from potential advertisiers and sponsors which allow us to raise the rates for advertising. This is a simple business model that is based around some key factors. Niche market visitors will be very interested and response will be high Geographical basis - making it expandable or franchisable as it spreads comprehensive content - people will bookmark good resources, and also email others to let them know about the resource Good Search engine visibility - this will reinforce the quality and make it easy to sell the sponsorship. very affordable rates - people do not cancel small monthly payments, nor do they hardly review them in their ad spend so cancellations are minimal. free inclusion - this creates an almost endless supply of potential advertisers Exclusivity - of the sponsorship opportunity making it a valuable asset. This is probably not the stuff you were looking for as it does not include passive revenue streams, but if you create a directory with 10 main categories, each with 10 sub cats on a product/geographical basis, then you end up with 100 sponsors. 100 x Ã‚Â£20 = Ã‚Â£2000 per month each month for ever. we will be launching 9 niche portal directories over the next 18months/2 years. You also get an emailing list of businesses with which to market your monthly products of loans telephones etc.