Have you ever thought about starting a small topical directory of blogs in your niche?
Done with consideration, a small directory of resources that you’ve hand-picked with your readers in mind can be a real service. The service, often called “pre-selection,” saves readers time when they’re looking for something they need. Here’s how to do it well.
- 1. Study your niche to determine the resources your readers might find useful to have in one place.
- 2. Determine the strategy for defining your listing–Will it have one or more category of resources? How many blogs do you wish to include? What choices you will make for readers? How many options will you offer them of each kind of thing? Know where and how you will set up your directory listing. Know how you will tell readers that the directory is available to them.
- 3. Use the Checklist for Linking to Quality Blogs here at Successful Blog or develop your own set of criteria for deciding whether a blog should be included. You want your directory to be small and to have a reputation for quality and relevance.
- 4. Invite publishers of appropriate blogs to join your directory. Be prepared to explain tactfully why others in your niche might not fit in the mix. It’s important that you hold the line here, not allowing links or friendship to tempt you to include blogs outside your strategy. You always have the option to reconsider by expanding slightly once the directory is known and its reputation is established.
- 5. Wait for at least three months, but begin planning how you might expand your directory list in logical ways outward from the resources you currently offer.
Keep in mind that quality needs to be top-notch as always, and you need to choose your links carefully. Your challenge is to prove that you’re not making a directory only for the links they bring.
Done right and well, however, a professional listing can offer readers a resource they come to depend on. Your own credibility will be enhanced by the value of the listing you’ve given them.
You’ve built a community center at the very same time. That can’t hurt, now can it?
–ME “Liz” Strauss