Building a successful classified ads website seems to be an easy task. We get a theme, plugin or a PHP script, install them and the money flows in. Unfortunately, this is not the case if you want to create a website that runs well and provides you income in the long run.

Here I would like to show you step by step how to create a directory website that is going to provide value for the users, get targeted visitors and with that earns you money.

Step One – Find a Niche which is Untapped

This is unquestionably the most important step, but it is typically neglected and that is the main reason why most of the classified ads sites fail sooner or later.

You should pick a niche which is untapped, but has enough monthly searches. Do you think you have any chance to outrank big, general sites like Craigslist or others? Building a directory for all locations and niches is just a waste of time.

However, if you focus on one particular niche or area, you have much better chance to outrank those giants. For instance, you make a classified ads website for a city, or one around a keyword.

It is maybe possible that your market is already covered by another website, in that case you can try location + keyword combination which is normally far less competitive.

You can learn how to do complete niche and keyword research here.

Or watch the video for some tips.

Step 2. – Install Your Theme, Plugin Or Script

Once, you have a niche to work with, the next step is to install your chosen script, plugin or theme. Personally, I recommend using a theme since classifieds WordPress themes are out of the box solutions which mean they have all the features you will need. In most of the cases, there is no need to use any other plugins.

You can install these types of skins like any others.

If you use premium solutions, you can surely find a detailed documentation, tutorials and others to get started. If you stuck, you can ask help from the support. (That is why it is much better to use premium services than free ones.)

Each theme, plugin and script comes with various settings. Go through the settings, customize your website, switch functions on or off, etc. Once, you feel your site operates and looks as you want, make many tests such as submit ads, make test payments in Paypal sandbox, check featured ads functions, etc.


  • It is critical to pick a reliable hosting. It is crucial to build a fast loading site which is vital for SEO and to provide good user experience.
  • If your WordPress theme does not come with SEO options, install WordPress SEO by Yoast, which lets you optimize your website for search engines and for social networks.
  • Spend time on testing your website and customize it to make standing out from others, but keep the website layout and design simple and user-friendly.
  • Offer free advertisement submission first which may help to get content.

Step 3. – Fill Your New Website

Once your website is ready, you need to fill it with some content. If your use a WP theme this going to be easy since you can utilize the blog section to share some articles which are related to your niche and share them on social networks.

Ask your friends and family to posts some ads, you may submit your own ads as well.

Step 4. – Get Traffic

Without targeted traffic, your website is worth nothing. You should promote your website as many places as you can in order to get exposure and back links. I have already shared a lot of tips on how you can get targeted traffic to your classified website here.

Step 5. – Monetize Your Website

Once your website has visitors and members, you can start making money with it. Here you can find several ways about how you can make money with your classified website.

The mentioned steps may seem easy, but you need time and even some money to start your classified website. However, if you do it well, you will have an autopilot online business which will make you steady income. Even better, you can replicate this sort of business as many times you want.