Lucrative Online Business: Selling Ads on Local Portal Sites 


“Don’t worry about failure. You only have to be right once.” –Drew Houston, Dropbox Founder


Local portal websites are often much easier to develop than other types of websites. Here’s why:


What is a Local Portal Website?

It is simply a location-specific guide. It can also be industry specific

For example, a local portal website might be as broad as a”Guide to San Francisco.” It could also be more specific, such as a guide to “Pizzas in New York.” Or “Spas in Boston.”

Naturally, the broader your topic, the harder it will be to rank for it. So try to be as specific as you can make it so the search engines will find it. Smartphones today are helping people find businesses while they are in motion. Make your site accessible for “people on the go.”

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The Best Way to Make Money on a Local Portal Website

This is the kicker: The upfront cash is the reason why local portal websites are such great online businesses.


You should offer advertisements from local businesses. These are businesses that are often paying as much as $300 to $500 a month for ads in the Yellow Pages. Sadly, “Look with Luke, Look in the Book” is a poor performer today compared to two decades ago.


Rank Your Site with Quality Content

If you can get your website ranked in the top three for keywords like “Spas in Boston,” it’s much easier to justify your fee. Knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will help you ensure good rankings.


What to Charge for Ads on Your Local Portal Site?

Offline advertisers are often willing to pay $100 to $500 a year for an ad placement on a well-ranked local portal website. Aim for 5-10 placements on your site. At $100 a year, the site would generate $500 to $1,000. If you can sell the ads at $500 a pop, the site generates $2,500 to $5,000 a year. Not too shabby for a low-competition, moderately trafficked website.


Annual Subscription is Best

By avoiding monthly charges, you will ensure longevity to achieve rankings. Your client will have 12 months to determine if your site is effective in increasing their sales. You can add articles to help the rankings results. Also, annual charges ensure more time for you to devote to other projects.


Choosing a Portal

You should choose a portal in a city that isn’t too competitive. New York for example, will be far too competitive. Daly City in California will be much less competitive. Wait! You say you don’t live in Daly City? No problem. This is an Internet based business. You can operate from anywhere there is access to the World Wide Web.

The trick is to locate an industry that has enough businesses to sell advertising space. For example, you could do a search for eateries in Daly City. Once you have the names, you can design your site with pictures of the area and articles on popular venues. Develop ten slots for ads. Don’t forget to leave space for comments and reviews. Search engines love comments.


Reach out to the owner of the business via email and direct phone calls.

Yes, it takes effort on your part. This is not a passive income model. You must sell ad space. This work requirement is why people don’t do it. This is also why entrepreneurs willing to put in the effort will profit. Maybe you had a career in sales. Then this would be a natural fit for you. If you are new to this, read the blog post on direct sales techniques for beginners.


Give this business model a try. Start small with a local venue to learn how to run this business. Leverage your earnings with more local portal sites.


Do you want to read up on building a profitable website? Read “Designing a Profit-Driving Website: A Fifteen Minute Guide to Building or Rebuilding Your Online Presence,” by Rory Dayton. Click here.


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