I assume that you created your web directory, finished the search engine optimization, created your category structure and submitted some websites to your site. Before promoting your directory, you must complete it. Then you must make decision if your directory will be free or paid. I don’t recommend you a reciprocal-free directory but it is up to you.
STEP 1: Search Engines
The first step of the promoting is submitting your directory to the search engines. Not all but most important ones. The easiest way to submit your directory to search engines is to use a program which makes automated submission to our favorite search engines. For this process, I use iBusinessPromoter software. iBusinessPromoter is not a free program, but you can find many free ones with a Google search.
While submitting your directory to the search engines, you must be sure that you select the right category, right title and description.
STEP 2: Articles
Write articles about directories, search engines, link exchanges, or any related content and give your directory’s link. While writing your articles, your aim must be helping people as much as possible. If your article becomes popular, you will get a very high value of traffic. This really helps your directory. You can submit your articles to Ezine, FindArticles, etc…
STEP 3: Forums
Webmaster forums are one of the effective way to drive targeted traffic to your web directory. Create a signature with the link of your directory and write to the forum. You should write specially to the web directories section of the forums but as your link is in your signature, you can write about anything in any topic of the forum. You can drive traffic to your directory while you are having fun in the forum.
In most of the webmaster forums, there is a section that you can make directory announcements. You can write there to get reviews of other forum members and you can drive a good traffic. I recommend you V7N, Sitepoint and Digitalpoint forums.
STEP 4: Web Directories
Second step is submitting your directory to the lists. This step is more difficult than search engines step as you must make it manually or semi-automatic. But its worth every second you spent for submission. For directory submission, I use the semi-automatic free directory submission tool on PreDirectory.com. I installed Roboform for filling the submission forms. You can do the same or you can get the directory list from the directory list and submit your web directory manually to the directories in this list or directly to this list.
As you are a directory owner, you should know that directories have some accept rules at the submission forms. For a high acceptance ratio, read the rules of each directory carefully. Do not write long and spammy or keyword-full titles. Write your descriptions one or 2 sentences. Be descriptive and helpful. Select the “web directories” category. If there are sub categories like paid, free, reciprocal… select the most best one for your web directory.
STEP 5: Social Bookmarking
Submitting your web directory to the social bookmarking websites is as easy as submitting to web directories. You can use the Most Popular Social Bookmarking Websites list and submit your web directory to these websites one by one.
STEP 6: Advertisement & Link Exchange
You can buy banner or link advertisements from directory related websites and you can make link exchange with other web directories or directory listing sites. You can search the forums to find any kind of advertisement and link exchange opportunities.
STEP 7: Secrets & Tips
You can search for “web Directory” in Google, find the directories which comes at first pages. Go to Alexa and find information of these directories in Alexa. In Alexa there is a place that you can see how many websites are linking to this directory. Click on it and find the web sites which links to this directory. Go one by one and try to add your directory to this websites with advertisement, exchanging links or any way that you can do.
Note: These are the most important ways to promote your web directory. You can find many other ways if you make a research. Do not limit yourself with these article. Good luck.