How to create your own local directory, for free

http://www.welburn.infowelburnheader.pngWe had an interesting email from Steve Serowka today, showing us how he’s leveraging Brownbook’s free business directory platform to deliver enhanced value on his own local community site.  Here’s how he did it, in his own words…

Dear Marc

I thought you may be interested to know how Brownbook solved my problem of adding a business directory to a small community website.

Although I’m a ‘busy’ professional graphic designer I’m developing this site in my own spare time – doing my bit for the local community you might say. I wanted to include a business directory but I needed a method where by local businesses could add and update their own details. I stumbled across Brownbook and I thought it was a freshingly different approach to the usual dull listing directories of which there are many.

Initially I tried to build some kind of form that would show the results within the page of my new site but I really couldn’t get my head around ‘opensearch’ coding. The simply solution was to create a broad list of business catagories, run a search within the local postcode and use the url from the results page to create an external hyperlink. This works fine but being a very rural area I’m currently adding or updating a few businesses myself for each catagory to hopefully get the ball rolling. I’ve also used my profile to promote the community website and tell local business owners why it’s a good idea to be on Brownbook. There’s also a short article about Brownbook at the bottom of the home page.

See the finished result at:

I congratulate you on an excellent web resource and maybe there’s an idea here to create an easy to install template on community sites that will further the awareness and use of Brownbook.

I do wonder how you guys plan to make revenue from Brownbook now that you’ve made it completely free.

Kind Regards

Steve Serowka
Shoepepper Limited
Welburn Lodge, Castle Howard Station Road, Welburn YORK YO60 7EW  United Kingdom

If you want to email Steve, you can contact him on