What's a good way to monetize a software marketplace/directory?

Hey fellow makers,

I'd love to get some monetization ideas from the good community here. I run a software marketplace/directory that has a decent amount of visits (~250k users/month). As of now, the only monetization option is "featured listings" - software vendors paying $99/month to promote their products on relevant pages around the website.

I've been given a tip by @arimbr that I should consider building a specific product, that I can sell directly to the audience of SaaSHub instead of relying on "featured listings" only.

So, if you were me and were running a relatively popular software marketplace/directory, what product would you build to monetize it?

Edit: I'm avoiding affiliate programs intentionally.

Thanks in advance for your advices!

  1. 2

    How many featured do you get? did you try to optimize selling that? For example getting 3 options like at 89$, 99$, 299$, would likely get you more sales of that normal one and a few enhanced ones...

    A product for the seller side would be to cross-post the listing across many sites with one form

    For monetizing the readers / your own product, might want to look at some super popular products with some affiliate commotion offer (or negotiate one)... (so you aim to make way more from a specific offer than just a promoted spot) and you might cycle these, so basically you going out and getting an awesome offer that you push stronger

    Like I don't think there is much value in just a plain viewer as in, if you offer them like a paid newsletter and such it's probably too low value, but you can try maybe.. IDK if there is a submarket like someone selling to recently listed services, offering them more marketing or like dev/design services or something... so like the readers that are willing to pay might be service providers and the leads or being early with the leads might be worthy to them...

    1. 1

      Thanks @hatkyinc. Including multiple pricing options as you suggest makes sense. I could most probably try something like that in the near future.

      I've been intentionally avoiding affiliates. The volume per product is too small to justify the admin work associated with managing many affiliate programs.

  2. 1

    Are you using affiliate links for these software products? If yes, that would be a tremendous source of revenue.

    The next thing you can do is: Try to get more sponsors for your newsletter.

    1. 2

      Thanks @tejas3732. I'm wondering why do you think it's going to be a tremendous source of revenue?

      I've been avoiding affiliates intentionally as that doesn't seem like a good source of revenue. In most cases, the commissions and volume are not big enough to justify spending time in managing all the different programs and and relevant admin work.

      1. 1

        Affiliate income can be like your passive income. Because of the traffic you get, if you share referral links at appropriate places across your site, you can get good revenue & you have to do nothing.

        You just have to place a good & relevant link to the software (referral link). May be you can also share that to your newsletter if you have one.

        People really underestimate affiliate income. I did that too. But its good, if you start getting some ;)

  3. 1

    Hi Stan,
    First off, congrats!
    Second, I have added my app there a long time ago, and it was called "Studio Cinematic". I changed my name to "Cinematic Studio" , but I can't seem to be able to update this in the UI.

    Is it possible to do it, or, could you remove the entry and I will re-add it from scratch? Thanks!

    1. 1

      Changed. I've merged both listings into one now (the one you've verified).

      Did you try the "edit" functionality on the website to suggest a name change?

      1. 1

        Thanks, works now!

      2. 1

        This comment was deleted 9 days ago.

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