Attracting business listings to an online business directory is essential to operating a successful directory. The key to attracting business listings is to create a positive online presence. There are a number of methods one can use to spread the word in the online business community about the benefits of listing their business on your directory.1. Because businesses need to know why it is beneficial to list their business in your directory, you need to let them know the advantages of adding their listing. Write a series of articles and submit them to a number of article directories throughout the internet. Write about why business directories are a great way for a business to gain exposure such as helping a business improve their search engine rankings and creating name and brand recognition.2. Because online business directories allows one the flexibility of being creative in how they create categories and subcategories, you can target businesses in your local community by creating a category just for them. The subcategories can be divided into the various types of local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, computer services…etc. Send out emails or letters promoting your local business category of your directory. You can also go to each business and talk to them about the benefits of listing their business in your directory. Carry business cards with you to distribute.3. Create a free e-book that teaches people how to effectively promote their own business. This e-book can be a 50 or 100 page guide on marketing one’s business both online and offline. It should be informative with a many strategies on how a business can reach their targeted customer.4. On your business directory, offer free stuff that can benefit a business such as free animations, free website templates, HTML checker, keyword check tool, free spyware scan, website submission tools, Meta tag analyzer, and free back grounds. As well, post articles on your site on tips to promoting a business and how one implements various types of marketing strategies.5. There are many online business discussion forums and business Blogs where one can post comments. It is important that your comments are relevant to the discussion and Blog post, and not just blatant advertising. Make sure your signature includes your directory URL. As well, post your directory URL to many online classified sites.6. Make your online directory a niche directory. For instance, if your main website is computers, create an online directory that targets the computer industry. This can include categories that focus on the computer industry. You can create it so that it is for businesses that are related to your own business, but not your direct competition. You can then set up an email campaign to target these businesses for listing in your directory. You have to explain why listing in your directory will benefit their business.Recruiting businesses to your online directory is easy, but takes patience. You have to implement some form of marketing technique every day to spread the word about the benefits of listing with your directory. In no time, you will have a thriving and money making online business directory.