Make 50k A Month With An Online Dating Site

It has been well documented that online dating is a phenomenon which has changed the lives of millions of people throughout the world. Two out of every five singletons in Europe and the USA aged 25 – 40 have used an on line service to either find a partner, or simply to enhance their social lives by making new friends.

This exponential explosion in the dating sector has meant that many companies owning and operating the sites themselves have come from a standing start to generating significant revenues in a matter of just a few months. It is possible to make a small fortune from online dating but, then again, it’s just as possible to lose your shirt. For every successful site, there are five others which simply ‘got it wrong’. If you follow these few basic guidelines, you could join the cyber-revolution which has not only become a lifestyle choice in itself for a great many consumers, but an extremely profitable market for webmasters to enter.

1. Niche works. Yes, we all know the names of the global dating sites which dominate the sector, but if you want to create a site that attracts millions of members, you are going to need very deep pockets just to get on the first rung of the ladder. There are a great many very successful sites that either cater to special interest groups such as bikers, military personnel etc or geo-targeted sites that cover just one country or even one city. The advantage of this kind of concept is that it is much easier and cheaper to promote than a service which attracts all-comers. The sophistication of online marketing, particularly the various pay-per-click search engines, enables you to target your audience very specifically thereby maximising your return on investment without having to overly stretch your financial resources.

2. Don’t over-complicate the design of the site. The primary aim of the homepage should be to encourage visitors to register with your service, not to marvel at your use of different colours or design features. Stick to just two colours (one should preferably be blue – the colour of trust) on a white background and avoid flashing buttons at all costs.

3. Keep your proposition simple. If a dating site looks so complicated that only ‘teccies’ can use it, you’ll lose most of your audience as soon as they land on your homepage. The most successful dating sites tend to offer a very basic system of picture profiles and secure messaging. People sign-up, create their profiles, upload their photos and start sending email messages to other members with whom they think they might be compatible. It’s easy and you don’t have to have a degree in computer sciences to do it. But there are many sites out there which offer a bewildering array of features – video profiles, psychological profiling and the like; all very expensive to integrate and manage and most, to be frank, are a complete waste of time and money.

4. Offer a free trial. This might seem rather ironic in an article which purports to tell you how to create a profitable business, but in order to get your members to pay you a subscription fee, you have to get them to register with your site in the first instance. If you let people have a look around, browse through the database and perhaps send a couple of messages to other people, they are far more likely to want to subscribe than if you ask them to do so straight away without giving them a taste of what your site can offer.

5. Populate your database as quickly as possible. People follow other people when they join dating sites and if your site looks like it hasn’t got many members, then people will give it a wide berth. When you launch, it’s well worth you doing a limited email marketing campaign which offers a free subscription to founder members. Remember, the hardest part of creating a successful online dating business is to get your first 100 registrants – you want them there in week one and the quickest way to do that is to offer a freebie to your first sign-ups. You’re not losing money – these are the most important members and without them your business will not get past first base.

6. Spend your marketing budget wisely. You don’t have to throw money at a dating site in order to promote it effectively – you just have to be smart. Establish an affiliate programme with one of the main networks operating in your country as soon you launch your site. Affiliates are third party web-sites which refer traffic to your business on a revenue sharing basis. You don’t have to pay affiliates to join your programme, you just offer them a percentage of any subscription revenue which they generate and this is the most cost-effective way of promoting yourself. And you should also avoid generic search-terms when you instigate pay-per-click campaigns on the major engines. Keywords like ‘dating’ and ‘online dating’ are expensive to bid on and convert less well than niche terms which are more applicable to the actual concept of your site. If, for example, you are running a dating service for singles living in Chicago, keywords like ‘Chicago dating’ or ‘singles in Chicago’ will be relatively cheap to bid on and will yield a far better conversion rate than the more general terms.

7. Offer good customer service. Remember, your members are real people many of whom will not be as computer savvy as you are and when any of them contact the site with a problem (a forgotten password or log-in difficulties are usually the most common), you should endeavor to respond as soon as you are able. An unanswered message is the easiest way to actually lose a member so don’t ignore or put off answering the mails that you will inevitably receive.

8. Communicate with your members. I’ve left this point until last but it it just as important as anything I’ve mentioned above. A weekly newsletter to your database will encourage people to log-in to their accounts on a regular basis (particularly if they are able to click through directly from the email to the site without having to log-in) and will also help to foster an emotional bond between your business and it’s paying customers. Every business to consumer online entity should have a human face and site owners who ignore this do so at their peril.

So there you have it; take heed of the eight snippets of advice that I have outlined above and you too can reap the substantial rewards on offer in this exciting and vibrant market sector.

The Psychology of Online Dating: The Psychologist’s Viewpoint

Psychologists interested in dating and attraction have learned a great deal by reading and examining the personal advertisements and ‘lonely hearts’ pages of local and national newspapers. Since we psychologists have benefited from the people who use these services it seems only right that some of the things we’ve found should be given back. In this series of articles I will outline some of the more practically useful findings that have come from this research and provide a summary of the results reported in academic psychology journals, written for those who probably have the greatest interest in this knowledge: the daters themselves.

There is quite a bit of material to cover so I have organised it into a series of six articles:

The Psychologist’s Viewpoint

This article gives an idea of the scope of research using personal advertisements, the way personal profiles are used in research, and the kind of things psychologists can find out when they put their minds to it.

He wants and she is

This outlines research into the things that men say they are looking for in a partner. Alongside this we look at how women describe themselves. Combining these we can assess how accurately women understand what men want and use the right kind of language to attract a man’s interest. This one is particularly useful for the girls and should help you write something for the ‘in your own words’ bit of your profile.

She wants and he is

This article gives the opposite perspective to the previous one, looking at the things that women say they want in a partner and the way that men describe themselves. Do these match up? Have men got it right or are they missing the point completely? This one might help the boys rethink the content of their ‘own words’ parts of their dating profiles.

Like for Like or Opposites Attract?

This article summarises the results in the previous two and uses these to outline the current psychological theories of attraction. It explains how ‘like attracts like’ and ‘opposites attract’ can both be true and how this can help you when you are first making contact with someone after reading their profile.

Blitzers, Boasters and Being Choosy

This article looks at research into general approaches to dating including the results found by researchers who experimentally placed different versions of personal advertisements and then sat back to see how many and what kind of responses they got.

Summary and Practical Uses

The final article of this series summarises all that has gone before and places this new knowledge firmly in the context of online dating, describing how these results can be constructively used to make fewer mistakes and to improve your chances of attracting responses to your profile and getting a positive response to your first approach to someone.

Before getting into the results of the research we need to take a brief tour around the ways in which research psychologists use personal advertisements and the kinds of things they can find, so we have some idea of the sort of things that psychologists can and cannot say about personal advertisements and internet dating profiles.

Content Analysis

Personal advertisements have been a rich source of information for social scientists investigating dating behaviours. To give an idea of the scale of this enterprise, my own research in this area is based on the analysis of nearly five thousand advertisements collected from UK local newspapers. Apart from this I have copies of more than sixty research reports published by colleagues in Brazil, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Poland, UK and USA. This adds up to about thirty thousand individual profiles that have been analysed by psychologists, sociologists and other professional researchers. Most of this research has used printed personal ads extracted from newspapers and magazines as these are more useful to us (as explained below) but the information and insights gained can be applied to any situation where first impressions come from written descriptions, so these results are directly relevant and useful to people using internet dating sites.

Creating a profile for an internet dating site usually involves describing yourself on a whole host of listed options such as eye colour (blue, green etc.), smoking habit, attractiveness, salary etc. This information is usually entered into the site using a form. Within this form each person makes their own choices from the options available but because it is a form, everyone has to mention the same kinds of things. In a sense, the dating site has already decided what the important features are and you simply tick the correct boxes when describing yourself and describing the sort of person you want to meet.

With printed personal advertisements there is no detailed form to fill in and you can write whatever you want. The only restriction is on the number of words with an escalating charge per word up to a maximum limit. As a result these advertisements are quite short, averaging about 22 words. This is typically enough space to mention about nine things, whether these are your own attributes (age, hair and eye colour, looks) or things you are looking for in a partner (sense of humour, marital status, age range, personality, height). Given these restrictions we can reasonably expect that people mention the most important things as they see it, so the content of these advertisements tell us what characteristics the writers think are important to the other sex, and what key things they are looking for themselves. For example, a personal advertisement that says “Stunning, curvy and adventurous 22 year old blonde female is looking for a financially secure older man, ideally with own hair and teeth, who will spoil her rotten.” gives a pretty clear indication of what matters to this person and what she is offering in return.

Researchers have taken thousands of personal advertisements and analysed them to look for general patterns. From this, they have identified some very clear differences between the kinds of things that are important to men and women when looking for a partner. They have also looked at how well the self descriptions of each sex matches the features that the other sex says they want, giving an indication of how much each sex understands about what the other sex is looking for. Results from this kind of research are discussed in the articles He wants and she is, and She wants and he is.

Apart from the specific attributes and features mentioned, there are also more general differences in how people write these descriptions. For example women tend to give more detailed information about the sort of person they are looking for than men, while men are more focussed on describing themselves. Looking at a profile from this perspective tells us quite a lot about the approach people take to dating, including whether they are looking for a few high quality matches or just want as many dates as they can possibly get. This research is summarised in the article Blitzers, Boasters and Being Choosy.

Knowing how people describe themselves and the sort of thing they are looking for also allows us to look at broader questions such as whether people are looking for others who are similar to themselves or would prefer a partner who is different but, in some sense, complementary. This is discussed in the article Like for Like or Opposites Attract where we find that both are true once we understand a more basic and useful theory of attraction.

Experimental Research

Apart from examining the advertisements that real people have written in the hope of finding a partner, psychologists have occasionally become active researchers and have placed experimental personal advertisements to see how many and what type of response they get. For example, if two almost identical advertisements are placed and one receives twice as many responses as the other, this tells us that the difference between these ads (which may be as small as one word) has a big effect on the chances of attracting a date.

Some psychologists have also used this type of research to investigate the sort of things that men and women write when responding to an advertisement. This has given researchers another way to classify the different approaches to dating and to identify groups such as the ‘blitzers’ who send responses to everyone in the hope that some of them will score a hit. Results from this experimental research are presented in the article Blitzers, Boasters and Being Choosy.

This article has outlined the organisation and content of this series, has introduced the ways in which psychologists approach dating research, and has indicated the sort of things they may be able to see from their viewpoint as researchers.

In the next article we move on to looking at some actual findings. He wants and she is looks at the features that women tend to emphasis when advertising themselves, the things that men are actually looking for, and whether or not womens’ self descriptions suggest they are marketing themselves well and have an accurate insight into what men want.

How to Start an Online Dating Business

Everyone in this world would love to have a companion to spend their time with and with all of the dating services available there is bound to be someone out there for every lonely soul. A good way to narrow down the search is to have a dating service that specifically targets a unique demographic. The online dating business is booming and there are so many of them flooding the markets. For those that are interested in starting an online dating business that is different and special there are ways to do that.

How to Start an Online Dating Business

The first thing to do when starting an online dating business would be to research the statistics on the type of service you would like to offer. Look at other dating sites and see what is favorable or not about their websites. Think about how much it would cost if anything to set up the site. Determine which demographic has not been over saturated and build off of that concept. Try and build a site that offers real advice, background checks on clients, astrological matching and self help articles. Once the research has bee done and the type of site is determined it is time to think about funding and publishing set up’s. There are the free publishing sites, but they may not offer enough of what is needed. A new business needs support, software, templates, advertising information etc, therefore paying a site to help at the beginning may not be a terrible idea.

Learn the Matchmaking Business

When starting an online dating business there must be some knowledge of that business obtained and studying everything out there is the best way to sharpen ones skills. A client should feel as if they are dealing with a professional dating service that knows their business. Pricing and fees should be examined by looking at other sites and seeing what the going rate is for services. View all of the statistics on running this type of business and develop an e-business plan. Know where the money is coming from, what products if any will be sold, and what skills must be obtained before officially opening for business.

Dating Site Builders

There are several dating site builders out there and they could be of great support to a beginner. They can teach someone about advertising, pricing, competition, and how to run a new and exciting dating service, from your ideas. They can also teach someone to bring traffic to their site and which articles and newsletters are popular among a specific group.

Conclusion

Starting an online dating service may seem like a difficult task but with the right publishing tools and support it is possible. When setting up an online dating service be sure to check with local state regulations to be sure that all of the rules are being followed and everything is being run properly. The small business administration may be able to help further on legal issues of starting an online business. Offering services that are currently being overlooked is the key to starting a successful online dating business.