The idea of starting a dating site may be appealing to entrepreneurs interested in creating a non-traditional cash flow. As the world of romance and relationships continues to expand its online presence, there are many lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs to create profitable online dating sites. However, the online dating industry is an extremely competitive world. As you can see in the casual dating sites reviews, new ones appear every day, but if they plan to stay in business long term, their owners need to create a product that’s attractive to consumers but also have an effective monetization strategy in place. The guide below outlines the basic steps you’ll need to take if you want to start (and monetize) your own online dating website!
- Identifying Your Target Audience
When it comes to dating online, users have literally hundreds of options to choose from. For general dating, many singles will try to find a relationship online with a company that they know, which is why you’ll need to create a “hook” to attract new customers to your site. However, before you can create a said hook, you’ll need to clearly define the type(s) of users you’re trying to attract. This is done by creating a “customer persona”: these personas can be as general as age, gender(s), and location or include specifics like economic status, religious views, or political stances. Ideally, you should create a “customer persona” before even naming your website; all of your future marketing efforts will be based on this persona, so clearly establishing one is vital to future success!
- Create a Marketable Product
Anyone can sell a product or service. However, what ensures entrepreneurs’ success is the ability to differentiate themselves from their competitors. You’ll need to develop your services around your target audience and make sure that you can meet their specific needs. The exact requirements will vary depending on the results of your customer persona. For example, if you were creating a general site for the average person to find a relationship online, you would be competing with sites like Cupid.com (which offers personality-based matchmaking services). To compete, you would need to offer something else that would provide similar or superior value to your target online dating audience, which may result in a more expensive development process. However, if you were creating a niche dating online service, then you would want to focus primarily on the site’s useability and community development rather than creating “the next new thing.”
- Offering Price-Locked Memberships
Creating a profitable dating site requires building a large, ever-growing community of singles looking for a relationship online using your site. Unfortunately, as a new site to the online dating world, it’s unlikely that potential users will be willing to pay high-price memberships. Therefore, we recommend you offer your services for “free” until you’ve established a large user base. That said, you can still offer “lifetime membership” on your site. This works by letting your community know that you’ll eventually be charging a monthly fee for using the site, but they can lock in a low price by getting a lifetime membership! Users that take you up on this offer will be far more likely to use your site while looking for a relationship online, which helps grow and establish your community to the point where you can start charging higher membership costs.
- Advertisements, Affiliate Links, and Blogs
Passive income streams like advertisements and blog posts can drastically help increase the initial income of your new online dating service. Advertisements are self-explanatory: companies will pay to place their ads on your website. If your page is covered in ads, potential new users will be unlikely to join your site. On the other hand, running too few ads won’t generate any income. The key is to balance profit and user experience. However, blog posts are a good alternative (or addition) to advertisements. Blog posts can help increase your site in the search rankings (assuming you’re using good SEO practices), provide value to singles looking to start dating online, and generally increase the site’s credibility. By adding affiliate links to these blogs, you will be able to generate additional income via commissions.
- Monthly Subscriptions and Moving Forwards
You should certainly keep using the tips and tricks above throughout the entire life of your online dating service. However, the potential income from these methods pales in comparison when placed next to the most profitable money-making method: monthly subscriptions. You’ll need to be established enough to make dating online using your service worth the price you’re charging, but this can be accomplished through providing quality services, a large community, and marketing efforts. Your subscriptions offered can be complete services, or you can leave the vast majority of features free (with bonus paid features). You’ll want to do a bit of consumer research before deciding your exact subscription plan, as overcharging can quickly halt the growth of your dating community. However, with a bit of planning, marketing, and time, your new dating site is sure to bring you a big profit. Good luck!