If you're interested in helping the lovelorn find their special someone, here are five things you need to know before starting your own dating website.
Technology has changed many facets of our lives, especially when it comes to dating. No longer do we have to spend oodles of cash for a night out on the town with the hopes of meeting someone. We don't have to let our love lives suffer simply because we are too busy to even try meeting people.
We've all had that one friend who has struggled to try to meet people and so they come to your help. If you've always had a certain knack for playing matchmaker, you may have considered starting your own dating website. Before you dive right in, here are some things you need to know first.
1. Choose a Niche
Let's face it, online dating is incredibly popular and you have some big names already dominating the game. All this means is that you have to find your ideal client base. If you want to help people who like to volunteer, create a site that'll connect singles who like to volunteer for similar organizations.
Just keep in mind that the more specific your niche is, the smaller your audience will be which means your potential revenue will be smaller as well.
2. Choose Your Business Model
There are two business models that dating sites use: subscription-based or advertisements displayed on the site. Both options work and can generate a lot of income, however, subscription-based sites often do far better than ad-supported sites.
It's important to note that if you have people paying to use your dating service, you're going to need to up your game and provide user with innovative tools and features. If they're paying money, they want to get their money's worth!
3. Make Your Algorithm Perfect
Typically when users join a dating site, they are going to be asked to answer a variety of questions. You can choose how deep your questions are. For example, eHarmony asks members to complete a huge questionnaire (400 questions to be exact) to give their members the best chances of finding a match.
When you're working on perfecting your algorithm, consider what is important to your target audience. Let's say you go with the volunteer scenario. You could ask new members what qualities should volunteers have, what is their ideal volunteer organization like and so forth. Also, as more people join your site, you can add new questions to further enhance your algorithm.
4. Appeal to Your Target Audience
In order to have a large pool of eligible singles, you need to get your name out there and entice people to join. You could offer new members a discount if they join between x and y. You could create a referral program that gives members access to certain features for a limited time for x-amount of people join.
Also, once your site is populated with active singles, you can advertise using popular search engines like Google or Bing, along with social media sites just Twitter or Facebook.
5. Keep Up with Quality Control
As a site owner, you're going to want to keep up with quality control. This means being aware of members who are inactive for x-amount of time. You'll also want to figure out a protocol for instances of sexual harassment, abusing the tools, and so forth. Most sites give members the ability to block and flag offensive members.
We recommend contacting a lawyer so they can help you draft a contract that states that you and your site are not responsible for anything that happens in the real world as a result of the site's matchmaking.
Final Advice on Creating a Dating Site
Creating your very own dating website can be quite lucrative if you do it right. This means that you should have an idea of what sort of person you're trying to appeal to. With that said, you don't want to be too specific with your niche because that'll limit the number of people who can use your services.
If you want to get an idea of what sort of features you'd like to offer your members, browse other dating sites for ideas and if you can improve on them!
With a little hard work and a vision, your dating site could be one of the popular ones!