I am an internet entrepreneur and web designer and have embarked a dozen dating websites.
Making Money Online With Your Dating Website
Very first Steps to Consider
Building your own online dating website is a good way to earn an extra income online. You may want to ask yourself if you are just looking for a project to work on part-time or if you are indeed interested in getting into the online dating business.
People will always want to meet and meet up, that’s one thing that will never switch. The dating industry is hot and will always be in request.
I’ve commenced and built about 12 online dating sites and were able to sell three of them for Five figures years ago. I have a blog and an ebook about the online dating business (see my profile).
Getting commenced can be lighter than you think. I can give you the right resources to get your dating website up and running, and tips for establishing a brand for your business and growing your membership to generate monthly income.
All of the dating websites I built embarked with zero members. In this article I’ll talk about all the alternatives as well.
Quick Ten-Step Guide to Setting up a Dating Website
- Come up with a name for your online dating website—be creative. Choose a niche.
- Choose a host. I always use BlueHost, which is just $Three.95 a month and also includes a free .com name.
- Register your .com.
- Get a professional logo, for example from 99designs.com.
- Build your website. I recommend SkaDate as a platform. It’s pricey ($999 beginning) but it’s worth it if you want a full-featured dating website with the latest features like iPhone and Android apps and movie talk.
- For beginners and those with some web design practice, choose WordPress, it’s more affordable. The #1 WordPress dating template software I recommend is Sweet Date which costs $59.
- Consider mobile accessibility. If you choose SkaDate you can add a mobile app onto your site, if you go with WordPress it will be just mobile friendly not a true mobile app.
- Make a marketing plan involving excellent content, social media, and networking.
- Advertise: Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, local partnerships.
- Be patient. It’s going to take time and consistent marketing and advertising to grow your community, so give your hard work time to blossom.
Below is the longer version where I give you details about all these steps.
How To Build a Dating Website: The Longer Version
Keep on reading while I break it all down.
A Decision: Free or Paid
One of the very first things you’ll have to determine, if you’re building a dating website community, is whether it will be free for all or pay-to-join? This is a very significant question and in many ways will determine your level of success. I’ve worked with both and each has its pros and cons.
Free Membership Dating Sites
Choosing to create a free dating website will undoubtedly help you build your community quick. This method is especially useful if you choose a puny niche or local market to building your community around: for example, Miami pet paramours or Orange County singles. When you choose a petite niche and then make the site free, it becomes lighter to attract singles that are antsy to join. I use this method when I embark with zero members and want to build a community of real users.
One of the most popular free dating sites is Slew of Fish, this site now has millions of members and still offers free membership.
Just because you embark out as a free dating website doesn’t mean you have to stay that way. If you are in a niche with very little competition, you can lightly embark to charge to make money from the site. But keep reading, because charging your members isn’t the only way to make money from your dating website.
Paid Membership Dating Sites
Getting embarked with a paid membership site requires a marketing strategy. If you are going this route you will have to do one or both of two things:
- Purchase a member database of singles that will give you site the appearance of having active members.
- Pre-register members before you launch the site.
Think about it, no one wants to pay to date no one. If there are no members no one will pay to stay on your site. So this method will require marketing cash to get embarked.
Another option with this method is to playmate with a white-label dating site affiliate that supplies members for you and then pays you a % of any fresh members that join through your website.
What to Use to Build Your Online Dating Website
Once you figure out if your dating website will be free to join or pay to subscribe, choosing the right solution to build your dating site is the next thing to determine.
You have a few options. Choose a free framework or purchase a software solution that comes fully featured and ready to go.
Paid Online Dating Software Solutions
I recommend purchasing a professionally developed software program to embark your dating website. Especially if you are not familiar with website design or coding, this will save you time and money in the long run.
The best online dating site software out there is SkaDate. It’s the best because it’s permanently updated and improved to make sure you are suggesting your visitors the absolute best technology.
It has movie talk, mobile messaging, flirting and user email, and a very advanced mobile app component that you can add on, ready to go out of the box. It costs a one-time payment of $999: the best if you want a full-featured top of the line dating site with mobile app features.
Free and Almost-Free Online Dating Website Solutions
The following list included FREE options for building your online dating site. Attempt these options if you have some practice with website design or need to save a few buck, they will need some customizations to include many of the features expected on a dating website.
- WordPress. Can be done lightly with templates, read on for my template recommendations.
- DateMill. Requires PHP and HTML coding skill.
- OsDate. Also requires coding skill.
With these options the framework is free, but you will have to hire someone to treat all of your customizations if you can’t do them yourself.
WordPress offers some pretty beautiful options for your online dating site. Keep reading and find out how to use WordPress to build your site for about $65.
Creating Your Online Dating Website With WordPress
Using WordPress is a fairly effortless way to get your online dating site began quickly. There are several themes, or templates, that I’ve found that include everything you need to get began, including Sweet Date (see below). The cost associated with WordPress is based on what theme or template you choose to create your dating website. Sweet Date costs $58, and that’s a one-time cost. The only other cost you’ll have is your monthly hosting fee to keep your website online.
Themes like Sweet Date are all fully customizable and include all the features you need:
- User profiles
- Processing payments for membership
- Flirting and messaging features
- Talk Rooms and movies
- User account management
Sweet Date Full-Featured Dating Website Theme for WordPress
Hosting for Your Online Dating Website
I use BlueHost and it’s $Trio.95 a month for hosting, they include a free .com domain registration as well. It’s a pretty good deal to get you began.
If you choose another hosting company, you should pay no more than $7 a month.
If you choose BlueHost, they have the quick Free WordPress Installation option as well. Most hosting companies will set up your WordPress site for you. All you’ll have to do is purchase your WordPress dating website theme and install it.
Dating Website Marketing and Promotion Ideas
The Money Is in the Niche!
So by now, it’s time to commence thinking about who you are building your dating site for. With so many larger competitors like Match.com and eHarmony.com, it’s almost unlikely to rival in the general market. You will be better off and see swifter results by choosing a niche. Contrary to popular belief, there are still TONS of dating niche markets that are unserved or are undeserved.
The Mighty Authority Rules!
Your aim in choosing a niche market is to become the authority site. If you do your research you will find that not many niche dating sites have grown enough to truly become a TRUE authority dating site: “authority” meaning the go-to site for all daters in that niche.
OK, now this may seem visible, but truly, I’ve seen so many dating sites that are just outright generic. It is so significant to establish a professional pic. This includes your logo and your template choice. If you choose a niche like sci-fi paramours, it’s also joy to use a theme like the solar system or starlets. Just make sure your site looks super-professional. Branding is going to set you apart from other dating sites that may provide the same niche as you. Branding is what will establish you as an authority site.
Get People to Your Site
Now comes the joy part, watching your community grow. Depending on how you choose to build your dating website, you may begin with zerp members. This is fine. indeed. for now. ALL of the dating sites I embarked had no members on day one.
Here are some of the online marketing methods I’ve used to generate traffic:
- SEO. Make sure your title tags are unique on every page, and you research your keywords accurately. (Use Google Keyword Planner for this, it’s free.)
- Link Directories. A quick way to generate some traffic, there are many online directories to list your fresh dating site in. Most are free. Do a google search to find these.
- Craigslist. I like Craigslist. You can generate traffic this way, but you can also get flagged quick. Whatever works, right!
- Facebook. Facebook has a truly plain and affordable advertising program. You have to have a Facebook account to get began.You can set a budget as little as $Five a day and commence sending super-targeted traffic to your site instantaneously. Google “Facebook Ads” for details.
- Local Ads. I am sure there are single people where you live. Why shouldn’t they know about your website? I see bandit signs all over the place talking about “Find Georgia Singles.” It’s worth a shot, I’m sure it helps.
- Recruit Affiliates. Affiliate programs work. If you have a pay-to-join dating website, you can pay affiliates or recruiters a percentage of each sale for sending you fresh members.
- Email Marketing. Make sure, from the moment you determine to embark your online dating website, that you are collecting email address. Communicate regularly through email to get referrals and keep your members active.
Be creative with your marketing efforts. With every niche there are tons of unique ways to market your dating website. Think about who your website was created for, and then find out where those people drape out, online and offline.
What do you think is the most effective form of marketing?
Getting Paid From Your Online Dating Website
- Member Subscriptions. If your site is pay-to-join this is one of your income rivulets. It’s always a good idea to make some of your features free for all, but charge a fee to initiate communication. So it’s free to browse, but pay to communicate.
I could talk on and on about the online dating industry, and I will! There’s slew more I want to share. I hope this article has provided some helpful resources for you as you get embarked. Please share your comments or questions as your journey embarks or as you proceed in the online dating business.
If you have questions please leave a comment.
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I’m interested in stating a dating website. The website will concentrate on only a tribe in Kenya and Tanzania I need your assistance, I preferred already built website.
good post. i got many good tips. a friend advice me to use this company denab-solutions. they provide operators to manage the accounts for you and have alot of tips. is this something to do ? because I was thinking my gf and I can type as operators our self.
Do you have a contact email? I have a few more questions.
Jane wanjiku Four weeks ago
Thanks for the information i have an interest in online dating site business
That depends on where your members are located. If you have approximately 50+ members within 15 miles of any member, then you are most likely going to have enough to ask for money. Any less than 50 and your paying members are going to burn through your list of contacts close to them and get bored and unsubscribed Trio days later.
As long as they are kept active on the site, they will keep paying.
Hi there, how do I go about making a free dating site to a paid site once I’ve established members? Also, how many members would you recommend I get before making the switch? I’m basing my site on an area/location for over 30s. Thank you.
I need your individual email please
The above are excellent tips on how to create an online dating site, but unluckily it will be for nothing as there is no way of making one successful using any of the above methods.
1- None of the suggestions suggest Mobile Apps that can be added to the Android/Apple app stores. This means you instantly lose about 70% of possible customers, as it is proven that 70-80% of all people using a dating site are doing so through a dedicated app.
Two – The fattest stumbling block to any site is the lack of users. Even if you are very successful enough to get Five,000 people join, if you dilute that down over the various geographic areas you are covering all of a sudden the number of people within a reasonable 25 miles of the user who joins, drops to around 10-20 people. As soon as that user has contacted 100% of those users, they have run out of people to contact and if none of them reply back, then they will stop using your site and budge on to a much more popular one. And do not underestimate how difficult it is to get over Five,000 users. Most dating sites fight to attract more than 1,000 before they give up because of the difficult challenge of attracting people.
Trio – You have a big disadvantage by attempting to take on the thickest sites in the world, (PlentyofFish, Match.com, OKCupid, Tinder, Badoo, Zoosk) and you are attempting to take them on with an inferior script that has limited user participation on it, has limited features, and is bought from a developer who has sold the exact same script to a thousand other people who are all using it exactly like you. You need a custom-built script to have any real chance of ever making it a success, and you need to suggest features that work, are useful and make people want to be a part of it, rather than just buy a script and hope people join your brand fresh site rather than swipe right on thousands of people in their area on Tinder. Far too many people get caught up on all the thousands of amazing functions such as 3D cities, VR dating, Playing games with potential dates, and none of that matters, its pointless expense and resource drain when reality is that people just want lots of people in their area to choose from, who reply back and talk about making a date.
Four – Eventually, the real issue that almost all sites in the world have, and only the fattest and best overcome, and that is user interaction. The reality of the world is that most sites have a 80/20 split inbetween boys and women. That means for every woman that joins, there will be at least Four guys joining, and the problem with that is, is that a woman soon gets inundated by hundreds of messages a day whereby a man gets one or two a week. And so women tend to overlook all but the most intriguing messages and disregard maybe 95% of the rest. What this does is results in boys joining, sending (or paying to send) lots of messages and getting no interest back and they end up leaving because of it. That means for every user you bring to the site, there is a high chance they will leave again after a month because of the lack of female interest in them. And women uncommonly join sites for very long as they get sick of dudes permanently throwing messages at them.
Some of the largest sites in the world have managed to find a unique way of attracting massive crowds of women usually involving spending millions in marketing, others simply fake it, and pretend to have lots of women and even react as women to fake interactions. But if you have not considered how to either A) attract at least 1 woman for every Two studs you are getting signed up, or B) find a way to fake female interactions, you are never going to make a long term profitable success, because as soon as you get one or two people subscribing, you lose them again the next month out of boredom and failure to get any conversations. And then you rely on unspoiled advertising revenue to fund your site which will never amount to more than part time pocket money, rather than multi-million success stories you were hoping for.
Hit me up at [email protected] for guidance if you wish to invest money in dating sites, or happen to be a good developer who wants to create a successful dating site.
caser camal shaw 7 months ago
it’s useful not for bignars
Is there a way you can recommend a mentor? I understand a true investment is involved &, I’m all for it. I have specific questions for my site. Is WordPress user friendly if I’m not if I’m not an experienced web designer? I’m a little fuzzy on that part. I’m for sure using Skadate. Is there an email address I may contact you? I want this to to beyond successful &, want to get it right. Thanks for providing such fine research information. Hope to hear from you soon.
I am attempting to make a dating website, but since this was posted years ago..the price for the Skadate has tripled if not more in price. IS wordpress better to embark in after all?
Phan Khoa 12 months ago from Viet Nam
Very very helpful.
I am looking into commencing a dating website, do you have a link that I could ask you a duo of questions?
I&rsquo,m building my own dating site and I just have one concern and is where can I find ideas about the texts I want it says in every page like welcome, my profile, my matches, etc
I need as well FAQ&rsquo,s to have ready when I launch the website and I have no idea what to put there and where to find them.
Is there any place on line where I can access to these information or at least to get some ideas?
This info is priceless! Thank you so much.
Breanna WW 23 months ago
You’re awesome. Thanks I think the free website is my best option. Just I just hope I get paid lol
Well done and very informative! Considering the original content is a few years old do you have any updates, as far as software is worried, for developing a dating site? Asking for an opinion as far as WordPress is worried. just how much ",extra", work is involved? I know that most of the elements would be plug-in solutions and each of those has to be managed/updated independently. Have you heard of or experienced yourself issues with incompatibility inbetween plug-in updates?
Fantastic info! Keep up the good work and I hope to hear back!
if your dating site you want to be is very niche. do you need to copyright niche elements like what makes it niche if you get me and your specific target market. like copyrighting brand name and logo etc. I want to make the site but I,m worried it would get stolen off me if you know what I mean and it would be copied like. I just want to know about copyright stuff and what I should consider there to protect it.
Im attempting to be on own website
Lloyd Mutema Two years ago
Thanx a lot Kylia now i have better ideas.
Wow, very first flawless assessment of dating site.
I’m affected Kylia.
I would like to begin a niche dating site but it would be of a sexual nature . My question is how to get began?
indeed? Two years ago from The Internet
No that would be your responsibility if you dreamed to provide that service.
One of my major concerns is background check. Is it my responsibility to have this done on every member on my site? I wouldn’t want to create problems for daters. Does sites like Skadata take care of this for you?
Indeed informative article post.Thanks Again. Awesome. feedecbefacc
PDXBuys Two years ago from Oregon
prince bethel Two years ago from Africa
Nice information kylia. Thanks for sharing!
Dorothy Godier Trio years ago from LONDON
Very informative. Thank you
Hi, I just rambled to this site as I am doing some research on how to embark an online dating website and I find this information to be very helpful. Thank you!
I believe there is certainly a need in my community for this online dating site. There is certainly a niche for both the love seekers and for me to profit as well but, I am just so scattered on how I can build it with all this too much information. 🙂 I have the domain registered already. but I am still all over the place as far as on how can begin it. Any help/idea would be so grateful, beautiful people
Hey I thanks for the fine info, I am looking for some help building my site and wished to know how to add a few special aspects to it
thank you for all information,
Please review this templates. I want to know what is the best design.
indeed? Three years ago from The Internet
Congrats on taking the very first step! It can be a bit challenging getting things up and running,
email me at [email protected] and I can provide further assistance.
Thank you for all this superb info. Per your recommendation, I have purchased the wordpress lovestroy theme, but frankly I am having a hard time to accomplish it and make it a fully functional website. Any recommendations on how to find an affordable web designer or do you know anyone who will make my website with the things I need. I will appreciate it!
hi, i am from Turkey. i want to make a dating site with Turkish language. can you help me?
Thank you for your ideas and advice, I will certainly implement them.
I do plan to keep the membership free to proceed building the community.
I love what I do and am excited about the possibility that my site will actually help bring people together to find love!
What are some good Niches?
indeed? Trio years ago from The Internet
It sounds like you are off to a good commence, for all of the datings sites I’ve built I keep the membership free to build the community– It’s always paid off better this way. As for enhancing engagement depending on how many members you have the online talk feature could work against you if you don’t always have a ton of people online at the same time, adding the forum or a blog could be better. Ask questions through your forms on set up an onsite poll to ask questions to get feed back and spark conversations. I’ve even done things like choose a featured member and blog about them or highlight them someway. This usually gets a conversation going and can increase your signup if people are interested in this person. It can be titillating to share their success once they’ve been matched with a date from someone on your site.
Please excuse any typos in my last post. Was attempting to send the post before my laptop battery discharges. 🙂
Presently, my site is not charging members. I am a software developer and designed, programmed my website from scrape. This enabled me to save money be coding the site myself. Right now I am focusing on getting members to join my site. My site is giving-away a free iPad mini this month, registration end is February 17, 2014 at 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern time. Research showcased that it’s better to end a giveaway on a Monday night.
My 1st purpose was to build a dating site – (check).
My 2nd aim was to get members to join – (check).
My 3rd purpose is to embark generating profits – (in process).
PDXBuys Trio years ago from Oregon
As a customer, I find that the dating sites with glossy stock photos of beautiful women and guys look a bit suspicious. I even spotted someone release a live site with the demo member photos still in place! It’s a bit of a Catch-22. You have to have members to have a good site, but you have to have a good site to get members! With a glut of dating sites, I think coding something original is the way to go. It’s a fine way to learn programming!
How’s the website going for you? Any profits?
Hi Kylia, I came across your article (very I good information) as I was searching for ",best dating site features",. I launched my very first dating site last year in January and am presently running a ",very first year anniversary", giveaway to feast. I am looking to add possibly a forum/message board or instant talk features to create more of a community practice to my site’s members. Since you have fairly a bit of practice, could you recommend a must have feature I should add to keep members engaged?
truly? Three years ago from The Internet
Hey John, yes you sure can use WordPress on a live site with hundreds, thousands of members and visitors. As your site grows it’s significant to choose a hosting company that can support that type of traffic, you can embark with collective hosting but as your traffic increase to the hundreds and millions 🙂 you may want to stir to a private server or vps.
Hi Kylia.. Is it a good idea to use wordpress? I can see you mention that you use a different platform.. Can these wordpress themes run a live site if it gets some hundred visitors? Thanks
Thanks for the response and I will certainly look into it.
I like your article and found it very informative. I noticed you mentioned various site builders in your article. Have you attempted any of them from the purchase column? If so which one would you recommend?
indeed? Four years ago from The Internet
I agree. Many of the dating sites online go through affiliate sites to get members. I believe it superb marketing and building your member base organically, which is very possible, especially if you are building a niche dating site. Choosing an affiliate to fucking partner with can be excellent, if you can segment your members and have a way of testing for inactivity
I have not found a dating site yet that if not unspoiled deception. All have 85%+ inactive accounts, with fake computerised contacts, all pulled through from other sites totally unrelated to what you are looking for. It’s all about making money and pretending to have thousands of members. Just a cash cow. The niche that is needed, is one that contains none of the above
Jason Moncovich Four years ago
This was very helpful for me in my researching. It actually gave me even more to research! Kylia, id like to be able to pick your brain a litle bit if its possible since you’ve been through this process before in beginning a online business doing this. Is there a better way to contact you.
This is very helpful, as i and two friends are researching at the moment. we have some indeed good ideas would like to hear more however ..
Sounds very good, I am making a more adult-themed dating site from scrape and am wondering if it would be allowable on WordPress?
Veronicastakhova Four years ago
i can recommend u cafe4tune.com, it is free and has a fairly convenient talk and movie talk . Good luck 🙂
truly? Four years ago from The Internet
hermsreview i would recommend working with the dating site software companies and ask them if they can customize their ready made software so that your site is more unique. Or if you have the budget to go totally custom-made that route works too.
hermsreviews Four years ago
I want to begin a niche dating site. This was the very first step. Research. I am wondering tho’. Is it better to have someone to build this site for me?
indeed? Four years ago from The Internet
Hi hhank, what more specifics did you have in mind. Would it help to discuss each stage of getting commenced in more details?
Very helpful for starters, but need not much more, need specifics in many other areas. any good recommendations?
THANK YOU A LOOOOT FOR THIS INFORMATION. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR Fresh PROJECTS!
Very very helpful and informative thanks.
This is excellent information. I am presently building my dating website and I am excited about my niche. I believe it is an underserved niche and I cannot wait until my site launches. I am going to use every free advertising out there before I embark pouring money into television commercials. Good Luck with your sites.
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