- Business and Employment
Driving Traffic to Your Dating Website Business Without Spending Money
I once ran a dating site but it flopped. I therefore let it close because I had a poor strategy in driving traffic into it. But when you fail you get smarter. If I were to restart a dating site business I would know exactly what to do to make it excel.
Most of us start dating sites thinking it will run itself. It may run itself. But no one wants to join a dating site that seems to have few or the same people all the time. The dating site should seem like it constantly has fresh clients . So first even way before you think of getting more traffic ensure that you invest in a dating design that rotates the profiles. I have joined sites that have the same profiles on a page and it's a turn-off. It beats the main reason why anyone would join a dating site. People join dating site to be spoilt for choice. It should feel like a sea plenty of fish.
Having constant traffic will however change the profiles on any page naturally. Anyone who runs a website that is supposed to be of monetary benefit will at some point be concerned about traffic. Below are some major pointers at driving traffic towards the dating site without spending any money.
1. Find a Niche
2. Give your site a good name
3. Promote on social media
5.Dating site should be easy to join and use
6.Make it free
1. Find a Niche
Dating sites that have no niche got knocked down by Facebook. Facebook already has a billion users and still adding more yet it still advertises the site on Google Ads. However, inasmuch as Facebook is not strictly a dating site, it is a social site, but the fact is that people not only want to mingle, people want to mingle free. Wherever people gather to socialise, people are bound to interact and form relationships.
When finding a niche, the question to ask yourself is;
i) "What is my target group? "
ii) Why would anyone want to join my site in a world where Facebook exists?
i) " What is my target group?"
You have to be sure about the people you want to attract. One of the mistakes I did was to go broad. My dating site had no niche. I imagined that having no niche and letting it go global was a sure way to have lots of traffic. Wrong.
I therefore started yet another dating site for persons living with HIV but I did not know what to write on my blog because such a site needs someone who knows exactly what it's like to live with HIV than someone who's in it for monetary reasons only as I was.So that site failed too.
Find a niche that you can connect with. You do not start a dating site for cat lovers if you do not own one. Or a dating site for persons over 30 if you are 21. Or an interracial dating site if you are not in such a relationship or marriage. You will not connect with your site. It will feel like a project that is remote from you.
Your niche should be something you understand and can relate with. The same will reflect itself in your dating site blog. Your clients will trust you as someone who understands how it feels to belong to that niche.
ii) " Why would anyone want to join my site in a world where Facebook exists?"
You are going against giants like Facebook - and Tagged.These sites are not only free to use but very popular too. What extra thing are you offering on your site that would make a user on Facebook or Tagged want to join your site too?
Remember that there are already hundreds of dating groups on Facebook. What will make anyone leave Facebook and join your site?
Prospective daters are usually hopping from site to site. It is not unusual for someone to be in multiple dating and social networks. That's why people are still flourishing in dating and social website businesses despite the fact that Facebook, Tagged, Plenty of Fish seem to have accommodated all users - there will always be someone who still wants to join your site.
Some dating sites offer video chats. Some offer exactly what Facebook doesn't offer while Tagged charges it on "non- friends" - knowing who checked your profile. Ashley Madison went against Facebook family values and offered a dating site whose main objective was adultery. (Do you know you cannot promote anything that supports adultery on Facebook? Facebook is pro-monogamous marriages)
Ashley Madison has huge returns on its revenue and although it went on it's knees when hackers infiltrated its system and exposed its users, it claims that it had even more clients after that incident and that it benefited from that publicity. Seems there's nothing like bad publicity, right?
Think. What extra deal does your dating site have?
2 . Give your site a good name
Literally. If you give your site an odd name be sure to close that site within a year. It will be a non-starter, trust me, I've been there.
Give it a name that stands out. A good name will bring you free traffic. Standing ovation for the owner of Plenty of Fish. That's a term we use often. When your relationship or marriage is not working your friends will remind you that there's "plenty of fish in the sea" and at that point you really should join Plenty of Fish. The name alone will make you join the site.
However, you can find a name that has no meaning and turn it into a brand. Who ever thought that "Victoria Secrets" could one day imply a lingerie line?And what the hell is the word "Vaseline"? Or who ever imagined that "Palmolive" could be soap? Not me! Well obviously because they happened way before I was born but that's not the point. Today you can hear someone refer to any jelly as Vaseline even if it's not that brand. "Pass me that Vaseline..." even when you are talking about a certain jelly that is not even Vaseline. Those are brand names. You can create your own.
A long while back when I was lonely and seeking at least virtual companionship I stumbled upon "Mygamma". It was a very popular Indian social networking site but it had users from all over the world. I swear the traffic on Mygamma was something out of the world. The friend requests that I was receiving from all over the world was overwhelming. Yet probably three-quarter of its users did not know what Mygamma really meant. I wonder if there's something like "too much traffic" because I honestly think too much traffic killed Mygamma and that's the disease most dating sites would envy.
Three facts you must consider when naming your dating site;
i) Should be easy to pronounce
Give it a smooth, distinct name like Mygamma or Facebook. Easy to pronounce. Not something strange like twigriasy, come on. That sounds like "twig seriously".
ii) It should be easy to spell
See there's no other way to spell "Facebook" besides how it is spelled. Or Tagged. Or Plenty of Fish. Let no one end up in another dating site just out of a misspelling. Easy to spell means easy to find your site on the internet.
iii) Should be memorable
It should be a name that lingers on the mind no matter what. It has been years since Mygamma was closed but I still remember that name. Mygamma. That was a real brand name. Kudos Mygamma creator.
3.Promote on Social Media
You will have to work twice as hard as you would if you simply hired someone to promote for you. You want to promote your site without spending a coin, right?
Well, the first thing you should do is to find ways to promote your site on social media and not get blocked for seeming spammy. That's not only embarrassing but also discouraging. Posting your site randomly on social media will also bring you bad traffic ie spams. You need to focus on serious, organic traffic. For instance while promoting on Facebook start a group first. You should focus on the niche. Bring people of a similar interest together. Then one day, boom! You promote your dating site in the group. And you pin it. You are the administrator of that group, they trust you, take advantage of that. Post your blogs in that group. Start a Facebook page too.
Your dating site should have an account in as many social networks as possible and you should work towards keeping all the accounts active. Share interesting memes and stories in those accounts to keep more users entertained and eventually joining your dating site.
4. Write Blogs
It does not matter if you are a talented writer or not. You only should be able to share information. Write blogs that concern your users. For instance if your dating site intends to link single parents, then write blogs about single parenting. The assumption is that you are a single, single parent, you can therefore invite your readers into your dating world. If you can get traffic to your blog you will get traffic to your site especially if the blog exists within the site. If it doesn't exist within the site, remember to refer your readers to your dating website.
5.Dating site should be easy to join and use
Those are the technicalities that you should ensure your web designer addresses. There's nothing more pleasant than a user-friendly website. That's why Facebook is a winner. It should be responsive, easy to join, to log in and to navigate. If you intend to have a dating website and an App, let both options be perfect. Having a bad website to force your users to download your App is a bad strategy.
6. Make it free - or partially free
People start dating sites hoping to make money. If your dating site has something extra like video chatting you may charge your users for that. But if its plain with nothing extra remember interacting on Facebook is not only easy, it is also FREE.
While keeping your dating site free does not guarantee that you will get traffic, it's worse when you start off charging your clients from scratch. People really don't want to pay to socialise. Whatsapp even tried to charge us $0.99 initially- ANNUALLY yet some users like myself vowed that we woud not renew our accounts as soon as the free trial offer was done. Whatsapp is an amazing site. Remember when all we had was SMS? And we were charged per SMS? And it cost even more to send images? Sending videos was almost impossible, do you remember? Whatsapp changed all that but we still wouldn't pay a mere $0.99. It's now free and obviously recording even more new memberships daily.
Some dating sites have gone free too to attract more users. For instance Metrodate. Metrodate has not always been free. If you trust that you can get traffic even if your dating site is not free, go on! Try. You could be lucky.
Maybe you are wondering how you will make money if you run a free site. I have researched enough on dating sites. If I try signing up and the first requirement is that I should pay to join then I will abandon that site immediately. As a user, if I have to pay I must know what I'm paying for first. A perfect dating site should at least allow me to roam within. I should be able to browse through profiles and find someone whom I'd like to interact with. That's where some dating sites start charging. You therefore cannot chat with someone until you subscribe. Some allow the user to chat but cannot exceed a certain number of texts. Some limit the features the user can access, for instance Tagged will charge a user who wants to know who looked into his/her profile.
If you cannot make it free, let it be partially free.
You can also earn revenue from allowing users to advertise on your site.You should not downplay the role of constant and consistent traffic. Note that users will advertise on your site ONLY if you have traffic.