7 Steps to Starting a Successful Online Dating Site Tap these strategies to attract the right users and really click with them.

By Chris Porteous

entrepreneur daily

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With advances in technology over the past decade, we've changed the way we live and behave. The internet is no longer just a source of information and entertainment — we spend more time in the cyber world now than ever before.

Online dating is one social activity that has grown dramatically. Today, there are many sites and apps for people who want to find their life partners from the comfort of their couch.

The increasing number of people who prefer to develop relationships through interactions on websites offers entrepreneurs an exciting business opportunity.

So, what do you need to do to start and build a successful online dating service? Let these strategies be your guide.

Choose the right business model

Do you want to charge a fee or offer complimentary membership and earn from advertisers?

You'll need to carefully weigh the pros and cons as both options will attract different users. Not everyone wants to or can afford to pay a monthly subscription.

Although you'll attract more customers if there's no charge to join, many people are wary of free sites and may skip yours.

You'll need to provide more tools and better quality services for an exclusive clientele. It'll mean higher costs, but higher returns too.

Take care of legal matters

Although it's an online business, you may be required by law to register your enterprise in your state or country. Ensure you get the necessary permits so your website won't get shut down when your business is lucrative.

You'll also need professional advice on legal and taxation matters to stay out of trouble with the government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Find your niche

Before you jump right in and set up a website for your courting service, you'll have to do some homework.

The competition is fierce, so the first thing you need to do is to differentiate your business. Select a niche that narrows your focus. For example, instead of a general dating site for everyone, you could connect those aged 50 and above.

Start by researching what people are looking for when they search online for matchmaking services. Use a free keyword tool to get statistics on popular search words. That'll give you an idea of whether your idea is viable.

Choose a strong name

After you find your niche, it's time to come up with a name that clearly describes your site. Ideally, you should choose a title based on popular keywords so that it'll show up in search results.

Related: 8 Mistakes to Avoid When Naming Your Business

Set up shop

You can begin from scratch or you can buy an existing enterprise. The latter option may be advantageous as it saves you time because you'll be up and running almost instantly. Make sure to do your research, so you don't take on a non-profitable business.

If you're starting from zero, first you'll need to buy a domain — your internet address. Then, you'll need to host your site. The registration fee will cost you about $10 a year while hosting will set you back anywhere from $2.95 onwards per month.

Master your marketing

Marketing is essential for every company. You'll need to stand out from your competitors to be successful. The best way to reach prospective customers is through social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

You can also place ads on high traffic websites visited by your potential clients. Another way to get noticed is by providing useful information relating to dating on blogs and forums. Establish yourself as an expert to build credibility and gain trust.

Related: 6 Must-Do's for Effective Social Media Marketing

Attract a crowd

It's a dating site, so you should make it a place where everyone wants to hang out. The more people that are available, the more likely it is for a person to meet someone compatible.

Provide incentives to get people to become members. In addition to offering exciting features, ensure that your customer service is excellent. Answering questions via live chat is essential to gaining and keeping a client.

Related: 6 Innovative Ways to Attract New Customers

You're ready to begin

Just like any business, the amount of money you can earn from your service depends on the value you provide to your customers and the effort you put in.

Remember that it takes time to build and develop a membership website. Set realistic goals and your hard work will pay off in the end.

Chris Porteous

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

High Performance Growth Marketer

Chris Porteous is CEO of SearchEye, which offers unbundled digital marketing projects for clients and agencies across the globe.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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