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Posted: May 5th, 2012, 1:34 pm
by xiongmao
Oops, that lovely girl next door is actually someone using a photo of an Indonesian model!

All I can say is, don't start a dating site - you'll go mad!

Actually there are times when being a PhD has its advantages. I'm starting to teach the site how to spot the scammers, and I think in time it might even be able to spot the "models".

The good news is that there are also some good members signing up, and I'm getting clues as to how to spot those too.

Posted: May 8th, 2012, 9:07 am
by Winston
Here's an informative interview for you with the multi-millionaire founder of, Markus Frind, about what made him so successful with a free dating site. He is the richest Adsense publisher.

Relevant excerpts:

Q: Your site, if you'll forgive me, isn't terribly attractive, it isn't "web 2.0" it isn't even a terribly original idea. Many entrepreneurs today think that without those ingredients in the recipe, they'll never make it. You've clearly proved otherwise. What's your secret and what are your thoughts about what it takes to be successful?

A: To many people assume an "original idea" is just something that looks visually different then others. I created the first real free dating and the first one that actually worked. Just like Google created the first real search engine that worked. There is no such thing as a secret. When I came home from work I sat down and I forced myself to code for a hour or 2. The enemy was thinking, whenever I paused or started to think I would force myself to type something, its amazing how much you can get done when you just type. There are only 1000 or so sites in the world with massive traffic, and of those mine is the only one that is run by a single person. It's not possible for thousands of people to be as successful as me. For being successful in building sites you need to give something to the surfer faster or better or both. If you want to do pay per click, you just need to be good at picking words to bid on. For that business its just a matter of repetition and fighting boredom. At the end of the day you just need to sit down and DO it. Most people don't.

Q: You've obviously done a brilliant job marketing the site because you have some insane traffic numbers. What do you feel has been your most successful marketing move and why?

A: It was all viral. My best move was not going out and spending a ton of money, with online dating you need to spend $6.00 for every free member, and most of those leave on the first day and the few that do become active don't stay more than 3 months. So 30% of your membership is turned over per month. There is no way you can make your money back. The site went ballistic in Canada all on its own I really didn't have to do anything.

Q: What has been your least successful marketing effort? Why wasn't it successful?

A: Radio, too expensive, too hard to buy your way into markets. Yahoo, and Eharmony and Lavalife are each spending $10 million a month on marketing. How can you even come close to competing with them?

Q: Can you share some of your favorite sources of inspiration and ideas? (e.g. certain blogs/books/magazines)

A: Never bothered reading books, magazines Just started reading blogs lately outside the dating world. For the most part I treated it as a video game, and defeat isn't an option you just find some way to win.

Q: Any parting advice for other entrepreneurs trying to gain success with AdSense or other "eyeball/traffic"-oriented ventures?

A: Google pays out $500 million a quarter to AdSense users. That money is going somewhere, and if you look at the top 1000 sites not a hell of a lot of them have AdSense. Statistically speaking those sites that have low numbers of users and high EPC [Earnings Per Click] will make the most money. Build sites that no one else has done before, stuff only goes viral the first 1 or 2 times after that you have to buy your way into a market.

Posted: May 8th, 2012, 9:13 am
by Winston
Here is Markus' blog post about how he became successful with ... an-empire/

Posted: May 8th, 2012, 12:17 pm
by xiongmao
Now I've got a few more members I can start showing them by country...

Filipino members

When I get even more, I can start breaking them down by city.

There are quite a number of Asian dating sites around, but they're mostly popular because they're popular. I mean look at the Kisses sites, they opened in 2004 and don't seem to have been enhanced since. China Love Match has the best quality ladies around, but the site is clunky. And of course it costs money.

I'm also gonna use my extensive programming experience to do some neat things with all the data I'm accumulating.

I'm very impressed with the Filipinas who have signed up first. They are pretty darned hot. Also they have they written some wonderous stuff in their profiles! Life with a Filipina girlfriend would never be dull. Maybe I'll go live in the Philippines for a while.

Winston wants some white legged Chinese girls. I haven't had much luck signing up Chinese women yet, but the language barrier is probably the issue. The good news is that I've dated two professional translators, so it'll be very easy for me to roll out a Chinese version of the site. It can't be any more difficult than the Swedish site I worked on 10 years ago.

Posted: May 9th, 2012, 4:21 pm
by Winston
HOW are you getting people to your new site though? How are they finding out about it?

Are you using Google Adwords to promote it?

The key problem is that no one will register on a dating site with zero profiles. So how did you get the first few? Did you ask your friends to sign up first?

Posted: May 9th, 2012, 4:41 pm
by Winston
Ok I just noticed some big errors on your site. Take this profile for example:

First, you should not have the ad be on the left side and be that huge 160x600. That's way out of proportion to the profile and small pics of the girls.

Second, the profile pic should be at the center of the page and bigger, not in the right sidebar. Come on now. That was a terrible decision. In the center, you just have profile text and it takes a while to figure out where her picture is. That's a HORRIBLE placement decision. TERRIBLE beyond words.

Third, why are you putting her profile pic in the right sidebar above "Similar profiles" and making them all the same size? WTF? It's hard to tell whether her pic is a similar profile or not. They should not be grouped together like that. Terrible placement.

Finally, why does each profile have only one pic? Why aren't you allowing more? You should have at least 3 pics for each profile. Guys don't like it when there is only one pic.


You should put the ad in the right sidebar or as a rectangle, and not too big. Or as a leaderboard on top, kind of like how DateinAsia has it.

The profile pic should be in the center and large enough to notice.

The similar profiles should be at the bottom, like how DateinAsia has it.

Seriously, your placement is all wrong. What is going on?

Btw, would you like to advertise on this site? I can rotate your ads in the small banner above. I'll PM you about this.

You should create some banners and put the words "100 percent FREE dating" in it. Those are hot keywords.

Posted: May 10th, 2012, 12:01 am
by xiongmao
All in good time Winston! I have a mountain of updates to do - I released 1.0 to see if the site would gain traction and it's proven way more popular than I thought! The main thing I need to work on is the user interaction and keeping the scammers off, plus keeping the site clean enough to add AdSense to. As well as that I have to figure out how to get Chinese women on there.

Actually, that ad placement is the best and I have the stats to prove it. I think you're crazy putting your ads on the right hand side!

Members can only upload 1 photo at the moment - hosting costs money you know! There's also the overhead of vetting them all. Having said that I do like the Kisses sites and all the photos you can upload there. I'll crunch the math and see if I can afford to allow multiple uploads.

You need to log in to see the larger sized photo - I'll make this more obvious.

I'll have a think about advertising on Happier Abroad, but at the moment signing up new members isn't proving difficult. In a week I've halved my cost to acquire each member - I'll keep working on this to get it down to very low levels.

Just woke up to find 10 more members. Most are women, but when men discover I have a site with 10x more women than men they'll sign up as well.

Some joker uploaded a photo of a model :roll: . That's the problem with free dating sites but I believe I can keep the site clean.

I hope my site scales. I got some traffic stats for dateinasia last night and I was astonished. I don't know if they make any money though.

Posted: May 10th, 2012, 12:34 am
by lavezzi
People read from left to right, therefore the profile picture should be on the left side of the screen, not the right.

The profile pictures are messed up. You need to put in an automatic re-sizer.

It looks very dodgy how you have to log in with your email address. Some website owners use this tactic as a way to hack people who use the same email address and password for every site they register to. I'm not suggesting you're trying to do this, but it looks suspicious to anyone who's weary of these things.

"Affordable Asian dating" makes it sound like a paid site.

I put entered in my correct date of birth, yet it says I'm 21 when really I'm 20.

Posted: May 10th, 2012, 3:32 am
by xiongmao
Yeah plenty to do still but look at all the people who spend a year building a dating site then nobody ever registers.

Profile photos - yes a smarter resizer is needed but with no resizing all the photos will be odd sizes and the site would look a mess. I'd love some facial recognition features as that would help stop the jokers.

It might be a paid site at some point. Actually I need to redesign the logo.

Date of birth does seem a bit odd so I'll find a better algorithm for that.

Email address - not worried about that as signup rate is great as it is.

Anything else, well it's a free site so you get what you pay for :eek:

Posted: May 10th, 2012, 6:54 am
by Winston
Why do you have hosting limitations that allow members to post only one photo? I don't get it. My Godaddy host allows unlimited bandwidth for $7 a month. Am I missing something? Are you talking about limited storage space? Can't you just increase your plan to have more hosting space?

Dude, look at all the successful dating sites, such as DIA and PlentyofFish. No one puts 160x600 ads on the left side that makes everything else look out of proportion. That's crazy. Your site looks like it's set up only to get people to look at those ads.

Trust me. I make a living online and have even doubled my income lately. So I know what I'm talking about. This subject has become one of my areas of expertise.

You should follow the common sense formulas of the successful sites. They are placed that way for a reason. DIA's ad placement is perfect and a good role model to emulate.

With bad placement, you make your site look less credible.

How do you have stats on DIA? From Alexa? That site has a huge amount of traffic. You can emulate them, but try to be creative and offer something they don't.

Posted: May 10th, 2012, 7:18 am
by xiongmao
I don't currently have hosting limitations on file storage, but I do on the database. And if the site is successful then it'll have to move elsewhere and then you usually get hosting/bandwidth limitations.

Until I know the site's income I can't budget too much for lavish hosting.

I'll play around with the site design later. Maybe I'll hire a designer as well. There are only 2 pages in the entire site so it's not hard to change the design.

Right now the under the bonnet stuff is what matters - it's fundamental that the site can scale and keep away the scammers. I have a huge advantage over the other sites in that the code is extremely tidy. Some of these PHP powered sites - yikes they'll have ugly code.

Some very cool stuff is coming to a later version of the site.

Right now I really have to figure out how to roll out a site that Chinese women can use. We need those tall white legged ladies but my first ad campaign in China flopped.

DIA's traffic is astounding. Lord knows why because the site isn't anything special. I must commend them on their choice of ASP.NET over PHP though!

Anyway, I'm delighted with things so far. This has been a gigantic thing to do compared to just blogging and stuff. I don't yet know if the site will be a big winner, but the clear winner is all the extra stuff I've been able to add to my resume.

Posted: May 15th, 2012, 6:37 am
by xiongmao
Aaargh, building or running a dating site is hard assed work.

The scammers are starting to find me, but the ship seems to be holding up. Scammers are not bright at all, but still people send all their life savings to a Western Union office in Lagos. Go figure that one out!

I hope I can programmatically figure out how to spot all the scammers, then delete their profiles. I don't think it's gonna be rocket science, which kind of makes you wonder why Chinese Love Links etc. allow their sites to be overrun with scammers.

I've got about 350 members now. They're mostly Filipinas, which is where I've been advertising. When the site is awesome enough, I'll market it to other countries. By my mom says Filipinas are the best Asian women, so who are we to argue lol?

Posted: May 17th, 2012, 5:09 am
by xiongmao
Wow, 425 members now. I need to build a Chinese version of the site, and also a Thai version. The Filipinas on my site are hot, hot, hot!!!

If anyone knows a Thai translator then give me a call. I think I can manage the Chinese.

Ouch, I have so much to do...

Posted: May 23rd, 2012, 12:49 pm
by xiongmao
Wow, I just spotted this girl on Winston's adverts for goddess Chinese women:


She's 5' 5" and most of it is leg!


Oh, I've just tried Chinese Kisses. There are some nice ladies on there but the site is hard to use. I'm working on the Chinese version of my site so soon there will be 1000's of Chinese ladies on my site as well.

Posted: May 24th, 2012, 12:57 am
by xiongmao
Arrgh, the Chinese Kisses radio buttons are upside down. That site's a shambles.