Dating Sites – Still a Profitable Niche?
People often ask “What are the profitable niches?” There’s no short answer to that; there are hundreds of niches that are profitable, and in theory, any niche can be profitable if you’re good at promoting it and have a good product to sell. Of course, for those who are new to affiliate marketing, it’s easier to start with a niche that already has a lot of built-in interest.
Beginning Internet marketers will likely see some success if they first try in one of the “evergreen” niches, such as dating sites – niches that are always popular and never, ever go out of style. The advantages of going with evergreen niches is that you’ll have lots of customer interest and that isn’t likely to wane. The downside, of course, is that these niches are popular with both consumers and marketers, and that means that niches such as dating sites are likely to have a lot of competition, and many people feel that this niche in particular is saturated. Is it still possible to make money with dating sites? The answer is – “maybe.” Read on for more about making money with dating sites.
Making Money With Dating Sites
It’s possible to make money with dating sites, but before you get started, you should be aware of a few things about the dating niche and be ready to make some decisions regarding how you’re going to go about promoting them and how you’d like to get paid. These are very important considerations.
Dating sites come with niches of their own. You can certainly promote a general dating site, which is intended for all ages and demographic groups. Sites such as EHarmony or Match.com cover these pretty well, and you’ll find that they’re sort of a “one size fits all” kind of site. That’s both good and bad; while such sites are potentially a good fit for any consumer, those sites also present the most competition for prospective marketers. There are a lot of people promoting EHarmony, for example, and that’s in addition to the millions of dollars that the company itself spends on advertising every year. You may also discover that there are a lot of “tire kickers” looking at general dating sites; you may not see a lot of conversions.
That’s why it may make sense to look at niche dating sites. There are literally dozens of different niches out there – gay dating, lesbian dating, African American dating, and Latino dating come immediately to mind. But there are smaller niches, too, such as sports dating, men and women in uniform dating, married dating, no-strings-attached dating, and so on. I know of one dating company that offers nearly 50 different niches.
By promoting niche dating sites, rather than general ones, you are more likely to find interested customers who know exactly what they want, and these people might be more prepared to sign up and pay. In addition, you’ll find that promoting niche dating sites is a bit easier, as you’ll find far fewer affiliate marketers trying to promote dating sites for vegetarians, pet lovers or computer geeks than you will some site devoted to dating in general. The less you have to deal with competition, the greater your chances of getting a paying customer to sign up under your affiliate link.
Another thing to consider when promoting dating sites is how to get paid. Many dating affiliate programs have as many as three different compensation plans, and you should give some serious thought as to which one you choose:
Pay per lead (PPL) – This one’s the “quick and easy” one – you send people to the site to sign up for free. If they sign up, you get a commission, but it’s usually a rather small one, running in the $2-$10 range.
Pay per signup (PPS) – This one pays better, but it only pays if you can persuade someone to sign up for a dating site and pay to join. Payouts are better, though, and typically run in the $20-$250 range, depending on the offer.
Revshare – This one gives you a percentage of the money that the customer pays to the dating company for the entire time they are a member. If they stay a member for a year, you’ll get monthly commissions for 12 months for that customer alone.
Looking over these three choices, many new affiliates might instinctively go for the one that pays the most, and that would be revshare, followed by pay per signup. While they do potentially pay the most, they may not actually pay the most in reality. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to get someone to sign up for a free membership than it is to sign up for a paid one.
It’s also fairly rare for someone to sign up as a paid member at a dating site and stay a paying member for an appreciable length of time. Retention rates in the dating industry are fairly low. I’ve got a couple of dating sites that I operate myself, and while I do get paid signups, I rarely have anyone stay a paying member for more than a month or two. That’s the way it is in this industry and while revshare certainly has potential, it’s not necessarily a good place to start and it may not produce the most revenue.
Most beginning affiliate marketers would probably see the best results by picking a somewhat offbeat niche and promoting it by creating a blog or Website with lots of content, along with a few contextual text links and a banner or two. Make your site informative, and add content on a regular basis. You’ll probably see the best results by going with a pay per lead program; you’ll get more conversions that way, though they’ll pay less for each conversion. After you get a bit more experience, and find out which dating sites convert well, you can consider changing the compensation to a pay per sale model.
Keep in mind that traffic quality is important. I’ve had dating sites drop me from their affiliate programs in the past, even though I was providing paying customers to them. The dating sites said they were “low quality”, which meant that while they were signing up, they weren’t hanging around long enough to become profitable for the company. That’s why it’s important to create a site with good content to make sure that the visitors you’re drawing to your site or blog are seriously interested in joining a dating Website.
Dating Sites Conclusion
As with most evergreen marketing niches, dating sites remain profitable, though they’re quite a bit more competitive than they were just a few years ago. It’s still possible, even for newbies, to make money in this niche, but you have to dig down and find a good dating subniche, rather than trying to approach a general dating site. You’ll also likely find better results if you go with the pay per lead compensation and just try to encourage people to sign up for free. That will get your cash flow going and you can work your way up to the better paying pay per signup methods later on as you get better at promoting dating sites.