Posted Monday, November 8, 2004
Have you noticed the explosion of Websites related to love, sex, matchmaking, relationships, etc.? They're popping up all over the place. Why the sudden popularity you ask? Well, the reason for this "gold rush" towards Online Dating & Relationship Oriented Websites is really quite simple: people are making a lot of money with them!
So how can you claim your share of this exploding marketplace?
Well you could go off and start your own Online Dating service to compete with the likes of eHarmony and Match.com (if that's your idea of fun) but that's really not the best way for small business owners to make money in this, or any, new marketplace.
In reality, the easiest and surest way to make money in any gold rush is selling tools to the prospectors! I think you'll see what I mean in a moment.
In the Beginning...
Consider, if you will, that whenever any new industry begins there are always hundreds of other businesses needed to support it and make it truly complete. For example, just think of all the businesses that are now connected with the automotive industry. Tire companies, glass companies, mechanics, insurance agencies, driving schools, etc..
Your very own Dating & Relationship oriented website could be one of the complimentary businesses supporting the new Online Dating marketplace while generating thousands of dollars of profit in the process.
Complimentary businesses such as relationship advice sites, personal matchmaking services, astrological compatibility testing sites, personal appearance "make over" sites, background checking services, etc., etc., are all possible product or service "tools" needed by today's "romance prospectors" searching for love on the Internet. I'm sure you'll be able to come up with other product and service ideas too if you think about it.
So what other types of relationship oriented businesses are springing up based on the technologies and business models pioneered by the Online Dating sites?
New companies such as Friendster.com and Linkedin.com are two good examples of a new generation of non-dating, non-romantic, relationship building Websites springing up to connect people for business relationships or other social activities. Others will surely follow their lead into this adjacent marketspace and your online business could be one of them.
Setting Up Shop.
Okay, so now that you know the best way to make money online is to sell tools, the next big question you'll need to answer is whether your new Website will be a general store carrying all types of tools or a specialty store providing some type of specific expert service or product. Let's talk about the general merchandise store first.
The General Store
Imagine if you will an 1849's old west general store loaded with canned goods, clothing, kerosene lamps, picks, shovels; everything the local prospectors needed. What would be today's Online Dating equivalent to the general store? Well in our analogy it would be a Dating Directory Website. Here's how they work.
Dating Directory Websites provide a service to their customers by collecting information about all the various Online Dating services in one centralized location. This allows their visitors to comparison shop among the various dating service companies while also making convenience purchases of advice eBooks, romantic gifts, sexy lingerie, etc., while they're browsing the entire "general store." Dating directories make their money from the affiliate sales commissions they are paid by the producers of the products they carry.
If you're thinking of getting into the Online Dating & Relationship Marketplace, setting up your own Dating Directory general store is probably the easiest way to get started. All that's required is the construction of a "store front" Website and then registration with multiple affiliate programs for the products that you want to sell.
Dating Directory startups are easy, low cost and can be built up over time with products you really enjoy selling. In addition, no product development expertise is required because you are essentially just the "shop keeper" selling someone else's products.
However, before you decide to open up your own Online Dating & Relationship product general store, you may what to consider specializing in one particular area of the market where you can carve out a niche of your own. Let's talk about this strategy for a moment.
The Specialty Shop
When it comes to the Online Dating & Relationship marketplace everyone's an expert. Including you!
It's true. Whether you're young or old, single or married, gay or straight, everyone has their own special knowledge about Dating and Relationships that can provide you with the background and knowledge needed to write a newsletter or eBook of your own.
And while I'll admit that writing an entire eBook and setting up your "specialty shop" Website is more work than running a general store Website, the potential rewards are much greater due to the uniqueness of your specialty product and the value you can deliver to your customers. So whatever you do, don't underestimate the power of the knowledge you have to offer. Get started on that newsletter or Ebook today!
If you're thinking about starting your own online business, check out this fast growing marketplace. It could be right for you. And remember, if you want to make money without risking the large amounts of capital required to compete with the big guys, don't try to start your own Online Dating "gold mine", sell the dating & relationship "picks and shovels" instead. That's where the little guys win.
Copyright 2004 John Weisenberger
About the Author
John Weisenberger is the author of "Making Money with Dating & Relationship Oriented Websites: The Facts, Statistics and Ideas You Must Know to Succeed in This Fast Growing Marketplace. For more information visit (http://www.RomanceBiz.com/402)
John Weisenberger is managing director at RomanceBiz.com -- The global source for Online Business Insights, News and Tools designed to help both new and experienced Dating & Relationship Website operators succeed.