How much can a dating web site with 5,000 members bring in?

Hi there,

I run a dating site that has the potential to reach 5,000 members. My question is, what are some of the best ways to make money off of a site like this? Do you think I should start charging members? (I.E. like a one-time flat fee), or use pop-ups and that sort of thing? I wouldn’t want the user to be bombarded with advertisements either.

Are there any companies that will basically allow users on my site to submit their e-mail address to them, and in return I would receive $1 or something like that? Or are there any pay-per-click companies that let you write “please visit our advertisers to keep this site running”?

Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.

Looking forward to hearing some responses.


Are you targetting a niche or serving the general dating market? This would ease the decision process of what affiliate programs are recommended.

I think you should try diffrernt networks and see what they bring you when you have X amount of traffic (membership does not necessarily mean a lot of traffic).

This depends incredibly much on who your members are.

Hi guys,

Thanks for the replies.

Well, the dating site is targeted towards a younger audience in the 18-30 year old range. Even if I could make something like $1 per user, that would pay for the site in itself.

Any help is appreciated.

create a “donate” page w/ paypal. be totally honest and explain that their donations will help to cover the costs of the site such as server fees and routine maintance, which will in the long run keep the site online, and continue to bring new and better/faster services to them

also try to figure out a way to “reward” those who donate… possibly by putting a lil flag or banner under/by their username that says “2004 donator” or something

check into cpc programs like adsense

check into affiliate programs like linkshare and cj

consider selling banner and text ads outright yourself to other webmasters

use a TAF program

check into’s affiliate program

sadly, there is no best way to make money, you are gonna have to experiment w/ a few things. give everything new you try at least 2 weeks, if not a full month before you yank it though, otherwise you won’t get enough data to make a reasonable choice

5000 members is very little for a dating site.

You mean $1 a month? from each of the 5,000? That’s quite a lot. In terms of CPM, you would need each of your members to visit the site and view about 2,000 pages or so. Do that - that would be 10 million pageviews a month - and you can be pretty sure of getting $5,000 a month. Not trying to make it sound easy - on the contrary. Getting people to register on a site is one thing, getting them to visit again and again and view content a much harder.

Start a newsletter, send it out to the members once every 2 weeks, and include some ads for suitable affiliate products that pay very high commission. At the sime time ask your members to tell a friend about your site.

Simple but effective.


Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I’m right now charging a one-time fee of $10 per membership. I made the site free for the first 100 members. And based on these last three or four days or so, I’ve made all of about $50.

The site is very unique to the target market and the majority of members that are on the site visit it daily.


I wasn’t really thinking of $1 per month. More like $1 per new registrant. But even if I could generate $0.xx per member/per month, that would be ideal in my opinion (while making the web site 100% free again).

Let’s say on average I had 1,000 members actively browsing the site every month. Each browsing at least 25 pages per month. What do my figures look like then?

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your help.

Also: Are there any e-mail based affiliate programs that allow something like this:

Users wouldn’t be able to register on my site until they have successfully submitted their e-mail address to company x? I did this a little while last year (when the site was free) and had some success with it. But at the time, I had no way of verifying who submitted their e-mail address and who didn’t. This is something that was run through Direct Leads. Again, it wasn’t very much money but maybe I could do this on top of the ads on-site.


Large dating sites obviously make money because they pay affiliates $4 for new free members sometimes…

Hi-I run a network of dating sites and earn all my income from–they pay excellent rates for new members (who actually sign up) only downside is no residual income from those who renew month after month–have you tried the affiliate route–its easier not having to worry about site programming, member complaints etc----??

Just a thought

You may want to consider up-selling affiliate items. Writing a weekly column, and then writing articles about the items you are selling will really be a big help. Consider dating guides, pills, etc. If you take this approach you may not need to charge a monthly fee.

Advertise other dating sites on your site to up the member value.

I reckon on average you can convert 3% if the quality is poor and 7% is the quality is good. At $15 per month, That would be between $3,000 and $6,000 for the first month plus about 60% conversion for the next month ($1,800 - $3,600) and then 60% of that etc.

It really does depend on your membership -we’ve got partners where 50% of visitors become members and 25% of those paying members. This is at the higher end of the scale - our worst converters are 10% visitor to member conversion and 5% member to paying member conversion.

So the quality of traffic is paramount.

But using a site like as an example:

5000 visitors =
2500 members =
625 paying members (X $15/month) =
$9375/month income initially

If the network offers renewal (like ours does) then you can expect around 80% of your membership to renew each month as well.

The usability of your site makes a massive difference to chances of conversion - a well designed site that it intuitive and easy to use will convert much more than an average or poor site.

Hope that helps,



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