Making money from a free dating site

I am planning to create a free dating site in a 3rd world country where online payments are a hustle if not impossible. I want to create a dating site that offers free dating and a couple of attractive features for the fortunate few who can pay online. I need help finding a business model for such a project. I’ve tried searching but I can’t find it.
Please point me to something. A blog, a document, an eBook anything.

It sounds like you’ve already identified the model: freemium [giving something away for free while charging for premium access].

You don’t need a 50 page document to make a business but you do need to think about what it really could be… and what stands in the way.

  • How big is the market for free users? Paid ones?
  • What features will sell [you can certainly get ideas from other dating sites]?
  • What would you charge them [$ x # = potential]?
  • How will you get people to you?
  • Who builds it? At what cost and time?

And perhaps most importantly, what makes you different from the plethora of dating sites already out there.

It sounds like you already have a model, like Ted said. You offer free service and upsell to premium customers. Your problem is that you can’t take online payments easily, and finding a new business model doesn’t change that.

It seems like you need to find solutions for taking payment in your country!

Thanx guys. The problem I have is I don’t think the money that I’ll get from the premium users will be much. How do I get money from a free site. Those guys who run 100% free sites must be getting something out of it. Besides advertising is there any other way?

It will be hard to make money unless someone is giving you money :slight_smile:
If you don’t want to take money from users, you either need to get it from advertising or from something else - like selling data or demographic info.

It seems like you are doing this in a tough way. Why build a dating site if you don’t know how to monetize it? Usually a business plan will start off with a lucrative way to get money, then a plan on how to execute that. Your plan seems to be the reverse - you have a plan to build something and are looking for a way to monetize it. What makes you want to start a dating site? Why not just try and solve the payment problem?

Revenue comes from selling something. What you sell can be products, premium subscriptions, or sell your members as advertising views. There are hybrids too: joint partnerships, offline integrations, etc.

That’s why you need to crunch the numbers… If 1% of people upgrade what does that mean? … 2%? 5%?

But before you even go there size up the market. If you’re going to attract 5000 users total, even 10% isn’t much.

If you can’t reconcile that, find a new opportunity.

…like selling data or demographic info.

I thought of doing this a long time ago but I wasn’t sure if there is a market for the data.

…or sell your members as advertising views

sounds good.

Your plan seems to be the reverse - you have a plan to build something and are looking for a way to monetize it

As with every other idea that I have had. I start by noticing the need. Then I ask myself how I can make money solving the problem. We don’t have a dating site in Zim. Not one.

Why not just try and solve the payment problem?

There is mobile banking in Zim. I’ll see if I can take advntage of that.