Setting up a new dating site is fairly easy. Buy the software, customize it and put it online. It can be done in a couple of days. But what is a dating site without members? How do you attract members to a new site? That is the hard part.

Few people know your site exists. Those who stumble onto your site will be deterred by the realisation that there are very few or no members to interact with. Unless you have plenty of money to throw to promote the site, it may be that the site will languish until you are able to make your site widely known or searchable.

Dating software vendors are acutely aware of this. Their solution is to design the software to allow the generation of fake members to populate the site to give the semblance of an active thriving community. Unfortunately, people can easily see through this deception and they will not be impressed. I do not recommend this approach.

It is the chicken or the egg dilemma. People will not join if they realize that there are very few members. But how can you get enough members in the first place to entice people to join. That is the predicament that I am facing with my own site.

I have come to the realisation that there is no quick fix. It is going to take time and effort to promote the site and there is a lot of learning involved. The very first thing I learnt was that Google AdWords and similar pay-per-click advertisements are just not practical for small businesses from a financial standpoint. In my ignorance, I was thinking in the vicinity of several cents per click. Did you know that it can cost anything up to $6 or more per click for your ad to appear in the first page? That is per click – the visitor may not even sign up at all!

So paid search is out of the question. I am focusing all my efforts on organic search which means trying to achieve a high ranking in the search engines for relevant keywords. If people can find me in the search engines, then visitor numbers will go up. When visitor numbers reach a critical mass, then the likelihood is that I will be able to start attracting signups.

This is what I have done so far:

  • Exchanged links with other dating websites. I will do the same with other unrelated sites as there is some indication it is just as important.
  • List in online business directories
  • Write articles to submit to articles directories – this is one of them
  • Participated in forums
  • Added my link to lenses (member pages)
  • Added h1 headers to every page of my site using keywords
  • Submitted a sitemap to Google using Google Webmaster Tools

I am also continually scouring the internet for new ways of search engine optimization (SEO) and learning new things along the way. I have had some small success and I feel that it will work in time. Right now, my dating site ranks between 80 and 200 for four keywords and there are small improvements everyday. There is light at the end of the tunnel! I am hopeful.

Promote your site wherever and whenever you can. Put out all stops to get people to visit your site. Beg if you need to.

I am begging…lol