Post about "Finance"

Build Successful Dating Site – 10 Things on Your Check-List

I bet you’ve read a lot of similar stuff if you’ve ever been interested in launching your own Facebook or Match.com. Dating industry experts and semi-experts keep trying to find a fault-free formula for building an online community business with no hassle and money waste. Before you get down to reading ‘another 10 tips’ on your way, I’ll tell you that there is no prefect solution. But still, there are ways to minimize the time and money loss, and avoid typical mistakes. So, here are the 10 pieces of advice we’ve drawn from watching hundreds of online dating/community projects succeed and fail:

1. Choosing a niche for your future site is crucial. All your steps towards launching a site of your dream will depend on this first decision. Are you building a join-free social network with a few paid privileges and loads of advertisement? Or is it going to be a niche site with unique conception and membership system encouraging your members for subscriptions? Whatever path you choose – it has to be a mature decision based on the goals you want to achieve.

If you don’t have a very strong marketing and development budget – we would recommend you to go for a specialized niche site, as that means significantly lower competition, and thus, more chances to succeed.

2. Don’t develop a site from scratch. Go for a full-fledged dating software instead. A custom dating site sounds like a good idea… but only if you are ready to pay a devoted programmer for his continuous job on keeping your site competitive.

There is always a huge amount of work, time and investment behind custom site development. You will have to choose a developer very carefully. You will probably be in continuous need of his services, because keeping the site up-to-date requires new features, and platform adjustments for new appearing browser versions and coding standards.

Good news about professional properly supported dating scripts is that their developers will take care of all that, thus saving you time and money. Just make sure that the dating or community software solution of your choice comes with an unencrypted source code. This will allow you to modify it for your needs without reinventing the wheel.

3. Be very picky when it comes to a hosting company. Please. When a community/dating script provider attracts your attention to server requirements – this is for a reason. Any program (whether it’s a computer game or dating software) has certain system requirements to run properly. If you don’t want your members to ‘enjoy’ downtimes and mysterious error lines on the site pages – check with the preferred hosting company if their servers are configured right for your dating script.

So, choose the dating software first, and then go for a suitable hosting company that meets the script system requirements (not vice versa). Simple, and will save you a lot of trouble later.

Another important aspect to pay attention to is backups. Make sure that your hosting provider backs up all your web site data, and that you will have easy access to it in case of emergency. We’ve been trying to help one of our customers lately who lost more than 500 000 members because of a server crash. If the hosting company was able to provide him with the database backup, the situation would not be so desperate.

4. Don’t become a clone. Facebook rocks, no doubts. MySpace is cool, also true. But why would people prefer your site over them if it offers similar features and design, but a significantly smaller community? If you aim at building something really worthy, something that has a chance to compete the “social networking monsters” one day – offer something unique. OK, we know that today’s variety of community sites leaves almost no room for “unique”. But true success is never easy to achieve. If I were to launch my own dating or social networking site – I would do my best to make it stand out in a crowd. Otherwise, how are people supposed to notice it?

If you still want your site to be a clone – it makes sense to at least make it geo-targeted or niche-oriented.

5. Do SEO. Spend on online marketing. You can never overestimate the importance of site promotion. A clever marketing campaign can work wonders for your site popularity.

You can find tons of articles, tips, guidelines on site promotion on the web. Participate in webmaster forums, read the blogs of “seo-sharks”, optimize your site for search engines, do promotions. Or turn to professional SEO and marketing agencies, who will do the dirty job for you. This costs money, but keeps your hands and mind free for other stuff to do.

6. Go for offline promotion. TV, radio, newspaper ads and promotional fliers are great tools to improve your brand visibility. Internet businesses mainly concentrate on online marketing and set offline advertising aside. But that means neglecting a whole sector of potential customers with fairly low brand competition. If your site is geo-targeted – offline marketing is especially efficient for business promotion.

7. Learn some coding to manage small issues on your own. No one is talking about major programming languages, but HTML and CSS basics are a ‘must-know’. You should also have a clear idea of what FTP, CPanel, SSH, database and nameservers are. This knowledge will help you perform minor web site adjustments without going through a heap of manuals and bugging customer support every time.

8. Work on your site design. Follow the color marketing principles. That does matter, otherwise why would so many clever marketing specialists would be engaged in color marketing that studies the influence of colors on people’s mood and behavior. If you want to be professional and efficient in every little thing – make sure that your site template reflects the conception, and puts your members in the right mood.

9. Don’t get apart from reality. Listen to your site members’ feedback. Trying to make your community site more user-friendly and feature-rich, you may forget who you’re actually doing the whole thing for. Site users do not like clustered member interface and dozens of notifications. Most of them don’t want to get an email every time someone visits their profile or photo album. They don’t want a 3D game that works in one browser only. They don’t want a fancy video chat that goes down whenever there are more than 3 users online. Expanding your site functionality is good. But features have to be ‘reasonable’, user-friendly and well-tested. Check from your site members if they like the interface and features that you offer. Show them that you care. This will help you see how well you are doing, and get your users involved in making the site better.

10. Remember that online dating/community site business is a full-time job. Working on the site development and promotion during your lunch break, and for an hour between dinner and a favorite TV show is not enough. If you want your project to be successful… I mean really successful – you will have to invest all your time, and plenty of funds.

Building your own competitive dating/community site is always hard and time-consuming. But the results will be truly rewarding if you follow the simple rules of common sense and stay confident about your project success.

Home Based Business With Support From a Team

The home based business model is very popular with people looking to break free from the regular 9-5 jobs and want freedom to work on their own. Even so, the rate of failure of home businesses is very high. This failure rate can be attributed a lot of reasons. Here we will see how having the support of a team when starting a business can have an effect on its success.You can share the costsThe first advantage of having the support of team behind you is that you can share the costs that come with starting the business. Many people are apprehensive to start a home based business because they do not want to risk losing their hard earned money, if the business were to fail, which is not completely baseless.When you start a small business with a team, you share the costs of investment. This way you minimize the risks of starting the business. Not only that, you also share the costs of maintaining your business like production and advertising costs.Complementing each otherWhen you start a home based business, you are not an expert in all the areas. For instance, you may be good in managing finances, but not as good in advertising as you would want to be. However, if you cannot advertise your product properly, your business is likely to grow very slowly. In this case, it is always better to have someone who can do the job for you.This is where teamwork can play a huge role in the success of your business. You will definitely be more effective in your business when you complement each other’s strengths and find ways to work around your weaknesses.When things go wrongWhen you go through rough phases in your business, you may find it very difficult to handle everything on your own. This is the time when you need some new ideas which are innovative and creative to have your business up and runningTwo minds will always produce more ideas than one mind can. When you are with a team, you always have someone who has a new idea that can change the course of your home based business.Knowing that you have good support behind you always gives you more confidence to work out new ideas. You are never alone when the chips are down for your business and always have someone to fall back on. When you plan on starting a home based business always consider having a team with you and you will increase the chances of success.

Home Based Business Marketing Tips – How to Market Your Home Based Business For Free

If you have a home based business you probably already know that one of the biggest challenges is paying to expose your business every single month. So many people are forced to give up on their business because they just don’t have the money to invest. There are plenty of really great free ways to market your business. So if you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend every month on marketing give these three tips a try. I know you can have success with them.Home Based Business Marketing Tip #1 – Talk To Your Friends And FamilyTalking to your close friends and family about your new (or old) business is about as free as it gets. A lot of people are hesitant to talk to the people closest to them. There are a large number of people who make $100,000 a year, or more, who work from home that are successful, at least in part, by signing up a close friend or family member. Starting a conversation, or showing a DVD costs you nothing and that’s why it’s number one on this list. It’s also something you can do today!Home Based Business Marketing Tip #2 – Article MarketingOnline article marketing is one of the oldest and most effective ways to market your home business for free. Simply write an article like this one that contains useful information for other home based business owners or potential prospects. Then all you have to do is publish your articles on free online article directories. This is a great way to get more people to look at your website or blog and of course, it’s 100% free.Home Based Business Marketing Tip #3 – Video MarketingRight now we live in a world where video is king. Why would we bother reading a book or a magazine article when we can have the information spoon fed to us with online video? Websites like YouTube and Revver are free to use and you don’t need a ton of fancy equipment. A regular camcorder or even a good quality cell phone is all you need to start posting video online.I can show you many more free and effective ways to market your home based business. Marketing your home based business doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, and when you market your business for free it’s a lot easier to turn a profit every month.