Markus Frind is the founder of the highly popular free dating website PlentyofFish.com , which Alexa ranks as #406 in terms of site popularity with more than a billion pageviews a month.
Frind started his dating website about 5 years ago with no money, no plan and with scant knowledge of how to run a Web business. Today, his creation is the largest dating site in the world earning about $10 million a year. Not bad for a two person business –Frind and his girlfriend (though he hired 3 customer service reps last year) — where Frind works one hour a day.
He shared some lessons on how to succeed on the Web from his posts in the WebmasterWorld.com forum as well as interview with Inc Magazine :
- Pick a market in which the competition charges money for its service, build a lean operation with a “dead simple” free website, and pay for it using Google Adsense
- You have to create sites that will bring in repeat traffic. If you think you will get rich off SEO think again. If you create a Free jobs site you could net 30 million + a year if you got big.
- Have your users create content and lots of it. User reviews of night clubs, Resorts, golf courses etc. Build your site around your users and make them part of your site, don’t build your site for consumption.
- Do not enter markets with a lot of competition monitized via adsense. Try and undercut paid content markets by offering a free service, or better yet create your own market.
- Keep your site dead simple, it has to load fast and have no more then 2 ads and 1 or 2 pictures other then your logo. Do not confuse your user, give them what they want and give it to them fast.
- Troll around various forums and if people are not talking about your market, there is a good chance you will make money.
- I focus most of my time on trying to increase my dailly visitor count. If i don’t increase my users/pageviews by 10% a month there is something wrong. If you focus all your time on trying to make money, your site tends to not grow.
- Everyone’s advice is to have a ton of people and spend a ton of money. But that advice usually gets you nowhere.