How did PlentyofFish.com get so popular?
Plenty Of Fish’s Marcus Frind, a viral success
Markus Frind, the founder of Plenty of Fish started his website back in 2001, knowing nothing about
website design or marketing. He started this dating site while working at a job that was going nowhere.
In the early years of Plenty of Fish, he knew nothing about SEO or how to get the site moving and
attracting visitors. He just registered a domain, “Plenty of Fish” and then forgot all about it
and kept working menial employment. This went on for the next couple of years going back and forth in
jobs that would basically go nowhere. In 2003 he revisited the site he had made and started
participating in online forums and began to study SEO(Search Engine Optimization). While Markus did
have a degree out of British Columbia Institute of Technology, he didn’t start getting
serious about his website until 2003. At the time, he wasn’t even looking to create a dating site,
he was just trying to learn asp.net. At the time of this writing over 1,500,000 daters login to
PlentyofFish.com daily. It is also making millions of dollars per year, grown into one of the most popular
and profitable dating websites on the internet. From humble beginnings on a home computer, this
business has blossomed into an internet empire.
PlentyofFish isn’t just your usual dating site either which may be why it attracts so many visitors and
has been such a huge success. Marcus” idea when he created the popular dating site was to make it
entirely free to its users. This wasn’t exactly what prompted people to sign up but after Marcus
perfected his marketing and website optimization, the site eventually took off and became a viral
success. Marcus Frind, a native Canadian actually first started Plenty of Fish out of frustration of his own
online dating experiences. He noticed back at the inception of his website that many online dating sites
were actually for paid members. He spent most of his off time from his job at computer firms studying
and learning about the different aspects of marketing and strategies. His website did not rely on paid
memberships but instead the site made money by ad based revenues from Google Adsense. By 2008
PlentyofFish.com was making 10 million dollars a year which equates to $10,000 a day. Not bad for an
idea that was just a little off the beaten path.
To meet Frind one would probably notice nothing unusual. He is early 3os and looks like a
typical guy, maybe a bit on the nerdy side. For all intents and purposes he is your average guy who,
looking for a dating site that works, set out on doing just that. PlentyOfFish in the
beginning wasn’t too flashy; in fact the graphics were generic and the format pretty bland. Even to this
day Marcus looks at these issues as being not too relative to hindering his success. He must be doing
something right because this site makes more money per day than some people make in the United
States in a year. Marcus Frind also states that he works maybe one hour a day, PlenyofFish pretty much
operates on its own. His technique of marketing is simple, so simple in fact anyone could do it. This
entrepreneur could easily serve as a role model for new website builders just starting out. His
marketing strategies entailed writing SEO articles about dating, posting them in forums and directing
people to Plentyoffish. Once there, users were invited to signup for free. An easy concept which took
off once the word got out. His website, connected through AdSense earns revenues from ads placed on
the site. His royalties are not from the site itself but from advertisements. This same role model could
be used in virtually any type of website. The success of Marcus Frind who found a simple solution to a
glitch he saw in internet dating caused him to be quite successful . It also shows that through
persistent and a desire to succeed can happen to anyone regardless of the person’s abilities.
In recent news unfortunately, PlentyOfFish has been involved in a lawsuit in which the parents of a
soldier killed in Iraq claim that the dating site illegally used the deceased picture on their website.
Apparently the claim states that the soldier had a profile and picture on 2 different websites, one was
on PlentyofFish.com. At the time when the photograph and picture where on the site, the soldier was in
fact engaged to be married. The companies allege that the ad could have been placed by outside dating
sites or third parties. Nevertheless, Marcus Frind remains on top of the dating gig, claiming the top of
the pole in site traffic. He has been so successful by just keeping it all very simple. He employs just a
handful (or less) of people to staff his site. Recently he has added some paid
features on PlentyofFish.com but it is not a requirement for users to use. The basic service is still
entirely free for users. His success also did not happen overnight, it’s taken a few years for PlentyofFish
to become a popular dating site. However as with anything, word gets around and the forums on this
dating site are extremely active. Not just one forum but over 200, and the users are the ones who run it.
On any given day there are hundreds of thousands of people on the PlentyofFish forums which is
moderated by just a few volunteers.
These are a few things that Marcus Frind attributes to his success. He also created a system where a
user does not have to answers a whole bunch of questions to get a possible dating match. By using the
information from what a user inputs, a match can be suggested without all of the profile updating
hassles. The site is run and looks simple, there are no big upgrades or banners which make it look more
than it is. Simple yet effective seems to be the key to Marcus Frind’s success in the online dating world.
To understand Marcus Frind and his mindset it is impossible to list everything here in this short
synopsis. To really get where he is going and where he has been take a look at his blog at
http://plentyoffish.wordpress.com/ Here he tells it like it is in simple terms and make no bones about it
his methods are simplistic. In his mind it’s all a numbers game, more eyeballs viewing his site
means more clicks on his pages. More clicks naturally means, more money and revenue. Most dating
sites in the past have relied for the most part on paid memberships. Memberships are a surefire way
to make a dollar regardless of whether the person continues or not. If the customer does nothing but
pay for a membership and never actually uses the site; the company has made their money. The
downside are these companies rely on paid memberships and nothing else for the most part. They
usually also have to spend a lot in advertising to get potential customers on board. With PlentyofFish.
advertising campaigns are unnecessary, this company has made it to the top by word of mouth and its
reputation for being a free service and with no hype. Its CEO Marcus Frind has done this on his own and
spent almost all of his time running this site from his home in Canada. It is the most popular dating site
in Canada and North America ever. This man could be good role model for anyone trying to start a
successful business online. He has become hugely successful by putting into play simple yet effective
methods that have most likely left a lot of big corporation CEO’s shaking their heads. Obviously Markus Frind isn’t
done building his empire yet, in fact his projections are billions, not millions in thinking of future
proceeds from PlentyofFish.com. The way it looks, even with the small bumps along the road with
lawsuits, it doesn’t seem to be slowing this one man band down a bit. Sure, he has had to hire a few
people to help run the show, but his tactics of using a simple yet effective method to produce results
has worked wonders. There’s sure to be more to come from this talented young entrepreneur.