How I started A Dating Empire

Back in 2001 after my birthday someone in the office introduced me to online dating sites.  I went back to my desk and checked out and and lavalife/web personals.    I was bored and I wanted to chat with people.  I was really annoyed when I found out you had to pay for everything, I ended up telling the girl who introduced me to the sites that I could do better and make them for free, so I went and registered    All I ever ended up doing was creating an index page and forgot about it.

Fast forward to 2003,  I had been jumping jobs every couple of months from one sinking ship to another.   I had just joined a new company with 30 employees on Dec 1st of 2002, by the time Feb rolled around 15 people had already been laid off and I started to worry.  I started thinking about finishing my site and learning at the same time and I wondered why people didn’t come rushing to join.   I quickly started building my site and actually made it somewhat functional although most pages where in asp, others in  Somehow I ran across this site,  once there I was introduced to the concept of SEO, boy did that open my eyes.  I started exchanging links with everyone and anyone and finally got a bit of traffic.  Then I sat back and waited for the famous google dance, the once a month update.   At the start of March google updated and I got pagerank,  but still not much traffic and I made my first post here asking for help.

At the start of March I had ~40 members my site was running off my home machine,  people where complaining I didn’t allow image uploading  so by mid march I had added image uploading.  You can see how absolutely horrible the site looked here.    By the end of March my site went viral and started growing 2 to 5% a day and it was off to the races from there.  I was still developing on the live site/home machine and I always prayed nothing would crash.

Then at the end of June Adsense came out up until then I had no real way of monetizing my site.  I had a single affiliate program but it didn’t even make $40/month.  I went and  added Adsense pretty quick,  I made a whole $5.63 cents my first month, but that was more then enough for me to realize that I wouldn't go broke running the site and I could make a business out of this with enough traffic.  In my evenings I started working really hard on my site learning trying to convert my hastily put together asp pages to and trying to add more pages/functionality.  I was doing the Beta thing before it was cool.   I was updating/building the live site every couple of minutes,  if the site crashed I didn’t really care, only took a few seconds to fix it.

I once again complained in my thread about my sites lack of SEO results it was September of 2003,  I had 10k signups now and only a ~100 visitors a day from google and other 2,000 unique visitors a day from who knows where.    By the time October rolled around my site was rolling,  I quit my job at the start of the month and FINALLY went and bought a little server and moved my site to a hosting provider at the end of October.  Still can’t believe I ran my site off my home computer for the first 8 months

My short description leaves a lot out,  but basically I spent every waking minute when I wasn't at my day job reading, studying, and learning.  I picked out "enemies" and did everything I could to defeat them which ment being bigger then them.   I refused to accept defeat of any kind, and I constantly forced myself to test new things.  I never tried to perfect anything it didn't matter if things didn't work 100% as long as it was good enough I would move onto the next thing.  In 2003 the dating market was growing 80% a year unlike the -10% in 2006 so growth was a LOT easier.  When 2004 rolled around and word of mouth REALLY kicked in and as they say the rest is history.

I look back now at how ill prepared I was,  I didn't know anything about SEO, Advertising, community and  I didn't even know what Venture Capital was.  Just goes to show you anyone can do anything. 

420 Responses to “How I started A Dating Empire”

  1. Chris Wants to Learn! Says:

    Definetly a great empire it is. I remember when I came across your site in 03′, back when folks like supposedly had over 7 million members. What ever happend to those guys? They had,, etc… I guess MySpace picked up where they slacked off.

    Kudos Markus!

    • Says:

      Hello Handsome How are you doing?I do Came Across your profile and Its very Lovely and Awesome..My name is Sandra am new on this Online dating Scene and I Just wanted to know where this will lead to,i will really like to know a man like you,i will really appreciate it if i have a chance to get to know you more better..Well here are little about my self I am a Honest,Kind,Caring,Loyal,truthful and God fearing Person,I am Looking for a serious and Long term relationship,and I will Like to know More about a Woman Like you cos your Profile really interest me and i believe you are the King of Woman all woman will like to know and make friend with you..I will be Glad if you can e-m-a-i-l me Directly into my Personals e-m-a-i-l so we can talk much Better cus i am not a full member on here so i wont be able to read your email if you reaply me back on here…e-m-a-i-l Address:: (terrysandra34) (at) yahoo (dot) com u can also text my number (515) 442-0519
      (terrysandra34) (at) (yahoo) (dot) (com)

  2. Delroy Frazer Says:

    Yes, very encouraging story. Funny, I had this site from around 2003 – and , but for some reasons, I slocked off —I am going to take up CEO -God, its just a lot of reading. I wonder what the MySpace story is like…

  3. Roger Says:

    Fantastic… I am sure you look back on it with such joy!

  4. Rob Mayhew Says:

    Markus I find your story to be inspiring, more people should read this. I’ve worked in the software industry for years and everyone talks about doing what you do, but only a handful of people really try, and even fewer keep at it long enough to succeed.

    There is just so much bulls@#t out there when it comes to making it on your own. It’s refreshing to hear your story.

  5. John Webster Says:

    I love the blog and your story – fun to read and I’m sure to tell. We are trying to get there:

  6. razib Says:

    yes good preparation means the work is half done. However, nice work!! It is not just your problem. Many people face this problem and they end up leading a messy life. I wish you best of luck.

  7. Stevux Says:

    Great ideas Marcus, I just started reading this blog and you have some really good clear points in your posts. Please keep it up🙂

  8. Carl Saling Says:

    Great inspiring story! I love seeing people succeed so well. It makes me even more motivated to make even more money then that.

    My site is about credit repair not dating but what you have accomplished pertains to any category. I hope you get to a million dollars a month!

  9. Tom Says:

    This is a great story, I like it!!!

    Motivated people will win…

  10. Adeolu Akinyemi Says:

    I like this story and the approach.

    Fastforward to 2006 and it’s like i’m where you were in 2003. I need help on what to do to improve my traffic…like a 10 tips thing i can follow religiously without using too many bytes in my brain…if possible.

    I’m currently experiening 100+ visitors per day, and 700page views on google…I’m 3 months old, and want to go viral…can you help me.

  11. paowiee Says:

    very inspiring story markus … the power is in the word of mouth!🙂

    more power to you!

  12. kenny Says:

    great story. i love reading these, it makes me want to learn more PHP and continue working on my sites.
    I currently have a World of Warcraft guild forum I host for some friends of mine, and it’s pulling in between 500-2000 page impressions per day according to google. i’ve made a small chunk of money.. but not enough for a check to get mailed to me yet !🙂

  13. dan Says:

    When you say you picked your enemies, did u mean the other dating sites out there that were charging the monthly fees?

  14. Markus Says:

    When I started there were thousands of free dating sites always have been. Many of them were around for years and years. Matchdoctor, spark, okcupid, bookofmatches, jumpdates etc etc

  15. edz1624 Says:

    Yeah! Dating sites was a good business but it isn’t just about business its more on the essence of helping so many people meet each other in a more technological way. One site help me find my fiancee and I’m proud to say webdatedotcom for it really bridged me to her.

  16. waarneming en verandering » How I started A Dating Empire Says:

    […] Markus Frind wrote an entertaining post about how he started a dating empire: “[…] Back in 2001 after my birthday someone in the office introduced me to online dating sites. I went back to my desk and checked out and and lavalife/web personals. I was bored and I wanted to chat with people. I was really annoyed when I found out you had to pay for everything, I ended up telling the girl who introduced me to the sites that I could do better and make them for free, so I went and registered All I ever ended up doing was creating an index page and forgot about it.[…]”. Then continue reading some of his other posts like Competitive Intelligence and Counter Intelligence to get to know more about his ideas on how you influence the Internet community as a whole – of course in order to build your own. […]

  17. diannelone Says:

    More than just a good business, I would say, dating sites have helped many people to find true love. It has became a channel of interracial relationships and has opened the idea of dating globally. I became a fan of a popular dating site, webdatedotcom. Here I learned different cultures through talking to people all over the world.

  18. Trent Says:

    I think the moral of this story is that there is no such thing as an overnight success. Sites take lots of hard work and time to build and promote. Until you’ve done it yourself, you have no idea how much energy it requires.

  19. John Webster Says:


    What do you think of the site MatchDoctor, it’s entirely free, right?

  20. dhaval : Says:

    well, idea was unique,good inspiring story,keep it up

  21. jess remoto Says:

    hi markus,
    Well i am trying roaming around the net for quite sometimes exploring the value of earning. As a new kid in the net i find your story so vey interesting and encouring. Become rich is not just like a click of a finger hope to hear from u.


  22. Jason Says:

    I started and it was mildly successful, but my programmers couldn’t keep the site up & I wasn’t making enough at the time to hire local one’s.
    I hate thinking about this. I think I had close to 20k in members. The first site I launched was

  23. Gary Kelly Says:

    Outstanding job Markus.

    I have also managed to get a copy of a Google AdSense check for True, Yahoo Personals, Match and eHarmony. I broke this exclusive story not long ago on my blog.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    How I Started a Dating Empire

    Markus Frind started his own free online dating site, run entirely by himself, and now he is the single most paid Adsence publisher in Canada. In this post he details how he accomplished what he did to do so well. Very interesting.

  25. Tom Kane Says:

    Thanks for this, Markus! My site ( is six months old and I’m working hard to build traffic. This kind of story pushes me further in the right direction, and I appreciate it.

    Congratulations on your check!

  26. Adsense 20/20 Says:

    Google Adsense Success Story – Marcus Frind –

    Markus Frind has a free dating site called and he posted his check for 901,733,84 Canadian dollars.

    What is his story? Well, it all started in 2001 when he first saw online dating sites. He didn’t like the lack services that w…

  27. Dipo Tepede Says:

    It’s too beautiful to have a signpost to follow; it makes me know how possible it is. I am into thought-provoking blog/job-seekers resource site and it is not doing badly for 1 month baby.

    I believe I will be counting a million US dollar on my project at the end of one year.

    Thanx for sharing.

  28. Salil Chandra Says:

    Great story. But you left out the most important part. What the heck do you have for breakfast!!!!🙂.

    Gluck with your venture.


  29. PreZ Says:

    Your story is amazing Markus I hope to one day create something like this and i know it takes tons of hardwork and perseverance. Congrats

  30. Beachbum Says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  31. » Blog Archive » Who we are - the story behind us and our inspiration for creating Plenty of Tee Times Says:

    […] In a world where ‘web 2.0′ companies like Digg is way overvalued at $200M and companies like Plenty of Fish are raking in the cash and kicking butt with only one employee, we wanted to thank all the golfers who have given us feedback thus far on our service as well as praise Markus for his inspiration. While we are no where near as big as Plenty of Fish, Markus was our inspiration of finally building out our golf tee time web portal. When we read about his amazing story, and what he has accomplished thus far, we were floored to think just a guy or two could accomplish this. To see the results from the hard work Markus endured and persevered in the early days is truly and inspirational story. […]

  32. Andrey Says:

    Why name – not for example ?

  33. Addies Says:

    I love the way you delivered the story, I wish if I can have a chance to personally talk to you, THanks ALot! – WiSh yOu BeSt Of lUcK!

  34. Pavilion Says:


  35. BSG Says:

    What a wonderful story! Its this kind of post that gets me motivated, keeps me up late at night and gets me up early in the morning. Excellent job.

    My favorite part was when he wrote about spending every waking minute that he was not at work, just learning, and working on the site. Thats the kind of thing that makes people successful.

  36. Rob @ Says:

    Inspiring story. You hit at a great time 2003-2004 were the first wave of internet dating. I believe another one is on its way as the younger generations come to age. Great idea on the free model!

    Rob @

  37. Fran Perr Says:

    I just came across your site while taking a break from finishing my own site at: Feel free to check it out for ideas on credit and credit repair or fixing bad credit.
    Looks like theres some good posts and info here too, I’ll check back in here again and look forward to sharing.

  38. US Beacon Says:

    Thanks for the article Markus. Very inspiring!!

  39. Mike Says:

    Interesting article Markus and thanks for sharing. My site isn’t a membership type of site. It’s mostly health related news and products. Do you know of a “simple” way to increase traffic to this kind of site. If anyone has any suggestions (please be nice) don’t hesitate to let me know

    Thanks and good luck to all of you.

  40. pavel Says:

    You sound like you were a very beginner back those days and it is great what have you achieved so far. What astonished me was the traffic and interest you gained for such a visually gross site – the inside must be something special. Keep going;-)

  41. rulman Says:

    believe another one is on its way as the younger generations come to age. Great idea on the free model!

  42. hikaye Says:

    its wonderfull

  43. jesus Says:

    Every time ssomebody succeeds, a little part of me dies

  44. Zoltan Says:

    Yes, Markus did a great job. Just one more comment: I believe you are where you are because you are a brilliant self-marketer.

  45. Peter Best Says:

    Quite impressive to say the least. I know the feeling.Let’s chat some time…

    All my best,


  46. Shashank Says:

    great read…wonderful

  47. OnBeingParents Says:


    What skills does someone need in addition to to build a site similar to your. Thanks

  48. Xela Says:

    Mdaaaaaaaa! That’s quite a story by Markus.
    I remember when people were laughing at your idea at the online dating conference in Florida. Was it 2004 or 2005? I don’t remember now.
    But for followers, I’d like to notice, how stamina and luck come along to create a success which people will be analyzing for years to come.
    As a matter of fact, the idea to create a free dating site was totally stupid by 2003 when last traces of “free” ISP’s have just vanished. Now let’s counts IF’s:
    – if Google didn’t come up with AdSense or made it 1 year earlier or later
    – if the Markus’s employer of 2002 stayed afloat longer
    – if appeared later, just 1 year
    – if that girl didn’t introduce udate & to Markus
    – if he wasn’t feeling lonely at that very moment or had guts to visit the nearest pub and talk to girls
    – if, if, if….. you name it.

    If only ANY of these hadn’t worked out, the name of our hero wouldov been different. Somebody else would have celebrated a success.

    So, Markus, enjoy! I’m sincerely happy for you.

  49. Smibs Grow Smart Weblog Says:

    Start in Canada with no budget and no business plan… and make millions.

    What I first found on Guy’s blog seems to be to good to be true. Start a business with no business model, no capital and no real plan and make millions – sounds like a spoof, doesn’t it? Well, the Canadian Markus Frind did it with his free …

  50. Xela Says:

    Frankly, I hate when people quote article, like it’s a Bible. Nonetheless, there is one important sentence that attracted my attention.

    “Then at the end of June Adsense came out up until then I had no real way of monetizing my site. I had a single affiliate program but it didn’t even make $40/month.”

    It confirms what I stressed before. Markus was developing the site just as an exercise and to kill some time. People who weren’t socially awkward would certainly hang out with friends instead.
    He had no clue how it may work or generate some $$$. 7-year old kids selling lemonade at the street stand would have more knowledge about business than Markus at that time.
    So from this prospectives, Markus just won a lottery. It was a pure luck. Nothing more.
    But… what he did very well was learning and studying. He learned, AdSense, affiliate business, SEO and many other things. Good for him!

    Is his experience possible to reproduce or repeat and what it would take?
    Absolutely! It takes nothing more but to be at the right time at the right place. Can you figure it out? Absolutely, no!

    All the lottery winners think they are extraordinary smart. As a matter of fact, they are not. Ask yourself what you would think about a person who is doing something without a slightest understanding how money is to be made. Is the person smart? The person is a clinical idiot.
    If the person won a lottery the very next day. Will it make him/her smart? Well….

  51. richard Says:


    I do not understand why you say that Markus was lucky and that he won the lottery.

    He started a business that provided a solution for people: singles that wanted to meet other singles but did not want to pay money for each and every website!

    Should this not be the start of every businessplan. You are right that 1 out of every 10 businesses survives the first 5-10 years, but does that make all of these ‘survivors’ … lottery-winners?

    I do not think so!


  52. vepa Says:

    I don’t think what Markus did is a luck. He took action not knowing how to code ASP and filling the need for free dating website. And there are plenty of people who knew and still know how to build website but they don’t o it. They prefer to work for someone and earn regular salary. It is a investment of efford and that is what Markus did. It is lazyness of all other people that didn’t take action and prefer laying on the sofa wathing TV.

    Great stosy Markus, I really like your honesty and story. Great plan🙂

  53. normlthinker Says:

    Clearly an inspiration from my site. The not everything is perfect concept seemed to work. Thanks for sharing.

  54. Al Ramirez Says:

    Amazing stranger than fiction storyline… should try to sell the movie rights.

  55. Software Projects Says:

    Markus, You are an inspiration to all of us.

    It’s amazing how far along you’ve come. Interesting to note you did it all by –
    #1. Focusing on giving users what they want
    #2. Creating a strong viral factor from day one (unlike the other sites, “it’s free”)
    #3. Relentless, unstoppable desire for ongoing never ending improvement.

  56. Debbie Says:

    If anyone’s interested in making $25,000 per month, please go to the website and sign up for your very own internet travel agency. YES, you, too, can make six figures and become successful as Markus did — only on a smaller scale. I’ll take making $250,000 a year any day versus working a 9-5 job making very little money. Check it out people — be your own success story too — like Markus did. You can live your dreams too!!!

  57. jc-cel Says:

    This is a very inspiring story. I don’t believe in luck, I believe in God, his son Jesus, but I think Markus just simply made the right move at the right time. I’m happy for him and his success. Anyone can make the right move at the right time in any other venture. It’s fine to have worldly riches while we are alive. But you know what riches truly matters, spiritual riches which last forever, be rich in God.

  58. leeeeee Says:

    Totally inspiring, adsense and affiliate schemes have changed the way a lot of sites do business. It now means that charging monthly premiums is not always necessary as revenue can now be made via other means. this is a real plus to the consumer and of course the offer of a free service is always sure to generate more traffic, this is something I am now considering doing on my site

  59. MJS Says:

    Can you help? Was in contact with other member, was to meet, sent an email that was likely viewed as a brush off, he abruptly deleted acct. Is there anyway to retrieve his email account (username: Findout90 of Edison, NJ) so that I may contact him – even if indirectly through you. feeling sad about this. Have screened MANY, MANY folks & he was a decent sort.

  60. Scott Harris Says:

    I’m a reporter iat the San Jose Mercury News nterested in talking to Markus. Please drop me a note or call me at 408-920-2704.
    ‘Scott Harris

  61. ZioZoiZ Says:

    This is a Very Great and Inspiring Story

    Thanks alot markus.

    Keep it on…

  62. rulman Says:

    nice and very useful collections.

  63. Ed Says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. It just shows us all that if you’re persistent enough and belive in your product you can be successful
    with this internet marketing thing.


  64. Jenny Says:

    Very nice and thanks for sharing your story. I know you put lots of diligent work into your site to make it as successful as that.
    Thanks again.

  65. Hearty Surprise » One Fish Earns Millions With Plenty Of Fish Says:

    […] Courtesy: Marcus Frind Blog […]

  66. Stephen Says:

    Interesting and informative

  67. jeff feldman Says:

    your website needs tac help won’t allow logons. No cookies inabled and when i punch in my e-mail address it states can’t be found miracleman4700 code sylere14 its now gonna take a computer expert. other than that a really cool site for a day online hope to meet a naughty chick there.

  68. How Markus Frind Became The Biggest Adsense Earner In The World-Make Money Online With Snowboardjohn Says:

    […] But instead of telling you what he did, I think you should read his own words of how he did it. […]

  69. sexy Says:

    -really dont know how he got that no. of members in that time
    -i see you try to make your site look same but better
    -its full of errors and bad scripting open to attackers
    -markus fish just started to jump on alexa
    -how do you markus block alexa users or block any users and get hidden on the net and at same time get more members
    -markus made the best website promotion for his fish he will still be getting members every second till every one stop talking about biggest dating site that earns big money wich is imposible

  70. Mary Says:

    I knew Frind in a fantastic dabate called “No plan, no capital, no model…no problem”. I think everybody shoul see this.

  71. Adsense Millionaires - Adsense Primacy Says:

    […] How I started A Dating Empire […]

  72. ZioZoiZ programmi gratis Says:

    I’m trying to create something big as marcus did with his web site. But now I am getting to know how hard things were for him.

  73. Dating Service Free Forever Says:

    This is a very good English site:

  74. Anthony Says:

    Markus is so right (“picke out “enemies”) this is what keeps me going

  75. Jason Says:

    I just started this dating site. Only have three members. I am at the bottom of the ladder, only way is up! I plan on doing alot of advertising right here in my own city first, then work my way up from there. Will be changing the domain name I think, in the next few days here.

  76. Seduction and Relationships » Blog Archive » Comment on How I started A Dating Empire by DC Says:

    […] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

  77. Seduction and Relationships » Blog Archive » Comment on How I started A Dating Empire by Seduction and … Says:

    […] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

  78. vmg Says:

    i dont know whats up with plentyoffish. I had success and wanted to log back in but it keeps deleting me and im so sad! I did nothing swear words, I did everything right and he wont respond to my emails as to why i keep getting deleted!

  79. SC Says:

    Encouraging story for all the web capitalists out there.

  80. Carlos A. Vidal Says:

    HI Markus, I have no idea on making a web-site, I don’t even know the terms you guys use , but I have an idea of a dating site. How or were can I find someone that could make that idea reality?

  81. farrah Says:

    What a very nice story u have here,,its so inspiring and very encouraging..

  82. cdnsingles Says:

    I hope to be as succesful as you Marcus! I started mine ( as a pay site back in april, but after reading this, will change it to free forever.

  83. malibufire Says:

    I would have contacted you directly through POF, but there is no way to leave you an e mail. Why do you have a picture of a scantily-dressed woman listed as a “virtual gift” to be redeemed with points on your site? It is in very bad taste, and leaves the impression you think women are toys. Please take it down.

  84. james deen Says:

    Now that is an inspirational story. I remember when was little too and had no traffic. Its cool to see a site grow.

  85. Adam Says:

    Watched & enjoyed the panel discussion at Churchill Club. Thanks so much for sharing!

  86. CC Says:

    Very nice article. There was also a local news story about POF that was very inspiring for me. I have built several sites over the years and wish I had the foresight to see the revenue potential several years ago. POF, as well as other dating sites, is listed in

  87. Diane Says:

    Marcus – we would love to do a phone interview with you for our Daily News segment.

  88. Chris Crowell Says:

    Hey man I am hoping to get where you are one day. Would you like to donate to the cause? I was wondering if you would be interested in starting a video game company. I can run the unreal engine with a little hard work if you wanna buy the software. check out my forum its mostly a bunch of spammers putting porn on there but i get a crap load of views. i just erased all 60k articles posted yesterday and already they are breaking a few hundred articles! I had not linked the site to anyone or advertised or anything i guess its all just word of mouth? 18138338254

  89. Shmuel Says:

    Hi markus,

    Its a great story.Very inspiring.Where there is a will there is a way,nothing is impossible.
    My name is Shmuel.I live in israel and i would like to make a similar matching site for Jews in Israel and abroad,in Hebrew and English.
    There is a great need for it.I know many people many friends of mine that are looking and are dissapointed with the present sites,they dont find what they are looking for ‘and it doesent seem serious.Not many dates come out of it.
    they also pay money for the service and feel that they dont get the return for it.They dont reach the goal to find the mach they are looking for.
    You have a very accurate and efficient one and its free,I also understand that many people found there matches there.that is what people are looking for.
    I would like to cooperate with you in order to bring it into realization.

    I’d be glad hearing from you soon.

    respecfully yours,


  90. Black Singles Says:

    Markus is so right (”pick out “enemies”) this is what keeps me going

  91. Windows Vista Programmi Gratis Says:

    I always Like Ready this story whenever Visits on my sites go down. I Just Keep Me focus. Hope I telling a story Like this One day.

  92. Solarium Lampade Abbronzanti Sunrise Says:

    Great story indeed!!! this means nothing is impossible.

  93. Lawrence Says:

    Markus, thank you for sharing the story. It is very inspiring and motivating for any internet marketers.

  94. freakster Says:

    yeah i am loving this article really gives and insight on how to move forward with any web project. Our site is trying to do the same so hopefully we can learn from the bigger sites and become a major player at some point.

  95. Yanna Massage Says:

    This story tells us all that, one has to be really focus to obtain great results.

  96. Namibia auto Says:

    Internet marketing is only future unfortunately( So I do appreciate your time for writing this article and sharing your ideas) Thanks.

  97. kehinde Says:

    am doing one for my nigerian audience too…
    but its a blog and we’re just using the c-bar…lol
    by the way its

  98. Matt Says:

    Very inspiring story, I really like how you kept going until you succeeded. I can’t wait untilmy business hits the peak of its success.

  99. Frank Says:

    Every time I read about you I’m in awe. I wish I was as talented and blessed as you to create something from scratch as you did instead of using others software. But hey, I do not have your background, I’m just a retired plumber internet wanna be. I hope you make millions of more dollars!

  100. frank Says:

    i can just be without words

  101. Free dating partner Says:

    I read the similar article somewhere but every time I read, I am impressed about Mr. Markus. He is so smart.
    Thanks for sharing.

  102. Asian girl Says:

    Markus, you are excellent in math and mastermind in marketing.
    Thanks for sharing this great method.
    Asian girl.

  103. Web Forms Says:

    In my case, I started a dating site back in 1999 (check in wayback machine). It really went viral.

    Within months I got 16,000 members and expanding like crazy. Back then the cost for hosting IS ETREMELY expensive. For USD 25/month i only got 2 Gig traffic.

    I did my best to keep image to a minimun so I can keep below 2 gig traffic per month.

    Sadly by mid 2001, the site had grew so big. I constantly use 5 Gig traffic per month and constantly being fined another USD 25 per month by the hosting provider.

    Bear in mind, this is 2001. Google adsense is nowhere to be seen. Paypal… what?? Nobody ever heard about it.

    By august 2001, I decided to go for a long hibernate. I closed the site and spent the next 5 years doing offline work (programming for backoffice apps).

    Fast forward to 2006. When I finally re-learn the web again, Gosh I was so surprised so much has changed in the last 5 years. Then I realise there is this thing called contextual advertising A.K.A Adsense.

    God. I could have been you, markus!

    The biggest mistake was.. I HIT THE MARKET TOO EARLY with no way of monetising the huge traffic back in 2001!!

  104. Rob Lawrence Says:

    Wow what a story! Congratulations Markus.
    Warm Regards,

  105. » Blog Archive » Myth or No Myth? Make A Million Dollars With Google’s Adsense! Says:

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  106. MiBlackbook Says:

    Very inspiring indeed

  107. MiBlackbook Says:

    Inspiring indeed

  108. nextMEDIA Exposed: Markus Frind, Plenty Of Fish « Bridging Media Says:

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  109. Jennifer Pilgrim Says:

    Markus is living the dream that we all have “nothing ventured nothing gained”. Any business online or off-line requires a lot of hard work and it is often said that when in business for yourself that it is not a 9-5. There’s never a punch clock and no one will ask you why you are late or when you are going home, plus it can get very lonely on days with only your pussy cat around.

    This is when plentyoffish dating will never be harmful. One has to be very careful not to sit at the computer for more than 8-hours, drinking coffee everyday and then have to mail order a bride. Years later, you’ll be successful and fat then your new project will be how to lose weight fast. This happened to a friend of mine who started an online business in 2003.

    Nevertheless, Markus is a wonderful role model and mentor for success. Thanks very much Markus for sharing this with us.

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  111. Kontradiction Says:

    I agree with the struggle; it takes at least a year or two to really hit big.

  112. GoodCreditRocks Says:

    I love your approach! It makes me want to try striking out on my own, too.

  113. Debbie Says:

    Always a joy to read about and retell a success story!

  114. Sam Braford Says:

    Thank you for great article. I’ve been reading a bit about how people can make money off their Web site by joining up with the Google AdSense program, but I really don’t understand how it all works. Do I need to find advertisers? Do I bill them for showing up on my site? Or does Google do all this? I found one is about google strategies, Pls check how its really work

  115. Rich Says:

    Hey Mark I never even heard of your site until about 2-3 months ago, I thought I knew what all the major dating sites were until saw yours so then I searched to find more information about site and found out how you single handedly created it. When I came across your dating site it caught my attention because I saw how simple it was and easy to be a part of, and just like you I dont know nothing about nothing about creating a website but I do have a fantastic idea much like yours that I believe people would be very interested in, and with your help maybe I can pull it off if you would be willing to direct in the right way.

  116. Jem Says:

    I can’t believe someone my age is earning this amount, congrats, I guess everyone can aspire to be as successful as Markus, but let it be known that it will take discipline and work, most likely it won’t just come like that, even Markus has some years of experience working and learning before he embarks on the site


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  118. Titch69 Says:

    Had some great times on pof, but it appears that anyone that goes on a date with a guy who ‘knows’ people who run pof here in England, seem to get blocked from the site. Pointless in trying to contact them, they never get back to you.

  119. Titch69 Says:

    Forgot to mention, that this is after politely turning him down for a second date. Would love it if someone else looked into this.

    Definately not a scammer, did not harass anyone and my profile wasn’t fake.

    Apart from the above, pof is one of the best sites i have come across:-)

  120. AtlDeveloper Says:

    I was greatly inspired by Frind’s story. He is truly one of the great ones. Honestly his story is more incredible than the Google guys because he did this all own his own.

    At first I thought his story was incredible to be true. But after delving a little more I came to realize that he really worked hard to get where he is. Well based on that inspiration I started my own site Please check it out.

    Thanks guys.

  121. hooligan Says:

    Wow great story markus, I also think you entered the dating industry at just the right time. I mean for this to happen now it would be much harder.

  122. Joey Says:

    Very inspiring story man! I really hope I have the same luck with my ringtone download empire.

  123. Michael Washington Says:

    Wow, this is a great story and funny I’m trying to do the same thing. I’m a computer scientist and I’m developing to help people with day to day problems of learning computer technology and languages. I have been studying literally everyday to accomplish a powerful dream. I’m curious what gave you that motivation to keep it moving everyday like that. You are really an amazing person!

  124. SitePoint Blogs » 10 Inspirational “How I Did It” Stories Says:

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  125. More Inspirational Stories for Getting Your Startup On | KillerBlog Says:

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  126. lazy drunk Says:

    Great story. Good inspiration.

  127. Chris Says:

    It pays to persevere. I think it’s important to move on when things are “good enough” instead of waiting until it’s perfect–and move onto the next thing you need to do for your site. Otherwise, we tend to get sidetracked and upset with how things are going. But it sounds like you just kept your momentum by working hard, testing, and learning.

  128. Dan Says:

    Great motivation to keep one going in this challenging economy. Notice how he didn’t quit the day job until he had something. He basically worked 2 jobs, never forgetting his direction and where he wanted to take his website. I think a lot of us can learn from him that if you don’t take that chance and only talk abotu it you wont go anywhere! Trust me I know!

  129. MayanMaster Says:

    Very very motivating. I work very hard on my projects and sometimes feel the weight of the waiting, but your lines are inspiring.

  130. Colin Tongs Says:

    Hi Marcus
    do you have a personal email, as I want to ask a couple of questions to do with an important medical discovery. Our credibiity lies in the fact that our former chairman was Vice Chanclelor of both Cambrige & Oxford Universities.

  131. Carpe diem Suicidal Says:

    Hey Markus —

    I was Googling Guy Kawasaki and I came across that video with you and the panel of people. I was really inspired by you the most and how you went from nothing to everything in terms of being self-taught to having the money and swagger in which the big boys see you as a player in the game of online dating. I’m not doing anything with Internet dating – I just wish to say that you have inspired me to venture into the world of making money online. Also, the other source of inspiration is Yun Ye.

    A New Breed (The Baddest Breed) —

    Carpe diem Suicidal

  132. Bill D Says:

    Do you want to see a sit in it’s infancy? (2 months)
    Talk about basic!!! But like Marcus pointed out…you have to start somewhere! If anyone has comments or pointers please feel free to fill me in. Shoot me an e-mail located in the bottom right hand corner. Stories like this keep me going…good job Markus!!!

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  135. Rod Newbound Says:

    Looks like the name of the game is perseverance and giving the customers what they want. I’m still in the early stages, but stories like this keep me at it in the anti-aging market.

    Thanks Marcus for sharing your story.

    BTW, have you been able to determine your demographics with regard to age?

  136. Online Interracial Dating Is Easier Than You Think | Mature Dating Says:

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  137. ryan k Says:

    thanks for writing that its what i needed to hear.

  138. Effendi Says:


    Inspiring story. I happened to know your name when reading James Altucher’s book. I come from an non-english speaking country and it might be a good idea offering the same service as POF using local language. Would you care to share the plenty of fish engine? I know this a silly question but I fired it anyway.

  139. listituntilsold Says:

    Im inspired as well, I feel the same way: Not really knowing what to do or who to turn to for help. Im slowly building my site and one day I hope to pull the traffic needed to attract advertisers. If anyone wants to join the team and help grow this thing…shoot me an email. One day you will be reading about Arlando Thompson….

  140. Brooks Says:

    Markus, if you read this, what secrets can you share about SEO? I have several sites, but I lack the traffic. What can I do to improve my traffic?

  141. SOLARIUM Says:

    Yeah, I would Like to know if there is any SEO secret.

    In getting so much Traffic.

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  143. Scaricare Video da YouTube Says:

    I’m Still Growing in Adsense …. Hope to keep on this way.

  144. Jane Easley Says:

    I read the article about you and your business in Inc. magazine last month. I picked it up again a couple of days ago and read it again. It was so interesting to me. I don’t know much about computers, but I think I have a great idea for a website. It could generate a lot of advertising dollars and would be providing a valuable service for a large group of people. Would you ever consider entertaining new ideas or working with anyone else? If not could you lead me in the right direction to find someone who might be interested?

  145. Studio Fotografico Roma Says:

    Very interesting article.

  146. Social King Says:

    Awsome Story I need someone like you on my side Congrats…..

  147. Anime Target Says:

    Great Post!!!!

  148. VN Says:

    Very Inspiring, I’m sure it’s not this easy as you put it in your post.

  149. diablo iii Says:

    Very nice story. Interesting!!

  150. The Online Investing AI Blog » Chicken Step 2: Make A Lean, Online Money Making Machine Says:

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  151. animetarget Says:

    This is awesome… congrats!!!

  152. Samspa Pandino Says:

    Well Done!

  153. Models & Moguls Says:

    Wow…that is an extremely encouraging story. Patience, commitment and stick to ed ness. I think most people don’t succeed because they give up too soon. My hats off to you.

  154. Shankar Srinivasan Says:

    Hello Markus

    I want to have a quick chat with you to discuss a business propsoition.

    Is it possible that we exchange some emails? Perhaps you could drop me an email?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  155. Sean Gauld Says:


    • Sean Gauld Says:

      Sorry, the last website I was on There was an Error with the page after Lines of text grrrrrrrr

      Any way………
      I have had numerous problems with
      I ask Admin to change my password explaining my ex is still on the scene and she has full access to my account. She is leaving me alone but if I know her she will be back after the police being involved.
      I need you to change my password as I and Admins to POF can’t.
      HELP pleaseeeeeeeeeee???????

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  157. Dale Rudd Says:

    Thank you Markus Frind for your website! This Aug. 29, 2009, my fiancee and I will be married thanks to the easy use of POF. We are both professionals, and finding it difficult in 2006 to meet other older (as in over 50!) singles. Your site made it all happen, so thanks again. Dale

  158. Fritz Says:

    Nice story. I hope to experience the same type results with my website. We have games and chat. webcam chat as well. I’m trying to decide if I want it to be a completely free site or have a small membership fee.

  159. Dave Coxon Says:

    What would you recommend to get a new concept site off the ground that is a social newtworking/dating site and venue site with discount card combined in the membership.

  160. RedLight Media Group Says:

    Nice to hear a success story of the ages. It would be nice to get more information on turning traffic and increasing SEO results,going viral etc. A comprehensive guide on how to go about these things, but I’m sure those who have made a go of it in this realm don’t wish to give out specific details.

    RedLight Media Group ( has a 100% FREE Dating site called and we hope to increase traffic via the same means mentioned here and more unique means that are not widely used but can bring great results.

    Any assistance would be gratefully accepted!
    Keep up the good work

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  162. amigos2amor Says:

    Wow! Es muy inspirador leer este tipo de historias! Que bueno que la hayas compartido de esa manera tan sincera! Tienes mucha suerte y se la debes gracias a tu esfuerzo, voluntad y por creer en ti mismo!! Que sigas teniendo exitos! has de llevar una vida maravillosa!!

    Thanks for sharing your history!! I’d like to continue listening about your life, best whishes!!


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  164. Doug Says:

    Met my wife on POF. We owe you big time. Now we are looking for a house together and need your help with YOUR next big venture. Plenty of House…. An add-on to the MLS for house hunters. A business plan awaits you.
    Regards, Doug and Patricia

  165. Karen Says:

    Markus I can not seem to get back to your web site after I signed up the next day. I tried fixing my internet options on the tool bar. Maybe you could give me some help on that. How can I delete my account if I can get to it? Thanks Karen

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  172. Terry Says:

    Markus, a total rip-off and hides like a cowering coward! Hey but sooner or later things come back and bite YOU in the butt!

  173. Kids Water Shoes Says:


    Your a great insperation and a motivator. How instrumental was your girlfriend in getting the buisness going?


  174. Tom Says:

    I think your POF site is great, if it actually worked like it supposed to, i think you need way more help with…… the automatic filter that removes unwanted people is fucked up. i’ve registered on the site 6 times today and i still can’t get registered, i don’t see such bullshit on Lava, or eharmony.

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  177. Frank Labs Says:

    Markus… What an amazing story! Don’t know if you ever get time to read any of these replies but Like many comments before me it’s true to say that persistence, hard work etc definitely pays off! I wonder how the story would have gone if you were starting out today. I just started an online dating blog with a very good freind and cousin who started dating on plentoffish and decided to write about his experiences and advising other guys on how to seduce and sort out women who are suitable and woh isnt etc…. its a great read, funny informative etc…
    keep up the great work… all the very best

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  179. evan Says:

    Is it true that you are involved with porn!?

  180. Garrett Williams Says:

    Great story and I’ve been a fan of your site since we were link partners for some years to another of mmy sites. I’ve recently written an article comparing your site to the pay dating sites. Curious to see what you think.

  181. Website Geld Verdienen Says:

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  182. Pick Up Girls Says:

    nice story, I know how overwhelming it is to learn SEO. POF is a real pioneer in the free online dating niche, kudos to you my friend

  183. Nadine Says:

    yes, great and very nice story!!!!!!

  184. my LKIT Says:

    Your success strugle story give me much inspiration

  185. COMMONSENS Says:


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  186. Jacob Equity Says:

    Thanks for cool post. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station..

  187. Jack Strawman Says:

    This is absolutely the most inspirational story I have ever read. I love it. It has definitely inspired me to create my own free dating site.

  188. Locker Room Says:

    Wow……….Thats a very nice story…….

  189. Lubbers Says:

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  190. Jackson Says:

    You must have a look and even every one who is looking for a good date start must visit

    cool simple and best

  191. Waza Says:

    very insperational and a great success story. Thanks for sharing Markus.

  192. andron Says:

    Your story is very inspirational, you inspire me to start my own dating website, which is up and running so far. hopefully I can get a lot of people on my site.

  193. unknown Says:

    Thanks to the cheaters, the liers, the players, males and females.. the men who suck in bed, and the women who want to tramp around..

    Markus is a success. lol.. but its so very TRUE

  194. Pedro Says:

    I’m trying to make it happen with my site, it’s also totally free and a facebook apllication. Give us a visit! Markus, interesting how u started🙂

  195. andron Says:

    Hey markus I just started a free online dating site, and I wanted to know how can i go about getting traffic to it. its call can you also tell me what do you think about the site.

  196. Conrad Ziegelbauer Says:

    Habe ein Blog gefunden der auf die Keywords geld verdienen optimiert ist. Das gute daran ist, dass man selbst Artikel übers Geld verdienen schreiben kann. Probiert es mal aus, habe manche euros damit gemacht.

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  198. pasta tarifleri Says:

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  199. PLURPEOPLE Says:

    I’d like to start a site like you but only for lover people of electronic music.. very inspiration history!

  200. phone free tv Says:

    Your story is amazing Markus I hope to one day create something like this and i know it takes tons of hardwork and perseverance. Congrats

  201. Apply FOr VA Loan Says:

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  202. TV Says:

    Thanks for cool post. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station..

  203. Zoran B. Says:


    that was just incredible ! You all makes us very happy.
    I also started a dating, social networking site.

    Maybe someone can visit it and rate it, give a some feedback …

    thank you all, and thak you Marcus !

  204. portable dishwasher Says:

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  205. electric water kettles Says:

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  206. pickup truck tool boxes Says:

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    Keep up the good word.
    Kim 🙂

  207. sonab Says:

    Great inspiration as everybody wants some extra cash in leisure timiming like me…wating for more suggessions …thanks

  208. online music marketing Says:

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  210. Tamra olsen Says:

    Can any body tell me why this site is down? when and if it comming ack on line

  211. seoul girl Says:

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  214. Dave Says:

    If this was a paid dating website, you would certainly be sued!
    I was treated like crap by your arrogant female members and am known as one of the nicest guys they’d ever want to meet! Most are no doubt fake, so that must mean most men there are too.
    I re-created my profile 3 times and each time they became inaccessible .. i’m gone now but gee whiz… KNOCK THAT GAME PLAYING OFF!
    Isn’t it so funny that I joined okcupid for free and have 2 dates lined up and every other message has been so very pleasant… wouldn’t YOU wonder??????

  215. Dave Says:

    enjoy it while you can matchmaker!

  216. Charles Street Says:

    Sounds like this Dave guy is on the hater wagon, not to mention that he “cleverly” mentions how he finds success on “another” site. Hey Dave, POF is the bomb, Markus is a genius, not only that — he understands what it means to “give back” to society by sharing his path for success. Get a life Davey boy and stop the hatred! Markus you Rock!

  217. Dave Says:

    lol you sound like a worshiper…… hail markus! he’s an ass… i got my woman… we joke about it from time to time

    • Charles Street Says:

      Worshiper, hmmm… if anything I DO worship a genuine effort when one helps the next, as far as the man himself… I only worship one and that is the Almighty! Markus still Rocks! lol

  218. Dave Says:

    lol she wants toi know if hats your real hair

    • Charles Street Says:

      As for the real hair thing, let me ask you this — does she wear glasses because I have a military fade so there is little hair to speak of. But yes, it is my real hair, she remembers, lol!

  219. Dave Says:

    lol take care charles, and be carefull of that website.. plenty of fakes

    • Charles Street Says:

      Hey Dave, let me ask you this. Is it possible to do 10k monthly from the google adsense and adwords as stated in some video footage on youtube about POF and similar sites that have the unique visits?

      • dave Says:

        do you have a car? is one of the questions….. if you are a JERK you can never come back! wtf

  220. Dave Says:

    i’ll answer with an uneducated no

  221. A.J. Says:

    Very inspiring…

  222. Online dating blog Says:


  223. Hiphop BEats Says:

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  224. dave Says:

    if i ever get my hands on mr markus i’m gonna shove your computer up your ass

  225. Mathias Samson Says:

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  226. dave Says:

    explanation due mister millionnaireif i log into you website… how many of your canadian friends with false profiles… nevermind,…. ass holes like you just make me sick to my stomach

  227. dave Says:

    would you want to stay on a dating site that pays someone who advertises for their paid sites?

  228. Ayokunle Akinboboye Says:

    This is soooo inspiring! I’m really encouraged! keep up the good work markus!

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  230. BadGirl Says:

    you look like a book worm.Genius indeed but hardworking …have good luck while most of the people dont have such nice timing to decide right

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  232. I Wish Like Jesus & Obama « The Startup Chronicles Says:

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  238. Alex Peruca Says:

    Hi, Markus. I’m a telecommunications engineer originally from Rio de Janeiro/Brazil and have been living and working in the U.S for almost 6 years now. Kid, I have to tell you that in my 38 years of age, 20+ years of profession beginning in the late 80’s where I’ve studied transistors, all the way to college whit those really inspiring entrepreneurism classess, I’ve never read anything like your story before. Just yesterday, Sunday, I was bored at home, visiting some websites and came across your story on I spent the whole afternoon reading and reading and now, I can say that you’re my hero. You make people believe that everything is possible when we focus. In fact, I’m a living proof of that, but not in the same sense as yours. God Bless you, kid.

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  261. Will Says:

    Thank you Markus Frind for the date site you can go to when you have no money and even though I have already lost the love of my life and will never win her back after ten yrs + even if I don’t meet some online offline It makes life a little better and time well spent just to cast off and chatt w/h some sweet gals. I think I’ve been thrown back a thousand times & the best I caught was a boot but good journy to us all and I hope if the old saying iz true and there is plof in the sea that we all catch a keeper!!!

  262. Darren Says:

    Hello Marcus

    Can I ask you briefly for your opinion on a project that I am currently working on? If you’d rather not I understand, but I do value your knowledge and expertise in the area and would appreciate your opinion.

    As everyone knows the deal-a-day industry is expanding rapidly with Groupon and Living Social capturing most of the market. With the current model and monetization strategy I think that there is little room for new entrants. However, I do think that there is possibly an opportunity to capture a slice of the market by offering a free alternative, much in the same way that Plenty of Fish went up against and eHarmony. I have eyeballed two potential revenue streams beyond the obvious Google Adsense option.

    I think that by offering small businesses a commission-free platform to post their own 50% off deals can attract a lot of users. I envision a Plenty of Fish (Free to use), Craigslist (user-generated content), Groupon hybrid. Sort of a classified ads for small business deals.

    What do you think of the market and potential opportunity?

    Darren Burgess

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  264. gofuckyourself Says:

    about this looser Markus Frind, this guy has to be the dumbess fuck i ever heard, you know when peoplr go on his site to find someone, he delibratly cut their account for no aparent reson, he motherfucker has done that to me 9 times, this asshole should be put in jail for bullshitting others that this site is the best, weel news flash to all you guys and gals out there, after you go to his site don’t be surprised if this asshole took you account away without asking, if this motherfucker was here right now he have no teeth left!!!!

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  330. jesus Says:

    Yes Markus is definitely my inspiration and not to mention my competition…lol…(yea right)…Nobody can compete with Markus, when it comes to free online dating…Anyhow i decided to try my hand at it and created MiamiFlirt Dot Com….So far so good, things are starting to look up….Thank you Markus for giving me hope!


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  333. Craig Says:

    Hi Markus my friend recently had his account blocked the reply came back that it was in quarantine and he would be back online in 48 hours!
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  371. James Says:

    By September of 2003, Plentyoffish already had 10 thousand signups. Despite being short on SEO that time, Plentyoffish already having around 100 visitors from Google and another 2,000 visitors a day from who knows where. Markus then quit my job at the company by the start of October, and bought a little server for himself. After running the site in his home computer for a solid 8 months, Markus decided to move the site to a hosting by the end of October. In 2003, the online dating industry started growing to about 80% per year and as 2004 rolled in, number of signups shoots up, and the rest is history.

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  385. dave Says:

    that may be
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    the site is just a moneymaking con

  386. Helen Says:

    Well, his success story like some others (facebook, napster, myspace and even smaller dating site) has all been successfull not only because of the revenue model or their good idea but mostly because of the good timing. Timing was the main factor much more than the idea itself. After the facebook’s movie, 90% of all dating site went down close to bankrup. Big site like,, yahoo dating didnt survive so much. Only smaller site could survive such as , …. Why? When big site was fighting against facebook, smaller was gaining popularity…. So timing was the key before

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  398. kelly Says:

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  400. Guy Kawasaki - No Plan, No Capital, No Model...No Problem Says:

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