If You Still Think That Success Online Is About Building “The Best Darn Site,” read this

Am I the only one who thinks that startups spend too much time geeking out about code and development, but not enough time getting passionate about marketing?

If you want to get passionate about the power of clever marketing, download the program I recorded with Matthew Inman. He’s a smart developer and designer who built the dating site Mingle2 in only 66.5 hours. That’s a stunning accomplishment, but I think it would be meaningless if he didn’t market it.

Matthew Inman

Matthew Inman


Matthew Inman is a developer and designer who built a full-featured dating website called Mingle2 in 66.5 hours.

A few lessons from this program

Want to see one way Matthew marketed his site? Read this edited excerpt.

Andrew: How did quizzes help you build Mingle2?

Matthew: I created a quiz called “How Geek Are You?” If you answered a couple of questions, it would tell you, on a 100% scale, how geeky you were. It asked questions like, “Do you read sci-fi ” or “Do you play video games?” or “Do you code?”

The whole trick of it was, when you were done with the quiz, it would tell you, “You are 60% geek,” or “You are 10% geek.” And it would give you a badge. And a badge is just an image, basically. And I would give you a code so you could embed that badge on our blog.

When people embed that on their blogs, it also said, “created by Mingle2 – Free Online Dating” underneath it. So I was able to build tens of thousands of links every month with the exact anchor text I wanted to my home page.

What kind of quizzes do well?

The best quiz I ever created was called “How many 5-year-olds could you take in a fight?”

Any quiz that appeals to a user’s sense of ability–like: what can they do, how smart are they, how fast are they, or how strong are they–those are the quizzes that do the best.

“What X are you?” quizzes–like what X-Men are you, or what Lost character are you–those never go anywhere. I wouldn’t bother with them. They’re just kind of over-done. Ability quizzes are where it’s at.

(See more of Matthew’s work here.)

How would that help you with Google?

We picked a keyword that we knew people were searching for, that would result in signups. And we would point all our quiz-bate at that, using the badges. And then we were able to rank #1 in Google usually.

I actually ranked #1 for the keyword “dating,” outranking the Wikipedia entry.

[Thanks Chris Winfield for introducing me to Matthew!]


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