The 7 Deadly Sins of Dating Ads

I remain convinced that most dating affiliates lack the balls to really get aggressive with their advertising efforts.

Why is it important to be aggressive?

Remember this. If you’re in the dating niche, you’re not marketing to the trendsetters and early adopters. You’re marketing to the crusty old goats who have had many chances to register before, and have found many reasons not to bother.

Why do you suppose the 600+ login crowd on Plentyoffish is deemed to be low quality traffic? It’s mainly because such users have had the chance to be converted, and the moment has passed.

You have to be aggressive if you hope to enter such a competitive market and walk away with conversions.

For that purpose, I’m going to suggest you sit back and watch Se7en – a masterpiece of filmmaking and one of my favourite movies of all time.

No, I’m not implying that all of your dating creatives should be littered with quotes and photos of Brad Pitt. It’s the seven deadly sins that I’m interested in exploring. These sins provide valuable angles that we can use to get aggressive with our marketing efforts.

There’s a sinner in each and every one of us. And if you match the right pair of eyeballs to the right angle, your hopes of a conversion will rocket so far through the sky that you’ll begin to wonder why you wasted so much time spunking dollars on that whimsical “Oh hello darling, come join my dating site, It’s free” bullshit.

Who do you think you are? Hugo from Made in Chelsea?

Most dating affiliates seem to be experts in pandering to the proletarians, while the successful guys are busy exploiting them. That may be a cynical attitude towards life, but forgive me, I’m a cynical bastard and it’s early in the morning.

Converting Users with The 7 Deadly Sins

I’ve replaced lust from the list. If you can’t see a way to use lust to your advantage on a dating site, it’s probably time to find another niche.


Many singles have legitimate reasons for not meeting enough members of the opposite sex. Socially accepted reason #1 is “Oh, I never get time to socialise outside work.” For these users, frank and to the point is the way. A sloth responds to instant results.

Sloth sin


Dating sites give keyboard charmers the opportunity to test-drive seduction techniques on large samples of women. No keyboard charmer can resist the chance to message as many women as his Sent box can handle, even when he’s found one he likes.

Online dating to a man, is what Pick ‘n’ Mix was to Finch as a child.

Greed sin


Envy is a natural by-product of dating sites where the women are severely outnumbered by guys actively messaging them. A lot of men are competing with each other, and as we all know, men don’t compete with each other particularly well.

Envy sin


Acedia is the overwhelming feeling of listlessness. Which is how a lot of singles feel about their love lives when making the decision to join a dating site.

Acedia sin


Pride is the most dangerous sin of all, and it goes hand in hand with bitterness – one of my favourite cards to play when advertising a dating site. If a man’s pride is at stake, persuasion is simply a case of channeling the raw inevitable. Perrrfect for recent divorcees.


Dating sites can be infuriating for Alpha Males who aren’t used to dealing with women who have the time and space to say “No!” to their relentless advances.

Wrath sin


Okay, we’re pushing it. When I came up with the idea of this post, I forgot that one of the 7 deadly sins involves eating too much. Forgive me if this example gets you banished from multiple advertising platforms in one hit.

Gluttony sin


Vanity is a quality nestled in just about every idiot who ever joined Plentyoffish and posted a small essay to justify something as retarded as his favourite colour. Those users who post endless surveys in the style of this or that? Yep, you know who I’m talking about. It’s a textbook exercise in the art of convincing yourself that somebody gives a crap.

Vanity sin

Disclaimer: I will leave it down to you guys to interpret and replace the sarcasm in each ad. It’s my new way of punishing the guys who rip ads word for word.

To summarise…

Because a post like this needs a summary to actually have a point.

Airy fairy dating ads that throw out broad headlines such as “Want a Girlfriend?” may have worked in 2009, but times have changed and it’s time for you to evolve or get out of the game.

I encourage anybody who has anything to do with dating, or Plentyoffish, or affiliate marketing in general, to check out this month’s Premium Posts. They will point you further in the right direction.

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About the author


A 29 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who sold his soul to make money from the Internet. This blog follows the successes, fuck-ups and ball gags of my career in affiliate marketing.


Leave a comment
  • I’m surprised that there was no mention of balls in this post.

    Great info as always finch!

    How do you have time for actual marketing work when you’re cranking out such quality posts, premium content and maintaining several blogs? Are you super human?

  • I think I’ve just trashed my macbook with an explosive, tea-filled guffaw after reading the gluttony ad…

    You bastard.

  • @Andrew – Good question. One of the annoying things about setting up campaigns is the amount of time spent waiting. Waiting on ads to be approved. Waiting on data to accumulate. Waiting on landing pages to be approved. It’s amazing how much writing I manage to get done in those periods where I would otherwise be staring blankly at stats. It gives me time to blog and make a healthy side-income in the process.

  • After reading retarded headlines in the news about Nancy Grace farting on Dancing With The Stars, I’m glad I took the time to read this post. It was actually very informative and gives you some insight on how to be creative in the dating niche, esp. on PoF. I know I need some ideas on creativity, so thank you.

    Great writing Finch, love the blog! Keep the good posts coming.

  • Great post Finch!

    Have to say the vision of a ‘sausagefest’ had me loling.

    As you’ve demonstrated, tapping into people’s emotions can work.

  • Another one of a kind “Finch-y” post!

    A dumb question about your premium posts: wouldn’t it just ruin it (for yourself, and/or others) by revealing it.

    PoF is a small pond you know.

  • @Joe – Saturating the market is something I did think long and hard about before working on the posts.

    They’re designed to give away working theory and some sound ideas, without hand-wrapping campaigns to be copied. It was a tough balance, but I’m happy with how it turned out.

    From a personal standpoint, there are two things that prevent the average affiliate from hurting my own ROI: budget and data. I can afford to spends 1000s/day and I have over 2 years of data accumulated in my account.

    I haven’t seen any harm to my ROI since launching the posts, which was a little surprising, but then data is worth much more than tips and strategies.

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