In 2012 I developed a new product — a Jewish dating website and iphone app called Jzoog.com. The process included managing the entire product cycle, from idea to strategic planning, development, launch and marketing. You can check out the website here and the app site here. Both are no longer active, although they are still up.
In the beginning…
In 2010 I began blogging about dating and relationships. I also began coaching individual singles privately and in a program I founded at MJE. In 2012 I decided to take my efforts at helping Jewish singles find love to the next level and launch a Jewish dating website called Jzoog (zoog is couple in Hebrew). Based on market research I felt that the existing Jewish dating websites were lacking is several significant ways:
- They charged a monthly membership fee
- They had little to no quality control regarding members
- They presented singles like merchandise in a market — hundreds at a time — for users to scroll through
To address these issues Jzoog:
- Did not charge a monthly membership fee. Instead, users could purchase tokens to use for contacting other users who did not indicate a mutual “like” with them. In other words, instead of paying monthly whether you used the site or not, Jzoog let you pay only for what you use. If you didn’t find anyone to contact, you didn’t pay. And tokens never expired.
- Jzoog required Facebook login exclusively, and then analyzed the profile info to determine if the person was real and single. While it wasn’t foolproof, it was much better than the other site that only required an email to set up a profile.
- Jzoog presented singles one at a time, which basically forced users to focus on each person before moving to the next one.
Building the site
I created detailed specs for the website including mockups for every screen. This included a detailed verification system built into the Facebook login. These specs and mockups resulted in huge development time and cost savings, because it allowed the developer to focus exclusively on coding the site.
I then hired a developer located in South America who had experience building a dating site. I decided to use WordPress as the platform so that I would have the flexible to make design and content changes easily. The site was developed in PHP and MySQL. I also hired a designer in the US to design the screens. I was able to launch a fully designed and functioning data driven site integrated with Facebook for around $3,000.
Most of the initial Jzoog users were acquired with the help of an influencer in the Jewish singles community. I also reached out to the press and got mentioned in several major Jewish publications. And I published blog posts about the benefits of Jzoog which i shared on social media along with other custom created posts and videos.
I subsequently developed an iphone app that integrated with the website, using a dev shop in India, for around $4,000. Managing the process proved to be more challenging for reasons you can read about in an article called Pros and Cons of Outsourcing (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/pros-cons-outsourcing-india-arnie-singer/) to India that I published about outsourcing to India. The article ended up getting over 32,000 views, 660 likes and 158 comments on Linkedin.
The Jzoog iphone app was #1 in the app store for several months. To read about the lessons i learned from that SEO success click here. https://www.onrushdigital.com/seo-featured/3-seo-lessons-app-store/
- Product developemnt
- Technical specs
- Offshore outsourcing
- App design
- App store SEO
- Content Marketing
- Social media marketing