This is Part 2 of the Beginner’s Guide to the World of Online Dating. We have already covered how you locate a site that interests you, and how to set up a quick profile to “test” the site for singles in your area.
Now if you picked out a couple of sites that look promising, then is time to really concentrate on putting together an effective profile that will get people interested in you. We will also cover why the photo may actually be the most effective way of getting people to take notice.
1. The First Step Is To Start Thinking About What People Would Find Interesting About You
Remember, this is the only information that other singles will have to go by, and it helps them make the decision of whether to move forward or to move on. The number 1 factor here is to be honest. You may find yourself tempted to embellish a little here, like add a couple of extra inches to your height, adding a little more money to you income range, or even lying about your education or your job. Really, there in nothing to stop you from doing that, except for maybe one thing.
What happens if you meet someone that is perfect for you, someone you click with, someone who initially used your profile to get to know you better? They will soon find out that you have been lying from the start, and let me tell you that is not the greatest way to start off a relationship. So the easiest way to avoid this situation is, to be honest from the beginning.
There are parts of the profile that are really straight forward. There is your age, your height, your education, all general questions that can be answered with very little trouble. But there are also parts of the profile that will take some work, some thought, and some creativity.
All online dating sites have different formats for their profiles, but almost all of them allow you to write some sort a headline, some information about you, and some information on what you are looking for in a match.
This is where your creativity and thought comes into play. Remember someone may be your complete clone in terms of general information, but it is this special information that will set you apart. That is why you should not jump into this section without putting some major thought into it.
The headline is important because it is usually the first thing that pops up in the search results (along with your photo, which we’ll talk about later). You want to come of with something catchy, witty, or romantic. But make sure it isn’t corny or childish. I have seen many profiles where people have used “Cannot think of a Headline” or “I am no Good at Headlines”. Do not ever do this, it tells the rest of the site that either you are not really putting any effort into this or that you have no creativity.
Either way, it will not bode well for the singles that are looking through their search results. I am not saying that coming up with a good headline is easy, but it should not be the one thing that holds you back. I am sure that you can come up with something witty like “Is there anybody out there who can help me with this” that shows that you have a sense of humor.
You can even say something romantic like “Looking for My Princess” or “Where’s My Knight in Shining Armor”, anything like this that will show other singles that you can be romantic. I have seen people try to use some old-fashioned pick-up lines.
Now, this can work, because it shows that you have a sense of humor, but it can also backfire because it can portray a lack of creativity. Either way choose your words wisely because it may influence whether or not someone will give you a second look.
Now let’s say that you have drawn someone’s interest and they have decided to give your profile a better look. Obviously, they will be able to look through your general information which may not be any different from the last person they looked at. This when your personal introduction becomes so important. You need to use this opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest. Explain yourself in a creative way, include what you do for fun, what your interests are, what you look for in a person. You want to show others that you have a sense of humour and that you have a romantic side.
Whatever you do, don’t talk about your ex, don’t talk about how every person you have dated has treated you badly, and don’t talk about how you are about to give up on relationships. Others may feel sympathy for you, but this is not the kind of reaction you want on a dating site.
All this tells them is that you currently hold a grudge against the opposite sex and that there is likely to be too much drama in a relationship with you. Let people know if you are just looking for friends or if you are open to the possibility of a long term relationship. But in all, it is important to be creative and upbeat, let people know that your are a fun person to be around. That is what will get you the most attention.
2. Then We Come To What Is Probably One Of The Most Important Parts Of Your Profile, The Photo
Let’s face it, the dating world is a visual one. Just think back to your last blind date and remember what was one of the factors that you were most worried about. . . what would they look like?
The photo is what pops up next to your headline in the search results and is the first thing that someone looks at. The photo is so important that it is a known fact that profiles that have a photo get 10 to 20 times more views than profiles with no photos. In fact, many online dating sites now offer search options that allow you to exclude all profiles that do not have a photo attached. But you can’t just upload any photo. Pick your photo wisely.
Make sure it is up-to-date (no senior pictures for you 25-year-olds), make sure it shows off your best features, and most of all make sure people can see you. Some big mistakes that people often make include uploading photos where the lighting is so bad that no one can see their face, uploading photos of them with their ex (even if their ex’s face is blacked out), uploading photos of themselves in large groups (where their friends look better than they do), and uploading photos taken from a cheap camera phone or webcam.
Consider the photo as the deal maker, it can often make the difference between getting a date and spending the night alone. If you were not really considering uploading a photo at all, then you might as well not take this whole online dating site thing seriously, because that is what most of the other members will be thinking about you, that is if they even look at your profile.
3. There Is One Last Thing To Remember
All online dating sites will review your written material and photos before they appear up on your profile. They do this for a couple of reasons. First, they want to make sure that you are not writing anything that may be offensive to the other members, which includes your photo (remember this is not the time or place for exhibitionism).
They also check to see that you are not trying to cheat the system by placing a personal e-mail address or instant messenger ID in the text of your profile. I am sure many people have tried it in the past, but the dating sites are getting much better at catching it.
The 3rd and final part of this guide will be coming soon, and it will include when it’s time to become a full paying member and how to make that first move in contacting someone you are interested in.
Remember if you want to know more about the top online dating sites got to Reviews of the Best Online Dating Sites. And remember to keep an eye out for the final part of this guide.