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Online Dating Magazine > Features > Online Dating Profile Tips

Writing an Online Dating Profile Ad that Increases Your Attraction
by Julie-Ann Amos for Online Dating Magazine

 

Your online dating success is partly dependent on your ability to capture the interest and imagination of others through the words you write. While the task of writing a good online dating profile may be daunting for many people, it just takes a little time, effort, and know-how. You just need to know some tricks of the trade to get noticed by the people you want, while weeding out those that don’t interest you.

In person or on the telephone you can more easily get a feel for what another person is like and pick up a rich assortment of clues as to their personality from their voice. But online the only thing you have to work with is your words. So writing a good profile really is vital for success.


Questions, Questions…

Many dating sites such as Match.com have programs, like questionnaires, that assist you in creating your profile based on a series of questions. That can make creating a profile easier, but it can also sidetrack you into omitting important things. So whatever you write, invest time and effort into getting it right.


Basic Advice

Before you start, always read the site guidelines, and any hints and tips. They will steer you in the right direction. Then prepare. Those ads we admire that look spontaneous and fun? The chances are they were actually the result of someone’s hard work. Always use a word processor for your work, then cut and paste it into the site profile or ad (even if answering questions). This builds a document which you can edit and reuse if registering with more then one site, and also gives you a spell/grammar checker to avoid mistakes.


Perfection Takes Time

Don’t expect to get it perfect the first time. Be prepared to tweak the profile as you go along, to change your results until you’re getting good matches from people who fit your requirements. Most importantly, get advice from someone else whose judgement you trust. Ask them what the profile says to them – as opposed to whether it describes you or not. Preferably use someone who doesn’t know you so well, as people who know you well will have their judgement influenced by their knowledge of you – they’ll see what they want to see, not what’s there. Listen to advice. You don’t have to act on it and change anything, just note it for the future, in case you need to alter the profile later.


Headlines and Usernames

Your username says a lot about you - “Princess452” or “Shy36” will generate assumptions in people. Either use a username which is significant and says something about you (e.g. “Tigress”), or one which is anonymous, such as “Jane2435”. Resist temptation to refer to significant numbers such as age, phone numbers, date of birth etc in your username – this gives unnecessary personal information, which you should avoid.

Any headline usually appears in search lists, so it should be positive and catchy – it’s one of the main things that will prompt the other party to click your profile and read on.


Be Appropriate in Length

A profile which is too long will put readers off and they may not bother to finish it. On the other hand, if it’s too short they won’t see the full picture, and may not be tempted, so aim for a happy medium.


A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

A picture greatly increases your prospects. Many people simply don’t respond to profiles without one – would you? Be open and post a good picture of yourself. Don’t worry that someone you know will see it– after all, the only way they would see it is if they too are looking for someone online!

If there is the facility to record an audio file, use it. Hearing someone’s voice can be an excellent barometer of whether or not they’d be suitable. If you don’t know what to say, read something – a poem, a book paragraph, or a piece of your profile.


Research the Target, Not the Opposition

It’s often a waste of time looking at profiles of your competition. They may look great to you, but you don’t know what type of responses they’re getting, and so copying isn’t necessarily a good idea. It’s better to spend a little time browsing profiles of prospects you might be interested in, and picking out the ones you like best to identify what it is that is attractive about them. Then try to work these things into your own profile or ad as things you’re interested in or looking for.


Demonstrate, Don’t Describe

Many profiles are lists of adjectives: “I’m funny, bright, happy, interesting…etc etc.” Prove it! Let things show through in the way you write the profile, instead of listing them. A positive, cheerful profile will show you’re a cheerful happy person. A funny profile will say more about your sense of humor than “GSOH” (good sense of humor). If you like films, talk briefly about your two favorites - and why they are. This will tell people much more about you than “I love movies.”

The golden rule is to talk about who you are, not how you look and what you do.


Be Positive
Avoid anything negative in your profile – unless it’s something that’s a real deal-breaker for you. For example, if you passionately hate cats to the extent that you couldn’t date someone with one, it’s sensible to say so. If there are moral, religious or social factors which are important to you, that would be “deal-breakers” in deciding whether to meet someone or not, make sure you mention them - positively. It will help you to avoid the situation of spending time getting to know and like someone, only to discover some fundamental incompatibility later.

Always be positive about yourself. Resist negative touches like “I’ve been burnt before,” “I wouldn’t call myself beautiful…”, or “I’m not sure if this will work but…” - they do you no favors at all.


Avoid the Bland

“I like walking in the countryside, dining out and socializing.” Who doesn’t? What does this really tell him or her about you? – Nothing, it’s meaningless padding! Be descriptive about things that are important to you. Instead of “I love family life,” say “I have a great family and we have fun socializing together.” It sounds much more attractive.


Honesty Really is the Best Policy – Within Limits!

Be honest; it pays off in the long run. It may be very tempting to give white lie about your age (after all, you LOOK younger…), your weight (it’ll be gone soon…) or habits (well, I used to go to the gym 4 times a week…) but remember, people are making choices based on what you say, and will only feel let down when they discover the truth.

The exception is with quantity of information, not quality. There’s no point in being totally honest and putting people off by telling them every single thing. Become a master of understatement – instead of saying “I love books, and spend every weekend shopping in markets to add to my collection of over 2000 books,” which may sound odd to someone who doesn’t get to know you, just say “I love books and have a large collection.” Be honest about things that people might find negative but understate them, don’t hide them.

One of the most tricky issues can be weight, and if you’re an ample body size, you need to be honest about it. Not only will it disappoint them when they meet you if you’ve lied, but your own confidence will plummet if you see disappointment on their face or hear it in their voice. Use the “Honest Understatement.” Say something like “I’m large/ample/voluptuous/curvy,” etc. You don’t need to tell them your exact size, and if they need to ask it probably isn’t a successful match anyway.


Understand the Impact of Your Choices

What you choose to say will eliminate people who feel they don’t match. If you say “prefer fair hair” you are instantly ruling out most people with dark hair – they assume it’s not worth pursuing. So exercise caution when describing what you’re looking for as it can have a huge effect on the reader (however, saying you only want genuine replies unfortunately won’t keep away the deceitful!). Use language appropriate for your target audience. If you only want professional respondees, choose your words accordingly. If you want a casual dating partner or friend rather than a life partner, avoid talking about relationships and the long-term.


Write for the Reader

Put yourself in their shoes – write the profile to attract the type of person you want to meet. Think about what they would find attractive, and aim every word at them.

One final thing - don’t let writing the perfect profile delay you from getting yourself online! That’s called putting it off – procrastination. Once you’re happy with a first draft, get it online and see what results you get – you can always amend it later.



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