Whether or not you believe it, there is an art to online dating. It's not a perfect way to meet people, because it's impossible to convey who you are in one profile or with a few photos. But there is a difference when you present yourself in an engaging way - you see results. More emails, more responses.
Think of your online dating profile as a resume or marketing piece. How else are you going to land an interview or get a new client? Let's be honest. Your profile is the ad, and you have to sell yourself. You have to capture someone's attention to get to the first date.
Here are some tips to spruce up that profile, mentioned in my new book Date Expectations: A Guide to Changing Your Dating Life and Finding Real Love.
1. Tell a story with your photos. Most people look at photos before anything else. Maybe this seems superficial, but we are visual creatures. You don't have to be a supermodel or Greek god to attract attention, you just have to be engaging. Are you posting shirtless selfies taken in front of the bathroom mirror, or are you adding photos of you playing guitar, surfing, or riding your bike? Think of it this way: you want your photos to strike up a conversation about what you like and who you are. Shirtless pics don't cut it.
2. Don't be generic. Many people take the safe route and write generic descriptions that they know nobody will disagree with. For instance, "I'm looking for adventure" or "I like chilling with friends" won't exactly tell me who you are. What kind of adventure? What do you and your friends do together? How do you spend your weekends? The more specific you can be (without writing an essay), the more you'll stand out.
3. Don't leave blanks. There's nothing worse than looking at a profile with one-word descriptions and entire sections left blank. It screams "I'm just looking for a hook-up." If you don't have time to write a profile, don't expect anyone to have the time to respond to you.
4. No shirtless photos. This goes along with #1. We don't want to see pictures of your amazing abs. Leave a little mystery. If you're showing your body off to every girl on OkCupid, then what's left for me to feel special?
5. Watch the grammar. This is an easy fix, and can make or break your profile. The people you date want to know you can craft a sentence that isn't filled with typos or text-speak. In fact, bad grammar was one of the top turn-offs for singles in the latest Match.com Singles in America study. Check your spelling and proof before you post.