Maybe you’ve had a profile on PlentyOfFish for a while, or maybe you’ve never even considered online dating in the past, and now you have no idea where to start. Either way, this is where we’re stepping up to help you highlight your best features and channel your best self into your PlentyOfFish profile. Take a deep breath, and you’ll be ready to tackle one of the most important aspects of a successful online dating profile…
STEP 1: YOU’LL NEED…
Creativity: The best profiles can articulate who they are and what they’re looking and do it with a lot of humor and self awareness.
30 minutes: This is about how long it takes to create a well thought-out profile. If you don’t have photos, it may take longer.
3 photos of yourself (we’ll get to this in our next post): You’ll want a great head photo, a full length photo and a photo of you doing something active.
An understanding of your breakers and makers: What do you need in a relationship? What could you not live with in a relationship? Before putting yourself out there, you need to know what you’re looking for so you can identify a compatible match when you see one:)
A positive attitude: If you’re not in a positive and optimistic state of mind, it will come through in your profile in one way or another. If your outlook on dating and relationships is bleak at the moment, wait until you have renewed energy and optimism before creating your profile.
STEP 2: YOUR USERNAME
Your username is a chance to provide some insight into your passions, and creativity, maybe even making someone smile with the use of only a few characters. If you choose something attention-grabbing and memorable, you’ll surely stand out in the crowd – in the best way. On the flip side of this, you want to stay away from generic, negative, or insulting handles that could offend someone, because you need to keep in mind who you want to attract! And when in doubt, why not use a pun!
Choose an adjective and a noun: A great trick for coming up with a username is to choose an adjective and a noun that describe you, stick them together and voila – you’ve created a unique username.
Real life examples: “RelaxedWanderer”, “Champagne_dame”, “SillyWestCoastGirl”, “MissionMan2014”:
Incorporate your interests: Mentioning what you love about life and highlighting your pastimes in your username is a great way to provoke interest particularly if the person you’re writing shares similar interests.Think of your favorite movies, bands, special travel destinations and even pop culture references, and incorporate those. I mean, what’s not to like about a world traveler!?
Real life examples: “snow2surf”, “Globe_Trotting_Girl”, “KettleBellsQueen”:
Use alliteration if possible: The use of alliteration is a great tool to create interest and a nice ring to your username. It will also make your username more memorable and stand out from the pack.
Real life examples: “Rustic_Rocking_Running”:
Don’t use random numbers or your year of birth: Usernames that include an incessant amount of random numbers are a waste of a username and make it impossible for someone to remember if your message gets misplaced for some reason.
Real life examples: “Nate.r.m86”, “hsh109483”, “Zzz1982”:
No sexual connotations: If you’re looking for a relationship, never use the word ‘sex’, ‘xxx’, ‘sexy’ or any other connotation of this word in your username or headline. Anyone looking at your profile will automatically categorize you as someone who is looking for something casual.
Real Life Examples: “sex-bomb69”:
No pet names: These names will come in handy when you’re in a relationship and thinking up pet names. But until then, do not use ‘cutsie’ words to describe yourself. This is a turnoff for both men and women.
Real Life Examples: “Princess cuddlebunny”, “bunny.love.92”, “shoppingaddict15”, “lovemuffin123”:
STEP 3: HEADLINE
Your headline appears on numerous pages on the site, so it’s critical that it grab someone’s attention in a positive way.
Consider pop culture references: Try thinking of the last line in a movie that made you laugh, or lyrics from a favorite song, pose a question or even a joke! Try to avoid melancholy sounding stuff like, “Just looking for a good woman”…You and everyone else!
Keep it clever and fun: If you can make someone laugh, or challenge them, they’re usually curious to learn more. If you can accomplish one of these goals in your headline, you’ll increase the likelihood that a potential match will click on you and perhaps even message you. Here are some great examples:
“The guy below me lives with his mom!”
“I’m out boating, leave a message!”
“Here, you can have the remote”
Funny right? The whole idea is to lighten the mood and spark some conversation. For some more headline inspiration, visit: http://www.edatingdoc.com/online-dating-headlines/
STEP 4: CHOOSING YOUR INTENT
If you’re looking for a Relationship, say so!
Not sure exactly what it is you’re looking for yet? No problem. But if you’re genuinely interested in finding a relationship, don’t be afraid to say so! If you select “looking for no commitment” or ‘want to date but nothing serious”, don’t expect people to read between the lines and assume you are “open to a relationship if you meet the right person”. If you’re wavering between selecting “Looking for a Relationship” and “Dating but nothing serious”, choose the former. This will attract more serious matches and ensure you’re not wasting your time responding to people who aren’t interested in a relationship.
STEP 5: YOUR PROFESSION
What to write in the Profession field: This field is not a yes or no question. This field is meant to disclose what you do for a living. Your profession is more important than you may think in determining how compatible you are with a match, so it’s important to be accurate. So skip the ‘Yes’, ‘Got one’ and ‘Just Ask’ and be honest about how you earn a living.
If in doubt. list the industry you work in: If you aren’t comfortable disclosing your exact position or the company you work for, it’s OK to be more general for the time being. For example, if you are a legal aid, there’s nothing wrong with entering “legal” under profession and then elaborating on your first date!
Step 6: SHARING YOUR INTERESTS
Think about specific things you like to do in your spare time. Include things like food, sports, musical preferences, creative hobbies, lifestyle related activities – anything really! If you have trouble listing these off, ask a friend to describe you. The more you beef up your interest list the better equip our matching algorithmic is to come up with people who are best suited to you.
STEP 7: WRITING YOUR PROFILE DESCRIPTION
Writing about yourself isn’t always easy, but everyone is in a similar boat. Consider getting your friends to describe some special qualities you possess, or take a pen and paper and jot down a few of your most unique traits.
Keep it to 3 paragraphs: One of the last steps in creating your profile is your written description (which is often the hardest part). Try your best not to put this off until later. If you do, you may never get to it and this will diminish the number of quality messages you receive. Keep your description to 3 short paragraphs: who you are, what you like to do, and what you’re looking for in a future partner.
Use examples, and be specific: Although you want to cast a wide net when online dating, you also want to attract people that share similar interests and values. If you’re too broad and general in your description you won’t hone in on those you’re most compatible with. A good way to avoid being too general is to use examples and context:
“I’m an active woman who loves to hang out with friends” —> “I play on a soccer team twice a week and love catching a football game with friends on the weekends”
“I’m adventurous and love to travel” —> “Last summer I was eating brie and a baguette in front of the Eiffel Tower and next year I want to experience the beaches of Thailand.”
Highlight important things about yourself while keeping things light: Talk about what you’re interested in and why. Speak about your passions and experiences, even adventures you would like to embark on. Did you experience a life changing event or amazing trip recently? It will provide a great conversation starter and people will be impressed by how forthcoming you are. Just don’t forget to use spell check*
Be positive: Try to keep everything positive and upbeat! Be aware of using phrases that start with “I don’t like…” or “Don’t contact me if…”. These phrases can come across as being negative and can reflect poorly on your character…especially when someone only has a few sentences to judge you on. Instead, communicate the same message with a positive twist. Rather than, “Don’t contact me if you don’t even have a job”, why not consider “I’d love to meet someone who is as driven and ambitious as I am.”
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!
This week’s challenge is to dedicate 15-30 minutes of your time to improving your online dating profile. Small tasks can include updating or rotating your images, listing at least 15 interests on your profile, or dividing up your description into 3 paragraphs that highlight exactly who you are and what you’re looking for.
Now that you have all the ingredients of a great profile, you’re ready to get out there and meet new people! 2014 is YOUR year!