Creating a winning online profile

While pictures matter, your words do, too

By Nancy Plummer, Columnist, The Times

NancyPlummerLogoWe all hear about the importance of having stunning, professional quality pictures for our online dating profile, but what about our written profile? As Benjamin Franklin one said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” In other words, don’t bother writing just any profile, but instead, take the time and effort to write a profile that is worthy of your sought-after mate to read and then contact you.

Since it’s probably been a few decades for you since you had to write a persuasive piece or marketing ad (because that’s what an online dating profile really is), it might be helpful to remind you of some tricks of the trade.

  1. Create an enticing Username. Nowadays, most dating sites let you pick whichever Username you wish. Often times, people think it’s a good idea to use their real name, such as Becky, or the initials of all their kids’ names, such as JMTBBD, which is too obscure and challenging to remember to be remotely a good idea. Instead, why not try a Username that tells everyone a little bit about you, like “GolfGirl” or “LovetoSki.” This is an easy way to grab your match’s attention.
  2. Write a catchy headline. From famous quotes to funny one-liners, a catchy headline can reveal to your potential suitors a little more about you in a clever way. It is like the first sentence in a book – it will either draw you in or not. You will want to think seriously about what to write as your headline so that it sets you apart from your competition.
  3. Use humor. Everyone appreciates a good sense of humor, especially when you are reading hundreds of online dating profiles. While humor comes in many styles, I do not recommend you use sarcasm, but rather wit. Some of my most successful profiles I’ve written for clients are ones that we started with the playfully funny Dos Equis beer “World’s Most Interesting Man” ad lines and adopted them to fit my client, such as “She is fluent in all languages, including three that she only speaks” and “He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels.”
  4. Describe yourself with a positive, yet authentic style. This is not the time to share with the world any of your troubles, whether with your family, work life, or even dating. It is sad how many profiles are rife with gripes about previous relationships or dates, the worst being those that are written in capital letters warning any potential partners out there “DON’T CONTACT ME IF YOU HAVE ANY JEALOUSY ISSUES!” Does anyone really think that’s the best way to find a nice person online? Also, don’t write that you’d “love a blended family”, if you know you won’t, or that you love to “hit the gym”, if the last time you had a membership was two years ago.
  5. Use as many senses – visual, sounds, tastes, touch, and smells – to write about your story. If you’ve read a hundred profiles, you know what I mean when I say that they can all sound the same after a while. If you are wishing to get noticed, then turn up the volume of your profile by engaging your reader. Rather than writing “I love the beach,” why not try writing, “I love to dig my toes in the sand and hear the waves crashing on the shore.”
  6. Edit your profile making sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Just recently, the Wall Street Journal posted an article revealing that the number one reason people won’t contact a potential match, is because their profile is full of spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Don’t make the mistake of writing your profile from your phone, as there isn’t a quick way to ensure what you’ve written is grammatically correct. Take the time and energy to write it first on Microsoft-Word, and then copy and paste into your online profile when Spellcheck is complete.

Most importantly, have fun while writing about you and who you are looking for in a match. I guarantee you that if you post a more professionally written online dating profile, you’ll have a better caliber of suitors to choose from to find love by choice, and not by chance.

Nancy Plummer is the President and Founder of All About Connecting – a Personal Dating, Matchmaker and Relationship Coaching service.

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