What makes a good online dating profile for women?
When I walk into a McDonalds, there is a baseline understanding: I expect there to be a cashier to take my order and the cashier expects that I want some form of food or food-like product.
Try going into a McDonalds one day and asking for a bag of hammers.
Without this baseline, (“I will order a food-like product, you will take my order for a food-like product”) there’s no meaningful result.
I have three beliefs I need you to accept before I give you any advice.
The first is that I’m actually qualified to give you advice. Click here for details.
The second is that: Communication isn’t what the speaker says, it’s what the listener hears.
As for the third baseline belief, well that also happens to be Tip 1:
1. Understand your audience OR Men like pictures
Studies have shown that men respond to visual information while women respond to verbal information. This means that your profile should be picture heavy. If it is, you’ll have a much easier time than if it’s not.
Now you can put your own value judgment onto this (“That’s so unfair,” “That’s not right,” etc) or you can accept it the way you accept death and taxes. It is what it is.
This tip is number one because it’s the most important thing and everything else in this post will flow from that. If you don’t accept it, there’s no need to read further.
If you do, we’re in business. The next three tips are variations of Tip 1 but each deserves it’s own space.
2. A picture is worth a thousand words
“Wait, that’s a cliche, not a tip!”
It’s actually both.
The most common complaint I hear against online dating is that women feel men use it to casually date or get a one-night stand. But pictures communicate a lot. A half dozen pics of you in clubs and bars communicates a different message than a half dozen pics of you making cakes.
It’s not what you intend, I understand, but again, communication is not what you say, it’s what the other side hears.
That picture above is an actual type of pic I saw online once. It was only up for a week and then gone. I can only assume it was up and down so fast because her email inbox exploded with interest.
Everyone writes: I’m fun, I love to laugh, I’m the creative type.
But look at that pic above. It says all of that without a single word. It’s actually four pics in one.
And the four pics say what I’m trying to say better than 4,000 words would say.
3. Pick up some basic (basic) photography skills OR The flash is not your friend
With the amount of free Youtube videos and webpages out there, there really is no excuse for not knowing simple things like the rule of thirds and depth of field.
If nothing else, don’t:
- take a picture with a flash because flash makes everyone look bad – try taking daytime shots or pictures without a flash
- take a self-portrait picture by either taking a picture in the mirror or with an outstretched hand.
On that second note, let’s talk about what’s actually being communicated – again, not what you mean to convey, but what information the viewer actually receives:
- I don’t have a friend I trust to take a picture of me.
- I don’t know how to use the timer function on my camera.
- I take pictures of me because others don’t take pictures of me.
Look at the size of my head! I tell people because it’s fulla brain but really, whoa! Keep in mind, this is what you’ll look like too if you do a self-portrait this way. BTW, I took this picture the last, last time I was in the hospital.
4. Your friends are your friends
So ask them why you should be someone’s girl. They may tell you things that you never would have thought of.
5. Write less, say more
Do you remember that Friends episode where Ross cheats on Rachel and then Rachel writes a long letter to him? Even though Ross was in the wrong, and he loved her, and he was heartbroken, he *still* could not get through the whole letter.
Why? See Tip 1.
So write less but say more. Note that this is different than “say less.” You can convey volumes in just a few words.
- Hemingway’s six word story, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
- Alan Moore’s six word story, “machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time”
Or the famous <55 word Bedtime Story by Jeffrey Whitmore
“Careful, honey, it’s loaded,” he said, reentering the bedroom.
Her back rested against the headboard. “This for your wife?”
“No. Too chancy. I’m hiring a professional.”
“How about me?”
He smirked. “Cute. But who’d be dumb enough to hire a lady hit man?”
She wet her lips, sighting along the barrel.“Your wife.”
Say more. Write less.
6. When you do say something, let it be real OR The “Well, who doesn’t?” test
If you can answer something you write with the words, “Well who doesn’t?” don’t put it in.
- I like relaxing.
- I like hanging out with my friends.
Try something like, “You’ll have to put up with my best friend Sandy who likes to randomly show up with bottles of rum and a sad story. After all, I do.”
The above fails the WWD test, so it can stay in a profile. Added bonus: What else does the statement communicate? You have cool friends. You can pound rum. You listen. etc.
7. Don’t state the obvious
If you look at the first part of this series: 10 Tips on how to write a good Match, OK Cupid, or POF dating profile: Part 1- Men you’ll see that I tell people to search for their own sex first (Tip 1) and then write a line as to what they are not looking for (Tip 7).
Regarding the former, don’t write, “I can’t believe I’m on a dating site!” or “I never thought I’d be doing this but here goes.” – go through some women’s profiles and tick off how many times you see that.
As a related topic, don’t repeat yourself. Say what you mean to say, have it be real and non-obvious, and move on.
Now, regarding the latter…
8. Don’t complain
Most women’s profiles put up dozens of lines of what they think they don’t want. Here’s the thing:
Women People have no idea what they actually want.
That’s why Steve Jobs famously never used marketing surveys.
It’s hard for [people] to tell you what they want when they’ve never seen anything remotely like it. Take desktop video editing. I never got one request from someone who wanted to edit movies on his computer. Yet now that people see it, they say, ‘Oh my God, that’s great!’
Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out and about where some girl says to me, I never dated a Chinese guy before. And my response was always, “That’s too bad, we’re lovely.” But in my head I thought, “You never met a guy like me.”
On the reverse, spent the entirety of my teens and 20s thinking I wanted a nice Asian girl and ended up marrying an Irish-Italian. Don’t cut out the guy you think you don’t want unless you are absolutely sure based on actual experience.
9. Music is not a hobby
Nor is watching television. These are not hobbies. These are passive activities; a hobby requires active mental and physical engagement.
A hobby is like mixed-martial arts, pottery-making, improv, etc.
If you don’t have any, get some. You’ll find that if you do interesting things, you’ll be more interesting. And people like “interesting.”
10. Put in an Easter Egg
If you actually follow these tips, you may end up like my friend Casey who put up her profile and then had to immediately take it down because of the deluge of emails.
If that’s the case, ignore 7 and slip in an Easter Egg, which is something that shows the guy took the time to read what you did write – especially since, after reading this amazing list of tips, what your wrote is devoid of fluff.
Things I like are:
- If you think this is all interesting, please include your favourite coffeehouse in Manhattan in the subject line.
- Please respond with your favourite Tupac line as the subject.
- Please respond with your preference: butter or cream frosting.
Something simple and fun. Because dating should be simple and fun, yeah?
If you liked this entry, I just wrote a quick little book in April 2014 on how to write A Great Online Dating Profile with 30 tips to get noticed and get more responses – it’s just $0.99 at Amazon, BN.com, and the Apple Store, as well as most other online retailers::
- You can also read the first 25% of it online now by clicking here!
- Click on the Dating tag to see how my dating life went – the earlier stories are the more entertaining ones, IMHO. You can also click here to find out what finally happened to me.
- Check out the comments to reach other people’s thoughts on these sites (and maybe leave a thought of your own).
- Check out my previous post: Online dating: eHarmony vs. Match vs. Plenty of Fish vs. OK Cupid.
- Also check out 15 Things Every Man Should Know.
- Check out the comments to read other people’s thoughts on these sites (and maybe leave a thought of your own).
- Finally, click here to subscribe to this blog OR follow me on Twitter: @logan607
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