OKCupid, of course, has some research on the topic of what does and doesn't work on dating profile sites. Today I'm going to give you my expert opinion of what works and doesn't for online dating. (Remember, I do this professionally, and my success rate is pretty darn good:)).
Of course, there's always stuff that's left to chance. I've met some pretty great dudes (who I'm still friends with) whose profiles didn't necessarily align with my ideal OR how I'd counsel someone to write his own profile. But hey...dating can't get TOO clinical, right?
So without further ado: 3 Online Dating Profile Pro Tips That Will Help Get You Laid
Avoid Overly Religious/Obsessive/Niche-y Speak
If your religion/obsession/niche is really THAT important to you, why alienate 98% of the dating pool on a free site like OKCupid (or even a paid site like Match)?
You will probably have better luck on a dating site that caters to people who also share your religious beliefs/obsession/niche. Plus, you may also miss a good match who feels passionately about his/her religion/obsession/niche, but isn't necessarily as vocal about it.
PRO TIP: If you still want to use a general online dating site, tone down the religious/obsessive/niche-y speak and play up your values. Values tend to cross boundaries and you may find a perfectly lovely Buddhist/dog lover/metal-head who understands your extensive volunteer work more than you'd expect.
Avoid Poor Grammar, Bad Spelling and Abbreviations
This is already well documented, but do your best to use full sentences on your profile, and lose the "lol" whatnot.
When I'm working with someone, I try to explain that it's a lot like going to your favorite website to buy a product. If you have to pause at all to figure out what something means, or if a phrase is over-used (again, I'll point back to "lol") you probably are going to click away and not buy.
PRO TIP: Think of the way you'd write a memo or email to your boss. Does that sound FAR less romantic than it should for dating? Yup. But it gives the reader at least some indication that you have a basic education, the ability to communicate well and that you cared enough to take the time to try to get it right.
Avoid Fuzzy, Old, or Dubious Pictures
Pictures are a whole science unto themselves (at least, I think so). The profile picture, of course, is the most important picture, and should be a clear, recent photo of your face.
Stuff that doesn't work? Pictures that are too far away to tell who the person is, no face pictures at all, pictures that appear to be at least five years old, and pictures where an old lover is clearly cut out of the frame.
I believe you should have at least five pictures, all showing a little different aspect of yourself. Also, avoid too many pictures with the web cam or "dude/lady with an iPhone in the mirror"...that makes it look like you don't have any friends.
PRO TIP: If you don't have recent pictures, why not? With the abundance of smart phones and free apps for editing, everyone should have at least one picture from the last six months.
Still need some help? Ask a friend to take some photos, or look on Craigslist for students looking to build their portfolios. Scary? Yup...but it'll probably increase your chances of a click through, and that's some good shit.
What are your pro tips for online dating? What's worked for you? What hasn't?
(Also, if you need professional profile help, I can do that!)