The various dating sites have different layouts, but most of them will have one or more big, blank areas that you have to fill in. While it’s tempting to just put placeholder text in there and start browsing profiles, sooner or later you’ll have to bite the bullet.
If you’re just getting started with online dating, these guidelines will help you get the creative juices flowing. And yes, you do need creative juices! The better your profile, the better your experience with online dating will be.
I’ve broken the process into 4 steps. Notice that the writing doesn’t begin until step 3!
1) First brainstorm: What are you looking for?
Before you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, do a tiny bit (just a tiny bit, I promise) of soul-searching.
What are you looking for? Who are you looking to meet? We all go into online dating with some kind of goal, whether it’s a summer fling, or finding a marriage partner.
List a handful of traits found in the people you’d like to meet. Try to go beyond the obvious. Is “must love dogs” a rule for you? Are you only interested in gingers? Are there specific lifestyle or religious factors you’re looking for? The first rule of copywriting is to write to your audience. To do that, you’ve got to define your audience.
2) Second brainstorm: What do you want to say about yourself?
This is where you get strategic.
With the results of the first brainstorm in mind, think about what you’d like a potential date to know about you. Rather than just listing the basics, think about what makes you unique.
Did you spend the last 5 summers volunteering in an orphanage? Do you make your own cheese? Do you own a collection of antique bubble gum dispensers? While you don’t want to come off as ultra-eccentric (unless you are, in which case more power to you), selectively writing about your unique qualities is the antidote to a boring online dating profile.
When you’re done, do a quality check on the list.
Think about the impression you want to create. Like a sculptor, leave out everything that isn’t you.
3) Express yourself creatively
If you’re wondering how to write an online dating profile that stands out from the rest, the answer can be summed up in one word: creativity.
Use humor. Tell a story. Not every single point has to be a Mitch Hedberg punchline, but a memorable profile greases the wheels of online dating communication.
4) Sanity check
Once you have a draft, go through it with a fine-toothed comb. Spelling and grammar are just the beginning. The tone, length and style of the writing are all important factors as well.
Think about the profile from the perspective of that imaginary person you dreamed up in Step 1. Do you feel they’ll identify with what you’ve written? What kind of picture have you painted? The best profiles are completely honest, yet represent you in a flattering light.
If you’re like most people, you probably have a very hard time writing about yourself – I know I certainly do! Like tearing off a band-aid, it’s best to just take your best shot. The steps above will put you well on your way towards an online dating profile that really works.