Five Tricks of the Trade for Online Dating Profiles - Internet Dating Week


Photo from Just Deon.

Written By: Jennifer Smith

Between the sheer amount of dating sites, their altogether suspect matching algorithms, and the dizzying array of profiles those algorithms spit out, would-be lovers might find themselves a little lost when it comes to finding someone special online.

While we’ve become accustomed to the instant gratification and fast connections the Internet affords us, finding someone you ‘click with’ still requires a certain amount of tenacity and, according to professional dating profile writers, strategy.

Kate Houston of built her online profile writing business on the skills she developed as an award-winning ad writer.  After dating online for a time herself, sifting through a slew of misguided profiles, Houston realized advertising techniques for making products stand out apply just as well to people.

“People sometimes have a hard time being themselves when it comes to writing about themselves,” Houston says. “I ask a lot of questions. I take all your words, sentences, anecdotes, and really probe and put it together. ”

While every profile she writes is unique to the client, Houston shared a few tips with BTR for anyone looking to spruce up their own profile.

1. Keep It Lighthearted

Coming off like you are trying too hard is never attractive and, according to Houston, mentioning a little quirk or being slightly self-effacing makes you more authentic and approachable.

“It’s very important to come across as confident, but at the same time, you have to be a little disarming because you’re in a situation where you’re dealing with strangers,” Houston says. “If you come across as too big, you’re not exuding a certain level of comfort. You intimidate people.”

Photo from mccmicb.

2. Avoid Laundry Lists

Using long lists of adjectives to describe yourself is unimaginative, sterile, dubious, characterless, simplistic, and irksome.  How many bands do you really have to list to illustrate your original, eclectic, esoteric, impressive taste?

“What you need to do is provide anecdotes. Give me an idea of what it’s like to be in your life,” Houston says. “Don’t give me adjectives. Give me little stories about yourself.”

Photo from uochi.

3. Don’t Say What You’re Looking For Right Away

Going right into a wish list of traits for your potential partner is counterproductive, according to Houston, because you haven’t sold yourself yet.

Essentially, you have to demonstrate a certain degree of value first or else risk putting people off with all your overeager stipulations.

“Before you tell me what you want, ” Houston says. ”You really have to say what you’re good for.”

Photo from Adam Foster

4. Don’t Rush the Initial Meeting

Many online profiles include a little something to the tune of  “I’m not interested in endless emails. The sooner we meet up, the sooner we know if there’s chemistry.”

Still, Houston suggests a few email exchanges back and forth before meeting in person.

“Online dating can be dangerous if you don’t play safe, and emails are a way of catching red flags,” Houston says. “Not everything is going to be revealed in a few emails, but there might be some things that just don’t add up.”

5. Keep It Concise

Jennifer Wang, a New York City lawyer by day and matchmaker by night, helps daters navigate the many bewildering aspects of online dating through her website, where she offers matchmaking services and profile writing.

“There’s really no right or wrong way to write a profile, but in general, most readers are not spending 20 minutes reading every profile so it’s important to get the important things out first,” says Wang. “ Your profile only really needs to give people a basic overview of who you are.”

Wang also offers a service where she runs her clients’ online dating profiles on their behalf, reaching out to potential matches and facilitating dates. Though much of Wang’s New York clientele is very busy and wants the extra push a matchmaker can provide, Wang generally urges clients to reach out themselves and practice persistence when it comes to online dating.

“It’s like anything else,” Wang says. “You’ve got to put effort into it. Dating is hard work … not for the faint of heart.”