The key to successful dating online is a well-written user profile. A profile is the unique, customizable area on an online dating site that contains biographical information about yourself, as well as photographs and details about what you're looking for in a potential mate.
"A lot of people get really intimidated by the profile process," says Whitney Casey, relationship insider for Match.com. "But when you think about it, when you go out, you get only one chance to make a great first impression. With a profile, you get as many as you want."
Casey suggests new users break down their profile in to four parts—the picture, the headline, the username and the paragraph. Gather a group of friends to help you out, and go step-by-step. "Your friends are going to keep you honest," she says. "Plus, they'll make sure you use the best picture of yourself."
- Stay recent and real, Casey says. All pictures should be taken within the last six months and feature a head shot, as well as a full body shot. "Putting up pictures that represent what you look like means you don't have to worry later, if he or she doesn't call you to go out again, that it's because of how you look," Allison says. "Be honest about who you are."
- Avoid pictures of yourself with either too many props or too many other people. "Find a happy medium between being Action Jackson and Mr. or Miss Poser," Casey says. "Your main picture should be just you, and not you wearing sunglasses or you holding your dog. Use those photos for the supplemental pictures."
- Update photos as much as possible. Casey suggests including photos from recent vacations as well as those that feature you taking part in a hobby you enjoy. "They make good conversation starters," she says.
- Don't include too many pictures of you with other people."There are so many guys online who will include pictures of themselves with other women," Allison says. "You don't know who those women are, and it sends the wrong impression."
More tips for creating the perfect online dating profile