Secrets of Online Dating Success

Online dating can be an annoying, frustrating experience at times.

For something that’s frequently hailed as the dating salvation for the introverted, the socially awkward, and the shy, sometimes all that happens is… nothing. Your winks and messages get sent out and all you get for your trouble is deafening silence. You see people checking out your profile and disappearing into the digital ether and the people you know should be just your type don’t pay any attention to you at all.

It’s enough to make many men shut down their accounts and give up on online dating entirely. After all, who wants to have yet another reminder that you’re alone and at home on a Friday night?

The problem however, is that often you’re focusing on the wrong areas. There’s no profit in expending valuable time and brain-cycles on the people who aren’t responding to you. You need to direct your attention to where it does the most good: the people who are already checking you out. Your messages can be awesome, but unless you have a profile that makes them stop and pay attention… well, you’re going to lose them.

So I’m about to impart to you the secret to online dating success: you need to quit thinking like a lover. You need to think like a marketer.

Online Dating is All About Marketing

Here’s a hint. Here’s the twist though: online dating is all about the marketing. Yes you may be looking for your one true soulmate, but dating is, at its core, a numbers game. You want as many people as possible coming to see your profile and you want to keep those people around long enough to dazzle them with your brilliance (or at least baffle them with your bullshit) and make them decide that yes, they would like to get to know you better. So you need to be able to get their attention and hold it. Attention is the currency of online dating – the more you have, the more likely you are to get what you want (that is, more dates).

What you want is targeted attention. You don’t want everybody, you want the people whom you’re hoping to date… so you have to know how they think, what they’re looking for and, critically, how to grab them by the eyeballs.

Packaging The Product

The first step is to think like a marketer: you have a product (you) that you’re trying to move (i.e. get laid, get dates, what-have-you)… so you start off with how you package the product. Your profile – your screen name, your photos, your vital statistics and your words – are your packaging and even slight flaws can make potential customers (dates) go off in search of products that strike them as more appealing.

In online dating as in off, first impressions are everything. If you don’t snag those eyeballs right from the get-go, you’ve already lost them.

This means you need to put your best face forward… literally. The very first thing that people look at when they get your message in their inbox and are trying to decide whether or not they’re intrigued enough to write back is your profile photo in the thumbnail. You need your first photo to be one that impresses. This means that your primary photo, the one that appears next to your screen-name in your online dating profile, needs to be a clear shot of your head and shoulders. Not a full body shot. Not something awkwardly cropped from your vacation snaps. Not a moody, arty, Instagram-filtered selfie. Not a picture of you and your bros. Just your smiling face, possibly with a splash of color somewhere to help stand out from the other sea of photos.


The other aspects of your dating profile in descending order of importance:

  • Your screenname – People pay attention to this because it says more than you’d think. Names  like “Bushmaster”, “GladHeAteHer”, “Smokedup420” and anything using the number “69,” are nature’s way of saying “do not touch.” Also: avoid “88” in your screen name, even if you were born in 1988. Thanks to one date gone horribly wrong, I’ve discovered that this is frequently Aryan Nation code. Avoid.
  • Your Vital Statistics – Height, weight, age, hair color, etc. These are the next thing to be checked out. Some people have firm opinions about the height, weight and ages that they’re willing to accept from a potential date.  If these don’t line up with your photo (and many dudes have tried to get away with saying they had an ‘athletic’ or ‘muscular’ build when they clearly didn’t), people won’t bother sticking around to read your brilliant prose.
  • Your Actual Profile – This is, 90{1870485bc5b1e7a5aedc33fc808a1cb6336e9aafb8d054494e763b3ec6cda6b5} of the time, the last thing that people read. Once you’ve cleared the other hurdles, only then will potentially interested singles get around to seeing what you have to say for yourself. This is where you get to make your pitch. Anyone who gets this far is already more than a little interested in you… so you better know how to craft your profile.

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