New Year, New Profile, New Photo, New Love!
Whether you are new or been on the site for a while, when was the last time you checked out your own profile? How old is the photo you have? It's a New Year so time to review and renew! Internet Dating Coach Melanie Dodson tells us why having a great photo and interesting profile is the path to your New Love!
During her first few months on online dating, Melanie noticed that the average daters were not very effective at presenting themselves in their online profile or through their correspondence. She also met many folks who were hesitant about using this fantastic tool due to their concerns which she saw were often based in truth but ended up being largely blown out of proportion.
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Melanie began dispensing Internet dating advice and teh feedback to her single friends and acquaintances she was known as the Internet dating poster child.
In April 2005, Melanie was asked to testify in front of the Florida State Legislature in support of a bill that would effectively make Internet dating safer. Her involvement in this important legislation is a testament to the experience and the insight that she provides to the Internet dating community.
Welcome Melanie Dodson.
When I came into it I noticed that this is a really great tool. And if people could really optimize and put the time into it and the thought they could potentially get some really great results. Because every day people are coming together, meeting each other online and I said well, there is so much potential here. I would love to help people to use this tool more effectively.
So the first thing is to get a clear idea on whatever it is, no judgment, but to get an idea what is it your looking to get out of this? The second thing is how well do you know yourself? And that is the first question that needs to be answered when it comes to putting your profile together. Because the better you know yourself, and what makes you tick and what you need, and what you desire, and what works for you, the better you can do at creating sort of an advertisement which is what an online personal is. It is basically an advertisement telling people what you are, compelling them to read on. And also to engage with people who would be a good match and compel them to respond.
Other tools are a lot of online sites will have tools that lets you basically gauge your personality type, psychological profiles, compatibility tests. They will have you take which then they will use to go ahead and not only give you the feedback so you can get insight into what are your priorities, what are your values, what makes you tick. But then they will go ahead sometimes and help you to find matches by using the results of those tests.
Online, in general, whether it is on a dating site or any other sites there are so many free tools out there to help you with this introspection. And give you a lot of ideas if you do not already have a crystal clear image, if who you are and what you need. But that is a very good first step for any dater really and especially for an Internet dater. Because that is where you have to put it all down on the screen. And put out what you are - - put down what you are all about. And if you do not know that the next step is going to be more difficult.
For example, if you are someone who is very much into family, meaning, you might already have children or you want to have children or you are just very committed to your parents and your grandparents, whatever family means to you. If that is one of maybe your top 5 things that is key for you that you want to get across to a reader. And that would be one of the things you put on the brainstorm list that you would talk about.
Other things could be if you are very into health and fitness. That might be something you want to talk about and explain and elaborate on that. Anything else that would be really key for you. You are not going to necessarily have room in your essays depending on the site to write about everything under the sun that is interesting or important to you. But you want to pick the top handful of things that will be not just important to you but focus on your reader.
Whenever you are putting your profile together, any aspect of it, keep your audience - - your ideal audience in mind. So one thing to think about when you are writing is: Who am I targeting? I know myself. I know what kind of match I am looking for. I need to write to those kinds of people. They are my audience. I am not trying to be all things to all people. I do want to keep in my mind the people I am trying to attract and bring in.
So that kind of helps set up the framework. And a lot of people that I coach when I sense I say that to them they have sort of an a-ha. Because part of what keeps people from really writing much on their essays or writing anything that is interesting is that sometimes they just do not know what to say. Because they are thinking what if I say that, I am going to come across this way. Keep in mind you want to get across with what is the most important to you but you are not trying to be Mr. or Mrs. Right to everybody. So there is something to be said for being distinct.
So a lot of people you will see in their essays will talk about how they are tired of the bar scene and all that. And you may or may not realize. And if you do not have experience at Internet dating, there are certain things out there that are cliché. It does not mean that they are not true and they are authentic in some sense. But you will see them so much to become not only cliché - -
Once again, you picked your top 5 areas. You are kind of expound on all of those. People can get a sense of who you are, it is your profile. Set them as you put it together, go back, and hope the headline is maybe a little easier.
But what you do want to do is stand off from the rest. And anything you do to describe yourself, let's say you like bowling. Let us say, you have 5 different sports or hobbies that you usually like to do. Instead of what a lot of people do is they list them out. I like to bowl. I like yoga. I like playing with my dogs. I like - - that is all great. Because it is a good step in the right direction. That gives someone an idea of who you are.
But one way to make your essays more interesting and to stand out from other people and to make them unique is to kind of elaborate a little bit. Tell a story. It can make people want to read what you have to write. The way to do that is if you are talking of bowling, if you have chosen that as one of the things you definitely want to get across, tell a story - - a real story. How - - I was just bowling last week. And I scored my highest score this season and have my bowling shirt, short shirts. And here is the picture. There is a picture attached. Make it kind of colorful. Make it interesting. If you have chosen to talk about it do not just make a list of activities or a list of attitudes describing yourself but explain and illustrate your point and make it interesting.
Once you have done that, sit down the results and say, "Okay. I have got this. I am going to use this along with what in my head I am thinking I want to get out of this experience. And what is it I want to put out there?" Brainstorm everything that comes to mind. Put it all down on paper. The definition of brainstorm in my mind is to basically dump everything from your brain on the paper with no self-editing. And that is the first process that gets you to a creative space.
So what I say is don't self edit it, put it all down. What are they looking for? What would be very exciting to you? Assuming that you have anything you want in a mate. Do not say, "Well, I really like this but I do not think it is realistic." Start of by just thinking, dreaming big. Like with anything. Put it all down and then go through "Okay. You know it. Now, I that I have put it all down." Go back the next day and say.. This is what I want to talk about. These are my top 5 areas I want to get across.
Once you have completed your profile or your draft, I should say, of your profile. Keep your profile hidden at first until you are completely done with it. As far as the first draft - - the first round rather. Keep it hidden so that you can work on it over the course of several days.
When you got your first draft done where I think it is a great idea is to run it by a couple of good friends. And I would include in those friends that you have, male and female friends to get a couple of different perspectives. Not only will they give you feedback about what you have written but they may say, "Hey, I think you are so fascinating in this way." And I think that is a really great selling point. Maybe you should talk about this or I see you talked about that. Maybe you should tell this story and that will be so interesting or that is not appropriate maybe you should not say it that way because it comes across in a manner that you do not intend.
This kind of feedback can be really invaluable because for any of us trying to write something especially when they are pouring out on this profile who we are and what we are looking, it kind of makes ourselves vulnerable. And for a lot of us this is completely new. It is hard to see things the way other people will see. So do yourself a favor and get a couple of friends to help you out.
What happens a lot of times is that Internet dating is not a static experience. It is very dynamic. There is new people coming on, people dropping off all the time. And in general it is - - dating sites are growing. So you are never going to have the same people on any given day or week looking at your profile. There will be some of the same but you will always going to have new faces.
Another variable that you want to keep in mind is always think about who is your audience. You are going to have people who are in a different frame of mind. Let us say somebody is in one state of mind and looked at your profile then a month later things in their life and their perspective have change - they are looking again at your profile. You will never know who is going to want, to possibly approach you or react differently.
Another way to keep things interesting for those same people who may come back or for new people is to change up some aspects of your profile. One of the fastest ways to do that - - fastest and easiest and the most impactive ways is to change your photos. Now, we did not talk yet about photos but I do think it is a very important piece. If you do not mind I just like to take 1 or 2 minutes on that.
Typically, it boils down to people not being savvy enough to know how, not feeling comfortable or otherwise just do not - - have not gotten around to it; a little bit lazy. So having said that important - - very, very important to have a photo up there.
When you have a photo up you want it to be again, a compelling, interesting, it has to be you; it has to be recent. One thing that I find is universally appealing is the use of great color and clarity and composition in your photos. It does not necessarily mean that you have to go to a professional photographer, although that is all right.
And just a quick note. If you do go to professional photographer make sure they know that you are doing this for Internet dating. And find out if they have any experience with portraits for online personals. Because some people will put you in the old-fashioned kind of photographer studio with the blue-sky background. And it is going to look way too staged and in my opinion does not come across the right way for the medium of online dating. Get someone who can take some shots with you outside. Typically those work really well in my opinion.
But if you are not going to look for a professional photographer and let us face it, most of us do not do that. Get a friend to take some pictures that you think are representative of what you are trying to get across. Again, keeping in mind who you are and your image.
And I would also - - in choosing your outfits, choosing your settings keep the choice wise. So I will say if you are into athletics and fitness and what not, and you go to yoga a couple of times a week or you bowl. I would say wear that outfit in some of your pictures. Maybe you are even actually taking the pictures just asked her before or during an .You are having your digital camera with you for example. And you are getting some photos of you in your real life.
If you are doing a sort of stage photo session, try to re-enact some of it. But you want to get the whole range of your life. Everything that is appropriate.
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