How to Write an Even More Perfect Online Dating Profile

Earlier this year I wrote an entry called How to Write the Perfect Online Dating Profile, and it’s been one of the most well-read entries on the blog since then. Recently I decided to start offering profile rewrites for people for a $39 fee, or free for a temporary amount of time.

There’s a reason you shouldn’t post photos from more than 6-12 months ago: You don’t know then what you know now.

A few people–all women, all from St. Louis–took me up on my free offer. Through the experience of helping them with their profiles, I learned a few things that I think are worth sharing. Here they are, followed by a few testimonials from my guinea pigs:

  • Don’t date your profile.  Avoid words like “now” or “recently” or “a few weeks ago” in your profile because more than likely you won’t update your profile for a long time (you think you will, but you won’t), so those words date you and quickly become outdated.
  • List 3 favorites per category.  When you list favorites–movies, TV shows, restaurants, books, etc–list a limited number per category. You don’t want to overwhelm people with a massive list. Also, unless you only like, say, romantic comedies, list different types of movies (books, etc) within each category.
  • Photos are key. Only use photos from the last 6-12 months (at most), and use good photos! Get someone else’s opinion on this. Put reminders on your calendar to update your photos every 3 months. You always want to look like yourself on your profile.
  • Scare people away. Ask yourself this: What do you secretly want in a boyfriend/girlfriend that you’re afraid to say on your dating profile? Something that’s really important to you. I’ve heard from several people that they’re afraid of scaring off potential suitors. I say, scare them off! If they’re scared off by something that’s really important to you, they’re not worth your time anyway.
  • Filter and convert. Use every precious word of your profile to (a) filter out creeps anyone that you don’t want to date and (b) convert the few remaining people to those who will e-mail and engage you in conversation. Don’t waste any words being overly clever or funny if you’re not working towards those two goals.

Here are the testimonials. Thank you E.O., L.G., and A.L. for your time, and I hope my conversion rate improves! 🙂

Jamey did a great job helping me really drill down into what makes me who I am – and helped omit the generic filler that I had in my profile before. The new and improved version of my profile clearly demonstrates who I am as a person and what I’m looking for. But it also keeps a certain level of intrigue that helps peek a reader’s interest. –E.O.

The first thing that I like is my profile looks a lot cleaner and it’s easier to read. It gives a few details for a potential date to comment on or ask questions about but leaves plenty of information to talk about. Even after only a week when I read a guy’s profile it kind of bothers me if it’s too wordy and I end up skimming instead of really reading.

The one addition that I really like is at the end of my profile where it says, “Also tell me where you would travel if you had a week off of work and a $2,000 budget.” Most guys have included an answer to this in their first email and it’s been interesting to read the responses.

In the first week the emails of “Hey cutie!” followed by nothing have dwindled and at least I feel like guys are reading my profile. No potential dates yet but it’s only been a week. 🙂 –L.G.

Jamey Stegmaier’s profile review is a great service, no matter what state you are starting from. At the most basic, he provides a critical eye for grammar, flow, and content. But this service goes beyond having a friend read your profile. He provided advice on both my pictures and my writing while making sure to explain each change. I was particularly impressed by his ability to distinguish between being cute and funny and being relevantly witty – making small changes that emphasized the important aspects of my character so that my profile was catchy while still containing the critical information.

Although by his own admission, “[he thought I] did a really good job on [my] profile,” more than 90% of my messages were from guys I wasn’t interested in. After implementing the new version of the profile I saw a slight, non-significant increase in the number of messages. Interestingly, I saw no change in the number of spam messages, but of those individuals who demonstrated they had read my profile, a greater percentage of them passed the ‘I would talk to you in a bar test’ – meaning their profile was interesting enough to be worth my attention.

In the two weeks I test piloted Jamey’s version of my profile, there were 3 users (out of an average 45/week) I would have liked to talk to who failed to message me after viewing my profile, suggesting there is still room for improvement. However, I would certainly recommend Jamey’s service to anyone braving the world of online dating. –A.L.

Do you know someone who is struggling with online dating? Perhaps I can help. If they Like this blog on Facebook, I’ll rewrite their profile for free. They just have to agree to try the rewritten profile for a few weeks.