Back in 2005, I recommended online dating to one of my older brothers. He was a widower for over five years and thought it was time to get back in the game. Several years later, he is now happily married and has children with his new wife in New Zealand.
I met my fiance through an online dating site. Best decision ever! I’m an introvert. Always have been. Always will be. I prefer getting social with people I already know well. That’s why online dating was the perfect model for me, especially in the winter months when I had no desire to be out in the cold at social gatherings and networking events. I could be social online in the comfort of my own warm home, but still meet men.
Now that I’ve been in a committed relationship for while and have more knowledge and experience with the internet on a professional level, I’ve come to the conclusion that online dating is a lot like internet marketing. If you’re single and trying to find your soul mate through an online dating site, you’re already at an advantage.
Dating sites are awesome advertising platforms. All you have to do is choose the right one.
Fortunately for you, a dating site is the best advertising platform you’ll ever find. You don’t have to worry about getting visitor traffic or any of that other stuff. There are hundreds of dating sites out there that already take care of that for you, because they spend a lot of time and money growing their traffic and database of potential matches for people just like you.
You have a wealth of options: LavaLife, sites for artists that want to date other artists… There’s even a dating site for pet lovers. Pick the right advertising platform that’s right for what you want. Look at things like the site’s search functionality for finding a potential match, the quality of those matches, ease of site navigation or lack thereof, profile layouts, communication options, and pricing.
Personally, I hated Plenty of Fish, but some of my friends found their partners through that site and said it worked for them just fine. Me? Not so much. I found the guys on there to be creepy and saw profiles of more swingers than I cared to know about. I closed my account within a week. So, I did my research, estimated a budget and gave myself 90 days to run an online dating campaign on a platform that I believed was best suited for me. I ended up going with eHarmony.
Here’s another interesting thing. One of the biggest concerns I had while being in the online dating world was whether men of different ethnicity would be interested in me regardless of my race. As a visible minority, I was competing with thousands of Caucasian blondes and brunettes in my area. I had the fortune of reading some really great tips from dating books and articles online about this. The message was the same: race shouldn’t matter to the man who is truly interested in you. If someone chooses not to contact you based on your race, then this is a good thing. You’ve just weeded out an undesirable candidate from your pool of matches.
Maybe you want a targeted pool of only Asians or Caucasians. Go to those exclusive sites and sign up for a profile. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend limiting yourself like that, but again, go with the advertising platform that’s ideal for you.
Write and post an attention-grabbing headline, if the site you’re on still offers one.
Not all online dating sites still offer a field to write a headline. If the site you’re on does, write a unique, memorable one that will attract that guy or girl you’re dreaming of (e.g. I Leave The Toilet Seat Down or Limited Time Only: Date With A Charming Doctor).
If your headline is not helping you get interest right away, use another. Test between two really good ones. Try using one per week and track which gets you more interest from potential matches. In the internet marketing world, this is known as A/B testing.
Choose a clear photo with your biggest and brightest smile.
You don’t want to miss this point. Your photo is like a display ad. Choose your best photo and make sure it stands out the way a bright fuchsia banner would on a white background of a website. This is important if the dating site that you’re on doesn’t offer headlines. This also important if you’re a woman.
It’s no secret that men are very visual. Women in my social circle had guys messaging them through dating sites, LinkedIn and MySpace (before the Justin-Timberlake-funded redesign), because their profile photos were lovely and showed how attractive these women are. A clear, bright image of you with your best smile makes a difference between just getting views and actually getting clicks on your photo.
When my fiance saw my main profile photo (without a headline), he clicked. A couple of months after dating, he shared some very valuable feedback about my profile photo. “You looked a little severe.” Ouch! What he meant was I looked too serious. Fortunately, my fiance thought I was attractive enough for him to click on my photo and land on my profile. And thankfully, I had happier photos in my album that convinced him to send me a message and ask me out on a date. We’re now engaged. In internet marketing we call this a conversion.
Your profile is like a landing page.
Online dating profiles are like landing pages. When someone lands on your profile, you’ve got a short amount of time to make a great first impression and convert the visitor to an actual “customer.”
Your “about me” paragraph can be prime real estate on your profile and should have key summarized information about yourself. If you risk the possibility of someone not reading anything else about you, nail it in the first few sentences of this section.
If you don’t actually get anyone sending you winks or messages, it’s time to tweak the content on your page. Good matches are like qualified business leads. So write the content on your profile in a way that will make a potential date actually reach out to you to learn more.
Use keywords that make it clear what you want and that will appeal to the guys or girls you intend to meet. Keywords and tags can help with having a more search-friendly profile. You like music? Great! What kind? Dub step, trap, emo or classical? Are you seeking an equally outdoorsy individual? Fantastic! What kind of outdoors activity do you prefer? Be specific.
Some dos and don’ts to consider.
- Don’t be one of those members that sets up an online dating profile, then never logs in. It’s like opening a convenience store, but never being at the counter to serve anyone. That’s bad business.
- Don’t keep chatting with a person online for more than one week. Meet them in person as soon as possible (if he/she lives in the same city). Don’t keep chatting with each other online as if you live on opposite sides of the country when you could meet face to face.
- Do date more than one person at a time for the first couple months. Keep your options open. You should see as many people as you can handle in the beginning to find out if you and the dates you meet are a qualified match.
- Do be transparent about seeking a long-term relationship. Ongoing casual and just-friend dates doesn’t really equate to finding your soul mate. If a potential date runs away from your desire for a commitment, that’s a good thing. They were never serious to begin with.
I hope these internet marketing tips help you out. Dating is a lot of work, but finding your soul mate should take some sort of investment to find the right person. Make the right choices online, do the work necessary to get qualified matches, and you’ll see a great return.
Any thoughts? I’d love to know. Leave a short comment below.