Online dating profile tips for men from a female ad writer.

Chris doing air guitar.

Chris doing air guitar.

Men are impressive. They’re masterful at  avoiding life-threatening questions like, “does this make me look fat”.  They know how  to nod convincingly when a situation requires a sincere looking, “you’re right”.  They even know how to play air guitar. They are, however, less adept at writing their online dating profiles.

I suspect there are a couple of reasons for this.

For one, a lot of  men aren’t comfortable talking about themselves. For another, they don’t always know how to straddle the fine line between self-promotion and bragging.

As someone who’s been writing ads for over 20 years, I’ve not only learned how “not to hard sell”, I’ve also learned other subtle marketing techniques that  can get you noticed in competitive atmospheres like online dating.

Here are my 5 top tips for men on how to write a great online dating profile

I run. I cycle. I swim. I sound like a tampon commercial.

Rather than actually communicate, men often catalog their interests. The result is a dry read devoid of passion. Instead of a list of activities, I suggest you pick a few favorites and write a little about each one.

Give the reader a sense of why you like them and how they manifest in your life.

The more you can come alive on screen, the better your chances of being able to connect in as real a way as one can online. All the best advertising elicits an emotion so ensure that your personal ad does too.

I’m fun, fit, reliable, nice, and I do a great thesaurus imitation.

Another dry list to avoid is one made up of adjectives. Rather than say who you are, demonstrate it with anecdotes. In the world of prose, an adjective is to an anecdote what words are to actions. So if you’re fit, give an anecdote about your best hiking experience or favorite place to run.

If you’re nice, prove it. Tell the reader what you do that’s actually nice. Then again, who cares if you’re nice? You should be. That’s a basic. In advertising we focus on unique selling points and value propositions. Essentially, what these terms mean is “what’s special about you?”

So be sure to put your best self forward and forget the basics.

Length matters (no pun intended).

A lot of men write no more than a few perfunctory lines of copy and hope that’s good enough. It isn’t. You need to show effort. The ideal length for a dating profile is approximately 250 words laid out in short paragraphs.

This isn’t an arbitrary number. I know this from writing web copy. It’s a standard in the ad and graphic design industries. Why? Because it allows you to give just enough information to prove that you actually have something to say. Yet, it’s also short enough to keep a reader’s attention without imposing too much on her time.

One thing that everyone (including corporate ad clients) seems to forget is that yours is not the only ad the person will read.

How to sound like you’re not already in love – with yourself.

The best way to talk about your accomplishments or greatest traits is to add a few quirks into the mix. There’s something truly endearing about a man who doesn’t take himself too seriously. If you like putting your left sock on before your right one, say so. If you like strawberry ice cream without the strawberries, say that too.

Here’s an example of tempered self-promotion:

“I’ve won several weight lifting competitions, but I can’t open a jar to save my life.”

In the ad world, this is called a soft sell. We do it all the time by adding some humor to commercials. Doing so, is very disarming.

Don’t hog the playing field.

A lot of men resist being clear about their interests and needs because they fear that it will weed some people out. The problem with this thinking is that you’ll inevitably attract a lot of the wrong people and not stand out to the right ones. The best ads “target” the ideal audience. The best online dating profiles do that too. So make who “you” are very clear and, that way, you’ll attract the person who’s looking for exactly you.

Final piece of advice

Hire me (of course).  My services include everything from a simple phone consultation to a full profile from scratch (I ask a lot of questions then use your stories and expressions so that the profile is honestly coming from you).

Have a look at my online dating profile samples and testimonials or just get started here with the personality questionnaire then send your answers to me.

You’ll be amazed at what I can do with them.

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