Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dating Profile Writing Tips - Part 1

Writing a dating profile is tougher than some people think... Well maybe not all people, but if you are having a hard time writing your profile, I will post some tips here to help you.

Tip #1 - Take Your Time and Take it Offline

So you've been waiting... and searching... and hoping to find "the one." I understand - once you decide to take the plunge into online dating, you don't want to wait any longer, right?

All I have to say about that is "patience grasshopper!" Your profile is your one and only chance to make that first impression. Think of it as your brand. Do you think Nike looked at that swoosh of theirs and said, "Fine. Whatever. Just put it on there." Hell NO! They had a think tank of creative types invent their whole branding message!

Unfortunately, you do not have that luxury but here's what you can do instead:

  1. Take it offline! Write your profile in a word document or hide your profile from the world until you're ready to unveil the masterpiece that is YOU!

  2. Sleep on it! Once you write your profile, walk away from it for a day or two. Then, go back and look at it with "fresh eyes." That way, not only will you catch any dreaded spelling or grammar errors, but you may also come up with a catchier or wittier way to say something.

  3. Incubate! Your subconscious is your greatest asset! Once you've written something, you may think it's "out of your system" but what's really happening is that you've just moved the topic from your conscious to your sub-conscious... and that's when the magic happens! As you continue in your daily routine, your sub-conscious is still gnawing away at the work you've done and the next time you open that profile, chances are you automatically will see a better, more clever way of saying something! It's true!

  4. Share it with a friend. Find a close friend you trust (or family member!) and ask for his/her opinion. You real friends will never steer you wrong. They want what's best for you and they also may be able to help you say what you want to say. Sometimes it hard to talk yourself up but that's something that comes very easy to a good friend. Plus, they'll tell you if something in your profile might be taken the wrong way.
    Example: "Dude, I know that you love to hunt for worms and go fishing, but do you really think it's wise to put 'loves to creep around front lawns at night with a flashlight' in your profile?!?"

  5. If you're really stuck, hire a professional... like me! I will be offering my professional writing services for a modest fee but until I get that set up, feel free to comment on this blog with a line from your profile that's bugging you most and I'll try to suggest something better for FREE!

Once you feel good (or even just better) about what you've written, that's the time for you to put it out there for the world to see.

...And if you ~really~ can't wait, why not hone your profile on a "free" dating site like Yahoo! Personals 7 Day FREE Trial offer
to "test the waters" with... so to speak. That way, you can tweak your profile and test out a service at the same time!

Good luck and go get 'em tiger! ;)
Stay tuned for more profile writing tips!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Adding Quotes to Your Profile

So... You want to pimp out your profile verbally? The best and easiest way to do that is with quotes. Quoting someone is a great way to express how you feel or what you want to say - except, of course, it always sounds better!

The problem is, too many people try to pass off famous (or even obscure) quotes as their own... WRONG!!! Nothing will make you look like a loser faster than ganking an awesome DOORS lyric or bit of philosophical wisdom and trying to make others think it yours.

When it comes to quoting, remember this rule: There is always someone out there who know your stolen quote intimately and you will always get caught!

Try this instead... Cite your source!!
There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with using someone else's words as long as you give them proper credit! Look, we're not writing term papers here. This is the Internet and the Internet is "serious business" ;) Here are two great ways to utilize quotes:

  1. Direct Quotes - Put your stolen quote in quotation marks (" ") and attribute that quote to its author.

    Example 1: "Out here in the perimeter there are no stars... Out here we is stoned Immaculate." - Jim Morrison

    Example 2: "I am but a bastion of innocence in a forest of deceit." - Lolagrrl
    This works really well for those little boxes where you are asked to sum up who you are in a sentence or two.

  2. Indirect Quotes - Apply your stolen quote as a way to describe yourself but give credit where credit is due!
    Attribute it any way you want to... hell, depending on the popularity of the quote, you can even leave it vague, just make sure that you keep it honest.

    Example #1: I'm a down-to-earth, really sweet kinda guy. I guess you could say that I'm a "bastion of innocence in a forest of deceit." ;) (BTW - I didn't come up w/that line but I wish I did!)

    Example #2: There's this great writer named Lolagrrl who likes to call herself "A bastion of innocence in a forest of deceit"... Yup... that's me too.

The bottom line is that attributing someone else's words to them (directly or indirectly) doesn't make you look like an unoriginal idiot, it makes you look like a well-read person who has many interests!

It's when you don't attribute that makes you look like a idiot.

NEXT: I'll give you a list of sites where you can find some great quotes

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Cut-and-Paste-Personality

Here's the original Wall Street Journal Article by Jennifer Saranow that inspired this blog.

Ironically enough, I originally saw a shorter version of this in another newspaper under the title, "Online Dating's New Kind of Cheat."

Don't worry Jennifer, they cited you properly.

Put your "Best Self" out there fella!

So I was reading an article in the paper today about how people are stealing quotes and phrases from other people's dating profiles in order to make themselves sound better... how sad is that? I mean, what the hell happens if your stolen profile nets you a date with the girl of your dreams? You're SCREWED pal! Women are smart and they'll be able to tell in a heartbeat whether or not you REALLY finished the Boston Marathon in under 6 hours. Especially if (no offense dude) you look like you spent 5 of those hours in the nearest Krispy Kreme.

But on the other side... I realized that there are probably a lot of guys (and gals!) out there who just don't have the time or know-how to express themselves better.

Thierry Khalfa says he had a good excuse to copy: His English isn't so good. The 44-year-old Frenchman first cobbled a ho-hum profile that said he liked to cook and enjoyed walks on the beach. Then he stumbled across the profile of Mike Matteo, 47, a screenwriter in Tampa, Fla. Mr. Matteo's profile had such nuggets as, "I have a sweet tooth, love my strawberry twizzlers and cheesecake jelly beans."

Without thinking twice, Mr. Khalfa says, he copied Mr. Matteo's prose because it also fit him to a tee...
So, after reading the entire article (see my next post) I decided I'd try to help these poor schmucks who can't help themselves by creating some fake profiles and posting them here.

The way I see it, it might help curb some of the profile ganking that goes on out there... plus, I get to make some fun shit up!

So there you have it. Stay tuned for my pretend profiles and feel free to steal from them. Oh... and guys, if you ~really~ are having trouble with your profile and want to be an ~honest~ person in the hopes of ~really~ meeting someone special; come back here soon... I'll also be offering my professional writing services for a reasonable rate.