I went for coffee a few weeks ago with Online Dating Expert Damona Hoffman (a.k.a. Dear Mrs. D), author of the new book, Spin Your Web: How to Brand Yourself for Successful Online Dating.
Of course she and I got to talking about how to successfully date online and so I asked her if she could write me a quick guide to online dating. I know that online dating can be challenging and I also know your sick of me telling you what to do and not to do. Ha.
So here is Mrs. D's Quick Guide To Online Dating where she lists her top 5 mistakes men make when online dating AND a quick guide on which dating sites are right for you:
“Guys, if you've tried online dating but ended up throwing in the towel after meeting girls who were chubbier than their picture, sending messages that got no response, or just plain went broke on all the first date dinners—you were doing it wrong. Here are the top 5 mistakes that men make online along with a guide to finding the right site for you.
- Sending Form letters – Girls know when you're throwing them a line, even if it's written in elaborate, romantic language. If you personalize your message for each woman you email, you can double—or even triple—your response rate.
- Not Reading Between the Lines – If the only photos you see of the girl are of her face, you should assume that she is 10 lbs heavier than her profile says. Don't assume she's going to flaunt everything on the profile but too much censorship should make you suspicious.
- Dinner Dates – No matter how hot you think she is, all you need to do is meet her for a drink. Online dating can be an exercise in first dates, so you don't want to wear out your credit card on the wrong women. Save the splurging for your second date.
- Staying Online Too Long – When you form a cyber-relationship that continues more than a week or two, you create an idea in your head of someone who may or may not exist. Get offline as quickly as possible and see if she's the real deal in person.
- Using One Site Only – The beauty of online dating is that it's like being in two bars at the same time. You can't get too hung up on any one site. Keep your options open so you can vary the selection.
A Guide To Which Dating Sites Are Right For You
If you are unsure of which site is right for you, here are some insider tips on how they differ from one another.
MATCH.COM – The #1 site in paid users, Match is a great site for the beginning online dater at any age. Here's the catch though, it's a huge site and which means lots of women to choose from, but also lots of women to sort through. If you get overwhelmed easily by sorting, organizing, or searching online, this is not the site for you. If you have time to spare and appreciate having a large selection, this is a great place to start.
eHARMONY – In spite of their size (ranking just behind Match in paid users), this site actually feels rather small because they filter the selections for you. The barrier for entry is high, in addition to one of the most expensive membership rates in the business, you must fill out a lengthy personality profile questionnaire. The good news is that once it's complete, you will only get connected with women that share your interests, values or are otherwise deemed compatible with you by their complicated algorithms. They also “guide” communications through different levels in which you start out sending pre-crafted questions and multiple-choice responses back and forth making this an excellent site for busy professionals and less desirable for creative types who want to dazzle ladies with their clever wit.
OKCUPID – The #1 pick among my clients who are predominately smart, professional women in their 30s. OkCupid is a free site (which is usually frowned upon about by serious daters) but has managed to fill the niche left by Nerve who struggled to find their footing since its days when I met my husband on their site. Fun. Easy. Smart. Youthful. These are the descriptions my clients most use for OkCupid. They also have some interesting premium features as well as the new “Crazy Blind Date” which allows you to cut to the chase and get offline with someone based on their availability on a specific night, the location where they'd like to meet, their age, and a scrambled photo of their face. Crazy, right? So crazy it just might work.
HOW ABOUT WE – Another popular site on both coasts and among daters under 40. Instead of having to rack your brain for a silly tagline that sums up everything about you in one sentence, you can now put your best foot forward with a date suggestion instead. Rather than outright labeling yourself as a hipster, you can suggest, “How About We… go to a pop-up restaurant on a rooftop in Williamsburg.” If you value culture, “How About We… listen to YoYo Ma playing Bach No. 1 in G Major at a private event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.”
PLENTY OF FISH – So you're broke but you want to try online dating. Plenty of Fish is no investment, low risk. Because of its cost—or lack thereof—they have a ton of users but not many are active so don't beat yourself up if you don't get the replies you're hoping for. This is a great site for a casual dater, but not much help if you're looking for someone to wife you.
NICHE SITES LIKE JDATE, CHRISTIANMINGLE OR BLACKPEOPLEMEET – Niche sites have been on the rise for years. The fatigue over the amount of effort required to be successful on a mass-market site has set in and many daters now prefer to know that their date automatically checks one of their deal-breaker boxes before even spending the time. Google rankings this past fall showed that JDate ranks among the top 10 online dating sites. Being one of the first sites on the map back in 1997 has given a roadmap to a parent-company figure for a model that works similarly for BlackSingles, ChristianSingles, the pleasantly plump (BBPeopleMeet – BB=big and beautiful), or the over 50 set (SilverSingles.) Whether it's a hobby or a religion, you can find a niche site that fits your needs.”
Short and concise. Love it!! I totally agree with all the advice given to you by Mrs. D. To find out more about Mrs. D go to: www.DearMrsD.com
For more tips on How To Date Online check out my 1 hour tele-conference on How To Date Online.
Here are the topics we discussed on the call:
– What site is best for you to meet the women you want.
– How to write a profile that gets ANY woman's attention whether she is 20 or 40
– Why the first line of your profile and last line are the most important AND what to write
– The “do and dont's” of browsing
– How to select the best profile pictures and what types of pictures to post in your profile
– How to initiate and keep the conversation going
– How to turn responses into numbers… dates… intimate relationships with little or no work on your part
– The advantages of meeting online that the “real world” will never off you
– Why you shouldn't talk on the phone before you go out with a woman you met online
– How to craft killer emails that force a woman to read them and respond
Plus a ton more little tips and secrets that only a woman could tell you.