Online Dating - Top Tips for Success!

A few months ago I became single again after a long-term relationship, and decided to try out the phenomenon taking the world by storm that is online dating.

Online dating has grown hugely in popularity over the last few years. Type "online dating site" into Google today and you will get over 20 million hits!

There are thousands of sites around the world, ranging from specific 'niche' sites which are heavily targeted to a certain demographic (e.g. graduate professionals, people who work in film, or people who work in uniformed professions), through to more general sites such as DatingDirect, which has versions around the world, and over 2 million members in the UK alone.

When I tried it out, the results stunned me! I got over 200 messages in less than 3 weeks. But when I started reading the responses I was in for an even bigger surprise.

What I realized was that the huge majority of men writing to me just hadn't thought through what they were writing. I was by turns shocked, amused and disgusted by what I was reading. Of course, some of the messages were lovely! But there were an awful lot that I immediately deleted.

After a while I became intrigued by the particular "errors" that these guys were making. There seemed to be a lot of repetition. In this article I would like to touch upon one of my particular favourites, and its around the use of photographs.

The importance of using a photo cannot be overestimated. It's essential!!

What kind of message do you think not having a picture says? "I'm shy?" How about ? "What have you got to hide?" How can you compete for attention when your profile is missing its vital ingredient?

So ? first things first, you definitely need a photo.

Now, having agreed this, there are some simple rules you can follow to make sure you are giving yourself the best possible chance for success.

Here is my absolute number one top tip about photographs: Avoid webcams!

Ok, so you've decided you're going to do online dating. And you're maybe a bit embarrassed?maybe you want to keep it to yourself. This is not an excuse to use your webcam to take a photo of yourself. Firstly, they are deeply unflattering. The angle is wrong, they come out slightly distorted, the lighting is bad?I have yet to see a great profile shot done with a webcam. Oh ? and they are also very obvious!

If you are internet-savvy enough to be doing online dating, you can get a digital photo of yourself. There are several ways to do this:

Use a photo from a digital camera. Upload it to your computer, or get a friend to and then email it to you.

If you haven't got access to a digital camera, you can use a disposable to take the picture, and then ask your local developer shop or pharmacy to develop the photos onto a CD for you.

Find a friend with a scanner, who can make a digital copy of an existing photo. Some Internet cafes also have a scanner you can use.

Be resourceful! A webcam photo is better than no photo at all?but a digital photo is worlds apart!!

It also needs to be recent. Putting up a ten-year-old photo will only catch you out later on! Do you want your prospective partner to walk right past you on date one? Don't be shy!

Most importantly ? smile! A happy face will be far more appealing than you doing your best to look clever/tough/cool/sexy? Happy says confident!

I wish you every success in your online dating.

Alexis Rose is the author of 'Golden Keys for Online Dating Success', a manual for anyone interested in or already trying online dating. Discover how to seriously boost your chances of online dating success by following a simple set of rules, and learn the most common mistakes to avoid.

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