4 Things Online Dating Sites Don’t Want You To Know

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4 Things Online Dating Sites Don’t Want You To Know

There are a few things that online dating sites don’t want you to know — if you did, you might be a little too successful and impact their revenue.

For the most part, these sites make dating incredibly efficient, more so than trying to meet people at a bar, through friends, or at work.

However, it’s good to remember they're in it to make money. While they offer you the incredible opportunity to start a new relationship, they don’t want you to leave their site before they’ve had a chance to make their marketing dollars back and get profit.

RELATED: How To Find The Love Of Your Life On A Dating App

Not everyone is looking for marriage or love.

The online dating industry increases your opportunities to find whatever relationship you're looking for by giving you two tools: Your written profile and photos.

Dating sites have fundamental strategies to increase your odds of success. If you want an advantage over others, you need to take the fundamentals to the next level.

Everyone's heard the stories of someone who found great relationships through online dating. However, they don't ask what those people did to make it work for them.

About 10 percent of people leave dating sites within three months; sites don’t make their marketing costs unless you stay longer than that.

While they genuinely want to help you out, they don’t want you to be so efficient that you cancel your subscription too soon.

Here are 4 secrets online dating sites don't want you to know.

1. You’re in a competition.

Online dating is just like the real world — it can get kind of gritty. However, if you work with the tools available and keep a positive attitude, it's fun and rewarding.

Every person in your zipcode on the same dating site with remotely similar interests is your competition. However, knowing this little fact sets you apart.

Most of your competition won't know this, and won't put the effort in to get the most out of their experience. If you're dating all the "good" ones, your competition gets the leftovers.

2. Your photo matters more than your profile.

You’ve heard that people don’t read anymore — they’re impatient and don’t have the time.

Dating sites make a big deal out of their questionnaires and algorithms and "secret sauce" they use to find you the perfect match. They have massive databases full of information about you — not just what you tell them — and programs that sort and rank potential dates.

However, the only thing that’s proven to work is a portfolio of potential matches that meet at least a few of your search criteria.

Neither you nor your potential dates want to spend time reading a million profiles. So, everyone simply scans for the photos that catch their eye, then drops in to skim the profile.

In recognition of this, online dating companies don’t even give you an option to start by reviewing written profiles.

The process always starts with a "search" and the results are page after page of profile photos. If your photo wasn’t important, you'd get page after page of descriptions of personalities.

Your profile photo lets you "set the hook" and entice others to read more about you and hopefully start a conversation that leads to a date.

It doesn’t matter if it’s fair. You might be the greatest writer in the world, but nobody will read your prose unless your photo is appealing.

Some profile pictures are actually "red flags." They send potential dates running for the hills and make it much harder to get a conversation started — much less a date.

No matter what dating site you use, you'll see people trying to use these types of profile photos or variations of them, but you should avoid them:

  • Selfie: Sends all of the wrong signals and tends to distort your face.
  • Out of focus: Would you want to learn more about a person who can’t post a clear photo?
  • Too many people in the picture: Nobody wants to play "Where’s Waldo?" on an online dating site.
  • Photo with kids: Revealing your children sometimes comes off as too much information too soon.
  • Too "artsy": You’re creative and you want to show off a bit with a wild profile photo. Some unusual setting, wild colors, or wild makeup, strange positions.
  • Wearing sunglasses: People want to see your eyes.
  • Anything that looks like a mug shot or driver’s license photo is not the first impression you want to make.

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3. You're marketing yourself to others.

Your photos and profile are a marketing exercise with dramatic consequences — hence, the admonishment to keep a positive attitude.

You want the best marketing material you can muster — written and visual. You can stay ahead of the competition by focusing on your marketing material and tweaking it often.

In fact, one of the little secrets is that most dating sites rank profiles higher that show more activity. It's just like Google, but for dating. Profiles will high activity and engagement move to the first page, top left.

That is the ideal position to be in, and everyone who hits that page will scan your photo first and start comparing every other photo to you.

So, update your profile often with little tweaks — maybe throw in another leading question or two — and start rotating your primary photo about once a week.

If you create your profile but never update it, you will slowly fade away on the search results pages for your area, no matter how good it is.

4. New technology is a distraction.

The online dating industry constantly chooses not to give their subscribers the fundamentals to help them succeed.

Instead, they focus on the next big tech, like "swipes," or "likes." Soon, there'll be videos and whatever else they can think of to spark some activity and get people communicating.

They never offer ways to help subscribers with their core issue: Creating compelling profiles that get the right attention.

Don’t waste your time with these gimmicks. If there's someone online you find interesting, message them and mention something from their profile that caught your attention.

This doesn't mean messaging someone, "I think you’re hot!" There are a number of great conversation starters you can check out to get things going in the right direction. You’ve got to lead with something that gets people's attention and makes them want to connect with you.

Aside from the photo, your written profile is just as important... If you can get them to click.

You need to create a written profile intriguing enough to get people to ask you questions about it.

These strategies need to be in your written profile to kick off the communication:

  • Open-ended questions
  • A bit of humor
  • Your favorite places to travel and why
  • An important milestone or achievement

These topics all help the people reading your profile to start thinking of questions to engage with you and get the conversation rolling. You need to be specific about what you're interested in and what you want in a partner.

Something along the lines of, "I’m looking for someone to explore the world with and find out what’s around the next corner, either in our own city or in a new country."

You do not want to scare someone away with a statement like, "All I want is a nice guy, marriage, and kids soon."

Take some time to work with your written profile and ask others to read it. And check your spelling and punctuation.

Be prepared to tweak your profile on a regular basis.

Dating profile professional services can also help you create the very best profile you deserve — dating profile photographers, copywriters who specialize in writing online dating profiles, consultants and coaches to help you create a strategy.

There's no need to go it alone and just hope this time your old stogy profile will attract the right person. It’s time to get the help you need to stop trying and start dating!

With a little care and attention to the online dating fundamentals, you will enjoy the most online dating success possible.

It’s a competition for the best dates and you want to master the fundamentals so that you have the most fun and success from your online dating adventure.

RELATED: How To Write A Dating Profile & Meet A Quality Guy — Without Unnecessary Anxiety

Claire Bahn is the CEO of Online Profile Pros, the largest network professional photographers writers and coaches across the U.S. and Canada, all dedicated to making sure your personal brand is the best it can be.

This article was originally published at Online Profile Pros. Reprinted with permission from the author.