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10 Steps To A Winning Dating Profile Headline

Mar 8, 2008
When you post a profile on an online dating site, there are three parts that viewers will see: your picture, your headline, and your profile. Each one serves a distinct purpose, but in my opinion, the picture and the headline are the most important.

Research shows that you only have 5 seconds to grab someone's attention.

People are superficial and we are drawn to things that catch our attention. I have previously written about the importance of your written profile and how you should focus on it when starting out. I firmly stand by that, but if you can't get someone to click onto it to read it, it won't matter what you write.

Think about articles you read in a paper or magazine. What is it that usually draws you in? It's the headline and the picture. Many a great article has been written and never read because the headline doesn't draw people in.

I want to focus on creating a great headline for your online dating profile. Here are a few tips that you should focus on.

1. Keep it between 3-7 words. Anything longer than that tends to lose the reader.

2. Avoid Clichés. The goal is to come up with something unique and original. You want to differentiate yourself from all the others. Take a stroll around your dating site and take a tally of how many times you see the following:

Looking for Mrs. Right
Looking for My Knight in Shining Amour
I can't believe I'm doing this
This isn't something I'd normally do

Using a headline like these just want set you apart from others.

3. Avoid negativity. Portray a positive image in your headline. Although you may be LonleyLady or LookingForLove, you don't need to announce it. It implies you're a weak person, and many will avoid people they see as weak.

4. Incorporate your hobbies or interests. This headline is supposed to tell others something about you. What better way to do that than to come up with a quick snippet of what you like to do. Feel free to use your college, favorite sports team, restaurant, or local hang out in the title.

Here's a few examples:

Meet me at Starbucks?
Join me for a Walk on the Beach...
Small Talk & a bottle of Merlot. Interested?
Steeler Fan Looking for a Tailgating buddy
Let's Go Ride our Harley's

5. Pick a song lyric or a line from a movie. "Some people call me a Space Cowboy..."

6. Unless you are joining an "adult" site, avoid all sexual innuendo. If it's sex you're selling, those are the only responses you'll get back.

7. Feel free to switch it up. Come up with a couple different headlines and change them every few weeks. Keep track of which ones work best and get rid of the ones that don't.

8. As with everything in your profile, make sure that you spell everything correctly. If you're not sure how to spell a word, then just don't use it. Otherwise, make sure to look it up in an online dictionary.

9. Avoid Capitals. In the online world, using all capitals is considered "yelling" and is considered to be rude behavior.

10. Use (...) to end your headline. I've done a lot of research on headlines and my success rate is twice as high when I end a phrase with (...). That's three dots. It gives the reader the impression that there is more to the story, but they need to click to find out more. What have you got to lose...
About the Author
Jim McMenamin is the webmaster and creator of MacsDatingSite.com, a blog dedicated to the various issues of online dating. For a limited time, Jim is giving away two free eBooks, 10 Tips To Writing Your Online Dating Profile as well as 101 Steps To A Happy Relationship, when you sign up for his newsletter.
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