For those who don’t know, a blurb is the attention-grabbing summary on the back of a novel(la). If the blurb does its job, you’ll buy the book (or one-click in today’s terms) and start reading. Most authors will tell you that writing the book blurb is hell. You’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into 300 (+ or -) pages, spinning a complicated, layered story with unique characters and gripping conflict. Now you have to simmer all of that down to a couple of paragraphs that express the tone and plot of the book.
Now try doing this to summarize who you are. That’s what is required when creating an online dating profile. Where do you start? What do you include? Do you go light or serious? Stay vague or give some details?
I’m on two different sites and on both I’ve learned a valuable bit of information. Information I will share with you today. What do we hear men say all the time? That they want a strong, confident woman. Dude, that’s totally me.
But, in fact, this is a lie, and I have totally minor, non-empirical evidence to prove it. More on that in a minute.
In the past, I’ve always assumed that no one on these sites showed an interest in me because of my appearance. I include the best pictures I can find for a non-photogenic person, but there’s only so much the right angles and lighting can do.
But this time around, I’ve changed my way of thinking. My looks are fine, but my blurb is the problem. Which brings us back to tone. I wish I’d kept my original profiles, but sadly, I didn’t. Still, here’s an idea of what I wrote.
I’m a single mother of a fabulous high school senior and I’m looking to make a real connection. Financially stable, own my own home, and probably too independent for my own good. Sarcastic and love to laugh. I write romance novels. (No, I’m not looking for “research” help, and yes, you can make a living at that.) I travel a lot and would love to have someone to travel with in the coming years.
That isn’t verbatim, but it’s close. The response was…
So, on the advice of a friend, I softened it up a bit.
I’m looking for a nice guy who can make me laugh. My daughter will go to college this fall and she’s by far my greatest achievement. I’m a writer so spend a lot of time in my head. Having someone to help me look around would be nice. I like music and books, and would love to find the right person to show me around town.
Both of these profiles are true. Both describe me. But I’m sure you can see the difference. I did something similar on the second dating site with the same results. First profile a bit bolder—little to no response. Softened the tone—interest almost daily.
Unfortunately, most of the interest isn’t what I’m looking for, and the rare ones I’d be up for talking to disappear after one message. But I’m sticking with it for now. However, I will no longer be complaining about writing book blurbs. They’re much easier than this real world stuff.
What do you think? I’ll take any and all strategy tips for this crazy dating game.