Make the most of online dating

Top dating searches:
  1. Online dating
  2. Speed dating
  3. Dating over 50
  4. Dating Direct
  5. Local dating
  6. Dating agencies
  7. Disabled dating
  8. Dating for parents
  9. Matchmaking
  10. Alternative dating
Judging by the number of searches made for online dating, it's plain to see that more and more people are doing it these days. If you're single, and don't want to be, but find it hard to meet people for whatever reason, internet dating websites can be great places to meet a potential date. But although you do hear success stories, not everyone has luck online. So here are a few pieces of advice for making online dating work for you.

There are tonnes of dating websites out there so make sure you join the type of site that suits your needs. Are you after a long-term relationship, or maybe just a bit of fun, are you gay or lesbian, do you want to find someone of the same religion or are you looking for someone super-rich who'll sweep you off your feet? There are websites catering for all of those tastes (no really, even the golddigging one). So hunt around, or alternatively join up with several and cast your net wide.

Dating websites often have different levels of membership: the more you pay the more priority your profile is given in searches, the more features you get to use such as emailing, chatting etc. and basically the more chance you have of finding a date than if you pay the minimal fee.

So now you've chosen a site and registered, how do you get more people contacting you? Firstly, although it sounds obvious, upload a good profile photo. You will want to know what your potential date looks like and so will they. If you don't have a picture, people are less likely to look at your profile. Once they are there they'll want to learn a bit about you so, secondly, try to give as much profile info as will paint a good picture of what you're really like. If you haven't got much to say about yourself, potential dates will quickly lose interest and moev on - it's difficult to come across as a silent, mysterious type online! And thirdly, be honest!

Make sure you check your account regularly, if you're often online, other users will know that they have a good chance of catching you and that you'll be checking your messages promptly. Plus, your account will be given more priority in search listings the more you use it.

Finally, don't be shy! Online dating allows even the most retiring wallflower to be a confident, outgoing person. When you find a profile you like, make contact with them. That's why they're on the website, after all, and the worst thing that could happen is they might ignore you, which won't matter when you have all those other potential dates to talk to.

Have you had success with online dating? What tips can you offer to first-time users? Leave a comment and let us know.