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Hot Internet Online Dating Profile Tips | Helping guys and girls find love online since 1996

Do you want to make yourself look FAT? The evils of arm-length self-taken pictures

Do you want to make yourself look fat?

That’s precisely what will happen when you extend your arm with the camera and try to take your own picture.

You will experience what is known as “wide angle effect”. When the camera is too close and the lens is too wide, your picture becomes distorted.

Look at the results closely. Do you see that your face is distorted? Do you see that your arm appears disproportionately large?

Arm-length pictures have two things in common:

  1. They will make a supermodel look ugly – believe me on this. I am a gatekeeper on a website for models. I see thousands of images of women who range from fairly attractive to centerfolds. Even they look awful with such images. I denied a verified Playboy Cybergirl of the month access to our site until she uploaded better quality images.
  2. They make people engage in forensic analysis to try to figure out what your face would look like without these distortions. That’s hard work.

Please have someone who knows what they are doing take a headshot of you. The camera should be in zoom mode and no closer than 6′ from you. There are exceptions to that rule, but they involve expensive equipment. You want to stand outdoors in a shadow about 6′ away from the wall ideally after 5pm or at any time on an overcast day. Avoid direct sunlight..

Creating an effective username for dating sites

Readers are more likely to click on creative profile names

Are you more likely to click on someone who is R1Rider, StarDancer, or blonde1985? The first two names tell us something interesting about the account holder. R1Rider very likely enjoys riding her Yamaha R1 bike. StarDancer is unlikely to be a wall-flower. What does a name like Blonde1985 tell us?

It suggests the person linked to this name is likely to be as generic as the name.

I ran a quick search as both genders between 25-30 years old near my zip code.

Men’s names that stood out: bayareahiker510 – defines activity in the name, mrwallstreet007 – self-explanatory, good_bunz – makes you wonder, reapingtheshadow – dark and mysterious, caveman4sale – funny, AndyMBA83 – suggests business as one of his primary interests, MixedArtist80 – likes art.

Let us look at women’s name choices Continue reading Creating an effective username for dating sites

Tips For Success on DownToEarth.com

Viability of DownToEarth.com

DownToEarth is Match.com’s attempt to launch a free site.

So far as of this writing it is marginally successful, but we imagine it will get better with time as more users will discover it and more search options become available.

Unique features

Their unique hook seems to be to offer its members the option to rate the other person after meeting them in real life in terms of being true to the profile. The “Accuracy” rating is prominently displayed in the profiles listings expressed as stars.

The site also explicitly choose not to offer the “one night stand” or “I am married” option. It further requires users to click through the “this picture is recent” checkbox before allowing it to be uploaded.

Downtoearth.com features a fairly advanced photo application, including the ability to crop a headshot from the uploaded image. The upload process is entirely painless and works very well. Up to 28 images can be uploaded.

Search capabilities

  • As of this writing, the search options are limited to a zip code radius, whether to require matches to have photos, and the age range.
  • You can’t search for only non-smokers, for example.
  • You can view no more than 500 profiles at a time, which are displayed 10 at a time.
  • You can sort the results by Accuracy rating, most recent login, number of photos, age, username (that sounds rather useless, unless I am looking for someone specific), and newest user (most likely to be age of the account entry).
  • The default search option is to sort by Accuracy


While their headline tool offers up to 128 characters of space, only the first 22 characters, including spaces, will be visible in your listing initially. This further complicates our task of writing a great headline. However, it also gives us an interesting creative opportunity as you’ll see further in this article. Continue reading Tips For Success on DownToEarth.com

Go, go speed dater!

A few observations about SpeedDate.com

My impression

SpeedDate.com is a really interesting site. It’s a little broken, based on the number of “Date ended for unknown reason” – they can’t ALL be hanging up on me on the first second, right? :-) I do hold a solid 7.6 on Hotornot for my non-pro pictures, so I am not that hideous looking. :)

SpeedDate.com decided to create a very advanced site that functions more like a desktop application, but that also makes it a bit more difficult to use with hefty technical requirements. Take this from a computer expert. :)

While my gaming rig (P4, 2.8GHz, 3GB RAM, Windows Server 2003 SP2) had no problem with the site, my bedroom laptop (P3, 700MHz, 384 MB RAM, Windows XP Pro SP2) literally choked on their buddy list feature by consuming 100% of my CPU. It didn’t choke on flash, as one would erroneously assume. It choked using Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Firefox, and Firefox 3b4 with latest flash on all of them! In other words, no matter what I used, my bedroom computer would essentially die as soon as I logged in and activated the buddy list, which happens automatically upon login.

When it works, however, the site works very nicely. If you setup your audio and video in the flash settings correctly Continue reading Go, go speed dater!

The “so what…who cares” content test – make what you say matter

The “so what…who cares” approach is key to clarity

So what?!

“I come from a family of 7 children”. You’ve seen garbage information like this in other dating profiles. Information that is irrelevant and doesn’t tell me anything about that person.

If that person applied the “So what…who cares” test to her writing, she would ask herself “So what?!”.

If the information you wrote does not add to describing the essence of who you are, omit it. In this case, it doesn’t tell me anything useful.

Who cares?

If you can come up with an answer to “So what?!”, then it is time to ask yourself honestly if anyone else will care. If the answer is “maybe”, then omit it.

Do I really care how many siblings you have before I’ve even met you? Does it play a role in my decision-making process of whether I should meet you? You are actually introducing risk – not only do I have to wonder about your family, but also about the potential psycho sister who might get jealous.

Grab her attention and hold it!

Your reader’s time is extremely valuable. Any information that you would not use to seduce me really doesn’t belong in your profile. At the very least, not at the top.

I want you to grab my attention and hold it without distracting me with extraneous information. Would you start talking about your brothers and sisters at a first date within the first 5 minutes? Somehow I doubt it.

User’s guide to “So what…who cares”

Write the profile. Read it all at once. Read it one paragraph at a time. At the end of the paragraph, ask yourself “So what?!” about the content of that paragraph. If it’s irrelevant, save that paragraph, but remove it from the published document. You can use it in your e-mail exchanges later on if the question comes up.

Re-read remaining paragraphs, and at the end of each paragraph ask yourself “Who cares?!”. If the answer is no one, treat them the same.

But wait!… It’s not that easy.

Now do the same for each remaining sentence. Your objective is to focus your profile to deliver a clear and effective message with minimum of extraneous information.

It can be hard to realize that all that hard work composing those sentences was ultimately unnecessary, but that’s the reality of content editing. We write a ton of content, and then we reduce it to just a few paragraphs.

Remember, you want to grab his attention and hold it. Adding extra information will only distract her from thinking about you.

A good use of this technique should raise your desirability significantly. Please let me know if this helped you..

Raise your visibility with (almost) no effort

The fresher your profile, the more clicks you’ll get

Think about the last time you used a dating website. Who caught your attention? They were “Active users from the last 3 days”, right? The reason is because they are far more likely to respond to your message.

If you are serious about online dating, you need to actually be an active user.

How to achieve more profile clicks

Just login to the sites of your choice every other day or so, and you’ll automatically have more profile views.

You don’t have to run a search or do anything else. Simply signing into a site counts as activity. I would suggest checking your mail as well. :).

Sex appeal through text appeal

On the Internet, English majors win!

When you are in a nightclub or bar, you don’t know much about the person whom you are considering for a conversation. I am an excellent dancer (I am a VIP at a Salsa club) and a computer genius, but I don’t wear computer logo apparel to a nightclub very often. I am essentially competing vs. every other guy who is there for her attention. He can be a drug addict, a smoker, a construction worker, a CEO, an accountant, a criminal…

To me, that’s highly inefficient. I’d much rather be with someone who ignores every other guy.

On the Internet, I have a very clear advantage. I can establish my unique value proposition with the girl and then take her to my favorite night club. Once there, she has sufficient information about me to be disinterested in just about everyone else. This is how English majors win. I am not one, but my creative writing abilities are good enough.

Think about the last time you read a dating profile.

Now think about the last 50 of them…100…200…

How many of them can you remember?

A picture and a headline are there to get your profile viewed. We accomplished that, but now we have to keep the reader’s interest. We now face the problem that is commonly referred to as differentiating yourself from the competition.

I don’t care how hot a girl is if I ultimately can’t connect with her mind.

Many profiles are very brief, disorganized, and, frankly, uninteresting. I refer to them as generic. I don’t date generic girls.

Differentiating yourself from competition is hard enough in the business world, but there we only have to deal with a world of competing companies, which is traditionally not that complicated. If you do not have a business with a global application, it’s pretty easy to out-innovate local competition. Exception – ubiquitous businesses like nail salons. What do such ubiquitous businesses do to survive? They have two options – innovate or compete on price.

In marketing, the last thing we want to do is to compete solely on price. That leads into price wars…

Huh?! What?! Wrong site!!!…Or is it?

When you create a personal profile, you are launching a marketing campaign where you are the product. As you can’t compete on price, unless you are looking for some sugar, you have to differentiate yourself using only text and imagery.

Writing style

This is a formal document. Using IM-speak “im lookin’ 4 u” will not get you far. Write as if you were writing a love letter. You are telling the other person a story. A story that is designed to captivate his attention. This story needs to be powerful, engaging, and full of the “wow” factor. Read back your profile and see if it inspires yourself to write to yourself.


Firefox has a built-in spell checker! Use it. If you can’t spell, you will get fewer responses. It’s really that simple. You must spell correctly.


There are grammar errors in this article. Those of you who can spot them will likely ignore them because the content is compelling enough. Those of you who can’t spot them won’t care too much.

The same applies to your profile. You should strive to make it as grammatically correct as you can, but don’t get obsessed about it. I simply have better things to do.


I already wrote an article on that. Your headline should sum up the key points of your profile. This is hard to do.

Opening statement

Think of this as a sub-title to your headline. “Dear luscious hottie,” could be a fun start.


If you can sum yourself up in fewer than 500 characters, you are either a genius at writing succinctly or did not tell me enough about yourself.

When I am reading your profile, you got me drawn in and hooked on the line. Now I want to learn more about you and to check against my compatibility requirements.

Longer profiles may actually result in fewer responses, but that is misleading. Many times I would be reading a girl’s profile and see some things that make us less than an ideal match. By figuring that out very early, I’ve avoided wasting our time. In sales, we refer to this as pre-qualifying leads. My time is extremely valuable and I prefer not to go on dates that have zero chance of being ideal for me long-term.

The devil is in the details – share your passions

Don’t tell me “I like motorcycles”. Tell me “I ride a Yamaha R1. Can you keep up?!”.

The first statement is generic and tells me that you may have a mild interest in motorcycles and won’t run away if I ask you to hop on the back on my bike. The second statement is aggressive and tells me that you have an acute interest in riding sport bikes.

If I were a bike rider, I would be far more inclined to respond to the second statement.

Instead of “I like music, movies, tv” say “I just went to see DJ Tiesto as San Francisco Civic Auditorium. The show was cool, but the lack of lasers due to Tiesto’s request was a bummer. Have you seen Beowulf in IMAX 3D?! Seeing Angelina Jolie rise up from the water in 3D literally inches from my nose was…drool-worthy. What did you think about the season finale of Nip/Tuck?”

You want to engage the reader in a conversation. A classic marketing technique is to make the prospect think about how they would use the product instead of whether they need it. If I am starting to plan a date with you while reading your profile, you got me initially sold and to close the deal you have to give me a compelling reason to choose you from an ocean of competition.

Good sales people will not say “Call me if you have any questions”. They will say “We can meet on Thursday at 3pm-5pm or Friday 2pm. Which works better for you?”. If the prospect is engaged enough to consider this meeting, they will check the schedule and suggest a mutually acceptable time.

When I ask a girl out, I don’t give her the option to say “no”. I give her a list of choices. She always has that option, of course, but I do not explicitly present it.

Give me give me more, give me more…

Your profile is starting to look more interesting. Congratulations!

Go through it again and see if you left anything explained as one word and look for any potential stigmas.

“I am a nerd” has a stigma…”World-class computer expert” is better, don’t you think? I was a conference speaker at Microsoft, so I think I can claim that!

Rewrite anything that is generic, dull, or makes a reader say “huh?”.

What life accomplishments have you achieved so far that can make you unique? I doubt you’ll find too many computer experts who are competitive dancers, for example.

Close the deal

An effective action statement should take the reader over the top. You want her to really want you by the time she’s done reading.

“Well, luscious, if you are intrigued enough, I’d love to a cancel a few appointments to meet you this week”.

Why bother?!

I get a lot of first contact e-mail. I wrote a fairly edgy profile, so some of them are downright straightforward. Let’s just say I got more than one offer to participate in a sexy photoshoot. Some were even more explicit. :) In other instances, I wrote a profile that was more mainstream.

The girls who write me tell me that my profile told them that I was a very interesting person. It stood out in their minds. “You just grabbed my attention” was one compliment, for example. “Let’s meet tonight!” was another. I think you can see a pattern.

My profile effectively attracts wild, highly intelligent girls and filters out generic ones. Isn’t that what you want?

Argh! This is too much work!

You certainly got that right! :) I would argue that most people who aren’t in the advertising, marketing, or other creative writing industry can’t write a compelling profile. If you can, you may want to consider a career in that line of work.

Marketing communications experts charge hundreds of dollars per hour because just one page of text can make billions of dollars in revenues for their clients. I am not exaggerating. I bill at less than $200/hr so far.

Wouldn’t you rather go on a date than spend days on writing?

As I am an entrepreneur, I am addressing that problem with a professional online dating profile writing and editing service..

Essentials of profile photography – how to get clicks by looking hot

The hotter you look, the more views you get

You’ve read my article on aspect ratios and know what size of the picture would be ideal for your profile. Now you are probably wondering how to get that one ideal picture taken to grab everyone’s attention.

There are two approaches to getting the pictures for your profile

Just about everyone uses the “OK, let’s have a look what pictures I have” strategy. They then look through all the pictures they have on the computer, find a few that are OK and use those.

Unless you have friends who are good photographers, that approach is sub-optimal at best. Most people can’t take a good picture. Moreover, they are typically taken in bad lighting and with focus on the ambiance rather than on you personally.

Taking pictures specifically for your profile is a much better idea

Overall, what you want is a good headshot. It’s not too difficult to get them done. All you need is a good digital camera, a thermonuclear source and some water vapor.


Sun and clouds…

There is a perfect article on creating killer headshots written by David Griffin. Read it. He’s an expert. He saved me a lot of time so I don’t have to write something like that from scratch.

While it’s certainly possible to take pictures like this with regular point&shoot cameras, a DSLR helps immensely.

I’ve used that article with great success. In fact, if you are booking a session with me, you won’t see lots of studio lighting gear. I just use my Rebel XT, my portrait lens, my cheap tripod, and whatever happens to look pretty as a background.

Self-portrait approach

A self-portrait should be your last resort. I had an emergency where I needed a headshot for a conference where I was speaking. It’s not my best by a long shot, but it worked for that purpose.

When you are doing portrait photography, you are going for a very shallow depth of field. That means you focus the viewer’s attention on the subject and blur out the background. You’ll notice that all pictures in print media and on the web are done that way. This is how we make the subject literally pop off the page.

Unfortunately, shallow depth of field requires very accurate focus. We normally focus on the subject’s eye. This is very tricky to do with a self-timer and manual focus. Bottom line: don’t try that at home. What normally is a 10-second job becomes a 1-hr ordeal.

Sharp focus is a double-edged sword. When the picture is sharp, it literally jumps off the page. However, all the flaws are also readily visible.

Have someone else take your picture for free

Find a friend with a DSLR and print out that article for him or her. You’ll have good results.

Alternatively, have a photographer take some pictures. There are many photographers who simply love taking pictures. Some of them want to transition into making it their business. In order to make money with photography, we need portfolios that showcase our work. Most commonly, we have an arrangement with the model that is referred to as TFP or TFCD. In such an arrangement, we take pictures of a model and give him or her a CD of the images in exchange for permission to use those images for our portfolios. TFCD stands for “trade time for CD” One place where you’ll find someone like that would be on Craigslist in the Talent Gigs section.

Pay someone to take your pictures

If you approach dating as personal marketing, it may make sense to invest into a professional photoshoot. After all most sites charge a fee to host your profile. Without good pictures, that tends to be a waste of time and money.

If you are local in the San Francisco Bay Area, I can snap a few shots for you. This will not be free.

The ethics of retouching

While it may be very tempting to perform a digital cosmetic surgery, I do not recommend doing that. I can easily create a what is referred to as “soft focus” image, but in the context of dating I am not sure I’d recommend using that. Such an image is what is commonly used in magazines. Compare the picture of the same celebrity in People magazine and in National Enquirer. I am sure you’ll see a big difference in her appearance.

Cleaning up the skin is easy and certainly should be done. Digital cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, will create an idealized image of you that may lead to disappointment in-person.

A hot headshot will get you more clicks. Take the time and do it right. The easiest way to test it is to post it on Hotornot.com and see what rating you will get. :)

Flash is bad! (Unless you are good)

Taking headshots with a flash typically has pretty bad consequences.  Basically, flash creates shadows that do not flatter the subject. That is precisely why I much prefer taking pictures in day light.

In order to take a good indoor picture with flash, we use diffusers, softboxes, and a whole bunch of other equipment. None of that is necessary with nice and soft day light.


Model headshots are typically not smiling. If you have a good smile, show it. It shows friendliness. Some people actually should not be smiling, paradoxically enough..

Filtering do’s and don’ts – know what you want, when you want to filter, and when to leave your options open

The prettier your picture, the more replies you’ll get.

Whether you like it or not, that is a fact of reality with online dating.

If your goal is to win a popularity contest, that’s great. If you want to have a one night stand, that’s also fine. If your goal is to find a someone worthy of your affection, however, too much junk mail can be a problem and a distraction.

As I know how to take a good picture, I get quite a few replies, and so filtering is a must.

Defining your dream woman or a dream man

It really helps if you have an exact idea of who your ideal mate might be. In reality, most people cannot pin-point their preferences to such a degree. The more you know about whom you seek, the easier it is to filter out whose who won’t match you.

For the sake of an example, here’s my ideal mate preferences list (feel free to write me if you qualify :)):

  • Intelligence - extremely high, commonly considered a genius by other people. I am a genius, so why should I settle for less?
  • Height - irrelevant, but 5’9+ is ideal. As I am 5’11, it is easier to be with someone who is taller than average.
  • Weight - fits in size 0-2. If I wanted to, I can fit into that.
  • Face shape – oval. Just a result of my observations of who attracts me the most visually. If I don’t like her face, chances are we won’t last.
  • Eye color – irrelevant, but I have a special preference for green.
  • Smoking - No tobacco smoking, other substances are OK. In reality, most people who match my other requirements, especially on intelligence, generally realize what a waste smoking is.
  • Drinking - Social drinking OK, no drinking OK, alcoholism is not OK. I don’t drink or drink maybe one drink in a night as it’s simply pointless for me personally.
  • Dancing – Should know how to dance or be willing to learn. To me this is quite important because when I go out, I am one of those crazy people in the showoff circle, on stage, or even in a cage.
  • Outgoing – She should love entertaining the crowd. Goes with the above. I crave attention. She should be ready to climb up on stage in front of hundreds of people.
  • Business skills - Now we are starting to get really specific. My experience indicates that girls with interest in business understand me better than anyone else.

Maximum response

If you don’t know what you want and simply want to sample the crowd, keep your profile simple. This profile will be from an attractive female’s perspective.

Headline – “Centerfold hottie looking for fun”<- guaranteed lots of looks

Opening statement – “I have a portfolio on ModelMayhem as ID#XXXXX” <- establishes credibility. While some sites might frown at this, you are not providing contact information and they won’t filter for it.

Body of the profile – “Now that you’ve confirmed that I am in fact a centerfold hottie, let’s look at what it will take to meet me.

My interests include dancing, skating, modeling, listening to music, watching sports, and others.

I am looking for someone who is smart, sexy, confident, outgoing, and has realistic chances of approaching someone like me on the street without expecting a rejection.”

Closing statement – “That was easy! Now, the hard part. Do you have the confidence to write to me? I’ll be waiting, and good luck…”

Hard filters or soft filters?

Some sites will have a way for you to define some filters.

I recommend leaving all your options open if you want the widest selection. A profile like that, if it’s backed up with appropriate pictures, will result in a ton of mail.

What if you want to be more selective, however?

There are two types of filters:

Hard filter – you can define preferences using the site’s interface for distance, gender, smoking, drinking, ethnicity, and so forth… Those who get caught by a hard filter can’t reach you in any way.

Soft filter – you can write anything you want in your profile itself. Nothing precludes people from contacting you, but if done right it will make them realize that it would be pointless to do so.

I recommend using as few hard filtering options as possible. I usually just define smoking. While it may be tempting to set distance options, it’s not the best idea. It’s easy enough to relocate within this country to make it irrelevant.

With the soft filters, we can get very creative. For example, I use my TV channels as a form of filtering. After all, I don’t want someone who hates racing, for example. Therefore, I’d mention something like “The Speed channel is on my TV screen quite often.” While I am making a positive or neutral statement, it also has a filtering effect by making the reader who doesn’t share my passion for racing click away from my profile.

It’s important to use as few negatives as possible. Your objective is to make yourself less appealing to the reader whom you don’t want by describing your interests more completely. We don’t want to say “Don’t contact me if you are ………….”. A personal profile is a marketing document. There is no room in any marketing document for negative statements. You should re-spin them into positives about yourself. There is always a way to say something about yourself that will filter out people whom you don’t want.

For instance, if you want someone who loves the outdoors, you’d probably mention “I’ve hiked up Mt. Diablo 7 times over the last few months.” That is no easy feat, and should scare off couch potatoes who won’t be comfortable with having to go on such a hike.

If you want someone who appreciates the arts, you’d probably mention “I really enjoyed Legally Blonde: The Musical at Orpheum in San Francisco and try to see most of the locally playing Broadway shows”. The effect of this statement would be that a person who does not share this interest would be less likely to contact you.

Let’s take our hypothetical hottie and figure out how to get rid of all the dumb and ugly guys for her without making it obvious.

“I would really love it that when you respond you would please include a link to your photo portfolio”. Smart guys can figure it out pretty quickly that a portfolio can be anything from a facebook album, to a myspace profile, to a flickr page, or even to something like a MM or OMP portfolio. Others, well, she doesn’t want to talk to them. ;-)

In conclusion, when used effectively, filtering statements will greatly improve the quality of your responses. For best results, don’t use negative statement and use site-based filtering as little as possible.

Personal experience

I used a number of filters in my profile. As I am only looking for girls who are quite wild, I have to make it known. For example, I mention the fact that I have an active profile on an adult dating website. I can’t think of any better filter to scare off most of my readers. ;-) If that’s not enough, I can mention Playboy channel as one of my favorites. Does that make me a sex fiend? No. I simply want to avoid any awkwardness and lifestyle incompatibilities.

This approach works great. Every girl who responded to my ad with such statements was quite wild. Did I get lots of responses? No. But the responses I did get were all very interesting. One girl actually called my unlisted phone number, as I suggested in my profile. We met the same night and had a lot of fun for the next few weeks..

Using correct image aspect ratio sizes on various dating and social networking websites to avoid having your picture appear blurry, squished, distorted, and otherwise not worthy of a click

Social networking and dating websites have significantly different ideal image aspect ratios.

Resizing your pictures to ideal dimensions is easily one of the fastest ways to increase your profile views.

If you pay attention to those ideal picture dimensions ratios, your images will stand out from the crowd and get your profile viewed more. What is most important to you is how your thumbnails show up in the site’s search. After all, nothing prevents you from uploading an unmodified picture into a second picture slot, but we only have one opportunity to catch her eye in the sensory overload of thumbnails.

Image aspect ratio is the proportion of an image’s length to its height.

There is a bonus point for websites that crop your pictures to bring out your face. If you submit a picture that is ideally cropped, you will retain control over how you will be presented to the world. Believe me, that is not trivial. The staffers generally don’t do a good job at making you look your best because their workload is astronomical.

By the end of this article, you will know how to avoid having your pictures be blurry, squished, distorted, and too small.

Here is how to optimize your pictures for several popular websites to achieve professional results


Have you noticed that on MySpace, for example, certain images on the friends thumbnail page look better? Myspace has optimized its site for long and narrow portraits and full length vertical body shots. In fact, MySpace photos get resized proportionally to be 90 pixels in width. The main profile pictures are 170 pixels in width.

Your best bet for the ideal MySpace profile picture thus becomes a vertical image that would look good when resized down to 170 pixels in width. I would suggest taking a high quality body shot and cropping it to a multiple of 170 pixels. 340 pixels should be sufficient. With MySpace, we have the opportunity to show not just your face but also the rest of you with no penalty. We are not so lucky on most other websites.

What’s interesting about this site is that it resized my properly sized 534×800 2:3 image down to 162×242. It appears that the absolute maximum is 170×400, or a 2:5 ratio. Crop a picture to 4:5 and then crop it in half, if that’s what you want. Out of curiosity, I uploaded a 600×1499 picture that got resized to 170×424 picture and an 80×199 thumbnail. :)

Rest assured, that picture will stand out of the crowd as you’d be literally twice as tall as everyone else around you :)

For MySpace.com, the maximum (that I found so far) image size is 170×424 (although 170×255 is what I normally see) and its ideal image aspect ratio is 2:5 even though most will use 2:3.


On Facebook, your friends are represented as 50×50 pixel thumbnails.

Your photos are probably represented by 130×130 pixel thumbnails.

The maximum profile dimensions appear to be 200×266. You will have a built-in image cropper to select your thumbnail image.

For Facebook, the ideal picture size is 200×266 or its multiple and the ideal image aspect ratio is 3:4


Let’s look at Plentyoffish. Their ideal image size is different. Unlike Myspace, they merilessly destroy your photograph by squishing it into a 75-pixel square. It is tremendously challenging to stand out from the crowd in the sea of people on plentyoffish. On the other hand, you can use that to your advantage. If your picture shows undistorted, and everyone else is distorted, it will be you who gets his click.

Your best bet for Plentyoffish is to use square pictures. According to their own recommendations, 300×300 pixels square images will work best. Again, resize your profile photograph to match these dimensions, and I will guarantee you a lot more profile views, assuming your face looks good. On that site, you don’t see headlines in quick match view, so having a very clear face picture is essential.

You need to understand that Plentyoffish will resize all of your photos down to about 300 pixels. Don’t upload a picture that looks good at full resolution, but where you are just a tiny dot at a reduced resolution. This is particularly true for beach photos. Crop them to showcase you, and not the gorgeous landscape. You can always review and marvel at the original size photos with him in your bed and under candle lights later. For now, your task is to highlight your text with relevant pictures where you can be clearly seen.

For Plentyoffish, the ideal image size is 300×300 pixels and its ideal image aspect ratio is 1:1


Match’s profile thumbnail images are 80 pixels in width. The aspect ratio for the thumbnail is 4:5. Sounds simple, right? ;-) Match will even crop your picture for you.

The ideal image size for a Match.com profile image is 280×350 and its ideal image aspect ratio is 4:5


Chemistry profile thumbnail images are displayed initially scaled down to 145 pixels in width, however their micro-thumbnails are only 51px. Chemistry does have a dynamic overlay so that if you move your mouse over the tiny thumbnail, you can see the 80px version of that file. Actually, it’s even more complicated, but if you will care about such minute details, you can probably write an article like this yourself.

It appears that the ideal photo size for that site is a maximum of 400 pixels in width. When scaled down to 80 pixels, it would appear 5 times smaller. When scaled down to 51 pixels, it would appear approximately 8 times smaller.

They use a slightly non-standard ratio of 9:10, but the height is only very slightly longer than the width. I think they were going for 4:5, but they are not enforcing that.
For Chemistry.com, the ideal image size is 400×400, and its ideal ratio is 1:1.

Friendfinder.com and its less wholesome siblings

Did you know that the entire company is now owned by Penthouse?

Friendfinder thumbnails are 96×96 pixels. Friendfinder lets you have much larger pictures visible to gold members. If you are more into the adult side of that network, such as adultfriendfinder, passion, outpersonals, millionairemate, or alt, then you should especially realize that your thumbnail picture should be of your face and not of any other body parts. It is true that 96px is enough space to fit a good body shot, but gorgeous headshots tend to get more clicks, unless your body would still score 8+ on Hotornot after about 500 votes.

They only recently changed to square pictures on profile. If you have an older account there, you should update your picture to the correct size.

For friendfinder.com and its siblings, the ideal image size is 300×300 and its ideal image aspect ratio is 1:1 or square.

The unexpected bonus of the megapixel wars

Look at all of your snapshots taken with multi-megapixel cameras. Most of them are probably mediocre. Look at them at 100%. Do you realize that you only need an approximately 300 pixel square image to show your smile? If the overall composition is not so good, but the smile is burning hot, take the smile and ignore the rest of the image.

I went through my entire picture library and found one of my better smiles on a picture where my head is barely visible. That was only a 2.1-megapixel picture! If you routinely take 3+MP pictures, you probably have some very good candidates for creative cropping.

How on Earth can you optimize your images to each of the sites?

Are you getting dizzy yet from all these calculations?

The easiest way I’ve found so far is to use Google’s Picasa. It’s free and can do that pretty easily. What you’ll do is use crop tool and then export the result as a new image. Do yourself a huge favor, and don’t work on originals. Make a copy of your source photos and import that folder into Picasa separately from the rest of your pictures.

Undocumented Picasa tricks

There is an undocumented trick for Picasa to achieve 4:3, square, and 3:2 crop ratios. To get a 4:3 ratio, you would hold down CTRL while in manual crop mode. To get square ratio, hold down the SHIFT key while in manual crop mode. For the 3:2 crop ratio, you would hold down the ALT key while in manual crop mode. An astute reader will also recognize that 3:2 is same as 6:4 and 5:4 is same as 10:8, both of which are preset ratios in the photo size dialog box.

In summary, use the 4:6 option for ratios of sites requiring 2:3. Use the 8:10 option for ratios of sites requiring 4:5. You’ll have to use manual mode to get a square crop or a 3:4 ratio. Picasa will automatically adjust the overall image ratio if you use a modifier key and continue dragging.

Again, as of build 2.7, this is undocumented, so don’t bother looking through Picasa help for these modifier keys.

This article took many hours to research and write. I firmly believe that this research will help you to get more profile views with all the consequences of getting more dates. Who knew that knowing math could help you get a date? ;-) I welcome your comments..

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