Online dating is taking over the world! Seriously, it has become one of the preferred methods for meeting a potential mate over the last few years, and grows ever more popular. It makes sense really, considering that it is accessible, convenient and relatively quick to meet someone online. People use online dating sites for a variety of reasons including: meeting a life partner; random hook ups; sexual exploration and (as per the recent Ashley Madison scandal) to seek extra marital affairs.

However, even with such a convenient method of meeting mates, there are a few no-nos that accompany this medium too, as it would in real life. Having been an ex online dater myself, here are a few tips for setting up your profile and approaching those you want to hook up with.

1. Grammar IS important (duh)

Admittedly, being an educated woman of a certain age, this may make me seem like a snob, but spelling and grammar are vitally important, both in profiles and subsequent texting or chatting.

It may seem shallow, but for many women, spelling or grammatical errors (that are not obviously auto-corrects) are a make or break situation.

Even if it means you take a little longer to reply or write your profile, please please use spell check!!

Knowing the difference between your and you’re is pretty simple and could be the deciding factor between getting brushed off or embraced. And please don’t forget to use punctuation.

Reading an entire paragraph as one sentence not only makes your message confusing but also alerts us to the fact that full stops and commas aren’t part of your vocabulary which makes us think that actual real life conversations might be a bit tiring!

2. We LOVE an up-to-date picture (without photoshop!)

Everybody loves to look at beautiful things, and many of us enjoy admiring others on the basis of their looks. But if you want to make a meaningful connection with someone online, make sure your picture is both accurate and up to date.

No one enjoys having a meeting with someone where they struggle to recognise their date in real life.

While you may get a lot of views and contacts online from your touched up photo from 15 years ago, you will inevitably find yourself at a loss for second dates if you go that route. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to your online profile, so please use accurate pictures.

3. PLEASE give us more than one line in your intro email

There is nothing worse that receiving a message that simply says: “Hey babe, your (sic) hot. Wanna (sic) hook up.” Even worse are messages that have no enquiry. If you want to observe on the basis of looks or your own carnal desires, then please don’t expect many responses. How is one supposed to engage in an online conversation without any valid or interesting questions?

When I was online dating, the best messages came from those who actually read my profile, took a cue from what I said, and asked a question on the basis of what they had read.

Try engaging rather than using the scattergun mass email approach and you might be surprised at the number of responses you start to receive.

It only takes a little extra time and effort to do these three simple things, and they will make a lot of difference to the reception your receive from women. In a society that has values nonchalance, seeing someone make the effort to impress or woo you is not only rare, but quite erotic too. Give it a try, if it doesn’t work, at least you’ve learned how to approach smart women and have a fighting chance at getting a date.