With so many people online, it’s no wonder that the internet is now one of the most popular ways to meet someone you might be interested in dating. An enormous number of dating websites, millions of members, and the convenience and comfort of searching for love online are just a few of the reasons it’s become so commonplace in today’s high-tech society. If you’ve decided to give online dating a try, there are a few pointers you might want to keep in mind that are sure to make your experience with it more successful. Featured for you here are ten of them.

Pick the Right Site

There are a variety of dating sites to choose from when it comes to online dating, and while some of them are free to join — others may require you to pay a membership fee. While it’s entirely possible to meet the love of your life on a free dating site, many daters look to the sites that charge a membership fee if they’re interested in serious, long-lasting relationships. Instead of joining the first dating website you come across, take a look at several different sites and compare them to one another. Whether you’re interested in casual dating or you’re looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with, it’s important to choose a dating site that’s most likely to help you find what you’re looking for.

Create a Thoughtful Profile

Your dating profile is one of the key elements that could make or break your online dating experience, so put some thought into it. The information you write about yourself should be short and sweet — you don’t want to share too much right away. Some things you could mention might be your hobbies and interests, what you’re looking for in another person, and whether or not you have kids or pets as part of the package deal. Adding a touch of humor to your profile is a great way to make it stand out — so don’t be afraid to use it. At all costs, be sure to avoid using vulgar language or offensive remarks of any kind when you’re creating your dating profile.

Upload a Current Photo

When uploading photos to your dating profile, be sure that the ones you’re posting are current. Posting old, outdated photos from a time when you looked entirely different is not a good practice — and it will only turn people off if they end up meeting you in person sometime down the road. Select a photo that shows you at your best — one taken recently, and preferably one without other people in it.

Keep it Light-Hearted

Even if you’re looking for a serious relationship, try to keep things light-hearted and fun when you first start interacting with other singles online. A too-serious approach, mention of controversial subjects, or discussions about past relationships gone wrong may be a turn-off to other daters, so keep it light when you’re just getting to know someone.

Protect Your Identity

While it’s important to share a little bit about yourself to potential matches, it’s essential that you protect yourself by keeping some of the details private. Never post your full name, phone number, address, workplace, or details regarding your children on your profile — and don’t hand out personal information in private emails or messages, either, until you’ve established that the person on the receiving end is someone you can trust.

Avoid Cheesy Pick-Up Lines

Cheesy pick-up lines will most likely attract the wrong kind of people if they attract anyone at all, so don’t use them if you really want to meet someone special. If you want to get someone else’s attention, try getting it with some tasteful humor instead.

Tell the Truth

Start your dating experiences off on the right foot by representing yourself as you really are. The information you share should be honest and sincere at the very least. There’s nothing worse than having to fess up later if you find someone you’re really interested in spending time with.

Be Kind and Courteous

In all of your online dating encounters, always be kind and courteous to everyone you meet. If someone messages, “winks,” or expresses interest in you and the feelings aren’t mutual, politely decline their attempts without being mean or hurtful. That being said, stick with the theme of honesty if someone is vying for your attention and you aren’t buying. Leading someone on that you have no interest in dating is just as cruel as blowing them off.

Plan the First Date in Public

If you find someone online that you’d like to go out on a date with, plan to meet in a public place for your first date. If the other person insists on picking you up or having you come to their home for the first date, kindly decline and move on. Your safety and comfort, as well as that of your potential match, should always be of the utmost importance.

Don’t Give Up

If at first you don’t find a perfect match on an online dating site, don’t give up. Finding a compatible romantic partner can take time — it’s not always as easy as we’d like it to be. After creating a profile for yourself on a particular site and giving it a fair shot still produces no results, you might want to try joining a different dating site for a while. Whatever you do, don’t throw in the towel too soon. If match-making was so easy, there would be no need for dating websites in the first place.

Online dating can be fun and exciting if you go into it with a positive attitude. If you’re single, why not give it a try? You never know — the love of your life might be but a few clicks away.

Guest post from Jaime Castle. Jamie writes for OnlineDating.org.