Disclaimer: These are the opinions of this blogger. I am speaking for myself, not the entire female population.
Tip #1: If your dating website has an essay portion, do not:
A) Say you will fill it out later. Just fill it out. I'm not going to come back later just to check.
B) Complain that the site erased your first essay and you'll fill it out later. It happened to me, too, but I put the effort in and did it again. If you're not going to make an effort here, what hope is there that you will put forth an effort in dating/marriage?
C) Say you are a normal man. I will assume you are "normal" until proven otherwise.
D) Write one or two sentences, finishing with "if you have questions, just ask." This is a major annoyance for multiple reasons. Reason 1: Of course I have questions. You haven't given me any information. Where should I start? Reason 2: If you don't find yourself interesting enough to write about, why would I be interested enough to ask a question? Reason 3: You haven't said anything to make me curious enough to come up with a question. Reason 4: If you aren't going to put forth the effort to tell me about yourself (a subject you should know a lot about), why should I make an effort to ask a question? Reason 5: If I have questions, I'll ask them. You don't need to encourage me.
E) Type in all caps. IT'S ANNOYING. If you want to emphasis a word, it's fine. Just don't type the entire essay in all caps. It's equivalent to shouting.
F) Say you don't want a woman who plays games. First of all, what does that even mean? You don't want me just because I like to play cards and board games? (I'm being facetious when I say that; I assume you mean women who try to manipulate you in some way.) Secondly, saying that is a turn-off. I feel as if I have to defend myself from the start, and it makes you seem cynical and bitter. Thirdly, women who do manipulate men will not be discouraged by your statement.
G) Say you are looking for a gorgeous woman. Reason 1: I already assume all men want gorgeous women. Reason 2: I am not gorgeous. Reason 3: It makes me think you don't care about my personality at all.
H) Direct me to your myspace page or give me your e-mail address. If you can't afford membership costs, don't post a profile. I'm all for saving money, but this isn't the place to do it. I've forked out the money to join; you should do the same if you're serious about finding someone.
Tip #2: If your dating website has an essay portion, do:
A) Tell me about yourself. Where do you work? Do you enjoy your job? What do you do in your spare time? Are you close to your parents? Do you have siblings, nieces, or nephews? How do you celebrate holidays? Do you enjoy parties or quiet evenings at home? Do you spend a lot of time with friends or family? Do you have any pets? What makes you unique? Can you fly a plane or ride a horse? Are you the indoor type or outdoorsy?
B) Tell me what you're looking for. Do you want a financially-independent woman or would you like a woman who prefers working in the home? Are you open to women of all shapes and sizes or do you prefer anorexic ladies? Do you want a woman woman who loves to fish or a woman who frequents museums?
C) Tell me your expectations. Why are you on this site? Are you looking for a wife or just someone to date? Are you looking for something serious or casual? Do you want a relationship or a fling?
Tip #3: Post pictures. Don't post blurry or tiny photographs. Let me get a good look at you. I want to see at least one headshot. If you want to show full body shots, go for it, but make sure you include a close-up picture of your face. And please, wear a shirt. I am more interested in your personality than I am in your pecs or abs. I just want to know what you look like.
Tip #4: Include captions with your pictures. If you're in a group picture, tell me which one you are. If there is a woman in the shot, tell me who she is so I don't get jealous. If you pose with kids, tell me who they belong to.
Tip #5: If you are divorced or legally separated, tell me what went wrong in your marriage. You may think it's none of my business or too soon to share that information, but I want to know right from the start. I believe marriage is a lifetime commitment; if a marriage breaks, you don't throw it away, you fix it. If your wife cheated on you and ran off with the man, abandoning you after committing adultery, I might view your divorce differently than if, say, the two of you just realized you weren't "meant to be." Did you try to save your marriage or did you just give up? It says a lot about who you are.
Tip #6: Don't mention your ex-girlfriend. If you do, I will assume one of three things: 1) You're not over her yet, 2) You plan on comparing me with her, or 3) You're stuck in the past when you should be looking to the future. If I'm curious about your past relationships, I'll ask. (If this seems to contradict Tip #4, let me explain. Dating is like trying on clothes: you want to see if they fit. When you marry, you're purchasing the clothes under a "no returns" policy.)
Tip #7: Do not confuse the word "woman" with the word "women." The first refers to one, the second to multiple. Please also be careful with commonly confused words: your/you're, they're/their, through/threw, you/yew, know/no, maid/made... It only takes a few seconds to check, and it proves your literacy. (And feel free to use spell-check or a dictionary if there are words you don't know how to spell.)
I'll leave comments open in case anyone wants to add their own tips.