This is Part 4 of the 8-part Beginner’s Guide to Couchsurfing:
1. Introduction to the Guide
2. What Couchsurfing Is & How it Works
3. Getting Started and What Hosts Want
4. How to Write a Great Couchsurfing Profile
5. Examples: What Not To Do in Couchsurfing Requests
6. How to Write a Great Couchsurfing Request
7. How to Make Sure Your Couchsurfing Experience is 100% Safe
8. Isn’t Couchsurfing Dangerous For Women?
Let’s dig into the essentials of how to write a killer profile.
I. Fill out the profile completely.
It literally takes 20 minutes and gives the people you’re potentially staying with some way of knowing who you are. Take 20 minutes to make a really thorough profile — don’t worry - it’ll pay itself off in Couchsurfers offering to host you.
II. Go Deep, Not Wide
If you’re considering writing something along the lines of “I’m optimistic, kind, funny, smart, and love people”, consider just leaving the space blank. Those are huge generalizations and don’t embrace the core values that define you. Be free! Be yourself! After all, it’s just Couchsurfing – not Judgement Day. Instead, pick your top 3 characteristics and spend more time highlighting those rather than rattling off adjectives.
Talk about what you actually value and feel about the world — as long as it’s not offensive, people will embrace it.
III. Get Yo’ Idiosyncracy On!
Who are you really?
When I first started couchsurfing, I was compelled to keep my profile non-specific. I was afraid people would judge me for my idiosyncrasies. Would they think I’m too bubbly with all those exclamation points? Would I alienate non-intellectual types by strictly classifying myself as super philosophical/intellectual?
After spending weeks keeping my profile non-specific, I changed it up and dove into the specifics, crafting an expose of sorts, enriched with quirky details and all. Lo and behold, the greater specificity prompted far more curiosity and a greater overall response.
SO. Do you love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Are you a diehard fan of Grey’s Anatomy? Do you love TED talks? Include these idiosyncrasies and quirks as they make you seem real. At the end of the day, people simply want authenticity, and it’s so, so, SO refreshing as a person to be able to BE authentic and to have that authenticity embraced by others.
IV. Be Extraordinary
Hosts fundamentally want to meet interesting people. Be someone who you want to meet. For that reason, include any cool or impressive things you’ve done. This could include:
- Interesting/unique things you’ve done (e.g. biked across a few countries, grew up in poverty, etc.,)
- Things with interesting stories behind them (Got on national TV, went skydiving)
- Impressive achievements (started a business, survived cancer, left a 9-5 job for passion, etc.,)
Some examples could be:
- Helped found TEDx at Johns Hopkins University 
- Hiked to the top of a volcano (in snow and hail) 
- Ate at the coffee shop where J.K. Rowling authored Harry Potter 
- Was featured on National Television in Ireland 
V. Bring Something to the Table
The beauty of the Couchsurfing community is that it’s a group of open-minded, free-spirited, positive, and people-oriented individuals. So in your profile, its best to appeal to these things – either by explicitly stating you subscribe to these values or by pointing out that you’re looking to Couchsurf because you want to meet people and enjoy being around people of those values. In short, appeal to Couchsurfing values.
VI. Set your status to ‘Accepting Guests’ or ‘Wants to Meet Up’
This isn’t super important but it’s always nice to see a Couchsurfer who gives back to their community.
VII. Examples of Great Profiles
Note that you have to be logged into Couchsurfing.com to view these.
Writing a Great Request
The only thing left to do now is to write a phenomenal request. In the next section I’ll cover examples of what not to do in requests – mistakes I see in requests all the time before explaining how to write a great request.
Continue to the next page in the guide: Examples: What Not To Do.
Other Posts in This Series: