It really comes down to a few things.
1. Make sure you are ready and have a (positive attitude) about the dating process. Believe it or not a lot of people hate the dating process! They just want to (fast forward) to an exclusive relationship or marriage. They've forgotten that dating is supposed to be a (fun and sociable) activity. Instead of taking their time to get to know someone they want to "weed people out" as soon as possible or they get so stressed out with trying to "impress" others that they simply can't (enjoy) the activity of the date.
No one is asking you decide on whether to cut the red wire or blue wire! It's just a date! Learn to relax and be yourself as well as enjoy whatever activity the date encompasses. Even if there's no chemistry you'll have something to talk and laugh about with your friends afterwards. Lighten up!
2. Researching before selecting an online dating site to join. Contrary to popular opinion they're not all the same. No one would equate a night's stay at a Motel 6 with a night's stay at the Ritz Carlton simply because they both have beds and color TV. Avoid "free sites". Most people of quality tend to be willing to invest a little money. It's also a good idea to learn what makes a good profile, and good profile photo. There are books that offer tips. There are also "niche online dating sites". If a trait or quality is very important to you such as religion, race, age group, political affiliation, pet lovers, or whatever there are dating sites that specifically cater to that.
3. Keep things in perspective! Online dating is nothing more than just another (tool) for meeting people.
Much like a fork can be used to eat a garden salad or a slice of double fudge cake. However an obese person never blames their (fork) for their weight gain!
And yet there are some people who have a bad online dating experience and they'll blame the whole online dating industry!
YOU get to (choose) who you engage with or go out with!
Lastly "online dating" should compliment your "offline dating" efforts. Always use good commonsense when dealing with strangers online or offline. Remember the Internet did not invent liars or cheaters.
The same folks are "offline" and have always been around.