on October 29, 2013
Once you’ve built a profile that you’re proud of it’s a good idea to join a group or two, especially if there is one close to home. At the top of your CS homepage (or "classic dashboard") you can search for members, activities, or groups all within a specific location. Once you've joined a group you'll find yourself on the group page which displays group posts, polls, and profiles of other members. Look through the group posts for anything about an upcoming gathering.
Use common sense in considering the safety of a planned meetup. If you're meeting someone from the network who you don't know, do it in a safe public place and take a friend. Group gatherings are a great low-risk environment to get to know fellow CSers. If you hit it off with someone in person, become friends on the network and take the opportunity to swap references on your CS profiles.
If there aren’t any local groups or they aren’t well established, try forming your own group to get people together and strengthen the local network. We’re all busy, but getting together once a month isn’t much to ask. Spearheading a group is an especially great way to make Couchsurfing friends because you’ll be the one everyone wants to thank for pulling them out of their routine.
A good backup plan for further establishing your profile is to find people on the network with whom you already have a relationship. You might try the built-in option to find friends via Facebook. You'll likely find people who know you well enough to at least leave a reference. Even if they are only acquaintances or it's been a few years since you've been in contact you can swap general references and maybe make plans to meet up and reconnect.
If you really can't find anyone on the network who can say whether or not you're worth hosting, you could possibly talk your friends into make profiles. Add each other through the network and list some qualities you each have in your references. However you do it, it shouldn’t be too difficult to have a solid profile with a few friends and references before you're sending couch requests. It certainly helps to have something established when you start asking people to let you into their homes.
Next you'll need to find a couch.