How to Write Effective Personal Ads

You’ve made the decision to improve your love life, to seek romance and companionship among the millions of single women and men online who are looking for just the same…

Well, don’t expect your soulmate to just come knocking down your e-mail door, you have to grab his or her attention !

A Picture Worth Thousand Words

Of course your great face in your photo personal ad will help, but that is only the beginning. Thousands of singles are advertising themselves with the same headlines “SWF age 35 125# 5’6″ seeking SWM 35-45 for friendship and possible ltr”. That’s great, but what does it say about the writer, besides the fact that she’s a single woman looking for a single man? Nothing that a personal ad doesn’t imply by itself.

You have to stand out from the crowd, advertise your finer points, your best qualities, and your honest wishes and desires. That is the only way to attract the single man or woman who is most likely to possess those same qualities and is likely to be scanning the personals looking for someone just like you.

So what are the keys to writing a successful personal ad ?

Be Honest

Not many savvy singles will believe something along the lines of “Harvard educated multimillionaire seeking somebody, anybody, to shower with gifts and attention.” If you write such a personal ad you are setting yourself up for failure, as few will think of you as honest. Think about it: honesty is one of the first traits that any single man or woman mentions when describing someone with whom they wish to share friendship, a deeper relationship, and long lasting love. So don’t shoot yourself in the foot from the very start.

In your personal ad, write honestly about who you are, but just as importantly, write about the single woman or man you seek. Include all those characteristics you value in a partner, as well as more pragmatic criteria, like geographic location, whether he or she smokes, has children, etc. In short, make it possible for those that fit your criteria to be able to say “that’s me, and that’s what I want too!” when they see your posted personal ad. Do not set up any possible relationship for failure by lying from the beginning. Any self-respecting single will pack his or her digital bags and move on, sooner or later.

Write an attention-grabbing headline, stressing positive facts contained in your personal ad. The first step in capturing someone’s imagination lies in capturing their attention, and for this, you need a clear and concise statement setting yourself apart from the crowd. Use wit here, and stress a quality which you believe singles would find most appealing. What can you say about yourself in a single sentence which makes you irresistible to the opposite sex?

Relevant Information

Another important factor to weigh when writing a good personal ad is the amount of of specific information you should include. It is clearly best to avoid posting specific personal information about yourself like addresses, phone numbers etc., but usually other specifics, as to your occupation, hobbies, interests, and background, are not only ok, but will greatly increase your chance of piquing the curiosity of a like minded single man or woman.

Be Specifc

Be specific about who you’re looking for too: if you know your soulmate is a Buddhist, say so. If you are adamant about remaining childless, convey that too. State your willingness to travel. The woman in Paris may not respond when she notes you live in Rio, if you fail to mention that geographic location is no barrier. The man in White Plains may skip your personal ad if he thinks that you’re only seeking a friend to chat online, when you’re looking for more, but your ad doesn’t say so. What is your personal mantra ? Share it. The man or woman who understands and appreciates it best, is the one who will reply.

Finally, do not underestimate the power of a good first impression: write your personal ad so that it is easy to understand, articulate, and to the point; avoid making grmmar and spelling mistakes: didn’t you just wince when you saw that one? That is how most people react, and it does not speak well of the writer. Remember, be honest, be specifc, be positive; these three qualities will make your personal ad a solid one, and a bit of imagination will make it a great one !

Article by Rosalind Gardner,  Sage


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