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Write a Better Online Personal Ad By Tracy Brant at Dateable.com
If you are going to invest time or money in using a matchmaking website, you should really pay some attention to writing a profile that will get you some responses. People will not be interested in emailing you if you do not do something to make yourself stand out from masses of people using personal ads.
I administer several dating websites. People frequently write in saying, "I never get any replies to my ad." And when I go look at ad, I find that they have not filled out profile, or added a photo. Who can tell if they want to email you if there is no information? Not quite as bad, but still ineffective, is a profile that says, "Email me for details" or "looking for a nice person." You can't bother to write a paragraph to find love of your life? Or even a fun date for weekend?
Here are some guidelines for writing effective personal ad blurbs:
INVESTMENT. Decide that this is worth spending some time on, or don't bother. You wouldn't submit a sloppy resume, would you? This is about making a good first impression, because there will be no second chance once someone clicks to next ad.
MARKETING. You are marketing yourself... trying to stand out in a crowd. You are "product." and people you want to meet are your customers. Think about who you want to meet, and then think about who THEY want to meet! How can you tell them that YOU are person they want to meet? Magazine ads, for example, grab your attention, make you laugh, they make you think "wow, what a great thing... I want to buy it." They can be short, but pack a punch. If they are long, they tell a good story. Marketers test their different ad campaigns, and you should, too. Try placing different ads to see what gets you a better result.
PREPARATION. Before you log in anywhere, do some thinking and writing. Don't wait until you are faced with a blinking cursor to write your blurb. Give serious thought to how you will describe yourself and person you hope to find. Write at least two paragraphs, one about yourself, and one about person you seek. Ask someone you trust to read those paragraphs and comment on how well they reflect who you are and what you want. Save that text to cut and paste into dating website forms. Have a digital photo or two ready.
OPENING LINES. Use your username... don't be Bob3456... be PaintBallPrincess or SecretSuperHero or something else that reflects your sense of humor and yourself. If ad allows you a "subject line" also use that well... "Need woman in Atlanta" doesn't cut it. "Atlanta man on a mission" sounds more interesting. "Atlanta Knight seeks his Queen" tells a different story about who you are seeking. Use your username and subject line to hook people into your ad. Use humor, drama, a funky metaphor. Then, like any good ad, you want to show them you are what they need, show them why you are unique, and invite them to take action... by emailing you!
DETAILS. Write in complete sentences. Spelling and grammar DO count. We have modern tools to help with that. You want to look like you find this task important enough to spell out words. Unless you are 15 years old, writing "If u r inrested n me, wrt 2 me" makes you LOOK 15 years old. ALL CAPS IS LIKE SHOUTING... don't. It is actually harder to read.
HONESTY. If you are not honest with yourself and others, you will not find happiness in personals. Are you married? You know, people CAN figure that out and will resent lie more than wedding ring. Without making any value judgements, putting down "married" will not necessarily stop you from finding matches. If you are just looking for a casual date, don't imply that you are looking for marriage just to get more email... it wastes everyone's time. If you are looking for a long-term thing, don't think you can "convince" a casual date to spend more time with you. You are asking for disappointment. Try completing this sentence: "In a year, I'd like to see us doing...."