Creating a great ad means selling your strengths and attributes. Think of this as creating your personal resume. Many of online systems provide a multiple choice matching along with an essay. After someone finds you with a "match", it is your essay portion that can make you shine. It is crucial to fill out essay completely, with at least 2 or three sentences per question asked. You can come back to essay later on many systems. You will spend 45 minutes to an hour filling this out. People who do not fill out essay are not taking seriously and get passed on for other profiles that are more forthcoming. Be honest in your ad.
What to write about? Describe yourself honestly and accurately. Include hard data such as your height, weight, body type, educational background and profession. Show your personality. Talk about your hobbies, interests, activities you enjoy, movies, books, or music you enjoy, where you like to travel, and minimally about your work (do not give your place of employment....keep it general such as: I am a nurse at a local clinic, an accountant with a medium size company, etc). Don't share too much information or write a book.....just write enough to get them interested. You have to leave something to talk about later.
Share your feelings and experiences, not just facts about your life. You don't want your profile to be a touchy-feely pile of mush (can you hear your potential dates heading for door?), but you do want to communicate things people can relate to: where you're from, where you are, where you're going in life, what makes you laugh, things you really enjoy about life. DON'T fixate on only one aspect of your life: You may love your dog, have a great career, live to ski, and those are great things to talk about in your profile. But if you talk about that and only that, you're going to come off as one-dimensional and obsessed. Show your fully rounded self. Put your personality and humor into what you write. Tell what you are like, and don't try to make false impressions. False impressions will back fire in online dating arena as much as they will in rest of your life. Relax, and let your true self show through. There are people who will like who you are.
Don't dwell on your problems and limitations: This is not place to talk about why you got divorced, your last relationship didn't work out, or problems at work. You can talk about this later after you get to know someone. If you have children, mention them BRIEFLY with their ages and sex. Do not spend time talking about your children or reveal their names. People are wanting to look at a profile that focuses on YOU, not your immediate family. You can talk about your childcare arrangements and coaching little league soccer, etc later. People looking at your profile want to know you have time for them. Focusing on your children and their activities can give impression that you will have limited time.
What you are looking for: Think about who you are and what you are looking for. To make friends? Fall in love? Meet someone to hang out with? Do you want something short term or long term? Do you just want to chat with? (Ex. I am looking for a cultured man between 32-45 who is a Christian, attends church, college educated, and is into opera and gallery hopping). (Ex. Looking for a down to earth gal between 22-30 that likes country, camping, country music, country dancing and NASCAR). Don't say that you are looking for love of your life and want to get married....this will scare a lot of people away. Its good idea to state general type of person you are hoping to meet, but don't overdo it. If you set down too many requirements you will miss out on opportunity to meet some great people, and quite possibly one that is just right for you.
Words to Use and Avoid:
Good Words: Affectionate, Likes to cuddle, interested in a committed relationship, sensitive, great cook, romantic, caring, monogamous, down to earth, looking for best friend, educated, sophisticated, loving, generous, cute, reliable, my colleagues describe me as handsome, great legs, petite, curvaceous, hourglass figure, gentleman.
Words to Avoid: Some of bad stuff I have seen in ads. (On some systems, you will get terminated using some of this language whether in your profile or in an email). These guys have read too many Penthouse magazines and need to look in alternative personals. Here is what NOT to put in a personal on a regular/metro site: Well hung, great in bed, I'd love to satisfy you, sexually insatiable, animal, great lover, oral, fuck, blow, make love, erotic, uninhibited and any other sexual words. This stuff is SCARY to most women and runs them off.You can tweak and improve your profile as you go along.