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How to Write a Personal Ad
Selecting the Right Venue for Your Personal Ad
One of the first things to consider is what venue you'd like to use for your personal ad.
Do you want to write a personal ad and post it on a website such as Craigslist.com? You could do that for free but be sure to understand that anyone can post or respond on Craigslist without much “filtering” of the ads, so please be cautious.
There are plenty of online dating sites to choose from. Many do charge a fee to join but a lot of them offer free trials as well.
Maybe you’d like to place a personal ad in your local newspaper in an attempt to meet someone who lives close to you and avoid wasting time meeting people that live long distance.
Keep in mind that print ads typically have a much shorter “shelf life” than those created online. In addition, the space allotment for a newspaper ad will usually be much smaller than the information you can provide with an online ad.
Whatever venue you choose, be sure to do your homework to make sure that it is safe, reputable, and you are not wasting your time or money.
So, have you . . .
ever placed a personal ad for yourself before?
Marketing Yourself through a Personal Profile
Relationships of every possible type have begun by placing a personal ad in print publications or online websites. Writing a personal ad is a way for you to market yourself. It is your opportunity to let others know what you are all about.
With online dating sites, many will give you a template where you answer questions that will be converted into your personal ad. Others may ask you to complete a survey. These tools will make writing your personal ad much easier.
What are you looking for?
Personal ads are often broken down into categories that specify what you are looking for, such as:
- Women seeking men
- Men seeking women
- Women seeking women
- Men seeking men
- Just friends
Acronyms Used in Personal Ads / Dating Profiles
Many people use acronyms (abbreviations) when writing or responding to personal ads. You may be surprised at some you've never heard of.
Also Known As
Big Beautiful Woman
DDF or D/D Free
Drug & Disease Free
Date of Birth
Down to Earth
Face to Face
Female to Male Transgender
For Your Information
Gay Black Male
Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered
Good Sense of Humor
Gay White Male
In Real Life
In Search Of
Long Distance Relationship
Light Smoker or Legally Separated
Married But Available
Married Black Couple
Men Seeking Men
Men Seeken Women
Male to Female Transgendered
Married White Couple
Never Been Married
Non Drinker or No Drugs
Professional or Petite
Public Display of Affection
Single Black Female
Single Black Male
Sense of Humor
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Single White Female
Single White Male
Tender Loving Care
Very Bad Date
Very Good Looking
White or Widowed
Will Answer All
Would Like To Meet
Willing To Relocate
Main Things To Include When Writing Your Personal Ad or Profile
Age and Race
- Tell your age or at least include something like “30-ish,” or “late 40's” ~ some descriptor that gives the reader a close idea of your age.
- Knowing the race of the person is important to many people. By adding this, you may eliminate wasting time on those who may not be interested.
Height, Weight and Body Type
- Be honest with your height. It’s not like you can hide it if you meet in person.
- You also cannot hide your weight if you meet in person although I think fudging the truth here just a little bit is okay. But seriously, do not say that you weigh 185 when you really weigh 310.
- When it comes to body type, it is not necessary to include this information although it does appear that this is a major factor for some people. If you do not include it, you may get asked the question later.
Hair and Eye Color
Of course, include your hair and eye color.
This is a personal preference. If it matters to you that someone knows your religion or that you find someone who practices the same religion, then definitely mention it.
Others like to know what you do for a living or that you are currently in college.
This is another personal preference. If you really want others to know you worked hard and obtained a specific degree, then mention it.
On the other hand, if you did not graduate from high school or maybe you have a G.E.D. but never pursued a higher education, you might consider just leaving this part out for now.
If you do not smoke and/or you specifically do not want to meet others that smoke, definitely mention this. If you do smoke and/or do not mind that others smoke, mention this as well.
Humor vs. Sarcasm
Using humor within your personal ad can be funny, charming and attractive if not overdone. But be sure to not cross the line over to sarcasm or just plain stupidity.
Wording that is negative or depreciates you, or anyone for that matter, will likely turn the reader away.
When placing an online personal ad, be aware that search engines will find you via the keywords that you use. Therefore, a longer profile is more search friendly.
Write Enough Additional Information to Pique Their Interest
It’s important that you give your ad a little personal touch. Consider answering the following questions to include in your personal ad to pique the reader’s interest.
- What are your hobbies?
- What activities to you enjoy?
- Do you like to travel?
- Do you like to cook?
- What type of music do you enjoy?
- Do you have a nickname?
- Do you have any major pet peeves?
- What are you hoping to obtain by posting this personal ad?
- Do you have children or want to have children?
- What are you looking for in the person reading your ad?
- Do you enjoy going out to movies?
- Do you enjoy staying home?
- Do you have pets?
- What are your future goals?
To Include or Not to Include a Photo of Yourself
Chances are that if you do not include a photo of yourself, your ad may be easily overlooked. Find a good, recent photo to use or ask someone to take pictures of you. Don’t go too overboard with props, etc. for your photo. Be yourself. Look how you would if you were going to meet someone in person for the first time.
Be Yourself and Be Smart
Writing a personal ad or profile is a way for you to meet new people. Always tell the truth. Give an overview of yourself but don’t be too telling. If you really click with someone, you’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other.
Be sure to always use discretion when posting a personal ad or responding to a personal ad. If your gut tells you that something just doesn’t feel right, listen to it.
Best of luck!
This is Sharyn’s Slant