This topic came up last night in chat but it’s one that I’ve seen spoken about in the past. Personal ads – Why do some work and some don’t?

Although there are a lot of factors that make people respond to some ads and not others, there are certain things that are probably universal to the better ones.

At its heart, a good personal ad should be a reflection of the person writing it. It should put into words as best as possible the personality of the subject. This is something that I don’t see in a lot of ads because too many of them try to boil everything down into simple statistics and cliches. There’s nothing worse than the alphabet soup of letters and numbers that make a person sound like a character rolled up for a Dungeons and Dragons game. There was a time I was checking out ads in the hopes of meeting people and I was less interested in the box score than I was trying to gauge what a person was really like.

Obviously, most ads are not going to give you a complete picture but that’s not what they are supposed to do. However, they should whet your appetite with a little taste of the entre. They should pique your curiosity and make you want to contact the person and find out a little more. Sadly, a lot of ads come across as so generic that they could be anyone just saying, “I’m looking for someone”. Yawn.

Personals should not be rush jobs. I remember when I wrote mine way back when, I wrote and rewrote probably a dozen times, going over every sentence until I was satisfied with it. It was a disaster. It sounded like something written by the spanko Jack Kerouac – going somewhere just not sure where. My second one was better, more focused, describing my kink and myself in equal measures. That one was successful.

Complaining that an ad gets no responses may be the truth but it doesn’t solve anything. If an ad does not reach out and grab the reader then it needs to be rewritten until it does.


3 Responses to “Personals”

  1. I find that one problem with personal ads is that people aren’t honest or serious. You put yourself out there, and you get back a lot of “uh” and “Hmmm” and “maybe”. Perhaps this is my experience alone, but I doubt it.

  2. I think lots of folks either don’t know what they want or are reticent about pursuing things (they get cold feet). On the other hand, there are folks who know exactly what they are looking for but are overlooking the good in search of the perfect.

  3. Two words: SPELL CHECK.

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