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How to Write a Personal Ad


Admittedly, I peruse personal ads, both here and on other sites. A lot of women do. I'm not actively looking. I read some for entertainment value, of course. Mostly, though, there is a general curiosity about who is out there in the world and what they are looking for.

Today, on Literotica, I came across a person posting angrily that no one ever answered him. In response, my thought was "they're not writing because you haven't bothered to give them a reason." It hadn't occurred to me before that people might not know how to actually write a personal ad despite the rampant evidence that many people do not.

Once in awhile I do come across someone who makes me sit up and take notice. I may even write to them, even if only to say that I enjoyed their writing. This has led to some lovely opportunities and relationships.

Do you wonder: "What will make them write to me?" I can't answer for every woman, but I think a majority will agree with most of these sentiments. You'll be relieved to know that the advice isn't simply "stand out from the madding crowd." It isn't about that at all, really.

To Do:

- Do write with an understanding of the medium. You are looking to entice strangers through written word, you must present yourself as worth taking time to know. You have a moment in which to convince them that you could potentially provide a worthwhile relationship, whatever the nature of that may be. You are "selling" yourself by posting a personal ad. People want a hint of what they might get. If you want an answer, you need to present yourself as someone worth getting to know.

- Understand your audience. You are speaking to strangers for the most part. Antagonizing them, belittling yourself or others, or otherwise displaying inconsiderate qualities will only serve to help them dismiss you. Remember that they know nothing about you. Antipathy and posts that do not volunteer information about yourself make your ad uninteresting and leaves you to blend in.

- Your effort will inspire effort. Posting a few lines about wanting to meet a nebulous someone does not encourage people to engage in a dialogue with you. In posting the ad it is up to you to begin the dialogue. You should be writing things that invite and inspire a response. Think of it as beginning a conversation. You posted the ad? You take the lead. Give people something worthy of discussion. Dare to write a bit of a letter.

- If you have particular needs, state them upfront. If you require that someone be fit, or college educated, or blond...... Put it out in the beginning. No one likes to waste effort writing to people who will reject them in the end. You don't want to waste your time. Neither do the people reading your ad.

- Less important than the above, but always good? Allow your personality to show if you are so inspired. Candidness, humor, intensity? If you can express it well and subtly, so much the better. If you can't? It's not a major worry. In the end, it's about getting that first post up. Most will understand someone being reserved. They will have time to know you better later.

To Avoid:

- Do not disparage yourself in your post. Do not disparage other people. Do not discuss past relationships. And for God's sake, if you're unemployed and living with your Mother? I'd save that fact for a private email at a later date.

- In fact, don't say anything negative at all. Your readers will wonder about how you value people close to you if you speak that way to strangers. There is plenty of time to hear gripes from someone once you are emotionally invested. This first ad is not about finding your true love. It is about simply putting yourself out there.

- Do not present yourself as someone no one understands, or as an object of pity. None of us can precisely know the nature of another's experience. To state it out loud comes across as childish, and that will negate anything positive you state.

In summary, understand that this is an introduction. You are meeting strangers. You want to make a good impression so you can have a further, private, conversation. There is no need to lay everything out at the beginning; there is no need to expose every issue you have. Treat people politely. Even for the racier ads? A post that genuinely expresses a little bit about you (yes! Your age, interests, and personality are important to me!) easily wins over a post that says "Hi! I am a random dominant male, and you will submit!"

Whatever you may be? It will become clear with time.

Ads are there to convince people that you are worth the time and investment.

Happy hunting. :-)

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