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How to Write a Personal Ad that Gets Responses

They are called “personal ads” for a reason.

You are advertising your attributes to try and attract Mr. or Ms. Right. So you’ll want to write your ad in such a way that it stands out from the crowd.

Here are 10 tips to advertise yourself in a way that you will get your personal ad noticed.

  1. Be honest. Nothing is as disappointing as finding out that someone who claims to be athletic and fit, is in fact a couch potato who weighs 400 pounds. So, don’t lie. You’ll get found out and break their trust from the outset.
  2. Add a picture. It’s your face, be proud of it. Don’t use that pic from 5 or 10 years ago either. Show who you are now. And don’t forget to SMILE!
  3. Add voice. Your voice and manner of speech say a lot about you and many dating sites allow you to upload a voice message. Record a message with your dulcet tones and have them swooning before they can click ‘Respond’.
  4. Show, don’t tell. If you have a great sense of humor, don’t just tell people that you’re funny and make them wait to find out if it is try. Say something humorous in your ad.
  5. Be realistic. Let’s face it. Most of us don’t look like George Clooney or Charlize Theron. So drop expectations that the person you will meet online looks like a star.
  6. Be appropriate. Avoid off-color jokes and sexual inuendo (unless of course that’s just who you are and how your speak all the time).
  7. Give to get. Avoid rambling lists of qualities and attributes that you want in a person. Create attraction by talking about your characterists and personality. Like attracts like.
  8. Be positive. You may be lonely and miserable, but try not to let it show unless you’re look for a shrink. Also avoid taking an arrogant “like it or not” stance. Let the good in you shine through.
  9. Create an attention grabbing headline. Avoid the overused “SWM seeks SWF”. Dare to be different. Study personal ad headlines and see what strikes your fancy. Use those as a model to write your own.
  10. Edit your ad. Check your ad for misspellings, poor grammar and boring bits. Work on your ad until you are sure of its appeal. Have a friend look at it and make suggestions.

Finished drafting your perfect personal ad?

OK… Copy and paste it to your favorite dating site and click submit.


  1. My experience has been just the opposite women don’t seem to be looking for educated man at all. Seems every uneducated Unemployed loser has four or five women fighting over them.

  2. Standardfirstdate says

    Great article Rosalind! I think this is where most online daters get stuck. They know who they are but just don’t know how to advertise it. Great resource and simple to follow!

  3. Hi Bobby: Not necessarily so! I discovered (during my heydays!) women looking for a “well-educated” man were after men well-educated/knowledgeable in the wants of women. In my case, it wasn’t “big bucks” they were after (‘cos I had none), but “big bang”!

  4. I always get the feeling when i read someones profile (woman) and see that she is looking for a well-educated man, that this is just another way of saying that she is looking for a guy that makes big bucks. What do you think?

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