Twelve years ago, I took a chance and wrote a personal ad.
My finished product reflected my attitude at the time—a combination of "you have to play to win" and "hey, why not?
Here's what I've learned about writing a good ad: 1.
Don't "like fine dining" when you can be passionate about Memphis barbecue, don't "enjoy movies" when you can declare your enthusiasm for Mel Brooks. Include the basics: your age and occupation, whether or not you have children, whether you're looking for a date or a life partner. "Mid-30s" or "early 40s" is fine, but assume he'll round up.8. If you're 42 but look 32, say so (or let your picture do the talking). Most of us online date—but many of us don’t know how to market ourselves.After a while, all the profiles sound the same, full of similar clichés and adjectives.“Looking for a partner in crime,” “Are you my other half? in neuroscience yet wouldn’t even get an associate’s degree in “Writing an Online Dating Profile 101.” Many of our clients were successful, personable people (from grad students to physicists) who would make great girlfriends and boyfriends—once they had a dating profile that made them sound unique, one that couldn’t be cut and pasted into someone else’s.” and, my favorite, “I like candlelit dinners, sunsets and walks on the beach” (yes, people still say that! If you look at ten random profiles right now, I bet you’ll find the same thing—everyone’s “funny” and “laid-back” and “adventurous.” I used to have a standard, generic profile, too, with a list of adjectives and facts: fun, outgoing, great speller (looking back, not sure how that applied), and insert-a-bunch-of-other-adjectives here. First, I would spend 30-60 minutes talking to the client.But when I started writing people’s online dating profiles for e-Cyrano.com, all that changed. By the end of our phone call, I’d pare down what they’d said into an enticing short story while marketing their date-ability in the process.I’d make sure that every sentence focused on what the reader—your future boyfriend or girlfriend—could expect when dating you.The end result would be a profile that read like a good article or book jacket instead of a dating ad, and when someone reached the end of it, they’d want to read more and contact the person.As e-Cyrano’s founder, Evan Marc Katz, likes to say, “It’s simply our job to capture you, like a cameraman taking a photo.” So, why not revamp online dating profile? Then, figure out and write down what’s 2) Like with any writing, “show don’t tell,” and the more specific, the better. Evan is a big believer in “redefining the adjective.” Meaning, if you think you’re “funny” and state that you’re killing it in your stand-up comedy class, you write the funniest messages in birthday cards and you make everyone at work laugh, that’s OK.Here are the top things I learned when working with people on theirs—that will work for you, too. But the e-Cyrano method would have you choose the best, most concise example of one time you were funny with an ex and put it into present tense: “When you have a bad day, I’ll dress like Homer (your favorite Simpsons character) and do impressions of him until you feel better.” 3) Write 200 words or less.