Friday, August 5, 2011

How to Create a Successful Classifieds Ad

1. Use good grammar and spelling. With many, many scammers on the web these days, one of the quickest ways to separate your ad from a scam and show that you have native command of a language is by using proper grammar and spelling. This will also help people who are searching for the item or service or whatever you might be selling or providing, as your creative misspellings may not show up otherwise.

2. Be personable. Another way to inspire confidence in your ad is by being a real person. What does this mean? It means sometimes explaining a backstory about an item, or adding an acknowledgement of your audience. (See what I mean? You can tell I'm a real person because I'm adding meta-commentary about being personable.) Don't just include canned and generic phrasing. A little joke or funny comment can go a long way.

3. Include information. This may seem like a given, but many online ads include a picture that isn't related, a couple words, and a link. Why am I supposed to be interested in something that hasn't given me enough to be interested in? So you're selling your car-- what make is it? How many miles does it have? Are there any cosmetic blemishes? When was the last time it was serviced? Try to anticipate what questions might be asked.

4. Take a good picture. Not only do ads with photos vastly outsell ones that don't, but how good a photo looks makes a big difference. Try to take a picture somewhere with lots of light and not too many distracting background elements (I just want to see the car, not the car and your house and your yard and your kid's toy you left out). If it's reasonable, hire a professional.

5. Make a descriptive title. Most people looking won't even glance at anything but the title, so it's important to make it descriptive and attention getting. Capital letters, asterisks, and other symbols are good, as long as you are not using so many that it obscures the title itself.

A great place to put all this advice to work is ;)

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