Using Your Web Site as a Personal Ad

In a bygone era, disheveled and unshaven men would parade wearily up and down the sidewalks in the business district wearing "sandwich board" signs, literally becoming human billboards. Paid a starvation wage to make a spectacle of themselves, they publicized and drew attention to a local store or restaurant. The modern equivalent of this bizarre mode of advertising is the personal web site.

Your home page permits virtually unlimited scope in presenting yourself to "eligible" women. Think of it as a gigantic display ad. In contrast to a conventional personal ad, you can describe yourself at length and in exquisite, even maddening detail, not subject to content or stylistic guidelines (nor even to the dictates of good taste, necessarily). Pictures and graphics can add emphasis to your words, and they cost nothing extra. This is a forum for your creativity... and a test of your ability to exercise restraint (just because you have enough rope to hang yourself doesn't mean you should feel compelled to do so).

Tell about yourself, your life, your family history, your interests, your beliefs, your hopes and dreams, your eccentricities, your weird habits. Most women would rather read your life story than your resumé. You are hoping to attract a mate, not an employer.

Your site will be maximally effective if it is of general interest, especially to your target audience, single women. Embellish your page with discussions of social issues, essays on "why there are no good men left", short fiction about unhappy love affairs, True Confessions, False Confessions, recipes, consumer topics, and articles you have written on health and nutrition issues. Consider it a showcase for your talents, if not your ego.

As is usually the case, a touch of humor sprinkles magic pixie dust on creative endeavor. A candid photo of yourself just after that pot of lasagna spilled on your head, or when you fell into your neighbor's irrigation ditch can't help but appeal to the mothering instinct of the women seeing it. Nothing beats a picture of your six-month-old self lying naked, bottom up, on a bearskin rug for sheer cloying cuteness. If all else fails, take the boring photo of yourself standing there on that used car lot with a silly smile on your face and scan it upside down. It will fasten upon the minds of those who see it like a termite infestation.

Make your page readable. You can't go wrong with a bold font on a light background. Don't overdo the pictures and graphics. No one wants to wait 15 minutes for a page to load, only to find something just slightly less garish than a supermarket flyer. Strive for elegance and simplicity, as it creates a favorable impression, not to mention making you look good.

Few people will stumble upon your site by accident, and a systematic effort to announce it will save your page from the lamentable fate of parading wearily up and down the sidewalks of the Web with no one noticing. For a start, consider placing it in the Singles Online WebRing. Submit the page to at least a few of the Web search engines. Put the URL in the signature line of your e-mail and newsgroup posts. Trumpet yourself to the world, and let your site be your trumpet.