Do some homework

Study ads that appear consistently week after week. Determine what makes such ads catch your attention. Do they mention a benefit? Are they set off in some way from other classified ads on the page? Are they easy to spot because they fall immediately under a category heading in the classified section or near the top of the ads on an online search?

Make the first few words count

The first few words in your classified ad work like a headline does on a display ad. They must stop the reader’s eye from moving down or across the page and make them want to read the rest of the ad. To do that, those first couple of words must tell readers the most important benefit your product or service offers.

Keep the ad brief and to the point

A good classified ad is like a telegram: short, clear and commanding. In as few words as possible, tell what you are selling or wanting to purchase, who should buy it, why they should buy it from you, and how to contact you.

Be careful, though, not to cut too many words out of  an ad or to be too concise.

High quality images

It is important to have good pictures of what you are selling. The buyer wants to see what they are buying, not some generic image. Try to take pictures with good light settings. Pick the best picture as main. Note that if you do not include a photo or image in your ad, a placeholder image stating ‘No image available’ will be used. This will do nothing to promote your sale.

Get someone else’s opinion about the ad

Ask several people who you know will be honest with you to read the ad. After they’ve read it ask them to tell you what you what they think you are selling and whether the ad would make them want to contact you. If they have difficulty answering those questions, rewrite the ad.

Proofread your ad carefully

Be sure that you have included all required information in your ad, especially a phone number or other contact information. Have someone other than yourself proofread your final version for typos and misspellings.