Make sure your words and your pictures work together.

Picking on Craigslist ads: So easy even Bugs Meany could do it. So what better way to kick off my blog?



This ad has appeared on Craigslist several times in the last couple of weeks. It always claims that this house is charming. And it always uses this photo — the one with the prominent chain-link fence surrounding a concrete yard, some kind of forbidding sign (“NO”) juxtaposed with trash and recycle bins.

And every time I think: Charming? Seriously? I’d hesitate to deliver mail to that place.

I could blame the writer, but I’d rather blame the content strategist. They’re both the same person anyway, some Windermere agent trying to get this place rented in mid-December. “Well this place is kinda small, I guess, which means we’ll call the place ‘charming.’ And it’s a remodel, so there you go.”

What’s wrong? The words and the photos aren’t working together. They are, in fact, giving each other the hairy eyeball. The agent should invoke their inner content strategist: “We say the place is charming … but that picture says ‘forboding.’ ‘Creepy,’ even. Let’s switch it so we lead with one of the charming interior photos. Or at least let’s find a good word that’s less jarring than ‘charming.'”

Words. Photos. Harmony. (Regardless, I’m not renting that place.)