No secrets, but I do have some tips and tricks.
I use craigslist. I know it can be scary, but I try to make it as safe as possible for my kitties. I write ads in such a way that hopefully a lot of flakes and bad homes will be turned off without ever emailing me. I charge an adoption fee. I let them know they'll have to sign a contract. I say up front that they need to be allowed to have pets by their landlord. Once I get an email on a kitten, I try to email back and forth a few times to make sure they are serious before I agree to meet up. Once they're here, they have to pass my "radar." If they seem off, or not a good fit, they don't get a kitten.
I ALWAYS put a thorough description. It includes basic personality traits and lots of adjectives (shy/outgoing, rowdy/calm, playful/snuggler, male/female, color, age, etc). I also include at least one detail to catch a reader's eye.
Finally, great picture(s) are a must. Not necessarily a fully body shot, but something that really captures their personality.
Even for cats I'm fostering for the shelter, every single one goes back with a picture and description.
For example, in Lucy's ad above:
"Lucy is looking for a home! She came to me with three kittens about 6 weeks ago. I got everyone spayed or neutered and the kittens have all been adopted. Now Lucy needs a home. She's 2 years old, per the vet and is a pretty gray tabby with yellow eyes. She's been treated for worms and fleas and is now spayed and fully healed up from her surgery. She was outdoor only before I got her but is learning to be an inside kitty and has not had any problems with a litter box. Would do best as an indoor/outdoor kitty. She's a sweet girl and acts like an overgrown kitten. She's a medium sized cat. $40 adoption fee to help cover part of her surgery/meds and new home will need to sign an adoption contract. Please contact me if you would like to adopt her, or know someone who would like to adopt her. I'm located in Lacey, WA (near Olympia)."
The "sweet overgrown kitten" part would be her special detail. She is a "pretty" gray tabby. I find the picture up there to be adorable.
Here's Helios' ad:
"Helios is a beautiful gray kitten with slightly darker gray tabby stripes and gorgeous yellow eyes. He is approximately 6 months old and has been an indoor kitty since he was about 10 weeks. He can be a little nervous, but is learning to trust quickly now and getting better every day. He would probably do best as an only cat, though he does get along pretty well with the other cats and dog in his foster home. He is a very sweet kitten and prefers loving on his people to playing with toys, but when he does play, he loves anything with catnip and feathers. He is already neutered and has been treated for fleas and worms. He had a bit of a rough start with the litter box, but is using it very well now (I think that was related to his anxiety and has disappeared since he's been more relaxed and trusting). He is a gorgeous sweet boy who has a ton of love to give to his forever person or family. Due to his previous anxiety, he would probably do best as the only pet in the home, unless the other animals were very mellow. He would love a quiet, less chaotic home. Also, no very young children (under 7 or so)."
He is a "beautiful" kitten with "gorgeous" eyes. He likes people better than toys would be his special detail. I have two photos up. One is the full body shot, which is also posted above in this thread. The other is this one:
Which is one of the cutest photos I've seen in a while.
Here's the descriptions I sent back for my "B" batch of kittens (I name each litter after the same letter) who were also all black.
Whoever said black cats have the most personality was definitely thinking of Baja. She is a friendly, rowdy, outgoing kitten who loves people. She is the only solid black kitten of her litter. She has a wonderful purr and also likes to “talk.” She loves to play with her sisters but when she’s tired of that she’s happy to snuggle with her humans. She likes to mouth off and is a very social kitty who will insist on getting what she thinks is the “proper” amount of attention. She loves wet food and feather wand toys. She has been in a foster home since she was approximately 3 weeks old and has been exposed to five adult cats besides her mother and a dog (lab mix) all of whom she got along with well. She has also been using the litter box faithfully.
Bella is a sweet kitten with a delicate, angular face like her mother and a pretty white nose. She can be a bit of a princess, especially at feeding time. She would rather wait until the others have finished than jostle for a spot like a common kitty. If she continues to take after her mother, she will grow to be an excellent kitty, friendly and graceful. For now though, she is an adventurous, curious kitten who loves to play with her sisters. She has been in a foster home since she was approximately 3 weeks old and has been exposed to five adult cats besides her mother and a dog (lab mix) all of whom she got along with well. She has also been using the litter box faithfully.
Bambi is the biggest, fluffiest kitten of her litter and has a tiny spot of white fur near her nose. She is slightly more shy and cautious than her sisters, but generally not more than a few paws behind them on their adventures. She is a very sweet and playful kitten who enjoys the company of humans. Because of her extra hair, she seems to “heat up” and tire out a little more quickly than her sisters, especially on very warm days. She is generally one of the first to the food bowl and one of the last to leave. Her favorite toys are balls she can hit across the floor and then chase after. She has been in a foster home since she was approximately 3 weeks old and has been exposed to five adult cats besides her mother and a dog (lab mix) all of whom she got along with well. She has also been using the litter box faithfully.
Bayla is fuzzy and sweet, the second largest kitten of her litter. She has a crooked white line of fur up her nose for added character. When she plays, she likes to rear up on her hind legs and “box” with her sisters. She is a match for any of them and has no trouble keeping up. She is always right in the middle of whatever adventure they are having and loves to see exactly what is going on. Her favorite toy is a feather wand and she loves wet food. She has been in a foster home since she was approximately 3 weeks old and has been exposed to five adult cats besides her mother and a dog (lab mix) all of whom she got along with well. She has also been using the litter box faithfully.
Bliss loves to play and especially enjoys catnip toys, though they can make her a bit crazy. It’s easy to see how happy her toys make her and adorably funny to watch her play with them. She has a white line of fur going straight up the middle of her nose. She was one of the first kittens in her litter to start eating wet food and likes exploring new things. She does enjoy being around people, when she can pull herself away from playtime. She has been in a foster home since she was approximately 3 weeks old and has been exposed to five adult cats besides her mother and a dog (lab mix) all of whom she got along with well. She has also been using the litter box faithfully.
Unfortunately, cats are a dime a dozen. The biggest bit of advice I can give you is to make your potential adopters realize how special your guys are. Make it obvious how much time you've put in to them and how well you've got to know them.