I’ve used craigslist with some varying degrees of success in the past but I never took the time to really study it and learn what the best practices are. I’m sure this could be an article but I wanted to create a blog post outlining my road to internet marketing expert 🙂 haha maybe seasoned vet. I’m going to create a blog that deals with my local area real estate and start advertising using craigslist. I will post my progress to my message boards for everyone to follow. Look for it in the next few days.
If you are online you know about craigslist. It’s the number one free classifieds on the net and serves 570 cities in 50 countries. The site serves over twenty billion page views per month, putting it in 22nd place overall among web sites world wide, eighth place overall among web sites in the United States (per Alexa.com on June 19, 2009), to over fifty million unique monthly visitors in the United States alone (per Compete.com on April 7, 2009). Putting it simply, it’s the place to go to get the word out about your house, service or building your buyers list.
First lets go over what you can’t do
- You can’t post multiple times in the same category
- Opportunity type ads are only accepted under small business services.
- It won’t allow you to post the same or similar ads in multiple cities
- If you post too many ads too quickly you will get flagged and perhaps banned
Sure you can abuse the system and post many many ads using different email addresses, vary your IP address or use redirect urls to skirt the conduct police but I don’t advocate doing that. The reason is that craigslist is always coming up with ways to prevent those actions and you could end up spending tons of time playing cat a mouse with the system just to get banned. Craigslist is such a valuable tool that it’s not worth risking a ban or wasting your time.
What I would do…
Post 3 ads every other day into the appropriate categories. If you are selling a house put it in House for Sale by owner, if you are offering or looking for bird dogs post in the services section. For advertising your website you would want to post in the sevices section. Posting 3 ads seems to be the accepted limit according to the craigslist community and you will not be labeled a “spammer.” However you should vary the title and change up the ad a little bit or craigslist will flag it as duplicate ad and not allow you to post it.
Ways to Use Craigslist
You can drive traffic to your site from Craigslist visitors who are browsing ads, finding yours and then clicking on your hyperlinks.
Second, you can drive traffic via search engines. Craigslist postings, if written appropriately with rich content and keywords, can be very search engine friendly. So, someone using Google and Yahoo could be directed to your ad or listing on Craigslist , and if they click on your hyperlinks- wallah, more traffic.
The “Discussion Forums”, if used wisely, can generate traffic. There are discussions posted on more than 70 topics including autos, beauty, diet, gifts, money and sports. It’s important to remember that most forum visitors are there to chat not read ads, so you may need to participate in a discussion before you include an ad or link in your content. The forum users are quick to flag posters as spammers and you want to avoid being banned.
Some people will create an image out of their text ad and make it clickable. This seems to get around a lot of the duplicate posting problems. Eventually this loophole will get closed but use it if you want. I will not be.
Read similar ads to yours to get ideas. You won’t be able to figure out how successful the other ads are but if it draws your attention it can’t be bad.
Repost ads every 48 hours
When writing ads be short, concise and very explicit. If you get to wordy it will bore people or just confuse them. Here is a great example and one I will use (modified for my needs) to get traffic to my blog.
Tite: Valentine’s Day For Harley Enthusiasts
Ad: Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate your love for Harley and your love for your significant other with a Harley Davidson themed Valentine’s Day gift. Hub Pages is a great resource for Harley gift ideas.
If you are looking for a Valentine’s gift for your Harley Queen:http://hubpages.com/hub/Harley-Davidson-Valentines-Day-Gifts-For-Women
If you are looking for a Valentine’s gift for your Harley King: http://hubpages.com/hub/Harley-Davidson-Watches–A-Buyers-Guide
These Valentine’s Day Gift ideas will save you time and your Harley partner will love them!
You can easily adapt this example to promote some articles on your website/blog.
Paying someone to post ads for you.
There are “applications” out there that help you post ads on craigslist, but they are not fully automated and can quickly get you banned so I’m not going to cover them. If you just find posting ads way to tedious or, like me, always forgetting to post the ads you can hire a third party to do just that. Such services can be found at
I can’t really recommend any at this point cause I’ve never tried the services, but Tim Ferris of 4 Hour Work Week uses elance, b2kcorp and yourmaninindia. You will most likely have to try out a few of the assistants before finding a good one. Some advice Tim gives is not to accept the first person they offer to you, make sure they speak good english and can follow directions well (you’ll have to try them out to determine this). Also be VERY SPECIFIC with your instructions and also give short deadlines and have them provide you with updates as they go.
Services to Use for posting pictures
Alternate classified websites
- Google Base (attached to Google Product Search, formerly known as Froogle)
- Kijiji (eBay’s free listings, big internationally, just launched in USA)
- MySpace Classifieds
- Facebook Marketplace (becoming bigger than MySpace, and attracts an older audience)
- Yahoo! Classifieds
- Windows Live Expo (Microsoft)
- Village Voice, powered by Backpage
- OLX.com (big internationally?)
- Lycos classifieds
- PennySaver USA
- Trulia (for real estate only)
- vFlyer (auto-posting to Google Base, Craigslist, and sharing widgets)
- Oodle, iqZone, Edgeio (are also multi-classifieds blasters, aggregators, and search engines)
- Verticlans (new)
- MyStore (new & very social sharing “2.0″ oriented)
- Yample.com is also social/2.0
- RealpeopleRealstuff.com (video-based classifieds)
Other articles to learn about using craigslist
Don’t Forget I’m going to create a blog that deals with my local area real estate and start advertising using craigslist. I will post my progress to my message boards for everyone to follow. Look for it in the next few days.
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