Top Seven Craigslist Posting Tactics

Published: 06th February 2012
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As i was getting started with my website design business, I promptly utilized the few personal connections that I had. But after using them up, I was left looking at an bare email inbox without any leads for weeks (or even months) at any given time. I knew that I had to market my business in some way, but I simply couldn't afford the very high cost Google Adwords and other PPC sites. And so i racked my brain for an effective and cheap method to market my company.
Instantly Craigslist jumped into my head.

Imagine you are looking for a couch on Craigslist. You could probably search through every one of the recent couch postings in about 5-10 minutes. Now pause…

Did you catch the power in that?
Because of this, thousands of potential prospects throughout the US are searching for couches, but because Craigslist focuses on local people you're only competing with a small amount of posts in each city. In addition to that, you KNOW individuals are likely to be looking through every ad. Can you envision funneling this traffic over to your site?

Down below is a list of Seven methods to harness the power of Craigslist for your home based marketing.

1. Post Continuously
It's one that I cannot stress enough. Craigslist Ads archive so quickly (particularly if you live in a larger city). Posting continuously guarantees you regular traffic.
There's a five day window of traffic by having an ad on Craigslist. The first day funnels you the most traffic that you will see over the lifetime of the ad, with the fifth day only passing a couple of clicks.
Posting daily will grant you access to the existing day's traffic, along with the carry-over traffic from the previous 5 days. It would be foolish not to post everyday, right?


2. Track Your Clicks
It is important that you observe how your ads have been performing so you can discover what works and what doesn’t.
Without some type of tracking, you have no idea why your prospects are visiting your web site and you will end up wasting a lot of your time.

Craigslist has really cracked down on link tracking sites like Bit.ly, by not allowing people to make posts with said links inside. But we all aren’t going to let Craigslist stop us from tracking our results, are we? No! This is why You ought to install Google Analytics to your site. Google Analytics doesn't only track the sources you are receiving traffic from, but also a wide variety of other items like the time an individual stays on your website. Best of all, it’s 100% free. (I believe we owe Google a high five for that one)


3. Don’t Discount Low Populated Places

Like I previously mentioned, Craigslist ads have about a five day window of viewing. Well with lower populated cities that window can expand up to 45 days! Remember that your ad archives down when more posts are added by others; So if there ARE NO people, your posting will sit as King of the Classifieds for forty five days for anybody searching in that category.

**Pro-tip: Even though you don't see any posters in a category DOES NOT mean there won't be any viewers!


4. Investigate ALL Relevant Categories

Now this is a touchy topic. I’m not suggesting you do this, but it certainly works.
As a web designer, if I published my ad inside the “Computer Services” or “Creative Services” section I would only receive 1-10 hits. The main reason being that I was SURROUNDED by every competitor in the ads above and below me.
Dissatisfied, I searched for a much better spot to post.
Staring me right in the eye was the “Job Offered” and “Gig Offered” board (which is where people post when they desire a website made for them). What better place to post than a board encompassed by clients? Obviously this was against Craigslist Terms and Conditions (and that's why I don’t advise you're doing so), however it increased my ad clicks from 1-10 to 50-100 per ad!


5. Be Aware of the Risk Factors

When I advertise on Craigslist, I'm less concerned about Craigslist catching me and more concerned about my competition catching me. We discussed how you can get more hits by posting where you are not meant to, but in many cases those ads get removed simply because someone flags them.

And who do you think is flagging these ads? Your competitors.
They know you're getting hits, and they don’t like it. So with the click of a button they can take your ad right down.This is usually a technique seen in highly populated cities (more competition).


6. Pretend to be a Local User

If you are operating a national campaign, I recognize it can be a breeze to copy and paste generic ad copy for every city. The problem at hand is credibility. You are likely to get the first sentence to prove to the reader that you aren't just another ad poster. Disguise yourself to be a local. If you are selling couches, you might say:

“Hello! I am a long time **CITY NAME** resident and just created a web site to sell marked down couches. I'm able to ship it to you FAST too!”Compared to…
“Discounted Prices with Fast Shipping at Couches.com!”

If I were browsing Craiglist and saw the 2nd option, I'd hit the back button immediately.The very last thing anybody wants to see is an ad. So be relate-able and personable inside your ad!


7. Outsource It!
Though it only takes a couple minutes to post an ad on Craigslist, if you are posting 25/day it turns out to be a bit of a tedious task.
Pre-write 100 ads and outsource the task to somebody who would like to do it for an cost-effective price!
Check out Elance.com to find the person that suits you!

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Ryan Krysiak is the self-taught, successful internet marketer who runs the design marketing blog MyHomeStartup.com

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