How to Use “The List” to Make Money
Hopefully you can see the potential for making money by using Craigslist. Mostly, it is free advertising. As long as you follow a few guidelines and rules set up by the site, you can post classified ads relevant to
almost 450 cities globally.
While some ads will cost you money, the rates are far less expensive than typical paper adverts. You can use ads to gain valuable exposure with minimal time and effort on your part. Most of the “paid for” ads on Craiglist are job listings, so unless you are an employer, you should take advantage of all that the site offers with no investment other than time. How often do you get a chance to present ads free?
Better yet, how often do you file an ad to a site or paper offering more than 10 million unique visitors each year? Not bad for an advertising site. And, it all begins with nothing more than a simple post.
How to Post
OK, so you want to post an ad on the “List”. Great! Now, how do you do it?
Posting on Craigslist is easy. First, go to the main page, and scroll up to the left-hand corner where you will see a link to “Post to Classifieds.” Here is an example:
Next, you will want to select the proper category to post your classified ad in. Most people will search for advertisements by category, so be sure you put your ad in the right category. And don’t worry too much if you
don’t… you can always change the category you originally selected.
You have a choice of posting categories, such as; “jobs”, “gigs”, “housing”, “items for sale” and more. Posting your ad in the right place will maximize your potential for exposure.
While it is helpful to have a registered account, especially if you plan to use the site more than once, you do not need one to post your ad. However, it takes about 5 minutes to set up an account, and it is free, so why
not save yourself some time next time you log in? Makes sense doesn’t it?
Now, when you register there are certain fields you have to fill out. These include the “title” field and the “description” field. People do want to know what you are offering after all, so a good description is essential. It helps to fill out the price section, but you don’t have to. You may turn many otherwise interested parties off by listing price. Of course the flip side is you can do the same by not posting price.
When you post an ad, Craigslist.com places it in chronological order. So, the more recent posts get more attention
because visitors see them first naturally. Many times your ad will remain listed for up to 30 days. However, if you want to gain maximum exposure for your ad, you will want to post your ad often, so it rises to the top of ads posted on the “List”.
You can also increase the odds of people searching for your posts by using keywords to describe your posts.
Try adding popular keywords to your item description, so when people search for items using key terms your ad is most likely to pop up.
Now, wouldn’t that be bad? No sweat, the rules are easy to follow.
Rules, Rules, Rules
As with anything, Craigslist has its rules, regulations and limits. You need to follow these carefully so your ad does not become accidentally banned from placement on the board. If your violation is severe, the “List” will ban you from posting in the future.
On this page you will find a detailed explanation of the “List’s” rules, regulations, information about posting, reposting, publishing, buying blocks of posts and more. If you scroll to the bottom you will also find a section on “harassment, legal stuff, spam” which you should read carefully.
Here is a condensed version of some of the more common rules:
Do not post the same item twice without first deleting the matching material.
o If you plan to post in different cities or different categories, be sure to remove old posts before placing new ones.
o If you want to place posts in several categories you will have to rotate your posts. Some people get around this rule by posting ads using different accounts and e-mail addresses. Just be aware if someone discovers your actions, you may be reported and you will lose your ad permanently.
- Make sure you post an item only one time in any given 48-hour period.
That is the exact timeframe the “List” tracks. You should always give your ad a couple of days to circulate to determine its effectiveness. see what the response to your ad is. Craigslist is also terrific way to test multiple ads to see which one brings in the most traffic. However, if you post the same ad before your 48-hour term ends, the ad will expire at the end of the initial 48-hour period.
- Make sure you do not post ads with links to commercial or auction websites.
This is a no-no! It seems like the “List” would be a great place to set up links to your products and services, right? Truthfully, the
“List” does not allow this type of advertising. Now, I am sure you are scratching your head wondering, “How am I supposed to make money if I can’t link to my site?” Good question. The answer is easy.
Craigslist makes it easy for users to post. You can have people contact you by phone or even by anonymous e-mail, where users click a link allowing them to respond to your ad and their message is forwarded to the e-mail account you appoint.
Here are some other unique features Craigslist has to offer consumers:
- You can use plain text or HTML to design your ad
. Web addresses are automatically converted to links to matter which format you use so be careful.
- Feel free to add any photographs that will enhance your pos
Remember a picture is worth a thousand words.
- You can use free software programs to enhance your ad and improve the odds someone reads it
. Many companies have programs available that convert craigslist HTML code into full-color images. We’ll talk more about this in the FAQ section.
- You can access millions of users across the globe and in multiple cities by placing a simple ad
. No other paper offers you what craigslist can, plain and simple. With more and more people surfing the Net, you would be foolish not to try placing your ad on “the “List”.”
Now you know why you should create an ad. So, how do you do that?
How To Compose A Winning Ad
An ad is only as good as the words contained within the ad itself. If you don’t write good copy, get someone to write it for you. You have a limited space to work with here, so your job is to entice the potential buyer as quickly and succinctly as possible. How do you do that?
There are many different ways. Here are some great steps for creating posts simply and effectively:
First, compose an alluring post. It should adequately describe what it is you have to offer, and why a potential buyer will benefit. Remember, people want to know not only what you’re providing, but how it fills some need they have. So tell them. Don’t use much fancy language or big words. DO use urgent language, such as “Hurry” and “Act Now”. Great
descriptions like, “Stunning” and “Amazing” work wonders. Be bold, be brave. Consider this ad: “Diamond ring for sale 14k.” Now, this one: “Stunning White Gold Brilliant Diamond Hand-Crafted 14k.” Which do you like better?
Then, if you haven’t already, create an account, because you can’t post your “post” without one. While you’re at it, review your post a few times. Come up with at least one or two alternate posts that describe the same item. If you
find you don’t get a huge response when you post your first post, you can try placing it in a different category or using one of your alternate ads.
Next, look at other people’s posts that are similar to yours. What is good about them? What makes your product or service different? Look at high-ranking posts. What makes them successful? Is someone offering a product or service similar to yours? If so, make note. Find out what makes your product or service better and be sure to mention it. Do not bad-mouth your competition, this could get you in trouble. Just do your job and tell people why you are the best.
Now, review your post one more time and make sure it is up to snuff with the other posts you reviewed. Ask people what they think. What can you do better? Chances are high you will have a few opportunities to modify your ad, so don’t be shy. Ask people what they think. It pays off.
Submit your post. File your post often, remember you can submit a post as often as every two days (see next tip) but be sure when doing so to delete old posts (again, following the rules here!)
Let your post sit at least 48-hours before checking in. Try not to be a maniac about checking in. Millions of viewers get to see your post. If someone out there is looking for what it is you have to offer, you will make some headway. Checking your stats every five minutes will drive you crazy. Relax! Go create some new ads for another product already.
Now, after a couple of days, go back to your account. If you want, rerun your post (don’t forget to delete it first). That way, it goes to the top of the “List” again. You can also edit your post before reposting to make it fresh and new to see if the new post attracts better results or
interest. If you want, you can also try reposting your original post in a different category to see if you get more responses from customers.
You can repeat the steps above as many times as necessary to get the attention of your prospective customers. Try using different ads for different products and services. You can also post your ad in different categories to see which ad categories your ad receives the most attention inproduce more results. Try using different keywords in your ad when describing your product or the items you sell. Most people search by keywords, so if you have really good ones, they will help your ad pop up when people search. How do you know what hot keywords are?
There are dozens of resources on the Web. Check out:
It’s a good starting point.