How to post on craigslist
But hold on a minute! Before you go hog wild and crazy thinking you’re going to slam the entire site by posting everywhere, let’s take a closer look at the where- and why-fors of posting an ad on Craigslist.org .
It would be natural to assume that with such a large audience ads could be posted in every possible category, which would logically lead to obtaining tremendous results, especially being free. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it should be taken abused. Acting in a constrained and respectful manner and abiding by the terms of service that have been set forth is not only the right thing to do, it is mutually beneficial and strengthens your effectiveness.
To create and maintain an effective environment, Craigslist.org departs from the normal classified ad model with its unique, member-driven, self-monitored approach. While this revelation may be bothersome to some, spamming and unacceptable posting behavior is not tolerated and will get you booted. More about that a little later.
Types of Ads to Post
Two types of ad are possible: 1) commercial and 2) non commercial, which also deal in forum-type ads. For our purposes we will contain our discussion to commercial postings.
Commercial ads may be posted in categories such as resumes, events, gigs, for sale, etc. Each is governed by a set of rules that differ depending upon the particular category. (These may relate to the areas of pornography, harassment, racial profiling, national defense, etc.To learn the details and how they apply to your posts, go to
How to Begin
Of course, to start out it is necessary to sign up for a free account. Once you’ve completed this short process you will be asked to confirm and enter a password. It’s that simple.
Be forewarned that it is not unusual to find that your ad has been flagged and removed, not by a staff member, but by another member/poster. Yes, you read correctly: any member/poster can suggest that an ad be removed by flagging it if they feel it is contrary to the terms of service. Such actions serve to keep Craigslist free from things that would lessen the effectiveness of your ads.
I learned this lesson the hard way when one of my ads was flagged during one of my first posting sessions. Upon investigation, I found that it had been done by a member/poster. It wasn’t until much later that I learned I had inadvertently placed my ad in the wrong category, but I guess we live and learn by our mistakes.
Forums and sites such as Craigslist attract all sorts of people with varying attitudes; and at times, emotions can run high – especially within certain categories.
For example, the other day I personally flagged a hate post. It involved a realtor who posted derogatory remarks against his local competitor, something that is strictly forbidden. I flagged him because I felt this was not in keeping with a spirit of camaraderie and was definitely contrary to the philosophy of the board. If that post were allowed to remain, it would contribute toward diminishing the quality of the site and encourage similar behavior.
Following these simple rules will probably keep you from getting flagged and will likely lead to more sales conversions for your ads.
In my experience, I’ve found that short, direct, to-the-point ads work best. It’s important to describe your product or service in a clear and concise manner using common language. Try not to use big words. Create an ad just as you would say it. It’s a good idea to read your ad out loud before posting it. This gives you a different perspective from which you can improve it.
Remember that you’re competing with thousands of other ads, and that readers have a choice. Make it easy for them to read and understand your ad. If you don’t, the reader will move quickly to your competitor.
Speak the Readers’ Language
Speaking the readers’ language doesn’t mean you should use German or Italian. It means using language that your reader understands – down to earth, common English.
Simplicity in language requires that you forget what you’ve learned in English class and write just as you would speak. The reader scans the ad for keywords that relate to what he is looking for. If he finds those words, he will continue to read. If not, he will go to the next ad.
What to Include in the Body of Your Ad
Think of your ad as a launching pad. It’s a spring board for the reader to obtain more information, so be sure to provide a link to a web page, an email address, and God forbid a telephone number that can supply the reader with that information. For automation purposes, it is not best to post an email address. This requires manual responses, something that is not recommended. (More on this topic later.)
It’s important to note that the goal of your ad copy is not to sell the product; it is to create a call to action. This important fact is easily forgotten, especially if you’re passionate about your product. Many posters tend to want to go on and on about how good the product or service is, how shiny it is, how light it is, etc. Try to avoid this temptation. Just plant a seed and tease the reader with short statements that encourage him to seek more information. There are many visual methods to call attention within the body of your ad.
Here’s what one poster added:
SIDENOTE: If you’re in a hurry, go ahead and check out this URL to see what I’m talking about.
Note the use of *, as well as the “SIDENOTE.” It sets off the call to action.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, it’s important and logical to post ads in categories relevant to the product or service.
This is where people expect to look. It’s a misconception to think that everyone on Craigslist wants what you have to sell. Zero in on who your prospect is and target him or her specifically. For example, if you’re a computer geek posting your services, post it in “Computers” or a similar category and not in apartments for rent.
Posting your ad in an area that doesn’t suit your product or service is also the fast-track to getting flagged (having your ad deleted), or worse yet, getting permanently banned from further postings by the Craigslist staff. This can be done because Craigslist.org not only maintains a complete log of all postings and email addresses, but they monitor each member’s IP address, along with proxy servers. If your IP address is banned, you’re banned, and once that happens chances of returning to post are slim.
Ad Posting Details
It helps to know your audience’s habits. It’s all part of doing your homework and posting in the areas which are going to get you the most results and make the best use of your time.
The first step in posting on Craigslist is choosing the geographical location. Try to rid yourself of the temptation to post only in cities where you have a “gut feeling.” Remember this is not about your instincts; it’s about the results of your research. There are a few strategies to use to determine which cities are the best locations for your particular campaign. One of the most efficient methods is to log on to Alexa.com for rankings on Craigslist. Specifically, check the “where people go on Craigslist” topic located at the bottom of the Alexa page linked above and below. This will not only get your ad in the most effective geographical location, it will save a lot of time in the long run. click for “How to post on craigslist-2″