Making Money On Craigslist

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Craigslist.org is a huge network of websites around the world that post local classified adverts and forums. It is community moderated and largely free and you can find jobs, housing, products, household goods for sale, dating services, local activities, advice -- almost anything you're looking for. It was started as a hobby by Craig Newmark in 1995 and Craig is still involved with the business now. Even eBay acquired 25 percent of the equity in craigslist as a shareholder in 2004, so it is a formidable and respected presence on the Internet.

The amazing thing about craigslist is that it gets more than 20 billion page views every month, with more than 50 million people using craigslist in the US alone -- this is a huge market potential customers!

Is there a way to make money with craigslist? It may take some time and is certainly not a way to get rich quick, but you can make some income on the side and it is also a great way to promote your business to lots of local prospective customers.

Get your advert seen

The trick to getting your advert seen is to keep it at the top of the listings. Each free advert post lasts 45 days but as more adverts are posted at the top of the list your advert is pushed lower and lower on the page making it less likely to be seen. Advertisers are not allowed to post the same item several times -- if this happens the ad gets marked as spam. The only way around this is for you to advertise separate products over the 45 days, until you can post your original item again. Another way is to advertise your product for a couple of days then delete the ad and repost it so that it gets back to the top position. You have to be careful as you cannot do this more often than every 48 hours before you start getting into trouble.

Make your advert stand out

Adverts with pictures will stand out better and draw people's interest quicker than text alone, especially if you have a picture of your product. Use actual photographs of your products rather than professional looking stock photos, or you will not be seen as a genuine advertiser. People don't like businesses muscling in on these types of sites as it is aimed at a community audience, so you have to tread carefully. It is very much like social media marketing in this respect.

Writing your advert

Your adverts should be short and to the point. Your title should contain the key word of the product you are selling and the body of your adverts should be concise, describing your product accurately. Keep it simple and clean, avoiding clutter and too many different colors. A plain white background with a dark colored font is usually a safe bet and is easier on the eyes than bright colored fonts and dark backgrounds.

Promoting and managing your adverts

Don't just rely on your listing on craigslist, tell everyone about your advert by including a link in all your e-mails and on your social media postings. Just like selling on eBay or Amazon, you have to market your post.

Your adverts will need to be managed carefully if you are aiming to stay at the top of the list. Keep a daily check on where your advert is situated and coordinate your posted, reposted and deleted adverts. Also consider the geographical area that you post to -- if you can mail your product, then you have a better chance of selling it if you can appeal to a wider audience. Don’t forget, you can only post an item to one local area at a time but you could advertise different products in different areas and rotate them.

With a good headline, an eye-catching photograph and a clear and descriptive advert that is promoted well and kept towards the top of the listings, you have the best chance of selling your products and making some extra cash.