It started out as a quick and easy way for bargain-shoppers in the San Francisco Bay Area to find a good deal. Now, Craigslist has become a must-have weapon in the arsenal of any serious online marketer.
Here are the upsides to using Craigslist as a Marketing Tool:
*It’s Free (at the time of this article writing)
In business, anything that works to build your business at no charge, is a good thing!
*Its flooded with free traffic
The site is consistently in the top 50 of all web sites worldwide in terms of traffic. In the US, it tends to rank in the top 10 or 15.
*The people who are there are already shopping
This is one of the best things about Craigslist. The people who come there are already looking for something. If you can find a good category that is related to what you are marketing, you can get great results by just posting an ad for your own home-based business’ product or service next to those that are already there.
*It can be the equivalent of putting an add in 100+ major newspapers all at once
Because the Craigslist directories are broken up by locality, you have the ability to post in many localities all at once for absolutely free.
This is just like posting an ad in every major and regional newspaper in the land. You do the math on the cost difference!
*You can post over and over
An ad on Craig’s List stays up for as little as 48 hours and as long as a couple of weeks, depending on the category. You can post over and over, thereby creating a consistent presence to be viewed by the tidal wave of traffic streaming through each day.
…And for the downsides (they exist, but are minimal in comparison to the upsides!)
*You’ll have to keep up with the changes
Because of pesky spammers, legitimate business people like you and I must constantly be on the lookout for new changes in the way that things are done at Craigslist very much in the same way that an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert must stay on top of what is happening at Google.
Doing this will mean staying in constant communication with other folks who post on Craigslist. Forums and discussion boards on Craigslist are the best way to do this for your home-based business.
*Its more of an art than a science
There is no one who can give you a “holy grail” to being able to be successful with Craigslist. In order to accomplish this, you will need to get lots of information from credible sources, and then start trying things for yourself.
Some things will work well for you, and others won’t. Once you have a good foundation of the basics, you’ll need to figure out your own “mojo” to get it to all come together successfully for your home-based business.
SOME TIPS FOR POSTING ON CRAIGSLIST
Tip #1) Use Power Posting Software
You want to automate your home-based business processes as much as possible. In order to really make Craigslist work for you, you will need to do a LOT of posting on a VERY regular basis. I’m talking about HUNDREDS of ads placed every single week.
You don’t want to make Craigslist a full-time job! You need that time to run the other parts of your business. Plus, if you spend THAT kind of time on it, your results won’t be worth it.
It takes big numbers to do well on Craigslist due to the finicky nature of the market that is there. You want to setup system that will allow you to click one button and do other things while the system does the posting for you.
This is called Power Posting. And the software that I use is called Ad Master. I have found it to be amazingly and effective. I’ve done everything from work out at the gym, write articles, cook, do laundry, and even sleep while this software has posted as many as 200 articles a day for me.
Tip #2) Use Craigslist Accounts instead of Raw Email Accounts
You can go on CL and post an ad using your email address. However, when you do this it ads an extra step of email verification (to make sure you aren’t a spam machine).
This process is supposed to be automated, so that’s not how you want to do it. There is, however, a better way.
When you post directly from a CL account, there is no additional verification. However, there is a caveat. In order to post any many CL categories, you must have a phone verified account. And only one phone number can be assigned to one individual account.
Add this to the fact that to avoid having your accounts shut down, you’ll only want to post one ad PER CL account once every 48 hours, and you can clearly see the logistical challenge here.
The best way to set up your CL accounts is to have someone set them up for you. There are people who will set up non-phone verified accounts for posting in categories that do not require the phone-verified variety. Usually you can get about 100 of these for about $20.
Then you will want a contact or two who can get you phone-verified accounts. Expect to pay about $7-$10 per account if you buy a small number of accounts, and about $3 to $5 per account once you get close to buying 100+ at a time.
In the forums, you should have no trouble being referring to some good contacts to set these accounts up for you.
Tip #3) Use a Wireless Air card or USB Modem for Internet Access
One of the tricks that CL has used to keep spammers out is tracking the IP address of the poster.
If you are unfamiliar with what this is, an IP address is like a social security number for your computer on the world wide network.
So what this means is that even after you have taken the time to get hundreds of phone and non-phone verified accounts and invested in power posting software, if you post multiple ads from the same IP address, you run the risk of having your IP address blocked, and then you’re stuck!
The best way to avoid this is to get a wireless air card or USB modem from your current wireless provider. Your power posting software should have the capability to disconnect from the Internet and change CL accounts after each post.
What’s great about this is when you are using an air card or USB modem to connect to the net, it creates a brand new IP address for each connection!
Tip #4) Use a MUCH randomization as Possible
As a general rule of thumb, you want to use as much randomization as possible. Random headlines, random IP addresses, and random CL accounts. The more of a predictable pattern you develop, the easier it will be for CL to shut you down.
I even request that the PASSWORDS for my CL accounts are randomized. I once had CL block every account of mine that had the same password—even if the accounts themselves were totally different!
At the time, this little snub cost me 100 accounts. Luckily, they were non-phone verified accounts that had cost me less than $20, but believe you me I learned my lesson.
Tip #5) Search Google for Craigslist Forums and Build Relationships
This will be one of the most important parts of your strategy. Being an active part of the “power posting community” will ensure that you are kept abreast of all of the latest changes that you will need to respond to in order to be able to continue posting successfully.
Usually there will also be information how to get around the new changes in these forums as well.
Tip #6) Be Prepared to Change Your Strategy OFTEN
Constant change is just a part of power posting on CL. However, if you follow the tips in this article, you should be well equipped to keep up with them.
The GOOD news about all of this is that the “hardest” part of marketing on CL is just making sure that you are set up properly.
The right kinds of accounts, the right kind of software, the right kind of Internet access, etc.
After that, its literally a game of “push a button and go!”
To Your Amazing Success,