Craigslist is one of the highest trafficked sites on the internet, but very few people take advantage of its potential. Most people will give it a try because it’s free but quickly become frustrated with things like ghosting and flagging and give up.
I’ve been using Craigslist successfully though for over a year and although it took a while to figure it out, now that I know how to use it correctly it’s become a consistent source of leads and sales that literally only takes a few seconds a day.
In this post I’m going to show you 5 easy steps that will show you exactly how to make money on Craigslist.
#1 Beating Craigslist Ghosting
Craigslist ghosting is probably the #1 source of frustration and reason for giving up. If you’ve never heard of Craigslist ghosting, it’s simply a term to describe Craigslist’s spam filters. They have very sophisticated spam filters and they won’t tell you when your ad has been rejected, they’ll simply ghost it.
This means they’ll send you a confirmation message saying everything is fine and if you click on the link to view your ad it will even display as if it’s live. But if you search for your ad on the site it won’t actually be there… it’s been ghosted.
There is absolutely no way to know 100% for sure what triggers Craigslist’s spam filters but here are some guidelines I follow:
1) Only post in your city.
2) Only post in 1 category.
3) Only have 1 live ad at a time (you can renew it every other day anyway so 1 is all you need).
4) Text ads – Avoid trigger words like “make money”, “cash”, “free”, “MLM” etc.
5) Image ads – It’s better to host your image on your own domain than using a public hosting service.
Remember: Follow those guidelines, always check to MAKE SURE your ad is up by searching for it in the section you posted in, and renew your ad every 2 days.
#2 Posting In The Right Category
If you’re promoting a business opportunity you may think that the small biz section is the right place to advertise. The problem with that category though is that it is way over saturated and very unresponsive. You can get some response there, but it probably won’t be very good.
The jobs section on the other hand is very responsive. I usually use the customer service section, but marketing and sales will work too.
The problem with marketing in the job section is that your ad really doesn’t belong there. Because of this, you need to use a very specific kind of ad with the right wording to attract the right people, let those looking for a traditional job know you’re not trying to trick them, and avoid the flaggers.
#3 Beating The Flaggers
95% of people who flag your ads will be people who are just searching through the ads quickly looking for anything that looks like it doesn’t belong in the jobs section. If you post a typical hyped up sales copy kind of advertisement, it’s going to get flagged every time.
Here’s a checklist for writing the right kind of ad:
1) DO NOT say it is a job. You aren’t trying to trick people into getting on your list. If someone is looking for traditional employment and has no interest in building a home business, they aren’t your target market anyway. They’re just going to complain when they start getting your autoresponders and everybody loses.
2) Don’t make it sound like a biz op. Craigslist is not a place to pitch… traditional sales copy won’t work here, it’ll just get flagged.
3) Simply let them know what you have. You have a legitimate opportunity that is internet based, can be worked from home, and can help them make some additional income or make a transition out of the work force if they so choose.
A statement like this is good: “We specialize in helping people transition into the home business industry.”
This way they know that this is not an offer for a job, but they aren’t offended enough by abrasive sales copy to go flag your ad.
I do have complete ads that I provide to my team as well, but if I posted those here everyone would be using them and they wouldn’t work anymore.
#4 Marketing The Right Offer
Even if you can get an ad up and get it to stick, you aren’t going to make any money on Craigslist if you aren’t marketing the right offer.
You need something that’s low cost and easy to get started. You need to have systems in place for your new members to plug into because most of the people coming from Craigslist aren’t going to have much prior experience.
Although we’re aligned with several programs, the one that’s consistently worked the best on Craigslist is this Zero Cost Opportunity. Because it’s free to join and so easy to get into profit, we’ve seen very good conversions marketing this on CL.
#5 Gaming Craigslist
If you were to pay for some Craigslist training what you would likely get is a tutorial on how to game the system using things like IP spoofing software, proxy servers, and fake phone numbers to get around phone verification.
I wouldn’t recommend going that route though myself. It’s a headache to set up and eventually you’re probably going to either get tired of doing it or get kicked off CL completely.
If you’re wanting to make CL your main marketing strategy then it might be worth looking into purchasing some training like that, but what I’ve shown you here is how to make money on Craigslist without trying to cheat the system.
Are you going to get 50 leads a day…no. But I’ve found that Craigslist works best as a supplemental strategy, not a main one. I typically get somewhere around 80-90 leads a month by simply logging into CL for 10 seconds every other day to renew my ad.
It’s not going to make me rich, but that’s ok… that’s not the goal. The goal is to find highly leveraged marketing strategies that produce a high ROI (return on investment). And by using CL the way I’ve outlined in this post, it definitely fits the bill.
Hopefully you’ve received value from this post and if you have any questions or comments for me, leave them in the comment form below.
Yours In Success,
🙂 Shawn Smith
PS… And if you haven’t done so yet, opt in and get instant access to the Zero Cost Program that we use to clean up on Craigslist.