Marketing On Craigslist Can Be A Goldmine If You Know How

So eventually, almost everyone who’s involved in Internet Marketing will invariably turn to or wonder about the humongous classified ad site which is Craigslist, and how they can properly utilize it. Some of these queries arise based on claims and reports that there are numerous marketers who are successfully marketing targeted traffic to say, CPA offers, and making money.

Craigslist can be a consistent and decent source for online traffic. However, it is a very hands on source, and even if you’ve developed a good system, it always has a problem of the traffic potentially dropping to ‘absolute zero’ without warning. Building your entire internet marketing business based on Craigslist traffic can be like building it on top a house of cards, a potential for instant collapse. But, if you do it right, Craigslist can be a very good free source of traffic to get any campaign rolling.

So With The Fair Warning, Here Is A Take Using Craigslist:
The Not So Great

One method that a lot of people have used to some success is by using the power of traffic that is Craigslist by posting, which most consider spamming, endless posts on Craigslist’s “Looking for Relationships’ section, looking for single men and women. At times, these ads are posted by guys posing as women and they are directed to their CPA dating site in which they get a fee for the usually free registrations.

Craigslist now considers this blatant spamming and thus caused them to make changes to stop it, as it weakens the community. This also makes it a lot more difficult for legitimate single people to use Craigslists for the same purposes.

It is recommended that you not use this method of misleading people this way, as the intention from your end is not completely genuine.

The Kinda Bad Method
Not too long ago, there was this article in a forum of someone using this technique to market on Craigslist and the author claim he/she was making $2K per month for the effort. Although the system works, as mentioned, the operating foundation is very fragile.


Again, this method is not really the proper way to build a solid business, but under the proper circumstances, it may be a good source for temporary, brief income or a badly needed injection of cash for a couple of months. It’s called “the kinda bad method” since it’s against Craiglists TOS as well as the CPAs affiliate program ToS.

So the method is this. Start what is known as a BANS Store. A BANS site is short for Build A Niche Store, a software program designed to build turnkey ebay stores selling virtually anything that ebay sells. For this example, the author created a ‘Hannah Montana’ concert ticket site. So focused Craigslist traffic was directed to the BANS site with ads, advertising there were tickets available for each of her concert venues and the various cities. This was time consuming as there were a heck of a lot of concert sites on her tour. So an ad was run in a specific concert city once every three days, and there were a LOT of variations, so the ads were rarely flagged. That seemed to work so the same method was used in other niches and markets.

So again, this method is extremely time consuming as the ads has to be placed individually. You can always invest in some auto-posting software to free up some time and go as far as buying or using multiple computers to multiply the process. However, ebay may eventually question what you are doing if you have a sudden spike in impressions or sales, so proceed at risk.

In June 2008, eBay decided to take over their own affiliate program, in which they clearly stated that posting this method on Craigslist was not permitted.

There are however other affiliate programs, one’s that specifically sell tickets where this same method would work. Another battle however, is the constant changes that Craigslist makes to combat this type of thing.

The one key is similar to all types of marketing – find a market that is hungry and put what they are looking for in front of them and once they hit Craigslist, you know they are ready to buy with credit card in hand.

What Works On Craiglist
One method which is completely legitimate and does not offend anyone is running some ads on Craigslist and giving away something free they could download, like a free ebook. You run an ad only in a specific city, like say, Dallas, once every 10 days or so, and again, this is time consuming as there are a large pool of ads used.

If you make your ads as humanly and real as possible, and you are giving the readers something free and of real value, the ads should never get flagged as spam by the eagle eyes of Craigslist.

Make sure you limit running the ads no more than every 1o days or so, as that seems like the best conversion rate.

So for them to get the free ebook, all they are required to do is fill out a quick, Name and Email form, and you should be able to collect hundreds of subscribers to your newsletter each month. You can then use this list to promote other programs such as CPA programs or ebooks written by you, a trusted source. These are however freebie seekers, so a bit of massaging and then the upsell may be required.


This again takes a bit of elbow grease, most of it being manual labor, but it works and it does beat the alternative.

The ‘Nuts n Bolts’ Of It
Here is a breakdown on how to market to the massive population which is Craigslist. Every ad on Craigslists has to be different and unique. If you try to post an identical ad or one thats even similar to something you posted several days back, it will be blocked and flagged as a duplicate ad.

If you use the similar text on too many ads, it will be considered spam by Craigslist and eventually your links … your URL, or email and IP address will be whats know as “ghosted.” The ghosted ads appear like they have been posted, but they really never show up on their site. So because of this, you have to have a LOT of different email addresses, as well as lots of domain names, and you will have to change your IP address every 5-6 ads. A pain right?

Your ads which are flagged by community members and deemed as spam are also taken down immediately. This is the reason why your ads should be written as personal and real as possible instead of it sounding like a sales letter.

Craigslist also keeps upgrading its captcha system they use and recently its hard to crack by using automated software. If you decide to use auto posting software, it may be almost impossible now.

Is It Worth It
As mentioned, Craigslist can be and excellent source of short term traffic, either to build an email list or directing traffic to a product for immediate income. However, its getting pretty volatile, and because of that, its not a very good foundation to build your business on.

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