Craigslist Advertising Tips

About Craigslist Marketing

So, just how big of a marketing opportunity is craigslist anyway? Consider these statistics from the craigslist fact sheet:

  • Craigslist has at least 60 million monthly users in the United States alone
  • Craigslist’s website drives 50 billion page views each month
  • There are more than 700 local craigslist sites in 70 countries

So, is craigslist an outdated list of classified ads? Certainly not.

Although the website’s interface has changed little in thirteen years, its online reach has gone international. Businesses should consider finding ways to use the website and directory for finding new employees, attracting tenants and buyers, or advertising a product or service. In fact, businesses can advertise for free, as long they’re not housing or hiring ads.

Here are a few tips on how any business can make the most out of their marketing efforts on craigslist.


Post and Repost your Ad

Craigslist’s algorithm tends to favor newer listings over older ones, so it’s fairly common to see marketers and businesses repost their ad for more visibility. However, craigslist does employ a few measures to prevent spammers and bots from dominating the results pages. For example, you cannot repost a listing within 48 hours, otherwise, it may not show up on the results page. Ads also expire after 30 days, ensuring no ads stick around forever.

Thankfully there are a few workarounds. Some people only leave an ad up for a day, delete it, then repost it with a slightly altered copy the next day. This avoids the 48-hour limit while ensuring it receives additional traffic from the update. Consider using variations of an ad each time you repost it, to keep the content fresh and to avoid getting flagged.

Can you advertise your business on Craigslist?

                    Craigslist Advertising
                    Craigslist Advertising

Yes! You Can. Placing ads in your small business will let you promote it. Your services or products to Craigslist customers regionally and across the USA. Craigslist asks that you only post your commercial enterprise! Advert within the website’s “carrier offered” category.

Developing your ad post‌

As you brainstorm your post, take a look around Craigslist’s help forum. There are tips on posting ads, the small fees businesses pay when posting, and the rules you need to follow to avoid getting banned.

The fact that Craigslist ads are user-moderated is good since you won’t have to worry so much about putting out a bunch of ads — you just need to make yours the best it can be. That includes writing clean copy free of typos and grammatical errors.

If it’s relevant, include images in your post. If you run a dog grooming business, have photos of the store, pictures of happy dogs, of your employees, or anything else that lets people know you’re legitimate.

Craigslist advertising relies largely on flagging by other users to alert the system to posts that violate its terms of service. Other platform users can flag prohibited posts, and if they receive enough flags, they get automatically removed.

Craigslist prohibits items that include tobacco, firearms, the promotion of sex trafficking, and a whole list of other things you can see here. Sometimes, since the system is automated, legitimate ads get taken down. If that happens, the ad can be reposted if it’s reworded appropriately, but you’ll need to provide the ad information to Craigslist’s help department.

To prevent your ads from being flagged and deleted, create separate ads for each city that you post in. Ads that don’t indicate a business is local to that city can get flagged and taken down. Avoid copying and pasting the same ad to different pages, as this will make you look like a bot, which makes you more likely to get flagged.

Focus on specific products or services that you offer and rotate ads for each of them regularly. Don’t upload the same ad twice during a 48-hour period, and always delete the old ad before uploading the new one.

Is Craigslist Safe For Marketing?

A secure vicinity to promote Your Stuff? Craigslist may not endorse for courting. However, it could be very beneficial for helping useless stuff. But, it’s far vital which you take some personal protection tips under consideration before using it. By no means a wire or transmit funds online, and most effective buy items that you could pick up in person.

HTML Tag Recommendations

<big> tag

The <big> tag enlarges the text that is put within it. To use this tag, we recommend putting <big> in the beginning of your listing, and put </big> at the end of your listing to close the tag.

<u> tag

The <u> tag will underline the text that is put within it, so we recommend using it when you want to emphasize something in your ad. A good use case for this is on your phone number/call to action.

Now that we have reviewed all of the main aspects that go into writing a good Craigslist ad for services, here is a high quality handyman ad body example:


Hi, my name is Joe and I am a jack of almost all trades. I pride myself on doing quality and affordable work for my clients.

Some of my services include:

  • Roofing
  • Painting
  • Tree work
  • Landscaping
  • (include at least 20 more services using keyword related verb-age)

Call me today for a free estimate!

<u>(phone number)</u>


Keywords: (Include 10+ more keywords)

Take advantage of the forums‌

Unlike other selling platforms like Amazon or eBay, Craigslist has a highly-trafficked forum section. You can use this area of the site to talk with other sellers and get to know the lay of the land. Or you can communicate with people looking to buy.

Take some time to browse the forum in your category or area every now and then to answer questions or contribute to a discussion. It can help establish an authoritative, ethical voice for your business.

Keep in Touch with the Clients

When you do a job, collect the customers’ information. You can use this information to stay in touch with your customers by sending them emails on their birthday and holidays, and special promotions (every once in awhile) for example. This will keep you at the top of their minds, and make them more likely to hire you for future work.

What to Write For Immediate Calls

In the next email you will learn what to write in your ad to make your prospect immediately pick up his phone and dial your number.

It is easy to spot a first-time advertiser because the copy simply screams “amateur,” “one guy,” or “one day fraud.” Don’t want your ad to invoke such ideas?

Stay tuned.

How to Advertise on Craigslist

Craigslist marketing might seem hard, but is a fairly simple and straightforward process that anyone can do. The key is in the posting regimen.

If you have a quick peruse through your local services section on craigslist, you will quickly see how many businesses are using this tactic.

When posting, the thing to remember is that you can only post 2 new ads, every other day. Additionally, you can repost one old post, and renew every post.

Ready to learn how?

Get Your Own Account

In order to start posting ads on craigslist, you need to get a phone verified account. Head on over and sign up.

Once you have signed up, go ahead and click your location. You should have a screen similar to this, but with your area listed.

Before we actually post, I want to go over a couple details to keep your account safe and your ads live.

 You can only post to the cities listed from withi

  1. You can only post to the cities listed from within your account. (seen in orange in image above – yours will be different)
  2. Only 2 new ads can be placed every other day
  3. Repost 1 expired post every other day
  4. Renew all eligible posts every other day

It is important that you follow the posting maximu

It is important that you follow the posting maximums in order to effectively advertise on craigslist. They will let you believe you are getting 5 or more posts out per day. And they will show you the live posts.

It happens through the use of a technique called ghosting. Essentially, they show you the live ad. Only you though. It’s junk, spammed, blocked, outskie! But they let you think it’s all good.

Eventually, they will block every post from you and possibly ban your account.

Follow the directions for posting laid forth here and you will have a whole page of live ads within 2 months.

Admittedly, this account shows some slacking. Normally, it would be a full green page and yours can be too.

Where to Advertise on Craigslist

As in the first note above, you can only post to the cities that are located in your area. Your area, is the area you were in when you signed up.

You can get away with posting to any city listed, but I like to keep it to a few. Generally the largest cities in your area will be the best option.

A decent sized city with no competition can also be a gold mine. Essentially, every area can generate leads.

Bigger cities equal bigger numbers of course though.

Making Your First Post

An easy way to make a post is to simply click “post to classifieds”. I want to get you used to using the “my account” button instead, since we will always have renewals anyway.

Go ahead and click my account now.

Go ahead and click my account now.

This takes you to the main area of your account. To create our first post, we need to choose our city from the dropdown (#2 in figure).

The dropdown is every city, not just your region.

The dropdown is every city, not just your region. Be sure that you do not choose a city outside your area mentioned earlier.

Once you have your city selected, click the “go” button.

Choose a Post Type

On this screen, you choose the post type. In most

On this screen, you choose the post type. In most cases, you will choose “service offered” or maybe “gig offered” depending on what you will advertise on craigslist.

One thing to keep in mind. You can post an ad anywhere. The more “out of place” viewers find it though, the more likely it gets flagged.

Flagging happens, but our goal is live ads. The more we do to slide by those that like to flag people, the better so let’s play nice.

Once you choose your post type, click “continue”. The next step is choosing a post category for your craigslist ad.

Choose a Post Category

The selection shown is the result of choosing serv

The selection shown is the result of choosing services offered, as mentioned earlier. As you can see, the selection is large to accommodate many types of services.

Go ahead and choose one that makes sense to you. For instance, if you are an HVAC contractor, it wouldn’t make much sense to post in the “writing/editing/translation section”.

Real estate services would be a great spot though. You could also use just about any other section in this list. The reason, any business posting in those sections also has a home or business location that needs heat!

This wouldn’t be the same for many other business types though.

Now, it’s time to actually build our ad.

The Anatomy of a Craigslist Ad

A craigslist ad has 3 entries that must be made in order to complete a listing.

  1. The posting title
  2. The postal code
  3. The posting body

Choosing the Title to Advertise on Craigslist

Choosing the Title to Advertise on Craigslist

The title is the most important part of any craigslist ad (#1). It is the clickable link in the sea of other mundane ads.

You have to make it stand out. I don’t mean pasting a bunch of bull shit peace signs either.

Is it ok to drop 1 entity, sure. The ace of spades always draws a look. But don’t over do it.

Add the Zip Code

One thing to note here, this isn’t your personal zip code (#2). This should go without saying, but I will make light of it anyway.

If you are posting to another city in your region, make sure you use an appropriate zip code.

Yes, that may mean searching for the zip code of a city if you don’t know it. Remember, it’s free marketing, not effortless marketing.

Make Your Posting Body SEO Friendly

The same could be said of the title as both are searchable. The posting body (#3) can only be seen once a user clicks through to the ad though.

Make a body with a lot of content. Use terms relevant to your trade and your area.

Perhaps the most important part of the title and description is focus. Your ads needs a reason.

If you want to generate leads from your ads, SOLVE PROBLEMS!

Yeah, it isn’t about you. Put your name out there, but do so in a smart way.

People are searching for service providers on craigslist because they want someone local to them. And they likely don’t want a giant chain company.

They want the little guy. They need you!

Additional Craigslist Ad Details

Additional Craigslist Ad Details

As mentioned, there are 3 must fill fields on the craigslist ad.

There are several others though, that you may fill out if you like.

The “specific location” field allows you to enter a city, town, or actually anything. You can use a keyword, although I don’t think it will have any benefit aside from being visible on the listing.

Next is the license section, a radio checkbox. This makes sense for some fields such as various home contractors.

You can see a screenshot of the information as it After that, you can enter contact information that is only visible when the viewer clicks the “reply” button.

You can see a screenshot of the information as it lives on an ad. The personal contact information on this ad has been blurred for privacy purposes.

The reason this method of entering contact information is simple. It can’t get scraped.

If you click “reply”, you will be forced to enter a captcha and prove you are not a bot. That’s great since you don’t want your info everywhere to post these ads.

After all, you do get enough spam already right?

The final section is the “show on maps” area. You may enter a location if it makes sense. Brick and mortar locations would surely want to take advantage. If not, unselect the box.

Add Your Images

The images are sometimes the most important piece

The images are sometimes the most important piece of the ad. Depending on what you advertise, you could earn their trust right now.

Key takeaways for images are simple. If it doesn’t add to the overall trust of your brand, don’t show it. You can enter up to 24 images.

That being said, some people will not click an ad with no thumbnail, so consider adding a square high resolution logo for your brand.

When complete, click “done with images”.

Preview Your Craigslist Ad

This is the preview screen, which allows you to ta

This is the preview screen, which allows you to take a look at what the live ad will display like.

Make sure that you read through the title and description to check for errors.

For this post, I quickly put up a post. Your screenshot should have a solid title of more length.

And your posting body should look like an article! No kidding, don’t be afraid to drop a text bomb in here.

The key is to make the very beginning to the point so a reader can get “the jist” right away.

Once you are done, go ahead and click “publish”.

Go Rinse and Repeat

Go Rinse and Repeat

You did it! Your first free advertisement of craigslist is officially live on the internet. Now go do it again!

After all, I said you could do it 2 times right? You get those two chances today, and many more free chances in the future so take advantage.

Let’s Repost an Expired Listing

Craigslist posts only have a lifetime of 45 days. Once they expire, they are listed below your live ads in your account. They aren’t dead though.

Click “repost” next to your chosen ad. On the next screen, scroll down and click continue. Finally, click the publish button to repost the ad to live status.

You can repost (#3) 1 ad every other day. There is an exception though, it can’t be a duplicate.

For instance, you have 2 expired ads from your first day. You can repost one of them each time when they become eligible. You can not repost any more than one time though.

Be careful too, you will get away with it. Eventually, maybe even immediately the ad will get ghosted. A mistake is reasonable, but a habit is bad.

What I mean, you may get lucky once but I would just be careful to avoid this. It can happen since reposting an expired ad does not remove it from the expired list.

Don’t Forget to Renew Your Old Posts

We touched on this before. It’s listed as #4

We touched on this before. It’s listed as #4 above, the renewal process.

An ad on craigslist has a “new shelf life” of 48 hours. After that, you can renew the listing and get it lifted to the top of the pile.

When I say 48 hours, I mean that many. Good practices is to do this first thing when you wake up on day 1. Every other day, start a minute or more later than last time to ensure you can post new ads and renew old ones in the same visit.

The renewal process is simple, just click the link. That brings up a screen such as the one below.

You simply need to click your username in the uppe

You simply need to click your username in the upper right corner to get back out to the dashboard. Renew every post in your list.

Use Craigslist to Make it Rain

When you start to advertise on craigslist, you will quickly start to make short work of the task. In just a couple minutes while your coffee cools, you can have the job done.

Keeping a spreadsheet of ads and ideas can help speed up the process. Better yet, you could get someone else doing this for you! Let us know if you need help with this or any other local digital marketing services.

I apologize for not having the time to open comments on these posts. Feel free to hit me up on social media if you have any questions. Maybe you could help out and share this post as well.

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Contact New? Confused? Don’t know where to start? Simply contact me and start ASKING QUESTIONS. I’ll be glad to help and point you in the right direction.


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