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Craigslist is the number one free classified ad site in the world today. Although not all of their ads are free, most of them are, and if you’re just starting off with an online business, this is definitely a site you want to include in your internet marketing arsenal.
Although many sell personal items on this site, it’s also a great place to market your business. The most important thing to remember is to not be too commercial in your ads. Craigslist accepts commercial ads, but they don’t want you to resort to hype in promoting your offers. In other words, present a good offer and make it straightforward. This is key to getting your ads accepted.
The first step in getting started on this website is to sign up for an account. You don’t need an account to market on this website, but if you don’t have an account, you will find that you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get your ads accepted. Sign up for an account and then get it verified. Then when you are ready to post, you’ll have all the administrative details taken care of.
There are actually three ways to market your business on Craigslist: ads, community, and forums. Ads and forums are self-explanatory, but the community is a little known area most don’t know about. This is where you may post press releases about your business. These are announcements, and you can use this to market your business.
Just remember to give it a local angle as Craigslist is about marketing locally. This doesn’t mean you can’t post ads in other geographical areas. You can, but if you want to get the most from the ads, press releases, and forum posts you make, then you’ll want a local angle. (Your account information will work for both your ads and forum posts. Just make sure you choose a handle or username for the forum that reflects your business.)
Next, you will want to start writing your ads, forum posts, and a press release. Once you have these materials ready, then start posting. Don’t go crazy. Each ad you post must be unique. Your ad will only be accepted in one geographical location. Make sure you include a link in every forum post you make. Just remember that links will not be clickable until seven days after you have signed up for your account. This is Craigslist’s way of cutting down on spam.
I recommend you post to the forum and classifieds on a daily basis. One or two ads and forum posts is fine. You can build these up over time. Your ads will expire after 45 days so make sure you renew them. Forum posts never expire, so just keep posting.
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