If you’re starting a home based business and are looking for inexpensive ways to market your business, try CraigsList. CraigsList has an insane amount of traffic and in most cases, the advertising is free. CraigsList only charges money for advertising in the employment categories and in some markets, the housing categories. You usually won’t be interested in these. Here are some tips for maximizing your CraigsList advertising
Use Keywords in Titles – Craigslist titles allow for 70 characters. It’s important to squeeze the rights words in there. The reason this is important is that while the default CraigsList search will look in both the body and the title, the people who browse the listings will only see the title. This means the title should have the word or words they are looking for or they won’t click on your ad.
Run Variations – Each listing on CraigsList runs for 7 days. You cannot post the same ad until the one that’s running has expired. The way around this is to run several variations of your ad. They must each be different enough that the CraigsList duplicate ad filter won’t catch it so you have a bit of work to create several. What I do is have 7 different variations of an ad and each one is very different. One for each day of the week. Then I can just re-use each one when it’s expired. CraigsList shows things in reverse chronological order so that means your ad will drop down the page and off as it gets older. That’s why it’s a good idea to run several. Some people even run several per day but that may be overkill.
For Sale – Try to fit your ad under the “For Sale” categories even if you are selling a service. You might ask why do that when there is a Services category? Here is why. The default CraigsList search is set to the “For Sale” categories and most people never change the default. That means you have a better chance to reach those people who use keywords to search for what they want. The downside is that you would lose those people who do browse the service categories. Another reason for variations!
Setup an Account and Email – You don’t have to set up an account with CraigsList, but you should. It doesn’t cost anything to set one up and it helps to keep track of what you’ve done. It also makes it easier to reuse ads that you’ve already run. Also set yourself with a free email for Craigslist as this activity will eventually bring in some spam. You can get a free Gmail, Yahoo, or Microsoft Live email account for this purpose.
CraigsList is one the most visited websites on the web (it’s among the 10 most visited sites) so why not spend a few minutes each day using it to gather leads, contacts, or customers for your home based business?