How to Advertise on Craigslist Effectively


craigslist homepage

If your Craigslist ads are not converting, then they might benefit from some rework. So, I’ll share some I’ll battle-tested ideas to turn things around for you.

You can expect a little more than the average competition for attention for a platform that publishes millions of new ads monthly and marketers clamoring to reach over 60 million users.

I’ll break this article into two parts:

So let’s get to it.

5 Easy Steps to Post Ads on Craigslist

The Craigslist website is simple and easy to navigate. You don’t need special skills to post ads on the platform. 

And since post doesn’t cost money except you post ads for specific locations, Craigslist doesn’t cost money to join as well.

I’ll show you how to post ads on Craigslist in 5 easy steps. 

1. Visit Craigslist Homepage for Your Location

craigslist location

Craigslist serves over 500 different cities cutting across 70 countries. Choose Craigslist for your specific location. This choice will help you target the right audience closest to you. 

Find yours here

Then proceed to the homepage to get started with your post. 

You can post ads on Craigslist without setting up an account. But, you should have an account to grant you easier access, post tracking privileges, and more.

2. Post to Classified

create a post on craigslist

Once you’ve determined the Craigslist for your location, click ‘create a posting’ on the homepage to post classified. 

3. Choose a Suitable Post Category

choose a suitable category

Pick a post category that best captures your offering and click ‘continue.’ 

You’re only allowed one post category per time on Craigslist. But, you can create more posts in other categories after 48 hours. 

However, some categories such as ‘for sale by owner’ open up subcategories to choose from. 

4. Create Post

create post

Creating Craigslist posts is easy. The posting process gets even easier now that you understand how to create effective ads. 

Add a captivating title to your post, including your pricing information and exact location. 

Your product description is an essential aspect of your post creation. This part of your post is where you infuse keywords, meta-descriptions, and tags. 

Finally, add specific product details and your contact info in the provided spaces.

Go on to add photos where necessary.

5. Confirm Your Post

Review your post and check for errors or omissions.

Once you’ve confirmed everything you’ve written is correct, submit your post by clicking ‘publish.’

You’ll receive a post-confirmation email. 

Your post should be published within 15 minutes if you’ve complied with all community and posting rules. 

9 Actionable Tips to Boost Your Craigslist Ads

craigslist postings conditions

Everyone can post ads on Craigslist for free, except for real estate listings in some locations.

If your craigslist ad is not converting, you need to work harder to drive traffic to your ads. You can take the following tips to boost your ad conversion.

1. Study Other Sellers

Research what other sellers of similar products or services as yours are saying on Craigslist. Consider their prices and how they describe these products or services in their ads.

Use this information to construct your killer ad. 

2. Craft a Powerful Post Title

craigslist title

Your post title is everything on Craigslist. It’s usually the first thing prospective buyers notice.

Keep your post title catchy, informative, and concise. The example below, “Lovely 3-bedroom condo with a breathtaking view,” inspires the reader to open the ad and read the content.

3. Include Keywords and Tags in Your Ad

Infuse relevant keywords and tags in your ads to boost conversion. 

Keywords point customers in the direction of your post faster. Google keywords related to your product or service offering.

For example, consider including words like ‘short let apartment,’ ‘for sale,’ ‘affordable home,’ etc., in your property listing ad.

4. Incorporate Photos into Ads

Photos have a more striking and immediate impact on people than text, which is the reality on Craigslist. 

Posts with images cause readers to stop and pay attention; marketers or advertisers believe posts with photos trigger 2.3X more engagements than those without images. 

Use clear, quality product photos in your Craiglist ad. 

But, ensure to add more text than images to avoid flagging your post as spam. 

5. Add Backlinks

If you post multiple ads on Craigslist, cross-promote on every ad. 

Include links that open up other ads created by you on the platform so customers can see and patronize those products or services. 

6. Link to Your Website

If you have a business website, add a link that takes visitors directly to your product or service page in your Craiglist ad. 

Buyers can take a tour of your website and see other services that you render.

An external link can help generate traffic to your website while improving the conversion rate

7. Retouch Ads Regularly

Your old ads can get lost in the pile of more recent ones bidding for attention.

Review and retouch ads every few days by tweaking descriptions, infusing newer keywords, and changing post headlines. 

8. Add a Phone Number

add phone number

Besides email, customers can reach you faster when you include your phone number in ads.

Check the box titled ‘show my phone number’ when creating your post on Craigslist.

Craigslist allows you to decide whether prospective customers should call or send a text.

9. Discard Old Ads

As per Craigslist’s policy, the platform does not republish ads posted longer than 48 hours. Newer ads push those ads below the fold to create space for more recent ads. 

Delete old ads and replace them with new ones to gain first-page priority on Craigslist.

And no, you can’t post duplicate ad copy again, or your post will catch the attention of the platform’s moderates, and they’ll flag it as spam. 

Start Advertising on Craigslist

Craigslist offers a massive market for advertisers. And with the right advertising effort, you could get buyers, qualified leads, or hires the appropriate people for any task.

Millions of buyers search for local products, housing listings, jobs, and services posted daily on the platform. 

Effective Craigslist advertising boosts your chances of higher conversions. Most of the ideas here are straightforward—just like advertising on the platform—take one idea and implement it, one after the other.

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