Chapter 55

Online Classified Advertising

What's the ugliest website on the Internet? My vote goes to Craigslist!

Craigslist is one of the most basic websites imaginable. It's nothing more than a huge bulletin board. No graphics. No fancy colors. Just text links and hundreds of thousands of advertisements. But as of this writing, it's the 10th most popular website in America (according to Alexa). Craigslist is a raging river. It's an online destination with tons of traffic. The website boasts more than 50 million visitors self-publishing more than 30 million classified ads every month. Is there a way to leverage that traffic and gain some exposure? Absolutely. Let's take a look.

As you probably know, Craigslist posts the most recent ad at the top and all the other ads in reverse chronological order down the page. When you first post your ad, it's at the very top. But as soon as someone else posts a different ad in the same category, your ad drops down to second place. When a third person posts an ad, yours drops down to third place, and so on. Obviously, the ads at the top get the most traffic. Similar to forums, that's the “fast water.” When your ad drops down 100 spots or more, you're on the second page and your exposure drops off dramatically. If you want to stay in the fast water, you need to post new ads as often as possible.

The interesting thing about Craigslist is that they don't allow you to post the same ad on consecutive days. In fact, they have a seven-day rotation. ...

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