Craigslist is a popular free classified Website that allows users in local cities to connect with peashooter to buy, sell and trade online. With tens of thousands of visitors hitting Craigslist each day, even in the smallest of towns and rural areas it makes a for a great place to advertise whether you are clearing out the junk in your garage or promoting your business online.

For the purpose of this guide we are going to talk about the aspect of promoting your business, products or services on Craigslist to a more national audience. Craigslist prefers that you only post to your local areas, but as a business owner you would prefer to reach as large an audience as possible. Craigslist does thankfully allow this, but there are some guidelines you will have to follow in order to achieve this goal.

Choosing the right Heading

While I won’t go into actual ad content (ad copy is a whole different article) it’s important to consider a proper heading or title for you ad. Their are rumors abound that you must have a unique title for each advertisement, and this is simply not the case. In my experience you can use the same title for around 20 ads before you should begin to change them. Small modifications such as adding numbers to the end of the title are more then adequate.

Words that Flag Attention

The real consideration when choosing a heading are the actual words that you use in the description. There are many words such as “Free”, “Offer”, “Trial”, “Sale” and others that can trigger a reaction from Craiglist. Additionally many times users will flag these posts for removal as will your competitors. By choosing more generic or descriptive titles you can avoid these automatic triggers and make your advertising posts more legitimate.

Posting Ads on Craigslist: Mastering the Art
Posting Ads on Craigslist: Mastering the Art

Use Graphics not text on Craigslist

Rather then creating a large block of text and copying and pasting it into the body for your Craigslist message, consider creating an image file in GIMP, Paint, Photoshop or another graphics program. This will help you to avoid any automatic detection of flagged words on Craigslist as well as any duplicate content issues which will prevent you from posting to multiple cities.

Once you have your image created, make several copies with different names and upload them to a free image hosting Website such as imageshack or flickr. You can safely use the same image around ten to twenty times per ad, but your results of course may vary.

Flagged Ads

Sadly this is just part of life when it comes to Craigslist. There are simply some people who seem to take great pleasure in flagging ads whether they are legitimate or not. Often times your competitors seeing a new business or service in their market will jump on the bandwagon and make your life difficult.

The best course of action is to simply be persistent and repost your ads as necessary. If you find a particular ad continues to get flagged across multiple cities, take a moment to stop and review your ad. Are their any words in the title that could be causing it to be flagged? Is your ad copy breaking the rules of the category you are posting in? If you are using an image hosting service, try creating a new account or renaming the image that is being used. Consider using new email addresses and Craigslist accounts as well, posting too many ads from a single email or account can result in getting your ads removed or ghosted as well.

Craigslist is a powerful tool for business owners to use to attract new business and sell their products and services. Mastering the Art of using Craigslist will bring you countless new customers and opportunities for your business and once your a Craigslist pro, you may even find new opportunities to earn money by helping others improve their results online.

Additional Resources:

Craigslist Classified Website
Flickr Image Hosting
ImagShack Image Hosting