Craigslist could be one of your most effective lead gen spots on the web in addition to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. Many veteran marketers still use Craigslist for marketing to post ads and get leads. I used it all the time back in my real estate investing days.

Although Craigslist can be very helpful for marketing, it can also be a pain trying to get around some of the rules.  We all hate rules to an extent, but we have to abide by them anyway right?

Nobody intends to break any rules, but there are some ways to be successful with using Craigslist for marketing and posting your ads to get leads.

The best thing you can do if you want to drive people to your website, blog, or landing page, is to post an image ad.  Craigslist can’t read image ads (at least to my knowledge) so this is a great way to say what you want without getting ghosted or flagged.

Getting ghosted means your ad appears to be live but it actually never shows up.  Therefore, nobody sees your ad.

To keep from getting ghosted:

1. Don’t use the same headline more than once

2. Don’t post in more than 8 cities in a day  (This used to be the general rule. I’ll tell you how to get around that in a moment.)

When you get flagged for removal, your ad is removed or deleted by flaggers who are mostly your competitors.  They basically have a personal problem with your ad (or they’re a hater) and so they flag it.

One of the best ways to deal with flaggers is to post your ad twice. I learned this little trick a while ago.

1. The first ad should say what you want it to say and the next ad can just be something random or slightly different, but same focus.

2. Delete the second ad.  If your first ad gets flagged, edit the second ad you deleted with the info from the flagged ad.

3. Then undelete that ad and it will show up as if it was the original time it was posted.  This way, it doesn’t look like a repost and flaggers won’t suspect it.

But before you do all of that, you want to create an ad that people can click on.

To create your clickable image ad:

1. Go into your Paint tool on your computer. (You can also use Gimp, PowerPoint, or PicMonkey).

2. Adjust the box to whatever size you want.

3. Write out your ad and include your website, blog, or wherever you want to direct your lead.

4. Save it on your desktop, pictures or in your documents file.

5. Create an account on Photobucket if you don’t already have one.

6. Upload the ad and copy the html code. It should look something like this:

<a href=”;current=TESTAD.jpg”
target=”_blank”><img src=”” border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”></a>

7. Copy and paste the code on your Notepad.

8. The bold part of this code, should be changed to direct your lead to the site of your choice, like so:

<a href=“” rel=”nofollow”><img
src=”” border=”0″></a>

9. Save this code and post it on Craigslist. Test the ad to make sure it goes through.  That’s it!

Now, if you want to post in several different cities, use a software called Hide My Ass to change your IP address for different cities (especially major cities). This way Craigslist won’t have any suspicions and you won’t get penalized for posting too much.

Be sure to clear your cookies first when you do this. You can find out how to clear your cookies from your browser here.

This should get you up and running on ad posting without any hassles.  If you want to use Craigslist for marketing effectively, make sure you post every day to get leads. The more time you spend marketing, the better success you will have.

 Other Resources You Might Like:

Creating Successful Craigslist Ads that Generate Leads

Craigslist: Finding Customers & Promoting your Business

cheryl j. moses



Cheryl J. Moses is the founder of Online Marketing ROI and New Eminence

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