If you intend to use craigslist to promote your business, be warned, it is NOT easy to post your ads on this highly traffic-ed website.

Using craigslist as an online marketing strategy can be very profitable, and as it is free to post ads on craigslist, it is also a very attractive one.

What is Craigslist?

Craigslist is a free classified ad and forum posting site that covers over 450 cities and 50 countries world wide. The site was founded in 1995, by Craig Newmark.

View the Craigslist fact sheet here.

Source alexa.com Traffic Graph for craigslist.org

Source alexa.com Traffic Graph for craigslist.org

How To Market Using Craigslist

How To Market Using Craigslist

Why Should You Market On Craigslist?

Right about now, your probably thinking…

“why is this supposed to be so hard?

It’s just a free classified advertising site”…..

Well here is where it gets tricky for the online marketer to

master posting ads on craigslist!

The Problem With Craigslist Marketing

Craigslist hates Internet marketers and does everything it can to KEEP YOU OUT. Well that might sound a little harsh, but it is true.

Craigslists creator started the site as a hobby and a service with the intention of providing free locality specific classified advertising.

The operation of craigslist includes a team of professional programmers who work on creating cookies, filters and ghosting protocol. This protocol is being constantly updated and enhanced to make it harder and harder for the online marketer to post on craigslist. This is the problem with marketing on cragislist.

I am not knocking it. Craig has every right to run his site exactly how he see’s fit. This is a perfectly legal procedure and part of the terms of service. Plus, they do a heck of a good job at keeping the ‘spammers’ at bay.

Craigslist still runs today as a .org domain name, so it is considered a not for profit site, but if you can manage to get your ads to stay on craigslist, then it will definitely be to your business profits.









What You Need To Know Before You Use Craigslist

  • Even though craigslist is a free classified advertising site you will need to invest time and or money into your marketing campaign to see any results.
  • As the ghosting programs are being constantly updated, so to does your craigslist advertising routine. Be prepared for this.
  • The steps outlined for you in this hubpage are as accurate and detailed as possible. You may need to use a mix of the techniques and tips as explained below in order to stop your ads from ghosting.

















How To Post On Craigslist

  1. The first thing to do in the, how to post on craigslist action steps, is to consider how many phone numbers you have access to. The current account creation process requires a valid phone number to be entered. Once you work through the sign up process you will receive a phone call or text message with a validation code.
  2. If you have access to 10 different phone numbers than you will need to set up 10 different emails. Go to http://www.gmail.com and setting up your free 10 email accounts here. Do not use any other free email accounts other than gmail. Once have 10 different email account that you use everyday to post from. You are essentially set up for 10 days or 2 weeks.
  3. Once you have set up your email accounts, go to Craigslist and create 10 accounts with Craigslist. Go to http://www.craigslist.org/. Click on my account on the left hand side. You will see a place where you can log in. Underneath that, it says don’t have an account – Click on that. Follow the instructions. Once you get to a certain point, it will ask you to put a phone number in. Once you put that phone number in, you will receive either a phone call or text with the code you will need to enter into Craigslist in order to have a valid Craigslist account
  4. Fourth, you need to set up your ads. Never post the exact same ad twice – this includes your headline. Duplicate posts are NOT permitted on Craigslist. Try writing 10 ads and then sit down and try and get 10 different variations out of your original ads. This gets you 100 different ads! A common variation on the headline is to place a bunch of letters and numbers at the end. For example if your headline reads “Best Beef Jerky” alter it like so, “Best Beef Jerky________7r4f6FDe” & “Best Beef Jerky________Hw84HpF8”

 if you don’t have access to a lot of phone numbers:


Repeat the process 10 times. Remember, you will need to go to each email account that you have set up and click on the link that Craigslist sends to each email account to activate each individual Craigslist account.

How Many Ads Can I Post On Craigslist?

This is a topic for debate, but unless you are using auto posting software and are changing your IP address regularly (perhaphs every 3-5 ads) you should only post 3 ads every 48 hrs from one Craigslist account.

If you post 3 ads on the same day from the same Craigslist account, your last 2 ads will get ghosted.

Clearing Your Internet History, Cookies & Temporary Passwords

When you active or log into your Craigslist account the site places cookies on your computer. Now, if you don’t know much about cookies, they basically read, record and track data while you are browsing. Cookies are used commonly online and are a natural part of online technology – there is no need to fear. Cookies are not like a virus so will not do damage to your computer.

So why information on cookies? Well all you need to know with regards to cookies and posting on Craigslist is that you must clear them after finishing with each account. You should also clear your browsing history, temp passwords and temp internet files.

Each operating system will be slightly different, so use these this as a guide. Open you computer’s control panel. Go to network & internet. Internet options, then delete browsing history. Within that menu option you can select to delete your history and you want to check the box and clear all.

Sometimes the browser you are using is not the default for your computer. If this is the case try the following steps;

Instructions For Firefox

Menu option – tools, then clear private data (again you need to check all the box’s to clear them all.

Instructions For IE

Menu option – tools, then internet options (clear everything!)

How To Get Your Ads To Stay On Craigslist

The common term used to describe the automatic removal of craigslist ads is, “ghosting.”

If you have attempted to place an ad and are not able to see it visible on the live site, then you have had a visit from the green ghost.

Ghosted means that Craigslist will act like your ads are posted but when you go to look for them, they do not show up.

Stopping Your Craigslist Ads From Ghosting

Test, test and then TEST again. Post 3 ads in 3 different cities then stop. I takes anywhere from 15 – 20 minutes for you ads to go live. If you go to the specific city and category and can see you ad live on the site, then you know what you did worked & you can run with that for a while.

If your ads are not visible, you simply start the process again.

How To Test for Specific Flagging Aspects

If you think it may be your link that is causing the problem, post an ad with a different link and see if it goes live. Perhaps try an image ad instead or test running your ad without the link at all.

Craigslist Marketing Options

Time Poor

If you don’t have much time to invest in your craigslist marketing then there are options. Some companies will manage your craigslist marketing for you and then there is also the option of a craigslist co-op.

Cash Poor

Do it all yourself, but be forewarned, it is going to take you a fair bit of time to get it right and maintain any level of consistency. At the very least you will need to invest in something that will hide your real IP address so your real IP doesn’t get banned while you are working this out.

Time & Cash Poor

Perhaps craigslist should be left until you have some time and money to get your campaign off the ground. Whilst it is free to place ads on the site you will need to invest some money to see any real results.

Are you really going to give up that easily? No way!

Just post one ad every 3 days using your real IP address. You may end up having your IP address banned from craigslist. So in the long run you will need to work on this issue.


For my first attempt with craigslist I posted manually for three days using software to hide my real IP. I didn’t use an auto-poster I only managed to get three ads to stick for the entire time. Those ads produced over 100 hits to my website in the few days there were live. So let’s just say that mastering craigslist is a step learning curve that never stops.

Craigslist is frustrating! That’s exactly what Craig wants so deal with it.




Craigslist Codes

Following is a suggestion for html coding when posting your craigslist ad….

….<p style=”COLOR: #f5fff0″> enter the text that you want to be hidden here </font>

<font color=”lightgoldenrodyellow”> enter visable ad text here </font>

<font color=”honeydew”> enter visable ad text here </font>….

Remember that craigslist changes it’s cookies and spam filtering rhythyms faster than I change my hair color, so what will work for you one day may not work the next.

The Real Secret To Mastering Successful Craigstlist Codes

Spend time viewing ads similar to yours that are active on craigslist. If the ad is sticking then you know that the current cookies and monitoring systems on craigslist have allowed that ad to remain active. You want to do the same with your ads. Learn from what successful ad posters are currently doing. This is KEY to your craigslist success and at the very least will save you time in the long run.

How To See The Codes For Active Craigslist Ads

Step 1

Click on the required ad and open it.

Step 2

Instructions for Firefox Browser

Select the menu option “view”

Scroll down to “page source” and click that option

A seperate window will open up showing you the HTML coding for that entire page.

Instructions for IE

Select the menu option “view”

Scroll down to “source” and click that option

A seperate window will open up showing you the HTML coding for that entire page.

If you are using another browser program the steps will be fairly similar, and there were just too many options to list in this ‘how to post on craigslist hubpage’!

Obviously this option is only good for those who know how to read HTML. You need not be an expert at coding, so if you understand the basics – hyperlinks. image insert hyperlinks etc, you should be able to give this a go.

Watch for Redirections

When you first click on the required ad on craigslist, pay attention to the redirections occuring as the posted url is loaded. You will be able to see these at the botton of your Firefox Browser window. Where the term ‘done’ is displayed when a page is loaded, so does it show you where you are being moved amongst. These redirections will give you insight into the type of cloaking programs, url shorteners, domains, and subdomain types being successfully used on craigslist.







Using Image Ads & BlogSpot Redirects On Craigslist

Using image ads and BlogSpot redirects are another great option when it comes to getting your ads to stick on craigslist.

How To Create An Image Ad On Craigslist

1. Post an image ad that is clickable (people can just click the image and go to your site…

<a href=”http://yatuc.com/cgl-v7UC5q7n&#8221; rel=”nofollow”><img



– Make sure you replace my info with yours

2. Posting a regular image ad…cannot be clicked


src=”http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn147/photosoloutions/freead.jpg&#8221; border=”0″></a>

How To Create A Blogspot Redirect On Craigslist

1. Go to http://www.blogspot.com

2. Create a new acct…

3. Create a post on your blog with this code:

<META HTTP-EQUIV=”refresh” content=”0;URL=http://www.putyourwebsitehere.com”>

Make sure you create 2 different posts with this same code.

At the end of your blogspot url, you can put random letters and numbers…

Ex) http://enteryourblogspotnamehere.blogspot.com/?PKxP4NLA


Do Your Homework Before You Post

Do Your Homework Before You Post









How To Get Most Out Of Your Craigslist Ads

This tip can be obvious if you know about checking for site trends and traffic hits, but don’t know anything about this, then pay attention. This technique and following links for research can be applied to any free classified ad posting you choose to do online. Plus you may also find a use for these in other elements of your business promotions.

I highly recommend doing locality research before you begin posting. We have already established that craigslist has alot of traffic and readers, but which cities are the most popular? Where do people go when they visit craigslist.org?

If you visit alexa.com and find the traffic details for craigslist there is a ton of useful information.


When you scroll to the bottom of the page there is a heading…

Where people go on Craigslist.org

Listed in traffic volume you will find an up-to date summary of the most visited cities. It stands to reason that if you try and focus on these cities you are bound to get more visitors.


To apply the above to other websites, simply substitute the extension =Craigslist.org for you desired website. eg =hubpages.com

More Craigslist Tips & Resources


  • Check what IP address your a using online at any given time, but most importantly for craigslist marketing, it is the location of the IP that is the most significant. Make your initial posts in the wrong city and you account will be flagged and you will never post a live ad to that account PERIOD. Once you account, IP, headline, content has been flagged…never try and use it again. Once flagged by the craigslist programs these resources are obsolete.

URL Shorteners

  • There are plenty online for you to choose from. Simply google the term. Don’t bother trying to use the ones that are known for being popular with internet marketers, like, viralurl, tinyurl, yatu etc…
  • Try this one to get you started. Scroll down midway on the screen and you will see a list of “services not reviewed” – these links will take you to external URL shorteners that are less common with online marketers (well maybe until now – the flip side of sharing all your secrets!)

Buying Domain Names

For as little as a couple of dollar’s you can purchase a domain name. (consider the cheapest options first) Set your domain up so that it frame redirects to another destination (your website or lead capture page for example). If you choose a unique name that has never been registered before this is better, cause then you know it isn’t blacklisted on craigslist yet. This domain will do for craigslist posting for a while until it gets picked up by the bots. It doesn’t matter what name you choose, but I wouldn’t use words like ‘make money’ ‘internet marketing’ ….

Linking To Other Ads

Take the url for an ad you have posted on another website and use that url for your craigslist marketing. Sending people to a video link is another option.

How To Have Your URL Temporarly Whitelisted

So by now you understand a little more about how craigslist works and what types of things will get your ads ghosted.

Great! Let’s work the system and use craigslists rules to our advantage.

How? Here is one of my best tips, but it requires a little more investment on your part. If you are already considering purchasing software, auto IP changing cards etc you can digg a little deeper and give your ads a better chance of sticking by adopting this trick.

  • Pay for a ad in one of the cities where craigslist is charging per post. Then you have a URL that is listed as safe on the craigslist system at least for the period that your payment covers. The prices vary from city to city so check around and find the cheapest city.
  • Using this domain, create multiple sub-domains to use for your bulk posting submissions. Too easy : )
  • Just be sure to check that your domain service provider allows unlimited sub-domains at no extra charge to you. If yours doesn’t, simple, find one that does and use their service instead.Image