How To Use Craigslist to Generate Free Traffic to Your Website, Blog or Hub Pages
How To Use Craigslist to Generate Free Traffic to Your Website, Blog or Hub Pages
The Craigslist website can be a powerful tool to generate free traffic to your website, blog or Hub Pages. If you have quality, relevant content aligned with a Craigslist posting, Craigslist visitors will come!
Craigslist specializes in local classified ads, postings & forums and currently serves more than 550 cities in over 50 countries across the globe. Although they charge for some listings, the majority are free.
The Craigslist website is also one of the most popular websites in the world. Internationally it’s in the Top 40 most visited websites. Within the United States it’s in the Top 20 most visited websites. We’re talking millions and millions of visitors each day who could be reading your website, blog or Hub Page.
Here are some tips on how to use Craigslist to generate free, targeted traffic to your website, blog or Hub Pages.
Craigslist Traffic Sources
There are two ways that Craigslist can help drive traffic to your web pages:
First, you can drive traffic from Craigslist visitors who are browsing ads, finding yours and then clicking on your hyperlinks. Per the Craigslist website*, they currently have more than 50 million visitors per month with more than 20 billion page views per month. (*About Us, August 2009)
Second, you can drive traffic via search engines. Craigslist postings, if written appropriately with rich content and keywords, can be very search engine friendly. So, someone using Google and Yahoo could be directed to your ad or listing on Craigslist , and if they click on your hyperlinks- wallah, more traffic.
Great Books on Online Marketing & Traffic Ideas
Abide By The Craigslist Content Rules
Since Craigslist is such an Internet icon, they have to be smart about Craigslist content. So before you post, make sure that you abide by CL's content rules.
→ You should only consider using Craigslist if you have high quality, relevant content to promote.
→ When you write a Craigslist posting, any links provided must match the ad content. In other words, no spamming. If you are flagged as a spammer, Craigslist will remove your listings, ban you from posting future ads, and you may black-list your fellow online writers.
→ You should not post duplicate content- Craigslist knows! It may let you post a similar listing on a few different Craigslist locations, but will then start to block you and you’ll see duplicate content warnings. Even if you change the text, CL can recognize duplicate links. So, choose the Craigslist geographic locations (Ex. Boston versus L.A.) as well as the Craigslist website section (Ex. Forums versus Events) that you think will be the best match to your content.
→ You should read and abide by the Craigslist content rules to ensure that you do not violate any policies. Click here to link to CL's rules of the road.
→ Refrain from excessive postings, which again, may result in removal or blacklisting. You may also want to post under a few different email addresses.
What Craigslist Geo-Local Sites Should You Post In?
Craigslist.org is a group of separate, geography based sub-sites all linked together under one blanket site. For example, there’s Craigslist Boston, Craigslist L.A. and Craigslist D.C. When visitors go directly to Craigslist they are looking at their local area, not the U.S. or an entire country. And, when you post an ad or listing, you have to pick just one geographic area.
Therefore, before you post, think through the demographics of the population of each Craigslist area and who would be most interested in your website content, product or service. You can also assume that the larger cities have more visitors than smaller ones. And, Craigslist tends to be more popular on the west coast than east coast.
Jamie Robe, wrote an E-book on this topic called “Craigslist for Entrepreneurs” You can read more about his recommendations around Geo Postings via this link.
Watch The Craiglist Traffic Secrets Video
What Sections of Craigslist Should You Post To?
There are several areas of the Craigslist site that align well to promoting and driving traffic to your website, blog or Hub Page. The area you choose should be tied to the content you want to promote or link to. Here are some examples.
If you are selling seasonal products or have written a blog or Hub Page that has content about a particular holiday or time of year, you could create a listing on the Craigslist “events” section that directs traffic to your web page(s). For example, around New Year’s Eve you could promote limousine services or around Valentine’s Day you could promote Valentine’s Day gift ideas.
The Craigslist “Services” section can work well if you are promoting content about a specific service. The “General” area within the Community area can be used for almost anything, but it’s one the least targeted areas of the site.
The "Discussion Forums", if used wisely, can generate traffic. There are discussions posted on more than 70 topics including autos, beauty, diet, gifts, money and sports. It’s important to remember that most forum visitors are there to chat not read ads, so you may need to participate in a discussion before you include an ad or link in your content. The forum users are quick to flag posters as spammers and you want to avoid being banned.
There are 30 categories within the Craigslist “For Sale” section, from boats to electronics. If your site or web page is selling a specific, relevant product, this area could be a perfect match for traffic generation.
Kathryn Vercillo, a writer based in San Francisco, (the birth place of Craigslist) recently penned a complimentary online article called “How to use Craigslist for Blog promotion” and she provides her own unique views on which sections of Craigslist to use to generate traffic and why they work best.
If you need help posting an ad to Craigslist, visit this “how to” Hub Page for more information.
I can’t stress enough.. Your goal should be choose the site section that best matches the relevant, high quality content you want to promote. This will lead to generating the most traffic.
Watch The Internet Marketing Tips Guru Video
How To Write A Craigslist Ad To Drive Traffic To Your Web Page
The best Craigslist ads to generate traffic are well written, concise, on the short side (less than 200 words), yet contain enough detailed information and key words to generate interest from both the Craigslist visitors and the Search Engines. Similar to your blogs or Hub Pages, using the right ad title is also very important.
Here is an example of a posting in the events section around Valentine’s Day that directs traffic to a Hub Page article:
Tite: "Valentine's Day For Harley Enthusiasts"
“Valentine's Day is the perfect time to celebrate your love for Harley and your love for your significant other with a Harley Davidson themed Valentine's Day gift. Hub Pages is a great resource for Harley gift ideas.
If you are looking for a Valentine's gift for your Harley Queen: http://hubpages.com/hub/Harley-Davidson-Valentines-Day-Gifts-For-Women
If you are looking for a Valentine's gift for your Harley King: http://hubpages.com/hub/Harley-Davidson-Watches--A-Buyers-Guide
These Valentine's Day Gift ideas will save you time and your Harley partner will love them!"
I tested this concept recently with my “Top Ten Things To Do on New Year’s Day” online article and generated about 100 views between the San Francisco and Atlanta Craigslist sites within 48 hours.
“Funnebone”, a free lance writer from Philiadelphia, wrote about his Craigslist success driving traffic to his Hub Pages in the article “Rocketing Your Hub Views Using Craigslist."
Bonus Craigslist Tip!
Create a Craigslist Account. It’s free to join and this will save you time whenever you post a future ad as your personal information, ex. email address, will be saved. Some Craig’s List posters create multiple accounts with multiple email addresses.
Steve Mount, the author of “Cashing in on Craigslist” recommends creating image ads instead of text. The advantage, per Mount, is that you can post identical ads to multiple sections of Craigslist and the website detectives can’t tell that they’re duplicates.
The image must be “clickable” and linked to your web page in order to drive traffic. Mount says that this method allows him to post up to ten ads per day. You can read more about Steve Mount’s book on Amazon.com.
You Can Generate Free Traffic With Craigslist!
As described above, the Craigslist website can be a powerful tool to generate free traffic to your website, Hub Pages or blogs. If you have quality, relevant content aligned with a Craigslist posting, Craigslist visitors will come!
I hope these tips help you to drive the MASSIVE web traffic that we all dream about!
Copyright 2009, M. Reynolds, All Rights Reserved
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