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Free Classified Ads - Money Making Tips
Money Making Tips for Small Businesses
Free Classified Ads
FREE Internet Classified Ads. What a Gold Mine
For those of you who are currently or planning on using Free Internet Classified Ads as a marketing tool to help promote your business or just to make some extra cash buying and selling stuff, then you might find this article interesting and hopefully informative.
As you know, there are thousands of companies promoting Free Internet Ads as a way to gain information on people, especially emails, as a tool to either sell the email addresses, store them for whatever reason (Government or Security Agencies) or in most cases, help promote products and services for the companies who buy advertising space on their websites.
It is without a doubt a powerful weapon in the Internet Marketing Arsenal but how do we, as business owners or individuals, utilize that opportunity to our benefit in promoting our own lines of products and services that we are trying to sell or buy?
Every Free Classifies Ads website is unique in its own way but very similar in most areas. They all want your contact information, Period.
We all know this and understand the game if we are playing it so let’s get into some key points to make them work extremely effectively for us, for Free.
I don't know about you but whenever I get the chance for some Free Advertising to help promote our business, count me in, so instead of speaking in general terms about the entire Free Classified Ads Industry, lets pick out a few of the big players and get down to business.
Here in Canada, the number 1 website for Free Classified Ads, as I write this, is Kijiji.
Another one gaining strength here is Used Canada but let’s talk about Kijiji for a bit and then we will quickly move on to Craig’s List, which currently is more popular than Kijiji in the U.S. but that is not the case here in Canada.
Kijiji is definitely the place to be in Canada for the Free Classified Ad enthusiasts.
For those of you that don't know it yet, Kijiji (which is African for The Village) is owned by Google and that connection alone is what makes Kijiji such a powerful tool for promoting your business.
By running ads on Kijiji using Key Words that describe your business in your ads, you will be quickly driving your website's Landing Page up in the rankings on Google whether you are selling something or not and we all know that the first page on Google is where you want your website to be but that takes a little time to move up the rankings so let’s get started.
In my experience, Free Classified Ads are the best tool for testing new advertising campaigns, new products and services or just testing out different combinations of Key Words, titles for my advertising campaigns, pictures, phrases and sentences to see what buzz words and images catches the buying public's eye.
It's Free so keep trying different ads until you find that winning combination of words and images that drives customers to your store front and hopefully a sale.
There are also websites available where you can find out exactly what the most popular Key Words are in your related industry.
On those sites you pick out a few dozen Key Words and Phrases that directly relate to what you are offering or buying and they will tell you how many times people searching on Google and every other search engine out there, used them when looking for the products or services you offer.
Ex. If you are a travel agent and you type in the word “Travel Agent” on those websites, you might find those two words were used 1 million times by people who were looking for an agent or booking a trip but you might also find that if you typed in the word “Travel” that word might have been used 15 million times for people looking for travel information
Once you know which words are the most popular, use them over and over again in Bold Letters in your ads and especially on the Homepage of your website so they are linked together when the search engine spiders are scanning your site
IMPORTANT: All Classified Ad websites have a Statistics Link or Stats on their website so start reading that information as a daily habit.
The stats link will provide you with a lot of very important facts about everything you are doing for your advertising campaign.
Ex: Who is looking and from where. It will also show you how all your strategically placed Key Words are working.
I cannot stress it enough that if you are doing any kind of Internet Marketing, Read Your Stats.
It will save you a lot of time and money. It also enables you to focus on what is working and quickly discard what is not working so the only expense you have by doing it is your time.
Now let’s get into details on how to effectively use Kijiji
In Canada, Kijiji has around 100 locations or cities, listed on their website where you can place ads but unlike some other websites, as I write this article, they only allow you to place 24 ads at a time, within a 24 hour time frame, from the same IP number so even if you have a dozen computers all working off of the same Internet Provider, they will Red Flag your ads if you place too many in certain locations and certain times so play with it a little.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
You will also notice in your stats report that there are certain days of the week, times of day and different locations where some ads work great and some other ads do nothing, again, depending on what you are offering.
Maybe Saturday morning, Wednesday afternoon, Monday evening or any time in between might show you better results.
Don’t forget about time zones.
We have 6 in Canada alone. Newfoundland, Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific.
12 noon in St. John’s, NL means it’s 11.30am in Halifax, 10:30am in Toronto, 9:30am in Winnipeg, 8:30am in Calgary and 7:30am in Vancouver so place your ads to the times of day that bring in the most traffic accordingly
You can use this trial period to discover which market locations and days of the week are creating the most activity (traffic) on your website (Target marketing).
Reading your website stats is also vital.
They will tell you what page people are going to most often (Landing Page), what they are reading the most, how long they are visiting, where they are from, who they are in case you have competition scouting out your site and stealing your info, etc. etc.
All good info to know because once you know that information, maybe you might consider making your Pricing or Product Pages your Landing Page instead of your Home Page so you don’t waste potential customer’s time.
Remember, you only have a few seconds to draw them in so don’t make them work hard or they are gone.
Once you discover all this important information, depending on your budget, you may want to pay Kijiji for the opportunity to place a banner or keep your ad on the front page of that location, in the category that works best for you but you have to research that first and the ads will show you everything you need to know.
I personally prefer Free Classified Ads over Google Adwords in the beginning just because of the costs involved and I find them more effective and diversified but Adword fans may disagree with that one.
Both are extremely effective marketing tools if used properly. To each their own but to me, why spend money on Adwords if you don’t know if your ad is going to work or not first. It’s a waste of money to me, especially at the very beginning of your ad campaign when you are still discovering that magical ad that consistently draws in traffic to your website
For those of you out there that have heard of Google Adwords but are not quite sure how it all works, I highly recommend a guy named Perry Marshall and his course called
The Definitive Guide for Google Adwords.
It is the best on the market and no, I unfortunately do not get any kind of kick back from Perry Marshall for plugging his courses but I highly suggest for you to get on his email list and read the information he sends you. I hope you read this Perry. lol.
OK, back to the Free Classified Ads.
In the larger populated areas were thousands of ads are placed every day, it does not take long for your ad to get buried in the masses of pages of other ads being posted so for a certain amount of money a month, check out the costs yourself, you will be able to keep your ad right on the front page in the hottest locations and in front of everyone's eyes who looks in that category but don't start taking your hard earned money out of your pocket just yet until you know what locations and what type of ad works best first.
After placing hundreds of ads a week for years, first in newspapers and then on the Internet, I know exactly what cities, days, times, categories, key words, images and descriptions work best in each area but that is for my own business interests and may not work for yours.
After I found ads that did work consistently, I started drawing in so much traffic to all of my websites that I had to stop and deal with the sales and from there it was word of mouth but it took a lot of trial and error to get to that point and I never had any information like this article to help me.
You will have to learn the basics on how to use Internet Marketing like reading article’s and there are many more out there but what a lot of people don’t quite understand is that the Internet is just another marketing tool to get your product/service in front of your potential client.
Think of Internet Marketing as if you have a million cars driving by your store front every day and you are trying to design a sign out front, facing traffic, with a thousand other signs in the area offering the same things as you, that will catch their eye and interest them enough to drop in to your store (Website) and take a look at what you have to offer but you only have a few seconds to impress them because they are flying by at 100 kilometers an hour so try to be more creative and different than all the others.
Think out of the box but be very direct in all your advertising so your potential customers can read your sign at a glance in seconds and know exactly what you are all about.
If you have an idea, test it out in your ads. Your stats will tell you if it’s working or not. If it is, Great! use it again and again but if it’s not, Dump it! Who cares, it was worth a shot and didn’t cost you anything except a little time, but who knows until you try. It might just be a winner
If you place more than 24 ads on Kijiji or you use the same title with the same content over and over again, then this annoying red banner pops up and you have been Red Flagged.
Ouch. I don't like it when that happens but there are also ways around that so for now, let’s keep the number at 24 ads per day, just utilizing Kijiji.
To make sure I don't go over the 24 ad limit for Kijiji, I go on their website and pick out 24 locations across Canada, then write them down on a separate piece of paper and cross them off my list, one by one, as I place an ad in that location so I wouldn’t get Red Flagged, which means if you do get flagged, they will also delete all of the ads you already placed and that really sucks if you spent the last few hours posting a bunch.
A lot of people also think you can only advertise in your own community with Free Classified Ads but you can advertise all over the world if you know a few tricks of the trade and depending on what you are offering.
If customers have to actually come into your store and pick something up then it doesn’t make much sense in advertising in Paris for example but if you are not dictated by limits or borders, then the world is your marketplace.
Right about now some people out there, hopefully not Kijiji, are cursing me because they claim that this type of aggressive advertising takes away from local people trying to sell or buy their products or services but as a business person trying to pay the bills and feed his family, I don't care what people say. There is nothing illegal or immoral about the entire process. It's just Free Advertising and isn't that what it's all about.
Besides that, aren't the Classified Ads websites selling our information to make money for themselves and do they pay us for doing it? No, they don't even ask our permission to do it so why can't we use them to make money for ourselves. After all, we are also selling a product or a service. Right! Makes sense to me.
The first step when placing your ad is to pick the right category.
If you are selling toothpicks and you place your ad in the Houses For Sale category, which is a hot category by the way, they will either take out (delete) your ad or in some cases, move it to the appropriate category so picking the right category is crucial.
That does not mean you have to stick with one category because what you are offering may fit into numerous categories so try a few different ones and see which category brings in the most traffic.
Remember that getting hits is a good thing if they equate into sales but they are almost useless if you are not making money with them, especially if you are not even gathering email addresses in the process. I could get a million hits a day and still be broke.
The one good thing about hits is that at least you know that the ads are drawing people in to your site, which is the first major step, so something you are doing is working but now you have to analyze the next steps to see why they are not buying. One step at a time
Next is the title for your ad and this is where you can try many different Key Word and phrase combination's because that and the image or picture portrayed in your ad, are the first things people see so always be direct and to the point of exactly what you are offering.
As I’ll keep saying over and over again, you only have a few moments to catch someone's eye long enough for them to open up your ad and read what you have to offer so keep it direct, to the point and simply.
Putting enthusiasm in your words is always a good idea. If you are excited, potential customers will feel it in your ads when they read them and it works like a magnet drawing people in so get excited when writing out (describing) your ads.
Important Note: When you write ads or anything else, always speak from the heart.
You are trying to connect to your potential clients or customers so try to push some buttons and relate to them. Be sincere and honest but professional. Never anything negative that will turn them off. Your sense of humor is probably your best asset if you can’t sing so if you have one, use it.
You will notice that a very positive feeling comes over you when placing ads. It gives you a new sense of hope because you never know who is going to read it.
If it's not working, don't get discouraged, you are not pushing the right buttons yet. Mix it up a little. Change the wording around, try new pictures and different categories but keep playing with it. You haven’t found the right audience yet.
In other words, keep practicing different ads until you get it right.
Next is your description and this is where you are really learning to master the art of Key Words.
Everyone has something different to offer but again, Key Words are everything and always put them in BOLD Lettering so they jump off the page when someone is glancing at your ad, like I have been doing throughout this entire article.
Once I write out my description and make any changes (edit), I right click my mouse then highlight and copy it so on all the following ads, I just place my arrow in the description box, right click my mouse and Paste the description.
This way I can fly through the ads more quickly. Speed is a factor here if you are placing hundreds of ads a day or week so get organized before you begin
One little tip regarding Kijiji or any other Free Classified Ads website is, never put your website address into your description or anywhere else in your ad.
I simple offer something FREE in my description that people find interesting and would like to have because it’s free, like some kind of Free Guide on what I am offering.
Ex: Free Product Catalog, Free Price Quote or Free Reference Manual and get them to send me an email request which means I have their email address, then I’ll send them my website link along with whatever else I’m sending them for Free attached to my thank you letter.
By doing that, at least I can build an email database and keep blasting out specials to them every week or month because if they were not interested in what I have to offer today, they wouldn't have taken the time to read your ad and request a Free Catalog for example.
Never, Never, Never make them work hard for getting your Free gift like having to fill in a registration or sign up form.
It’s too much effort for what you are asking them for the first time around and you will lose them. Just an email address is all you want for now.
That also means that maybe next week, month or year, they may be interested in buying something from you because the timing might have been off the first time around so keep blasting them out specials but I never suggest doing it every day.
I don't know about you but if companies keep blasting emails to me every day, whether I'm interested or not, I get turned off and block their emails so don't become a pain in the butt for your potential clients. Just keep them updated with an informative newsletter, white papers or special deals and sales coming up.
Provide information that contains substance. Google and your potential clients will love you if you have original information and pictures to offer.
If you put your website in your ad you lose control and keeping control of each step of the entire sales process is the key to making money.
If they already have my website, I have nothing to fall back on except maybe more traffic to my site, which is not a bad thing but I don’t have their email address and I want to see if I can make money today, not next year or whenever they are ready to buy.
Who knows where you'll be by then plus now they can contact me whenever they want and I have no way to contact them. In other words, I lost control of the sale.
Another mistake I see in many advertising campaigns is that companies spend a ton of money on some fancy signs, websites, expensive paint jobs or decals for their company vehicles, TV commercials, etc. etc. with their website or email address listed and they do not capitalize the first letters of each word. What a sometimes inexperienced but big mistake.
I just saw it the other day while stopped at a red light in traffic.
There was this commercial, one ton van stopped at a red light with a $20,000.00 decal job covering the entire vehicle and I could not read their website, email address or had any idea of who they were or what they offered for those few seconds while we were waiting for the light to turn green.
It was listed on every part of the vehicle including written backwards on their front windshield so I could read it in case I was seeing them behind me in my rear view mirror. That idea was good if I could have read it at a glance while it was driving by but I couldn’t make anything out.
It was just a long mass of letters which I couldn't tell where one word began and another word ended, plus the beautiful decal job was very colorful and cool looking, whatever it was, but gave absolutely no indication of what that company did.
What a waste of money and it boggles my mind why they didn’t see it themselves on the computer designed template before they spent all that money or the designers didn’t catch it either, who are suppose to be the so called, experts.
Ex: www.bensplumbingandheating.com or www.BensPlumbingAndHeating.com
Which one is easier to read at a glance? Simply Right! So why isn’t everyone doing it?
Always capitalize the first letter of each word in all your advertising campaigns, signs, emails and websites where ever they are listed.
Everybody wants information fast so give it to them. To get their attention, utilize everything you can, as effectively as possible.
The next step in you Free Classified Ads campaign is pictures or images.
Some Free Classified websites allow an average of 4 pics or more per ad so utilize them all, within reason.
Colorful images are a powerful marketing tool so pick ones that are bright and interesting but also related to what you are offering.
Have you ever seen a picture of someone on a billboard, TV commercial, business card or sign and thought to yourself, they are weird looking or maybe thought, what an ego but whatever it was you didn’t like about that picture, it was just enough to turn you off thinking you would never want to do business with that person even though you never met them.
Maybe you didn’t like the look in a picture of a certain politician running during an election and it was enough for you not to vote for that person just because of their looks and not because of the quality of person they are or the platform they represent. It happens all the time and we are all guilty of it.
If your business requires you to have your picture on every form of advertising, for whatever reason, Free Internet Classifieds Ads are the perfect way to find that magical picture that draws in traffic.
Try different pictures in different settings related to what you are offering and do I actually have to tell you to smile.
It’s amazing how far a bright, honest smile will take you.
Look like you are having fun in your picture because clients will want to do business with you if you look you are having a great time at whatever you are doing. It attracts them like bees to a flower so find something that makes you laugh hysterically and take a picture of yourself smiling, even if it hurts. Remember, it’s not a mug shot, hopefully not anyway, lol
The right images will draw in a lot of traffic so also play around with different color codes and then watch your stats to see if they are working. Maybe red, green, blue or some other dominant colors in the picture might be attracting more traffic.
Maybe it’s the location of where the pic was taken. Lounging in a hammock on a beautiful beach in the Caribbean could push a lot of buttons for people traveling or need a vacation. Whatever you are offering, keep the pictures related to it.
If they are working, great, keep using them, if not, change them and try some new ones.
Google Images has millions of pics to choose from but be careful they do not have copyright laws attached to them or a company website embedded in them. Always use original pics if possible. Google loves that. They have substance as they call it
I'll always pick many different pictures and images for my advertising campaigns and save them in a separate file in my computer or right on my desktop, with a simply numbering code so as I'm flying through my ads as I post them, I have easy access to the exact pictures I want displayed in my ad.
For example, sometimes I may have a few hundred pics saved in the same file so in order to post ads faster and know exactly what pics I want to include, I may have them labeled as A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, C1, etc.
That way I don't have to open them up in thumbnails each time I post a picture just to know which ones they are. It shaves a few seconds off on each ad I post, which really adds up time wise if I'm in a hurry and just want to get all my ads out and then go play golf or something else I enjoy doing.
My entire agenda for placing ads every day is an intricate part of my entire advertising campaign.
The end result is eventually leading to selling a product or service. That's it. Turning that traffic into sales is what Free Classified Ads and all other marketing campaigns are all about.
When Kijiji or any other website asks me in the ad for an email address to confirm I am a real human being and not a robot, I always use a Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo address instead of our company's commercial.com address because they will tag me immediately knowing I am a professional, please don't laugh, which is what I don't want.
Also, if for whatever reason you lose your commercial emails, like getting fired from your JOB for example, you will always have access to your free email addresses
Next is the address.
Never put your own address in this section.
Only use the city or location you are placing the ad in as an address or if there is an Outside The Area tab, use that.
Ex: You may live in Vancouver and placing an ad in Halifax so in your Ad's address put Halifax, not Vancouver. Get the picture? Always put the address of the location where your ad is being placed, not where you live unless you are placing an ad there also
Finally, hit the "Place your Ad", Submit Ad or Publish Ad tab and monitor your stats for the results and always give it at least one full week before you save or make any changes.
That 1 week time period will show you short term buying habits and that’s also great info to know.
For long term buying habits, you must look at one complete year or all 4 seasons to discover the consumer buying habit results you want in preparation for the upcoming year.
As I mentioned, every Free Classified Ads Website is different and are constantly evolving so go play with them.
By the time I click on the "Publish" tab for this Article, Kijiji, Craigs List or all the others might have already changed their criteria so practice, practice, practice.
Here is the best part about Free Classified Ads.
Once you know that everything about your ad is working, now you are ready to use that information on a larger scale with full confidence knowing that it already works without wasting any money on useless, unproven advertising campaigns.
How many times have you seen commercials on TV, Internet etc. and asked yourself, does that company have any idea of how ridiculous or useless that commercial was?
We have no idea what they were offering and it is forgotten about with the flick of a remote control button or mouse.
Sometimes I think these large corporations must have some independent marketing firm or a group of so called marketing experts hidden away in some Ivory tower that have absolutely no idea what is going on in the real world and wasting millions.
Free Classified Ads will put you right on the street and tell you exactly what the average consumer is looking for and that my friend, is where it's at.
I ran out of time and space to talk about Craigs List and other sites but if you have questions or tips you would like to share, fire them at me.
I hope you found this information useful and thank you for taking the time to read it.