After a month of testing and reviewing the new Craigslist Service Ads, which used to be free and now you are charged $5 for each listed ad, the results are in.
As I had hoped for, the majority of people are refusing to pay $5 per ad. Craigslist removed almost all the free ads in the system and what used to be pages of ads for each category, was reduced to a single page for each.
In the past, I spread my 15 or so ads across 2 categories – Computer Services and Small Biz Ads. With the reduced amount of ads to compete against, I am able to post ads into a 3rd category now – Creative.
Because there are so few people posting ads now, when you do post one, it is typically staying on the first page for the entire 30 days.
I have setup a schedule where I post to each of the 3 categories every 12 days. That’s just 8 ads per month. Less than $50 / month. It has also cut my number of ads down from 15 to 8 or 9.
So I am now posting an ad to Craigslist every 4 days, and to each category every 12 days.
The results: The phone calls seem to be picking back up and I can see that with less ads to compete with, my income from Craigslist Ads will increase significantly.
I filter out a lot of people these days with posting a minimum price for building a website for them because I was getting too many people wanting $500 websites or as close to free as possible. That has also lowered the number of phone calls I could be getting, but that is a good thing.
I never tested posting the same ads over and over. With only needing 8 or 9 ads per month, there is no reason to post the same ad over and over. Besides, when someone is on the Service Ad’s page and they are scrolling down, having different titles is a good thing.
I would also suggest you research how to use special characters in the title to make you ad more viewable.
My goal is 1 new client per month from Craigslist. I think this will become the norm for my business. For some of you, it could easily be 3-5 new clients per month – or more.
I will continue to encourage all my clients to take advantage of Craigslist ads. At a cost of less than $50 / month, you can’t go wrong.