Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How Do I Do It?

Well, few of you have asked, how I do it? I won't give away "all" the details, but here's a small glimpse into my little secret.

Before I post any ads on Craigslist, I do a little research. I find out what others are posting. I look at titles, the content of the body of their ad, and if they are or are not using any hyperlinks. The reason I look at other ads, is that what worked yesterday, may not be working today. So you have to constantly be able to change any variable thrown at you. For instance, a few days ago you were unable to post any hidden text where the ascii color code was any combination of "F" or "E". So a color of #FFFFEE or #FFFEFF did not work. I haven't looked, but that may not apply to today.

After I research what works and what does not work, I create my ads. As time goes by, I keep perfecting my technique. I actually create unique Titles and unique Ads for every single post that I do. So if I post 300 ads on Craigslist, I create 300 unique Titles, and 300 unique ads.

Sounds like a lot of work doesn't it? Well, I've created a few PHP scripts that help me out. So I can create 300 Titles and 300 Ads in just a few seconds (if that). Creating the Titles and Ads is not hard. The most time consuming part, is doing a little research prior to posting to find out how to create your ad(s) for that day that "stick"!

Next, I test the ads out. To make sure they work, and make sure Craigslist likes my new posts. Once my ads pass my testing and Craigslist test, I start posting. Posting isn't hard. I found out that I can manually post 2-3 ads per minute. (Maybe I type fast). But after awhile, you're hands will start to ache. Kind of like carpal tunnel syndrome is setting in. So, in consideration of my health, I started to automate that process also. I've actually slowed the posting down. So when I post via an automated method, it's actually slower, than when I post manually.

Well, I've probably said to much. I'm sure the admins over at Craigslist are reading this post as well.

Have a great day!

New Project Looking Good

Sorry I haven't written for a couple of days. Personal issues that needed my attention more than this blog prevailed. Anyways, if you've been following my adventures on Craigslist, you will know that I basically worked myself out of a job by getting so many leads for my employer. (That's not totally true, I should start working and posting for him again next week). So in light of that, I decided to start my own project instead of working for someone else.

Sorry, I wont tell you what I am promoting, but I will tell you the pay isn't to bad. Again, I'm not rich. I don't make $5000 per day in my sleep. But, yesterday was kind of a milestone for me. I made over $100 online in one day! Total work involved was between 2-3 hours.

BTW, opt-in leads from my previous postings on Craigslist for my employer continue to keep coming in. I still get 3-5 leads per day, and make $8-$20 per day from posts that I did a couple weeks ago. I also make commission on leads that close. That should be around $5,000 this month. What can I say, Craigslist has been very very good to me:-)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New Craigslist Campaign

During the past few days, I've been busy, building a website, testing it, searching for and registering a domain name, and making the site go live. Total cost out of pocket was $5.95 to register the domain name.

Friday morning I started posting some ads on Craigslist promoting the new site. To be honest, I was having lots of trouble posting anything that had a hyperlink in it. No matter what I did, I couldn't get an ad with a hyperlink in it to stick. So I resorted back to just plain text. The user would have to cut-n-paste my URL into their browser. Not the best, but better than nothing.

By the end of the first day, my new site had made $39. Cool, I've recovered my initial $5.95 investment, and made a few bucks also. I'm not rich, and I'm not making millions, but it's not bad for a new website and a domain that has been up and running less than 24 hours.

The next day, Saturday, I posted more ads. This time, I was able to use a hyperlink in my Craigslist ad. Remember, Craigslist is dynamic. It changes over time and day to day so you must be willing to adapt to those changes. By the end of the second day, I made an additional $76. Geez, this is looking pretty good! Oh yea, this is not Google Adsense income. That is still coming in, although at a much lower rate, from all those previous ads that I still have posted on Craigslist.

Today is Sunday, and I'm up early. I think I'll post a few more ads, and see how much I make today. I'll keep everyone updated tomorrow. And for those of you not posting on Craigslist today, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Craigslist Generated To Many Leads

Last Thursday was my last day of posting for the weekend. The hiring manager who gets the leads that I generate was out of town from Friday through Monday, so I took a break, and didn't post for 4 days. Leads still continued to come up, and I was still bringing in $15/day in Google Adsense revenue from previous postings that were still up on Craigslist.

Yesterday, Tuesday, I started posting once again. It was a wonderful day. Everything just fell into place the way that you dream of it. I created an ad, checked my landing page, posted some ads. Checked everything once again to make sure all was working. Then continued to post for a couple of hours.

By the end of the day I had generated over 50 opt-in, or leads, and had made over $49 in Google Adsense revenue. Needless to say, it was a good day and I was excited. This was a good way to start off the New Years. And maybe now that the Holidays are behind us, some of the weird anomalies that I have been witnesses on Craigslist will be long gone. This is going to be a good year!

This morning was another perfect day. Everything went like clockwork, until about 10am that is. At 10am I received a phone call from my boss that basically said, "Ken, you're overwhelming us with prospects and we can't keep up. Whatever you're doing give it a rest for a week or so, till we can follow-up on all these leads!".

So posting on Craigslist was so successful that I worked myself out of a job! What a joke! This isn't the first time that I'd done such a good job that I've been told to stop or cut back. So I'm kind of used to this.

My wheels are always spinning and I'm always on the lookout to make a buck. I have a few ideas up my sleeve. They all have to do with using Craigslist to promote a service or product. One project is about 80% complete. Hopefully, I'll be able to launch that product before weeks end. I'll keep you up to date, and we can track that one together. My guess, it that in 7-10 days, I'll be back marketing for my hiring manager once again :-)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Using Extended ASCII Codes

Competing between hundreds, if not thousands of other ads out there; how does one go about getting YOUR ad on Craigslist noticed?

Well, one way is to used extended ascii codes in your title. Not many people use these, and it's almost a sure bet to get your ad to stand out by using these. I've used them on and off over time, and I have mixed feelings about them.

► Check Out My Title ◄
☆ Isn't This Too Cute ☆

Yes, it will make your ad stand out and most likely get viewed or clicked on more than those titles that use just plain text. However, since it's likely to draw more attention to your ad, more people are likely to scrutinize your ad. And your competition is "probably" more likely to FLAG you. I say "probably" because I have no way of actually knowing or measuring this.

However, try it out. If it works for you, GREAT! If not, well then, maybe you've at least learned how some Titles on Craigslist are able to have bullet points, arrows, and happy faces in front and/or after them.


Friday, January 4, 2008

Mixed Results from Craigslist

Yesterday started out as one of those days that you dream about on Craigslist. You create what you think is a great ad, then post about 100 of them, with a slight variance all around the country. The best part is that they all stick!

I've been asked by a few, how much time I spend doing this. Am I spending all my waking hours just posting in Craigslist? Heck, I don't know. So yesterday I actually got out a clock with a second hand and timed myself. 99 posts on Craigslist in 90 minutes. So about a post per minute. Again, is that worth it? I guess it all depends on what kind of ads you write and what kind of response you are getting.

My results from yesterday are kind of mixed. When I started this I was sure that I would find some corelations between the amount a visitors that I receive, and the number of opt-ins I get. I added Googe Adsense to my sites just as an extra bonus. And it seems to have worked well. I also thought that Adsense revenue would be a direct reflection of the amount of visitors that I see on a daily basis.

Well, nothing is black and white here. Everything seems to be in various shades of grey. As far as traffic is concerned, it was an awful day. I only received something like 270 visitors yesterday. 270 visitors out of 99 postings is my personal worst day yet! However, I really don't care how many visitors I get, I care about how much money I make. And out of those 270 visitors, I received approximately 40 opt-ins, and $32 in Adsense revenue!!!

So I guess, on a percentage basis, yesterday was my best day ever. If you're looking at traffic received from my ads posted on Craigslist, it was my worst day ever. This is a crazy business:-)

Draw whatever conclusions you would like from this. Luck. Fate. My ad that was posted on Craigslists qualified the people better, therefore less people clicked through, but the quality of visitors was much greater. I don't know, in all likelihood it was probably a combination of all three!

Bottom line - advertising by posting on Craigslist is working for me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Only Redirected URLs Worked Today

The day started off normally, creating new ads, and submitting them to Craigslist. However, they were all being ghosted. Very strange, since they were all unique. I was probably triggering some SPAM filter on something in my ad. So I continued to change one thing after another. Still no luck. No matter what I did, my ads would not stick.

Then, as a crazy thought, I decided to use use redirected URLs as I mentioned in a previous post. I knew it wouldn't work, since just plan old text wasn't even working for me. Well Craigslist continues to dumbfound me. It Worked!!! So instead of trying to figure out why and how it works, I decided to be thankful and just continue to post.

So after some trial and error this morning, I was able to post 60 ads on Craigslist using redirected URLS. I'll probably post some more this evening if I feel like it. We'll see how things go.