Advertising on Craigslist Advertising on Craigslist is worthwhile for just about any business offering products or services. Whether these products are offered through ecommerce websites or physical stores, the business owners can see financial gains through advertising on Craigslist. Firstly unlike other advertising opportunities there is very little risk involved in posting on Craigslist. With the exception of job postings and housing postings in specific markets, advertising is free on Craigslist. Users are asked to agree to the terms of service of the community and are expected to follow specific guidelines when posting advertisements but there are no financial obligations to those placing advertisements on Craigslist. This means those who post advertisements do not have to be concerned with whether or not the advertisement they place will meet their expectations in terms of sales generated. Reaching Potential Customers on Craigslist Another reason why posting advertisements for products or services on Craigslist is so worthwhile is the likelihood of reaching a large audience of potential customers. A review of the Craigslist fact sheet reveals pertinent information regarding the amount of traffic the website receives. According to this information Craigslist receives approximately four billion page views each month with ten million people using Craigslist each month. From these statistics it is clear that advertisements placed on Craiglist are likely to receive at least some attention from potential clients. With so many visitors using Craigslist each month the advertising possibilities are limitless, however, there are no guarantee any of these visitors will be interested in your products or services. Like any marketing campaign, your advertisements on Craigslist must be intriguing, informative and in a location where you will reach your target audience. Finding Your Target Audience on Craigslist We’ve already discussed the number of visitors using Craigslist each month but the key to taking advantage of these numbers is to target your advertising in a way aimed at reaching your target audience as opposed to a wide audience of individuals who have no specific interest in your products or services. It is much more worthwhile to reach a small audience of those with a keen interest in your products or services than to reach a much larger audience of those who are not interested. Those who have an interest in your products or services are your target audience. The key to reaching your target audience on Craigslist is placing your advertisement in the most appropriate locations. Craigslist has a specific section for businesses to advertise their services. This section is broken down into a number of categories. Those who are in the business of computer repair would be wise to place their advertisement in the computer section as opposed to the automotive section because individuals looking for computer help will naturally migrate to the computer section. It may sometimes be appropriate to place an advertisement in more than one section. This is acceptable as long as it does not cross the line to spamming the section. If there is not a specific section for the products or services offered by your business there are a couple of options. Business owners can place an advertisement in the section for small business advertisements where it might be found by those doing a search in this section. Alternately the business owner can contact Craigslist to suggest the addition of a new category. They might be willing to oblige if they believe this category warrants an addition. The Difference between Advertising and Spamming Advertising on Craigslist is one thing but spamming is quite another. Placing an advertisement in an appropriate section of Craigslist is acceptable; however, placing the same advertisement in nearly every section of Craigslist websites for a number of different geographical regions is considered spam. Spam is ineffective for a number of reasons. First of all potential customers who see a particular advertisement in a number of different locations are likely to recognize the spamming techniques and be less inclined to patronize this business. Also, if Craigslist detects the practice of spamming they may delete all of the postings and could potentially ban advertisements from the individual in the future. Word count 685
Affiliate Marketing through Craigslist Craiglist is an extensive online community which has a great deal to offer to users of this community. With approximately four billion page views per month it should come as no surprise that Craigslist can offer a wealth of financial opportunities to savvy Internet marketers who know how to capitalize on the popularity of this website. Affiliate marketing is one of the ways knowledgeable Internet marketers can expand on the profitability of their websites. Craigslist provides wonderful opportunities for both ecommerce website owners seeking affiliates to market for them as well as those who are in the business of affiliate marketing who are looking for new opportunities to market for another business. This article will provide an explanation of affiliate marketing and will also provide information on how Craigslist can be used to either find affiliates or affiliate opportunities. What is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate marketing is essentially a marketing campaign in which the business owner only pays the affiliate based on performance. Unlike conventional marketing campaigns where the business owner pays for the advertising regardless of the results produced by the advertisements, in affiliate marketing the business owner only pays when a specific result is achieved. Affiliate marketing usually takes place in the following three forms: * Pay Per Click * Pay Per Sale * Pay Per Lead In a pay per click affiliate marketing campaign the affiliate places a coded link on their website and each time a visitor to their website clicks through the link to the sponsor’s website, the affiliate receives a sum of money. The amount of money they receive is based on an agreement between the sponsor and the affiliate. This amount can be cents, dollars or even a fraction of a cent. In a pay per sale campaign the affiliate is not compensated when the visitor clicks through to the sponsor’s website unless they also make a purchase when they click through this link. Again the amount of money the affiliate receives will depend on a pre-determined agreement and may be a specific amount or a percentage of the sale. In a pay per lead program the affiliate receives monetary compensation when a visitor clicks through the affiliate link and performs a specific action such as registering at the sponsor’s website or requesting additional information. Using Craigslist to Find Potential Affiliates Business owners who are interested in finding affiliates to promote their website may use Craigslist for the purpose of finding these affiliates. It may seem logical to post affiliate opportunities in the jobs section of Craigslist but it is important to note this is against Craigslist’s job posting policies. Review of the policy for posting jobs on Craigslist will verify these requirements. Therefore those who are interested in finding affiliates will have to take advantage of other areas of Craigslist to find affiliates. Visiting discussion forums related to your business may be one way to find potential affiliates. However, when using the discussion forums, care should be taken to avoiding spamming the discussion forums with links to sign up for your affiliate program. Such spamming techniques are likely to not be taken seriously by potential affiliates and may incur more severe penalties by Craigslist moderators. The best way to find potential affiliates is to make logical contributions to discussions and get to know other participants offline or to include a link to more information on your affiliate marketing program whenever you post. Using Craigslist to Find Opportunities for Affiliates Those who generate a profit from acting as an affiliate for others can find new affiliate opportunities through Craigslist. Although posting these opportunities on the job boards are prohibited it is possible for advertisements of this nature to appear either because the original poster was not aware of the restrictions or because they deliberately ignored the restrictions. These types of advertisements are likely to be removed when discovered but they may exist for a short time without being noticed. Those who act as affiliates can also find potential leads by placing advertisements in the services section or the resumes section. They may also find potential leads by networking with those in the discussion forums. Word count 691
Affordable Advertising on Craigslist The advertising on Craigslist is certainly affordable. In fact there is no fee for the majority of posts made on Craigslist. Craigslist began as a non-profit organization but in 1999 it was converted to a for profit organization. However, operating costs are supported by charging nominal fees for help wanted advertisements placed on the San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City Craigslist websites. Additionally, there is a fee for brokerage apartment listings in New York City. The vast majority of those posting advertisements on any of the Craigslist over 300 websites are not paying a fee to do so. This definitely makes posting advertisements on Craigslist to be worthwhile from a financial standpoint. While the advertisements are free care should be taken to post these advertisements judiciously because although there is financial loss, poor posting can result in a loss of time and resources if it leads to poor profit potential. Why Craigslist is Free Although the founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark, was approached in 1997 about the possibility of running banner advertisements on Craigslist to generate a profit, he made the decision to keep Craigslist as a noncommercial website. Even after Craigslist was converted to a for profit organization commercialization did not infiltrate the website. The points listed in the Craigslist mission statement demonstrate why Craigslist has remained noncommercial: * Giving each other a break, getting the word out about everyday, real-world stuff * Restoring the human voice to the Internet, in a humane, non-commercial environment * Keeping things simple, common-sense, down-to-earth, honest, very real * Providing an alternative to impersonal, big-media sites * Being inclusive, giving a voice to the disenfranchised, democratizing… * Being a collection of communities with similar spirit, not a single monolithic entity Advertising on Craigslist vs. Affiliate Marketing Affiliate marketing is another type of marketing which many business owners find to be both worthwhile and affordable. For many the appeal of affiliate marketing is the affiliates are not compensated for their efforts unless the business owner sees some type of gain from the advertising. This gain may be in the form of website traffic in the case of pay per click marketing, in the form of sales in pay per sale marketing or in the form of potential leads when a website visitor performs a specific action such as registering with a website or signing up for an offer. While affiliate marketing is very appealing there are others who prefer advertising on Craigslist. The advantages Craigslist offers to advertisers is, of course, that the advertisers never pay for their business advertisements and the community receives a great deal of website traffic already so driving traffic to the website is not a concern. Why Free Is Not Always Better However, there are some specific instances where free advertising is not the best type of advertising available. Consider a product or service for which Craigslist does not have an appropriate category. In this case advertising on Craigslist may not be worthwhile because although the advertisement is free, it is also not likely to receive a great deal of attention from members of the target audience. In this case, advertising on Craigslist may be a waste of resources. Another example of an instance when Craigslist may not be a great advertising option is when the market is already saturated with competitors’ advertisements. In this case it can be difficult to sway customer loyalty so it might be more worthwhile to pay for advertising in a less crowded market. Word count 580
Answering Advertisements on Craigslist Craigslist is an online community which has a great deal to offer to both individuals and business owners. Some of the features on Craigslist include sections for community events, activities and news, personals advertisements, discussion forums, housing opportunities, for sale items, services offered, small business advertisements, jobs and resumes. While some of these sections such as the discussion forum and parts of the community section exist exclusively for the purpose of exchanging information or ideas, other sections such as the personals, housing, sale, services, job and resume sections provide the opportunity for users to respond to advertisements for more information or to make a purchase. In these cases uses should exercise caution. This article will focus on specific precautions which should be taken when answering advertisements in the personals, housing and jobs sections of Craigslist. Answering Personals Advertisements The personals section of Craigslist can be a great place for individuals to meet platonic friends or potential romantic partners. However, it can also be a location for predators to prey on unsuspecting victims who do not realize the threat of danger which may exist with meeting online partners in person. One of the simplest ways to avoid potentially harmful situations is to never agreeing to meet someone in a desolate location. Initial meetings should take place in busy, public locations to minimize the potential for danger. Predators are much less likely to attempt to harm you in a public location. Additionally, it is wise to not travel to a secluded location with someone you don’t know until you are positive they do not intend to do you any harm. Precautions should also be taken to avoid giving out personal information such as your address to those you meet online. The Internet affords a certain degree of anonymousness and some unscrupulous individuals can take advantage of this to mask their true identity. Answering Housing Advertisements The housing advertisements on Craigslist offer opportunities for those who are seeking housing situations such as rental of a housing location, roommate opportunities, sublets or house swaps. Care should be taken in all of these opportunities to ensure the person you are working with does not have any ill intentions towards you. This can be done by carefully screening all potential roommates or others who might be using your house or apartment. When selecting a potential roommate it is important to verify the individual is trustworthy and able to pay the rent. It is also important to seek out an individual with living habits similar to your own to avoid the potential for conflict. Answering Job Advertisements Craigslist is an excellent location for finding exciting new career opportunities. There are many different job advertisements in a variety of different categories. These job opportunities include full time, part time, telecommute and contract positions. The downside to answering job advertisements on Craigslist is the advertisements are often placed anonymously. Those who place the advertisements are given the opportunity to either use their own email address for candidates to respond or to have candidates respond through an email address generated by Craigslist. Therefore, candidates do not always know who has placed the advertisements. For this reason care should be taken when responding to these advertisements to avoid supplying specific contact information. Candidates are instead urged to supply only an email address when responding to advertisements. Word count 559
Around the World with Craigslist Craigslist is an online community which offers members the opportunity to take a virtual trip around the world. There are Craigslist sites covering cities in all 50 states of the United States as well as sites for cities in over 50 different countries. With so much local and international coverage it is clear to see how users of Craigslist can virtually travel the globe through Craigslist. The existence of Craigslist communities around the world gives users all over the world a variety of opportunities including the ability to find international jobs, learn about cultural events, meet others in distant locations and find housing options in either different states or foreign countries. Working Abroad For many the appeal of working abroad may be very alluring. This is especially appealing to those who are young and do not have any commitments such as family keeping them from taking a risk and attempting to find a job abroad. Additionally, those who are financially secure and approaching retirement may be enticed to consider a foreign job. Although the possibility of working in another country may seem intimidating to some, there are others who may enjoy the opportunity to take on this type of adventure. Learn about Cultural Events Those who are planning a trip to another state or country may find the community section of Craigslist to be especially helpful. Here they can search for events which may be going on during their visit or activities which may be of interest to them during their trip. In the community section of Craigslist, users can also find information relating to volunteer opportunities or classes of interest. They can also review the local news section of a particular location to learn more about what is going on in that particular area. All of this information can be useful for users who are planning a trip as well as for those who are just interested in learning more about another geographic location. Make Long Distance Connections The personals section may also be of interest to those who are planning a vacation to another geographic location. Those who do not know anyone in the area might post an advertisement seeking a tour guide to show them around the city or accompany them to events. Although this may seem like a risky endeavor to those who are less adventurous, it can lead to an excellent opportunity to have a native provide you with insider information on a particular location during your visit. Of course caution should be exercised to ensure the encounter is not potentially harmful. One way to avoid being placed in a potentially harmful situation is to agree to meet those found through a personals advertisement in a busy, public location during daylight hours and to never go to a secluded location with the individual. Find a Place to Stay Those who are looking for affordable housing in another location might consider the housing swap category under the housing section for a particular city. Here individuals post information regarding the type of home or apartment they have, the location of their housing and information regarding when and where they would like to find another homeowner to swap homes with for a set period of time. A housing swap may be an affordable way to eliminate lodging from a travel budget but it does come with some inherent problems. The primary problem is you have to first find another homeowner who is willing to offer their housing for a period of time, secondly you have to coordinate with the other owner to find a suitable time for the swap and finally you have to rely on the other individual’s description of their domicile. Additionally, the homeowner has to be willing to allow the other individual to use their own home for a period of time. This may make many feel uneasy because they may be fearful of their possessions being stolen or their house being damaged. However, those who are willing to take this risk may find an affordable solution to lodging costs. Word count 680
Can Craigslist Improve Your Business? The answer to this question is yes and no and maybe. It all depends on the way in which the business owners utilize Craigslist. Savvy Internet marketers who are able to identify the target audience and create sales copy which entices the reader may find advertising on Craigslist to be incredibly profitable. Conversely Internet markets that do not do their research and take a spamming approach to advertising on Craigslist are not likely to see significant financial gains.
There is certainly an opportunity to gain financial benefit through advertising on Craigslist. Advertising for all products and services is free on Craigslist making it cost effectively. Additionally, Craigslist already receives extensive traffic with approximately ten million visitors generating four billion page views each month so there is no need to drive traffic to the website.
While Craigslist offers so many advertising benefits, these benefits may be wasted if the advertiser does not do his research or evaluate the competition. Research before Posting on Craigslist Advertising on Craigslist is similar to advertising in other forms of media. Despite the existing heavy traffic flows to the website, successful marketing campaigns require extensive research. This research should provide the Internet marketer and his staff with insight into where post the advertisements to most effectively reach the target audience, how to word the copy of the advertisement to make it most appealing to the target audience and which relevant keywords should be included in the advertising copy to make it likely for members of the target audience to find the advertisement easily when searching for products and services offered by the company. Research of this capacity can be conducted either online or offline. One of the most effective forms of this type of research is to have members of the target audience fill out market surveys. The answers provided by the participants should give the marketer a good idea of what the target audience is seeking. Incorporating this information into the marketing campaign can make it noticeably more successful. Evaluate the Competition on Craigslist The search feature on Craigslist gives an Internet marketer an excellent way to evaluate the competition. Studying the competition is important because it can help you to learn how you can be more successful. This increased success can be a result of determining successful aspects of the competitor’s marketing strategy and implementing these strategies as well as determining faulty aspects of the competitor’s marketing strategy and avoiding these strategies. To get a good idea of the competitors who are advertising on Craigslist, use the search feature to search for keywords relevant to your own products and services. You will likely receive search results including advertisements from competitors. Next, carefully analyze these advertisements to determine how your can not only create better products and services at more affordable prices but also write more engaging advertising copy. Many wise Internet marketers have the reasoning skills necessary to properly analyze the advertisements for competitors but they often falter when taxed with the dilemma of creating better advertisements. This is when the services of a professional sales copywriter with search engine optimization (SEO) skills becomes a vital part of the equation. This writer can use his SEO training as well as his knowledge on the subject of writing advertising copy to effectively entice members of the target audience to either purchase products or services or at least investigate these products or services further. Word count 573
Contract Positions Available through Craigslist As outsourcing becomes a more and more popular options for both small business and large corporations, Craigslist is leading the way for employers and contract employees to connect. Craigslist is an expansive community and those who advertise on Craigslist are fully aware of the large audience reached by Craigslist. Potential employees are equally aware of the size of the Craigslist community and often turn to Craigslist first in their job search especially when they are looking for work to be completed on a contract basis. Finding a Contract Position on Craigslist The number of employees seeking work on a contract basis is increasing in leaps and bounds. More and more employees are making a move toward self employment where they are able to determine when and where they work, their fees, the types of projects they accept as well as their project deadlines. This movement is a reaction to the ever increasing propensity of corporate America to make outrageous demands on employees to generate a greater profit for the company. It is also linked to the increasing occurrence of outsourcing by corporations. Individuals see work being outsourced and realize there is an opportunity for them to work independently and accept these outsourced projects. So, where does Craigslist fit into this picture? The simple answer is Craigslist is making it easier for employers looking to outsource and independent contractors to come into contact. Those who place a job advertisement on Craigslist are required to answer a series of questions. One of these questions is whether the position is a full time position, a part time position or a temporary contract position. Employers respond to this question and as a result the job advertisement is automatically searchable by the term of employment. Job seekers on Craigslist can enter the term, “contract” into the search to receive results which were listed as contract type employment. The ability to search by whether or not a position is a contract position on Craigslist provides an advantage over other websites designed specifically for job seekers. This is significant because it not only helps job seekers who are looking for this type of work to find potential matches more quickly but it also helps employers as well because they are less likely to receive applications from employees looking for contract work when they have an advertisement for a full time position and likewise they are less likely to receive applications from employees looking for full time employment when they are seeking to fill a contract position. This can help to make the process of finding an employee through Craigslist quicker and more efficient. Why Contract Positions are So Appealing There are a number of reasons why contract positions are so appealing to members of the Craigslist community. Many of these employees are drawn to contract type work because of the flexibility it offers them. Employees who are seeking contract employment may be doing so for a couple of reasons. This may include wanting to earn extra income around the confines of a traditional job or wanting to support oneself without committing to a regular nine to five job. One of the main advantages to contract employment is it usually includes a higher hourly rate than similar positions offered on a full time basis. This is because companies are often required to offer additional benefits to full time employee such as medical coverage, social security and workers’ compensation but they are not required to offer these benefits to contract employees. Therefore the company often compensates the contract employee for the lack of benefits with an increased hourly rate. Employees are also willing to offer a higher hourly rate because they realize they are in need of the special skills the contractor can bring to the company. This is especially true in the case of industries where there is a need to hire experts with highly specialized skills. In these cases it is much more economical for the company to pay these fees to a contractor than to hire, train and retain a full time employee with the same capabilities. Most companies are becoming aware that Craigslist is the best place to find the qualified individuals they are seeking. Word count 705
Craigslist for Beginners Although Craigslist has been around in one form or another since 1995, there are still some who have no idea how to use Craigslist. These individuals are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a growing and continually evolving online community. This community is an excellent resource for finding information, finding jobs, finding friends or dates, making purchases, selling items or discussing important issues. This article will provide a brief introduction to each of the major sections on Craigslist. Community Section The community section of Craigslist is very useful for finding a great deal of local information. This may include activities, events, activities and lost and found just to name a few. This is definitely the section to check out if you are looking for things to do or see in a particular area. Personals Section The Personals section is where individuals can meet platonic friends or romantic partners. This section is set up with a number of different categories making it possible for both heterosexuals and homosexuals to find potential dates. The personals section is restricted to users over 18 years of age. Discussion Forums The discussion forums provide a location for individuals to voice their opinions, answer questions or otherwise exchange information. This section is divided into a number of different categories to make it easier for users to find others who share their interests. Certain categories allow users to post without logging in while other sections require users to log in before posting. Housing Section Craigslist’s housing section offers a variety of options related to lodging. Users of this section can find apartments or homes available for rent, sublet opportunities, potential roommate situations, house or apartment swaps, real estate sales, vacation rentals and even storage, parking and office space for rent or sale. For Sale Section The for sale section of Craigslist is largely self explanatory. Like most sections, it is divided into a number of different categories. Each of these categories describes the types of items which are offered for sale within the category. Additionally, there is a wanted section where users may post advertisements seeking to purchase particular items. Not all of the items listed in the for sale section require a fee to be paid to receive the item. Some of these items are available for free or in barter situation. Services Sections In the services section, service providers may place advertisements for the types of services they offer. Advertisements should be placed in appropriate categories but if there is no appropriate category the advertisement may be placed in the generic small business section. Jobs Section The job section is by far the most extensive section on Craigslist. This section is broken down into a number of different categories to make it easier for users to search for potential career matches. Users may find full time as well as part time opportunities in this section as well as telecommute positions and contract positions. Gigs Section The gigs section is similar to the jobs section but advertisements in the gigs section are supposed to refer to one time only opportunities as opposed to ongoing work. For example advertisements for volunteer staff needed for a one day event should be placed in the gigs section while advertisements for full time staff positions should be placed in jobs. Resumes Section The resumes section enables job seekers to post their resumes. The key to getting noticed in this section is to use a catchy headline for the resume. The resumes are not divided into different categories making it difficult for users to search through these resumes. Word count 605
Craigslist from Ant Farms to Zookeepers If you haven’t already learned about the wealth of information and opportunities available on Craigslist it is time to start learning more about this exciting online community. The Craigslist fact sheet defines Craigslist as, “Local community classifieds and forums - a place to find jobs, housing, goods & services, social activities, a girlfriend or boyfriend, advice, community information, and just about anything else -- all for free, and in a relatively non-commercial environment.” This definition is certainly worthy of all that Craigslist has to offer to visitors. The fact sheet also points out that Craigslist receives approximately four billion page views per month and is visited by approximately ten million visitors each month. This article will provide a brief history of Craigslist and will discuss two of the most commonly used sections of Craigslist. This includes the for sale section and the jobs section. The History of Craigslist Craigslist begin in 1995, essentially as an email list run by Craig Newmark for the purpose of keeping his friends informed of interesting events occurring in the San Francisco Bay Area. This system spread through word of mouth and the list grew. After sometime others began using the list to respond to the entire list with information about other events or as a way to make requests or exchange information. Those who began responding on Craigslist began posting items such as jobs, for sale items, apartment openings and other pieces of information. Newmark wrote software to enable participants to post this information onto the website which became known as Craigslist. org. Although Newmark was approached in 1997 about the possibility of running banner advertisements on his website, he declined this opportunity. Finding Items for Sale on Craigslist The for sale section of Craigslist is the place to find items which are for sale. This section is divided into a variety of different categories. Users can browse through appropriate categories to find other users offering items for sale which may be of interest to them. Those who cannot find an item they are seeking can take advantage of the wanted section to post an advertisement seeking a particular item as well as the price they are willing to pay for this item. When purchasing an item on Craigslist there is always the potential for receiving an item that is not in the condition described in the advertisement. Asking many questions is the best way to avoid this type of problem when making a purchase. Finding Jobs on Craigslist One of the most popular sections of Craigslist is the jobs section. Job seekers prefer Craigslist over other websites designed specifically for finding jobs because Craigslist offers those posting the job the opportunity to include information such as whether telecommuting is an option or the position is a contract position in addition to whether it is full time or part time. This is significant because many other websites do not include this information and job seekers who rely on the Internet are likely to be more interested in these options that offer greater flexibility. Browsing through Craigslist for potential jobs is surprisingly easy. Job seekers simply enter the Craigslist website for the desired geographical region and select a category from the jobs section that describes their desired field of employment. Alternately job seekers can use the search feature to find their dream job. Word count 560
Craigslist Precautions Craigslist can be a very valuable online community for those who are looking for a variety of options including jobs, products, services, personal connections or housing opportunities. Users of this community can find all of the above listed opportunities and can also meet others and network or discuss important issues. However, because Craigslist is an online community there is always the opportunity for scammers and predators to be lurking on Craigslist. Craigslist has approximately four billion page views per month and approximately ten million visitors each month. The majority of these visitors likely have no harmful intentions but there is a small percentage, as on any online community, who may be seeking to harm others either physically or financially. There are, however, a number of very worthwhile reasons to use the Craigslist community for finding more information on career possibilities, meeting platonic friends or romantic partners or purchasing products or services. This article will take a look at why Craigslist is so useful but will also offer sage advice on how to protect yourself while using Craigslist. Why Choose Craigslist for Online Searches Many might wonder why Craigslist is so appealing. While there are other websites which focus exclusively on job searches, product purchases or meeting potential platonic friends or partners, Craigslist is unique in that it provides one convenient location for all of these types of searches and more. Craigslist might have started as a small operation focusing exclusively on the events going on in the San Francisco Bay Area but has since mushroomed into a much larger community with websites specific to different geographic regions. The different websites focusing on specific geographic regions makes Craigslist an excellent resource because the users can communicate with those in their area directly instead of having to search through a larger database to find information on people, products and events in their area. How to Protect Yourself on Craigslist Craigslist is not anymore dangerous than other online communities. As with an Internet gathering place, the biggest problem is the ease in which individuals can disguise themselves and trick others into believing they are trustworthy when they are not. This applies both to individuals who seek to physically harm others as well as those who have intentions to scam others out of money or tangible items. One of the best ways to protect yourself on Craigslist, or any online community, is to safeguard your personal information. This means information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers and other similar numbers should not be given out unless the individual is positive who will be receiving the information and that it is being transmitted over a secure server. This is important because this information can be used for identity theft or other fraudulent purposes. Care should also be taken to avoid giving out personal information such as full name, address and phone number. This is especially important because such information could be used by someone with malicious intent to locate an individual. While name, address and phone number are obvious pieces of information which should be safeguarded, it is important to note other pieces of information could be used to find a person. For example a person can be identified and located by supplying seemingly harmless information such as a first name, where high school was attended and year of graduation. Determined criminals can use this information to deduce the last name of the person which could lead to finding their address and using this information to harm or harass the individual. Word count 593
Earning a Living with Craigslist Believe it or not, it is entirely possible for savvy individuals to earn their living through Craigslist. More and more individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit are realizing there are a host of opportunities for those who are willing to work hard to earn a living through hard work, learning about online communities such as Craigslist and effectively marketing themselves and their skills or products to those who might be in the market to invest in services or products the individual has to offer. Unlike conventional jobs where there is a set salary for services rendered and an unofficial cap on the earning potential those who offer their services online as an independent contractor have no such cap on their earning potential. However, there are also no guarantees on the amount which will be earned. In general there are two ways to make a living with Craigslist. This may include offering services as an independent contractor on a contract basis or offering products or services as a small business owner. Alternately, individuals can utilize Craigslist to secure a permanent full time job through the job posting section on Craigslist. However, for the purposes of this article we will discuss the possibilities open to independent contractors and small business owners on Craigslist. Craigslist for Independent Contractors Those who offer their services as independent contractors on a contract basis are finding Craigslist to be an excellent location to offer their services or respond to advertisements from those seeking services. An increase in the amount of work being outsourced by both small businesses and large corporations has prompted many savvy individuals to realize there is a market for them to take advantage of these outsourcing opportunities. They can use Craigslist in their effort to do this by placing advertisements for services offered as well as by responding to advertisements seeking contract employees. There is a section on Craigslist specifically for services offered. Under the topic of services offered there are a number of different categories. The contractor can place a posting under the most appropriate category to reach their target audience. There is also a category for small business advertisements which may be used if there are no appropriate categories for the type of services offered. However, it might be more difficult to reach a target audience by placing an advertisement in such a general category. Independent contractors can also gain business opportunities by responding to advertisements seeking contract employees. In searching for a job on Craigslist individuals can begin with a location and then browse through different types of job by category. The easiest way to find a contract position is to use the search feature and check the contract box to include this term as a part of the search criteria. This will ensure the search results returned include only contract positions. Craigslist for Small Business Owners Small business owners can utilize Craigslist to reach a larger audience and grow their business. Those who have a small business have a couple of opportunities to use Craigslist to their advantage. The most obvious way to promote a business on Craigslist is by posting an advertisement in the appropriate category under the for sale or services sections of the community. This can be very effective because Craigslist receives more than four billion page views per month meaning there is a large potential audience using Craigslist. Small business owners can also use the discussion forums portion of the Craigslist community to generate greater profit for their business. However, small business owners should use a great deal of caution to ensure their promotional postings are not viewed as spam. There is a distinct difference between posting information related to your business in a way that is informative to the reader and spamming the boards with useless posts intended solely to promote your business. Spamming is not only likely to be overlooked by readers but also runs the risk that the Craigslist moderators will delete your posts or take more severe actions against you. Word count 672
Finding Everything You Need on Craigslist Craigslist is an extensive community offering a variety of products and services as well as forums for likeminded individuals to discuss issues of importance to them and those who share opposing viewpoints to express their opinions as well. Craigslist also receives approximately four billion page views per month making it clear that there are many people who already realize the value of Craigslist. However, there are many who don’t quite understand Craigslist yet. This article will focus on answering three important questions related to Craigslist for those who do not fully understand what Craigslist is and how they can use it. What Is Craigslist? One of the most elementary questions many people have regarding Craigslist, is what is it? Craigslist is essentially akin to a combination of a newspaper’s classified section combined with the editorial page and a job seekers website all offered online for easy access. Craigslist is an online community which features an extensive classified section including sections for sales of a variety of products and services, sections for job advertisements and even a personals section. Additionally, Craigslist offers locations for individuals to post resumes and a discussion forum where a variety of subjects can be debated and information can be shared. Sound confusing? It really isn’t. A quick visit to the Craigslist. org website will make it immediately clear how much useful this online community really is to people seeking all types of information, products and services. Not only does Craigslist offer such a wealth of information but it also conveniently divides this information into geographical regions making it simple to search for products and services offered in a specific area. How Can Craigslist Help You? Now that you understand what Craigslist is, you may still wonder how it can help you specifically. There is no one simple answer to this question. The benefits you can gain from Craigslist will depend on what you are looking for from this community. In this section we will discuss some of the relevant uses of Craigslist for those who are seeking to purchase products or services, find a job or meet friends or romantic partners and in the following section we will discuss how Craigslist can be beneficial to a business. There is a section on Craigslist specifically for those who are looking to purchase or sell an item. Here those who have items for sale can post an advertisement in an appropriate category and receive responses from those who are interested in this item. Additionally, there is a section for individuals who are seeking a specific item to post an advertisement specifying the item they are looking for and the price they are willing to pay for this item. Craigslist can also be an excellent place to find a job. Craigslist offers a section for job seekers to review job advertisements as well as a section for job seekers to post their resume. One of the major advantages to searching for a job on Craigslist is it offers a variety of flexible options such as telecommute positions and contract positions as well as full time and part time employment. Craigslist can also help individuals meet platonic or romantic friends. There is a personals section on Craigslist where individuals can post advertisements or view advertisements in search of a friend or date. As with any online dating situation, care should be taken to ensure meetings with these potential friends or dates are safe. Arranging initial meetings in public locations or bringing a trusted friend along can help to make these meetings safer. How Can Craigslist Help Your Business? Business owners can benefit from using Craigslist. As previously mentioned, Craigslist receives approximately four billion page views per month so advertising on Craigslist makes it easy to reach a large audience with minimal effort. Business owners can use Craigslist in a number of ways. The most obvious use is to post advertisements touting products and services offered. Another way business owners can use Craigslist is to check out competitors on Craigslist and learn more about how they are reaching potential customers. Word count 684
Finding Jobs through Craigslist Craigslist. org has quickly become one of the most worthwhile resources for those who are in the market for a new job. There are many online resources for job seekers but Craigslist is one of the most extensive. Those who know how to use Craigslist properly can make their search for a new job as narrow or as broad as they wish. This makes it possible for job seekers to enjoy a wide variety of search options which can help them to find the job of their dreams. The advantages Craigslist offers to members of its community is a secure search environment, the ability to narrow the search down to a specific location, a variety of employment options offering flexibility and a large community featuring employers of all sizes. Trust the Security Craigslist Offers One of the major benefits of searching for a new job through Craigslist is the ability to contact potential employers through a secure environment. Most individuals who post a job listing through Craigslist supply an anonymous email address for job candidates to respond to with pertinent information. This email address is supplied through Craigslist which gives job seekers the security of knowing their response will go through the secure Craigslist email system. The downside to this system is employers may not know the name of the employer before they make their initial contact. This can be troublesome especially for potential employees who are concerned about their present employer finding out they are seeking a new job. Craigslist also offers security to job seekers by carefully reviewing job advertisements for content. Craigslist even urges members of the community to report questionable job advertisements. Users are able to flag these advertisements for further review by Craigslist staff. Craigslist then reviews the advertisement carefully to determine whether or not the advertisement may remain or should be deleted. Examples of advertisements which may be deleted are those which appear to be scams. Such advertisements often promise users a great deal of money for very little work in a short period of time. Although there is still the potential for misleading or false advertisements to appear on Craigslist the precautions they take help to minimize the number of these advertisements circulating within the community. Find the Right Job in the Right Location Another advantage to searching for a new job through Craigslist is the ability to narrow down a search to a specific region. Craigslist not only allows users to search for available positions by state but allows users to further refine this search by selecting major cities within the state to include in the search. This is significant because users who live in a particular area may only be interested in jobs within a certain radius. Even job seekers who are considering relocating to a particular state may only be willing to relocate to certain parts of the state. Find Flexibility through Craigslist Another advantage Craigslist offers to the job seeking community is flexibility in employment options. There are an increasing number of employees who are seeking more flexible employment options. Options such as telecommuting and contract employment appeal to many potential employees. Most job search websites do not include options for telecommute positions, contract employment or other flexibility options. However, on Craigslist these are prominent parts of the search feature. Both employers and employees realize Craigslist is the place to go when you are either an employer looking for employees capable of working offsite or you are an employee looking for telecommute, contract or other flex options. Who is using Craigslist? Everyone One final advantage to searching for a new job through Craigslist is an impressive amount of available positions. More and more employers are beginning to realize how widely Craigslist is being used and are also beginning to realize they cannot afford not to place their available positions on Craigslist. Available jobs positions appear on Craigslist communities from small Mom and Pop companies to multi billion dollar corporationspanies of all sizes realize they cannot afford to miss out on the wealth of potential employees who are flocking to Craigslist in search of exciting new job opportunities. Word count 692
Finding Telecommute Positions through Craigslist Telecommuting is quickly becoming one of the most desirable types of employment. The ability to telecommute, either full time or part time, is appealing to employees for a number of reasons. Some of the reasons telecommuting is so appealing to many include the opportunity to spend more time with family, the ability to work according to your own schedule and the chance to avoid the hassles of commuting. While telecommuting is appealing for all of these reasons, there are some pitfalls to telecommuting. Using Craigslist to Find Telecommute Positions For those who are interested in securing a job where they are able to telecommute there is no better place to begin the search than Craigslist. While other popular websites designed specifically for job seekers have been slow to make telecommuting a prominent part of their community, Craigslist is leading the way in promoting telecommute options. When employers post their job advertisements on Craigslist they are asked a series of questions regarding the position. These questions include some of the standard questions such as the salary range, years of experience required, education required and job locations. However, Craigslist also includes questions referring to whether telecommuting is an option for the position. The simple inclusion of this question makes it possible for job seekers to include whether or not telecommuting is acceptable in their search criteria. Spend More Time with Family Why are so many users of Craigslist seeking telecommute positions? As previously mentioned there are a number of appealing aspects to telecommuting. Those who have a spouse or children prefer telecommuting because it gives them more time to spend with their family. Employees who telecommute do not have to spend time traveling to and from their job during rush hours. This travel time can really add up and can take time away from the family. Parents who commute to a traditional job are often much more tired than those who are able to work from home. Those who commute also endure additional amounts of stress which can detract from family time. Work at Your Convenience Another reason job seekers are flocking to Craigslist to find telecommute positions is because they enjoy the ability to work around their own schedule. Parents of young children who telecommute can wake up early and work for two or three hours before their children wake up. They can then spend the morning with their children and then work a couple more hours after lunch while their child naps. Finally, the parent can conclude their workday in the evening after their children go to bed for the evening. This allows the parents to put in a full eight hour workday without compromising anytime with their children. Parents who have school aged children can be available to drive their children to school in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon but spend the time while their child is in school working. The parents may also wake early to work before their children wake up or put in additional hours after their child goes to bed. Again, it is clear why so many members of the Craigslist community are seeking these types of positions. Avoid the Hassles of Commuting Still another reason why Craigslist members are delighted with the ability to search for positions which specifically offer a telecommute option is the desire to avoid the hassle of commuting. Whether an employee commutes to a job via car, bus or train, it is likely to add a significant amount of time to the workday. This is time for which the employee is not usually paid and is time which detracts from family time. Also, depending on the difficulty of the commute it can result in dramatically increased stress levels. The Downside to Telecommuting Although many Craigslist members fully understand the appeal of telecommute positions, it is important to note there are some pitfalls to telecommuting. One of the obvious downsides to telecommuting is friends and family members do not always respect your personal time. They often feel as though imposing is possible because you are at home and have flexibility in your schedule. Another downside to telecommuting is it may sometimes be difficult to separate work and home. Those who work in a traditional office often have an easier time leaving their work at the office while those who work from home are not always able to make this distinction and may spend too much time working just because it is convenient. One of the most important downsides to telecommuting is the employer may question the amount of work the employee is doing. Although many employers offer telecommuting options, these same employers often put less faith in these employees and do not allow them to climb the corporate ladder as quickly as those who work within the office. Word count 806