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  1. #1
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    Craigslist and the like
    I am just starting in internet marketing have been wondering why everyone bangs on about advertising in Craigslist, Backpage and so on. I thought it was against policy to advertise affiliate programs on them but there are plenty of "gurus" who recommend marketing on Craigslist etc, also why is Craigslist better than USFREEADS which is number one on Alexa? Wouldn't be better than CL? Thanks for any advice that's given.

    _______________________
    Bonham

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    "gurus"
    indeed.

    Craigslist is not intended for affiliate marketing. That doesn't mean that no one does it. People send spam too, but that is not a recommended business plan either. Alexa rankings don't mean anything except that Alexa users like that site, hardly a valid endorsement.

    The acceptable ways to get traffic consist of legitimate advertising or providing your visitors with a reason to tell others to visit your site. That method generally gets Google's attention too and you move up in the rankings, bring in even more traffic. Other related sites notice and you get backlinks. It takes longer and it is more work but it builds and lasts. There are legitimate directories that welcome links to your site if it is related to their topics. There are not very many places online that welcome afilliate link dropping but if you join and participate in related forums it can be done.

  3. #3
    Manager - Affiliate Marketing Patrick Vesperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonham
    also why is Craigslist better than USFREEADS which is number one on Alexa?
    Alexa, like 2busy said, is biased and should not be considered a great source of information, but a small piece.

  4. #4
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    Plenty of "gurus" recommend many, many practices which are illegal and ineffective. Most "gurus" make their money by persuading you to buy their advice, not from helping you succeed. Unfortunately, it's easier to get people to pay for "get rich quick and easy" advice than for "make money by doing useful work" advice. If you're selling advice to strangers whom you'll never meet in person, and you have no ethics, you'll sell whatever advice you think people want to hear.

    (1) Like thousands of other web sites, CraigsList is very, very useful for people with certain needs. I've bought and sold many things on CraigsList -- my own personal stuff (I've bought and sold cars, computers, furniture, books). I even met my wife through CraigsList (but I wasn't "shopping for a wife").

    But CraigsList is not useful for 99% companies seeking to sell products online, and wasting time and effort promoting on CraigsList is a waste of time for many companies.

    In addition, by spamming on Craigslist, you make the site less useful for its intended purpose. Don't seek to profit by "fouling the well," because you probably won't profit but you certainly will cause others to suffer.

    (2) As others mention, Alexa can be manipulated and is unreliable for many purposes. It can be a useful tool for some purposes, but its rankings are frequently inaccurate by an order of magnitude; in some cases, its rankings are irrational and absurd.

    (3) I've never even heard of the other "free classified ad" site you mention. I'm already sorry I wasted the time to glance at the site: it's a haven for the worsy spammy offers, and I can't imagine why any real consumer would visit the site.

    The site you mention is listed FIRST in the organic Google search results for "FREE ADS," because it superficially meets the needs of people who want to PLACE free ads.

    But I'm afraid that your end-goal is probably not "place a free ad." Instead, your end-goal is probably to sell goods or services, and the site you mention doesn't appear at all in search results for specific products or services.

    (4) Don't start with a solution (e.g. CraigsList). Start with the problem (what are you trying to sell, to whom, for what use) and figure out what VALUE you can provide to help meet a specific need of consumers.
    Last edited by markwelch; July 6th, 2009 at 11:50 AM.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    If I see those "get rich quick" schemes on Craigslist, especially those related to affiliate marketing, I flag them for removal. And then I get my coworkers to do the same.
    It's people like this who are giving affiliate marketing a bad reputation and trying to take advantage of people are in facing tough economic times.
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

  6. #6
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Affiliate advertising is definitely against the rules on Craigslist... As a side note: it will also get your account terminated at ShareASale should you be found doing it. It is essentially just spam.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  7. #7
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Yes, people do some pretty creative things to get the sale sometimes. When users browse craigslist, they are looking for physical goods or local services available in their geographic vicinity. They are not looking to be forwarded (i.e.) to a Halloween shopping site via a post that advertised this year's hottest costume, only to follow the link and find out they are now going to an online retailer.

    I get upset when I see people spamming CL. Free won't remain free forever if the spam keeps rising. It is a fabulous free service. Let's keep it that way.


  8. #8
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    Look at what 'we' (affiiates) have done to Craigslist today.
    ------

    craigslist SCAM ALERT

    SCAM ALERT - affiliate scammers are posting bogus ads promising (nonexistent!) employment, paid research trials, or other compensation, but then notifying repliers that they'll need to jump through a hoop first, directing them to:

    * background checking services
    * credit checking or reporting sites
    * sites where you are instructed to enter your resume or other personal information
    * sites where you are asked to sign up for a "free" trial offer
    * sites offering training or education
    * sites offering a "system" for making money
    * survey or focus group sites
    * sites designed to deliver malware or misuse your identifying information


    all in hopes of earning affiliate marketing commissions or otherwise profiting at the expense of persons seeking employment.


    Lots of variations on this scam, but each generally involves dangling (nonexistent!) compensation, and then directing you to a website where you are asked to sign up for something, use your credit card, or input personal information such as your email address.

    Continue to job postings


    FUN FACT: If you are able to determine a scammer's "affiliate ID" and report it to their affiliate marketing program, this will often result in termination of the scammer, and confiscation of the scammer's ill-gotten gains by the affiliate program.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    Hey Cougarmark, I hope you don't think you are one of "these" affiliates.
    If you are, then maybe you shouldn't be on ABW.
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

  10. #10
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    I specifically try to be one of the affiliates doing the right thing versus trying to squeeze every dime out of the internet regardless of how that is done.
    Most of my time is spent on the management side and in Lead Gen.
    But I continue finding more and more fraud and spam.

  11. #11
    CPA Network Rep
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    CL should be very effective in certain circumstances for specific affiliates. eg. Real Estate or Job Listings
    [B][FONT=Tahoma]Chris Wu
    Product Manager/ Business Analyst [/FONT] [/B]
    +1.646.723.4371
    [email=cwu@vhmnetwork.com]cwu@VHMnetwork.com[/email]
    [URL=http://www.vhmnetwork.com]www.VHMnetwork.com[/URL]

    Affiliates register today for top and fast payouts - [URL=http://vhmnetwork.com/index.php?Act=affil_regi]Click Here![/URL]

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Why would you encourage any affiliate to go against the TOS of CL? CL is for user to user sales, not affiliates and they clearly state that when you create your account there. Do you also encourage spamming?

    In addition, by spamming on Craigslist, you make the site less useful for its intended purpose. Don't seek to profit by "fouling the well," because you probably won't profit but you certainly will cause others to suffer.
    Affiliate advertising is definitely against the rules on Craigslist... As a side note: it will also get your account terminated at ShareASale should you be found doing it. It is essentially just spam.

  13. #13
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    I don't engage in CL, but I have heard of affiliates who post a few quality (real estate/job listings) on CL that lead directly to the particular job/property and have been successful in doing so.
    [B][FONT=Tahoma]Chris Wu
    Product Manager/ Business Analyst [/FONT] [/B]
    +1.646.723.4371
    [email=cwu@vhmnetwork.com]cwu@VHMnetwork.com[/email]
    [URL=http://www.vhmnetwork.com]www.VHMnetwork.com[/URL]

    Affiliates register today for top and fast payouts - [URL=http://vhmnetwork.com/index.php?Act=affil_regi]Click Here![/URL]

  14. #14
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    I am glad to see that CL is taking some action on this. But, I am sad to know that people viewing their disclaimer might otherwise think that all affiliate marketers are scammers (due to the links to wikipedia "affiliate marketing.")

    I hope they change it soon to reflect that affiliate marketing is legal, and performed by many of the top companies online (even Opera via their default browser homepage is an affiliate.) Also, just because it is unwelcome on CL (as it should be) doesn't mean that the people viewing the disclaimer might not be led to believe that affiliate marketing is all together a bad thing. I feel like we are getting a black eye here by getting lumped together, good affiliates and bad.
    Last edited by sfcom; November 2nd, 2009 at 05:58 PM.


  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Perhaps some of those "successful" listings are what prompted CL to issue the Scam Alert?
    craigslist SCAM ALERT

    SCAM ALERT - affiliate scammers are posting bogus ads promising (nonexistent!) employment, paid research trials, or other compensation, but then notifying repliers that they'll need to jump through a hoop first, directing them to:

    * background checking services
    * credit checking or reporting sites
    * sites where you are instructed to enter your resume or other personal information
    * sites where you are asked to sign up for a "free" trial offer
    * sites offering training or education
    * sites offering a "system" for making money
    * survey or focus group sites
    * sites designed to deliver malware or misuse your identifying information


    all in hopes of earning affiliate marketing commissions or otherwise profiting at the expense of persons seeking employment.


    Lots of variations on this scam, but each generally involves dangling (nonexistent!) compensation, and then directing you to a website where you are asked to sign up for something, use your credit card, or input personal information such as your email address.
    By the same reasoning spamming is a good business model because it can be successful.
    There are a lot of inexperienced new affiliates looking through ABW to learn how it's done and these are the kinds of suggestions that can start them off badly.

  16. #16
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    I should say also...just to toot my own horn a bit...that I did have a little online conversation with Craig Newmark a while back regarding exactly this problem in the jobs section. There were many links that directed users to spammy URLs selling products or siphoning information from the job seekers. Maybe I'll drop him another line and see if he can't change the new CL warning verbiage a bit.

    If anyone else wants to also, that might help. Search twitter. He isn't too hard to find.


  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager BlogBonnieBlog's Avatar
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    I've actually managed a program where someone tried to promote it thru craigslist making attending one of our demos a requirement for a [fake] job interview process. He was finally caught when people started calling us wondering what the next step was in the interview process. It was really sad to see these people who were so excited to try to get a job realize they had fallen prey to a scam and it did not make us look good either.

    Waste of a lot of peoples time and in the end he got booted out of CJ and lost all of his commissions.

  18. #18
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfcom
    I should say also...just to toot my own horn a bit...that I did have a little online conversation with Craig Newmark a while back regarding exactly this problem in the jobs section. There were many links that directed users to spammy URLs selling products or siphoning information from the job seekers. Maybe I'll drop him another line and see if he can't change the new CL warning verbiage a bit.

    If anyone else wants to also, that might help. Search twitter. He isn't too hard to find.
    Answering a few questions about the "dos and don'ts" on CL would benefit EVERYONE here.

    Landing pages that have .....

    Aff. links?

    Forms?

    Promo?

    Any method of driving targeted traffic to a content page and monetizing it is GOOD!

    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy )
    StartRemodeling.com .... MySprinklerGuy.com .... MyGarageGuy.com ....
    We're Bettering YOUR Life by Improving Where YOU Live It ...
    Do What You LOVE & LOVE What You Do! ....

  19. #19
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RemodelingGuy
    Answering a few questions about the "dos and don'ts" on CL would benefit EVERYONE here.

    Landing pages that have .....

    Aff. links?

    Forms?

    Promo?

    Any method of driving targeted traffic to a content page and monetizing it is GOOD!
    To my knowledge, none of that is allowed. Craigslist is meant as a way for people to get local goods and services. Advertising via affiliate marketing otherwise pollutes the free service CL provides. That, in turn, creates the need to have more humans patrol, therefore adding expense.

    Let's keep what is free as just that. No affiliate links/landing pages/forms on CL. Period. After all, CL doesn't even monetize themselves through affiliate links, so why should others? When in their house, we need to play by their rules. There are many other free methods of self-promotion available that allow affiliates. CL just isn't one. Never has been. And, I can say as an affiliate, I hope it never will be. This is, after all, one of the great cornerstones of the internet. It should be respected.

    But, as usual...those with out of country addresses and IPs will continue to spam them with minimal risk. Where there's a buck to be made, some stop at nothing.


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