I promised a few people I would post a few simple and unique ways to tackle the ignominious "flagging" issue that seems to have leapfrogged to the front of the line in terms of obstacles people are having in keeping their ads live. So rather than not going green, these are ads that are being flagged by either editorial staff

I promised a few people I would post a few simple and unique ways to tackle the ignominious “flagging” issue that seems to have leapfrogged to the front of the line in terms of obstacles people are having in keeping their ads live.

Important NOTE:

This post was written 4 years ago…….and MUCH has changed in regard to the CL filters over that time.
They are smarter, quicker and far more aggressive in being able to automatically detect when someone is over posting……OR, posting in an area that is geographically incompatible with their IP address or location.

(a tech head I am NOT…….but as much as this was an issue many moons back when I wrote the post below, it’s even MORE of an issue today, and quite simply, all bullshit aside, if you are trying to make a living off of posting an avalanche of ads in a myriad of markets and a cacaphony of cities around the world……you probably ain’t having much luck, and if you are……..the going ain’t gonna be great for long..:-)

In my view – the REAL opportunities to earn an amazing income online are FAR beyond what is offered on Craigslist – it certainly serves a purpose and if you are a service provider or profesional, it can be a great way of generating leads.

However – I encourage you to read many of the other posts I’ve shared about other traffic techniques that are far superior.….and far LESS stressful as well.  (after all – life is short, and worrying about your ads being “ghosted” all day isn’t a very visionary, or smart strategy for building your brand, your blog, your business…..or your bank account to boot)


Continue reading on below……and remember, for 2013 check out Backpage.com for free hassle free posting – it takes more ads to get great traffic – but the ads are EASY to post – no hassles – no BS – and they have a really inexpensive premium area (to the right of the regular ads) that REALLY converts well in some cities for us – so hopefully you’ll have similar success!)

Continued below..:-)

So rather than not going green, these are ads that are being flagged by either editorial staff, or – more commonly in my best guess, by other peers with too much free time and too little tolerance for good old fashioned competition.

I’ve had my fair share of ads flagged, and it’s almost ALWAYS in the same categories, which leads me to believe it’s more of a function of my peers, rather than problems with the CL review process.

( As none of the ads are inflammatory or a TOS violation beyond the obvious..:-)

Plus there are a few auto posters that have (flawed, but still) plugins or add ons that are explicitly designed to flag competing ads.

Overall – I think, if looked at through the right lens, flagging is good for us as marketers, as it keeps us from getting lazy, and forces lots of adaptive approaches to writing good copy for CL.


One of the most obvious reasons to be flagged in over posting.No one wants to see the same ads over and over again, in profitable categories, especially when they’re own ads aren’t making it up.

Spite, jealousy, anger, a sudden self righteous bonding with the law of the land, etc – these are in my opinion, the primary reason why your ads are get flagged.

( It takes a *few* flags to bring down an ad, but remember, the amount of eyeballs viewing your ad on the competitor side is growing larger day by day).So the key is – to simply keep your ads as unique as possible, WITHOUT obviously having to write an inordinate amount ofads each day in each market you are posting.

As there is very LITTLE you can do about the people who will willy nilly flag any ad that competes with them, or offends their sensibility, let’s instead focus on what we CAN control – the uniqueness, or at least APPEARANCE of uniqueness of our copy.Here is what I’ll do:

WordPress is your friend.

Whenever I promote a new affiliate product, I will at a minimum, register at least one new domain for that topic ( usually many more).I will upload at least 10 unique templates for each domain.

This process, as most of you know, is VERY quick – in less than 30 minutes I will have a minimum of 10 different aesthetics for my content.Now, and this isn’t totally necessary, I will usually customize my templates with a little more detail – i.e. – I will use a graphic header logo on some, others I’ll leave the default WordPress title call, etc.

As I’m pretty familiar with the templates I use, I can get this done in a few hours, even while paying close attention to the Flavor of Love reruns, my favorite TV show of all time.I will then write a good solid piece of content that prominently features my content, and will take SCREENSHOTS of that content using every available template I just installed.

What does this do?

It leaves me with a minimum of 10 different looks for the very same offer, simply by changing the theme in the presentation of my WordPress admin panel.No coding, no html or CSS editing, simply 10 reasonably unique ads in 5 minutes or less once the first step is complete.I do use some premium editing software to make some changes to each image – i.e. – adding URL’s – putting call to action icons in appropriate places, etc – some I will leave totally as is, and so forth.

The truth is, on really close inspection, obviously the offers are the same – as if you are prominently positioning a free eBook, or opt in form in your image, one of your more astute competitors WILL eventually notice.

But – and I speak from experience here, you CAN have multiple ads like this running simultaneously, even in a small city…and have no one be the wiser.

People really don’t pay that close attention too many layers down from the surface in any area of life – and I this one is no different.

Of course you can even scale this up a few notches in the creative chameleon approach to Craigslist…but I will have to leave some of this to your OWN imagination ( rather than mine..:-)

But suffice it to say, you can have one affiliate product covered 14 ways from Tuesday – redirects, site building, using SEO keywords for natural traffic and site building, generating a list – you name it, this strategy is great for saturating a market and simply dominating it on CL.

It’s “bending the web” at it’s finest, only using the simple captive audience and power of Craigslist to do it in a fishbowl.

And of course if you are worried about being too obvious – simply get multiple domains for the very same effect, each new domain you incorporate adds an exponential degree of scalability and flexibility to the process.

I have a few really good WordPress templates I use for this – a really GREAT one for writing killer copy that simply stands out perfectly for these sorts of offers is Stripped by Upstart Blogger, it’s a totally free and makes for fantastically prominent CL copy – especially for those who can’t get their hands dirty with design.

Have fun!

UPDATE FOR 2013: For anyone struggling with Craigslist posting issues……

We’ve had great luck using Backpage.Com – it’s free – no ghosting – they have automatic resposting – and a premium section that is very inexpensive -and converts really, really well.

(you’ll need to post more ads to really “Crush it” using Backpage…..but it takes HALF the time and if you keep at it – and keep your ads highlighted – you WILL get good traffic – or at least that’s been our experience over the last 3 months in multiple cities! Check them out – PAIN FREE posting – what a concept… Enjoy!

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I am an author, artist and entrepreneur. My 2 passions are writing about, and teaching Marketing and Meditation. I like to think I'm a lot like Eckhart Tolle, if only he was taller, and a much better tennis player. (it turns out in person, he's super short, has a terrible backhand and wears this weird scottish hat thingy that makes it really difficult to concentrate while serving) Plus he refuses to keep score and says " it's always NOW" when you ask who is up. Enough about me. We barely know each other. Stop staring. You're making me nervous.