Classified ads, when used effectively, can be one of the quickest and least expensive ways to attract prospects, customers and increase sales. A well-written classified ad can generate hundreds of thousands in sales, while only costing you pennies to run. In fact, you can even find good places to run your ads for free.
Unfortunately, most people underestimate the pulling power of classified ads. They think classified ads are for selling appliances, cars or finding jobs. They don`t often think about it for expanding a business. The fact is, classified ads can and have been used to launch and operate multi-million million-dollar businesses.
In fact, many businesses rely exclusively on these small, low cost ads to generate all of their sales. The reason is simple; they work!
The Internet is home to literally thousands of sites, which do nothing else but classified advertising. Some of these sites are very popular, but most are so obscure that you have no hope of ever being found. The ones, which do receive a lot of traffic, are those, which offer free classifieds.
The drawback to these sites is that nearly everyone visiting the site is there to place a free classified ad of their own, not people who are actually looking for what you have to offer. You may occasionally snag a curiosity seeker, but they are rare.
The other drawback is that your free ad does not get listed forever. It must be placed many times during the week or even several times a day to ensure that it will stay in the top area that people view. For most people this is an impossible, time consuming task.
Even when a person devotes their entire day, every day pursuing this activity, they rarely get good results. The alternative then becomes clicking on a lot of other ads to earn placement credits or actually paying for your ad to receive views. If all that sounds like a big mess, for most people it is.
There are directories which compile lists of free classified sites, companies which submit your ad to free classified sites, e-books about free classified sites . . . literally an industry built on the industry of free classified sites. Do not be fooled. If there was no money in “free” classified sites, there would be no industry.
However, you can place classified ads that have a much better chance of being seen, some of which are also free, in three ways:
If you want to stick strictly to the Internet take a look at ezine classified advertising. Here you will find an audience that has asked to receive the ezine. They actually read it and are more responsive than people just surfing the net. There are many ezines, which do accept free classified ads, and many, many more which charge a very nominal fee.
Almost every newspaper (the printed variety) has an online presence these days. Most of them will accept classified ads for their online edition only if you are running an ad in their print edition. But they generally charge little or nothing extra to run your ad online. If you keep your ad short you can get a place in both editions for a modest fee, even in some of the bigger city papers. This gives excellent regional visibility for your ad and very good “bang for your buck”. As with ezines, the people reading your ad are a more interested and targeted audience.
To find newspapers in your area, search using a city name, for instance “Phoenix newspapers”. But you don’t have to restrict yourself. You can advertise anywhere in the world. This is a global business.
The same is true of glossy magazines as newspapers. Their online editions are abbreviated, intended to attract print readers, but many do run their classified section. Their advertising is more expensive than newspapers, but you might be shocked. I recently talked to “Mother Earth News” about a print classified and found it under $100. This is not in everyone’s budget range, but there are some (especially “niche” magazines about specific topics) which are more reasonable. To find magazines, search using a topic, for instance “antiques magazines”.
Every one of these outlets will charge by the number of words or characters, so keep it short. Use your URL for contact. It is not advisable to use phone numbers or e-mail addresses, unless you are prepared for possible telemarketers and/or spammers....
One last tip: The very best ad is still one which answers to the question, “How can I . . .” or “How to . . .”