Spoonfed Guide - How to Make Money on Craigslist Literally Today
Published 6 months ago | Last update 6 months ago
Are you smashing your head into your keyboard trying to make money as a writer, web developer. graphic designer, or other freelancer? Learn how you can start finding real clients ASAP with Craigslist.
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Are you smashing your head into your keyboard trying to make money as a web developer? While there are basically infinite tasks that need to be done for as a freelancer or business owner, the first thing to do for any company is to make some fucking money and figure out the rest later. But, how do you do that completely from scratch? It’s time to find out.
Who are you, you fucking asshole?
I am some asshole who made a bunch of money running a contract-based writing company over the course of seven years. Initially, the contracts were completed personally; after 2-3 years, everything was subcontracted out to writers with my day-to-day work consisting entirely of getting new contracts to take commissions off of.
After spending seven years running an online business based on selling contract-based services to clients, I would rather put a gun in my mouth than sell more services. But, for the lulz, I’m going to, from scratch, show you how an absolute amateur can start making money online literally right now, completely from scratch, directly with clients; no shitty freelancer platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or SEOClerks. And, we’re doing all of this shit 100% from scratch. No using previously made marketing materials, logos, or other resources.
It is currently 5:30 AM, US Pacific time on Friday, 26 April, 2019. Let’s see how long it takes to set all of this up.
Note: You’re going to need an email address and a way to accept payments. If you don’t already have a PayPal account, that is likely the easiest way to accept payments. Okay, great. Let’s move on.
How to Make Money on Craigslist Today
One of the easiest ways to land a contract-based job ASAP is through Craigslist.
But isn’t Craigslist for in-person services? I want to make money without leaving my house!
- Probably Someone
Yes. There’s no fucking way I’m leaving my house for this. There are a variety of services that can be sold on Craigslist that you can render entirely from your house. For this guide, I’m going to use web development services as an example; you could alternatively sell services for writing, graphic or logo design, marketing, tutoring, or other similar contracts that can be sold remotely.
Step 1: Basic Marketing Materials
The first thing we’re going to need to do is create an advertisement. First, let’s check out the competition:
Wow, what a fucking terrible ad. This is the first thing you need to understand: Fucking everyone is trash. This is true for a few reasons:
- Everyone is fucking bad at everything
- And half of them are in India LARPing as Americans, so they’re generally even worse than you’d think. Even people who have addresses listed generally rented a PO box and paid someone $20-$100 to get the verification postcard for them.
Since you’re hopefully at least marginally good at something, you can easily land a contract solely by not doing a fucking shitty job at everything all the time.
With that out of the way, we’re going to need some basic marketing. Let’s open GIMP (or PhotoShop or whatever) and make a quality image to use for our advertisement. The main things you’re going to want on your image ad are:
- A list of things that you offer that are good (experience, guarantees, how the client saves time, etc);
- Contact information; and
- Some basic images or stock photos so that your ad doesn't look extremely generic.
A few other notes:
- The maximum size for Craigslist images is 600x450; images larger than this will automatically be resized.
- When deciding on a color scheme to use, you can cheat and use a tool like this color-scheme selector (but don’t think too hard about your color scheme)
- To find stock photos or icons that are free to use, one easy solution is to go to images.google.com and to specify under “Tools > Usage Rights” that images should be “labeled for reuse with modification.” Note that you should still double check the copyright on the original site, since images can be included in these results erroneously in some cases.
- If your image looks mediocre, add more drop shadows and bevels.
This will result in an advertisement along the lines of the image below:
If you’ve ever opened MS Paint, you can make an advertisement at least as good as this one in 15-60 minutes. Whatever you create will be at least 100 times better than the garbage other people have posted on the Craigslist “for hire” forum.
The text of the image is here. Note that you might need to use the literal bullet point character when adding text to an image.
Trying to figure out where to start with your website? 256 Kilobytes is a Portland-based web-development service here to solve your web-development problems and bring you new leads!
- 7+ years of web development and Internet marketing experience
- Content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal
- Fully-functional, conversion-optimized forms for lead-generation
- Completed in-house; never outsourced to India
- Custom logos and written content
- User-friendly administrator panels
- Express delivery available
- Custom eCommerce sites, small business sites, WordPress setup, and other solutions hand-crafted to your business.
- Get a site that fits your needs with no-obligation consultation!
Note that this text does not include a list of things that can't be done. It is common for new freelancers to write ads with a bunch of asterisks in them. Don't fucking do that. If you don't know how to do something, omit it from the ad instead of pointing out how bad you are; you're probably still better than the other trash contractors on Craigslist.
Even if you're young or new to freelancing, there are plenty of bullet points that you can add to this type of advertisement. For example, if I pretend to be 18 again and only list things that were true at that point in my life, this ad might read something like:
- 2+ years experience in web development
- Past site builting experience includes creating the website for a local robotics competition
- Express delivery available
- Probably some other shit
While this advertisement would have slighly fewer bullet points than the one above, you could easily still land clients with it. Replace these points with your experience, education, and so on.
Full Text Advertisement
The raw text is listed below, and can also be used for the text of the advertisement:
Are you tired of contractors from Pakistan LARPing as Americans, trying to sell you terrible websites? Trying to figure out where to start with your website? 256 Kilobytes is a Portland-based web-development service here to solve your web-development problems and bring you new leads!
- Sites include fully-functional, conversion-optimized forms for maximum lead-generation;
- Projects are completed in-house, never outsourced to $3/hour developers in India;
- Save time on content-creation with custom logos and written content included in your site’s flat-rate cost;
- Access a user-friendly administrator panel to edit your site’s content and to create new posts with no development experience;
- Express delivery available for urgent projects;
- Get a site that fits your needs. Get no-obligation consultation from a developer with 7+ years of web development and Internet marketing experience to hammer out the best solution for you, whether it’s a $20,000 custom eCommerce platform, a $2,000 site fully-managed with custom logos and content, or a quick-and-easy $250 WordPress installation.
Contact email@example.com today for a no-obligation quote and consultation.
This text is roughly identical to the text in the image, but with more detail.
Step 2: Posting the Advertisement
After putting together the advertisement, as well as all of the content for the article up to this point, it’s 7:59 AM US Pacific Time. It’s time to post this quality advertisement. Name it something useful. A good way to do this is to have a description followed by a benfit of your service. For example:
- Portland-Based Web-Dev and Internet Marketing - 7+ Years Experience
Similarly structured titles for other niches might be:
- Salt-Lake City Attorney - Over 1,000 Cases Handled!
- Experienced Graphic Designer - Professional Logos, Banners, and Artwork with 48 Hour Turnaround
- Obsessed Author to Write Your Resume - Unlimited Revisions!
Note that advertisements in the services sections cost $5. While you might be mildly annoyed by this, you should have seen this shit show back in 2012-2013. The entire place was a 24/7 war of terrible Indian spammers posting ads in bulk to push everyone else off the first page. You used to be able to go on Upwork et. al. and find hundreds of terrible contractors offering to spam Craigslist for you. Anyway, at this point it is 8:26 AM US Pacific time, $5 has been paid to Craigslist and the advertisement is live.
What a great advertisement. All together, including writing most of this article, this took around three hours. Now it's time to wait; You might get replies right away; you might end up waiting a few days. Some notes:
- Most ads will stay on the first page of Craigslist for 3-7 days or so, depending on the category and the city. Once your ad has fallen off of the first page, it is a good idea to renew it, since far more people will look at the first page than the second.
- Avoid spamming Craigslist; the local business listings sections are relatively small already and spam can easily result in your account and/or IP address being blacklisted.
- Note that renewing your ad will mean that the same people will start to see it repeatedly, which helps increase your brand/"brand" awareness and can result in increased conversion rates over time.
While making money online can seem like it has a high barrier to entry, if you’re moderately skilled and are willing to actually do some work, you can probably make more money than whatever you’re being paid at your dayjob (and you can get started with it faster than you’d think). Once you have your first client, good steps to take are to:
- Learn how to effectively reply to clients. If you have someone ready to buy, make sure to send them an invoice rather than making them ask for it. If you're not sure what price to charge, double whatever your first thought is, since it's probably too low.
- Continue doing what you're already doing. Assuming that your Craigslist advertisement worked, you should continue to post it and/or renew the existing advertisement as it falls further down the page or onto the second page. Posting the same advertisement over weeks or months can also build up your brand recognition among people who are looking for your category of services locally, which can help get more conversions over time from that community.
- Make a website. Setting up your own website is easier and less expensive than you may think. You can get a full year of very-solid hosting through DreamHost with this $50 off link; also see our full review of DreamHost. More details on how to set up a website are discussed in more depth in chapter 3 of the Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing eBook, which you can preview in the eBook library.
- Once you have a website, you can create articles for social media marketing and search engine optimization, since you now have a centralized location to drive traffic to.
You can also register an account on 256 Kilobytes to join the best Internet marketing and online business site in the world. Feel free to post any questions on this method in the comments. For premium content like The Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing, subscribe today! Get complete access to the eBook library and learn from people who’ve actually made money online.
August Garcia is some guy who used to sell Viagra on the Internet. He made this website to LARP as a sysadmin while posting about garbage like user-agent spoofing, spintax, the only good keyboard, virtual assitants from Pakistan, links with the rel="nofollow" attribute, proxies, sin, the developer console, literally every link building method, and other junk.
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