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Craigslist vs Backpage for Marketing Your Services

Two places to market your services for free (or inexpensively) are Craigslist and Backpage. These classified ad sites are worth considering if you are just starting out and on a budget, but can still be effective for established businesses. Here is a quick comparison of the two services and the pros and cons.

Craigslist

Craigslist is the most popular classified ad site on the internet and whether people use it or not, most people who have been online for awhile know what it is. In most cities, you can post your ad for free, but some cities require a small fee to post.

  1. Craigslist has a much wider user base than any other online classified ad site. So you will be able to potentially reach more people this way.
  2. Craigslist has a good amount of international traffic as well as US traffic.

 

Backpage

Backpage is a smaller site in terms of traffic, but some people say they get more business from it. It gets about 3 million users a day versus craigslist’s 64 million users per day.

  1. Backpage has a nicer design and cleaner interface.
  2. Backpage has partnered with several newspapers. There are options to have your ad appear on newspaper websites, which can lead to higher quality traffic.
  3. You will likely get less spam and scam replies on Backpage.
  4. Most of the user base is in the USA (4 out of 5 people currently), so Backpage may not be as effective in other countries.

 

Both Sites

Here are some nice advantages of both sites.

  1. Both sites are easy to sign up with and use.
  2. Both sites are free or cheap to post ads.

 

In summary, try both sites out and see if each site is worth the time and effort.

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About Brian Lang

I've been making a living online since 2002, mostly through e-commerce sites and content sites with advertising. Through the years, I have also learned a lot about other types of businesses and helped other people with their business problems.

Comments

  1. Mike Walker says:

    Backpage is becoming more and more popular. Craiglist no longer allows links on their for sale section. People are lazy and do not want to cut and paste a link. This right here is going to crush Craiglist.

    • Matthew says:

      I agree Craigslist is terrible! Normal ads with no profanity, sexual content, and even when you follow the rules your posts get flagged. They are a bunch of monkeys working at Craigslist, wait a minute, that is disrespectful to monkeys, monkeys are still smarter than those half dim witted ignorant humans working at CL – they are a joke

  2. Flagfree.org was created when its founders discovered that their ads on Craigslist were being flagged and removed for no reason. They soon discovered that this was becoming an epidemic in the community, and that renegade flaggers have been let loose, flagging and removing any add they deem unfit. Their behavior has ran rampant, unchecked by Craigslist staffers. Some of the flaggers may be honest people seeking to rid the site of offensive content, but even so, the user is never given the chance to defend their post, and the content never goes through a screening process with an actual Craigslist staffer. Why should someone be allowed to remove your post without that person getting any say in the matter? And this has been occurring with posts that are paid for. So someone posting and paying for their ad is seeing their money go straight down the tube.  Their paid ad gets deleted and they have no way to get it back up.There have also been anecdotes of users finding their ads deleted by competitors posting similar ads that want to eliminate competition. This has left many honest, hard-working individuals unable to benefit from the classified ad service that was once the place to advertise for free.

  3. I hadn’t heard about Backpage till now, thanks!

  4. craigslist is so out of hand now. If someone doesn’t like 1 thing about your add or, may think they don’t like what you are selling, bang! Flagged. let’s not forget to mention the 20,000 car dealer adds or furniture adds that are posted everyday and take up page after page and CL does nothing. They can’t, they don’t have the staff. They are on the way out for sure. We need a site out here that believes in having the freedom to sell whatever one wants even if it offends someone. ( Like WW11 memorabilia, BB Guns, knives, ) these things can’t be sold on CL and eBay because the hippies censor them out. As long as the items are legal….and the last time I looked, BB Guns are then go for it! Lets get a site started for free and blow CL and eBay out of business. Lets do it!

  5. I agree craigslist should give marketers a chance to place more ads instead of flagging their content.

  6. Craiglist has become more of a spam site than anything else. We found that it is a good website to post our sales and marketing offerings, but for products all it does is bring in spammy traffic. We are going to give backpage a try and hope for a more authentic response, even if it is with lower traffic.

  7. I use back pages to advertise a text survey company that pays instantly through PayPal. I have had awesome results with them.

  8. Ken Heinemann says:

    I just discovered Backpage after becoming disgusted with the constant flagging of my ads on Craigslist. It seems like people on Craigslist have nothing better to do then flag ads on Craigslist.

  9. For last 10 years we are doing SEO and other marketing stuff, including classified marketing. For last 3 years we are selling auto posting software for Craigslist. To my experience getting ad approval from Craigslist is not so easy. but for other websites like Backpage, Olx, Kugli etc, it is quite easy. One has to be really careful with rules and guidelines which doing classified marketing on Craigslist

  10. eShipity.com is an interesting new start up to have a look at…

  11. Very useful information on both sites. I will try backpage for job site looks like very cheap than Craiglists.

  12. This Is a nice and helpful post for beginner craigslist user..
    I am new freelancer .. i have a upwork profile. I have bit in every day in upwork..
    but i don’t get any work.. do you have any trick for got work easily…

  13. Craiglist is a decent site to post our deals and promoting offerings

  14. Many people have used craigslist and now they are regular visitors and seller on craigslist because it is a free source..

  15. I totally agree with you both sites are free or cheap for posting Ads

  16. Craigslist is a tough place to gain traction, especially in the services section. Advertising for gigs though seems to be okay.

  17. I would prefer Backpage over Craiglist as Backpage is easy to use, cheap and I had a good experience with Backpage.

  18. Very nice article, totally what I was looking for

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THANK YOU for SUBSCRIBING
Join the Small Business Ideas Blog Newsletter to stay updated and also get access to member only downloads and content, including special reports, studies and articles I write on other blogs. Some member bonuses include:
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  • Study: How LinkedIn Publishers Get Featured on the Pulse
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  • and more!
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