Undoubtedly, large classified ads websites such as Craigslist or Oodle are one of the most visited and popular sites on the web. Because of the immense targeted traffic, they are highly profitable.
You may think that you have no chance to compete with them, but since classified business is huge, there is always place for everyone. However, you have nearly no chance to compete with these giants, so you need to make specific websites.
Here are some tips on what sort of classifieds site you can build to be successful.
- Niche – Make one for a theme. For example, one for toys, types of cars, bikes, car parts etc.
- Local Listings – Create one for a city, district or for a county. Local job or real estate listings can be highly profitable.
If you build the ones above, you will have a better chance to outrank the big ones and offer more valuable service for advertisers and for the buyers.
What are the best platforms to create a classified website?
You do not have to be an expert considering that there is various software you can use. There are free and paid ones. You can find scripts which are standalone ones and there are extensions for different content management systems. No matter which you choose, you will find easy to create your classified website as in most of the cases these tools include all the functions you will need,and you will only need to learn how to use them effectively.
I think, the best solutions are WordPress classified themes or plugins. If you have ever used WordPress, you know how flexible and user friendly it is. A classified theme is an out of the box solution. You only need to install the theme, and it turns WP to a complete classified site with all the function that are necessary and with proper layout and style. Plugins are a bit harder to use as they add necessary functions, but you will need to find and customize a theme.
Here are some of the advantages of using WordPress themes.
- Easy installation, members and ads management.
- Users have their own panel where they can add, remove or modify their advertisements.
- Paypal integration to ask fees for submissions or for featured listings.
- Built in SEO functions.
- Integrated Google Maps
- Customizable forms
- Auto expire listings
- Blog section to share related articles.
- Shortcodes for easier customization.
- Coupon code creation feature.
- Customizable email templates.
Moreover, there are some free scripts you can use. The best ones are:
- Osclass – This is an open source highly customizable script with great design.
- Noahs – It is one of the most popular free software, it also has a paid version.
- Almond – Not so well-known, but maybe the best for making Craigslist clone.
- Open Classified – I think, this software has the best looking layout.
No matter which solutions you will use – open source PHP scripts or a premium WordPress theme – always make tests to find out if they will suit your needs and easy to use for the visitors and members. In addition, use a hosting which is reliable.
- Test the submission forms if you can customize the fields.
- Give a try for the members area to see how the advertisers can manage their advertisements.
- See what sorts of monetization features it offers.
- Check the navigation and layout to see how easy it is to use.
- Test the upload functions.
- Post free or paid listings.
- Enables to add custom fields.
What are the best ways to get traffic?
If you build a niche or local portal and it is search engine friendly, you have a better chance that it will rank in search engines easier, but without content it is nearly impossible. In order to have content ask your friends and family to posts some ads on your site and promote it on social networking places like Facebook and Twitter. You can also get in touch with other local websites. You can also try services such as Google Adsense.
Starting an advertisement site is not easy, that is the reason most of the sites are closed after some months. You need to promote it as many places as possible continuously and most importantly never give up. Once you have many listings, you will get more organic traffic.
How to make money from classified ads website?
The first thing you have to understand is that you can only make money if you have traffic, so SEO and promotion is crucial to make money. On the other hand, once you have lots of traffic there are many ways you can generate income.
Some of the most commonly used methods for monetization are the following ones.
- You can sell ad spaces.
- Placing Google Adsense site-wide.
- Ask a fee for featured listings.
- Make paid plans.
- Offer membership packages.
OLX Classifieds in Uganda is the best example of classified sites from where you can get a lot of ideas.
If you want to make a successful classified website you need to do many tasks, which may be time consuming, but if you do the thing properly, you can have an online business which makes you money constantly.