This post is not for top classified sites owners but if you are a struggling site owner or started a new classified site, you should read and follow this post. Readers of this blog are aware that I also had a classified site. I faced many problems in promotion and development. I saw many classified sites owners how they were promoting their sites and I also observed missing things in their hard work.
Before reading this post you must read this post:
How to start your own classified site for free?
Starting a classified site is easy because you can do it in an hour or less than an hour after registering the domain.
Developing the classified site is uneasy and stressful because it is a continuous process. You can never stop developing your ad site.
Along the development promotion is also a continuous process. You cannot stop promoting your site even after it is popular.
Before launching your classified website in public
(1) Choose your classified script wisely
There are so many scripts available to start a free classified site. But most of these scripts are waste of money and time. These script sellers are making money by fooling people.
If you are not a coder then you have to rely on other script developers. Search for best classified script sites and read reviews. You should go with open source or buy a premium script. You cannot add all the features you want in your site.
Before using any script study other classified sites and note down their features and compare these features with the script you are willing to purchase. To study the features you need to sign up and post.
(2) Your classified site should be national, not regional or international.
Many new site owners started international sites, so any one can post an ad from any country. At first it seems good but it’s not. Some users started regional sites, these sites were allowing only from a specific region or state. But the good practice is to start with national support.
Make the list of states in your country
Then make the list of districts in each state
Add areas in districts
(3) About categories
Make the list of categories and subcategories. Don’t create so many categories and subcategories. Popular categories should on top in the list or on homepage.
After the launch of classified site
(1) Create a user and post an ad
To post an ad do not use your admin account. You can use an email address to create a normal user account and see the difference between a normal user account and an admin account. This will help you to decide which features enable or disable.
If a user comes to your website he should not be welcomed with a totally blank home page with no ads. You can post an ad about anything that is on sell. As my friend was selling DTH connections in Ahmedabad, I used his number and name and posted the ad for him. At the beginning you can post some of the ads and you also can search these type of ads on other sites and post them. But this is just for beginning, so you can show some ads on home page. Taking one more step you can create some of the accounts. So users won’t hesitate to post an ad on your website.
(2) Create a page for guidelines and fair use policy
In footer you can add a link for rules. On this page you can mention all the rules; do’s and don’ts. So you can take proper action if someone violates the rules.
(3) Create social media strategy
You should register a Gmail email address on the name of your site, and create a Google plus page from your own (regular Gmail address) email account. Similarly create a page on Facebook. Open an account on Twitter. Look for amazing ads on your site and post links on these sites.
Add social media links as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ in footer of your site
(4) Create a blog
You need to create an official blog where you can post about changes made on the site, about newly added or removed features. You can post about growing number of users, posts and rank.
(5) Search for blog about ad posting sites
Search for the blogs about classified sites and search if your site is included, if your site is included tank them, if it is not included add a comment and say “you forgot my classified site”. Request them to add your site in any of their posts using contact form or email address.
(6) Search about forums discussing classified sites
On many forums people ask for classified sites, you can help them by telling about your site.
How to deal with spammers?
After a few days or from the very first day you will notice some frequently posting the same ad many times. This frequency can be many times in a day or daily a few times, or the same ad many times one after one.
(1) Set the ad posting frequency
You can set the maximum ad posting frequency in a day for users. Or you can set the maximum ad frequency in a month or week. You can send individual email to most frequent ad posters with link about guidelines. And tell them if the not follow the rules they may get banned.
(2) Don’t allow adult content
Allowing adult content is a part of allowing spam. There are not so many users of this kind, you can strictly warn them or block them. You should not allow adult ads if you want to make money using AdSense. Some websites allow these ads but they can hide AdSense ads on these categories.
(3) Login to post an ad or post without login?
Many sites let you post an ad without login but these sites can take down spam. For your sites it is recommended to must login before posting an ad. So you can see the number of registered users as daily registration. You can easily block spammers in admin panel if they are registered.
(4) Set expiration time for ads
This is the biggest problem for classified site owners. Users keep posting same ads. You may not want to let the ads expire but what to do with same ads? And expired ads are expired but still visible everywhere. You need to manually delete these ads.