Making Money With Online Classified Ads
Classified Ads can be a hit or miss proposition depending on the size and type of online directory you are running. You need to remember that Listings are going to be time sensitive so you will be entirely dependent on traffic to the site and then an ongoing stream of dynamic content and new content.
One option you might want to look into is pulling in an RSS feed from local craigslist classifieds and then selling PREMIUM listings in your wordpress directory.
Classified WordPress Theme Plugins:
One such plugin is WP-o-Matic which automatically creating posts from the RSS/Atom feeds you choose. These posts can then be organized into categories.
You can read more about the plugin Here:
Download WP-o-Matic Here:
One word of caution is that if you are depending on using the syndicated classified ad listings as original content seo building material you are going to face problems, so don’t rely on your classified listings to build you organic listings. Only use this technique if you want to jump start your classified directory.
Classified & Directory WordPress Themes
- Classified Theme
- Classified by Templatic
- Sofa OpnPress – Publishing Platform
Classified Monetization Models
Here are a few Monetization Models You can work with when developing your online listings directory:
The Traditional Classified Listing
The traditional classifieds listing model works by charging the customer for their ad by word count, time frame, and the ability to have their ad spotlighted or enhanced in some sort of way. (Rise to the Top of The List, Highlight Colors, Bold Lettering)
How Craiglist Makes Money
Craigslist uses a model which is rather clever. They have created a system in which 80% of the listings are FREE while the top 20% of specialized categories are monetized. Thus accomplishing two things. Driving huge amounts of traffic to the site while making the maximum amount of money off of the business owners who have the most to gain and are then willing to pay for it.
The Job Board Model
Another model for classified listings exist with job boards. The ability to monetize a job board comes two ways. First you charge the individual wanting to post the ads and secondly you have the opportunity to charge the customer wanting to retreive the valuable information which unlocks the ad. For example the phone number where you need to call to get the new job.
Sell Sponsored Ad Placement
A fourth model for online classified listing monetization is to make all the ad listings free while charging sponsors the right to have prime and targeted advertising spots. With a high traffic website this could work the best to keep a high volume of ads being posted while easily and quickly working with your few highest paying customers on an annual or semi annual basis.
I suggest you go niche. Focus on running a small / valuble directory. If you go big then will need to focus on a huge amount of volume and several other headaches. Remember, having 20 high paying clients is better than 2000 headaches.
Currently the market is a bit crowded so make sure to take the time, do your research and do the math.