Craigslist Posting- How to Write a Responsive Ad

Craigslist posting limits

Craigslist Posting Pros and Cons. Sure, we’ve all heard about the many benefits and ease of selling and buying on Craigslist.  Conversely, others are shaking in their boots from stories of scams, and rip-offs from posting ads on Craigslist.


In this post, we’ll reveal effective posting strategies that get your advertisements clicked on. Finally, we’ll express tips on keeping your identity safe while in the process. 


So if you’re here because you want to take advantage of the many benefits of posting on Craigslist you’re at the right place. However, in the same vein, if you’re shy and lack the skills to succinctly deliver your message, no worries we got you too!  Lastly and equally important, we’ll also convey how to spot scammers from miles away~

newspaper craigslist ad

The 7 Top Elements to Posting a Killer Ad on Craigslist

Listen up as we uncover how to write an effective ad that will capture the attention of your target market. And protect you (as much as possible) from scammers. 

 The unfortunate truth is Yes there are fraudsters and cyber thieves on Craigslist; they’re everywhere. But we can’t let that stop us because posting on craigslist is one of the most cost-effective mediums to gain massive business exposure, identify skilled laborers, and sell products and services and on the cheap!


Posting to Craigslist is one of the most direct routes from a seller to the buyer or from you got, to we want, for business or personal usage. Who advertises on craigslist? Unsurprisingly, from mom-and-pop retailers in Greenville, NC to businesses across the globe of all sizes. Even Fortune 500 companies post incognito. They have the same need as medium and small companies do… they need …Help! 

posting on Craigslist

Regardless, if you’re looking to hire a VA, website designer, social media marketer, or professional services, you name it… Craig’s got it.


Keep reading as we walk you through how to set up your classified ad. The below-outlined steps are a sure-fire way to gain the attention of your target market, contractors, or employees. Additionally, we’ll communicate a few housekeeping rules to keep you safe and on track.


You can expect answers to the listed questions, such as: (1) How to insert photos and how many images can you post, (2) What is the safest way to accept payment on Craigslist, (3) Can I post in multiple cities, (4) How to stay anonymous, (5) Does it cost to post, (6) Should I post my phone number, and (7) Is it safe to reply to an email?

Let’s get started!

 How do I post an Ad on Craigslist?

ad set up example Raleigh, NC

 Step #1. set-up an account, if you don’t have one:

example of creating an ad in  Greenville,NC

Step#2. Choose the location you would like to place your post. Craigslist prefers a local area.

how to write a craigslist ad

Step#3. Pick one single area and category; example: job offer, for sale by owner, etc. tick continue

step by step Craigslist ad writing

Step#4. Tick the category from the list: example: general labor, admin/office, real estate, etc… pricing will be displayed. scroll down hit continue   

how to write an ad on Craiglist example

  Step#5. Complete Information Box:

map showing location of Craigslist ad

Step #6. Driving Map request, remember your candidates will have some idea where you are based on the map. Click continue

Step#7. Add images, up to 24 photos. Be certain to size your photos. When trying to sell an item the more images the better. Keep in mind, too large file sizes will create an error. If so, you can use Google’s “free image resizer” and select the size from the list. If you don’t have images or don’t want to add images, tick done with images.

ads for craigslist marketing

Step #8. You’re ready to publish your listing. View your ad, you can edit, add more images, or make any necessary changes. The cost is also on this page. Push the Publish button. 

how to write an effective ad for Craigslist

Step #9. This is the 2-step authentication. Craigslist will send you an email to verify it’s you and you can pay over your email server. 

Step #10. Check your email for instructions, I.e., publish, edit, pay. You can expect your ad to be live within an hour or two.

Does it Cost to Post on Craigslist?

Yes and No… Craigslist does allow Free posting. However, business postings typically come with a fee. The amount depends on the category,  geographical location, and service. High-populous areas are more expensive than rural areas.

Craisglist safety tips: NC Raleigh,

Can I Post in Multiple Cities on Craigslist?

There is a limit to Craigslist posts? According to Craigslist’s rules listed on their website, users can post in only one category in one geographical area once every 48 hours. Posting more often can potentially have your post blocked. Even worse, the Craigslist Police will slap you around…LOL!!! They are serious about their non-payment Job!


How to Reply Anonymously on Craiglist

To reply to Craigslist anonymously, you can use the “cover” email address provided by Craigslist.  (Highlighted below) Only Craigslist knows the real email addresses of both parties. When you receive an email in response to an ad you posted, you’ll see an address that looks like this:

Craigslist Reply Tips Although the sender used their real email account to contact you, the proxy email address hides their real email address.  To maintain your security copy and paste the “cover”/ code into your “To” field this way you keep anonymous.  


Another option to keeping your anonymity; you can create a new email address unassociated with your name or IP address. This way you can reply using your new address. However,  to continue practicing safety precautions use the Craigslist code.  This will give you an extra layer of protection. But remember a criminal job is to figure out a way to commit a crime. 


How do I Change my Craigslist City Posting?

Go to the Craigslist website of the state and city where you want to post your first ad. Move your mouse to the right side of the Craigslist homepage, click “US States” then select the name of the state where you want to post. Click the name of the city where you want to post.

 How Many Pictures Can You Post on Craigslist?

According to the Craigslist NC FAQ post, you can insert up to 24 images that must be sized correctly. 

Is it Safe to Post on Craigslist?

how to post craigslist ads in multiple cities safety

Just as safe as it is to post on any other online medium. Always practice caution when posting, selling, or buying on Craigslist. Craigslist is notorious for scammers. We just can’t out-tech them.

So safe operational usage is key. You may prefer to use Craigslist’s anonymous email follow-up system to respond to potential candidates.

Additionally, Google voice number is widely used for posting privacy. This limits the exposure of your personal data.  For added security, Craigslist uses a two-step authentication verification process. 

Is it Safe to Reply to the Craigslist Email?

Yes, there is a way to stay anonymous even when responding to an ad. There are 3 options including Craigslist’s relay system. That system is designed to respond anonymously which doesn’t reveal your actual email address. reading a Craigslist posting limits

Should I Post my Phone Number on Craigslist?

That’s optional, however, chances are you may receive unwanted calls. Even advertisers and other businesses may try to pitch their deals. It may be easier to set up a FREE Google Voice account. 

What is the Safest Way to accept payment on Craigslist?

  • 1. Never accept checks, cashier checks, or money orders
  • 2. Avoid at all-cause sending green dot money cards. (I almost got scammed that way)
  • 3. If the deals sound Too Good and confusing; it’s probably fraudulent. 
  • 4. Don’t deal with third-party sellers.  Person to person only…this is a sign of a trickster
  • 5. For local transactions CASH ONLY!!! Online PayPal or equivalent.


How to Write a Craigslist Ad for Services


Writing an announcement to sell services on craigslist is like creating an online advertisement. Bottomline all ad copywriting follow the same guidelines whether it’s in a sales copy, email, or direct mailing, sales are sales. I’ve sold many products on Craigslist and will share the simple steps that you can follow.

Keep in mind simple marketing strategies, remember who you are selling to. What types of people look for services on Craigslist? Following the below steps will get your product or service sold, with the quickness for top dollar.  


Step #1. Identify your target market, speak the language of your customer.

Step #2. Describe your service in plain English. Remember most people read at a 9th-grade level, you don’t have to flatter them, they’re only wanting a deal, not a date!

Step #3. Includes testimonials and reviews. You can articulate how great you are but until someone else preferably a raving fan shouts how great you are it doesn’t matter.

Step #4. Include photos as many as allowed. Personal photos speak volumes over stock photos. Before and after’s is the best.

Step #5. Write a catchy title. The only way your potential client will know you have something for sale is the title has to catch their attention. Use as many elements as they will allow I.e… Html, etc. Be sure to include your keyword in the title.  As an example: if you’re selling a Ford pickup truck, that should be the first shown. Here’s an illustration of a truck we recently sold:

Headline: 2010 Chevrolet Pickup 

Body: selling the 2010 Chevrolet Pickup, need to sell quickly because I have another truck and don’t need both. The truck needs a transmission but it’s drivable.  We drove it to Raleigh and back with no problems. 


Bonus: Just keep it simple, try thinking which ads captivates your attention, follow that lead, and you’ll do fine.



How to post Craigslist ads in multiple cities?

Actually, Craig prefers that we don’t post in multiple cities but there are ways to circumvent the system, Sort of. I think their decision came about then some over-zealous marketers just went crazy and started posting advertisements all over the place. As a result, the free classified marketplace started to look spammy and began to get a bad rap.

 However, since Craigslist now charges for ads, this has helped crackdown on the number of ads people post. Craigslist post limits are the same, but the price isn’t. So, if you are posting in the metropolitan area, somewhere like San Francisco where advertising is fierce, those ads will be more expensive, than in rural areas.  

According to Craigslist’s recent FAQ, you can only post to one category and in one city once every 48 hours. Posting more you run the risk of having your message blocked.

Craigslist feels as if you need to publish more often than you’re on the wrong platform. Advertising the same ad to multiple locations is prohibited if done within that 48-hour window. Further, they will refer you to remove the previous ad if you plan to announce a similar classified ad after the 48-hr. window.




Craigslist posting is without a doubt worth its weight in gold. You can post an ad, reach interested candidates, and begin your onboarding process within hours. If you have safety concerns, there are ways to hide your email address and phone number.

 If you have products to sell, there are a plethora of merchant account providers you can use.  I‘ve used PayPal in the past, it’s super easy to set up and very safe. Lastly, for an extra layer of phone protection, you can use Google Voice, it’s ideal because you can set it up so that the caller will have to state their name (multi-factor authentication) before being connected and it’s FREE! 

A few other Tips:

  • Ask for more than you expect, leaving room for negotiating.
  • Communicate why you are selling a product, stories sell.
  • Capture clear images taken from different angles. 
  • Cash Only, meet at the bank for large purchases.
  • Get title notarized during the time of transfer (car sales)

If we missed any points and tips, please share.

Leave a comment below.

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To Your Success



Deborah Pretty

Hi Everyone! I hope that the article you read today will be used as another building block to further grow your small business empire. was solely designed to help you reach your business goals, quickly and more efficiently!

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