Lately I have been working with a number of clients on creating classified ad website businesses. There are many important considerations when venturing into this model that will determine your success or failure and how long it will take to see a return.
Below I will share some things to think about that could help you decide if it is the right model for your situation:
Multiple Revenue stream opportunities. A good looking classified ads website with all the bells and whistles serving a real niche can actually charge for placing ads. Then there are options for upgrading paid ads to featured ads for an extra fee to prominently display the ad for better exposure. Then of course once you reach critical mass with a solid viewership, you can start selling banner ad zones on the site with either monthly fees, cpm or cpc pricing. Also you can create dealership ad pricing and contact existing dealerships that sell old stock or used former customer products and give them bulk ad pricing.
Ease of entry. There are many themes and plugins you can get for only a few hundred dollars to get you up and running in no time. In the Ultimate Internet Business Course I include the entire design of this type of website business complete with all of the modern functionality required to run an effective classified ads website so you could be up and running in under a week for very little money.
User generated content. Of course you will still need to write some informative, useful and interesting content for the site partially guided by keyword research, but for the most part, every time someone adds a new item for sale to the site, they are adding content to it. Once Google starts crawling the site they (the Google Bots) will recognize this newly added content and you should find a good ranking for hundreds of phrases as soon as you get a good number of ads.
Ads are fairly easy to sell. Once you have a site with over 10k in organic traffic per month, it becomes appealing to e-tailers, retailers and other companies looking to increase there visitors. The targeted nature of your traffic should be of special mention when selling your ads as these people are more than Google searchers, they are people actually looking to buy products.
Easy to promote through social networks. Some find it quite a lengthy process to turn Facebook likes or twitter followers into customers when selling their own products on their sites such as ebooks etc. With a Classified ads site, you posts relating to great deals recently added to your site are usually quite well received, liked and shared without the need to always write or find fascinating new post content.
Getting started with ads. Once you have your new classified ads website live and looking great, you need to convince people to place ads. This is why it is usually good to go into niches that you have a personal passion for that you can contribute ads of your own stuff initially and work it from a grass roots level. Involve family, friends and exhausting your personal network is a great way to start before approaching organizations to promote your site.
Long term model. Unlike an ebook website that can be put together relatively quickly and then PPC traffic can be thrown at it to test the conversion and audiences reaction immediately, this model takes a lot of work in promoting and creating awareness before any money is made. Sometimes it can take up to a year to produce a considerable income. However, if you stick with it and keep working on it driven by passion, you will have advertisers back-ordering your ad zones and money rolling in from featured ad upgrades.
Building Traffic. This is a different revenue model than a direct sell e-commerce site, however it still requires the same cumbersome inbound marketing initiatives.
As you can see, there are more pros than cons for this type of website business, the key is you have to be in it for the long haul and still need to work with someone initially that can help you do it right.
I have researched literally all of the available themes and aps (trust me some are a total waste of time and money!) and have all the information you need to get the traffic and choose the right advertising networks initially to start making money from your classified ads site. Get in touch if you are interested in this website business model.
Written by Mark Stoffels