Craigslist: Post Like a Pro

5 Things You Need to Know

Craigslist is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to maximize awareness of your community’s available units, drive traffic and find new rental prospects. Yet Craigslist is also known for being time-consuming and has some challenging quirks when it comes to posting property ads.

Below is a summary of what we hope is helpful information, some pro tips on how to avoid posting pitfalls -- and a few examples of how Rooof PostEngine software can help you automate your Craigslist advertising efforts to get the best results with the least amount of effort.


1. Staying visible is very important.

Craigslist experiences heavy advertising/posting activity and traffic, especially in busy markets and large metropolitan areas, so it’s important to post regularly to ensure your ads are visible and easy to find or search. In most markets, ads remain on page one for roughly an hour and in exceptionally busy markets, for only 30 minutes. Posting infrequently or sporadically means that over time, your ads will most likely become buried beneath your competitor’s ads, and may never be seen because prospective residents typically only browse the first 1-2 pages of Craigslist.


Post 3x daily and be sure to spread out your posts.

Did you know

Rooof auto-renew automatically keeps your ads on page one every day. Learn more here.


2. Avoid ad flagging or ghosting.

To solve the issue of getting buried or lost on Craigslist, your first impulse may be to post a large volume of ads (or post the same ad) throughout the day. Craigslist doesn’t permit that. In fact, this activity is viewed as “spam” by Craigslist and can result in your ads being flagged or ghosted.

Wait! What exactly is flagging and ghosting?   

Having your ad "Flagged" or "Ghosted” on Craigslist simply means it has been identified by Craigslist as problematic and therefore removed. This happens for a few different reasons:

  • The Craigslist bot (algorithm): Detects too many ads (or ads posted too frequently) from the same account.

  • The Craigslist user community: An ad may have been removed because too many people clicked the "prohibited" button at the top of your ad.  Sadly, you'll never know which, but there are some things that you can do to avoid it. See our Pro-Tip below.



Don’t post in more than one city from the same email/account. Craigslist promotes local community advertisement. In fact, they have a different domain for each city and they require you to post ads locally. If your email account in Craigslist is and you post in Atlanta, then you should only ever post in Atlanta. Avoid posting in any other city with that same email account.

Marketing Tactics:

Craigslist maintains a large user community because of its “free marketplace”. Companies that post using traditional marketing tactics should know that these tactics do not work as well in this environment. For example, avoid HTML tagging, such as bolding or underlining. Also, avoid posting an excess of photos. As mentioned above, vary content so the ads do not look too “templated.”

More Info:

Lastly, familiarize yourself with all of the most common reasons ads get flagged and how to avoid them.

Did you know

Rooof PostEnging provides in-app alerts to let you know if you’re over or under-posting and automated email alerts to remind you to post.


3. Avoid posting identical content.

We know advertising frequency is critical to success. If you have a lot of ads to post, it’s obviously easier to simply post the same ad content over and over. Unfortunately posting ads with identical content on Craigslist can result in ad flagging or ghosting because Craigslist prohibits posting the same thing more than once.


Vary your ad content with each post. Alter the titles, the order of the images uploaded, and the body copy every time you post an ad.

Did you know

Rooof PostEngine software automatically generates unique ads from the content that exists on your website. Automated content variability ensures your ads appeal to a greater breadth of prospects and reduce the possibility of ghosting or flagging.


4. Timing is everything. Don’t post ads back-to-back.

A craigslist search results page that contains many ads with similar content and the same contact information will appear as “spam” to Craigslist. Craigslist even forbids having two ads in the same category, even if you are legitimately selling two different items.


Allow some time to pass between ad postings. Exactly how much time depends on the individual market. Each market has varying ad postings volume. With very active markets, you need only wait a half hour to an hour between postings, however less active markets, you will need to limit your postings to one or two per day. The bottomline is: let other ads come onto the site and act as a buffer between your ads.

Did you know

With Rooof software, you can set up in-app or email posting reminders to come in at certain times of day to ensure you are sticking to your posting schedule and spreading your ad posting activity throughout the day without missing out!


5. Don’t use “spammy” words.

Craigslist is always on the lookout for words and phrases routinely used by scammers and spammers. Once again, legitimate business activity can get caught in this search.

Pro Tip

Avoid using words and phrases that tend to be used by spammers such as “free” or “credit card”. Avoid using ALL CAPS in your titles. Also, avoid filling your ad with keywords unless those keywords are actually included in legitimate sentences and phrases. Finally, ensure that your ads have obvious telephone contact information. People in Craigslist forums regularly admit that they flag ads simply because they can’t find the contact information.

Did you know

Rooof PostEngine software uses the content that exists on your property website so it’s high-quality and error free. Plus, Rooof users/administrators have the ability to add or exclude amenities within the Rooof settings page to enhance the amenities featured in your titles and ad-body content for maximum flexibility and control over your ad content.