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How To Use Craigslist To Test Clickbank Products

About 6 months ago I was looking at Clickbank for a new affiliate product to promote as a way to make money from home. I saw a couple for tattoos and thought I would give one of them a shot. I knew tattoos were hot, it seems I saw tattoos everywhere and on everyone, so I thought I would try promoting one of those products to see if I could make any sales.

I made a landing page that I thought looked great and at that point in time was better than anything I had created before. It was nicely color coordinated, said the right things, and led the customer to the click through button very nicely. I was excited!

About a month or so later, however, I took the page down and completely abandoned trying to sell anything related to tattoos. What happened? It failed my Craigslist test.


I completely failed at selling this product



There are thousands of affiliate products out there and it is extremely difficult to decide which ones to promote. I often use Craigslist to test prospective products to see whether I can make any sales at all. Craigslist is very popular and by using it I can find out for free whether I think a product will sell for me.

I listed the my tattoo ad on Craigslist under “Service Offered” and then “Creative Services” in all of the bigger cities and a few more of the smaller ones -probably 15 cities in all (click here to read about my experiences with posting in multiple cities on Craigslist). I only got between 10 and 20 hits on my ad per day which is not a lot but good enough for my testing purposes.

When my ads expired I would re-post them and I had very few of them flagged by other users. Please note that you must have a landing page to do this as you cannot link directly to the affiliate product without getting your ads flagged almost immediately. With a landing page you still may get some of your ads flagged and deleted but your success ratio will be much higher than without one.

As you might have guessed, the end result was that I made zero sales in about a month with over 400 hits. At that point I decided to throw in the towel and look for something else. Was it my landing page that was bad? Was it the product’s sell page that was bad? Was it just a product that doesn’t convert well for anybody? I will never know and it really doesn’t matter.

I found out exactly what I needed to know: this product was not the right one for me. With the use of Craigslist, I was able to find that out for free! In order for me to have pursued this product I would have had to have made at least around 1 sale per 100 hits. With over 400 hits and no sales, I could be pretty confident that even if I changed some things and tried my sales pitch differently, this tattoo product was most likely not going to be a big success.

Craigslist is great for getting free information like this. If you make a few sales you might decide to develop your sales page further, do PPC advertising, or promote the product in different ways. You can do this becuase you know that people will buy the product. If you make no sales on Craigslist like I did, then you can make an informed decision to either abandon the product or proceed with caution. Give it a try.

Using Craigslist is a great way to get free traffic but it is temporary and only works as long as your ad is up. Once it expires or gets flagged, you are faced with the difficulty of trying to get more ads up and you are having to do that everyday. There are other ways to get traffic that are also free and even better than using Craigslist. The Tireless Traffic Technique is the best way to get traffic to come to your website or landing page and it is much more permanent than the ads. With this technique, you can get a steady stream of free traffic that comes to your site day after day. And that is FREE traffic just like Craigslist.

The Tireless Traffic Technique is a real cheap $7.00 ebook that you can download immediately and after reading it you may not need to post on Craigslist anymore. I know that my posting is way down as it is just too much trouble and I am getting traffic all the time anyway from what I learned in this ebook.

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  • 1

    Great post! I’ve done some affiliate stuff with CL lately, but I was direct linking to the Data Governance affiliate, instead of using a landing page. I’ll have to try creating a landing page, know of any good resources for learning how to build these? (technically I know how using Dreamweaver, but I don’t know the best practices…)

    Data Governance on October 16th, 2007
  • 2

    I have tried experimenting with CL also but my ads always get flagged and they are linking to sites I own. I gave up. I tried reading various reports but to no use.

    Make Money Online | David on October 16th, 2007
  • 3

    Using CL for testing affiliate seems to be really good since it is free and you get a good hunch if a product will sell or not just from making ads on CL. I wonder if CL will remain free for long if people start spamming CL like crazy!?

    david on October 16th, 2007
  • 4

    This is a unique perspective on Craig’s List. I had never considered using it as a “testing ground”. Definitely food for thought.

    Neena on October 16th, 2007
  • 5

    Definitely a good way to test for free. It also shows what types of things sell online. I’m not sure how a tattoo clickbank product would go over as that’s usually a personal service.

    BobG on October 19th, 2007
  • 6

    I, as a professional freelance model often use craigslist to pick up gigs. I get a lot of responses. But I guess it is just because the main service I sell is modeling and there are many photographers and commercial clients looking for models in my geographical area. Craigslist is great!

    Model Elaine D

    Elaine on November 6th, 2007
  • 7

    Thanks thats a great idea testing with CL

    Neale on May 4th, 2008
  • 8

    I did not think craiglist is much powerful in selling my products, I thank you for posting such a good artcle

    internet marketing on September 3rd, 2008
  • 9

    i just signed up with Clickbank and i am very new to affiliate marketing. i just hope that i would earn on this program

    detoxdiet on August 22nd, 2009
  • 10

    You have to really know what you’re doing to market on CL. I’ve posted a couple of CPA offers in the forums there and the first night I did it I got a conversion. I did the same the the next night, and nothing. The ad was ALMOST identical, but I’d changed a few words in it. It’s amazing how a FEW words will make or break a conversion. Did you use the same ad each time? Did you test the copy and change the wording to see what got more clicks and what didn’t?

    Sarah on May 17th, 2010