A few years ago, when I first considered marketing my home based business online, I really didn’t know what to look for in a quality website, or even a decent template. I quickly realized that I needed to find a way to separate myself from the competition, so I went searching for ideas. At first I tried a few different blogging systems, none of which generated any traffic. Then I created a basic CraigsList profile, which got me some responses, but not nearly as many as I would have hoped. I knew I needed a different solution, and quickly came up with the idea of building a customized web site around my specific needs. From that point, everything began to sort itself out.
I eventually settled on a system that integrates craigslist with several other great products including Trade Craigs, Fiverr, and Rent-A-Car. Instead of having individual profiles for each of these, we use a universal profile that contains multiple classifications for things you’re looking for, like jobs, real estate, for sale/ rent, etc. After you’ve made your initial profile, you can then add extra categories to it, like babysitting, pet sitter, etc. Once you’ve listed your own personal ads and posted relevant materials (like links to blog posts and Craigslist postings), you can then begin to search craigslist for possible matches. Using craigslist’s advanced search features, you can narrow down your search even further by typing in the category you’re most interested in, or using the search criteria you are most comfortable with.
From a web design perspective, my biggest challenges were not really finding a good template to use or creating a decent “personal” web site that would allow me to promote my business effectively. However, once I had those things figured out, the rest of my site was easy to build, and very user friendly. I still occasionally get people who contact me with ideas, but the bulk of my advertising now is through the discussion forums and job postings sections. In both of those sections, I have about 30 memberships, many of them full-time job seekers. And I continue to receive positive feedback from visitors, even after they’ve contacted me several times to talk about their job searches.