Need help advertising a Craigslist personals alternative site without getting flagged or banned??

by Passp
9 replies
As a group of computer programmers, creating beautiful websites generally comes easy to us and we kind of think of it as fun. What we arent is marketers and promoters which is hindering our success of one of our websites we recently created. When Craigslist killed their personals section, this gave us an oppurtunity to create a similar version of our own. It took some weeks, lots of money and time, lots of security fixes because we got hacked and had to start from scratch again but we finally made it. We thought we were now done and traffic will soon come natrually.....this wasnt the case.

We have been marketing our site for over a month and have had some posts and hits here and there but nothing that sticks. When people go to the site, they generally give us great feedback but then complain theirs no one else on here to see their post. We tried everything, heres the list:

-Facebook Ads
-Adwords
-Handing out flyers
-Advertising on porn sites and comments
-Twitter
-Reddit
-Backlinks
-Medium
-Instagram

None of these methods generally worked and we either got flagged or banned. We even almost got arrested handing out business cards in public near a nightclub in San Francisco. So basically were asking if anyone knows of a better cheaper method to marketing the site so people realize this is a legit replacement of the Craigslist personals section that we all loved?

Our site isnt generally a porn site, its an adult site. This is where it gets hard to market. We have already spent a llot of money and are looking for new ways to promote the site without spending much...
#advertising #alternative #banned #craigslist #flagged #personals #site
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by Passp View Post

    Our site isnt generally a porn site, its an adult site.

    If your site "isn't generally a porn site" that suggests to me that it still does contain some porn. Adult sites and porn sites will often be associated together and you will be tagged as a porn site even though you may not consider it such.


    I don't have to tell you that you are fighting an uphill battle to get traction in your marketing simply because of the industry you have chosen to focus on.




    Originally Posted by Passp View Post

    None of these methods generally worked and we either got flagged or banned.

    It's a challenge that isn't going to go away. In fact, the more times you're flagged and banned, the worse your online reputation is going to get.


    Honestly, paid advertising that accepts adult sites/content may be one of the few avenues you'll have for marketing. You can't expect otherwise when Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Medium, and others are not going to allow your ads.


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    Originally Posted by Passp View Post

    When Craigslist killed their personals section, this gave us an oppurtunity to create a similar version of our own.
    So basically were asking if anyone knows of a better cheaper method to marketing the site so people realize this is a legit replacement of the Craigslist personals section that we all loved?

    Our site isnt generally a porn site, its an adult site. This is where it gets hard to market. We have already spent a llot of money and are looking for new ways to promote the site without spending much...
    Did you actually stop to think why Craigslist drop the personals section ? Do you know backpage had a similar section that was closed down and backpage is no longer ? Link to back page.- Backpage Seizure

    What oppurtunity was there? Craigslist generates money but felt it was easier to remove that section than fight to keep it open. You may want to do some serious research and cut your losses instead. If your site attracks any human trafficing its going to be shut down!
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Honestly, this is not what you want to hear - but if you're having this many problems with craiglist, then maybe it's time to move on from it and find a new traffic source. It can be tough to hear, but many of us had the same problems many years ago when Google Adwords started to crack down on 1 page landing pages. SO much time was spent trying to get around it, in the end it's not worth it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pete
    Have you tried advertising on Plenty of Fish: https://ads.pof.com/ or other dating sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author Passp
      We tried once but their system was down, we will have to look into that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Honestly, this is not what you want to hear - but if you're having this many problems with craiglist, then maybe it's time to move on from it and find a new traffic source.
    That answer is unrelated to the OP's problem - he doesn't advertise on CL.


    isnt generally a porn site, its an adult site.
    That seems to be a sticking point for sites like yours - owners don't want to be classified as 'porn' so they designate a site as 'adult'. If your site opens to display nudity - it's classified as a porn site by advertisers, hosts, social media, etc.

    The biggest problem you face is trying to complete with the large businesses that operate so many of the porn (adult) sites online. There was a time when a new site could make headway but many sites were consolidated under a few owners and they have dominated the market for years.

    To attract new users you need to generate traffic - and that's the big problem. You have to find a way to 'seed' your site so there appears to be 'activity'. That may mean advertising on porn sites....or using some 'unsavory' ad sources. Goes with the territory. If it were me, there is at least one thing I would try....

    I'd do some google searches for 'leading' keyword phrases and long tail keywords especially...then I'd use the first page or two of results to find out where competing sites are advertising/promoting.

    For example a google search of "hot girls" gives results that number in the TEN figures....yes, TEN. Those sites are advertising somewhere - or accepting ads on their own top sites....

    CL could attract visitors to the adult ads because of the huge popularity of the parent site - other sites have succeeded due to attracting meida attention. But - the same attention that brought visitors ended up taking down the sites...
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    We even almost got arrested handing out business cards in public near a nightclub in San Francisco.

    From my experience P, when you run into THIS type of resistance, with potential legal issues knocking on the door, it's time to think abundantly. Meaning let go the site and niche immediately and pursue another niche and site you feel passionate about. Easier, more fun, less headaches and more prospering too.

    Being human, we sometimes take the stairs versus taking the elevator, as far as niches and marketing. Go with something more fun and accepted, and more legit in most folk's eyes, and you will have more fun and see greater success. Less headaches too

    Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    My guess is handing out 'business cards' - 'near a night club' - means you were likely targeting patrons of the club and were threatened with arrest for 'soliciting'?


    Wouldn't have mattered WHAT you were advertising....would have been a problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author kathe25
    I must say you have used some abnormal methods to promote your content or site, then Google banned your site and doesnt allow you to get traffic from there. You are so impatient to get lots of traffic for your site in one month.
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