Classified advertising tips for affiliates – are you doing it right?by Dave Cottrell
Classified advertising has been around for a long time. Most historians of classified advertising date the birth of printed ads to somewhere in the 1600s, when ads for lost or found items were nailed on posts and walls. The first classified ads in North America were posted in The Boston News Letter, in 1704. The publication charged from 12 pence to 5 shillings to advertise everything from houses to buttons. The concept did so well that it rapidly spread around the world.
So common is classified advertising, today, that many affiliates and others trying to sell online miss its importance. By ignoring classified ads as a way of gaining exposure for their goods or services, they are missing a very inexpensive and effective way of advertising. In fact, many online classified ad sites, like Adlandpro offer free classified ads as their basic service.
Free classified advertising on the internet offers exceptionally good exposure. Whereas in times past, most people were limited to local advertising only, and had to pay for it. Now, with online classified advertising, you can advertise locally, nationally and even internationally with ease.
Unfortunately, most people who advertise with free online classified ads are doing it wrong. Whether advertising an unused sweater from Grandma, Christmas 2001, or advertising a business opportunity, or advertising their favorite affiliate product, the majority of ads are poorly written, often with spelling mistakes, and no thought of the target audience.
Diane Bjorling recently wrote an article on this blog called, Free Online Classified Advertising| The AIDA Formula. This is the framework for all good classified ads. In other words, this is the absolute basic rule for writing classified ads that work.
When you write your headline, the A in AIDA, you want to grab their attention in an powerful way. Use keywords like, “how to, the secret, new, free, now, announcing, remarkable, bargain, last chance, hurry, introducing, introductory, challenge, wanted, advice, the truth about, just arrived, important, sensational, amazing, love, magic, easy, offer…”
This list is far from complete, but these are all words that jump out to the subconscious mind when people are scanning classified ads. Study classified ad pages. See what grabs your attention immediately, copy and save those keywords in your “grab file.” (grab file: a file you create on your computer to ‘grab’ – or copy – any good advertising ideas you see for your own brainstorming and ad creation later.)
Be sure to include keywords for the niche you’re advertising. Spend the most time on the headline for your ad. This is the single most important part of it. Without an attention grabbing, compelling, emotion grabbing killer headline, you won’t get to the next line.
The I for Interest could also be E for Emotion, followed very closely by desire. You want to get their interest at an emotional, not an intellectual level. How is this product going to make them feel? What is it going to do for them? If you were selling a teeth whitening formula with a male target audience, you might say, “Makes teeth five times whiter in ten minutes. Girls are going to notice you when you flash your new bright white smile!” Bam! Interest. Emotion. Desire. All in two short sentences.
A is for action. Tell them how to get what they now want. Good call to action words for classified advertising are phrases like, “Click Here” or “Call Now.”
Always, always, always put yourself in the place of the prospective customer. How would you react to the ad? Walk away and do something else for a while. Then come back and be the prospect again. If the ad isn’t accurate and compelling to you, work on it till it is.
For a little something different, perhaps a bit sad, perhaps a bit funny, I have included a video here about how NOT to write ads. This is exactly what so many people are doing wrong. In fact, the maker of this video makes a living off of goods he buys for a fraction of their value from people who do it wrong. Here’s the biggest tip of the day for classified advertising: Take the time to write GREAT ads before posting, or someone else is going to take your customers.