Craigslist advertising cost varies from small business to small business, depending on a wide-range of factors. The fact is - no two small businesses handle their Craigslist advertising in the same way.
Craigslist Advertising Cost #1 - Craigslist Fees
The majority of ads you will ever post on Craigslist will not incur you a Craigslist advertising cost. According to Craigslist's Posting Fees page, all ads posted to Craigslist are free except for:
1) jobs posted in San Francisco will cost you $75 per post.
2) Jobs posted in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, South Florida, and Washington DC will cost you $50 per post.
3) Brokered apartment rentals in New York City will cost you $10 per post.
4) Theraputic services (sensual massage, anybody?) will cost you $5.00 to post anywhere in the United States.
Outside of these Craigslist Advertising Costs, Craigslist does not have any type of membership fee, service fee or Craigslist-based associated fee for posting.
Craigslist Advertising Cost #2 - Craigslist Designers
If you're choosing not to design your own ad on Craigslist and trying to find a Craigslist Ad Designer to help you advertise your small business on Craigslist you will typically be charged a service fee by the designer to create the ad for you. Our price for standard Craigslist image ads is $25. So when figuring out your Craigslist advertising cost for your campaign, you will want to multiply the number of ads you're looking at getting developed (for serious Craigslist advertising, we recommend rotating 4 ads per week) times their individual cost. Discounts for bulk orders are given - see Advantage Plan for more details about our pricing.
Other Craigslist Designers
The reason we went into business as Craigslist designers was to offer hard working American small business owners a service at a great price. We saw prices as high as $100 for Craigslist ad design. Holy cow! If you head on over to Google and type in Craigslist Ad Designer and view each website, you'll see that we offer better prices, faster turn-around times and U.S-Based designers and customer service reps. We are small business owners, just like our customers. Go ahead - check out the other guys/gals ... we'll be here when you get back.
Craigslist Advertising Cost #3 - Craigslist Verified Accounts
In order to post your newly designed ads on Craigslist you have to have an active, authorized Craigslist Account. Good news: These are free to get! However you have to have a phone that you want to verify your account with. If you plan on getting more than 1 Craigslist Account (perhaps each of your family members wants their own account) you'll need a new phone number for each account verification. You could always head on over to Wal-Mart and buy a $10 prepaid phone to link your account to.
Your Craigslist account allows you to post 1 ad, roughly 2 times per week. If you want to post more often than that - you will need to consider multiple accounts ot a professional posting service. Either way, you will be looking at increasing your Craigslist advertising cost.
Craigslist Advertising Cost #4 - Professional Posting Services
You have your ad(s) designed, you know where on Craigslist you want your ad to be placed and you're ready to get it posted... except you don't have time to learn the system. Perhaps you want to post more than one account so you an post more frequently or you want to run a national campaign on Craigslist. Craigslist posting services typically cost about $2.00 per live ad that gets posted to Craigslist. If you wanted each of your 4 ads to be posted 10 times per week, that would add $40 to your Craigslist Advertising Cost per week ... or $160 per month.
Adding all of your Craigslist Advertising Costs together you will find that you can get great Craigslist ads designed, posted and driving traffic to your website coul easily reach into the hundreds of dollars per month. However, if you compare the cost of Craigslist advertising vs. conventional advertising methods (radio, television) you'll see that it's still pretty affordable.
Final Tip : Quantity = Lower Craigslist Advertising Cost!
Always try to get as much marketing as you can afford in one sitting. You'll pay less per ad if you order in bulk and you'll spend less per posting if you setup a multi-month campaign.
Good luck with your Craigslist Advertising!