How to Launch a Classifieds Site That Makes Money?

Every country has its own share of classifieds sites. India has Quikr and OLX; the States has Craiglist; and Australia has Gumtree. The interesting thing is that a lot of them are turning profits. This is motivating entrepreneurs to launch classified sites. But just thinking about profits won’t bring them.

Team UpReports has consulted many entrepreneurs who wanted to launch classifieds driven ventures, and showed them the right way to go about it. Now, we want to share our insights about starting and monetizing sites that deal in local classifieds ads for free!

Let’s start by addressing the elephants in the room. Yes, there are many.

Niche challenge

With every new classified ads site, the industry is getting crowded. Established players like Oodle and Quikr already have the advantage of being in the market for many years in their respective countries. In such a scenario, just launching a similar site won’t be enough

To all the clients that approached us for startup consultation about classifieds ventures, we recommended targeting niche rather than going all-inclusive. Positioning and finding product-market fit for your classifieds startup will be much easier this way.

Technology challenge

The biggest challenge for any classifieds site will be to simplify the process of listing products. To handle this, market leaders like OLX have invested in mobile apps. Mobile apps simplify the process of listing the product by making the task of image sharing and interactions easy for buyers. The same is not possible with a desktop site.

Hence, think about the technology you are investing in before launching an OLX or Gumtree clone. Don’t rush into the task of building a website without planning.

Awareness challenge  

Just building a website/app similar to Quikr or Craiglist won’t bring traffic and profits to you. There are already established classifieds players in the market. So, start thinking how you will create awareness about your classifieds app. Most entrepreneurs only think about the development cost and jump into the market. This is the wrong approach. You must also have a solid marketing budget for your niche classifieds venture if you want to survive.

When site awareness will increase, user-generated content will also go up. For increasing awareness, investment in content creation and marketing will be required.

Marketing channels

To generate relevant traffic, users need to be informed about your classifieds site. We have already spoken about the marketing investment. So, let’s get a little more specific in terms of market spend.

Here are channels that will help you with brand awareness, listing generation, and user acquisition:

  • Organic SEO ranking for homepage and category pages
  • PPC ads
  • Social media marketing
  • Community engagement
  • Offline advertising mediums

When it comes to SEO and PPC, choosing the right set of target keywords and search phrases will be crucial since competition is fierce in classifieds industry. Similarly, splitting your marketing budget between different channels is something that requires due diligence.

Team UpReports helps startups and brands in identifying where they are wrong in SEO and marketing by sharing growth reports. If you need help with the same, get in touch with us.

Initial content push

Marketing and promotion will generate results but as a new entrant competing with established market players, you will also need to make efforts in the direction of content creation. Keyword insights gathered during SEO will come handy while planning content.

In the beginning, consider investing in blogging (we recently published on Startup Nation), reviews, media publishing, and DIY content. This will increase the count of website pages and brand links on top search results.

Content will play a critical role and hence be prepared to invest in it. However, make sure that it is high value and top quality. Stay as far as possible from plagiarism.

Strategic shift

Many entrepreneurs started having second thoughts after we shared our insights about market competition, investment requirements, and profitability timeline. Surely there are global leaders in classifieds industry but there are ways to generate profits without directly competing with them.

We have some ideas that will give your website strategic advantage and improve chances of monetization. One of the most appreciated is launching in a market where no classified site has yet made an entry or built a strong footing. In words, launch in another country.

This is way better than launching in a classifieds markets like the USA, India and Australia that are already choking with competition.

Consult us for a small fee

Our team has a collective work experience of 20 years and gives access to their vast design, development, and marketing know-how at a very small consultation cost.

Drop us an email at to share questions related to your startup idea and we will share our thoughts that won’t have a hint to sales in it. Promise.

Want to hire our small team to develop and scale your product? Get in touch from the same email ID!

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