Update on the CJ / Craigslist situation

Just wanted to post a quick update and a recap on the current situation for anyone who is interested following in my footsteps.

  1. I began by posting direct affiliate links on Craigslist. This was pulling a little over $100 per day in commissions with very little effort on my part.
  2. Soon after I received an email from my affiliate telling me that I was in violation of their terms.
  3. I put up a very simple redirect page designed only to act as a buffer between Craigslist and my affiliate.
  4. My affiliate had some problems with this as well, so I took the page down along with every Craigslist post I had made.
  5. I contacted the affiliate in an email asking them specifically what I may and may not do when it comes to Craigslist.
  6. They told me that I am only bared from posting direct links on craigslist, however I can direct traffic to my own website first.
  7. I was then investigated by CJ (my affiliate network). They said that I was in violation of their terms with the direct links.
  8. I responded honestly explaining the situation and asked them if I may promote a fully functional website on Craigslist, which in turn promotes my affiliates.

Their response was as follows:
Kevin Smith:

It's true that you can promote your own site on Craigslist, and on that site you can advertiser links, but you need to make sure that you aren't setting up the site on Craigslist as a redirect straight through to an advertiser. That is the important part to remember when you set up your new site.

What I have learned from this is that Commission Junction does not care where or how you promote your website, so long as it is a fully functioning website and not a mere landing page that does nothing but send traffic straight to your affiliate. Now having full permissions from everyone I can move forward with my plans.

My commissions will be hurt because of this. When I first started I was using my affiliates clients as 'bait' for my traffic. I won't be able to do that any more, which means I will have to promote my website on it's merits alone. I should still be able to clear $100 per day, but it will take more work then before.

My recommendation for anyone that wants to use Craigslist for affiliate marketing: Build your website first. Make it good. I'm talking several pages of original content that is relevant to what you are trying to promote. THEN get affiliates onboard. Once this is done feel free to spam the shit out of Craigslist, but make sure you do it in a way that isn't going to piss anyone off. This means don't make false promises in your advertisements, don't claim to be someone you are not, don't do anything that could possibly make your advertiser look bad.

And most importantly do your research.