5 ways to make money with your Classified Ads Website

When it comes to making money online, there’s nothing like an online marketplace or classified ad website. There are several ways you can monetize your classified ad website, but it depends on your niche & strategy to see what’s the best way to go.

Membership or Pay per Ad?

The most common business model is a membership subscription where visitors can post an unlimited amount of ads based on a monthly fee. This is interesting because you are generating a recurring stream of income.

A membership is only useful if the advertisers post ads on a regular base. If not, you can always offer a pay per ad formula. It makes it easier for smaller advertisers to give it a try, because the risk is lower than a membership subscription. Micropayments for pay per ad can be done through Paypal, text messages, …

Bump Ads

Bumping ads gives users the possibility to put their ad back at the top of the listings. Normally the top ads are the most recent, so when your advertisers are in a competitive market and it’s important to be at the top of your category Bump ads provides an easy way to get it there without having to post another ad again and again.

When using this strategy you should consider to limit the number of pages you show in your pagination. This way the number of ads people can see are limited and advertisers are more likely to bump their ad when they approach the last page ;)

Bump ads plugin for ClassiPress


Even without charging money to post ads on your classified ad website you can still make some cash with your site. A website where people can post free ads will be more likely to get a steady amount of ads & traffic.

Use advertisement platforms as Google AdSense to put ads on strategic places where you get a good clickthrough rate. Use square banners in your sidebar & text ads in or under your classifieds. Make sure you don’t put to many ads on one page, by adding to much ads the value of a click will drop.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance based marketing. Publishers get rewarded when they send converting traffic to advertisers websites. Affiliate networks connect publishers & advertisers, publishers can browse the affiliate programs & get promotional links or banners. There are lots of affiliate marketing platforms, the most popular are:

Commission Junction
Google Affiliate Network

The benefits for the advertisers are clear. They only pay when publishers send converting traffic. As a publishers you can benefit by publishing relevant ads for your target audience. When visitors click an ad & convert, you will receive a fixed fee or percentage of the sale made. The key for being a good affiliate marketeer is to serve the most relevant ads. If you have a classified website about real estate, you can use ads for loans for example.

Featured Ads

Give your advertisers a way to stand out of the other ads on your website by offering featured ads. Featured ads draw more attention and will have a higher clickthrough rate, so more visitors will take a look at it. Use featured sliders on the homepage or category pages of your classified ad website.

These plugins will help you sell your featured ads:

Xtreme Carousel slider plugin for ClassiPress
Paralax Hotspot slider for ClassiPress
Featured Ads sidebar for ClassiPress

Build your Classified Ads website with WordPress

ClassiPress is a theme developed by AppThemes and turns your WordPress website into a classified ad website. The theme comes with a lot of functionalities out of the box, and many of the monetization strategies we showed you in this post are already available.

The basic design probably won’t be suitable for your niche, but at wpRabbits we provide a collection of custom ClassiPress themes.

Which way should you go?

This depends on your website, niche, traffic, competition, … There is no such thing as a holy grail when it comes to making money online. You should take a lot of things into account when you decide using on or several of the techniques explained above. There’s only one thing that matters: if your classified ad website provides value to your advertisers & visitors you will always be able to monetize it.

Starting a classified ad website isn’t a way to become rich quickly :) you will read lots of stories online, but be honest… Do you believe them? Instead of subscribing to their “secret formula” we recommend you make a plan before you start.

Take a look at some books on marketing & business plans for classified ad websites. You will get plenty of information on how to plan your business & make it grow step by step.


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      What niche are you in? Are you targetting consumers or businesses? What model are you using (free ads, premium ads, subscription based? Do you have a database of potential advertisers?

      Fake ads, as in really fake is never good. You can publish some yourselves, but make sure they are real. When somebody responds to a fake ad your visitors will not see the value of your site.

    • Mike January 5, 2015 at 9:25 am #

      What is the url of your new website?

    • jbrabants January 5, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

      What do you mean, new website?

  26. jaiganesh December 16, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

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    • jbrabants December 19, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      Hi Jaiganesh,
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  27. edegba israel December 26, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    Can i used blogger to start a classified site and still earn money.

    • jbrabants December 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm #


      I don’t think that Blogger is the right platform to start with a Classified Ad site. I prefer WordPress in combination with the ClassiPress plugin or the Classified themes you find at Themeforest.

  28. Rajendra Reddy February 24, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

    What are the best affiliate products that a free classified ads website can promote to get more sales

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      Depends of which niche your in. Always try to promote products that are related to the content on your website. This makes it more relevant for the visitor, resulting in a higher clickthrough rate.

  29. Bryan February 25, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    This is very precise information that I can use in my classified website

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  30. govindreddy July 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

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  31. josen September 21, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    Great thanks so much for the info. I was looking on how to make some money from my classifying ads website and you gave me the answer.

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