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Curbed DC's Advice on How to Write a Craigslist Post

Did you enjoy the Craigslist Power Hour? As entertaining as it is to read, it's easy to look at posts like that and think "That is unreasonably awful. I do not want to be those people." (This might be excluding the most reasonable Craigslist poster ever. Be them.) More often though, Craigslist posts aren't unreasonably terrible, but rather confusing and unhelpful. Here are five simple guidelines to follow the next time you need to post an ad that may seem like common sense but will help make Craigslist a more helpful place.

1) Always Have Pictures of the Room

This is the first and foremost rule to follow. Always have pictures of the actual room for rent. Sure, it is nice to take a picture of the kitchen or of some random landmark in D.C. but people are searching for a room! Words describing said room are welcome but that brings up point #2...

2) Less is More

We like in a TL:DR (Too Long : Didn't Read) society. People are too busy updating their social networks to go through a novel searching for a room. Keep your post simple and sweet. Describe what the rent goes towards (e.g. are Utilities included, etc.) and describe yourself, but make sure to keep it brief. The longer your post the less likely people will stick around.

3) Don't Be Outrageous

This is a no-brainer. It's also a rule that if you would like to break, go ahead. If you are an adult and say you are looking for someone to replace your mom, you might as well move back home. The more respectable your post, the more people perusing for a room will respect you.

4) Grammar and Spelling Matter

D.C. consistently makes "smartest cities in the US" lists so please double check your post. Make sure your grammar and spelling are good to go before clicking the post button, because you might get made fun of otherwise.

5) Post Once

Craigslist is a battle for attention so take this rule to heart. Post once and once only. If in a couple of days you don't get any hits, take down the original post, re-tool it and put it up again. You may think you might get more responses if you post your room 100 times but it bogs searches down and is frustrating as hell. Just because you gave it a different headline doesn't mean it is going to entice someone more.
Rohan Mahadevan