What Does it Mean to Publish on Craigslist?

By Aaron Charles

Craigslist publishing could include advertising your stuff -- or yourself.
i Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Publishing on Craigslist doesn't necessarily mean the same as publishing on, say, Amazon. Craigslist still is primarily an online classifieds site, and doesn't appear to be, at least as of April 2013, going anywhere near the realm of digital book publishing. Still, the word "publishing" is something that has meaning in the Craigslist vernacular.


The term "posting" is used interchangeably with "publishing" on Craigslist. So to publish on Craigslist means simply to post an ad on the site. There are two main ways to do this. One is without a Craigslist account, in which case you visit the Craigslist homepage, click the "post to classifieds" link and then follow the prompts to publish your ad. The other is to create and publish with a Craigslist account, which helps you to monitor and manage your ads if you post frequently.


Publishing on Craigslist is free, for the most part. The only ads that cost money are job ads in at least 28 U.S. markets (listing in Resources), ads for therapeutic services -- such as massage -- and brokered apartment listings in New York City. Many of the published ads involve people selling or seeking a product or service, home or apartment rentals, or employment ads. Craigslist does not allow the Craigslist community to publish affiliate marketing ads on the site.


People also publish on Craigslist in another sense. In the "discussion forums" section of the site, people can publish their own written works in various categories, such as "haiku," "words" and "writers." It's in forum style, so others can respond to any writing published in the discussion forums. Another area of the site, called "rants and raves" in the "personals" section, also occasionally hosts original written works posted by users. But Craigslist warns visitors to that section that the content is only for those aged 18 and above.


When publishing on Craigslist, you must avoid violating the site's terms of use. These terms prohibit anyone from publishing obscene content, such as child pornography, and from posting any content that's meant to harass someone else. Copyright laws also apply to what's published on the site. If you think that someone has posted any of your protected work on Craigslist in a way that violates copyright laws, Craigslist staff encourage you to contact one of their copyright agents via email, phone or snail mail (see Resources).