Detailed Instructions for Ad Submission Form
Before reading this information, it may be helpful to review About Classifieds, which provides information on our rules and pricing.
Entering your Classified Ad
Use this form to enter your classified ad. It contains a number of fields, some of which are required and some of which are optional. For people that really want to understand the form on a step-by-step basis, detailed instructions follow. Its fairly intuitive, so you may be able to figure it out without this detail. Alternatively, you may want to print this or view this content in another browser window or tab to make reference to it while completing the form...
As of December 6, 2009, the following Classified Ad categories are available:
|• Cohousing Events||• Cohousing Employment Opportunities|
|• Cohousing Groups Seeking New Members||• Community Guest Rooms|
|• Cohousing Home Exchanges & Short-term Rentals||• Housemate Wanted|
|• Cohousing Homes Wanted||• Land Seeking New Cohousing Group|
|• Cohousing Homes for Rent||• Professional Services|
|• Cohousing Homes for Sale||• Cohousing Publications for Sale|
|• Cohousing Residents Offering Services||• Cohousing Situations Wanted|
|• Cohousing Volunteer Opportunities||• Want a new category? Contact us!|
You must select one of the current categories and the contents of your ad must fit that category. If you have an offer that you feel belongs in the Cohousing Website Classified Ads and it doesn't fit one of these categories, please Contact Us (see section below).
To select a category on the "Submit Classified Ad" form, click on the pull down menu under the Category label and move the mouse over the category that best describes your Classified Ad. Except for the Cohousing Events and the Professional Services categories (see below), most of the categories are self-explanatory and you can just select the best one. When your Ad is reviewed, we may change it to another category if we believe that better describes your offer.
- Cohousing Events: In addition to paying for a listing within the Classified Ads, you may wish to have a free listing for your Cohousing-related Event listed in the Tours and Events calendars. See that section of the Cohousing Website for more information. Buying a Classified Ad for your Cohousing Event does not guarantee placement on one of the free, editor-managed Tours and Events calenders.
- Professional Services: Most of the Classified Ads in the Professional Services section consist of simple cross-links to Cohousing Professional Directory listings. These simple Link Ads are provided as a complementary feature for professionals with a presence in the Professional Directory. See the Cohousing Professional Directory or Marketplace Opportunities for more info on how you might promote your business using the Cohousing Website - please help Coho/US grow the movement and industry!
Community or Group (optional)
You have the option of listing a Community or Group. Use this field to name the organization most relevant for the Classified Ad. Usually, this will be the name of (1) an Established Cohousing Community, (2) a Forming Cohousing Group, or (3) a Business offering goods or services. A maximum of 40 text characters can be entered into this field, so you may need to abbreviate longer names. The Community or Group is one of the four fields that appears on the Classified Ad list, that includes all currently running Classified Ads.
Posting Date (required)
What date would you like the ad to start running? This required 3-part field lets you select the Month, Day, and Year that you want the ad to begin. If you set the date for today, the ad will start running immediately once it has been screened and published by Coho/US staff (see below) - if there is a delay in posting the ad, your end date will be adjusted appropriately.
Expiration Date (optional)
When do you want the ad to stop running? This is only optional because it is tied to your payment. If you leave this blank, we will complete it for you. If you have not paid enough for your ad, given the Option and Expiration date you have entered, staff will set a new expiration date based on what you paid, and you know via email or phone.
The Headline is one of the four fields that appears on the Classified Ad list, that includes all currently running Classified Ads. Along with your community or group name and location data, it is what readers will use to decide whether or not to view your ad. Most people who look at the Classified Ads will not actually read your ads - they will, however, see your listing and decide that your ad is not of interest to them. An interesting headline is your single best chance to capture their interest and attract their attention to your offer. Please look at the many other offers on the website and carefully consider how best to reach interested parties.
If you choose to feature your enhanced classified ad in 1 or more sections, the headline will also appear in the right column of the pages within the sections you have selected.
Ad text (optional)
While officially optional, it would be a huge mistake to skip the main body of information for your advertisement. The nature of what you can enter into this field depends on whether you are purchasing a Basic or Enhanced Classified Ad.
Basic Ads are limited to unformatted, text-only information and may not contain web links in the body of the ad. These ads are very easy to enter, as there are few choices, other than the text that will appear in the ad.
Enhanced Ads allow a wide range of formatting options using basic HTML tags and an unlimited number of embedded web links.
In both cases, you are able to put far more information here than is typical for a Classified Ad - the actual limit is several hundred words, but you are best served to use this text to entice the ad's reader to either visit your website or contact you for more information.
The City is limited to 16 characters, so you may need to abbreviate longer city names. The City is one of the four fields that appears on the Classified Ad list, that includes all currently running Classified Ads. You may choose to reference a nearby, well-known city and then explain details in the Ad text.
The State is limited to 2 characters, so please use your state abbreviation. The State also appears on the Classified Ad list, that includes all currently running Classified Ads.
The State also appears in the Right Column for featured Enhanced Classified Ads.
Contact Name (optional)
This is optional, but is recommended. For many types of ads, people are more likely to respond to a person.
Again, optional, but recommended. Some people that will not use email are likely to pick up the phone and call. We also use this phone number to contact the person placing the ad.
You must enter a valid email address for people responding to your ad to contact you. You can use a separate email for billing purposes, but please help the contact person understand that the ad exists.
One of the most useful things you can do with your classified ad is to encourage people to come visit your website for more information on your offer. You will want to be sure that the website holds up to date information.
If you are selling or renting a Cohousing Home/Unit in an established community, this link could either go directly to a page in your community's website on the home/unit being offered or to your community's homepage - ensuring that its very easy to find your offer from your community's homepage.
Photo (optional) - free for Enhanced Ads
People like to look at photos and more people will come to look at your ad because you have a photo. Enhanced Ads can have photos or diagrams to help explain your offer. Some have used photo editing software to create compound photo collages to place more than one photo in the allowed space.
Directory Record Link (optional) - free for Enhanced Ads
Would you like all the visitors to your Community Record in the Cohousing Directory to see your Classified Ad? This is free for all Enhanced Ads. The headline of any ad that relates to a specific community can appear in the Right Navigation of a specific Cohousing Directory record. This is most applicable to Forming Groups Seeking Members, Homes for Sale or Rent, and Exchanges, but will may also relate to Events hosted by specific communities.
To use this feature, you simply:
- Check the "Ad on Community listing" checkbox
- Enter your Directory Record number into the field - to find your Directory Record, navigate your browser to your Community listing in the Cohousing Directory and copy the number from the URL (appears in the brower's address bar). For example, the Directory Record number for Milagro Cohousing with a URL of www.cohousing.org/directory/view/2460 is 2460.
Site and Section-wide Placements
In addition to appearing within the Classified Ads section of the Cohousing Website, your Classified Ad State and Headline can appear on many other pages on the right side under the Featured classified ads. This will dramatically increase the number of people who will see your ad's headline and the number who will click through to see your Classified Ad.
To use this option, you need to choose which section or sections you would like your ad to appear in. You can choose 1 -3 sections. The home page option is only available when all three sections are purchased. Featuring costs $25 / month for each section chosen, and $50 for the home page featuring. You can not purchase placement on the home page alone. It must be in conjunction with placement on three sections.
Cohousing Now! Toggle Selection
Cohousing Now! is our email broadcasted newsletter that reaches approximately ~8000 members, many of whom do not regularly visit our website. If you choose "yes please" your ad will be linked into the Cohousing now! for as many broadcasts that launch in the duration of your ad. This option costs an ADDITIONAL $25 per month on top of the cost of your enhanced ad and any featuring you selected.
The Preview Checkbox (I have previewed my classified ad) is to remind you to please use the Preview button at the bottom of the form to view your Classified Ad before submitting it. You may even want to have somebody else take a look before submitting it. Check the details. Many ads are submitted with misspellings, broken links and other problems. We don't always catch these when proofing your ad, so please help us keep the quality of your ad high.
When all is ready, press the Submit button. Your classified ad will go into the management queue and you will be taken to the Classified Ad payment form. If you have problems with the Submit Classified Ad page, please Contact Us (see below).
Paying for your Classified Ad
After you submit your ad, you are taken to a payment form. Some of our advertisers have had problems using this form, if this is the case for you, please review the following information carefully.
Calculating the cost of your Classified Ad
Our system DOES NOT automatically calculate the cost of your advertisement. This is up to you and you will need to pay attention to the cost of your ad. The Rate Summary is provided to help you properly calculate your "Contribution Amount." It is the total cost of your ad (plus any add on features) times the number of months you want your ad to run. Y
The label, Contribution Amount, may be confusing. This is the payment you are making for your classified ad and is NOT a tax-deductible donation to Coho/US. If you like to make a donation to Coho/US (which is fully tax-deductible), please see this section on Contributions.
Select one of the credit cards from the popup menu. This lists all types of cards that we currently accept.
Enter your card number without any spaces or dashes.
The security code is required to help reduce credit card fraud.
Billing Name and Address
The Billing Name and Address must match the Credit Card company records, or your payment will be rejected.
When done entering your payment information, press the continue button. Your information is then sent to a credit card processing company to validate the information provided and then charge your account. If you made an error in providing information or if your credit card information is rejected by the authorization system, then you will be returned to the payment form and can try entering the information again.
What if my card is rejected?
The best thing to do if your credit card is rejected is to just try another card. We are sorry for the inconvenience, but our online fraud detection requirements are demanding and perfectly valid cards are sometimes rejected for unclear reasons - and, unfortunately, there is really nothing we can do. If you are unable to pay by credit card, it is possible to arrange payment by check - please click here for the mailing address.
Screening and publishing the Ad
Coho/US staff handles the next step - generally, within 2 business days... After you have paid for your ad, the members of our advertising team receive a notice from the credit card processing company that your payment has been processed - usually a matter of minutes after you submit your payment. At that point, a staff member will screen your ad. Screening is done to help ensure that the ad is publication-ready. Questions we ask are:
- Is the Classified Ad publish-ready? Is the data complete, do links work?
- Does the Classified Ad comply with our advertising standards?
- Was the Classified Ad paid for appropriately?
If your ad is ready, and we note only minor issues, we will fix them and send an email to the person placing the ad for review. If we have significant questions, we will attempt to contact you through the contact information you provided when entering the Payment information. If your ad appears illegitimate, e.g., SPAM, then we ignore them and delete the ad.
Managing your Classified Ad
You can cancel your ad at any time - just use the link below to contact us. You can also extend the time of your classified ad before it expires. Please be sure to send it from the same email address that appears in your ad to help us know you are authorized to cancel the ad. It is also helpful if you provide a direct link to your ad - or include the exact headline.
You may wish to contact us for a variety of reasons. Below are some possibilities. These links open an email form to help us process your request.
Coho/US reserves the right to refuse any ad that our staff believes is inappropriate for any reason. If you have trouble placing an ad, or if you have any questions, please contact us.