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I'm about to launch a website (that's almost finished) of classified ads specifically for my country, but I just realized that I don't know how to populate it. There's a recursive element to it: if no one uses it then there's no reason for anyone to use it. I mean, personally I don't think I'd bother to post anything in a website that has no user base. But every site has to start somewhere.

So my question is, basically, how are websites that involve some kind of social feedback are initially 'started up'?

I've thought of copying classified ads out of other websites or something like that, and I don't think the posters would mind (it's more free publicity for them after all) but I don't want to risk having copyright troubles from the site owners. Should I make fake ads or what? What's the common approach to this?

Mind me, this is not even for SEO, but for the actual user experience.

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A common but not to well accepted practice is to duplicate content from a variety of other sources to kickstart the process. Another more accepted method is to preload the site with a range of "fake" ads designed to start the site off. Both of these methods can be considered black hat as they are not genuine content posted to your site but can help in kickstarting it, the more widely accepted method is to encourage people you know to post to it and while it will take a while to kick off it will make it and it will be a genuine growth curve.

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