27 Free Online Places to Market Your Small Business Today

May 22, 2012

As a small business owner, freelancer, manager or marketer, you're always on the lookout for ways to grow your business and profits. The following 25 free marketing resources will help you do just that – starting right now!

Free online classified advertisements

1. Craigslist

The granddaddy of them all, the vast majority of product and service market listings are free on this ever-popular website.

2. Web Classifieds

Another popular free classifieds website that ranks high in Google searches.

3. Pennysaver

The far-reaching classifieds newspaper is online with free listings for your products and services.

4. iNetGiant

Post your free classified ad on this popular and high-ranking website.

5. Manta

Manta offers free listings that do well in local search results. Also offers premium business building tools.

6. Google Shopping

Not exactly a classified ad, you can list your products on Google Shopping for free and they'll turn up in search results.

Free PR

7. PRLog

Free press release distribution on this popular site will help your SEO efforts and get your news in front of journalists and bloggers.

8. 24-7 Press Release

Another press release distribution service with free options to help your PR and SEO efforts.

9. 1-888-PressRelease

Yet another free press release distribution website. The more, the merrier!

10. Help A Reporter Out (HARO)

A unique take on publicity, journalists posts requests for sources. Respond, and you could be featured in major online and offline publications. A free service with premium paid options.

Free online directories

11. Yellow pages

Many people still turn to the Yellow Pages to find service providers. Claim your free listing to capture local leads and legitimize your business.

12. Super Pages

Another highly-popular yellow page website that will help increase local calls. Free listing available with premium upgrades.

13. Google Places

Claim your free Google Places listing to be featured on local search and map results, both on desktop/laptops and mobile devices.

14. Yelp

More than an online business directory, your free listing helps you get noticed via search traffic, social media apps, and customer reviews.

Social media and blogging

15. Blogger

Post your blog for free and never worry about domain registration or hosting fees.

16. Wordpress

Another free and incredibly popular blogging platform. With Wordpress, you can host your own blog using their free open source software; or, make it easy on yourself by hosting on their servers.

17. YouTube

The most popular video sharing website today, YouTube essentially allows you to post free commercials and position them for viral distribution.

18. Yahoo Answers

Answer questions submitted by readers, explain that your answer is correct and that you're an expert, and link to a page on your website that offers more details as a reference to generate interest in your business.

19. Squidoo

Create a stellar lens and you'll generate tons of traffic. Infuse it with your business links, and that traffic will convert into customers.

20. Slideshare

Upload Powerpoint, video, and document presentations to share with the public. Slideshare also offers paid pro accounts with tools to help your presentations go viral and to track your customer base.

21. All Experts

All Experts is a free question-and-answer website that allows you to answer questions posted by readers. By virtue of answering their questions, you can demonstrate your expertise on a topic – and pick up clients along the way.

22. Pinterest

Pinterest isn't a place to advertise, necessarily, but it does offer an excellent platform for growing your audience and showcasing your expertise, creativity or other assets.

23. Facebook

You use it for communicating with friends, but it's true value lies in its infinitely scalable ways to communicate with and engage customers.

24. Twitter

If you're Facebooking, you should be Tweeting to enhance your online reputation and relevance with customers.

25. LinkedIn

The definitive social networking website for businesses, LinkedIn allows you to make connections that can lead to sales. There are free and paid memberships.

Free direct job bidding online

26. ODesk

ODesk lets you browse available jobs, post your profile, and bid directly on projects – for free.

27. Elance

Elance is perhaps the best-marketed and most popular online job bidding website. It offers free bidding on a limited basis, with options to upgrade for more bids.

About the Author:

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. His previous roles included managing editor for a hometown newspaper and club bartender for a group of quasi-alcoholics. When he’s not writing, he’s usually counting lost follicles and wondering what he ever did with his time before his two children were born.
Brian's picture

About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:22 am #

A great list of resources, and a reminder of some more common sites that can be used to our advantage!
That being said, haven't had too much luck yet with Elance or ODesk. There are a lot of freelancers on these sites from overseas who are able to bid very low on projects. I did, however, post my first project as a company, so we'll see how it goes!

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:22 am #

Thanks for your feedback Kate! I agree that there is a lot of overseas competition on Elance and ODesk that undercut many American providers. That being said, there are still buyers on those sites who value quality and accountability. My advice on those sites is to not sell yourself short just to win more jobs; instead, price them as you would any other, and the few jobs you get will likely be well worth the wait - and long-term clients to boot!

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