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Susan Ward

22 Cheap Advertising Ideas

By February 4, 2009

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Cheap advertising ideas are a steady request, both in the Small Business Canada Forum and in my inbox. So I've put together this list of cheap advertising ideas (a.k.a. ways to promote your small business) that you may find useful for getting the word out about your small business. (Warning: advertising without targeting is just a waste of time!)

I welcome any cheap advertising ideas that you want to add to this list.

You may also want to have a look at 17 Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses which presents some advertising ideas that haven't been mentioned in the list above. some tried and true advertising ideas may not be as expensive as you think.

Edited to Add: Oops! Apparently counting is not my forte and there are 23 ideas on this list, not 22 which I just noticed when I reformatted the list. Hope you can live with the discrepancy (smile).

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February 13, 2009 at 4:02 am
(1) Malcolm Pearson says:

Excellent tips, a lot we know about, but good to be reminded – I’ve decided to action one at a time starting with number 1. Radio or media coverage is dynamite – create a reason why they would want to interview yourself.

February 19, 2009 at 4:36 am
(2) Darwin says:

Cheap advertising does exsist on http://www.aahchoo.com, you buy your advertising page for just $10 a year and it is worldwide. I like it because it is actually just $10 a year!

February 25, 2009 at 7:53 pm
(3) Ronald says:

I took al look at aahchoo.com also and I liked it. I don’t have my website up yet but when I do I plan to advertise with them. Simply because I don’t have money to run a expensive PPC campaign.

February 25, 2009 at 7:56 pm
(4) Ronald says:

I liked the tips I read here by the way. the internet is huge and it seems almost impossible to sell with all this competition. These ideas at least give me a heads up! Thanx!

April 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm
(5) Mike says:

Profitthumb.com is a great place for small businesses to market their services, especially for Entrepreneurs. It allows for small business owners to post a picture of themselves under the specific service they provide and a description of what they provide. Profitthumb.com understands that in today’s society looks do matter and people want to see who they are going to be getting a massage from, or a guitar lesson from, or what a potential roommate will look like before replying to an add. Profitthumb.com allows you the opportunity to do this before committing to anything. Best of all, the service is FREE!!

September 3, 2009 at 4:25 am
(6) Dermot says:

These days it’s so simple and easy (and free!) to setup your own website, or create a Facebook fan page, or put a video up on YouTube, that you’d be only hurting your business and revenue by not pursuing these options. Look around and you’ll find free (or cost-effective) web hosting and once you’re online you can pursue and attract an audience to your site through social media methods and simple SEO techniques.

March 28, 2010 at 11:05 am
(7) Keith says:

SMS is the most direct way to instantly get your business more customers. Better than email, radio, TV and print.
In most cases it costs about $1 a day. Take a look at http://www.infotx.net

Good luck with your new adventure.

March 28, 2010 at 6:38 pm
(8) Justin says:

try out http://rozzex.com

It’s a completly free targeted advertising network. So you dont have to spend a penny to get targeted advertising. Better yet, it’s instant. rozzex.com allows you to create an ad in minutes then place the ad code onto your site. The idea behind it is, you advertise and you will be advertised. Hope this helps

June 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm
(9) hiya says:

Very informative. Thanks for the great post.

September 23, 2010 at 12:25 am
(10) Kevin says:

So true that targeting is REQUIRED. Small Business Advertising Ideas only work if you present your info to people who can be your customer. If you advertise at the wrong targets, people learn to dislike you for getting in their faces at all the wrong times. Un-targeted equals a negative ad impression.

November 2, 2010 at 12:23 pm
(11) Pam says:

Hey! Great article! I recently started a internet advertising site where businesses can advertise for VERY cheap.

The site is: http://www.ClickOnBricks.com

Businesses essentially buy advertising space (“bricks”) to build up the “house”. Each brick features an image/logo of the business’s choice, mouse-over text, and is a link to the business’s site.

We are starting a major social media campaign to drive visitors to the site… including weekly cash prizes, ability to vote for a charity to receive $1,000, and discounts for the first businesses to join us!

Just this morning, we were plugged on Philadelphia’s top morning talk show… so word is getting out! Check us out!


November 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm
(12) Jason Tran says:

A great service I use to promote my site is http://www.sendmehits.com this is a free traffic exchange network where you can view other member’s site to earn credits which you can then use to promote your own site or business. If you are too busy to surf for credits, you can purchase credits at a very reasonable price.

November 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm
(13) Jason says:

I forgot to mention that sendmehits.com also has a geo market targetting feature, so if you want to only show your ads to users in the US, you can do that.

June 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm
(14) Michelle says:

This could be the next big thing: 16millioncolours.com

You pay one dollar, but you are actually getting something.

Each user gets a unique colour which comes up as a line and when that line is clicked, your personalised content is displayed. So i guess this could be used for anyone, like people just to have their own colour and even for businesses to advertise.

Looks like a really good idea!

November 15, 2011 at 4:24 am
(15) Eren says:

http://www.megapixelwall.com/ is another way of cheap advertising which is a pixel based advertising wall for companies and individuals.

January 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm
(16) Jeanne says:

Also, if you’re looking for very cheap advertising, you can contact sites like this one: limerencemag.com/advertise/

Ads start at $3.50 per placement and they even design ads for free if you don’t have one.

February 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm
(17) David says:

Storeboard.com is a new social media site designed for small businesses. It is better than Facebook or LinkedIn because it gives businesses more exposure and allows them to share all their Storeboard postings on all of the social networks. It’s free and businesses love it.

March 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm
(18) Mary says:

Varolo is an excellent option for advertisers and the best online opportunity for earning money!

For advertisers:
If you wish to advertise with Varolo you do not need to pay a lot of money for it. You can publish your advertisement for only 5$! Also, you can pick your target audience with Varolo which is great. This is a great opportunity for both small and big businesses.
Here’s the link for advertisers:

For users who want to earn money:
You are supposed to watch commercials and rate them, at the same time build your village because the more people you have in your village the more money you can earn. Also, there is a weekly jackpot for which you are qualified when watching ads. At first you could earn a pocket money, but if u are persistent then u could really earn a lot. Check it out, it is free and legit.
Here’s the link:

June 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm
(19) Sandi says:

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions! We are an Ontario Legion that is definitely hurting like all the rest. No longer are there funds for paid advertising so we must become creative…Thanks again


November 2, 2012 at 6:23 am
(20) Toldi says:

I can highly recommend a website with marketing deals where you can buy different advertising service for a fraction of cost. They offer display ads, social emdia services, seo, etc.l – the address is: http://www.adsurf.net

February 1, 2013 at 5:29 am
(21) shaun says:

Thanks for the wonderful tips, there is also a good method of advertising I often use called boosting. at http://www.Boostasite.com you can contribute your ad and boost it to the home page as often as you like.

It works well.

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