How to Do Advertising on Craigslist

By Dani Arbuckle

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark stands in front of the Craigslist office.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Craigslist is an online classified ad site with individual pages for hundreds of cities and areas. Because most Craigslist ads are free, it can be a great way to advertise a small business with a minuscule advertising budget. Create a Craigslist ad to connect with customers in your area while keeping on budget.

Visit Craigslist and select the city or area where you want to make your posting. In Arizona, for instance, as of the date of publication, you can choose between Flagstaff/Sedona, Mohave County, Phoenix, Prescott, Show Low, Sierra Vista, Tuscon and Yuma.

Click the link that says "my account" and then select "Sign up for an account" at the bottom of the screen. Enter your email address and confirm it by clicking the link in a confirmation email. Select a password for your account when prompted. This will set your password and log you in to your account.

Return to the main Craigslist page and click the link in the top left corner that says "post an ad" and select "new posting."

Confirm the city or area where you want to list the ad and then select the type of ad, such as "service offered" or item "for sale." Select the specific area where you are located when prompted. For instance, if you post your ad to the Phoenix Craigslist site you can choose among Central/South Phoenix, East Valley, Phoenix North and West Valley.

Write the title for your ad. Give as much information as you can to get the viewer's attention. For example, if you are offering a consulting service you might use the headline, "Business Consulting Available, Specializing in Strategy and Entrepreneurship."

Write the body of your ad. Use this to give more details about your product or service. You can use text from your print ads or website to give detailed information about what you are offering.

Select whether you want to show your email address, hide it or "anonymize" it. If you hide your email, be sure to include contact information in the body of your ad. If you "anonymize" your email, people can contact you via an anonymous forwarding address but will not see your actual address.

Click "continue" and ad images if you like. You can include images of your product, a company logo or anything else that relates to your business or your ad.

Review your ad and publish it if you are satisfied with it. Check for any errors, including typos, and edit the ad if necessary before submitting it.


It's free to place most ads on Craigslist, however a small fee is required for certain categories, such as therapeutic services. Some categories only charge in certain geographic areas. For instance, there is a fee to post job ads in some cities, including Phoenix. If you need to pay for an ad you will be prompted to do so using a credit card.