How much to charge for a sponsored post

sponsored-post

I have recently started surveying the Bloggers Bazaar newsletter subscribers and a key question that many bloggers have is how to work out what to charge for sponsored posts on their blogs.

I thought I would unpack a little of this today after discussions with many bloggers and research across the Australian blogging network.

There does not appear to be a whole lot of transparency about blogging rates and there are certainly no formal guidelines for what bloggers should charge. This being so it can be very hard to figure out how much to charge a brand that wants to work with you.

The blogging industry in Australia is rapidly growing and brands are quickly realising the influence that bloggers have with niche audiences. Many large companies now target bloggers and work with them in a variety of ways such as through sponsored posts, advertising, brand ambassador positions, giveaways and many other mediums of promotion.

There is a very handy little equation that is used by many bloggers across the globe and it is a great benchmark to start with. Of course every blogger has their own preference for what they wish to charge but there seems to be a trend for many bloggers to charge very low rates and undersell themselves.

THE SPONSORED POST EQUATION

(Time Spent x Hourly Rate) + ( (Average Post Views/1000) x Advertising rate)= $Price per Post

So lets break this down –

Scenario – A fashion company approaches you and wants to do a sponsored post about their new online store that has just launched. This company fits the demographic and feel of your blog so you decide that you work like to work with them. (Quick tip – it’s totally ok to say no if you don’t feel your readers would be interested in hearing about the company involved).

TIME SPENT

You may be very surprised how long it can actually takes you to put together a sponsored post depending on the brands wishes.

Remember that  – time is money.

Hours of work involved – (this is just a guideline and will vary for every person)

  • Emailing back and forth with the brand to arrange the post – 30 minutes
  • Researching writing the post – 2 hours
  • Sourcing suitable images and editing them  – 1 hour
  • Final edit, posting the blog post and promoting on social media – 30 minutes

Total time spent on the post – 4 hours

*Try and plan this out before you quote your fee. Some sponsored posts will be much more work than others so get as much detail up front about what the brand wants to do and work out how long it will take you before letting them know the cost.

YOUR HOURLY RATE

This is a personal rate that you must decide upon yourself. Take in to account the overheads that you have working from home, the cost of running a blog and how much experience and value you bring to the table. You may decide to start at $50 per hour if you are a relatively new blogger and as you become more experienced and your costs grow you may charge yourself out at $100 per hour.

For this example I will set my rate at $60 per hour. So the equation is looking like this  – (4 hours x $60) + ( (Average Post Views/1000) x Advertising rate)= $Price per Post

YOUR AVERAGE POST VIEWS

Next up you will input your page views into the equation. Now this is page views PER POST. So check out your Google Analytics and get an average of your average page views for each blog post and use this figure.  (Go to your Analytics home page and click on Content and then Overview and choose a date range of approximately 6 months to one year and look at your average post page views).

For this example I have an average of 800 page views per post on average.

YOUR ADVERTISING RATE

This can be a little tricky to work out, as there are a few things you need to consider. This rate is not equal to a standard sidebar ad. By doing a sponsored post you are offering premium ad space o your site and crafting the content to meet your readers interests and needs. This is of higher value than a basic sidebar ad.

You can look further into this by checking out your Google Analytics and looking at your unique page views, unique blog post views and click-through rates for your sidebar ads (If you have this service set up). This will give you a good idea of the value of your blog post content as opposed to your sidebar advertising.

For this example I have chosen to value the advertising space of a sponsored post at $70.  (My sidebar ads range from $30-$40)

So here is how the equation is shaping up so far – (4 hours x $60) + ( 0.8) x $70 = $Price per Post

THE FINAL ANSWER!

Hopefully I have not lost you, it really is not complicated I promise!

This is what I would charge for the scenario outlined above –

($240) + ($56) = $296 for the Sponsored Post

Please note that this is a guideline and a great one that I have used in the past when working with brands. What you decide to charge yourself out at (Your Hourly Rate) and your Advertising Rate is totally up you.

The brand may say no and wish to negotiate with you which is not a bad thing but if you feel they are not valuing your work and what you can offer than just say no.

There are a few other common formulas that bloggers use such as –

Number of page views + Number of twitter followers ÷ page rank number x $ .01 ÷ 2 = your approximate sponsored post rate.

Charging $25 for ever 1,000 monthly page views that you receive on your website. This means that if you blog gets 10,000 page views each month, you can command a rate of $250 per post.

BE UPFRONT ABOUT YOUR SPONSORED POST GUIDELINES

When working with a brand make sure that you are upfront in your initial communication about your sponsored post guidelines. This could include how many words the post will contain, how many images and links will appear in the post, when it will be published and on what social media platforms you will promote it.

Some bloggers also have a guideline that a company must purchase an advertising space on their sidebar to be able to take part in a sponsored post so consider if this is right for your blog.

LASTLY – BE TRANSPARENT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

Be upfront and transparent with your audience that the post they are reading is a sponsored post. This will give you credibility and trust with your readers and is by far the ethical thing to do.

Check out the Interview series about sponsored posts – Nikki Parkinson from Styling You // Stacey from Veggie Mamma

Sources – Wooden Spoon Kitchen, Nuffnang, The Remarkables Group, Google Analytics, The Blog Herald

Image Source – image edited

I would love to hear from you and what formula you use or if you are interested in trying this one out.

32 Comments

  • MotherDownUnder says:

    This is really interesting…thank you.
    I have never come across any of those formulas before. I have always just agreed to whatever the company offered…and I knew I was undervaluing myself but I didn’t realise by how much!
    This is great and I will definitely give it a shot next time I come across an opportunity.

  • Jo (down to earth mother) says:

    Awesome, thanks Bec! I hve been looking at the time and my hourly rate only, but I should be taking into account my stats as well. really helpful, thank you!

  • Teresa Henderson says:

    Hi what a great help this is. I have a question regarding the side bar adverts. You say sidebar ads range from $30-$40 but for how long is that? Is that for a month? Thanks in advance!

  • Belinda @ MyOodle says:

    Thank you, Thank you….this blog post is just what I was looking for and you explained things so clearly and comprehensively I know my rate now. I’m heading off to read a heap of previous posts to see what other jems I can find.

  • Rebecca says:

    This is a perfect way to figure it out- helps a lot , thank you! Great post

    http://www.dancingthroughsunday.typepad.com

    • Bec Zacher says:

      Thanks Rebecca, i was very excited coming across this formula. Makes it so much easier to calculate your time and value that time well. All the best with your blogging. Bec

  • Louisa says:

    Hey Bec, I love seeing conversations about this and would love to throw some thoughts in coming from the other side, or both sides really. I’ve been a blogger for 7 years and run Brand Meets Blog for 3 years.

    Some of the things I think bloggers need to consider are the value of the main content space which I would suggest is much greater than their sidebar space and the degree to which they have influence over their readership. There’s no formula for setting this amount but I would encourage bloggers to consider first and foremost the influence they have – ie how many people click on links, engage with content and the brand when you blog about them. The higher rate of that happening the greater your influence, the greater your $$ worth to a brand.

    Time is definitely a factor at play and experience is important but the real goal, I believe, for all bloggers is to be tracking conversions and measuring engagement. If you know what topics you are most influential on then you can both charge more for the right partnerships and also say yes to brands you know you can deliver on.

    The other thing to consider is the nature of your traffic – what’s your bounce rate and how much of your traffic is relevant for a brand. What I really like about this equation is that it looks at traffic per post – I think you could be even more specific and take the number of unique visits you get on average for a brand post (they tend to get less traffic than a non-brand post and I also think working of uniques is more appropriate than total pvs though on a per post basis the difference probably won’t be huge).

    I guess the main thought I’d love to leave floating is that the bloggers who make the big $$ are the ones you influence reader behaviour so if making money via brands is something you want to make a go of then this is an area of your blog you need to get to know really, really well.

    x

    • Bec Zacher says:

      Hi Louisa, thanks so much for taking the time to offer some great insight from your side of the fence. Definitely some fantastic advice and tips. I am working on a post on Google Analytics so i will look at showing people how to measure a few more of these things that you mentioned. Thanks again, Bec

  • Jenelle says:

    Hi Bec,
    Thank you so much for this post. I am new to collaborating with brands, or advertising at all, and even adding the google analytics to my blog, so I feel like I am playing catch up. This post was really helpful though. I think it is great to get an idea of what to charge, and how to work that out. It does make me a bit sad that I have run my blog for so many years and not worked out any of this!
    Thank you, am reading through old posts. Cheers, Jenelle
    http://shutmyeyescantfindthebreak.blogspot.com.au

    • Bec Zacher says:

      Hi Jenelle, we are all at very different stages so don’t worry it certainly takes time to get a handle on all the different facets of blogging and working with brands. I hope that it helps you place more value on your work in the future, all the best with your blogging.

  • Nanna Cool says:

    Thanks, just starting out and this is really helpful 🙂

  • Thank you for this insight. I have been searching for this very information for some time. It’s really helpful 🙂

  • Finally! A way to calculate a starting point. Thanks.

  • Kayla says:

    Thanks for this Bec! Very very helpful!

    xx

  • M + K says:

    Thank you for breaking it all down!

    M + K

  • Abigail says:

    Thank you for this post – this is some of the most useful & practical advice I’ve come across for bloggers. Looking forward to checking out the rest of your blog!

  • Ashlee says:

    This is exactly what I have been looking for! Thank you for the advice x

  • Hi Bec – this looks awesome and exactly what I’ve been looking for…but I can not for the life of me find the right information I need to in Google Analytics and have been bashing my head against a brick wall for an hour! Waaaa! Has GA layout updated since you wrote this or am I going mad?!

    • Bec Zacher says:

      Hi Emma, great you found it handy! I will double check as yes Google are always changing things so they may have updated there dashboard. Will update the post with the new details. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Kate Toon says:

    I’m not a blogger, nor do I offer sponsored content. But I want to salut you for writing this.
    What an excellent piece of content and so helpful and transparent.

    Love your work
    Thanks
    Kate

  • GREAT article!

    I’m glad that you’re helping to make pricing more transparent.

    If bloggers do reviews for free (or less than thousands of $ per post, really) then it’s kind of screwing over all bloggers because it makes advertisers perceive that there’s less value in blog posts in general, it also makes them less likely to pay for sponsored posts since they can keep hassling bloggers to do it for free, and it deprives the blogging community of value and much needed income.

    You’ve heard that most people value things based on what they paid for them? I think that’s true in general and especially in the case of brands and advertising. If bloggers give sponsorships away for free, then it ruins the brand’s perception of the value sponsored blog posts have.

    BTW – I would consider any mention of a brand as a form of advertising… from the brand’s perspective, anyway. They pay $10,000/month or more to PR agencies to get this form of advertising. It’s clearly valuable, so why should bloggers give that kind of value (…and writing skill …and time …and photography) away for free, when brands clearly have the $$ to pay for it (heck, they’re paying other people for it)? Not to mention, it’s most bloggers only chance at income!

    Every blogger should have a page listing their sponsored post options and prices, and should direct brands who want coverage to that page. The key is to always be honest in your reviews, no matter what. If you can’t say something nice, then give a refund. Only write about products, hotels, etc. that you’ve actually experienced/tried for long enough to get a good feel for them.

    I really think that the bloggers who write articles about brands for free, cheap, or just for product, do a disservice to themselves (that brand will never pay you in the future) and to all bloggers, since it devalues the service and makes it harder for bloggers (in general, as an industry) to make a living. If bloggers can’t make money because others will work for free/cheap, then the quality of blogs overall will decrease, since most will have to give it up in favor of a better paying job.

    If you want to write articles without payment, write about brands who are vegan, ethical, eco, third-world artisan, and doing good in the world. They actually need the support and likely can’t afford to pay anyhow. But when L’Oreal comes knocking — make sure your time is well-rewarded.

    I find it so frustrating when brands / PR ask for coverage with zero compensation. They ARE asking you to not only work for free, but provide free advertising. They pay everyone else they work with, so it’s insulting that they would think that they shouldn’t pay bloggers…

    IMHO – A sponsored article on a professional-looking blog should cost an absolute minimum of $10k+, and a sponsored social media post should cost $15 to $30+ CPM (per thousand followers), depending on what the brand wants and what is involved. For perspective, many social media stars make $50k to $100k per Instagram post alone. And an ad in a print magazine can cost a hundred thousand dollars. These brands are paying for ads elsewhere, so why not in your blog? Don’t you give them value too?

    Good luck, fellow bloggers! And remember: this is BUSINESS. Blogging is an industry, and your livelihood. You are providing a SERVICE for these brands, when you write about them. Never forget that!

    BTW – I blog for http://www.urbanette.com and http://www.topmodeladvice.com

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