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How Much to Charge for Sponsored Content – is This a Question You’ve Ever Asked Yourself?

Posted By Guest Blogger 6th of October 2014 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

For new (and even established bloggers) there’s a cloud of mystery in the Australian blogging industry around setting advertising rates. As the community manager for Blogger Connect, one question I get asked a lot is: “how many unique views do I need before I start advertising?”. Secondly, it’s: “how much do I charge?”. With no real industry standard, it is also a question asked around the world. On the flip side,  in this industry with no established guidelines, are brands just as much in the dark?

It’s not as cut and dry as looking at website and social media traffic to determine how much to charge. A blog that has 20,000 unique views per month doesn’t necessarily trump a blog that has 10,000 unique views. The blog with 10,000 UV may have a more engaged audience than the blog with 20,000 UV, which makes it a much better value proposition for the advertiser.

But are brands on the same page? Do they consider engagement rates in conjunction with unique views, or are they all about the numbers? Are bloggers respecting their worth, and are brands prepared to pay?

It’s these types of questions that led us to launch a poll on Blogger Connect to give bloggers more confidence in setting their rates, and brands insight into what bloggers are worth.

We polled both bloggers and PRs/brands about unique views, advertising rates and engagement levels, and the results to date are surprising.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 4.37.26 PM

 

We asked bloggers how many unique views they had before they started advertising, and brands what the minimum unique views a blog needs before they will advertise with them. We also included an option for brands to indicate they don’t consider unique views at all when choosing which bloggers to advertise with.

In another question, we asked brands whether they consider engagement levels in conjunction with unique views when reviewing a blog, and 79% have responded with yes.

These results are heartening. At Blogger Connect we educate brands to not exclude the ‘little guys’ because smaller blogs with highly engaged audiences are of high value to their advertising mix.

Not only are brands indicating they are reviewing engagement levels of blogs (not just vanity metrics), 60% are willing to work with blogs who have unique views from 1000 to 3000. Brands are valuing smaller bloggers who have engaged audiences.

However, 45% bloggers believe they need from 3000 to 5000+ to start advertising.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 3.24.59 PM

Now to the nitty gritty. As a benchmark, we asked bloggers if they had 5000 unique views, how much they would charge for a sponsored post. Equally we asked brands what the most they would be prepared to pay for a sponsored post with 5000 unique views.

Only 17% of bloggers would charge $300+, whilst 57% of brands are prepared to pay this. 32% of bloggers charge between $200 and $300, with only 9% of brands indicating they would pay that as a maximum. 51% of bloggers are charging less than $200, whilst 33% of brands are only willing to pay this much.

Key Takeaways for Bloggers

The poll results to date indicate brands have engagement levels on their radar, and it’s not just all about unique views. They are willing to work with smaller bloggers, and if you have an engaged audience, you may not need as many unique views as you think you do before you consider advertising.

Highlight your engagement levels in your media kit, and take them into consideration when setting your rates. Comments on blog posts used to be the holy grail of measuring a blogs engagement, but many communities are gathering around their social media platforms.

Whilst comments are still definitely worthwhile including, some additional ways to showcase your engagement levels are to include interaction levels on your social media platforms (i.e. ‘talking about this’ from your Facebook page), and page views (in conjunction with your unique views) and time on site from Google Analytics.

If you’d like to help to continue to bring clarity to the blogging industry, click here to have your say in the Blogger Connect Industry Poll.

Gaynor was a blogger for 5 years, and is now the community manager for Blogger Connect. She is dedicated to supporting bloggers to reach their full potential, educating brands on the growing power bloggers have with consumers, and setting industry standards for commercial blogger outreach.

Gaynor is also a social media and blogger outreach consultant, and social media course presenter for NET:101. She advocates social media as a means for organisations to establish strong communities around their brand, enabling direct engagement and long-term loyalty.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  • DNN

    To talk about sponsored content, it seems as if PostRelease.com has allegedly went under. When you log into your publisher account, there are no codes for you to add to a WordPress blog or vB site. It’s just a bunch of empty analytics and stats.

    Would you happen to know of any sites like PostRelease?

    • Hi DNN

      I haven’t come across PostRelease.com before.

  • Hi Gaynor, this is a really interesting post. I think it can be difficult to come up with a price for sponsored posts especially in the beginning so this should offer some handy hints to people who are still trying to figure things out!

    • Hi James,

      Yes, I remember when I started blogging in 2009 and I had no idea what to charge. It was actually an agency that contacted me for a sponsored post that told me I wasn’t charging enough.

      It was also a real eye opener when I started working on the other side of the fence in PR, and doing blogger outreach for clients and seeing what bloggers were charging. It was great to see them valuing their time and audience, because blogging is hard work, and advertisers pay a lot more to advertise on other channels.

    • I don’t even understand why to use the space for a third party sponsorship, when a blog with good UV is a perfect place for self monetization

  • Hi Gayno,

    That’s a nice topic you shared here.Yes it is really hard for a beginner to decide how much one should charge for a sponsored post.

  • Thank you for the post, though i haven’t reached that stage but still this will be help me in future.

  • Interesting. I had an iPhone blog I used to work on, which was incredibly difficult to monetize. I started receiving invitations for sponsored posts once I had worked up to 8,000 visitors a month. I never really negotiated or sought after sponsored posts, but I got offers from time to time – usually in the $100-150 range.

    I accepted most of them. The main concern for me was relevancy with my audience.

    • Hi James

      You are right to be concerned with relevancy to your audience when deciding whether to accept a sponsored post- your audience will know if you’ve ‘sold out’ for advertising- and you need to protect your trust with your audience, as this is what makes your value proposition as a blogger so strong.

      You’ve mentioned you’re in a niche that’s hard to monetise, and you haven’t really chased advertising, but I wouldn’t let this sway you into accepting non relevant advertising, or rates that are less that what your time and audience reach is worth.

      Using the crude measurement of traffic alone (without considering engagement levels), $150 for 8000 unique views is a lot lower than market rates.

  • I had been asked several times to write posts about certain topics and use a website with keywords within the post. I am not sure how everyone feels about this… but it concerns me that I would be trading the integrity of the blog for a few dollars. I have actually done this but only for very specific cases.

    • Hi Brian

      You are right to be wary of these kinds of offers. I had a few of them when I was blogging, and I always turned them down. They’re not interested in engaging your audience, they’re just paying for dodgy SEO.

  • Getting some sponsored post is always great one for any blog but yeah sometimes the price matters.A real Interesting post Gayno.

  • This is very surprizing for me when I see how much people are actually chagring for paid contents on their blogs. If I belive on the numbers shared in this post, I must say I’m charging very less keeping mind the kind of traffic and engagement metrices my blog has.

    • Hi Anil

      Yes, you can most definitely charge to host a competition on your site- after all, the product in the competition is being advertised.

  • Hey Gaynor
    I would certainly love to be at the level that some of the pros are and get offers to make sponsored posts. But I am guessing that takes quite a bit of time and work.

    However, it is great to see what is possible and to have some idea of what kinds of money you can ask for.

    Thanks for the info
    Martin

  • Great post Gaynor

    It is refreshing to know that smaller bloggers can start making some money earlier than they used to think. I personally always assumed it was about massive amounts of traffic and views. But as you showed, it is more about an engaged audience than numbers. So there is hope for us all

    Thanks for sharing
    ashley

    • Hi Ashley

      I am thrilled to hear you’ve realised you can start charging sooner than later, and that you are going to start valuing the engagement of your audience. This was the objective of running the poll- because everyone seems to be in the dark- even after all this time.

      And, focusing on numbers on a blogger is a sure fire way to kill the passion that had you start blogging in the first place. Focusing on building community and fostering engagement is a much better place to be. And that has a lot of value to advertisers.

  • I have been contracted a few times over the last couple of years to place “sponsored content.” The things I look at for post placement and payment offering is: Domain Authority, Page Rank, Social Engagement and Traffic.

    People can fudge the numbers all they want and say they have greater traffic, but there are ways to see what the real traffic totals are. It’s never a good idea to lie on your media kit – If I see someone who inflates their numbers and charges a huge amount for placement, I remove them from my list and just don’t contact them again.

    Those are the one’s I would like to buy them for what they’re worth and sell them for what they think they are worth. If only there were a business for that :)

    • Great to hear from the other side of the fence. I whole heartedly agree with your approach of blacklisting people who inflate their stats.

  • To be honest it still remains a dicey question to me, when faced with a choice to quote for a price for sponsored content I always try and maintain a balance but the advertisers are always on a lookout for cheap deals and this is really disheartening!

    • Hi Aditya

      My advice is to set your prices and stick to them. The advertisers who are on the lookout for cheap deals should be avoided anyway. There are good advertisers/brands/PRs out there who do value blogger’s time, talent and audience reach- these are the ones you want to work with, and these are the ones who won’t haggle your rates.

  • Great post and it gave me a fair estimate on how much should we charge to paid content as I was not exactly aware of what the trend is going but the charge should also justify which depends on your blog traffic and impressions

    • Hi Rohit

      I am glad this post has give you an understanding of what you should be charging- but remember it’s not just traffic and impressions- it’s about engagement too.

  • That was a very important post about how do we charge for sponsored content.
    But doesn’t it also matters on your niche and the way you communicate with the companies for sponsored content?
    I have seen bloggers getting 15-25 % more when they communicate in a professional manner and talk with authority.

  • I think paid advertising is also a great way to rank a blog higher than others, But most people forgot this. Overall nice post thanks for sharing

  • i think it should not exceed more than 20%,,, i made it at 10%