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Ask Danielle: How Much Do I Charge for Sponsored Programming?

One of the more frequent questions I get asked is “how much do I charge?” It is very hard to know what our real estate and our influence is worth, so I thought I’d share some tips on determining fair compensation.

  • Tip One:
    Ask Around! This one is kind of obvious, but it’s also the most effective. Find out what others are charging for content. More importantly, find out what others are PAYING for content. Do you have friends in the PR and Marketing industry? Ask them how much they are paying for sponsored content! You can also ask how much they pay celebrities for appearances and endorsement. This is incredibly interesting, especially as studies continue to show that bloggers actually have more influence over purchasing decisions than celebrities do.
  • Tip Two:
    Use a CPM Calculator. Most display ads on blogs run between $5 and $15 CPM (cost per thousand). You can use a CPM calculator to insure that your programs are matching these rates. Pop your daily impressions into the calculator along with your desired CPM, and use that to figure out what you want to charge.
  • Tip Three:
    Make sure you are covering your time and expenses. I think that your sponsored content should be priced well above just time and expenses (because those don’t cover influence at all), but at a minimum, make sure you are compensated for these. Expenses can include babysitting fees and mileage.
  • Tip Four:
    Start high. I use “funny feeling in my stomach” as a good rule of thumb. Do you feel a little queasy when you say your rate out loud? Good. You’re probably in the ballpark, then. Most women (and I say this from experience, not from a point of generalization) don’t even bother to negotiate. Remember that as the person charging the money, you need to start high so that you have room to negotiate. On the other side of the coin, remember that agencies ALSO need to leave room to negotiate. This means they are probably starting low. Nine times out of 10, they are offering you less than they actually budgeted. You might as well TRY to get more. It won’t hurt anyone – promise.
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