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Cracking The Sponsored Post Code: 25 Bloggers Reveal What They Charge

By cecilyk |

Out of the twenty or so blogging conferences I’ve attended (what?), the most packed rooms are ALWAYS the monetization sessions. We love blogging, and we want to get paid to do it.

One of the most common questions I hear, over and over again, is “How much should I charge for a sponsored post?” This is an almost impossible thing to determine because so many factors go into determining what the market will bear when it comes to sponsored posts.

So I went out and started asking folks to tell me what they charge for sponsored posts. After much begging, pleading, and willingness to keep some folks anonymous, I was able to get a group of 25 bloggers to share what they charge. Along the way, I stumbled across the formula that might be able to help you figure out where to start. Ready?

To determine a potential starting point for sponsored posts do the following math (and please, please, please note this is just a fun way to find a starting point, nothing more – generally, it’s best to also consider time and expenses when setting your rate):

# of page views

+ # of twitter followers

÷ page rank #

x $ .01

÷ 2

= your approximate sponsored post rate.

This formula is just an exercise, and it only reflects what bloggers have told me they GET PAID, not necessarily what they DESERVE to be paid. If you’re a specialized blogger, you can probably go higher. Also, I wouldn’t recommend accepting less than $25 a post (no matter how small your blog) to start (although I know many that accept $15 or even $10). Also, for more influential bloggers, I’d leave off the last step (dividing by 2) for your rate.

So how does your rate stack up with other bloggers? Below 25 bloggers share their sponsored post fees.

DISCLAIMER: The information listed below about the various bloggers do not tell the whole story. I only used three things: pageviews, page rank, and Twitter followers to give you a snapshot of their influence. Please just use this post as a reference, nothing more.

EDIT: Lot of you have been wondering about the divide by page rank, and it’s true it’s a bit arbitrary. Most of the bloggers I tested this formula with had page ranks of five or less, so indeed, if you have a page rank of seven it wouldn’t work (admittedly, the blogger with a page rank higher than six is rare). If you are a higher page rank blogger, simply skip the final step (divide by two), and it will correct. BUT AGAIN, this is approximate, just a guide, not set in stone.

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What To Charge For Sponsored Posts

Milehimama

Milehimama
$50 a post, $75 a giveaway
15,000 pageviews/month
Page Rank 4
2100+ Twitter Followers

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About cecilyk

cecilyk

cecilyk

Cecily Kellogg writes all over the web, including here at Babble for Voices and Tech. She neglects her own blog, Uppercase Woman. Read bio and latest posts → Read Cecily's latest posts →

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72 thoughts on “Cracking The Sponsored Post Code: 25 Bloggers Reveal What They Charge

  1. Stacie Haight Connerty says:

    Great post Cecily. I never even considered that there was a formula to it that made sense.

  2. Sandra Foyt says:

    I’m so glad you did this. It’s very revealing to see the disparities in blog income that result from not having a baseline for comparison.

  3. Amy B. says:

    This is the first time I’ve seen a real equation put to this. Great info.

  4. Tara @ Feels Like Home says:

    Well done, Cecily! It’s very interesting to compare amongst us, isn’t it? I’m always glad when others are willing to put themselves out there and say what they’re making. It makes our industry better as a whole.

  5. Keera says:

    Well according to that math I should only get $14.50 – 29 ish and there is no way I would do one for that now. In the beginning I did tours for product +25-30 and that felt fair for the numbers I had. Now I like to think I bring a whole lot more to the table. That said if it’s a product/subject I believe in I will do it for less and even free for charities.

  6. Jessica Gottlieb says:

    I don’t understand why you’d divide by pagerank? It makes it a smaller number for people with a higher page rank.

    With that being said, the number was just about spot on for me.

  7. monique says:

    I’m confused. Based on the formula, since you divide your initial sum (page views + twitter followers) by your page rank, the higher your PR, the lower your charge. That doesn’t make sense to me since a lower ranked blog with the same sum of page views and twitter followers would charge more than a higher ranked blog.

    1. cecilyk says:

      Monique, that’s why I suggest that bigger bloggers not divide by two at the end. And, again, it’s just a guide!

  8. Kat says:

    Where are some of these page view numbers coming from? There are some very blatant liars here.

  9. Nolie says:

    Well according to that calculation I am way undercharging and based on current stats should be charging around $250

  10. the muskrat says:

    But if you divide by page rank, this is penalizing persons with high page ranks. Am I missing something here? I thought having a high page rank was a good thing for SEO.

  11. MommieDaze says:

    I love that one blogger will take payment in the form of free babysitting. I might ad that to my media kit.

  12. The Whole Bag of Chips says:

    This is good to think about. I’d always wondered what to charge and this is a great starting point to go on.
    Thank you!
    Jen
    http://www.thewholebagofchips.com

  13. Kimberly/Foodie City Mom says:

    Well the thing that is getting interesting is that more companies are asking for proof of page views (Google Analytics reports and such). So, bloggers who inflate their page views (which I have seen MANY times when I have worked on projects for companies) might want to be a bit more honest/not make their case for payment based strictly on numbers…

  14. steph @cshmdonnareed says:

    Great post that gives some of us Moms a baseline! Keep up the sleuth work ;)

  15. Heidi says:

    Why does twitter number matter? Why not Facebook fans on your page?

    1. cecilyk says:

      Heidi, I don’t know. The formula is kind of accidental. Let me play around with Facbook fans too.

  16. Cat Davis says:

    Definitely interesting but I don’t see myself using the formula. I charge based on time and work involved.

  17. Charlene/CharleneChronicles.com says:

    Fabulous post and yes, you are so right. Every conference I have been to, and everyone I have ever spoken to, has never helped me on this front (and I do want to be clear and fair when I do request payment). So this formula is a great start. I do wonder though, when brands will stop solely looking at blog page views and consider Facebook pages views or YouTube page views. I think they are important numbers but maybe I am wrong. Though I did write about it recently on my blog. Personally I would add those numbers into the page view line if you are really active on Facebook and YouTube which is where some bloggers foster their fans and community, rather than solely on their websites. Again, thanks for the post!

  18. Carol says:

    Great info Cecily. As I mentioned when you asked, I am not a fan of sponsored posts but if a good op comes along is good to have something. Also, As Kim from Foodie Mom mentioned more companies want proof. I think it’s smart to include (as I do) where you are getting your numbers from as well as date of stats. Lastly, as for page ranks, I didn’t give you that number so I am sure you got it yourself. I only mention it since it’s a topic. Thanks for letting me know too. I never look for it or include it in my media kit.

  19. Anna@GreenTalk says:

    I think twitter followers can be deceptive because if you look at how many people you are following and how many are following you, they can be really close in number.

    Many people can use programs to search who will likely follow them back. For me, I never think those particular people are popular just that they are good at working the system. Just my opinion.

    However, when people have many Facebook fans, this impresses me because you can’t make someone like you unless you give away lots of giveaways. Personally, I think measuring email and RSS feed readers is the most accurate. If someone lets you into their email box, this is an honor. Thanks for doing the analysis.

    One question, I am bombarded by PR firm releases. When I ask if there is a paid opportunity, they always say that they are looking for free content or no money in the budget. (Except to pay for the PR firm.) How do you get companies to pay you? Do you call the companies?

  20. Carol says:

    Also, I’m with Cat Davis – I don’t charge based on this info. I think we should charge base on time and work.

  21. Stefanie says:

    The formula will never work correctly if you are dividing by page rank.

    1. cecilyk says:

      Stefanie, it’s just a guideline, a starting point. Not gospel. :D

  22. Anne says:

    Cecily, I could kiss you! This is SO helpful to have, even as a jumping off point. It’s so hard to figure out what you should charge when you have no clue what others are charging. I feel like in so many conference sessions, when you ask what to charge, the answer is always “it depends”.

  23. Alison says:

    Wow I should be charging like over 1k more then I actually am based on that formula. Even if I divide by 2 at the end it’s still like 500 more then I actually charge. Guess I’m under paying myself. ;)

  24. Gteat Job Cecily! This post is awesome! It’s about time we used some metrics!

  25. Melissa says:

    Awesome! I am always wondering this! It is nice to hear what others charge so you know if you are way off or just right!

    http://www.homegrownfamilies.blogspot.com

  26. Annie says:

    This is a really interesting post! My blog is relatively new (started in September) but I’m surprised to see I’m having a similar number of page views to some of the people that are getting paid to do sponsored posts!

    If you’re ever looking for another topic, I’d love to hear some advice on how to start getting advertisers or sponsored posts!

  27. MichelleW says:

    I don’t usually do sponsored posts, but based on this, if I were doing them, I would be undercharging. So, now that I know what I’m worth, I say, bring on the sponsors!

  28. Christa @ Little BGCG says:

    Like many people have mentioned I don’t understand why you would divide by page rank! The better you rPR the more you should be getting paid in my opinion.

    With that being said according to this formula I should be charging 1,200. Maybe it’s time to increase my prices?!

  29. Brandi @ MustLoveCoupons.com says:

    I too agree with the confusion of the diving by page rank. If ultimately dividing by a higher page rank will give you a lower total, and having a higher page rank typically attracts bigger brands this is counterintuitive. That is the part I’m stuck on. Can you explain how that is?

  30. Sara says:

    This is great info – thanks!

    This is really interesting to me because I have better pageviews than some of these bloggers but I’ve never done a sponsored post. How does one go about getting sponsors?

  31. Brandi @ MustLoveCoupons.com says:

    that should have said “dividing” :) (gotta love autocorrect!)

  32. Backpacking Dad says:

    If you charge according to a formula, no matter how self-adopted, eventually you will be offered by a formula.

    If you’re a creator, charge for your time. If you’re a billboard, charge for the eyeballs.

  33. Deb Rox says:

    I know people want a formula, but this can’t be the answer. In particular, I see what you are saying that the math is accidental. One of the problems with the formula is that the amount you are assigning to “1 unit” isn’t evenly weighted–that’s why the division mistake with the page rank value seemed inconsequential, when in fact PR is very consequential. Basically what your formula does is compute that a sponsored post range is an eyeball total (in your case page views +Twitter) divided by a very small per eyeball rate that you are landing on by dividing $.01 by a range of 2-10, (which was mistakenly assigned to 1 or 2 x page rank). I get the desire for a formula, but a formula would only bear up if you are talking about very simplistic posts that are akin to ads, and in that case what you are trying to approximate is a per/view rate. I think that’s dangerous and not at all what much of blogging “sponsored posts” are or could be about. The danger is that this is the type of forumula that leads to the $7/post recommendations and it reduces the idea of a blogged endorsement to being equivalent to a banner ad.

    1. cecilyk says:

      Deb, that’s exactly why I say never to charge less than $25, and that this is merely a place to start. :)

  34. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Cecily. This is great information.

    I just wanted to add that those are my unique page views and not total. I don’t know if that makes a difference or not.Also, for smaller bloggers like myself I find it very beneficial to go through a blogger network. I don’t think I could get those rates if I started contacting PR companies on my own. I’m really thankful for the groups that I work with.

  35. MLB says:

    Thank you Cecily! I had asked about this on your previous post and greatly appreciate the time and effort you put into this. As a blog reader, not a blogger, this is still interesting. Thanks again.

  36. Melissa@ Married my sugar daddy says:

    Cecily i could kiss u for writing this… Thank u! http://www.marriedmysugardaddy.com

  37. Krystel says:

    This was a great guide. What I was wondering is how come Facebook Fans weren’t included? In my case I have over 12,000 FB fans and 90% of my traffic comes from Facebook while I only have alittle over 3000+ twitter followers. I find unless you are really known on Twitter that more people are likely to read a blog post that is shared on Facebook.

    The rest of the info is great though and very useful!

    1. cecilyk says:

      I didn’t want to use too many metrics, but you’re right – with those facebook stats, you are highly influential and should get paid more.

  38. Kids Creative Chaos says:

    hmm… I have more monthly pageviews than the majority of those bloggers but my twitter following is slim. I guess Twitter is very important. My page rank is only 1 – I must be doing something wrong but I am happy to see how I stand up to other blogs. I feel much better about my blogging now.

  39. Mom Foodie says:

    A formula would be helpful, but could never encompass all the factors involved in blogs. This one needs to go back to the drawing board. Great start though.

    Reverse the page rank issue, since that is an obvious problem, and figure in Facebook, then run those stats against the known fees, and you would have a somewhat usable formula.

    You can’t account for everything with a formula, but that would cover the basics.

    Adjustments for those popular on other social media like Pinterest, and offline popularity (ie. conferences/ TV appearances), percentage of sponsored content, professionalism of site presentation, etc. … would of course be factors.

  40. Milehimama says:

    I got my pageview data from Google Analytics.

    Not sure about the formula. IMO, there should be more emphasis on pagerank, possibly even a different formula based on pagerank. There is a HUGE difference between a PR2 and PR5 blog as far as SEO is concerned, and I’m quite sure many companies using paid sponsored posts are doing so for SEO purposes.

  41. Debbie says:

    I like this post because it’s informative and starts a conversation about sponsored posts. The price a brand is willing to pay depends on many things, and it’s not as simple as page views/SEO value. Nor can it be explained by a formula (although this is good for getting a general sense of rates). Ultimately, it depends on a brand’s goals: SEO, direct sales, brand awareness, new memberships, content development, etc. The budget will vary depending on the goals because your post will have a different value depending on what the brand wants. And you need to take into account other marketing channels and the comparable costs. If your effective CPM rate is much higher than buying on another site, do you offer something more? Do you have a higher click-thru rate? Or perhaps you have a lower click-thru rate but very high conversion rate due to your influence? Much of this depends on your reader demographics. I strongly support paying bloggers, but it can be very frustrating to just hear a rate that doesn’t take into account the actual value a blogger provides or the brand’s goals. And a sponsored post (in many cases) is very different than a sponsored review to the advertising or PR manager purchasing it. There should be more honest discussion about this because I hear very different things when I’m with PR people than when I’m with fellow bloggers. (I work in marketing, but I’ve also been blogging since late 2006.)

  42. Still Blonde after all these YEARS says:

    WOw, super great post. I pagemarked it/stumbled it/ +1 it! tHANKS!!!

  43. Mitch says:

    My question is, how many bloggers get this level of compensation?
    Because most of the larger companies are not offering this kind of money, and then we get into the more shaky companies and their link back requests.

    The other situaition that is now arising for me, as a NYC blogger, is the value of an event. I love all products, but don’t pay me with a gift bag that contains a journal. Of course I have to weigh the other work I do with a company, but posting about an event also requires some thinking about how we are compensated for attending.

    Your thoughts?

  44. Mommies Love Coffies says:

    This is just so, so valuable. Thank you so much for finally figuring out a foolproof way to value our time! The uses for this formula are countless!

  45. Sarah Lewis says:

    I don’t use any kind of formula to decide how to charge but I do take into consideration my TIME. How valuable is my time and how much do I think my time is worth?! Today I did a blog post for $25. I had a total time invested of 15 minutes. Last week I wrote one for $150 and the total time I had invested in that post was over an hour. I am a PR3 blog with relatively good traffic. I just bought my own domain so my alexa ranking is down just a bit but for the most part I am pleased with what I earn. Would I take $500 for a post if it was offered? Heck ya. But would I charge $500 for a post? Probably not.
    :)
    Sarah @ http://www.crazyhousereviews.com

  46. Ann Again... and again says:

    Thank you for offering a guide. It’s so wonderful to have a point of reference and to see the “secret” of dollar amounts come into the light of an open discussion.

    Thank you CecilyK and all who have commented!

  47. Cher@Mom and More says:

    Great post. Although my issue is that I lost my Google PR when I changed my URL and it has yet to come back up from 0. I do though have almost 60,000 page views/month and 10,000+ Twitter fans but the dang 0 Page Rank is killing me. I definitely undercharge though especially when I am in a financial pinch.

    http://www.momandmore.com

  48. Felicia says:

    Great post. Thank you to these bloggers who were not afraid to put their info out there. It is such a intricate dance that depends upon so many factors! Thank you for a guide.

  49. Mari says:

    Awesome info.
    Regardless of the formula (which did seem to work well for me too) how should a sponsored post compare to our ad rates – it’s usually worth more to a company than a simple sidebar ad, correct?

  50. The Nerdy Nurse says:

    I have trouble believing that some of those bloggers on that list, especially those with pageviews under 5000, are asking for and receiving $150-$250 for a sponsored post.

    That may be what they ask. But do they get it? And how often are they getting it.

    I hate to be a doubting Thomas, but I’d like to know who’s paying that because my PR is 4 and have over 30k pageviews and I think I’d be laughed off the internet if I asked for that.

    http://thenerdynurse.com

  51. Janel C. says:

    I’d love to see you play with the numbers and rework the formula to be UNIQUE monthly visitors, which I think most sponsors care more about and then do (10 – Pagerank) added to the formula to get a more accurate divide by. Cool formula though and very interesting article!! If it helps, I charge $80 and have PR3 and 47000 pageviews. I do charge $40 for posts that take less than 15-20 minutes (ie app posts, contest news, guest posts, etc).

    Also, for those that said to base pay off of your time, be sure you consider your time as a whole, and not necessarily respective of the one post. If you get 10 sponsored posts a month, it should compensate you “for the month” so to speak as it is forever backlinked from your site and in your archives. If you say, oh it will take me 10 minutes so that means it’s worth $5 because that is $30 an hour, you’re not considering your blogs worth as a whole.

    http://www.amomstake.com

  52. Meg says:

    I charge 50.00 for most posts, which are part of my overall package, although I’ll do small mini posts with just a few lines of text for 25.00.

    I started out trying to charge about twice that, but I didn’t get any takers. At some point, your price has to be what people are willing to actually pay!

    I was surprised to see that my page views are bigger than some of these gals. I get about nine thousand a month, but I consider myself pretty small potatoes. I’d also love to hear more about the Twitter issue. I only really hopped on the Twitter thing a couple weeks ago, and I have fewer than 100 followers. I do have more than a thousand on fb, and it’s a very engaged community.

    I appreciate the openness. It’s a struggle when so few people are willing to share.

    Oh, I also think it really depends on your niche. Some are So crowded.

  53. Olivia says:

    This is a joke right? The fact that you would divide by page rank shows how little you know about what PR firms look for. Even your edit makes little sense. You state the formula doesn’t work for PR over 5, but say you have a PR of 3 and someone else has a PR of 2. The PR of 3 is 10 times more valuable than 2. The reason why you included Twitter followers is that its so easy to game your number of followers with an auto follow program. I know that if I ever see a mommy blogger with a 1:1 ratio, they are devalued in my eyes. Facebook fans probably aren’t included because it’s much harder to develop a really engaged Facebook community. The number of comments you receive on your non giveaway posts is also heavily weighted.

  54. Frog Mom says:

    Thank you so much for this post – it’s great to finally have a base for sponsored posts. I recently migrated my blog from a Blogger to a WordPress platform and while I wait for Google to re-index all my content, my page views are down 40% and my page rank is 0. Starting afresh is exciting but for SEO purposes it sucks. I’m just curious – would you apply the same formula to a sponsored newsletter?

  55. Sumi says:

    thank you so much for this post! for people like me who’re dying to dabble into blogging, this is a great to have some comparison and some idea of how much people make/can make by blogging.
    Please also do an article on how bloggers started about blogging, and top 25 suggestions for people who want to start blogging…:)

  56. lindsi says:

    Hmmm, I don’t agree. According to this we should be charging $111 a post. I feel like there are MANY factors that haven’t been accounted for in this calculation. (Facebook fans, Pintrest, etc) Plus not to mention the difference between page views a month and UNIQUE page views a month….food to chew on and something to think about

  57. Sandra @Bargains4Wahms.com says:

    WOW! I am so happy to have read this post! Thank you for writing this! I usually receive offers for $10 to do a sponsored post! That’s what they wanted to pay even after trying to negotiate with them, so that’s what I accept! We needed the money, so I just took it..

    According to this, I should be charging $52!! Makes me feel good that I have negotiated to $50 on a few on my Social Sparks account! I am going to start charging $50 from now on!

  58. Amber says:

    Wow, if I actually used this formula I’d be filthy rich. I guess I should raise my prices? Huh.

  59. MP says:

    Hi Cecily,

    Nice post. but i have a question.. take this eg calculation. I’m not sure how divide by pagerank works

    Pageviews + twitter = 10000,
    pagerank : 4 = 4000
    4000* 0.01 = 40

    —————
    if the page rank is lower (2)
    10000 /2 = 5000
    5000 * 0.01 = 50

    So, does anyone with lower pagerank should get more ?
    Can you please explain?

  60. tonygreene113 @ 113tidbits says:

    What are you using for pageviews? Analytics isn’t a good measure since many folks have scripts disabled.

  61. Sharzad Kiadeh says:

    Awesome! Thanks so much for gathering this info and sharing it with fellow bloggers!!

  62. john says:

    I’m sorry, but this is probably the worst article I have ever seen – and this is coming from someone who pays for posts on a daily basis.

    There are so many more KPI’s which we look for when looking for posts, including domain authority, social media presence, activity on site etc…

    Someone can easily buy a good domain name and have the page rank shoot up to 2/3 (like ours did) within a week purely because of the domain name, you can also easily buy thousands of Twitter followers with a click as well.

    My point is, there is no formula, its all about how much the advertiser is willing to pay, many times I have received emails from over-zealous bloggers over rating their blogs and charging extortionate amounts which just pissed us off and doesn’t even warrant a reply.

    Moral: There is no formula, charge as much as people are willing to pay

  63. Jessica says:

    What a great post. Thanks for pulling this information together and thanks to the bloggers willing to share!

  64. That was a great article…

    I recently started with blogging and just got my first sponsored article… this was a great information on how much to charge..

    Thanks …

  65. Dave says:

    Yeah, this is way off.

    A. Facebook is worth more than Twitter and yields more results ie page views.

    B. Having a higher page rank penalizes you. Again no sense.

    So my site would equal about $3000 per post? I wish that were true, lol.

  66. Fraser Boag says:

    I just came across this as I have recently sold a few sponsored posts on my website and wondered if what I was charging was fair. It sounds like I’m charging way over the odds (at least according to information on this page) but I haven’t had any complaints!

    As an example, using the formula in the article I should be charging a measly $14 per post. What I actually charge is $150 per post, and everyone so far has been perfectly happy to pay this. I wouldn’t really even consider charging less than this kind of amount given the costs of running a blog, and how much you’re “selling out” in a sense to post something you don’t necessarily agree with or is a blatant advertisement.

    So yeah, I think people should be charging a lot more! Especially when dealing with companies, these guys have bigger marketing budgets than you can imagine and even $150 is a drop in the ocean. $25, even on a small blog, is a complete bargain!

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