Sponsored Post Rates: Are You Undercharging?Cecily Kellogg
When I wrote this semi-controversial piece about the rates bloggers charge for their sponsored posts, it was before the big news from Google regarding the roll out of author rank (and the subsequent increased focus on high quality content), and before big traditional CPM giants such as Federated Media announced their change in advertising focus. So I read this piece by Annabel Candy at Successful Blogging with interest (she links to my original article, which was very kind of her) with great interest as it’s clearly a topic that needs to be readdressed.
In her post, Annabel asks quite frankly if bloggers are being conned into accepting low pay for sponsored posts including the “formula” I developed to determine your sponsored post rate that went like this:
(# of page views) + (# of twitter followers) ÷ (page rank #)x ($ .01) ÷ (2) = (your approximate sponsored post rate). Skip the final step if your page rank is above 3.
In my defense, that formula reflected what the bloggers I spoke to WERE being paid as opposed to what they DESERVED to be paid, and it was meant to be a very rough guide. In talking to bloggers this week, I’m still getting the same numbers. But here’s what Annabel said, and I think she’s got a very good point.
I based my current sponsored blog post rate on what a big blog advertising agency charges brands for sponsored blog posts on blogs with similar traffic to mine. I can’t reveal my sources but I got this information from a leading blogger who uses a major blog advertising agency.
The brands actually pay the blog advertising agency twice as much as that but the agency keeps 50% and gives the blogger around 50%.
Since I know some brands pay $1,500 through a blog advertising agency for a sponsored blog post on a blog with similar traffic to mine and I charge half the price I believe my rate offers excellent value.
She’s absolutely right. There ARE brands paying that much, and in fact, I’ve had some sponsored posts on my personal blog that are in her same price range (also involving working directly with the brand, and not an agency or network), and I know a handful of other bloggers that have also had similar good luck.
However, the vast majority of bloggers I’ve spoken with and this includes bloggers with page views far higher than my blog are earning $250 per post at the high end, and $50 per post at the low end. And I haven’t found a single blogger that has successfully demanded payment for a sponsored post in advance, as Annabel requires (and I hope she tells me how she does that, because wow). That said, the rest of her advice is spot on.
Much of Annabel’s article reminded me of a conversation I had with a well established blogger a couple of years ago; she told me that she charges extremely high rates for sponsored content because she believes hosting sponsored posts on her blog kills her readership. I’ve found this to be true as well, so I only do sponsored posts that pay enough to risk earning the wrath of my readers. But bloggers that run sponsored content frequently have a readership that expects sponsored content, so they don’t run the same risk of losing readers but the frequency of the sponsored content dilutes the influence of individual posts, meaning those bloggers will get paid LESS per post if they frequently feature paid content. In other words, the more sponsored posts you have on your blog, the less you will be able to charge per post.
So what do you think? Are your sponsored post rates high enough? Do you think the change in focus to more relevant content will raise your rates? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And thanks to Annabel for bringing up this topic again! Read her whole article, it’s excellent.