the beautiful thing about blogging is that it is an industry born out of passion, and created by millions of individuals rather than one business forcing it together. it’s a lovely story, but the downside is that there is a real lack of guideline or protocol to many aspects of the blogger world. one area up for debate is an essential one; how much should you charge for your work?
many of you won’t have thought about money ever passing hands as a result of your blog, others will have had that as the goal from the beginning. after thought or not, it’s an important issue. your blog is an amazing advertising platform, particularly when you consider that 80% of your blog readers will follow your posts on a regular basis – and will regard your opinions on clothing/products/venues as much as those of a close friend.
but just where do you start with pricing your value? what do you need to take into consideration? here are our tips.
discover the time involved – as a starting block, what we recommend you do is start analysing how long your blog takes you to run. perhaps watch yourself for a week, or trial it with certain posts. monitor how long a post takes you to write, the time you take promoting it through social media platforms and (if you include photos) how long the photo shoot takes you to do. it will give you a really good understanding of the time involved in putting something together for somebody else.
CPM calculator – this nifty tool is a helpful rough guide, have a look here. when you are approached by a brand about a sponsored post, you can give them a rate by multiplying the average page views (impressions) of your posts (take the last 5), to their CPM target (which should stand somewhere between 5% and 10%) – CPM means cost-per-mille – or in basic terms the number of thousand times you get a page view.
lets say Brand A want you to do a sponsored post. we know that they work to a 7% commission structure in their affiliate program (ie: a blogger who sells something by Brand A through their blog will earn 7% of the cost of the product as a fee) so it is safe to say a 7% figure is something they are used to hearing about.
your last 5 posts have had an average of 500 hits on their first day (made up of 150 hits to the direct page, and 350 hits to the home page). you can argue that you can charge for the number of days that they want the post promoted (eg: if it is a week long competition) at the same rate.
using this theory:
- 1 day long campaign + 7% CPM = £3
- 3 day long campaign + 7% CPM = £9
- 1 week long campaign + 7% CPM = £24
doesn’t seem like enough? we haven’t factored in your time yet. but remember, don’t be greedy – you spent months/years posting about your favourite brands for free based on a pure passion. never forget that – brands won’t.
this is where it gets tricky and there is an element of flexibility involved on both sides. a brilliant tip I was given by a PR was to remember, ‘Are you selling cotton or cashmere?’ take a realistic glance at your blog. who reads it? have people bought things through your blog? if you know you have sold 8 pairs of shoes and 3 t shirts, then you can argue the shoe brand should pay more for your time than those who made the t shirts. make sense?
for this case lets pick a safe number: £15 per hour. from speaking to recruiters, this is an average salary of an exec level individual in a media or marketing business. remember our first tip about knowing your time? this is where it comes in handy. it means you can put together things like this:
sponsored post proposal:
- 1 week campaign = £24
- 1 hour completing photo shoots (using an assistant) = £15
- 2 hours putting together post and tailoring images = £30
- 1/2 an hour a day promoting post through social media and replying to comments = 7 x £7.50 = £52.50
- TOTAL COST: £121.50
now that isn’t a shocking figure, as it is based on complete truths: the average rate of a worker in our industry, the honest amount of time spent putting a post together and the amount of exposure your blog will give the brand. this is the secret to success = creating a package based on facts and figures rather than a guestimate.
have confidence to be asking for these amounts. 9 times out of 10 the marketeer/PR on the other end of the phone is as nervous as you are. you may want to consider accepting product instead, in which case use the above sum as an indicator of the kind of product value you should be looking at.
remember this is a fairly new industry and a learning curve for a lot of people, bloggers and brands alike. don’t be disheartened if somebody rejects your fee, but at the same time don’t be taken for a mug. if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. hope this helps!
image source here