By Jennifer James
For those of you who may be looking for exact rates to simply plug into your media kit, this post won’t help you only because there are so many factors to weigh first before coming up with precise ad rates such as your monthly page views, unique visitors, reader loyalty, your popularity in your niche, and ultimately how much you want to earn. I do give some hypothetical examples for blog rates later for reference. The first thing I will say about numbers, though, is your rates should always be two digits. Promise me you won't set your ad rates under $10 unless you are talking about CPM rates. Deal? Some mom bloggers set their rates too low thereby underselling themselves.
Unless you have a ton of traffic -- I'm talking well over 100,000 page views per month -- you should be selling your advertising packages in flat rates as opposed to CPM rates. I’ve found that although I like to sell advertising in units (CPM), most small businesses don’t know what the heck CPM is and it takes too long to explain it. And almost all large brands exclusively go through ad networks to advertise on mom blogs. So, as a general rule, be sure to sell your space based on flat weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly rates.
So, let’s talk numbers – in general
In order to sell advertising you need to know what your blog has to offer; what is your blog's best selling point? Do you have a steady flow of traffic? Do you have a stellar number of repeat visitors? Do you have over 100,000 page views per month? Is your blog a leader in its genre? Before you can come up with rates you need to be able to prove to advertisers why they should buy ad space from you.
Coming up with rates
As strange as this is there is no industry rate card for bloggers. It would be nice, but in all honesty ad rates are so blog-specific that what might work for one blog will be completely wrong for another.
That said, though, let’s take three hypothetical mom blogs and look at their numbers:
|Mom Blogger A
• 500 unique visitors each month (16 visitors a day/1100 page views month)
• Up and coming blogger with growing readership
• Active in social networking circles
• Blogs at least five days a week
• Is clearly creating a niche blog about being a working mom who blogs
These are only examples of blogs and ad rates. I encourage you to put together a media kit and use trial and error to determine your individual advertising rates. If you have an up-and-coming blog chances are you have already been approached by advertisers. Determining your perfect ad rates will be difficult at first because you don’t want to scare advertisers away because your rates are too high and you don’t want to sell yourself short either. You are simply going to have to tweak your rates until they are right for your blog.
Before I go – a small word about ad networks. If you do not have a huge amount of traffic I would NOT join an ad network. You’ll earn only a small amount of money and in most cases the fine print in the contract will hinder you from making money by selling ads yourself. It may even prohibit you from writing product reviews and collecting an honorarium for your time. For more reasons why you shouldn't join an ad network, click here.
There is something very satisfying about selling advertising on your own and collecting the profits without going through a third party. Keep that in mind before you sign anything. Until you cannot handle your own advertising, leave the ad networks to those whose numbers warrant someone selling ads on their behalf.