Ahh, the one question that everyone wants a good answer to — how much to charge for a sponsored post. The answer is, there is no absolute answer. With each collaboration comes so many different factors — the size of the project, the requirements, the company’s budget, the deadline, etc. Larger companies typically have bigger budgets to work with, while smaller ones have very little and sometimes no budget.
That being said, it’s good to have a base price in mind to give to brands when it’s time to start talking payment. Sometimes brands will tell you what they’re offering upfront. I always like this because it lets you avoid those awkward ‘soooo, money…’ conversations. If you have a media kit, it’s a great place to include an outline what’s included in a sponsored post and the pricing (but also have a copy with no pricing – sometimes they’ll offer more than you would have asked for!).
I’ve also found that signing a contract, even if it’s not really fancy, is always a good idea. A lot of times you’ll talk with a brand about a post, do the entire thing and post it and find that when it’s time for you to get paid, they’re suddenly non-responsive. Signing a contract helps avoid these issues and also holds each party accountable for their responsibilities.
So, back to the question at hand. You’ve got a sponsored collaboration but you have no idea what to charge. I was at Alt Summit several years back and one of the speakers said a good rule of thumb was $100 for every 10,000 pageviews/month (pageviews, not uniques). I still apply that rule and find that it’s a good place to start. I’ve also heard of bloggers charging an hourly rate for a post — I don’t have any experience with that myself, so can’t speak to those details. For me, a flat rate is easier for me to manage because I would completely forget to track my hours! If you don’t know your monthly pageviews, make sure you’ve installed Google Analytics (here’s a tutorial!) — it’s the industry standard and one of the most accurate tracking tools.
As I mentioned earlier, sometimes it’s better to wait until a brand tells you how much they’ll offer before you mention your pricing. Bigger brands have bigger budgets and can offer a lot more than smaller brands. There’s been many times where I’ve been presented a figure that’s more than I would have asked for and I’m always relieved I didn’t mention my rate.
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Often times you’ll get emails from brands that want to send product in return for a post, or their budget isn’t as high as your starting rate. This is when you’ll have to make the decision for yourself. Everyone has different practices on this, so do what works for you. Personally, I no longer do posts in exchange for free product. I love clothes as much as the next person, but free clothes don’t pay the bills. I still accept gifts on occasion, but I just let them know that there’s no guarantee that it will make it on the blog. If they want to make sure it is featured in a blog post or on social media, they have to purchase a sponsored post or sponsored social media post.
When brands approach me with a budget that’s smaller than my starting rate, again, I decide whether or not it makes sense. I have a figure in my head that I don’t go below, even though it’s below my starting rate. In my mind, some money is still better than none!
So that was sort of a round-about answer to that question. The truth is there isn’t any exact formula for knowing how much to charge for a sponsored blog post, but do know that your influence and following are worth something and leverage that when discussing collaborations with brands!
Do you have any suggestions or advice on how you decided what to charge for sponsored content? I’d love to hear them!