Things have changed so much when it comes to pricing, and the way brands price their services, and influencers work on their offerings. In this article we outline some of them.
The topic of sponsorships, pricing and ads can get super confusing, and there are so many different ways you can tackle them.
Here are some terms to help you understanding pricing and how to work with brands:
Flat Rate (XX-2018): This way of pricing is not going to go anywhere, really. When you’re selling a product, there are various ways to charge, and this is the easiest one. Regardless of the number of impressions you’re offering for the given time period, it’s one rate. Most smaller publishers typically use some sort of flat rate system.
CPM (2014-2016): This literally means “cost per thousand.” “M” is the Roman numeral for thousand. It’s a rate to calculate your value per thousand impressions offered to the brands. This is a very common way agencies work with bloggers when it comes to advertisement, and it can be largely beneficial with bigger numbers and wider reach. What’s nice about using CPM is that it can help you realising when it’s time to scale your prices quite effortlessly. When used as the benchmark, it pretty much does the work for you. Just keep an eye on your impressions. And when your CPM benchmark would have you charging 50% more than you are, it’s a good time to consider raising your flat rates. This can definitely be a delicate process with existing relationships, so we try to keep raising our rates to a once-a-year occurrence or less. This is still quite popular as a way of pricing your products, even if it's slowly losing traction due to engagement and relevance.
Ad Network (2012-2016): An ad network will give you their third-party ad HTML tags to drop on your site, and they’ll pay you (on an eCPM rate based on what the particular campaigns pay) for all the impressions they send your way. The most popular Ad Network Google AdSense. This method was largely preferred by publications and bigger blogs, yet we find it much less genuine and unreliable than others, and it's now mainly found in bigger online magazines and websites.
When should I start thinking about asking for money?
Now, there is no blogging police running after you. Even if it’s recommended to use your own judgement and pick the right price for YOU, here there are some options to get you started.
<10,000 page views per month + <5k Instagram followers:
At this point, your highest priority is building your audience vs. monetising. I know this is going to be the majority of people out there, but we don’t want that to be discouraging. This journey is more about supporting your dreams and creating a If you’re able to grow it into that, wonderful! But if you’re not quite there yet, enjoy it. Do it for you. Find your voice. Build your following. But if you’re looking to get a taste of revenue from your work, here are a couple of options:
Affiliate programs: It’s a little bit different than a sponsor. But again, it’s just a numbers
game. More impressions means more income. But we've seen blogs 10,000– 30,000 page-
views per month make in the hundreds of dollars.
Sponsored content inquiries: There's a good chance, as you're starting to grow, agencies representing bigger brands could start reaching out to you. When it comes to agencies watch out for these and be skeptical. They're typically looking for participation in mass campaigns, such as platforms like Tribe. That means you're one of hundreds they're reaching out to, and they're more interested in getting as many blogs possible than generating sincere content. The contracts/agreements they'll have you sign can be brutal. This is where some of the more insincere sponsored content can originate, as you're very much on their terms. Make sure you're not agreeing to something that makes you uncomfortable. You are more likely to have to reach brands and get some testimonials working free of charge.
50,000+ and 10k+ Instagram Followers/Readers:
Accounts this size are now at a place where you can offer substantial exposure to small companies. When it comes to blogs, with this size typically have some of the most loyal readers and really trust their recommendations. This makes it possible to charge a higher rate than Advert Networks might pay, so you should start to consider building your own media kit and offerings .
Sponsored content: This is a good time to start to dip your toe in the water with developing your own sponsored content platform (beyond just fielding inquires) with maybe a giveaway or something similar with the smaller companies in your offerings. Once again, look into apps and tools to help you
Affiliate programs: This is the size when affiliate programs can be the most successful with the loyalty of the readers being so high. Just be sure it’s only companies that have your sincere support.
250,000–1,000,000+ and 25k+ Instagram Followers/Readers:
This is kind of an interesting transitional phase, where you’ll start hearing from ad networks, PR agencies, and larger brands, but you’ll still be working pre y heavily with the smaller companies. This is also the size when it starts to become feasible to make a reasonable living just from creating content. Really, it’s a time where you can try all of the above and see what’s working best for you.
Flat-rate offerings: Keep up the flat-rate offerings for sure, but definitely keep an eye on your growth to assess whether you need to up your prices.
Affiliate: At this point, you’ll know your readers and which websites they respond to the best, so you should have a good idea on the preferred affiliate programs.
Sponsored content: Consider branching out your sponsored content to larger brands, as you’re now in a place where you can consider pitching the brands you’re really after.
1,000,000+ and 100k+ Instagram Followers/Readers:
At this point, career blogging is definitely on the table. We know a handful of blogs this size that are able to not only support themselves but even a small staff.
Sponsored content: Seek out those high-paying campaigns and more long-term relationships. Bypass the agencies when possible, and work directly with the brand. This is currently our largest revenue stream within the sponsorships program.
CPM-rate ad program: As it’s financially possible, start phasing out the flat-rate program and try to move entirely CPM. You’re at a size where you’ll just get a much be er return selling by the impression rather than by the month.
As you can see, and probably would've guessed, the bigger you become, the more you can make.
Honestly, as long as you keep quality content as your top priority, everything else starts to fall into place: growth, sponsorship opportunities, and bigger, be er deals. It just takes time and commitment.