Determine Rates to Charge Advertisers on Your Mom Blog - dummies

Determine Rates to Charge Advertisers on Your Mom Blog

By Wendy Piersall, Heather B. Armstrong

How do you determine what rate to charge an advertiser? The answer is always: It depends. Not all blogs or ads are created equal. It’s a common stumbling block to identify a one-size-fits-all fee to charge.

The key to creating effective different advertising options is to remember that it’s important to make one option clearly more valuable than the other option. It isn’t very fair to charge one advertiser $100 for the exact same ad another pays $500 for.

So here are some ways you can differentiate your advertising packages and justify charging more to the clients who can afford it:

  • Position of ads on the page: All advertisers will pay more for ads above the fold (those that are visible to readers without scrolling down). Reserve these spots for your highest paying advertisers.

  • Size of ads: Bigger is indeed better when it comes to banner ads. Large advertisers particularly prefer the leaderboard and medium rectangle sizes. You can reserve these ads only for your higher rates, and sell smaller square buttons at a lower rate.

  • More or less views: You can guarantee that your premium advertisers get the majority of your ad impressions, and limit the impressions of smaller advertisers.

  • Offer additional exposure to larger advertisers: Perhaps your premium advertisers also get a mention on Facebook, a sponsored blog post, or you create a special video for them. The more options you have to promote your advertisers, the more effective the advertising will be.

First, focus on the easiest fee to determine: What you would charge other bloggers and small business owners. You’re probably not selling this kind of advertising to get rich, but more to help out other small businesses like yours.

This number can be pretty arbitrary, and you can charge whatever amount you feel you would pay to another blogger running a similar ad such as this. Anecdotal evidence suggests this number is between $5 and $50 a month, based on what other bloggers charge. If you’re still struggling with identifying a number, here are some recommendations:

  • Start high: It’s much easier to have a higher advertising rate and offer discounts than it is to raise existing rates. Like, a gazillion times easier.

  • Offer package deals: By offering a discount for three or six months, you’re killing two birds with one stone: You’re giving people a choice of different price levels, and you’re getting a longer-term client in the process.

  • Offer barter opportunities: Moms are masters at bartering. This makes it easy for you to get cool stuff, while making advertising on your blog even more accessible to other small businesses.

Now for the hard part: determining a rate for real advertisers that have a real budget. If you’re just talking about banner advertising, then the going rate is anywhere between $5 and $25 per 1,000 ad impressions. Text links and sponsored posts can go for $5 to $500 dollars or more. A lot of factors affect these ranges:

  • Seasonality and economic environment: This is the law of supply and demand that affects the advertising industry as a whole. You’ll get the best rates during the back-to-school season and the holidays, because they’re the most important shopping periods of the year.

    And likewise, ad rates are better when the economy is good and worse when the economy is bad. This is also true of industry-specific seasons — for example, summer is the most important season for a travel blog.

  • Traffic volume: Many very large advertisers just won’t mess with advertising on smaller blogs, because it’s not cost-effective for them. There are too many variables to manage, and not enough ad impressions to justify the time spent on managing them. The more traffic you have, the more appealing you’ll be to large advertisers. You can also band together with other blogs in your niche and sell advertising together.

  • Focused niche: Sorry to bring it up again, but the more focused you are, the more dollars you can command with relevant advertisers. They have set profiles of the kinds of people most likely to buy their products or services.

    If your blog readers fit the bill, those advertisers will want to get in front of them and will pay well for it. If not, they’ll go to another blog or site that can give them the potential customers they’re looking for.

  • Your overall online influence: The more established and well-known you are as a mom blogger, the more that advertisers will want to align themselves with you. Remember, you may not be a household name, but in your niche, you might be pretty darn well known and respected. Again, it’s the law of supply and demand.