How to Price, How Much to Charge for Your Blog’s Advertising Spots

Getting this right is important!

[This is a part of the “Getting Started with Blog Advertising” blog series.]

Naturally you’ll want to price your available advertising spots strategically when you first start offering them (I recommend waiting until you have 250 unique visitors a day) but how do you know how much to charge?

To begin, here are a few things to remember:

  • There is no “standard” formula.
  • There are a lot of different opinions and perspectives – I’ll give you mine and you research the rest!
  • You will definitely have to experiment with your pricing and rates.
  • You will most likely get the pricing wrong the first time out of the gate. Don’t be discouraged!
  • You will have to do your research and build some strategy.
  • There is no guarantee that you will sell your ad spots instantly; it may take a while (depending on your experimentation, etc).
  • You will need to be patient.

Got it? Ok. So time to go to school a bit. Here are 15 significant factors that you’ll want to consider when you first start thinking about that “price”:

  1. Traffic (Unique Visits, Page Views, Potential Impressions, etc.)
  2. Page Rank (How strong is your Page Rank?)
  3. Age of Domain (How long have you owned and operated with this domain and URL?)
  4. Subscribers and Following (RSS, Email, Newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  5. Brand Equity (How strong is your brand?)
  6. Inbound Links (How many sites are linking to you?)
  7. Relevance and Quality of Focus (How relevant are you to your audience and how focused in your content?)
  8. Niche and Competition (Is the content market that you’re in “crowded” or “untapped”? Who else are you in direct competition with? How about indirect competition?)
  9. Location (Where on your blog is each advertisement?)
  10. Quantity (How many advertisements are you offering in total? In each content area?)
  11. Size (What size are these advertisements?)
  12. Type of Sponsorship (CPM, CPC, CPA, Flat-Rate, Percentage, Shared, etc.)
  13. Perceived Value (This is a wildcard factor, to some degree, but powerful!)
  14. Metrics and Reporting Sites (Your own metrics and the qualitative data that is provided as well as outside reporting sites like Alexa, Compete, Quantcast, Comscore, etc.)
  15. Misc. Factors (Team, Business, Management, Technology Systems, Operations, etc.)

Remember, there’s a lot of “fluidity” here and the advertising rates can (and will) be dramatically different depending on a number of these considerations (#4 is one of the most significant), so don’t worry if you don’t feel like you’ve got it all figured out!

A Simple Formula to Try:

I was terrible at math. No joke.

Although I’d like to dive into each of these more specifically at some point here on TentBlogger I’ll give you a general formula that has helped many bloggers start their pricing strategically while feeling confident that they’ll be able to get someone to purchase quickly.

Since traffic to your blog is going to be the first consideration you can typically start there and then adjust the price up and down as you research your niche, find out your competition, begin to develop a strategy for your placement, and more.

Please note that this formula applies to a 125 x 125 pixel banner advertisement in your general sidebar, as I’ve recommended that you start with here.

(MPVs / 1,000) x $1.50) / NoAS = BSP

Here’s what this means in simple steps:

  1. Monthly number of Page Views…
  2. Then divide this by 1,000 (using a CPM-based model to start)…
  3. Then multiply this by $1.50 (Slightly “aggressive” value, but why not?)…
  4. Divided by the Number of Available Spots…
  5. To get your Base Start Price

Pretty easy, right? Not too bad for someone who failed math in college.

A Real Life Example:

Let’s put in some real numbers for my blog here, TentBlogger.com, shall we? I’m using my existing data as shown in this post:

(33,000 / 1,000) x $1.50) / 1 = $49.50

This could be a starting spot for 1 advertising slot at 125 x 125 pixels on my sidebar for a 30 day period.

This is just a starting point!

From here, you could either add to this value as you see fit based on the 14 other considerations as listed above, but this is a great point place to start!

Now, remember, if you are walking with my advice about starting to advertise when you have about 250 unique visitors per day then you’ll have about 7,500 uniques per month. Let’s assume you do 1.5 PVs per visit, which decent, which would mean you have roughly 11,250 PVs per month. That means you could charge about $17 per month in a 125 x 125 pixel ad slot.

Now, with all that said, I’d probably go ahead and either lower this to a flat $15.00 to be competitive or bump it to $20.00 depending on the strength of your niche, content focus, and growth patterns, etc.

But, I’d never open up a slot for less than $10.00. I could go into this for much longer than I’d like to on the reasons but I won’t – that’s just the way I see it.

So what do you think? Is this something that’s reasonable for you to try? Love to hear your thoughts!

[This is a part of the “Getting Started with Blog Advertising” blog series.]