Blogger Tutorial: How to Set Your Rates

Set Blogging Rates

When you start monetizing your blog, the biggest question in your mind is probably, “What should I charge?”

Figuring out what to charge is probably a question that will never have a permanent answer. Rates change as demand fluctuates, as you get to know how much work you put into projects, or how well a project is received, you'll notice that you might be undercharging, or you might notice no one is buying your services, in which you might be overcharging.

Either way, there is no standard to how much a blogger “should” charge. The only standard is the principle of supply and demand. Here are some guidelines to help you figure out where to start.

What are other blogs charging?

Asking what other people charge is a bit like asking how much people make. Don't ask unless you know them quite well. That said, it doesn't stop you from playing detective and seeing where you can find rates around the internet.

  • Services like BlogAds will list in their “Buy Ads” section how much bloggers charge for their ads, and how much traffic they are getting.
  • Look at your favorite blogger's “Advertise” Page to see if they have their rates listed, or have a downloadable rate card
  • Talk with Ad Networks to get an idea of how much CPM (cost per millia, or thousand impressions) ads generally go for

You can adjust your pricing by looking at the CPM and how much traffic you have with tools like CPM Calculator. If the CPM is $5 for a premium space above the fold and you are getting 57,000 page views per month, a monthly ad will cost $285. Ads below the fold usually are charged less because they are not a prime location, so you can adjust your pricing in a way that advertisers will respond to.

Shoot Out Any Number

Ok, don't just shoot out any number, but if your potential client is interested you want to leave room for negotiation. If you know that it takes you eight hours to do the perfect outfit post, including ideating, photographing, writing, and promoting, or if you know you have to pay a photographer, factor in everything it would take for you to accomplish for the job. Say you want to be paid $50 an hour and you know this job will take you 8 hours, you might want to charge $400. If you feel that your blog is particularly influential, and you can show case studies on how it amplifies a campaign, you should increase your rate. Remember it's not just the hours you are actually spending on the project, it's also the time you've invested in building an influential audience.

People will pay for what they see has value. Remember it's your responsibility to communicate exactly what value you can provide a brand, this will give you more power in the types of rates you can charge.

The Dangers of Undercharging

Value does not necessarily equate with cheap. Would you buy a $5 steak at a restaurant? Hire a $5 developer in India? How about cheap haircut? How about a cheap cashmere sweater? Oh my god, think for the lint!

Anyway, cheap does not always mean good. If you charge too little a brand may not take you seriously. If they balk, inform them of why your rates are the way they are. If they still balk, then it's probably not a good fit. There is nothing wrong with holding out for the right fit. You may have to consider the packages and the way you are presenting your work, but ultimately you can support your rates provided the market can bear it.

What are some of the ways you set your rates?

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About The Author

Ana is a Travel Blogger and Blogging Coach at The City Sidewalks. With her expertise in online marketing, she's able to help other bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs grow their businesses so that they can achieve financial freedom to travel the world on their own terms.

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31 Responses

  1. Vanessa

    Very good posting and 100% agree… it also depends a little bit on my experience if you want to work again with that company and looking for a long way of sponsoring or just to sell a spot for one month. I prefer for long term relationsship (may be on lower rates)…
    Another big aspect is and you have to decide it for yourself and the style of your blog – do you want to get everything featured on your blog that might be not reflect your style (but pay a little bit) or do you have the risk to loose a bit of your audience if you write just for companies any more.
    With all the aspects of getting money out of your blog – you should never forget to keep your private style… and with the time you will get more interesting companies contacting you…
    Wishing you all – happy blogging… Vanessa – http://www.pureglam.tv

  2. LaizaLounge.com

    Very informative and insightful post. Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate.
    Vanessa, great point about sticking to your style.

  3. Pearl

    When I first started setting rates all I had to go off was what I knew glossy magazines charged so I based it around that. I set my rates at how much of an impact the work will take on my blog plus how much time I have to invest in it. I’ve never cared what anyone else charges so long as Im happy with the fee.

    One tip I can give is never, ever sell yourself cheap. If you don’t value your brand nobody else will. I’ve had to turn down a few offers as they wouldn’t match my rates but it has been worth it for the brands I work with now and the work I do is of a much higher caliber. So do bear in mind where you want your blog to be in the future, selling out now to raise a quick buck could be the worse thing for your blog in the long run.
    Don’t be afraid to barter that is a good tip, always ask for 30-50% more than you want as everyone loves to barter!
    Also consider who you are working with, if you write a fashion blog and start advertising say casinos for example it will impact your credibility and put off potential advertisers.

  4. Asiya

    This is such an informative post. Because of competition, and the need to be able to negotiate their rates, a lot of bloggers tend to keep their ad prices heavily under wraps, this guide is incredibly helpful to blogges looking to set rates that don’t undermine their own work or undercut other bloggers.

  5. Bianca

    I have been contemplating buying my domain and monetizing my blog (responsibly). This was helpful. I just want to make sure my blog doesn’t turn into a metropolis of ads.

  6. Nuccia Ardagna

    This article is very timely…question: how would you go about charging a company who would like for you to be a ‘recurring’ guest blogger on their site…any ideas?

  7. fabulous_finds

    Any tips on how to “sell” your ad space to brands/companies personally? I’d love tips on what to say in an email to sell ad space on my blog.


  8. Rachel

    As a new blogger, I love this. I’m not quite to setting rates yet, but I bookmarked this for reference. Love the last part, too, about how one wouldn’t purchase a $5 steak.

  9. Rose

    This article is so good and very in depth. I never know what I should charge, thank you for the help!

    Fashion Rhapsody

    Rose x

  10. Ascending Butterfly

    Great starting points, what I’d like to see is an article that addresses a slightly different issue for more ‘senior’ bloggers, when you started you may not have been charging from the onset, but now do, how do you break that to the brands who didn’t have to pay at first?

  11. Rachel

    The first time got an email regarding a sponsored post on my blog I panicked as I had noises what to charge, but luckily I was off to he lunch with a really close friend who also has a blog, which at the time had a bit more traffic than mine but not much, so I asked her what she would charge for the project. I was shocked at the figure, it seemed way too much, but she suggested I ask it because thy can always come back to me asking to negotiate. The company emailed back to say that figure is fine to my surprise, so that is how I found my base to work out my figures from. Over the next few projects I played around with it a little, then I finally worked out my final set rate for that sort of post which was just a little under what the original figure was, reflecting the size and influence of my blog. I then used that figure to do a little math as far as sidebar ad rate were concerned.

    I have a set of numbers I’m working towards hitting by the end of 2012 as far as traffic and subscribers are concerned, so when I hit those I am planning on putting my rate up slightly to reflect my blogs growth. When I ht those targets, hopefully on time, I will set another set for the end of 2013, and then probably change my prices again.

  12. Lauren W

    This is very helpful! I just started working with advertisers and have been looking for advice like this.

    xx Lauren

  13. Jessica T

    Great article!! This is so helpful but I do still have a few questions.
    – does this apply to ad spots only? Should I be charging to host reviews and giveaways?
    I’ve recently had a lot of companies coming to me to host giveaways (which brings them traffic)…
    – should I accept free products as payment?
    – I offer ad spots to businesses and bloggers. Does this apply to ads for both of them?
    – I use Passionfruit to manage my ads. Is that a bad idea since it shows my rates??

    Ahhh I’ve been feeling like I am undervaluing myself and this article makes me feel that way even more..

    Thank you!

  14. goodbadandfab

    When you are ready to monetize your blog, I highly suggest creating a media kit to send to potential advertisers. This shows professional and provides advertisers with well-rounded information on why they should advertise on your site and why you’re worth it.

    personal style and fashion musings of a LA fashion lawyer living life in the fab lane!

  15. Emily Jenny

    This is sooo insightful! Love all the tips and suggestions. Next time I am approached by a brand I will definitely know exactly how much to charge!

    Emily Jenny


  16. Laura

    Has anyone ever approached a brand to advertise with or host a giveaway? What are some suggestions to get brands to contact you about banner ads, giveaways, and sponsored posts?

  17. Anne

    Its a great idea to just act like an advertiser and see how much some agencies would charge you to put an advertorial on another blog or check blogmarketing sites. Thanks, Anne http://www.fashion-insider.de

  18. Linda

    I always wondered about this. I actually just dreamed mine up and they are SUPER LOW and not getting any bites. I guess I better do some research and see what I could actually charge. I just thought that lower would mean more interest, but I guess not 😉


  19. Candra Evans

    This article was very helpful. I am fairly concerned with undercharging. I only have about 5,000 views per month so I certainly don’t want to overcharge. This post is helping me get some direction. Thanks!

  20. Metro Shoes

    Very informative post. As banner ads rates are somehow high, but above the fold many visitors come to see the banner ad and click on it which product more CPM and traffic to website and increase your site branding and reputation in Search engine.

  21. Tim Redman

    This post has given me a great insight for what to charge for advertising. Although I do have affiliate ads and adsense running on my blog, I am looking forward to approaching companies direct.

    I agree with selling yourself short by being to cheap and by doing so you are devaluing your blog’s brand. It’s all about finding that happy medium!

  22. Maggie A

    This is EXACTLY the sort of article I’ve been looking for. All the other ones I read advice the reader on how to start and includes great guidelines but no actually figures were stated. This is extremely helpful. Thank You for posting this.

    Maggie A
    Love Mavin

  23. hitokirihoshi

    I see important points here in negotiation and things to consider. you know, for a blogger like me its easy to jump into conclusions.

    I’ll follow your advice – be negotiable and pattern my ad rates too.


  24. Puru

    It was good till you mentioned the $5 developer in India. Not in a good taste.

    By the way, the developers in India are mostly Engineers, with graduate or post graduate degrees. The only reason they charge less is because their currency is pegged much lesser than the USD.

  25. anoop

    I started a new blog on automation, and I’m getting almost 500 page views per day from worldwide through promotion. I would like to set up advertisements in it. And I have mailed some one who is interested to show their ad’s. They are asking the rate now, so how much I can ask for one month.

    Please help me.

  26. Winnie Odande

    Thank you for such a timely piece. I have just been approached by a local company to work with the full time to promote an international brand and I was wondering what exactly to charge. I agree with Pearl though, under-selling yourself could back-fire on you.