One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘How do I work out how to price my ads?’
Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast answer and pricing depends on many factors, including how many visitors your site receives, your site’s authority (page rank and Alexa rating), the number of followers you have on social media, ad space size, placement and quantity, how much you interact with your readers and what ‘perks’ you are offering alongside the graphic ad.
That’s a lot of factors to think about, so where do you start? We’ve put together a list of things you should think about-
The ideal price point for ads is one where they’re priced low enough to actually sell but high enough to maximize your revenue. You need to make sure you are not charging too much or too little and undervaluing your blog.
Many bloggers, especially when they’re just beginning to offer advertising, will undercharge. That’s a problem for both you and for other bloggers.
Undercharging may mean you sell more/quicker more in the short term, but it makes it harder to charge what you’re worth in the long term. Undercharging also affects other bloggers by artificially lowering the going rate, and making it harder for everyone to sell ad space.
There are several available methods to determine banner ad rates, but whatever method you use should be flexible enough to take into account factors like ad size (larger ads tend to cost more than smaller ads) and ad placement (ads above the fold-the part of the website you see without scrolling down- tend to cost more than ads below the fold).
Before you even begin offering ad space, we recommend either placing an affiliate ad in one of those spaces or working with a brand to exchange ad space for data. Knowing information like impressions and click through rates will prove invaluable to your ad sale efforts, either by being an addition to your media kit or by being part of verbal talks with a brand when you’re convincing them to advertise with you.
Do Your research
One of the easiest ways to get an idea of what you should be charging is to research what other bloggers in a similar niche, and with a similar following, price at. This can be a good starting point, but make sure you look carefully at their stats so you can figure out why they are charging that price.
Take a look at the bloggers in the Adlet Marketplace to see what prices they are charging and have a look at the media page on similar bloggers’ sites.
Use a simple formula
If you can’t find a blogger to compare with, one option is to use a simple formula based on your page views.
As a basic guide, between £0.75 -£1.25 ($1.00-£1.50) per 1,000 page views per month is a good starting point.
Its easy to figure out, simple to explain to potential advertisers and will allow you to amend your pricing as your blog grows.
Of course, pricing does depend on other factors though, which is why we’ve put a range rather than a set figure. A factor to consider includes the market that your blog is in – one example is that a general lifestyle blog that gets 200,000 views may not be able to command a £200 a month ad (that’s not to say its not possible though!), where as a high-end fashion blog may be able to charge £250 for the same amount of views. It depends on who your target market is.
Blog layout and ad placement
Consider your blog layout. Advertisers will be willing to pay more to advertise on a clean, uncluttered blog where their ad can be easily seen over a blog with a lot going on. This doesn’t always mean you can charge more, but it does mean it will be easier to sell. Think of this in terms of selling a house- you’ve got 2 houses, both identical, one beautifully decorated and neat, the other with a lot of clutter. Both are the same price, but the neat one will probably sell quicker.
Thinking about where the ads are displayed on your site is also very important. Ads above the fold (that can be seen without scrolling down), will command a higher price than an ad at the bottom of your sidebar.
Numbers of ads offered
You want to try and keep it so you are almost always sold out of ad space, showing there is a demand for your advertising space.
This may mean you only have a couple of ad spaces available, but you can always add more in and this looks better than having a lot of unsold ads.
People will be willing to pay more for something that is scarce.
If you can add perks to your ad offering, it may enable you to price the ad space a little higher.
If an advertiser is comparing two blogs and the 1st blog has a 200px ad for £20 with no perks and the 2nd blog has a 200px ad for £25 that comes with a featured post and social media shout outs, chances are the advertiser will choose the 2nd ad.
Everyone likes extra promotion and most people will be willing to pay a little extra. The bonus of this for you as the blogger is that you get extra material to create content around.
Have patience and start selling!
You won’t sell an ad the first day you put it up, unless you are extremely lucky. You will need to hustle, so make sure you’ve clearly told potential sponsors they can work with you; set up an Advertising page and link to it with an ‘Advertise Here’ banner (or use Adlet’s built in banner, which you can select on ad setup).
If it’s been 4-6 weeks and you’ve not sold an ad, it may be worth re-evaluating your pricing or offering a discount code, which is a great way to re-advertise your spaces and also test to see whether your prices are too high without having to actually reduce your pricing.