It’s Wednesday… which means it’s time for this week’s Blogging Basics post! In case you’re new to Glitter & Spice, Blogging Basics is my weekly series in which I share all of my tips and how-to’s about blogging with y’all. Over the past few weeks, I’ve covered topics from how to set up a blog and which WordPress plugins to choose to my favorite social media tools (great for bloggers or for those of you in PR/marketing!) and my tips on differentiating yourself as a blogger.
This week’s topic? How to determine how much to charge for a sponsored post. Aka something all bloggers need to figure out at one point or another. Or, if you’re not a blogger, think of this post as a way to determine how much to budget for working with influencers on sponsored posts. See? Something for everyone!
What I’m Wearing:
Dress: Ann Taylor / Shoes: Lucchese / Bag: Kate Spade (also available via Rent the Runway)
Earrings: Ann Taylor, old (similar) / Rings: BaubleBar
Before we dive in to calculating sponsored post rates, let me just say to all bloggers out there: charge. You work has value and you should be compensated accordingly. There is only one instance in which it is okay to work for free, and that is when you forego compensation in the interest of your long-term relationship with a brand. Even if the sponsorship includes an extremely expensive (and complimentary) product or service, you still need to charge. Unfortunately, clothes and skincare can’t pay rent. Your employer doesn’t expect you to work for free and neither should the brands with which you partner for collaborations.
But enough on that. Let’s figure out how much to charge for a sponsored post.
There are tons of services which can help you determine how much to charge for a sponsored post. One of the services I love is Social Blue Book – it uses a composite of all of your social media accounts to help you determine how much to charge for a sponsored post… but it’s up to you whether or not you use the generated rate. Though I do not solely go off of Social Blue Book, I check in with my generated rates on Social Blue Book every time I update my media kit.
So how do I figure out my suggested rates for collaborations?
How to Determine How Much to Charge for a Sponsored Post
Most influencers will go by the rule of $100 for every 10,000 pageviews or followers. As an example: you average 15,000 pageviews per month with 5,000 followers on Pinterest, 30,000 followers on Instagram, 2,000 followers on Facebook and 500 followers on Twitter. Based on the $100/10,000 logic, a blogger with that following should be charging over $525 per sponsored post, assuming that that package includes 1 post across each platform.
I’ve found this rate to be a bit higher than what most companies will pay for a sponsored post. So I went back to the drawing board. Instead of coming up with an arbitrary rate, I decided to base my rate off of the costs associated with creating a post.
A Cost-Based Approach to Determining How Much to Charge for a Sponsored Post
My photographer charges me about $50 for a photoshoot, so, immediately, I know I must charge at least $50 for any post requiring photography. After that, it gets a bit trickier; you must ask yourself: what is the cost of your time?
I based my hourly rate off of my hourly rate for doing consulting for startups. Any time I spend doing work for the blog is time that I could be spending doing consulting… so at the very least, I need to make the same amount as I would doing consulting for that same amount of time. Whenever I am working with a company on a sponsored post, I always keep the amount of time required to complete the work in mind when creating my rate.
On average, a post will take me roughly four hours of work. One hour for prep and photography and three hours for writing, editing, and scheduling the associated social media.
Possible Additional Fees in a Sponsored Post Rate
If the company wants to do a giveaway or wants to provide feedback on the post before I post, that adds extra time to the creation of the post and thus adds an extra charge to my final rate. Same with if the company wants additional social media posts beyond what I already assume in my package. Do I need to have a quick turnaround to get the post up on the blog? That’s an added charge. If the sponsored post requires me to purchase product, the cost of that product and the cost of my time spent while purchasing that product get factored into my final rate.
As a result of these additional variables, sometimes my rate can exceed the rate which was suggested by Social Blue Book. And sometimes it can exceed my $100/10,000 followers suggested rate. But, typically, it’s far below. I’ve found that brands are much more willing to spend the extra dime if they can see why the sponsored post costs what it costs. It’s not about the dollar amount. It’s about the reasoning behind the dollar amount.
So… What is the Value of Your Time?
Based on this approach, the hardest part of determining how much to charge for a sponsored post is figuring out the value of your time. If you don’t do freelancing or are not an hourly employee, this can get really difficult.
This is when the $100/10,000 followers method comes in. To create your hourly rate, sum up your whole following. And then divide that number by 1,000. So, in the example I used earlier, that person would charge $52.50 per hour. If that seems high to you based on your engagement, lower it. If you have phenomenal engagement, raise it. Just treat it as a starting point.
And I mean starting point. As in a regular 9-to-5, as I grow and learn to perform at a higher level, I am compensated for that growth. That means I reevaluate my hourly rate every few months. Sometimes, if I’ve noticed that my engagement rate has declined lately, I lower my rate. I am not growing so why should I be rewarded? Similarly, if I’ve had a huge bump, my rate will mirror that. Additionally, if you find that you’re not getting enough collaborations, lower your rate. If you find that you’re too busy with collaborations, raise it.
And that’s it! Exactly how I calculate how much to charge for a sponsored blog post. It can be difficult, but it’s not exactly rocket science.
Did this post answer all of your questions? What do you want to see next in my Blogging Basics series? Let me know in the comments below!