Today I am going to be tackling the question that I get asked all of the time: how on earth do I decide what to charge for sponsored posts? Most of the time, bloggers seem to pick a number out of mid-air and see if it sticks. It’s so frustrating that it is not talked about enough- it’s something I try to bring up in my weekly PR interviews, but often PRs will too have to vary costings due to budget. The fact of the matter is, no two PRs will charge the same. Nor will two brands offer identical projects. So rather than just giving you a restricted set of costing guidelines, I am instead going to help you figure out a price that feels right for you and the work you do.
How do I know if I should charge?
Before we begin, I am not necessarily suggesting you should charge for everything you do. I talked about in my ‘why you should work for free post‘ that there are plenty of occasions when this might not be the best option, so go and have a read before we begin.
What to take into account when setting fees
There are many different factors that will affect the fees you charge. Some of these may be vital to one brand and not important at all to another. So, first of all, make sure you are aware of the following:
- Domain Authority.
- Social Followers.
- Monthly Page Views.
- Niche (this is hugely important. If you’re doing something no one else is doing, brands will pay for that)
- Special skills- e.g. Photography, Personal Training.
- The time it would take to create the post (a recipe post- sourcing ingredients and making it) is far more time consuming than an information article)
- Relevance to your audience (if the brand is the perfect match for your audience, then you are likely going to charge more as engagement will be higher)
How to decide what fee to set.
The next thing is to make certain you understand what the brand is looking for. One thing I see all the time is when a brand requests a certain measure of success, bloggers reply saying ‘I don’t have this but I have xxx.’ These measures are there for a reason so it’s often pointless to offer an engagement measure a brand just doesn’t want.
If a brand is aiming to increase their Instagram engagement, it doesn’t matter to them at all that you have 50,000 twitter followers. Similarly, if a brand is asking for your DA, it’s because more than likely, they are looking to gain links to their site. Therefore, the number of people who actually engage with the post is likely to not really be important to them.
Therefore, before you give a fee, it’s really important to establish what the brand is looking for, by asking questions such as:
- Is there a particular social channel you’re looking to grow?
- Would you be looking for social shares or just content?
- If only providing a product, would you be open to social shares or being featured in a round-up?
- Would I be required to link back to the site? Are no follow links accepted?
- Can you give me an idea of what outcomes you’re looking for from the post?
After you’ve worked with brands for some time, it becomes a lot easier to figure out which ones are looking for links and which ones are looking for brand awareness. PRs who are looking for brand awareness tend to pay higher than SEO, and there tends to be a more creative brief involved.
Still stuck? This video I created on setting your rates should help! Go give it a watch and subscribe to my new youtube channel where I’ll be creating lots of content around blogging, freelancing and making money from your blog.
That’s all very well, but tell me how much I should actually charge?
To give you a ball-park, you might want to have a read: how much do bloggers charge for sponsored posts?
This post surveyed around 100 bloggers and gave answers depending on their page views, DA and Instagram.
Now, this post can’t tell you exactly what to charge, but they give you an idea. I personally think the prices are too low-but it’s a starting point to springboard off!
What this misses out on is packages. I talk a lot about packages in my ebook and this is something that can help pricing dilemmas hugely- because often no two projects are the same. Come up with a series of packages from the very basic (say one social media post or hosting guest content with no shares) to more expensive (1-2 sponsored blog posts with 1-2 weeks of social media shares).
To make a package it’s good to break down all the different things you offer: Instagram, twitter, facebook, newsletter inclusion, giveaways, photography. Not all brands will be looking for you to do everything, and many bloggers tend to do them all without thinking to charge separately.
That way, the work you do is always properly linked to your pricing. While pricing varies hugely between companies, it’s only fair that it is somehow reflected in the amount of work you do. Therefore starting from your absolute minimum (say £50-100) and then offering additional packages gives brands choices, without fear of over or undercharging yourself. That way, when bands. For example, if a brand came back to you and offered you a lower budget, you could reply with a smaller package: meaning you’re not in danger of doing more work for less money!