How Much to Charge for Ads on Your Mom Blog

tv advertisement costLet's think about TV for a minute. You're watching your favorite show and an ad starts rolling. Did you know that there's a good chance that the 30-second piece about deodorant or potato chips that you're watching cost $300,000-$700,000? FOR 30 SECONDS!

parents magazine cover advertise in parents magazineOr let's say you are skimming Parents Magazine. A full-page, color ad costs over $150,000. If you want to go "cheap," you can go with the least expensive option - a 1/3 page ad in black and white for just over $53,000.

Those are some pretty hefty price tags.

Now, it's important to keep in mind that Parents Magazine circulates monthly to 2.2 million readers. And American Idol's last season drew an average of 30 million readers.

That being said, many mom bloggers draw pretty substantial audiences (thousands every single day!) and they have something that magazines, newspapers, and TV shows don't...the power of "word-of-mouth."

celebrityBloggers are kind of like celebrities in their own way. Or talk show hosts. They'll say "check out my cute boots" or "this lipstick is my all-time favorite" or "this car is the best if you have kids under age 5 - hands-down!"...and their readers will run out and buy it - and chatter about it to all of their friends (who will tell their friends...). It's a pretty incredible phenomenon.

If I were a company wanting to promote my product, I would put a significant chunk of my advertising dollars in social media. Especially if I wanted to reach women.

Here's the thing though - most bloggers don't know how much to charge for advertising and many companies don't really know what to expect. There really isn't an industry "standard" yet.

Part of the reason that there is no standard is that the market is currently very "fluid" {this is why many bloggers don't publish their rates}. Advertisement rates are often "negotiated" on a case-by-case basis, depending on who the company is, what their goals are, and what is being offered by the blogger.

The other reason that it is such a perplexing quandary is because there are so many factors to consider when determining a blogger's influence...

After all, a blogger's influence is more than just statistics (monthly page views and unique visitors).

Other influencing factors include:

  • # of Twitter followers
  • # of Facebook friends
  • # of RSS subscribers
  • affiliations with other blogs and websites
  • media appearances
  • other publications and speaking engagements
  • her offline network
  • her overall impact on her audience
  • her expertise in and/or passion for the company's particular product or topic
  • her potential

moneyAs you can see, there are a lot of things that weigh into this. And, as a result, mom bloggers are charging a variety of rates all over the web. One blogger told me that she once heard that a good "rule-of-thumb" would be $1  for every 1,000 page views per month, but that seems a little low to me...and it also doesn't take into account the other powerful elements.

So, let's say you're putting together your advertising kit and you want to know how much to charge for sidebar ads. I wish I could provide you with a handy dandy chart to determine your rate, but I can't... because it doesn't exactly work that way.

You have to consider your "pull" in the market and then price accordingly. The $1 for 1,000 page views per month is a good place to start, but I wouldn't recommend that you go lower than that. The bigger your blog, the more negotiating power you have and the less you have to follow the "rules."

I also would point out that sidebar advertising is just one small "piece" of the social media marketing puzzle. Creative partnerships that involve blog post spotlights, giveaways, consulting, event appearances, etc. will be most effective for the company - and thus you will be able to charge more for these type of advertising "packages."

As with all things blog-related, I think it's important that bloggers only enter into advertising partnerships with companies that they can embrace and believe in. If you're watching LOST and you see an ad for Breyers Ice Cream, you probably don't associate the two. But if your favorite blogger (who is an outspoken breastfeeding advocate) slaps an ad for Enfamil up on her sidebar, you'll probably be a little taken aback. You'll feel a little cheated. That is because blogging is about relationships and is built on trust.

I, for example, would not advertise for Babywise or Marlboro or Swanson TV Dinners because these brands don't mesh with my "philosophy" of life.

YOUR TURN: Do you offer advertising on your blog? How did you decide on your rates?

***If you are a representative for a company who purchases ad spots on blogs, what ad rates do you consider to be "reasonable" and how do you go about determining a blogger's "influence"?

For more helpful tips on this topic, read:

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15 comments on “How Much to Charge for Ads on Your Mom Blog”

  1. Ok, so I wrote this on the wrong page..sorry, I meant to put it on the page entitled "How to get products to review on your blog." I'm a ditz at times..lol

  2. Hello, this is a great source of information. Thank you! I am a beginning blogger and would love to be able to write product reviews, so I am going to use your tips. Thanks so much again!

  3. $1 CPM (cost per thousand) is the "remainder" used by many media. The standard rate used for radio & TV (and online, too) is closer to $5 CPM.

    However, back in the "old days" of the Web, when click-thru rates were closer to 50% instead of today's 0.5%, some sites could get away with charging upwards of $50 CPM. By 1998, though, those rates went into free-fall.

  4. Great article and it was very helpful as I recently have added a few advertisements on the blog. I agree that the ads should coincide with your lifestyle and your blog content. Like your example of a breastfeeding mom and Enfamil! Thank you for taking the time to put this all together for us. I had no idea about the ad rates either!!

  5. I never really set out to sell advertising but several companies have contacted me about it so I decided to give it a go. It's been nice to have a little extra in my PayPal account but I don't think I will be going whole hog on selling ads.

  6. OK - I don't have any really relevant to this post comment to make but I want to say that I'm really enjoying this themed weekend :) Great posts, I appreciate the thought and research you've put into them - lots of food for thought and things to keep in mind here.

  7. I had no idea ads on t.v. and in magazines were SOOOO expensive. Oh. my.
    I don't offer advertising, and don't plan too. But, this was still really interesting to read. I'm sort of fascinated by how bloggers turn their blogs into businesses. My curiosity is definitely glad you're devoting so many posts to it.

  8. I have a few affiliate links on my blog and make a little money from my BlogHer ads... sometimes I question whether I should have ads at all b/c mine is quite simply a personal family blog. What do you think about ads on personal blogs??

  9. I don't offer ads on my blog. Not at this time anyway. I like to do affiliate marketing. I've found a full time income with affiliate marketing for over 5 years now, so I tend to do that on the blog as well. (see my side bar... all affiliates. I make money when I make a sale)

  10. I know I charge too much, and I've been thinking about changing my rates, but have had no idea where to start. Thanks for all the helpful info and advice. :)

  11. I was just catching up on some of your posts, and it's super helpful! Thanks for putting all of this together. I've been working hard on my blog and you've given me some really great tips to get it up to the next level. Everything makes perfect sense. It's weird how sometimes you just need someone to tell you in order to be able to make the connection.

  12. Thank you so much for this helpful information, Stephanie! I have been thinking about placing ads on my blog, and this is all great food for thought. xoxo!

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