I think it’s safe to say that talking income with friends and co-workers can be a little awkward or even frowned upon. I however, highly disagree with this notion. If I don’t know what someone next to me is making for doing the exact same work I am, how can I know if I’m selling myself short or not. Or getting away with murder, hey, you never know. I’ve always been open about this to friends and close co-workers and have no regrets about it. But when it comes to blogging, it’s even more taboo to discuss what you charge. Where do you begin to decide those numbers, when do you start to charge and so on. There’s no job description and average pay scale calculator for this new age digital profession. Instead, we have to rely on one another to figure it all out, which is fine, but can be uncomfortable at times.
While at a blog workshop last summer, this topic came up and it quickly got heated. The experts didn’t have an answer for us or guidance on how to find it which was incredibly frustrating since they worked on paid projects daily and definitely knew the answer. The room quickly grew annoyed and it got me thinking, how does one price yourself? And why don’t we talk about it more? What’s the right way to go about it, and what’s the wrong way. So today I’m sharing how I come up with my fees which I’ve been using for a while now as well a some of my closest blog friends. I’m giving up the secret formula on how to price yourself as a blogger, what goes into my quotes and a general guideline that you can easily follow that has grown to become more of the standard. Let’s get started.
- Blog Posts – I like to break my blog posts down into two categories based on my content. First are my original posts with original photography. These include outfit posts, recipes, interior posts and the like that require me to hire a photographer, style, edit and publish. These are more time consuming than the second type, a product collage, or a post with provided images by the brand. Since this requires less time and resources, I obviously price those less. Here’s how I do it.
- A general rule of thumb is $100 for every 10,000 pageviews. So if you get 50k pageviews a month, you should generally charge around $500. This is personally my baseline for original advertorials (standard blog posts with original photography). It’s the bottom of my range and I then go up from there. If a post needs to be done on a quick timeline, the price goes up. If the post requires me to buy supplies (recipe, decor and the like) the price goes up. Take into account your time, your resources needed and any costs associated with your post and build them into your price. This range can vary based on the above numbers from $500 to $1,000.
- For product collage posts (think gift guides, or a product roundup without needing original photography) I have my highest dollar amount in the range be the $100 for every 10,000 pageviews. I may vary it depending on how much editorial freedom I get or don’t get, turnaround and so on. If a brand won’t let me use affiliate links, that changes the number too. Take everything and anything into account on how you make your money and how you spend your time.
- All of my blog posts automatically come with one round of social media for the brand which I also add on to that. So in addition to the $100 for every 10,000 pageviews, I also do $100 for every 10,000 social followers. Combine those two numbers and that should give you your standard blog post rate with one round of social. Below is a formula to reference for someone who has 50,000 pageviews and roughly 50,000 total social followers (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram).
- If a brand is looking for additional coverage outside of my standard asks, I’ll use the below section 2 that I apply to just social media posts.
((TOTAL PAGEVIEWS/100)*100) + ((TOTAL SOCIAL/100)*100) = STANDARD BLOG POST RATE
((50,000/100)*100) + ((50,000/100)*100) = $1,000
- Social Media Posts – These are classified as sponsored posts solely for social media. I’ll use this formula as well if I’m adding on additional social media to my standard advertorial blog posts which includes one round of social. All platforms vary and you should always take into account your engagement levels. If your platform has a ton of engagement, think more than 30%, you’ll want to increase your price as that’s more exposure the brand is receiving. The same rule applies here of $100 for every 10,000 followers. I find this to be the most accurate and easily applies to all social platforms. Here’s how I do it.
- I currently have 22k Instagram followers. I’ll typically start an Instagram sponsored post at $200. Again other aspects may affect this price. Do they want you to take an original photo? Does this photo require you to hire a photographer or buy supplies or require additional time (attend an event or a store to shoot at).
- If my posts are also being shared to Facebook and Twitter (which I always offer as an extra and brands almost always add it on) I’ll add to the price as well. Same rule applies. $100 for every 10,000 followers. My Facebook currently has 5k followers, so that’s another $50 to share to that platform. My Twitter currently has 6k, that’s another $60. So let’s do the math.
22k Instagram + 5k Facebook + 6k Twitter = 33k total followers
$220 + $50 + $60 = $330
My rate would be around $300-$350 before any other expenses come into play. Need me to come up with an original recipe for this Instagram post? You bet I’m adding on to that, that’s my time, energy and work. Need this up by tomorrow? You’ll be paying an additional 25% because of that.
- Event Hosting – This is a tough one and I’ve found it to be one that varies the most. It’s really up to you as a blogger to decide if events are worth your time and energy. I’ve had both great experiences with events, and sadly, awful experiences. It’s important to take into account your own city and their habits. Do people enjoy events, is there traffic that keeps them from attending, are there other events going on that night that may reduce media attendees and so on. Also, is the brand promising promotion of your brand on their platforms as well. All things to think about when coming up with a proposed price. Personally, if someone wants me to just show up and they’ll handle everything else, I’ll charge roughly my standard post rate per hour (and closer to the higher end of my range). I’ll add in any additional things they want as well, social media coverage before and after, blog post recaps and so on. If the brand wants me for two hours, with one round of social and a recap blog post with one round of social about the post itself, my total fee would look something like this:
(Post Rate x #of hours) + Post Rate + Social Media Rate = Total Event Fee
Roughly a 2 hour event based on the given numbers above used in this post for reference, this would be a range anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 depending on the asks of the brand.
Now you may be looking at this and wondering why on earth are you explaining all of this. I think it’s important that bloggers all get on the bandwagon that you NEED to charge. Your blog is an online digital platform with influence. You have built a readership, pageviews and clout. Charging for a brand to be featured on your site, your platform with your work is in my opinion, mandatory. After 5 years of blogging, it can become frustrating when a brand says “we don’t have a budget”. I find it hard to believe large brands that have a national and international presence can’t afford to pay you the few hundred dollars you’re asking for your work. Because guess what, they’re paying the agency who emailed you to send those emails. So there’s a budget, but they just don’t want to share. Brands can get away with this because there are plenty of bloggers that will do it for free. *Watch this video for a little humor on the subject* And trust me, I’ve done my fair share of free work, work for exposure, work on trade and so on. And to be honest, I still do occasionally if I find value in the project and relationship. We all have to start somewhere and there’s always give and take. But if you’ve been blogging for over a year and have great content with beautiful imagery and a growing audience, begin charging.
I hope this helps you begin to realize your worth as a digital influencer. What would you like to see covered next in my Blogger Q&A?