How Much To Charge for a Sponsored Post

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The question of how much to charge for sponsored posts has been a hot topic on the Food Bloggers Central Facebook page. I’ve set out a “formula” for you and even created a CALCULATOR for you! Read on to get it!

How to calculate what to charge for sponsored posts. Free calculator!!

There is no industry standard, no rate sheet and it differs vastly between countries. So it’s important to bear that in mind reading this post, and remember that this is just my opinion only, based on my experience and information I’ve gathered.

Here are all the things to take into account when deciding what to charge for a sponsored post:

1. How much time is it going to take you? Planning, recipe creation, photography, special props, research, writing the post and promoting it.

2. Do you have any special skills or offering? For example, creating a video.

3. What is your traffic? How many subscribers do you have?

4. How influential are you? This is a really strong selling point when you’re negotiating with brands. I’ve written more about this below.

5. How is your social reach?

I don’t need to tell you that the higher you rate on these variables, the more you should (and can) charge.

I could keep talking about all the factors you should take into consideration but I know what you really just want to know is this:

How Much Should I Charge?

Bottom line – my view is: $250 (US or AUD). No matter what your traffic is, and what your social reach is, this is my recommendation for the lowest you should go – unless it is a brand you are trying to build a longer term relationship with.

My first reasoning for this bottom line is because if a post for a client doesn’t take you at least 4 hours (from start to finish, including cooking and photos and promotion) then I query whether it’s a rushed post. So you need to consider the value of your time on a per hour basis.

Secondly, you have to remember that any sponsored post you do is EVERGREEN ADVERTISING for your client. Don’t ever forget that word – EVERGREEN. Push that point hard with the client. Your traffic might not be huge now, but that sponsored post is still going to be on your blog when your traffic is much higher. Your client is getting a bargain by getting in now!

So when you take time plus the perpetuity into account, $250 suddenly doesn’t seem like very much, does it? Or, another way to look at it is this: If you add a 100% margin for sponsoring a post onto the time value you invest in preparing a post, this works out at about $30 per hour for your time (assuming a post takes you 4 hours). i.e. 4 hours x $30 per hour = $120. Plus 100% margin of $120 for putting it on your blog = $240 (say $250).

$30 per hour isn’t bad…..not if this was a steady job. But don’t forget, this is a one off. (And don’t forget, it will probably take you longer than 4 hours anyway….).

Based on Traffic – with 1 million monthly page views, the rate I get offered from American networks and brands is US$1,300+. Which works out to be $130 per 100,000 views per month. Which is lower than the $250 I recommend even if you have less than 100,000 views per month because that’s where the market is – the rate per view gets lower the higher your traffic.

So if you are a growing blog, I would work off around $150 per 100,000 monthly views. But charge a minimum of $250.

I have a Special Skill or an Edge over other blogs

If you have a special skill or something that gives you an edge over other blogs then you should also add a premium to your sponsored posts. Examples include: professional photography / styling skills, recipe creation in a niche sector (e.g. highly skilled cake decorating) or a large social media following.

Do some research and find out the market rate for that particular skill set. For example, professional photographers charge out anywhere between $150 to $300 per hour, depending on how elite they are. Use that as a guide to determine your market rate and incorporate that into the calculation for your sponsored post.

Audience Engagement and Influence

Your influence and engagement with your audience is a strong selling point when negotiating with brands. Impressive traffic means little if your traffic is “drive through” visitors. It could just be a one off “viral” recipe as far the client is concerned.

What they are more interested in (or should be – so educate them if they are not!) is your influence and engagement with your audience. AND not just your readers, but also your blogger friends. Because, as a blogger, you know full well that we get ideas from each other. That’s one way the word spreads and brands love that!

It’s hard to measure audience influence. A key selling point is your mail list. Your mail list is an incredibly valuable asset. Each time an email goes into the inbox of your readers, it is an opportunity for you to engage on a personal level with your readers.

Now that is gold for the brands.

So talk about your mail list and open rate. (PS When you do a sponsored post, switch from content extract to full post content in the email so the entire post lands in the inbox of subscribers. Because if you’re like me, your click through rate is a lot lower than the open rate. You want to tell the brand about the OPEN rate!). Talk about the engagement on your blog and on social media.

Tell the brand about emails you get from clients. Talk about the blog comments you get, not just for new posts but for posts you did in the past (reminding them that the content is evergreen :-) ).

Any engagement you have with your audience is more than the brand has – so sell it!

The higher your engagement and influence, the greater the premium you can charge. Don’t undersell yourself. Let me stress again – your ability to send personal messages by email to your subscribers is an extremely powerful form of marketing. This is highly valuable to brands!

Different Countries

I’m based in Sydney, Australia. :-) BUT all the networks I am with are American which means all the sponsored post opportunities I receive from networks are for American (or global) companies.

Because I’m not in America, this means I don’t see as many opportunities as American bloggers as most companies won’t send food products overseas (though an increasing number are offering to, especially liquor brands).

Most of this post is written from a US viewpoint because I have more knowledge about the market rates for sponsored posts for American brands.

I can’t speak about the sponsored post market for other countries but I can share my experience in Australia. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been talking more and more with Australian PR companies and major brands and it’s become apparent that there’s a premium above American rates of at least 30%, in some cases, even more. One PR company is telling me that my Australian market rate is more than double what US companies offer me.

Part of the reason is that the pool of bloggers here in Australia is far smaller than in the US. The industry is smaller and less developed, and the reach of bloggers is seen to be a premium offering.

But I see a lot more rubbish in my inbox from Australian PR firms and companies. That’s the flipside. The blogging outreach market here in Australia is less structured.

My point is: don’t discount your position just because you aren’t in America. My advice to you is to focus on local brands with high exports to the country where most of your audience is. So for example, because my audience is mostly US, I’ve targeted Australian companies who are either trying to expand their US presence or are heavily reliant on the US for exports.

Sponsored Post Calculator

Phew! That was a lot more than I expected to write! So here it is in a nutshell.

You should charge the HIGHEST of the following:

1. Your minimum sponsored post rate – which I recommend to be $250;

2. The value of your time you spend on the post (ordinary time AND a higher rate for “special skills” time) at a rate you believe to be reasonable for your time PLUS a premium for having the post on your blog (which I recommend should be at least 100% of the time value of the post, or more depending on your social reach); and

3.  The value of sponsored posts based on the average monthly views of your blog using $150 per 100,000 views if your traffic is less than 500,000 per month, dropping to around $130 per 100,000 views for 700,000+ per month.

Maths not your strongest point? I’ve condensed the above into a neat little calculator for you. All you have to do is insert your numbers into the grey cells – like hours you estimate, what you think your rate per hour is, monthly traffic etc. Then it will spit out an indicative minimum rate that you should consider charging for sponsored posts.

You can download the calculator here (Excel file): FBC Sponsored Post Calculator

Remember: You want to charge as much as you can (obviously). But ultimately it is going to come down to what the client is willing to pay and the value they see in your blog. You aren’t going to do yourself any favours by going in high and sticking to your guns, being unwilling to negotiate and never getting a sponsored post. There’s value in getting experience under your belt too. AND don’t forget about building longer term relationships with clients. You are better off securing 6 sponsored posts at a 20% discount than 1 for the full price you originally quoted. :-)

HOW DO YOU FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH TO CHARGE FOR SPONSORED POSTS?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Comments

  1. says

    Interesting! I have to disagree with the minimum post being $250 for those who have a very small audience.

    From a marketing agency side, I would never pay that amount for posts for someone who is just starting out. There are just too many niche and influencer bloggers who will give better value.

    Especially social, it may be evergreen content but most content loses its reach and power very quickly (even blog posts).

    However I do think that smaller influencers can charge smaller amounts for posts that don’t require as much work like a product review or Instagram story. Or they can get paid a higher amount by combining products from different brands in one post (Top 10 Local Products I’m Loving Right Now!, etc).

    Also from a brand and agency side, we’re looking for who genuinely loves the product and who is enthusiastic about it. So we often send out samples to see who likes it and who talks about it on social for free before partnering for higher paid content (blogging, newsletters, etc). But again that could be as simple as one picture on an Instagram story before moving on to more in-depth content.

    My 2 cents!

  2. says

    Hi Nagi, this is such a helpful post! I’m being approached by brands and they nip in the bud in the initial email that they’ll offer me free products, and no obligation to make a post. I am interested in working with some of these well known brands and feel it would be a good idea to do it to build a relationship. Would you reply yes and then next time send them a few sheet, or counter their initial email with a fee sheet right away? Nicely of course :) thanks so much!

  3. says

    Hey, i am having two blogs and i am getting 1000 and 1500 unique visits monthly. Those DA is 15 and 24 so how much could i can charge for sponsored post on those blogs? Please suggest me.

    Thanks in advance!

  4. says

    Hi Nagi,
    Great post. Do you or anyone know the top spending brands on sponsored posts are and what the market size is for sponsored posts?
    Thanks

  5. says

    I was just approached by a well-known brand a few days ago and had no idea what to charge. This article was really helpful. Thank you!

  6. says

    *Evergreen advertising* – what a great way to think of a sponsored post! I’m very good at selling myself short. Hopefully things will change now that I’ve read this post. Thank you, Nagi :-)

  7. says

    Hey Nagi, do you have any suggestions for how to respond once a company has reached out to you? Would it be along the lines of…”Thank you for your project inquiry. I do charge ($this amount$) for collaborations that would include (this, this, and this).” Is that how you would respond?

    • Nagi says

      HI Haley! I never like to start a new corro about $, I feel like it’s best to wait until at least the 2nd email! So I would start by responding with a bit about me, what I would love to do for them, make a comment about them that makes it clear you’ve done some research etc. Then if it goes to the next stage, THEN talk $ :)

  8. nutrizonia says

    Hi Nagi, such an excellent post! I want to work with a local brand, but most of my audience is form the U.S , and I moved out form the U.S. Do you think it would work? They do offer “Americanized products (smoothies and soups mainly)” means they are not offering traditional food. Would love to know your opinion!

    • Nagi says

      No worries! So glad you found it useful. Love hearing from members that it gave them the confidence to start asking for what they are really worth…and it’s working! Woo hoo!

    • Nagi says

      No worries Melanie! I think clients don’t think about it, they just concentrate on immediate traffic, But it’s much longer term than that! They get far better value investing in YOU than paying Ad Sense because as soon as they stop paying, poof! The ads stop! :)

  9. says

    This is a great post Nagi. So far I haven’t done any sponsored post, because my major audience is American and it’s difficult for me to work with them while I’m still in China. I’m waiting for the moving and planning to approach brands by then. This post contains a lot of great information. I’d say, I never thought about I can charge this much! I’m sure this post will be helpful in the coming months :)

  10. says

    Great post Nagi, thanks! I’ve not had an opportunity to do any sponsored posts yet. I do reviews for a UK (where I’m based) kitchenware company in exchange for them providing me with the products free of charge. I’m currently pretty happy with this as it’s the brand I use anyway and there’s no guidelines for the post – so in my view I get a product that I would otherwise buy for free! When my blog gets a bit more traffic (I’m currently below 10,000 views per month) and I’d be selling myself short doing it this way, I’ll definitely be coming back to this post to help me negotiate a fee with them!

  11. says

    Great post. I always base my fee on how much time I’m going to spend and how much I think I can get out of them. I always ask for more than I will accept and then they think they have a win when I agree to do the post for less. What really craps me out are stupid PR people who give shoddy instructions, won’t offer a contract and don’t keep in touch.

  12. says

    Great post Nagi! I think you made a really good point on the minimum charge of $250. The first thing that comes to many bloggers mind (i believe) when comes to charges is – I don’t have enough traffic to charge that much and completely neglected the fact that it takes your own time to curate that post (when you could be doing something else!)

    And always love a good excel spread sheet :)

  13. says

    Nagi, your timing couldn’t be more perfect. I’m not in every one else’s league having less than 10,000 views per month but I have recently done two sponsored posts for a local on-line grocery.
    I figured it would be good experience and to be honest I was just happy they wanted to work with me and did it in return for just the cost of the goods. But – it took me way longer to do the posts than normal and now they want more posts I am going to charge for my time. If they say no then I’m fine with that – I just need to get a little ballsy with it!

  14. says

    Wow! Talk about a perfectly timed post! I just received my first inquiry from a sponsor. Your tips and info will most certainly come in handy!

  15. says

    The only sponsored posts I’ve received are through networks like Social Fabric where the most I’ve been paid for one post is $150 + product reimbursement. My page views are TEENY in comparison to most. Below 10,000. But what I’d REALLY love to see a post for is how to reach out to brands! Brand aren’t exactly flooding my inbox so I want to know how to pitch to them.

    • Nagi says

      Hi Meaghan! Given where your blog is at I think the rate you are getting is great for experience! I’m happy to do up a post on how to reach out brands. Added to my list! :)

  16. says

    This is gold, Nagi! I haven’t done a single sponsored post yet, mainly because I have no idea how to go about it in the UK when most of my audience is US. What do you mean exactly by ‘target companies trying to expand in the US or reliant on US for exports’. How on earth do you find out something like this? :-)

    • Nagi says

      Hi Helen! So for me, the obvious one is wine. Because Australian wine exports are quite big. So I rang my favourite Wine company – Turkey Flat – started off with a few lovely chats with them, told them who I was, and found out that they are doing a push into the US market. I swapped out cash payment for a big giveaway which had a retail value of around $3 – $4k (based on US wine prices) which is what I preferred. The other ones I am pitching are things like local produce which are big on exports (beef, pork). I don’t know enough about the UK exports! Are there food things that are big in the US?

      • says

        Thanks Nagi! That makes sense to me. Clever girl! I suspect I’m not ready for this kind of thing, but it’s a great thing to keep in mind for the future. One step at a time … 😉

  17. says

    I know it took me a while to have the guts to demand this kind of money. In the beginning I would accept any money or even free products, but a pair of glass straws or a subscription to an eMagazine of recipes doesn’t pay the bills anymore! Once brands started paying me the rate I asked, it made it a lot easier to keep asking for that rate. I also make it a point to increase my rate each calendar year. Thanks for all your insights, Nagi!

    • Nagi says

      Hey Meggan! I know you are totally all over sponsored posts. :) And you are totally worth more than a free subscription!!

  18. says

    so would you add on $150 to that $250? if you are at 100K? I want to make sure I am telling people the right stats. minimum $250 is definitely a good start point, in my opinion and affordable to brands.

    • Nagi says

      Sorry if there’s any confusion! At 100k monthly views, I would charge a minimum $250 but MORE if you are spending more if the post takes more time than usual or requires “special skills”. :)

  19. says

    Always so helpful, thanks Nagi. I have been getting $250/pre post currently with 100K + views per month, so I guess I’m right in there. The EVERGREEN point is so great. So ,you were Finance before, or Marketing?! LOL.
    You’re such a great, nurturing spirit for food bloggers when it comes to sharing and help everyone out. :)

    • Nagi says

      BOTH! I always say I was in both Finance and Marketing because part of my job was “selling” things to investors and convincing banks to lend me billions of dollars!!! :)

    • Nagi says

      Absolutely Mila! Don’t ever look back with regret, use it as a “I’ll never do that again!” reference!! :)

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