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Since my first post on blog sponsorship I’ve received quite a few emails questioning, “okay, that’s great information, but how much money is right?” I’ve been contemplating this question, and I’m back with an equation. I would like to preface this post by saying, this is my general rule of thumb. There are many other ways to go about doing this.

Okay, put your business cap on!

 The equation:

(Time Spent x Hourly Rate) + ( (Page Views/1000) x Advertising rate)= $Price per Post

There are two key phrases I remember from my business degree:  cost/benefit and the seemingly favorite phrase time equals money. At any given time, I have multiple projects to tackle. Generally speaking, a project I was hired to do would be given priority over the project I’m doing for free, because ultimately my time is worth money. When you’re tackling this from a “work for yourself” standpoint, it can be easy to forget this.

Hourly Rate

So, let’s break the equation  down, starting with time spent. This should be calculated before starting any project. Know how long each part of the process takes you. You’ll be surprised how quickly hours add up.

Normal hours for me (with a non-complex recipe):

  • 2 hours for planning, prepping, and shopping
  • 2 hours for cooking and photographing
  • 2 hours for photo editing and writing the post.

If the recipe or post is more involved, update the hours. Also, don’t skimp! I have, on numerous occasions, thought something would only take me an hour. Five hours later, I’m still working.

Okay, next, the hourly rate. This one is up to you. On average, I charge $100 per hour. Since I work form home, this helps me cover health insurance, all taxes, office expenses, supplies for the project, etc. Remember to think of yourself as a business! Keep good records of expenses and know what it takes to cover those along with making a profit. This hourly rate may be more or less depending on your current situation.

That brings us to the first part of our equation:

(6 hours x $100) + ( (Page Views/1000) x Advertising rate)= $Price for Post

Advertising Rate

Then next part of the equation can be a bit tricky and this is where the “I have no clue” what to charge can take hold. Beyond charging for the work you are doing, you also need to charge for the premium ad space the company will occupy in the post. Remember, your promotion of the product is many times more effective than the banner ads that sit in your sidebar. Charge premium pricing.

It’s also important to know your numbers. If using google analytics or something similar, dig into all the data. Know your unique pageviews for the entire site and the average for a post. For this example, I average around 175,000 unique pageviews a month, and for an individual post, anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 from the time I post through the first couple of weeks.

When I first started looking at sponsored posts this way, I would charge around $25 per 1,000 pageviews. Now, depending on the product and the content of the post, I charge $50 to $75 per 1,000 unique page views. For this example, let’s say I charge the lower amount, $50, and the average post-views, 5,000.

The equation:

(6 hours x $100) + ((5000/1000) x $50)= $Price for Post

Completed:

$600 + $250 = $850

Conclusion

You may be asking yourself, “does she really charge that much?” And the answer is yes, yes I do. As stated, this is just my way of thinking about this process. That final number can fluctuate based on the amount of work being provided, the context of the product, etc. Many companies also ask for Pinterest and Twitter parties which should also be factored into the time and advertising. However, if you choose to opt out of those, consider lowering your price. Remember, your brand is at stake just as much as theirs is.

Something I always have to remind myself of—the worst response you can get is “no.” Often companies will counteroffer, at which point you can decide to make another offer, accept their offer, or, if the numbers are too far apart, pass. You can’t let fear of rejection impact your businessIf a company is worth working with, they will understand that you are also trying to run a business.

Just remember, the numbers stated above are my rough figures. It will be different for everyone, and it really takes looking at your blog through a business lens to calculate. So take some time, begin to put a value on your brand (based on time and influence), and be prepared for the next email to ping your inbox. You know it’s coming.

{PS- Don’t forget to check out our current promotion to celebrate the wedding/baby!)

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Erin is one of the creative minds behind Wooden Spoons Kitchen. When she's not working on sites, she's whipping up something delicious for her food blog, Naturally Ella.

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