Sooner or later, you will be faced with the decision
of whether to use advertising on your blog or not.
Advertising isn’t mandatory for keeping your blog
interesting; in fact, it’s merely an optional tool you
can use in case you want to take advantage of your
blog’s popularity. But once you’ve decided on placing
ads on your site, there’s one more issue you need to
consider: setting your blog’s advertising rates. So
how much can you expect to charge or be charged?
With blog advertising, there are no set rates. It is
up to the blogger to design the correct ad payment
scheme that attracts advertisers and allow him to
generate a reasonable income at the same time.
To help you determine the right advertising rates for
your blog, it’s important to consider doing some
research first, particularly about similar blogs and
to consider your traffic and perform some simple
experimentation using your site.
Playing with figures If you think that setting your ad
rates at low prices will attract more advertisers, you
couldn’t be more mistaken. Your $300 a month rate may
not stand against another blogger’s $600 a month rate
if you only have 50,000 page views monthly and he
enjoys 600,000 page views.
An advertiser will look at the ratio between the cost
of advertising on your blog against the amount of
traffic that your site generates, the same traffic
that will potentially click on the ads.
A good ‘constant’ to consider when determining ad
rates is the CPM or Cost-Per-Mille – mille being
equivalent to 1,000. Let’s say a blog receives 150,000
page views monthly. For a 125×125 sidebar ad (usually
the most common), the blog charges $250 monthly.
Divide $250 by 150 (that’s 150,000 divided by 1,000 to
come up with the CPM) and you’ll get $1.66 CPM.
The same arithmetic is used by some of the most
popular blogs, including JohnChow and Copyblogger. For
your blog, you might want to consider how much traffic
you generate and the number of genuine page views you
get. These figures will help you evaluate your blog
and come up with the appropriate ad rate.
Since these blogs are well established, you could
start at far lower rates if you’re still building
traffic. Consider a starting figure of about $0.5 CPM,
which is friendly enough to your advertisers and good
enough for you. Raise this rate gradually as your blog
becomes more popular and as more advertisers and
sponsors buy ad space from you.
Size and location Advertising rates also vary
depending on the size of the ad and where it will
appear. Larger ads and those that will be placed in
prime locations or ‘hotspots’ will cost more. Ads will
also be more expensive if they will appear along with
content or on your blog’s header. Cheaper locations
will be those found on the page’s footer and the area
located after the fold.
Factors that influence ad rates Not every blog can
enjoy strong advertising support. That’s mainly
because not every blog has the right amount of site
traffic, the right visitors, market demographics or
niche. These are just some of the factors that affect
your eligibility for ad placement and the rate you can
charge on your blog.
Blogs, by the way, do not pass through the same
channels as traditional print media. The cost of
providing information in blogs is low enough that
bloggers can offer low advertising rates and still
earn a profit.