This is a guest post my Laurence over at Finding the Universe. Laurence was my partner on the ad survey and deserves ALL of the credit for crunching the number and making the pretty graphs. As with my initial post and analysis please note that this we know this survey is loose and not fully representable of the blogging community. But it does offer some interesting data, and most of it is very close to what I see bloggers charging and making out there. We both hope this helps you in some way figure out your own pricing schedule and monetization strategies. Take it away Laurence”
How much should you charge for advertising on your blog
The question of what to charge for advertising on a blog is one that nearly every blogger will find themselves asking at some point. The answer is unfortunately not a straightforward one, and varies based on a multitude of factors.
In an effort to understand the existing situation, and perhaps clarify the muddy waters somewhat (or just pour more mud in, who knows?) Todd and I put together a poll that we sent to existing travel bloggers to ask them what they currently charge for various advertising options on their sites. [Todd here: if you like this poll, and want more comprehensive ones we are happy to oblige, just leave a comment below in support]
Based on the responses, I have put together a number of charts detailing, amongst other things:
- An idea of revenue a blog may be able to earn
- Which types of advertising are most popular amongst travel bloggers surveyed
- How much travel bloggers charge for different categories of advertizing
Whilst the numbers of bloggers who responded wasn’t particularly high (44), there is still enough data to provide some useful information. Forty four being, after all, more than none, which was the previous benchmark.
Most of the results will be presented in the form of charts (who doesn’t like a good chart!), with some additional thoughts from both myself and Todd [I like to talk in italics]. Naturally we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below also.
Revenue from a travel blog.
Part of the travel blog challenge is to achieve a turnover of $1000 per month. Clearly, this is a challenging target to achieve from a travel blog, as of those polled, less than 15% are currently meeting this target.
Note that 40% of those polled did not disclose their earnings. This is probably due to the fact that I (Todd) added the question halfway through after realizing we needed a data point to compare answers to.
Of those polled who did disclose their earnings, 46% are earning between $0 and $200 per month, and 54% are earning $200+ a month.
Page rank would appear to correlate closely with earning potential, as only those blogs with a page rank of four and higher broke the $500 a month barrier.
Types of advertising – popularity:
For the poll we identified thirteen types of adverts that a travel blogger might run on their blog and price according to Page Rank. The three most popular types of advertising offered, in order of popularity are:
- A text link on the home page, paid monthly
- A one off sponsored post
- A text link in a post with a one off payment
Beyond that, other types of advert are as seen in the chart below.
Prices for advertising:
And now, for the bit of the article you are probably most interested in. The first graph shows the average prices charged for each type of advertising offered, in USD, for sites with a page rank between 3 and 5 (0-2 PRs were excluded due to lack of data):
Now to see how that average price differs if we break it down by page rank:
With the exception of the odd anomaly, probably caused by low data points, the trend appears to be that the higher the page rank, the higher the average price that is charged for a product.
The average price however does not show the whole picture. The series of graphs below show the minimum and maximum prices for each advertising option, grouped by Page Rank.
Clearly there are some serious variance in price across all the bloggers polled! (Note that there were very few respondents in the PR 0-2 region, so these were grouped together.)
The reality is, as can be seen, prices for advertising vary enormously, even within the same page rank. There is no one size fits all price. For example, a sponsored post on a PR4 site can go for as little as 30USD, and as high as 1000USD. [Todd here, if you are a PR 4 and charging $30 you are nuts!]
So what can we conclude? Well, despite the massive variance in prices, few bloggers are earning big bucks with their travel blogs. Presumably, a balance is being achieved, where those with higher prices sell fewer of a product, and those with lower prices, sell more. I know, not exactly mind blowing stuff, but useful to see.
Thoughts for next time
Page rank, whilst one metric, is clearly not the only differentiator. In retrospect, it was perhaps not the best way to categorize the answers, even if there is a relationship between page rank and earnings.
Page Rank and success are likely to go hand in hand, so it is not an entirely useless metric – and certain advertisers will use it as a negotiating tool.
As your blog grows however, other metrics are likely to become far more relevant to your prices. Look out for another version of this poll, revised based on what we have learned, in the not too distant future.
Quick Word from Todd
I don’t have much to add that I didn’t say in my last article based on this data Advertising Survey Results, but I would like to say thank you to everyone who participated and to everyone who is going to comment below! I agree with Laurence that PR is not the only metric but I do think it is most commonly used metric in justifying text links. The next version of this survey will be more detailed and will take into account visits, page views, and above and below the fold areas.
But I’d like to reiterate an earlier point I made. While I think that advertising can bring in a steady income for travel bloggers, and can be an assets towards making at least $1,000/month, I think it has its limits. This is not going to make anyone rich and it won’t be around forever. So plan your future strategies well.
Ok, have at us. What do you think? Where do you stand amongst the rest of the pack?