Essentials of a typical Advertising Rate Card
I started getting direct advertisers on this blog about two years ago. The other blogs just followed suit. It was an exciting prospect because the growing interest in blog advertising was something that popped out of nowhere. One of the best ways to prepare yourself for direct advertisers is to come up with an ad rate card.
About 13 months ago, I shared a sample of my rate card here. You can still download a copy of the file here. It’s an old one and I’ve actually updated that one into a new PDF file (which needs another round of updates because of the redesign). Essentially, there are 3 basic parts that you should include in your rate card and we’ll tackle each one of them.
Introduction & Profile.
Introduce your blog to your advertiser. They may already have a good overview of what your blog is all about but it will be great if you can highlight some of you blog’s nicer points. That might include a list of previous advertisers, features or mentions of your blog by mainstream media and a little bit more backgrounder. This will set the tone on how valuable advertising on your site in terms of visibility or exposure.
Stats, stats, stats.
This is where you show off your market reach. Site statistics is essential because it shows your advertisers how much they’re getting in return for the ad dollars they spend on your blog. You will need to show your daily uniques visitors, pageviews, traffic sources (direct, referral, search engines), bounce rates, average time spent on the site and the monthly totals for the last 6 months (at the very least). The monthly totals will show them a trend in growth — you’re basically showing them they’re not just paying for the current amount of traffic but future increase in traffic as well.
And don’t forget the graphs! Graphs are always nice. ;)
It’s a rate card so don’t forget about the pricing scheme. Provide several ways for advertisers to put ads on your blog. This could be int he form of varying banner sizes, link placements, advertorial text messages or paid reviews, depending on which advertising set-up you’re comfortable doing for your blog. Also include the minimum terms (mine is quarterly), modes of payment (cheques, credit card, Paypal, bank wires, etc) and maybe discounts for long term-arrangements and ad blast (advertiser buys all available ad inventory).
A screenshot of the various ad placement over your site layout would give the advertiser a good view of where their ads would show up before they start the campaign.
One of the most common questions I encounter is “how much should I charge?” That’s a very tricky question but here’s how I compute for mine:
Option 1: Stick on a CPM value. If you base your rates on cost per thousand, it’s easier to compute your monthly rate. Say, if you chose a $4 CPM, just multiply that by the total monthly pageviews, then divide it by 1,000 and you get your monthly rate. Let’s say you get 60,000 pageviews a month, so that’s 60k * $4 / 1,000 = $240. As a reference, Inq7.net charges $7 CPM.
Option 2: Outbid an existing ad source. I used this formula before when an advertiser wanted to take over one of my AdSense channel. So if you give them that top 468×60 AdSense channel, get your last months revenue for that channel and add 20-30% more. You then base on that amount as your monthly rate.
You can do the same way with other ad types – TLA, ReviewMe, etc. If an advertiser wants to put a direct ad link, give them your TLA cut + 50%. That’s still 75% of the published TLA rates. You get more and the advertisers pay less compared to getting it from the usual channels.
Hope this helps. Anybo
dy else have a different approach?