In Sunday’s post I shared my framework for figuring out how much to ask for when you’re invited to speak at a conference or to do consulting work. In this post we’ll take a look at how to figure out how much to charge for advertising on your blog.
Learn from Adsense
Google’s Adsense program makes it easy to display and potentially earn money from displaying advertising on your blog. To get started just sign up for an account and grab the Adsense code to embed into the sidebar of your blog. Adsense allows you to display three ad units on a page. Google takes a 32% cut of the revenue, but if you want to use advertising, Adsense is a way to get started.
Eventually, you’ll get companies asking if they can advertise on your site. Take the money you’ve gathered from Adsense and add 32% to it to get a sense of what you should charge for banner advertising on your site. Then add just a little more because you can deliver a specific audience matched to your potential advertiser’s interests.
You’re in control
Remember, if a company approaches you, you’re in charge. If you accept advertising, make it clear that acceptance of an advertiser doesn’t give them any editorial control over your content. Even if you sell sponsored posts, reserve the final editorial control for yourself. It’s your blog, you get to decide what is or isn’t posted.
Ask for more
Should you find yourself with more potential advertisers than space on your blog to accommodate them, raise your asking price. You won’t know what you can’t get until you ask.
Dinner, not the mortgage
As my friend Gillian pointed out in our podcast, making money through a blog is done through a diversification of revenue streams. Paying the bills through advertising takes a tremendous amount of page views. Think of ad revenue as a supplement to your income, not as the primary source.