So you have decided to sell ads directly to sponsors on your website or blog.
I’ve made money using this method since the early 2000s. It started off as a trickle – my first ad sale was direct to a small business for $50 a month for one banner on my card game website. From that point forward I’ve grown my income from direct ad sales to the point that I’ve made as much as $5,000 a month from it, and at least $1,000 a month from direct ad sales for ten years straight.
That makes direct ad sales my most consistent income stream, and by far the longest serving income stream I have had online.
During my website investing heyday, I had several websites in several niches, all making money from ads. More recently this blog has been my main source of sponsorship revenue, though I have made money in niches like miniature motorcycles, rap music, small business, and Magic cards.
Of course let’s not forget virtually every mainstream media website, news site, top blogs, youtube, google search – virtually every website you can think of with a sizable audience uses advertising, it is a proven money maker. As long as you have an audience companies want to reach, you have the potential to make money selling ads.
My Ad Pricing Formula Revealed
For as long as I have been a teacher of how to make money with blogs – since 2005 – I’ve been asked the question over and over again…
How much should I charge for advertising on my blog?
I actually came up with a very simple formula, one that I tell people when presenting on stage and during coaching calls.
This formula has to be considered only a guide. It does not apply the same way to every niche, but I will explain why in a moment. Here it is –
So if you get 500 visitors per day, you can expect to make $50 per banner ad.
There are many conditions that can change this calculation. Here are some of them…
- Where you place the ad in your site design can increase or decrease how much you charge. Using the adsense heatmap as a guide, you can determine what areas of your site are the most valuable. For example, if you have 1,000 visitors a day coming to your site, you might charge $200 a month for a banner in your left sidebar, but only $100 a month for the header above the navigation bar.
- What niche your site is in really makes a difference. Some niches will never sell a single ad no matter how much traffic you get (avoid these!), where others can sell out of ads with as low as 100 visitors a day. This ties in to the next point…
- The visitor value of a lead to your sponsor really matters. A person looking to buy a house is worth several thousand dollars to a mortgage broker or real estate agent, hence they can spend more to reach these people. If however your sponsor sells a $10 ebook, they need a certain number of clicks and sales from ads on your site to make it even just worth their while.
- Your ability to reach advertisers who have the highest lead value for your traffic will dictate how much you can charge. My formula is a starting point, but if your sponsor is making $10,000 a month off of your $100 ad, clearly you have some room to negotiate.
- How responsive your audience is really counts. Many niches suffer from serious banner blindness – in fact as a whole I would say most Internet users don’t “see” most banners because they know they are ads (and hence ignore them). To break through the blindness and get a response, you need a very well targeted ad. This is all the more reason to find the right sponsor that matches what your audience is interested in.
- How much sway you have and trust your audience has in you also counts. An individual expert who is respected and listened to, will transfer this trust to the ads on their site. That’s often why “thought leader” blogs can sell so many ads – sponsors want the kudos and referential trust from being associated with that blog and person.
- Once you break milestone traffic numbers like 100,000, 250,000 and a million pageviews a month marks (not unique visitors) you qualify for the “big leagues”. By this I mean you can start landing some big contracts from brand buyers – companies that want brand awareness more so than just raw clicks.At this level you will benefit from working with an ad agency – Yaro.blog contributor and sports blogger Mitch has written about this here – How To Make Money With CPM Advertising On Your Blog
It’s About Targeting, Supply and Demand
At the end of the day, what you charge advertisers is a supply and demand relationship, mixed in with your ability to get exposure to the right advertisers. You can charge as much as you want, as long as you deliver value to the advertiser. They will keep paying you as long as they earn a return, they have a budget and they don’t get more for less somewhere else (if they have budget constraints).
Some niches enjoy companies with massive ad budgets. Cars is one prime example. Car companies spend money advertising to the general consumer. That’s why you will see car ads on YouTube, on a news site, syndicated on content sites in all kinds of different niches – and of course, on car sites too.
General consumables like electronics, computers, movies, books, and food related products and businesses (McDonalds and Coke ads are everywhere!) are other examples of mass-appeal advertisers who don’t care so much about the niche your site is in, they just want a spread across the general population, because the general population is their audience. Other niches will need a much more targeted sponsor.
In your case, you need to look at what type of person reads your site, why they are there and then think about the sponsors who would best service your people.
With my Magic card game website I approached Magic card retailers, both online and offline, to sponsor my site. One in ten of the contacts I made agreed to sponsor my site, and within a few months I had three paying sponsors and my first significant and consistent online income stream.
You Don’t Know Until You Test
One thing I have learned running my own blog in particular, is the importance of testing price to find a balance that works.
I do this by looking at how many ads I have sold and then adjusting accordingly. If I haven’t sold many in a month or two, I will lower the price. If the ads sell out quickly, I increase the price. Bear in mind I do this sort of testing because this blog has enough of a consistent audience, some of whom want to sponsor my site, that I can test. If you don’t have interested parties coming in regularly, you will have to go out there and find sponsors (more on this in a future article).
For example, when I first started offering the very popular 125×125 box banner ads in my right sidebar, I started at a $200 pricing point. At the time I was pretty much applying my formula, as my blog had about 2,000 visitors a day according to Google Analytics.
At that price point after a couple of months I was sold out or almost sold out most of the time. My traffic increased so I increased the price to $250 a month, which worked well, although I do go through peaks and troughs in terms of how many ads sell – anywhere from four to ten of the available ten spots I have. Once I sold out of all ten spots, I increased the cost to $300, however over time some sponsors dropped out and no new ones came back on board, so I dropped it back to $250 (well $249 to be exact), which seems to be the sweet spot.
I also have to factor in that I charge Australian dollars, which at the moment with the Aussie being strong, doesn’t help my ad sales given most of my sponsors are American. If the Aussie dollar drops, it is the other way around.
The great thing about CrankyAds is I can just log in to my WordPress admin panel and change prices any time, which is exactly what I do to test pricing. I recommend you change prices once every month or two – only if you need to of course. If you are happy with how much you are making, then don’t mess with it.
One feature I have used to great benefit over the years, which we just recently made available in CrankyAds, is the ability to offer alternative pricing.
The way I use alternative pricing is to offer discounts for people paying in advance. Pay for six months worth of ads and you get a one month discount. Pay for 12 months and you get two months free.
These are just two examples, you can pretty much do what you like. Obviously the benefit here is to lock sponsors in long term (this is good for you, and also good for your sponsor because if your traffic increases over time, which it will, they still pay the same price and don’t lose their ad spot), you get cash upfront and your sponsor saves money. It’s win-win, especially with the right sponsor.
Start With My Formula
To keep things really simple I recommend you start with my formula –
Your daily unique visitor count, divided by ten, as a base monthly fee per ad.
From there, test. Go out and find sponsors. Make sure your site has an Advertise page and Advertise Here banners running (both things CrankyAds does for you) so people who visit your site are aware of your sponsorship opportunities.
For further intelligence on what price to charge, take a look at sites like yours and see how much they charge for advertising and how much traffic they state they have to justify the price. Make sure you see that they have some paying sponsors before you assume their prices are relevant.
Don’t under price your ads. You might be surprised how much advertisers are willing to spend and if you don’t ask, you won’t know.
One last tip – If you think you can only charge $10 per month per ad, it’s probably best you wait and build up your traffic before you go after direct sponsors. Use affiliate ads in your ad zones for now (CrankyAds can run your affiliate ads for you too).
There’s no greater statement that your site can’t deliver much results to sponsors than charging next to nothing for ads. Do you think your potential sponsor believes you can deliver any result if you charge $10 per month? That’s a great way to demonstrate low perceived value. Raise the price, or wait until you can deliver more results.
Good luck with your ad campaigns, and if you have any questions about pricing, please leave a comment.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic Yaro. I know this is one area I have been researching and trying to get a better understanding for. I have had a couple companies reach out to me to advertise on my blog and I was a bit stuck because I was un prepared for the request to be honest. I’m going to look into the cranky ads because I feel that would be a great way of not worrying about ads and such.
Thanks Yaro! For 6 months I have been trying to find an article that explains this for me. Really like the simple formula you use and will be definitely downloading the CrankyAds Plugin!
Interesting post that gives a good insight into generating advertising revenue from a website. I hadn’t come across CrankyAdds before but it certainly looks pretty good.
If someone doesn’t get enough traffic to make decent money using ads then all is not lost. I find I can still make good profits from small sites with low traffic by promoting high commission physical products. The key is to target the right type of keywords that are very focussed to help get good conversions.
Just goes to show there a plenty of ways to earn from any particular website depending on a number of factors such as design, content, visitors and others that need to be taken into account.
Yaro, Thanks for this very simple formula and congratulations on your Web success. We appreciate your not keeping this a big secret and not requiring a Ph.D to figure it out.
I’m going with it.
I have had a reputation for underpricing myself forever. I think I might have found a good set of rates for my PR5 blog about making money online:
Starting with banner advertising from $10 a month and offering text links for $5 a month. I also offers rates for a month, 6 months and a year, if you take out 6 month or a yearly plan then you get a discount. 🙂
I launched the new prices January 1st and received four takers within that month. 🙂
I presume in your case you are not using nofollow so you are selling your pagerank?
If that is the case then that may be an exception to the $10 rule – if you are selling pagerank linkjuice then traffic isn’t as important as authority. In this case selling text links is likely your only option, and of course you risk a google penalty.
Can you explain why putting a text link in a post would risk a Google penalty? Or is it just if you are selling the link?
Dean, am I to understand that text links are less expensive? Is your 6 or 12 month rate discounted? You mentioned that you advertised, what form of advertisement do you use? I’m new to this so any info that you can suggest is greatly needed. Thanks!
I really liked that last tip about not under-pricing.
That’s something that’s not often mentioned.
“You get what you pay for” makes complete sense; if you’re not charging much, then sponsors aren’t going to expect much from you.
Thanks for the good post.
Hi. This is one of the most useful posts I have read about blogging so far. I just started receiving sponsorships, and it was hard to put a price on everything. The sponsors I have were pleasantly surprised at how low my ads were – who knew?
Thanks for the great info. And yes, I will give CrakyAds a try.
I am thinking about starting my own blog. How did you get started and how did you start receiving sponsorships?
Great initiative Yaro, we people,designers, get more jobs anyway:-)
Does your plugin consider Google’s guidelines and add in a to the links you sell and does adding such a tag to sold links affect the price you can charge?
If you go to my advertise page you will note that the text link ads for sale state that all links are “nofollow”, which is how CrankyAds currently applies text link based ads.
We plan a feature to allow publishers to decide whether to use no follow or do follow and charge accordingly. Logically speaking, you should be able to charge more for do follow since you pass on link juice, however by doing this you risk a Google penalty, something this site received in the past as a result of selling do follow links, which is why I switched to no follow for any paid for text links.
Thanks for your quick reply Yaro.
I’ve always been concerned about the risks of Google penalties and so haven’t sold direct advertising before. To be honest, I didn’t think there would be much demand for no follow links but it looks like I may be wrong.
OK, since I am brand new to the whole starting a blog thing, a newbie, can you explain the difference of pass through and non pass through ads?
Also can you explain the Google penalties thing for links
can you refer me to an article on those subjects?
Oops above comment seems to have left an important part out – I was asking about the effects of adding a rel = nofollow to sold links.
Thanks for sharing this…
I will try this formula to sell ads space in my blog… 🙂
p/s: Can I put some of your points in my blog post? I want to translate it to my language…
I thought it was a good idea to charge a fixed price for every 2000 unique visitors? That way, if the traffic increases, bloggers earn more and advertisers have a higher exposure. Not sure if fixed cost per month is better than CPM?
The thing I don’t like about CPM is that you don’t know exactly how many impressions you will deliver and you usually have to bill after the ad impressions have been delivered, so you have to chase up debts – I hate that.
Of course CPM is the standard in the industry, especially on larger sites, so it’s something you need to consider as you grow. A flat monthly fee is so much simpler and easier to make passive though.
A flat fee paid up front based on LAST month’s stats, whether it’s visitors or CPM, makes sense to me. If your stats go up, then you start increasing your rates. If you have too many “Advertise Here” banners appearing, you may want to lower your rates!
You can always ask for a 50% downpayment based on last months traffic with the balance due on campaign completion.
Thanks for sharing your pricing guideline. I have just arbitrarily chosen a figure based on traffic to my site and a comparison of what some others charge on their blogs.
So happy I found your blog. Selling advertising is a new idea to me. Simpler than selling leads. (Or getting paid pennies for clicks)
I found $1.50 per CPM per 125×125 button ad was my general guideline, and pro-rate accordingly to 468×60 (2X) and 300×250 (5X) sized ads.
Around the $0.50 to $2 CPM seems to be common numbers I hear floating around, again dependent on all the variables I mentioned in this article.
And is that for a monthly cost?
That is a simple formula and it would be fairly easy to implement. Thanks for also sharing the conditions that would make it vary! While I am not so devoted to my blog that I could attract banner advertising as of now, its good to know what basic rule of thumb should be followed 🙂
Thanks for sharing Yaro, sure I’ll translate this article to Arabic and I’ll re-post it into my blog. It’s very important and useful for beginners.
Thanks for not only the formula, but the realistic discussion of rates within niches. Far too many bloggers undersell themselves.
I’m going to try out Cranky Ads on my below the fold stuff, until I can get out of my ad network contract.
i think its better idea to use google adsense instead of these banners..
CrankyAds is great as my friend just started using it and his comments about them has been really inspiring. Thanks for sharing such useful tips.
My blog gets 4,000+ visitors per day (and a lot more at certain times of the year). Although I get a healthy return from adsense up to now I’d never have thought people would pay ~$400 / mth for an ad slot…
I think I’ll try my hand and see how it goes – nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that. (Will definitely give CrankyAds a shot!)
Once again, thanks for the inspiration! Will keep you posted.
(P.S. It would be interesting to know how other people in other niches work out there cost)
I think $400 a month for exposure to 4000 daily visitors, roughly 120,000 a month visitors is pretty reasonable.
Consider a print newsletter is like an oldschool version of a blog. If you sent out your newsletter to 100,000 people you could charge at the very least $400 for an in that newsletter.
How did it work out for you Craig?
Seems like you beat Pat to the bunch! lol I’ve been waiting on his upcoming post about this, but I’m happy to get your perspective too Yaro, I’m starting to accept direct advertising on my websites and had no idea what I should be charging.
Yes Jamie, it was a bit of coincidence. I’ve started a series of articles I wanted to use as a follow-up training email autoresponder series for CrankyAds.com users, and this article is the second in the series.
Pat just happened to start a similar series at the same time. I’m curious to read what he has to say on the subject of ad pricing.
Nice simple formula to arrive at the ad rate. Thanks for that. It’s always best to have a system which is simple and easy for everyone to understand
Very useful article for all that want to sell banner ads on their blogs. Thank you, Yaro.
Yaro, great article and very helpful. I thought I was close to implementing an ad strategy until Google cut my traffic drastically with the latest algo change. Well Google giveth and taketh away.
But when my traffic comes back, ad traffic will be one of my main monetization models.
I heard that the three areas that pay the most are: Relationships, health and money related sites. Do you know if this holds true?
Anna, yes, those three niches are the top level “mega” niches that I’ve written about a lot before. They, along with irrational passion niches like sports, gadgets, shoes, other consumable goods, etc are the most valuable niches in terms of money being spent.
Thus they also have the most competition, but you can drill down into sub-niches of the mega-niches, that’s the key to success with them.
About the CrankyAds stuff, how about if you don’t have a PayPal account? PayPal isn’t accepted in Nigeria.
Awaiting your reply. Thanks.
At the moment, no sorry Chukwuka, it’s only paypal. We may eventually have other options, but not for a while yet.
Thanks for a well detailed great post Yaro. I have just added the plugin. Lets see how it goes!
Have a good day!
I am very new to this and I’m wondering if your Cranky Ads would work on blogspot or only on wordpress?
Only wordpress right now since we have a wordpress plugin.
We do plan to have a generic “insert this code” option for other sites, although I suspect blogspot will not be an option ever because it’s too heavily controlled by Google.
No questions, I’ve already installed CrankyAds, it works well, it didn’t break my website, everything goes smoothly and once advertisers will come in everything will go even better. You did a pretty good job Yaro, and every blogger will thank you for that.
Glad to hear that Andrea – you’d be amazed how much work our dev team have put in to make things run so smoothly!
Hello Yaro, thank you so kindly for revealing your pricing and strategy involved.
I hope to make more money selling text ads, it’s worth the stress and efforts.
Just installed Crankyads on my site tonight, easy and simple install! I guess I have to figure out a way to solve the challenges of Danish VAT in the system, as VAT must be added to all European buyers, whereas advertisers from the rest of the world should not be charged. But I’ll try to find a way to deal with that.
Apart from that, I’ll give CrankyAds a chance on my site for a month or two to see how it works out. 🙂
Thank you Yaro, useful insight.
I’m wondering how you relate pageviews and unique visitors.
In your formula you mention visitors, however, some ad networks consider only pageviews.
For example, my site almost has 100000 pageviews, so I qualify for the “big league”, as you say. On the other side, the site has 785 daily uniques.
How do you factor these variables?
Wow, that’s quite the ratio between unique visitors and pageviews. You must be running a forum or something like that.
In your situation the answer still comes down to results for sponsors. CPM might suit your traffic, but if it’s just a case of the same person seeing the same ad as they browse through ten different pages on your site, the unique visitor count is likely a better indicator of what your site can do for sponsors.
Thank you for your answer. I don’t run a forum. It is a site with photography tutorials. I write the best content I can, use internal links, related posts and popular posts, with no tricks such as multi page posts and it brings those pageviews. I didn’t know it was that high.
In my case, would rotating different ads inside the same space a better way to exploit the high number of pageviews?
I remember having stumbled upon some plugin allowing to do this.
If you can customize ads to that specific a target then sure, it can help. Personally I prefer if you have a site-wide sponsor for simplicity sake, but it really depends if that is possible and the best choice for your niche.
Hi Yaro, do you have any tips for my website http://livelifehappy.com ? Currently, I just use google adsense but would like to explore other avenues of revenue. Thanks
Try selling ads directly to sponsors if you have the traffic!
Thank you for this information. I have been trying to decide what to charge others to advertise on my site. I did not know where to start.
I have used myself another formula, that consisted in asking for 1 euro each 1000 page views. In fact, this formula resulted to be quite similar to yours (in terms of what I can ask to my sponsors), and I think that is right for the average blogger (2 page views/visit in average).
I started with 30.000 page views, asking for 30€/mes (almost 40$ USD). It was about 15.000 monthly visitors, so that’s 500 visitors/day. Whenever my website increases traffic, I increase cost. I use to do it each 3 or 4 months (or whenever a new sponsor arrives to the blog). I reached 100€/month, and it’s been very hard to ask for more…and forget it in this times. What I did, was to create a pop-up banner and charge 150€/month for the “premium” slot.
Some of the sponsors are from the very beginning, so they started paying 30€ and now one of them is the one that pays 150€/month. An no complains!!! I guess it’s worth for them…
Yaro, I’m also using the similar kind of formula when selling advertisements on my blog. Advertisements rate vary a bit depending upon the banners placement on my blog
Despite de fact that I don’t use WordPress (I gave it a try, but for me Drupal is easier to use…) all I can say: great plugin. I will make a (positive) review on my website.
And your formula for charge advertising is simple – I will try it.
I love your posts …
Your blog is one of the most useful around and one of the few that I actually read every word.
The one thing that upsets me is that the formatting means that it is a mess when viewed on my iPad … maybe it is related to the theme your using??
You’re my kind of guy, Yaro! That is, you are ‘normal’. I’m so tired of super-charged blokes (always) yelling at me, and telling me to do this, and do that. You click on a video link and it’s as if they’ve suddenly been stabbed with an electrified cattle prod as they burst into steroid-level hype.
So thank you for bringing a bit of sanity to the internet…and for all your really useful free info, of course. 🙂
Great article Yaro!
Can I just clarify – when you say $100 per 1000 visits, are you talking unique visitors per day or overall visitors per day?
I usually count total visits that day, not specifically unique visits as that can vary depending on what timeframe you do your count for uniques.
One area we’re having increasing success with is to target specific articles for on-page advertising. So we take a look at the pages on our sites that have top search positions, look at the monthly traffic for those articles and then go out and directly target advertisers who are bidding on the keywords we rank for, offering them a better rate than they can get from PPC. Also remember to build in an exclusivity premium on these type of deals.
Really interesting post. Saw you at the hive in Brisbane a little while ago now and get your emails. I have set up a web-site – angermanagementlocal.org, which is a mental health directory to find psychologists. We have managed to get up to 10,000 people/ month through SEO. Adsense is paying us a grand total of $15/ month. I’m definitely going to check out cranky ads.
Thank you for the formula. I haven’t got to a point where I can use it, but I will keep it in mind when I do.
The way I have always charged for advertising has been to work out how much I would earn from an ad spot through AdSense (or whichever ad network works best for the site) – let’s say $100/month for this example.
The ad networks normally take around a 50% cut, so the advertiser is already paying $200/month to advertise in that ad spot – and that is where I start my ad pricing.
I then increase the price for as long as there are still advertisers taking me up on the rates until I find a plateaux where the demand slows – this is then the highest price the market will bare, and the optimal price for my ad spot.
I wrote a little guide on the whole process of selling ads directly to advertisers on AdBalance if anyone is interested: http://www.adbalance.com/selling-ads-directly-to-advertisers/
This is probably the most substantial answer to my question about pricing that I’ve ever gotten! And I’ve been posing that question for years now.
Thank you for your formula, I’ll be sure to use it!
To make money by this method, you need massive traffic… so think the targeted traffic for any blogs!
Thank you for posting this, Yaro. This is something that I have been contemplating and now I have a “how-to” guide. I can’t wait to check out your software!
Thanks for writing this useful post about advertising on your blog. I’m new to this and recently, couple ad networks contacted me out of blue and they want to put text links on my posts. They said we pay you $30 a year for a text link. is it worth it? by the way, I’m getting couple hundred unique visitors every day and that’s 90% of my traffics every day.
Another great post, Yaro.
It is rare that I bookmark two pages running(in a row) from the same site.
Advertising(ad space) and what should be reasonably charged, has been a subject that I have found difficult to get a handle on.
You make it so easy to get a grip on the whole concept, without overkill.
Great info bookmarked for later.
I have just removed all my advertising from my blog. Most banners and box ads were my own products.
I want to concentrate on the reader and see if I get more subscriptions from an ad free site.
Do you have an opinion on this? Do you think add free can lead to more readers?
It’s certainly a strategy worth testing, but obviously you don’t make money from advertising if you don’t offer advertising. It really depends on your goals.
I have been a freelance writer for the past 10 years. I have about 16,000 articles (mainly academic) and on different topics and subjects as well. I want to transfer this content in a single blog to make some money from the ads. Can it work? What can I do? Can I make some cash? How can I go about this?
I will appreciate the response on this.
Many Thanks, perhaps I will think about doing this when my blog grows.
Hi Yaro – question – with reference to your formula – how much would you then charge per month for 125×125 banner in a highly targeted ‘ezine’/newsletter? I’m thinking of doubling this rate, so for example if you get 500 visitors per day, that’s 100 US dollars per ad square in an ezine for one month (or a period of 4 weeks). Would this be realistic for a specific sports ezine targeting a specific niche+demographic within this sport?
Plus, if I could clarify that your formula is indeed in US dollars and not Australian dollars…?
Much thanks and look forward to using CrankyAds very soon!
Very useful information. If you have a popular blog in a lucrative niche, I think it’s worth investing in selling your own products. i.e Start an ecommerce site on the side.
For reference, for the big ad on my website & Youtube videos (250’000 UV per week) that is centered around entertainment I’ve been offered around $20’000 per year.
Credit to the author. Thanks.
Hey Yaro – great stuff. Quick Question, I’m in the process, early stages of building a blog and the demographic is teens 13-18. Definitely would like to monetize it and expect an exceptional visitor count (my 15 y/o will be my Social Networking Mgr) – for the teen demographic, and being a NEW blogger with a great idea/niche, at what point UV-wise should I go out and seek sponsors/advertisors. I’ve read quite a bit of information about blogging lately and yours by far is the absolute best!
You are appreciated in Houston, Texas!!
greate site, with lot of motivational real examples. Selling direct ads on your website is good, but just I think that for a starter adsense is a much better option. Easy to manage although you get less.
But your formula “Your daily unique visitor count, divided by ten, as a base monthly fee per ad.” I am never gonna forget.
I have set up adsense and used it for a year. I believe this information is vital as I am now begining to sell advertising space on my blog. I am glad that the information you have provided will guide me on the pricing.
I am impressed by the strategies you are using and I am now changing and following your style.
Great article! I use a similar formula to calculate monthly costs for banner ads that I sell direct to advertisers. These ads run in rotation with google ads and affiliate ads, and the advertisers get no additional acknowledgement as “sponsors”. However, I am working on some actual sponsorship packages that would include banner ads, as well as a great deal more exposure and acknowledgement of the sponsor in all areas of my site. For example: a dedicated sponsor area in our discussion forums, acknowledgment in all email newsletters, in any videos we produce, in our social media sites (facebook, g+, twitter, linkedin…), opportunity to sponsor contest and events, etc, etc. Sponsorships would only be offered to non-competing companies as well. So there’s an element of exclusivity, that they don’t get with banner ads.
I’ve come up with 7 or 8 additional benefits to offer sponsors above and beyond basic banner ads, and I’m trying to figure out what a fair price might be to charge for a package like that. I’m thinking of multiplying the basic ad rate by a factor of 10, but if you have any thoughts or suggestions I’d really appreciate your input.
Great information Yaro! Thanks so much you’ve answered alot of my questions and that formula for pricing is awesome and fair!
I’ve had my website running for a year now and I’m getting requests for sponsorship so I’ll be applying the formula to my site for sure (see below).
I just wondered, is the best way for payment through a PayPal account or is there another way to handle payments?
Thanks again for all your awesome input, I’ve bookmarked this page and will be sharing with my website friends 🙂
Hi Kristy, Paypal is my preferred method and I sell all my ads via http://www.crankyads.com – the ad management plugin I developed for bloggers. Good luck with your site!
Excellent article. Thanks
Awesome explanation of all the intricate details Yaro. I was just approached by someone to place a text link ad and I found your post to be super useful. It answered all my doubts. Thanks a lot!
Finally an equation! I got so tired of reading articles saying “it depends” and “research comparable sites”. Thank you for actually giving us something concrete. While I know we still have to be flexible and compete with other bloggers, I’m so glad I now have something to start with. Again, thank you!
I have no experience with video ads.
How much can I expect from a Google video ad versus a standard ad?
Is Google the best show in town or are their better ad servers with better payments? And also, do they have to watch the whole video?
Thanks for any help.
I don’t know how Google video ads work, so I can’t offer any help with that Michael. I can tell you that if you sell video ads with CrankyAds.com then you should treat the pricing challenge the same way you treat any ad and follow the instructions in this article you just read above.
Thank you so much. I’m pretty niche and have been building readership before venturing out into the ad world. Recently, I’ve been approached by various individuals/companies interested in contextual linking, guest blogging or a sponsored post.
None of them held any interest until recently, when a company whose product I believe in approached for a contextual link. I think I’ll try to convert that to a sidebar ad. And now I have a formula I can use to give them my “rate card.”
Unfortunately I use Blogger or I’d jump ont the CrankyAds.com bandwagon. Looks like the only option I have is to use 3rd party html in a widget for Blogger?
Hi Yaro, thank you so much for this valuable information. I’ve just started to be approached by advertisers in one of my niches, but none resonated with my purpose until now. So your post has helped me work out a starting point.
Thank you again!
Well, I’ve never been to Brisbane but in case you visit Adelaide just let me know and I’ll buy you a drink for sharing this valuable information. Just what I really need now to boost my website. Thanks, mate!
My website has 250 pages. When I sell an ad do I need to place it on all 250 pages or just on the ones that are most relevant? I get 13,500 hits a month, so the price would be $45, but if the ad appears on only 2 of those pages, because it is only relevant there, is it still worth as much?
I suggest placing the ads on all of your pages. That is what I have always done with my sponsors. It makes sense to give them as much exposure as you can, because they will earn a better result.
Very informative article, I really enjoyed reading and learning from it. I have tried a direct advertising before from some Swedish company and I didn’t know what to charge them then. I ended up charging $270.00 usd a month. Now I have an idea using your formula. Right now I have a company requesting to advertise on my website that is how I ended up on this site searching for ideas. Is there a standard letter I should use to reply to them? I am not sure what to say for the first time when I reply to their request. By the way I am getting about 37 to 39 thousand unique visitors a month based on Google Analytics. Would it be a lot if I ask $300.00 a month for 160×600 banner? Any idea will appreciated.
Nice article, Yaro…
This is something I have been wondering about quite a lot lately…
Though, I have heard many different opinions regarding how much we should charge(or expect ) for ad space, your post would have to be one of the most clearly explained, and easy to digest…
Hi, how much should I ask for a article advertisement in my site? I only get about 1.2k pageviews per day and about 600-700 uniques? Any suggestion would be appreciated. Please check my site. Thanks
Yaro, thanks very much for the info, I thank God i found you.
Thanks, Yaro! I already have two interested sponsors, and my blog has only 42 followers and just under 4,000 visitors since I started it in February of this year. I need to bring in more visitors… I have signed it up on different directories, visit and follow other blogs, etc. I guess it is a matter of time. But I still need to get back to those sponsors. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Hi there how do you actually get the ads on the site? If you call a company and they say yes we’ll
pay for an ad then what happens? Do they give you the info? I there a contract with that company? Would you call them and set it up that way? Also whe you set up your site can you add Cranky Ads there or after your site is done?
Walter – Have you played around with CrankyAds before? Install the software and all your questions will be answered.
Hi everyone – I’ve been selling banner ads and listings w/in my website for about 3 years now and have managed to generate enough income to do it full time – In addition I’ve shown an increase in both clients and income in each year – I’ve spent much time researching on-line and banner ad pricing and here’s the best advice I can offer – What advertising on your site might be worth and what you can actually get, are often two different numbers – I’m sure my ads are under priced, but I’d rather build a large client base all paying smaller rates – Under-pricing makes selling much easier and my client renewal rate is appx. 80% – So play w/your pricing and don’t be afraid to charge larger companies a bit more
Sir, I have read all your posts regarding Direct Ads (including the newsletters) and I am really thankful to you. I have recently approached text link ads.
I have around 500 daily visits but I only make 2$/per month through adsense. So, should I ask for 10$/pm for a text link ad?
Another, problem is I have a Blogspot blog and don’t have so much of flexibility regarding layout and plug-ins. So, will CrankyAds work? Or should I go for dfp by Google?
Thanks for the information I’ve been wondering what to reply when I get emails regarding this.
Ok, new to this but I had an offer from an agency to place a tag on my site that would allow them to display ads to people, who accessed my site in the past, but on different sites. Its good money, but it makes me skeptical Can anyone explain what this might be? How does it effect my audience?
Thank you very much for this article! It has helped me a lot and I will give CrankyAds a try 🙂
Hello, I would like to help me with some questions please, you can charge pretty sales banners in my blog for free? I think these advertisers are only getting fame with known sites and blog and does not pass the sales because they do not know whether we sell or not, so I think we should be charged for that announcement on our blog even though this blog is free from google, charge for a perildo dels fame instead pay an amount every announcement that stand in our blog when we win by clicking the adsense is better to get more sales and more dicil it then find someone who can help me with this doubt please? thank you
Thank you for your information. Now I have a better understanding about what I need to do first in my ads.
Excellent article. Thank you so much!
I was wondering if, given your formula, there is some sort of rotation in the display or the ads, and how to keep that fair for your customers. Thanks again.
So you are saying that if i have 1 milion visitors per day i can charge 100 000$? Or how much should you charge for that amount of traffic.
If you have one million visitors per day, you can definitely charge some huge rates and should be making at LEAST a million dollars a year from that website.
I have a friend with a car blog and they charge as much as $150,000 for a banner campaign for one month and they only get about 70,000 visitors per day, so yes, it really is about how many people visit the site and what target market they are in.
Hi Yaro, I’m confused by the huge difference between different visitor stats data I get.
I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong because my Google Analytics stats only show a tiny fraction of my other data collecting software.
For example for month of Jan:
Awstats: Unique visitors = 17,375; Visits =38,985; Pages = 148,960
Jetpack: Unique visitors = 18,850 which is about the same as Awstats
Analytics: Unique visitors = 3,943; Visits = 4,598; Pages = 6,903
That means that Analytics only credits me with the following tiny fraction of the other 2 data collection stats:
Analytics’ Unique visitors: only 22% others
Analytics’ Visits: only 11% of Awstats
Analytics’ Pages: only 4.6% of Awstats!
How can Analytics data be correct when I can see the numbers of visitors’ referring websites (not crawlers) that are recorded against individual articles shown in Awstats and Jetpack?
My visitors are growing fast, but Google doesn’t acknowledge them! At this rate I’ll never have enough Page Views to be able to sell ads.
Are everyone’s stats like this? Or is there some glitch in my Analytics setup?
Hope you can give me some clues about this Yaro, it’s really discouraging.
I made a mistake with the above Figures. The Jetpack Unique Visits I quoted are incorrect. But all the Awstats and Analytics data, and the percentages are correct.
Sorry about that.
Thanks for valuable information. I own a website which is city specific and helps people in finding rental properties. I get around 100 visitors per day. How much shall I freeze upon CPM or banner cost
Hi, what I am looking for is a way of taking ads from companies/small businesses who are not set up with with affiliate deals. Say for instance a local hotel on a site about a particular location. If I set up an individual commission agreement with them how can I track the booking or enquiry that they get from my advertisement? Would CrankyAds work for that or is there some other way to do it.
This is by far some of the best information on the internet regarding advertising and niche websites. I have been looking for something specific like your formula you provided instead of all the vague information on the internet. Thank you so much. This helped a great deal with my project I am currently working on.
Gotta love a quality article that has real info, so thanks for that. I’d mention that you can use some of the big ad networks (federated media, etc.) to see what others are charging. See what the big blogs in your are going for (cpm) and compare.
I think you could probably go quite a bit higher than the daily visitors divided by ten, depending on the niche. Also if you offer exclusive advertising and multiple locations (in post, via email, etc.).
Yaro – this is one of the best blogs out there. Thanks!
This is a good idea. I am trying to sell $17 ad space. Hope it gets bought.
How much should one charge if the advertiser wants to do a guest article on the blog? I currently have about 500 visitor per day and 1000 page view per day.
It depends on your niche Sam, but with that kind of traffic I think as a ballpark figure you could charge $100 to $200 for a paid review.
That sounds like the formula I was looking for. Thanks.
Exactly the guidance I am looking for. My website reaches from 150 to 350 visitors a day. Nearly 2000 page views and bounce rate between 15 to 35%. But still I am not able to get any ad. Because I haven’t informed my visitors about advertising with me. I just keep on writing. I’ll instantly make a new page of advertising with us. Hope it works.
What should be the size of the banner according to your formula ?
Thanks for sharing your formula. Simple, yet effective.
Great blog post…thanks for sharing!! I’m starting to average about 1500 visitors/day with about 2000 page views -enjoying the jump in traffic! I’m also starting to receive inquiries for advertising, which is prompting me to finally figure out this piece. I like your suggestion of keeping it simple and charging a certain amount for banner space. Do you have a sheet/page that lays it out (space, ad position, payment, schedule, etc) for you advertisers? Would love to see some examples for this…
Yaro, first I want to thank you for you post. Still, I want to ask you a question maybe you can illuminate me. I understand the prices for 125×125 banner, but what should be the “right” price for 120×600 px ( side left banner ) , 900×200 px (top menu ) and 300×200 px ( right sidebar ). I have a niche website with a 500 unique vis/day and a rank 3.
Thank you in advance.
It’s a tough question to answer without testing and knowing what industry you are in. With 500 visitors per day assuming that is Google Analytics data, I would look at charging anywhere between $50 and $200 per month depending on where you put the banner and what size it is. All you can do is try and see how you go.
Get yourself ad management software, put up an advertise page and see if you make sales!
Thanks for the great article! I’m averaging around 200 visitors and 750 page views / day. My question is thus:
Is this theoretical $20/month I would be charging per individual ad, or per recurring ad on every page? For example, I’ve got a 720×90 Adsense banner at the top of every page. Am I charging $20 total to replace every one of those with an advertiser’s banner, $20 per page?
I’d say very roughly you could charge $20 per ad across your entire site. But you might have more than one banner zone and more than one banner in each zone. I think having three zones with up to three banners in each zone is a nice balance (so 9 total ads running across your site at once maximum).
Bear in mind a top 720×90 banner should sell more than a sidebar 125×125 banner for obvious better exposure it offers.
Adzura can help you benchmark what you should be charging for advertising on your blog. There are several bloggers/publishers so this can be useful in determining the right price.
Thanks Yaro .. Very helpful article and advise as per usual 🙂
Phew!! Thank god you wrote it.
I am currently getting 12K monthly visits on my tech blog, and I am being approached by some direct advertisement companies to place banners on my blog. All I want to know is how much should I charge for each banner?
Start by asking for $100 per month per banner and see how you go from there.
Thanks Yaro. Its an area I have been struggling too on how to find a scientific way of charging which is justifiable and there you are
Another fantastic Post, Yaro.
As per always, you keep your articles easy on the eye, and just as easy to consume, which makes them far more appealing to readers across all levels of experience….
Great info! I am about to start a local classified ads website and this kind of stuff just might prove very useful to me (I won’t know for sure until I actually try them I guess).
As I start to do research on this, I came across your article and it seems quite an easy formula to apply. However, when I do this with our unique visitors, it results in costs that I don’t see advertisers being willing to pay. Is there some higher volume price structure standard that some larger sites use? And yes, I checked to make sure I was calculating on unique visits. I used Google Analytics to arrive at the amounts I found and I’m still in awe at what our site would charge according to using a divisor of 10 for some months. Now, our site is seasonal in nature as if relates to taxes do our traffic in October varies significantly than in February. For example so far in this month, our unique visits have exceeded 6500; whereas in February this year, our unique visits according to GA were 867,000. Doing the math, I’m thinking our less than 4 yr old start up site may be playing in the wrong ballpark. Or am I seeing something wrong?
Can you clarify your numbers Jessica? You presented quite a range – 6,500 one month, then 867,000 another? That is an incredible spread!
Yes it is quite an amazing spread. We go from almost no traffic to a flood of users in just a few months. You read it right, those numbers weren’t a typo. 🙂 Because our site is essentially a forum of users discussing tax refunds, our traffic climbs substantially in the first quarter of the year. This is why I am having trouble developing a price structure for ads. Each year our site has nearly tripled the traffic from the prior year — I’m actually quite scared of what tax season will bring us in 2015 (server wise…lol) Our peak month is February with 1.5 million visits, 867K unique visits and 3.6 mil page views according to GA. Yet, our slowest month in the past year only yielded 12K visits of which 9K were unique. The numbers make my head spin as to which direction to head for developing a rate card. Our organic ranking in various Google searches is impressive as well and we fall aside and sometime beat major tax preparers rank. I’m afraid money is being left on the table and unfortunately we have grown to a size where I can’t manage server costs from my back pocket any longer. This is why I am trying to develop a pricing strategy to sell ad space. We have applied to BuySellAds a few times, but for reason unknown, haven’t been approved because they never divulge why. Sorry for my lengthy comments, but yours was the first article I read that at least gave a clear formula to test/starting point to start considering pricing as most that I read simply discuss general approaches. Any thoughts you have are greatly appreciated!
You might get a better outcome by attracting as many of those people on to an email list and then using the list all year round a monetization platform. That way you have stable traffic with a set email list you can mail to whenever you like. That gives you options like selling products directly, promoting affiliate products and sponsored email newsletters.
You are one in a million Yaro , because the last time someone even hinted this info , they wanted a onetime payment of ONLY 49.95 and that was their discount , ” Parasites ” looking forward to hearing from you , and i also am following on facebook.
I WILL SPREAD THE WORD !!
Very well written and an excellent starting point for those of us wanting to get away from typical adsense ads. Thanks for your input, I do like the x10 formula per daily visitors for a place to start!
I have question like Jessica’s. I’m developing a website that will have lots of visitors (say 10,000) four different months of the year and then probably a thousand a month the rest. what can I charge for that sort of traffic per month? Also, is there a service I can subscribe to and pay a commission that will sell advertising for me? what do they charge? Thanks. This is a great blog.
You can try buysellads.com – although they are very picky about which sites they take on.
Thanks for the response. Any idea on how much I can charge per month with those fluctuations?
Thanks for all the GREAT advice Yaro. It is refreshing when you come across people who actually know what they are talking about on the Internet. Know what I mean.
I have an interesting opportunity with a new site I am creating and I was wondering if you would give me your thoughts on this. I am working with someone who is an expert in their field and who doesn’t want to “clutter” their site up with “ads, selling and commercial B.S.” Fortunately, my client is in a position to go after three or four major companies in his field and let these companies “sponsors” his site on an exclusive arrangement. These three to four companies would have their company logos on every single page (they do not compete directly with one another but work in symbiosis in their industry) in a very tasteful manner. The “very tasteful manner” is very important to my client as he views his ‘words of advice and general wisdom’ to be the most important element and doesn’t want ANYTHING to distract from that.
Do you think there is some value in such an arrangement where these three or four companies are guaranteed exclusivivity and do you think there is a “premium factor” in the calculation of what they pay to my client?
That should work Stephan, assuming you can keep all groups happy – the sponsors and the website owner.
Sorry for the typos, Yaro. It’s late here in California!
Is this pricing structure still relevant? Without a date on the post it’s hard to know how current this information is. Thank you.
This post remains relevant because as I said in the article – you can charge what an advertiser will pay. Everything else is merely a guide to start at.
Hi how do I find my daily unique visitors? I have this chart that shows them but in the table below it looks more like its monthly. I am searching online on how to find them so I can calculate and can’t find the answer since Google Analytics changed its wording.
CrankyAds link and app doesn’t seem to exist anymore and link broken… how old is this article?
About six or seven years old, although CrankyAds was created in 2011 and closed in 2013.
Thank you yaro for such a great guide line. I want to ask you something . I am about to launch a website in Pakistan on mobile phone prices, so I want you to guide me that how can I get more and more visitors plus how can I get sponsers and what should I charge them initially?
Very interesting topic. I really enjoyed reading it. But at the end of the day its TRAFFIC and TRAFFIC to your blog. For a starter or blogs which gets less traffic, we have to be content with Google adsense as of now.
But this is a very informative post and thank you for sharing.
I was all excited to investigate Crankyads, but it closed in 2013??
Well, hopefully you can answer my question – you have a great blog, thank you!
I have a new website (as of May 2015) where I have direct links to various local businesses in my city. My goal is to sell these direct links. I am in the process of gaining more visitors and have Google Analytics. My numbers are still low, but they are increasing slightly. Questions:
1) How do I increase visitors – need tips on this
2) What do I charge for direct links?
3) Is this ok, or will Google penalize me for this?
Right now I have the direct links to these businesses on my site, but I am not charging them yet because I don’t feel I have enough visitors. It varies from 5-150/day.
— my website is a local guide for things to do in our “tourist” town.
Thank you for any advice you can give me on these questions.
I was very confused about ad placement but you showed me way where should place ad.So now i’m going to place ad on right place
Thanks for The Suggestion through this Article. Its really difficult to decide how to charge for a banner ad per month. Specially for me you have done a grate job. Thank you once again
I found it very funny that one time, someone wanted to buy ad space on my old blog, that had like 10 visitors a day. 🙂 Maybe I could’ve charged him 10 cents a month, woohoo! 😀
Very interesting article. Although it unfortunately didn’t cover my question….
Ive been approached by a company who want to write a travel article for may travel blog webpage. They have offered to pay but I’m unsure on how much to charge for a whole article (it will clearly contain a link back to their website somewhere.
ultimately, it conforms to my website theme and is also adding interesting content. Its only a small site with a handful of visitors daily – buy I’m not sure where to start regarding pricing.
Any help would be great
That depends on your traffic and what type of audience you have David. I used to charge $1,000 for a sponsored post back when I did a handful of them, but I had to have a certain amount of traffic to make that kind of money.
I’m in the process of redesigning my website to make it a Property Advertising website and I think I understand the other parts of advertising. Could you please recommend the best strategy to use pricing my Online Listings because currently, I only have Competitive Pricing Strategy and I don’t feel safe with just that possible route. I was also thinking of charging CPC on those displays of about $0.06. Is this a good idea?
The million dollar question, if you charge to much then you might not get anyone interested in advertising but if you charge a small amount then you will likely not make very much.
Hello, I was just wondering what form of payment these advertisers use to pay you for the advertising. Is it through paypal, stripe, Wepay, etc. Thank You!
Thank you so much for this detailed analysis and explanation. This was exactly what I was looking for.
One more question:
How much should we charge if someone wants to insert two links in one of my popular SAP Technical site?
I stumbled on your site from Google while doing a search on how much I can charge for ads. The search was motivated by an email I got from a company asking to do CPM ads on my site with various banner sizes which got me a bit confused because am more use to Adsense and doing sponsored post but have never done any direct advertising like what the company is asking for meanwhile the surprising factor here is I get less than 400 unique traffic daily although I have done some SEO. I wish to ask is it wise to go for CPM with such level of traffic or the fixed charge as suggested on this post?
This is indeed a post I needed right. I have just been approached by an advertising network, who want to buy an advertising space on my site. Since this was completely first time for me, I have learned some new tips that I will use in my negotiation with them. Thanks very much.
Best blog-information about free business listing.
This is really killer and important article for me. I am always confused for the amount I should charge while doing advertisements for others. Your article gave me the best understanding to do calculations and predict the right amount which my clients will feel affordable while shelling out. I will be following this approach from now itself. Bookmarked… 🙂
Thanks for being honest while sharing the information. I’m just thinking about starting direct ad sales and I find your ‘daily visitors count divided by ten’ true solver.
I’m having 1 question: why advertisers will sell ads to websites rather than search engines (Google or Yahoo)? What does it make secure for advertisers?
LOVE THIS! Someone just asked how much I charge and using your formula I was able to get right back to them with three options. Thanks so much for this!
It was really fun reading the article. I’ve been into blogging for 2 years now but still, I get confused when it comes to sponsorships on my blogs.
You suggested a great way to set the pricing for the ads.
I’m really thankful to you.
Keep up the good work.
Your clues are helpful. I quite appreciate it.
Excellent article with detailed information. I recently got an email from an advertiser looking to advertise on my site. He asked me about the price. I wasn’t sure how much to quote hence I googled and came across your post.
And I must say I am very happy to have landed in your page. I have found very good information about Ads which I am sure will help me in my future dealings with advertisers.
My sincere thanks to you. Keep it up my friend. Have a good day. 🙂
Really great article, today, I got an advertisement bid and I didn’t have any idea what should I charge against a banner ad.
I searched in Google and reached on your page.
Thanks for the article, I have a full idea right now and I have offered $150 for top banner ad across all the website. I know its too low according to your article but it is my first time to have such an earning source.
Once again thanks for the blog post.
I think how much a blog charge should be based on how much traffic it gets and how much authority it commands.
This has been such a helpful article! I’m wanting to ditch my adsense ads and go with higher paying sponsored ads. My question is this: Adsense has a code that I enter in order to put the ad up. When I go about writing these companies to offer them sponsored ads, what info do I ask them in order to put their ads up on my site? Is there a code (like adsense) that I need to get from them or is it a simple image they send me and I simply add it onto my site (such as my widget area) OR, Is there a wordpress plugin that makes it easy to add sponsored ads? There isn’t a lot of info out there about how to start going about this for newbies.
I recommend you get yourself some kind of ad management software/plugin, then you can give your sponsors their own private login, they can upload their ad media, which you then approve, and they get stats etc.
It was a long time ago since I looked into such software so I’m not sure what is the current best free option though – there are wordpress plugins and standalone software options.
One more question! Is there a way to put up a ‘false ad’ on my site that says ‘advertise on my blog’. I can’t seem to find any type of plugin that does this. Or maybe a landing page would be better, that has my prices on it with my email to contact me?