There will come a time in every content creators digital lives where a brand asks if you’re interested in creating sponsored content. You’ve spent months building and nurturing an audience and now you have an opportunity to make a little bit of cash from your passion. It’s a great feeling! That said, it can also come with some confusion and worry about what to charge for that sponsored content. Is it hourly for what you’re worth? Or a flat rate? Is your number too high or too low? What are the expectations? The questions can be overwhelming. Hopefully, this post will give you some insight into how I have priced myself in the past, and how you can figure out what to charge for sponsored content. Just keep in mind that this is only about the money!
What To Charge for Sponsored Content
Alright, so a brand has come to you asking what you charge for a sponsored post. If you haven’t done sponsored content before, or in a while, what do you charge? It’s important to remember that this isn’t charity – they aren’t doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. The brand wants results, so there’s a balancing act between getting paid and offering value. To get a very basic starting point, you can check out Social Blue Book, which acts as a pricing tool for YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. The problem with it is that it’s extremely low in my opinion. Like, absurdly low… so if your number is close to that, you’re undercutting your value.
Now, unfortunately, there is no clear-cut equation that delivers you a perfect answer. Does your mobile-friendly site matter? What about past content? How about how nice you are? These are all things that do have some impact on what you can charge but are nearly impossible to set a value to. The best I can offer is an example of what I base my own sponsored rates on. It comes down to eight categories that include time, traffic, niche, engagement, social, position, quality and the brand. Let me explain each one…
- Time – When it comes to content creation, on average it takes me 6 hours to create a great post, images, social sharing etc. What hourly rate do I feel I am worth? That’s an important starting point for me.
- Traffic – Traffic fluctuates all the time. What have the last three months looked like? How many readers will read the post? More readers, more money.
- Niche – Lifestyle, beauty and fashion creators are a dime a dozen, so they don’t get much of a boost. But a very specific niche demands higher rates due to supply and demand.
- Engagement – How engaged is the audience? Do they comment/share? This used to be important but went away as follower # became key. But in light of the fake following explosion, it’s seeing a return to importance. If you can’t show engagement, you may not be able to charge as much.
- Social – What kind of impressions will I get via my other social profiles? It’s a vanity metric, but it’s important and there’s little differentiation between real and fake.
- Position – What’s my position in the social media scene? Verified account? Well known? Those things matter.
- Quality – If I can create something that will deliver results years into the future (evergreen), then I will charge more than I would for a short-term post.
- Brand – How big is the brand? For a big multi-national, I will always charge them more and offer discounted rates for a small business.
So all these things considered, how do you set your sponsored content rate? This is the rough math that I use to determine my own rate. It is in NO WAY a perfect solution, you may find a million flaws in it, and it may not work for you – the key is to find your own equation that you feel is reasonable.
My time is worth $50/hour x 6 hours = $300
Add to it based on my traffic numbers at $10/1000 = $400
Lifestyle is not a specific niche, so no bonus = $400
Engagement levels are good but could be better, so a 10% bonus = $440
Social numbers (in this case Twitter) at $3/1000 = $464
Position bonus that I set at ~$100 = $564
Quality, if I can make it evergreen +$100, if not, $0 = $664
Brand, major brands (x 1.1), medium business (/1.3), local business (/1.5)
So, in this case, the rough estimate would be ~$700 for big brands. ~$500 for mediums. ~$450 for small business.
Again, find the math that works for you, perhaps you value your traffic numbers higher or your time less. Maybe your following is small, but you feel they are more engaged. Hopefully, with this, you can get a starting point on what to charge for sponsored content. How do go about determining what you charge for sponsored content?
**Originally Published on ZachBussey.com**