You’ve been blogging for a while, you have been building a nice following and then one day there is a request for a rate card. Awesome!! Only, you don’t have one! Luckily, you can quickly put one together with just a few steps. Here are my tips for putting together a rate card that converts to sales.
Right, so let’s first break it down. A rate card is like your blog’s CV with a take-away menu attached. Depending on your type of blog and the specific services you offer, your rate should contain the following:
1. Who are you?
A bit about yourself and your work. What is the purpose of your blog? What makes you different? What is your experience, and why are you best person for the job?
2. Facts & Figures
This should include all relevant data like your monthly page views, unique visitors, social media numbers etc. Don’t fudge these numbers! While a potential client may not be able to see your Google Analytics dashboard, there are other ways for them to check your traffic.
3. Key Moments and Achievements
When did your blog start, when you win that thing or get that opportunity or publish that book?
4. A bit more about your other clients
Who have you worked with in the past? Put their names or logos down. If you haven’t done work for anyone before, then just leave this section out.
5. Your product offering
Without getting into the pricing already, just mention what you are able to do: I offer unique and creative content, blog posts and video, social media management, digital products and other IP. Or whatever your offering is.
Now for the packages
Sponsored Blog Post
The client will usually want you to write about their product or service, usually after trying it out. They will send you the product or ask you to use the service, and then pay you a set amount for the post.
- Will you be using the client’s images or using your own?
- Does the blog post include a give-away that you have to manage as well? Then add 50% to your rate to manage this. Always make sure that the client will take care of sending the prize to the winner of the give-away.
Sponsored DIY Blog Post
This is if you have to make something with the client’s products, like cook up a storm or build something, and then write about it.
- If that is relevant to your blog, make sure that this offer has a higher price. There is a huge difference between writing something, and making something, taking pictures of it, and writing about it.
- If the DIY blog post also have a give-away attached, add 50% to the rate.
Social Media Campaigns
The client only requires you to do a social campaign on a specific platform or platforms, or to include social sharing as part of a sponsored post.
You should have a sliding scale of packages for 1 platform, 2 platforms and more than 2. If the client supplies the images and you’re only posting, it will be less than when they require you to create the content as well.
If you able to do video and it’s relevant to your blog and the client’s brand, then put that in as an offering. I have a professionally shot option as well as a handheld option to give clients a choice.
Banner ads and links
The client wants an ad only. I don’t do ads on my site, but if I get a long-term sponsored post opportunity, I am happy to include a banner for free. But many bloggers offer ads and affiliate links so it really comes down to personal preference.
Traditionally, above the fold ads are more expensive (ads that are immediately visible when you are on your landing page without having to scroll). Click on this link to see where the hot spots for content on your page are.
Okay, so how do I determine my prices for this?
It’s always going to come down to your reach. When I first put together my rate card a few years ago, I did a lot of research on this and the general rule of thumb seems to be to work on USD10 per 1000 page views per month for a sponsored blog post. So if you’re getting 13k page views, you can charge USD130 for a standard blog post. And then you work the rest of the offering out from there. If it’s going to take you 3 times longer to do a DIY post, then charge 3 times more, and so on. Once you have that number, work that back to your hourly rate as well to see if it makes sense. If you are charging USD130 for a post but it’s taking you 15 hours to make, photograph, produce, edit and promote the post, then it’s probably not worth it and you’ll have adjust your rate.
Ad space is going to be calculated based on the size of an ad and its location on your website, and then how many people are likely to see it. Here’s a formula to make it a bit easier:
- Take your monthly number of page views
- Divide this by 1,000 (ad space works on CPM or cost per mille, which is Latin for 1000).
- Now multiply this by USD5 for above the fold on the landing page, USD3.5 for lower down on the page.
- This is then your base rate for having a small 125×125 linked ad on your page for one month. If you are doing a banner that is 600×125, then that takes up 5 smaller blocks and should therefore cost 5 times more.
So, that means on a blog with 13k page views per month, you can charge USD65 per month for a 125×125 side bar ad above the fold, and USD325 for a large banner.
Now that you have all of the basic rates, you can start to put together different packages.
Your offering might look something like this:
- Basic Package: A blog post with 1 share each on Twitter and Facebook and a back-link to the client’s site. Total package price: USD250.
- Junior Package: Everything in the basic package, plus a link to a specially created board with 20 images on Pinterest (value USD100) and 2 Instagram posts (value USD50) PLUS 3 x styled high res images (value USD300) – Total package price: USD450
- Super Sized Package: Everything in the junior package, plus 2 additional shares each on Facebook and Twitter, inclusion in our weekly newsletter (value USD250) and a 250×125 banner ad (value USD130) – Total package price: USD650
- Add a 2-min video, to be hosted on my own blog and the client’s website, to any of the above packages for USD350.
You can put together packages to create your own unique offering. Here are a few ideas for things you can include:
- blog post / DIY blog post
- social media
- give-away featuring the client’s product or service
- inclusion in an ebook
- creating a custom ebook
- mentioning the brand in your newsletter
- doing a dedicated newsletter for the sponsor
- custom images that they are able to use
- creating posts for their blog as well as your own
- mentioning them on a webinar
- ads in the sidebar on your blog
- links to specific products as well as their site
There are many different options, but it really will depend on both what you are able to do and what the client may require. Get creative and play around with a few options!
And then put some effort into packaging your offering into something that represents your work. The Pretty Blog has a beautiful rate card that has a strong brand presence with a clear message and easy-to-understand offering. Click here to have a look!
I hope that this guide will help you to put together a beautiful rate card that will convert. I’d love to hear of any other ideas you have for fellow bloggers, so please put down your suggestions in the comments below.