Online Advertising

Raising Your Online Advertising Rates

Have you ever considered raising your online advertising rates drastically to see what the outcome would be, but were afraid to give it a try?  Well, I am going to be your guinea pig.  Last week, I increased my rates for banner ads, sponsored posts, text links and doubled my rates for contextual links.

Contextual Links

Contextual links are becoming increasingly popular.  Clients want me to include their link in my article for an SEO benefit.  The amount of requests I was getting was just too much to handle.  Just think, for each request, you must produce and article, and with several sites, it became too cumbersome.  I had link builders buying 2 links on each site at a time.  It would take me 2 weeks to get all the articles published.

My approach now, is to eliminate the random embedded contextual links in articles and only offer a sentence at the bottom of the post that reads something like, “This post brought to you by…”.  I no longer have to figure out a clever way to include their link.  And for this service, I am charging almost the same I was for a sponsored post.

I am going to really confuse you now. This can be considered a Sponsored Post, because of the sponsorship at the bottom of the article.

$400USD on a PR4 with 20,000 UV for a 2 year term (an increase of $200USD)

Text Links

I offer text links in my home page sidebar and in the sidebar of my secondary pages.  I rarely ever get a request for a link in the sidebar of secondary pages.  Since links are for SEO purposes, the homepage accomplishes everything that a link builder would want.  Requests for links on my homepage have fallen dramatically, even before I raised my prices.  As I stated in a an earlier post, link builders are now more interested in contextual links.  A contextual link is often a higher quality link.  I didn’t raise my prices much on text links in the sidebar.

$60USD per 30-days on home page on a PR4 with 20,000 UV (an increase of 10%)

Sponsored Posts

I am tired of accepting Sponsored Posts that are just guest posts I get paid for with a contextual link.  I have always disclosed them as a sponsored post, but I am opting out of this online advertising option.  Some refer to this type of post as a paid advertorial. This is indeed the correct definition, but bloggers generally refer to everything as a sponsored post. Moving forward, my sponsored posts will only include press releases, product reviews, contests and giveaways.  This is to avoid any confusion about paid articles.  All my travel related posts, such as “Things to do in…” or “Travel Photos of the Day” will be non-paid articles.  I am basically saying, “No” to paid advertorials. As always I will continue to disclose a sponsored post.

$600USD on a PR4 with 20,000 UV for a 3 year term (an increase of $150USD)

Banner Ads

Banner ads are difficult to price because as a smaller blog (<50,000 unique visits) we don’t do much online banner advertising sales.  Honestly, I do none.  I am also not willing to have low prices just to sell some.  On my sites where branding is extremely relevant, I seriously contemplate any additional graphics.  If I am going to include a graphic ad, it’s going to cost a lot of money.  If your site doesn’t focus on branding, but instead just content, then I think you should consider lower prices if you goal is to make some money.  I am currently building a strategic approach for online banner advertising that I will share with you soon.

$400USD per 30-days on home page 300×250 above fold on a PR4 with 20,000 UV (an increase of 50%)

The plan is to track my blog advertising sales to see if I am able to achieve the same revenue with fewer deals.  I estimate I won’t sell any banners, as usual, and paid advertorials will disappear.  I think I may still sell a few contextual links that are just the sentence at the bottom of my post reading, “This post is brought to you by…”

About Jason Castellani

Senior Consultant for ATCS Inc. and Principal of Castellani Media LLC., a collection of blogs focused on providing unique content and entertainment. Began blogging after quitting my job and backpacking for 1 year with my wife. I became fascinated with the impact of social media and how social media marketing can help businesses grow. My goal is to continue building consulting services in an effort to remain digital nomads. @JasonCastellani

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6 Responses to Raising Your Online Advertising Rates

  1. Nomadic Samuel November 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    Hey Jason, I think it’s great that you’ve realized the value of your blog is increasing & accordingly so should your rates. I hope you’re able to maintain or increase the level of services you offer earning more per month/year. When you mention services for 2 and 3 year terms is that the amount of money you would receive annually from the contract or just a one time payment that expires after the set term?

    • Jason November 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

      Thanks Sam, I do think we all need to find more value in our blogs, and I am starting to feel that way too. It’s a one-time payment for a 2yr term. The 3yr terms only exist for the sponsored article which includes a press release, contest or giveaway. However, I have the option of removing a contest or giveaway after it expires. My print reads: Post can be removed at the end of the contest or a maximum of 3yrs.

  2. Roy Marvelous November 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Good for you! And thanks about being open about what you’re doing. This blog is a fantastic resource.

  3. Alexandra February 12, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    Very useful guidelines and tips, Jason. I tripled my prices for sidebar widgets this year for advertisers wanting to renew and was surprised that they all accepted! Guess i wasn’t charging enough. Nonetheless i’d add that we should all be happy with what we charge, whatever it is. In this market, i feel lucky to get paid advertising when at the newspaper for which I work we are suffering greatly…

  4. Ryan February 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Jason – excellent insight, thank you! You reference what you charge for text links on a page with a PR4 and 20,000 UV. Is that 20,000 unique visitors per day? Per month? Per Year?

    How far apart in value is a PR 3 from a PR 4?

  5. Davide Vadalà August 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    That’s funny. I wrote you last week asking for a free guest post, and I received in exchange your price list for paid guest posts. Now I was doing researches through google to understand if we charge enough in our blog, and I stumbled upon one of your posts again!

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